71 Central St. Stoneham, MA 02180

Browsing Pastor's Notes

12/27/23 - The Feast of the Holy Family

From the PastorDear Friends in Christ,

Although, because of the bulletin deadline, this letter is being written before Christmas, I want to thank all of you for the magnificent way that you have prepared for and celebrated Our Lord’s Birth. St. Patrick School had its Christmas Pageant, the church has been decorated, an enormous number of gifts have been provided for those who are less fortunate, parishioners delivered plants to the homebound, the choir and musicians have practiced, and the parish staff has been non-stop for weeks.

In the week before Christmas, we had a funeral Mass every day. Additionally, the parish confessionals were busy with many parishioners seeking to be reconciled to God through the Sacrament of Penance. On a personal note, I have to tell you what an incredible joy it has been to minister to all of you in this most profound encounter with the Lord’s Mercy. I know that Fr. Sijo feels similarly.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. As we do so, in my mind’s eye, I see so many of our parish families. I see you walking into church, sitting in your usual pews, and I see the dinner tables where I have been privileged to eat with you. I see the extraordinary love of parents who care for their children who suffer from various medical afflictions. I see the young parents bringing their little ones; parents who teach their children the Catholic Faith. I see married couples–young and old–who are living out their marriage vows. I see adult children and grandchildren caring for their parents and grandparents.

I see young men and women who are faithful to coming to Mass, and I think how proud their parents must be of them. I see those whose families are experiencing turmoil. To be a holy family in the current culture and climate is a monumental task. It is so easy to grow lax, to yield to the irreligious currents, and to lose faith. I see young men and women who are serious about growing in faith. I see young people who are discerning calls to the priesthood and religious life. I see young adults who are trying to make sense of life and their place in it.

As we meditate this weekend upon the Holy Family of Nazareth, I entrust all of you–the beautiful family of St. Patrick Parish–to their heavenly intercession. The graces of the Holy Family are even now being poured out into your hearts and homes. What happened in the home of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is not relegated to the past. It overflows into the families of faithful believers even now.

Your Brother in Christ,

Fr. David Barnes