Sunday, August 7, 2022
The Lord be with you all! First a happy announcement: I am delighted to welcome Diane Aquaro as our new Business Manager! Diane is from Townsend, has a background in accounting, saw the need and stepped up to the plate for us. While she starts work in the part-time position this Monday, it will take her several weeks before she completes some of the required training on our accounting system and other programs. In the meantime, I want to thank volunteer accountant Tony Caruso for his help to keep us paying our bills, as well as Andrea Sevigny for her continued support as we transition to a new Business Manager.
In the long version of the Gospel today, the Lord uses very strong language to describe what will happen to the servant who departs from the master’s will knowingly (a severe beating) or even unknowingly (a light beating, though deserving of more). Our God is indeed just, but what about us? The sacrament of confession is at a minimum very helpful, and often absolutely necessary, for us to get to Heaven. While on earth, it brings us freedom and peace, allows us to see the good more clearly and be delivered from evil of our own making. Through it, we are reconciled to God when our personal sin(s) have mortally wounded our relationship with God. It is a legitimate question to wonder if holiness (i.e., union with God, the goal of life) is at all possible without the sacrament of confession? We know we cannot get into Heaven by ourselves; can anyone of us honestly tell God that His gift of the sacrament of confession is actually a help we do not need (and therefore we will not go)? Along with great encouragement to cultivate a life of prayer and thanksgiving, you will hear more mention, instruction, and encouragement from clergy here to make the sacrament of confession (aka “reconciliation” or “penance”) a regular part of your life going forward. I know many people genuinely struggle to recognize their sins. To be able to do so accurately is actually a kind of blessing. We will soon be distributing a short guide to confession with a simple examination of conscience to everyone who comes to Mass to try to help with this, and we will be increasing our scheduled confession times.
We are nowhere near capacity for Mass attendance; we could easily cancel several Masses and still have plenty of space for all who attend. However, we need to expand confession times since the current limited times are often (though not always) completely full. To start, we will add another hour at 6pm on Thursday nights in Pepperell, beginning August 11, and it will normally be accompanied by Eucharistic Adoration, as we do in Townsend at 6pm on Tuesday nights. Ask the Lord to show each of us our sins that we may repent of them, receive His merciful forgiveness in the sacrament of confession, and then worthily receive Him in the Sacrament of Holy Communion for our great spiritual profit (rather than unworthily and for our condemnation as Saint Paul warns us, e.g., 1 Cor 11).
Skipping ahead a little, a week from this Monday, August 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother into Heaven. Normally, this would be a Holy Day of Obligation; however, it is one of those special holy days that when they occur on a Monday or Saturday in the US, they are not a Holy Day of Obligation. Nonetheless, in addition to the regular daily Mass at 12:05 in Pepperell that day, we will add a 7pm Mass in Townsend for all who wish to celebrate our Blessed Mother’s Assumption, Body and Soul, into Heaven! God bless,