71 Central St. Stoneham, MA 02180

Browsing Pastor's Notes

A Few Updates

From the PastroDear Friends in Christ,

I want to take this opportunity to provide a few updates in terms of our life together. The first has to do with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Beginning this Monday, as an experiment, there will be a priest available for confessions Monday thru Friday before the Noon Mass from 11:20-11:50am. This is in addition to the Saturday afternoon confessions from 3:00-3:45pm. Confessions are heard in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Chapel (lower church). The confessionals are located in the rear of the chapel. Since the priest who has the Noon Mass will be the one hearing confessions, the confessions need to end at 11:50am sharp.

There will be times when a priest may be returning from a grave and may be unable to be there, but for the most part, our plan is to be there. We are doing this as an effort to provide more opportunities for parishioners to receive this sacrament and to enjoy its benefits.

We are also looking at the possibility of having a confessional in the upper church. This would allow the possibility of providing the sacrament of confession on Sundays before one of the Masses. It may not always be possible, but we would like to at least make it possible as often as we can. We are looking at ways to make this happen. Stay tuned.

Oftentimes at the end of Mass, I notice that parishioners applaud the cantor and the musicians. This is done out of a desire to show gratitude. Even so, I want to make an observation about that. The musicians and cantors at Mass are there to assist all of us in lifting our hearts AND voices up to the Lord. They are not there to replace the congregation or to perform for us. We are not the audience. If you really want to show gratitude to the musicians, sing the responses of the Mass! That’s what they really want! The Mass is always so much more beautiful when everyone is responding to the prayers, singing the Mass parts, and fully attentive. There are, of course, times when the choir or a cantor might sing something that is not for the congregation. The last thing any of us want is for the cantor to be singing the “Ave Maria" and for the person behind us to be singing it along with her! But, for the most part, we should all–yes, even you–be singing the Mass parts. By all means, feel free to show gratitude to the musicians at the conclusion of Mass, but let’s show them gratitude during the Mass by joining in!

This Sunday after the Noon Mass, we will have a gathering of the many parishioners who serve the parish in a variety of capacities. (I will not list them because I will inevitably forget to mention some group or another!) This parish depends upon the generous service of so many people in its day to day life. If you are one of those people, please know how grateful I am. Your name doesn’t appear in the bulletin. You do not get to share your thoughts from the pulpit. Probably nobody ever stops to say, “Thank You” for what you do. Many of the things that you do are hidden. You make life easier for the rest of us and you take pride in St. Patrick Parish. It’s because of your quiet and often-hidden generosity that others are able to worship here and feel loved here. Thank you–on behalf of all of us–for all that you do.

Your Brother in Christ,

Fr. David Barnes