Bishop da Cunha Building Faith Blog Fall River Diocese


On Monday, January 1st, the Church marks three important events — the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, World Day of Peace, and New Year’s Day.


Mary, Mother of God

Pope Saint Paul VI, in his apostolic exhortation Marialis Cultus, referred to the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, as

“A fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels (Luke 2:14), and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace.”

The Council of Ephesus (431) attributed the title Mother of God to Mary. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, is God incarnate (the act of being made flesh); because He is God, and Mary is His mother, she, therefore, is the Mother of God. 

“Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 721).

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, is usually a holy day of obligation; however, since it falls on a Monday in 2024, the obligation is dispensed. However, in the spirit of my Christmas message, I pray parents will take this opportunity to teach their children more about the Catholic faith. To regard attending this special Liturgy as a blessing—to come together as a community to celebrate this incredible gift of Mary as Mother of God is indeed more opportunity to grow in faith, love, and hope than an obligation. I encourage you, especially together with your family, to consider attending either the vigil or a New Year’s Day Mass in addition to your Sunday Mass (click here to find a Parish near you).


World Day of Peace

The Vatican has published Pope Francis’ message for the 57th World Day of Peace. In his message, Pope Francis reflects on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on world peace and urges the international community to adopt a binding international treaty that regulates its development and use. I invite you to read the entire message for your own reflection here.


St. Andrew Dinner

Thursday, December 22, we had the first-ever Fall River Vocations St. Andrew Dinner. It was offered as an opportunity for young men who might be open to the priesthood to learn about the discernment process in a relaxed setting. We shared fellowship, prayer, and a delicious meal while sharing with them the joy of serving as a priest. A special thank you to all the young men, their families, and their parish priests who joined our seminarians and me for such a lovely evening!


Wishing You and Your Family a Very Happy, Healthy,
and Blessed New Year!

Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Fall River
Office of Communications