Bishop da Cunha Building Faith Blog Fall River Diocese

Blessing of the Fleet

Blessing the Fleet (Source:

On June 25th, I participated in the 76th annual Mass and Blessing of the Fleet as part of the Provincetown Portuguese Festival. There is a rich, long-standing history between fishermen and the Church, which this annual tradition honors.

Sanctuary at St. Peter the Apostle (Source: Provincetown Portuguese Festival Facebook page)

The festivities include a procession in which a statue of St. Peter, who, as you know, was also a fisherman, is processed from St. Peter’s Church to MacMillan Pier in Provincetown. In addition to the statue, the procession included many fishing families, the Colum Cille Pipes & Drums, and many friends and supporters.

Source: Provincetown Portuguese Festival Facebook page

New Samaritan House in Taunton

Last Wednesday, I was very pleased to take part in the dedication of the Samaritan House Shelter in its new location in Taunton. It’s an overnight emergency shelter, which had been run by our Catholic Charities for many years in a different location in that city until forced by Covid to seek a different building for additional space. In its new home, which was the rectory for the former Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, the shelter provides a safe and welcoming environment with beds for both men and women. Along with providing shelter, a hot meal, and a place to shower, the Samaritan House staff works with guests to find affordable housing and connect with resources to exit homelessness.

I am grateful to Susan Mazzarella, Catholic Charities CEO, for her leadership and working with many different people – especially our property manager Paul Brooks and our chancellor Kevin Kiley – to make sure this shelter would open to serve the local homeless people. As I shared with those present at the dedication, there were many hurdles in the process and many people were involved to make sure this would become a reality. Thanks to the hard work and determination of all involved, the shelter has a beautiful new facility. Just as that building has
been rebuilt and restored, it will now be used to help people re-build and restore their lives.
It was gratifying to have representatives of the city and state government, including the mayor of Taunton, take part in the dedication. We were also joined by community and non-profit organizations of Greater Taunton who partner with Catholic Charities to serve the unhoused. I thank them, along with the staff of Catholic Charities, for the critical work they do each day. In my closing prayer, I referenced the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the timely lesson it offers us all of the need to reach out across divides to offer help and hope to those in need.

Attending Mass during Vacation 

During the summer, I enjoy traveling around the Diocese to celebrate Masses. I often have the opportunity to celebrate Mass on Cape Cod and the Islands—where many parishes increase the number of weekend Masses to accommodate the summer tourists and visitors. The Diocese is also blessed with the opportunity for some of our Cape parishes to also provide Masses at chapels or mission churches, some open year-round, others seasonally. Whether by architecture, history, or location, some of these chapels are unique places in which to worship or even simply to visit. If you find yourself traveling or vacationing on Cape Cod, I invite you to take advantage of the Masses and other opportunities for worship offered in our parish churches and chapels. For further information, please visit our diocesan website or
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

O Reverendíssimo Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
O Reverendíssimo Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River