Important Livestreamed Liturgies
Gathering peacefully to pray together regardless of our differences can provide a wonderful example of the harmony to which we are called as members of one human family and children of the same God. With this important goal in mind, I have extended an invitation to clergy and religious leaders from throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands to pray together for an end to racism and its many injustices.
This Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace and Justice will be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral this Sunday, June 14th, at 3 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 capacity restrictions, attendance will be limited. Anyone wishing to attend in person must preregister online.
However, members of our various congregations are encouraged to join us through the Livestream of this service on the Diocesan Facebook Page.
On Saturday, June 13th, at 11 a.m., I will ordain Deacon Steven Booth to the priesthood and seminarian Peter R. Scheffer to the Transitional Diaconate during the celebration of the Mass in our Cathedral. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus restrictions currently in place that limit seating within St. Mary’s Cathedral, attendance at the Ordination will only be by invitation. The Ordination Mass will also be livestreamed on the Diocesan Facebook page.
Reopening Church Recap
Just as Pentecost brought the Apostles from the Upper Room, we were blessed to see many faithful emerge from their homes and return to Mass on this year’s Solemnity of Pentecost, May 30/31st. The reopening of Mass in the Fall River Diocese proceeded successfully. Thanks to the incredible support and cooperation of our parishioners, as well as the hard work of our priests, parish staff, and volunteers all went well. We all had to navigate unchartered territory following the guidelines carefully designed to keep the faithful safe while respecting the beauty and tradition of our Catholic faith.
We will continue to move forward under the current guidelines; be assured I am monitoring the situation and will communicate any changes, as we have during this entire pandemic, in a timely manner. Please remember to call your Parish or consult their website or social media, to review Mass options, including instructions regarding registration (if needed).
Feeding the Hungry
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the parishes of the Catholic Community of Central Fall River have offered a twice-weekly free “Grab and Go Meals” program, distributing food to anyone in need. It takes place every Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Good Shepherd Parish, 1598 South Main St., Fall River. This Friday, I was blessed to participate in personally handing out meals.
This vital program costs about $3,000 a week, serving 450 meals twice a week. If you can help, please consider a donation to the Grab and Go Meals Gofundme campaign.
79th Annual Catholic Appeal
The 79th Annual Catholic Appeal is kicking off during an extraordinary year for the Diocese of Fall River and the world. This year the Appeal is launching in a time of stunning and unprecedented need brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Formerly called the “Catholic Charities Appeal,” the Appeal’s name has been updated to the “Catholic Appeal” to reflect the full scope of all the agencies, programs, and ministries it supports. Donations to the Appeal provide food and shelter, educate children and adults, and meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of tens of thousands of individuals and families in the Diocese of Fall River.
As a diocese and as a society, it feels as though we have been navigating through a terrible storm for the past few months. The coronavirus has transformed our lives in unprecedented ways, including spiritual sacrifices that have kept us from gathering with our beloved parish and collaborative communities. A storm like this, however, also shows how our acts of compassion and generosity bring Christ’s message to light, even in the darkest times. Your support of the Catholic Appeal assists people in all phases of life and upholds the numerous agencies, programs, and ministries meeting the needs of countless individuals and families in the Diocese of Fall River.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse of what life is like for our sick, homebound, and homeless neighbors who lack regular access to the full sacramental life of the Church. It has robbed households of the dignity of stable employment. We have had the opportunity to understand firsthand the importance of the weekly Television Mass, food pantries and soup kitchens, emergency housing and homeless shelters, and the tireless work of our hospital chaplains. Your contribution will allow these and all the good works of the diocese to continue at a time when we need them so desperately. Together, we can care for those who are most vulnerable in their hour of greatest need, and emerge from this storm – which I hope will end soon – stronger than ever.
You can click on the following link to watch the video launching this year’s Appeal. The video is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese: https://www.catholicfoundationsema.org/video-gallery.
Additional information on this year’s Catholic Appeal is available on its website: www.catholicfoundationsema.org/catholic-appeal-2020. It includes a summary of how the $4.1 million was raised through the 2019 Catholic Appeal and has been distributed across the various ministries and programs it supports.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha