Remembering Our Fallen

05-26-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, please note that daily Mass on Memorial Day (May 27) will be at 9:00am in Old St. Mary’s. There will be no confessions or Mass that evening. How grateful we are for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country! God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride. Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears, that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters. Keep in your mercy those men and women who have died in the cause of freedom, and bring them safely into your kingdom of justice and peace. Though Christ our Lord. Amen.

In many places in the Northeast, Thursday, May 30, would mark the day Our Lord ascended into heaven after forty days: “[Jesus] presented Himself alive to them by many proofs after He had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).” However, liturgically in most of the United States (including our diocese), the celebration of this feast is moved to Sunday. So, if you have just joined us from a diocese that celebrates the Ascension on Thursday, note that it is not a Holy Day of Obligation here.

This Thursday, May 30, is eighth grade graduation for St. Mary’s School. We will celebrate a special Mass for the graduates at 7:00pm in the church (138 Fairfield St.), followed immediately by graduation. Please pray for these wonderful young men and women. Congratulations, Graduates!

Beginning the first week of June through July, our parish will again be blessed to host a seminarian from our diocese, Nicholas Shiver. Nick hails from Mouth Pleasant, S.C., and presently studies at the Catholic University of America. Please pray for Nick and for all our seminarians in their long formation. They are preparing to give themselves in life-long service to you in the Church. Please also not only pray but encourage more faithful men to consider the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ. With many retirements on the horizon, we need more men to answer God’s call. God never stops calling – we must slow down to listen and answer with Mary’s courageous, “Yes!”

Historically, we know from the Acts of the Apostles that the Virgin Mary and the Apostles spent the nine intervening days between the Ascension and Pentecost praying in the Upper Room. This is the origin of the word “novena,” which literally means, “nine.” A novena is, traditionally, a prayer done over nine days. Therefore, the Novena to the Holy Spirit is the Church’s primary novena. The Holy Spirit is powerful. He is “the Lord, the giver of life” (from the Creed). This year the novena begins on Friday, May 31, and runs through Saturday, June 8. I’d like to encourage everyone to pray this powerful Novena to the Holy Spirit for ourselves and for the whole Church. It can be found easily online at EWTN:

Also, we plan to have some copies out on the tables for you to pick up after Mass.

Come, Holy Spirit!
Father Wilson