Ordination to the Priesthood
On Saturday, June 4, the Diocese of Fall River welcomed 4 new priests as I ordained Transitional Deacons Matthew F. Laird, 29, of Sandwich; William O’Donnell III, 44, of Harwich; Gregory Quenneville, 37, of Attleboro; and Laurent M. Valliere, 40, of Fall River to the order of priesthood. We rejoiced as we were able to come together and celebrate, with a nearly full Cathedral, this blessed day in our Diocese.
During the ordination, I focused the words of my homily on the sacred duties these four men will assume as priests. God called each of them to proclaim the Gospel with not only their words but their lives, to “believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” To embrace the teaching credited to St. Francis, to preach the Gospel always, and when necessary, use words.
He has chosen and appointed each to bear fruit in their service to God and His people. I pray they never stop believing, each day, that it was indeed God who called them to their vocation. Not because they are perfect, but that He saw in each of them a particular goodness and a generosity of heart which would guide them in shepherding His people.
The ordination was livestreamed, and a recording can now be viewed here.
These men are not just called to serve the Church and preach her message, but to love the people of God, as He has loved us. As Pope Francis stated during the May 15th Canonization Mass in Rome, “The love that we receive from the Lord is the force that transforms our lives. It opens our hearts and enables us to love. For this reason, Jesus says “as I have loved you, so must you love one another.”
Each came to his vocation by a path uniquely his own, and to remain on this path and to do what Christ has done and asks of them—a priest must be a man of God, and he can only do so by becoming a great man of prayer. To do what Christ did, walk the path He walked, proclaim the Gospel, forgive sins, and celebrate His Mysteries—all require a life of dedication to the service of the Church and to profound and purposeful prayer.
We welcome these faithful men as Priests of the Fall River Diocese; please continue to hold them in your prayers as they begin this next chapter of their vocation.
Catholic High School Graduations
The celebrations of June continue with graduations from our Diocesan Catholic High Schools — Bishop Connolly High School (Fall River), Bishop Stang High School (Dartmouth), Bishop Feehan High School (Attleboro), and St. John Paul II School (Hyannis).
This month we witness another graduating class that has had to overcome the struggles of a pandemic during a good part of their high school experience. I hope they, like the two previous years’ senior classes, will find ways to embrace this opportunity born from difficulty and challenge to be better and stronger people. To reach the milestone of graduation has required fortitude, hard work, dedication, and a true belief and understanding that truly all things are possible with God. I am so proud of them, their parents and families, and our Catholic schools.
Congratulations again to the Class of 2022. May the Lord continue to bless your educational and career endeavors. Congratulations to your parents and families who brought you to this day. And again, a sincere thank you to the Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools for their success in navigating their students through the continuing challenges of the pandemic.
National Eucharistic Revival Launch
Together, the Bishops of the United States are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and sent out in mission “for the life of the world.” I invite you to learn more at the new updated National Eucharistic Revival website.
By first receiving the Eucharist – the true presence of Christ– we are transformed into the Body of Christ, the Church. Without it, we cannot be the individuals, the Catholics, nor the Church God calls us to be. In a phrase, the Eucharist is essential to discipleship, and consequently to evangelization. Therefore, we must make a priority the evangelization of Christ’s Eucharistic Presence, which we encounter at Mass and then live out as Church in society by being ‘commissioned’ to go out at the end of Mass. To this end…I invite all people to take part in this Eucharistic Renewal for our Church.
This Eucharistic Revival will launch on the weekend of the Feast of Corpus Christi this year, and all are invited to a special event to inaugurate the Revival in the Diocese of Fall River. I pray you, your family, and members of your parish will join in a special Mass to be followed by a Eucharistic Procession and Adoration, beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at Bishop Connolly High School, 373 Elsbree St. in Fall River. You may RSVP here.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha