The Pastor's Pen

Sunday, May 27, 2023

For Early Risers: Beginning this weekend and continuing through to Labor Day weekend there will be an additional Mass on Sunday mornings at 7AM in the main Church.

The Grand Finale (for now): The parish has been celebrating ordinations since last May with the ordination of Christopher Hughes to the Transitional Diaconate, followed by Deacon Matthew Laird to the Priesthood, and then this past weekend David Laird and Richard Fish to the Permanent Diaconate. This is a great privilege not shared by too many parishes in an era in which vocations are not generally numerous. We should all take pride in the fact that Christ the King Parish has continued to be a fruitful field encouraging and supporting a call to service in the local church through the sacrament of holy orders . On next Sunday, June 4th, we will hold the final celebration (hopefully only for a while) of Deacon Christopher Hughes as he returns to the parish to offer a First Mass of Thanksgiving at 3Pm after being ordained to the priesthood by Bishop da Cunha on Saturday June 3rd in Fall River. Following the Mass, Fr. Hughes will offer his first priestly blessing during a reception in the Parish Hall. This, like the previous celebrations, is not properly a private affair as ordinations are a blessing to the whole church, so all are welcome to come to this final celebration of what God has been doing within and among us in this community of faith such that we should be blessed with vocations to ordained ministry ! As we celebrate, let us pray that this trend will continue as we all do our part to encourage more vocations!

What Are We Celebrating: Today we arrive at Pentecost the final day of the 50 day season of Easter, thus we bring to a close the most intensely observed annual celebration of the central truth of our Catholic faith, the Paschal Mystery. This mystery as it unfolded in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ reveals the great paradox that it is only from death that new life will come. This then is the saving mystery which offers us hope even in the face of our own inevitable death. Indeed, the Paschal Mystery is the heart of our Christian faith because for those who live it by dying and rising with Christ in baptism and thereafter through ongoing conversion, who rely on the grace of the sacraments and thus are animated and guided by the Holy Spirit, there is the promise of unending life beyond the limited one we presently enjoy! . This Paschal Season actually began on Ash Wednesday, moved through the 40 days of Lent, came to its high point in the Sacred Triduum, and has continued through seven weeks of seven days to conclude today at Pentecost. On this final feast we celebrate the coming of the promised Holy Spirit to the first disciples and thus to believers in every generation down through the ages as a means by which the Lord, as promised, will remain with his church until he comes again! So in celebration of this great feast to conclude this most holy paschal season let us sing God Bless America? Perhaps not! Obviously the conclusion of the Paschal Season is not on the secular calendar, rather Memorial Day is observed on Monday and thus gives it name to this entire weekend, and so there are some among us who will complain if we do not sing patriotic songs at Mass!. However we cannot turn a major feast of the universal church at the conclusion of its most important season into a nationalistic and patriotic celebration. Why? We are part of the Catholic Church the very name which tells us we are a universal church that cannot be overly partial to any particular nation no matter how much we may esteem it. Ultimately we are being invited to understand ourselves as citizens of a kingdom that supersedes and will outlast every other worldly kingdom and nation. When we pray together at Mass we are being invited to leave time and place and to enter the realm of eternity as we worship God through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, Thus, when we gather in church let our primary understanding of ourselves be that we are Christians of the universal Catholic Church thus our nationality always has to be secondary to that! A person of any race or nation should feel as at home in our liturgy here as they would in their native place so nationalism at Mass here or elsewhere in the world is always truly out of place. Should the people of Germany in the 30’s or 40’s have placed Nazi flags in the sanctuaries of their Church’s and sang Deutschland, Deutschland at Mass? Should the Catholics of Russia or Iran be singing tthe anthems of their countries and waving their flags in church on Pentecost this weekend? Can we not appreciate then how Christ’s plan of salvation for the world depends on his followers seeking and seeing themselves first and foremost as citizens of the Kingdom of God above all other identities of race and place? Only in this way are we able to recognize all the baptized no matter their nationality or race as our brothers and sisters with whom we are called to share Christ’s life and peace. That is surely the peace that a world in which nations war against other nations to advance their own interests cannot ever give. Yet , how do wars ever get waged with Christians forced to fight Christians if not through an exaggerated emphasis of nationality that overshadows even the religious identity that should always be primary because it is destined to be eternal. Let us strive instead to cultivate a healthy patriotism as we love our country, honor those who gave their lives for our freedoms, admit its faults and pray for its good as Christians must ! This is what we will try to do, even on Pentecost, but more properly on Monday, which although it is the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, we will also remember is Memorial Day. Thus in addition to hymns appropriate to the feasts we will sing as is our custom God of Our Fathers, our national hymn, a true prayer for our nation and remember those who gave their lives in its service in the petitions at Mass. While that is perhaps more than many will do to acknowledge Memorial Day, if that is still not enough for some then I suggest they join the civic observance of the day at the park across from Mashpee Town Hall at 10AM on Monday morning! Please do not ever expect as some perhaps still do that a major feast of the Church Year should take a back seat to a national holiday no matter how noble its significance. A blessed and joyful Pentecost to all believers on Sunday, a solemn Memorial Day observance to all Americans on Monday!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Two New Servants: Let us all offer our gratitude to Richard Fish and David Laird for answering the call to the diaconate to which they are now ordained. The root of the word deacon is waiter or servant as found in the original Greek from which it is derived, and it is thus an apt description of what is asked of those who come forward to accept this role of ordained public ministry in the Church. So as we congratulate Richard and David on this weekend of their ordination, let us also thank God for their vocations as a gift to the church. Above all, let us each commit to lending Deacon Richard and Deacon David our prayerful support and encouragement as they seek to assist the bishop and priests of our diocese in humbly and generously serving the people of God.

Not All Rights Are Equal: Those who track trends in gun violence define a Mass Shooting as one in which 4 or more people are shot by a single gun operator at once. . In this year alone in the United States there have been over 200 such incidents so far, averaging one a day since the beginning of the year. The statistics from last year reveal a total of 647 mass shootings in our nation.. When compared with the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan which are other similar industrialized republics, the United States is off the charts in this frightening statistic ! Why? Because there is an increasing proliferation of firearms in our country and lax gun laws. To own a gun in Japan you have to apply to the government, have a background check, be trained at a firing range and achieve a high level of skill, and undergo a day long mental health evaluation; assault weapons are banned in that country. The UK and Australia have long ago enacted stricter gun laws after experiencing incidents of mass shootings . Gun ownership is a legal rights issue for sure, and people in this country are very quick to claim what they perceive to be absolute their rights under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. It would perhaps be very enlightening if we could ask the the creators of the U.S. Constitution if they recognize current interpretations as consistent with their original intentions in composing the Second Amendment. Some will complain that a Catholic pastor should not even comment on this issue and consider it dabbling in politics and crossing a line between Church and State. However, widespread gun violence is not merely a political or legal issue, it is above all else a moral issue concerning human life in light of the commandment of God that prohibits the killing of another human being. Indeed, when we think about it, laws are necessary for those who do not possess strong morals, as laws seek to impose minimal limits on human behavior so as to render it acceptable in a supposedly civilized society. Yet as Christians we must have higher standards of all behavior rooted not only in law but in the religious perspective regarding that which God expects of us as his sons and daughters. As children of God and members of the human family, let us recognize that not all rights are equal , and the right to life of any human person must take precedent over anyone else’s right to bear arms! So as Catholic people, let us not be content with the response typically made to mass shootings by those who hold positions of authority in our nation, offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families and blaming mental illness for the tragedy. Statistically, there is not more incidence of mental illness in our nation as compared to Japan, the UK or Australia, but in those nations the leaders have had the moral will to restrict gun access in reasonable ways and to ban the possession of military style assault weapons by civilians. Could we, who are called to be thoroughly pro-life, rightly expect and demand the same of our leaders?


Sacrificing for Life: When we divert resources from our own use and donate them to something of greater benefit to others, especially those who are in need of the attention and care of the church, we fulfill our Christian vocation to imitate Christ who willingly gave his life for all.. Each year we have yet another opportunity to participate in this life -giving generosity as we answer our Bishop’s call to assist him in funding the many apostolic, ministerial, catechetical, and charitable works of the local church through the annual Catholic Appeal. Materials have been mailed to all registered households and are also available at the entrances to the Church. All are asked to prayerfully discern their response to this appeal, and to offer their gift before the appeal officially closes on June 30th.


Sunday, May 14, 2023

Mother’s Day: A blessed and joyful day is prayerfully wished to all mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, and second mothers on this very special day set aside in their honor! On this day, we also honor our heavenly mother and model for all mothers, the Blessed Mother of God, Mary, most holy! We will do so at the conclusion of the 8:30AM Mass today as we invite our young parishioners who received the Eucharist for the first time last Sunday to crown the image of the Blessed Mother placed in the sanctuary.



Ascension Thursday, May 18th- Holy Day of Obligation: Masses – Vigil on Wednesday at 4PM, Masses on Thursday at 8:30AM and 5:30PM.


Choosing Wrong Is Never a Right: We are a society keenly concerned with rights yet some which are being claimed in our contemporary culture are not really rights at all if the exercise of these privileges would permit violation of higher moral laws! The ultimate right to be enjoyed by every human being and which any society which calls itself civil has a duty to protect is the right to life! Thus one’s own individual rights and the freedom to exercise these always ends where another individual’s right to life begins. This is clearly the case in the contentious debate over abortion, as the right to extinguish a viable human life in the womb is being demanded by many for no more compelling reason than that they might possibly be burdened or inconvenienced by carrying a pregnancy to term. If we are morally sound in our reasoning and intuition, it should be obvious to us that there is not an absolute right to abortion as many are presently claiming and demanding. Clearly laws by their very nature must be just and law which permits one person to choose to get rid of another because their existence could potentially be an inconvenience to them is not only unjust but actually frightening in its wider implications! There are indeed legitimate “reproductive rights” which belong to adults of sufficient maturity in the context of a formally committed relationship called marriage who can responsibly choose to have children; others not in such a situation should take the greatest care not to engage in activities that are by their very nature potentially reproductive! Calling elective abortion a “reproductive right” is to perpetuate a falsehood because in reality it is an act that is anything but reproductive, but rather one which violently interrupts the process and thus abuses the privilege of the God given capacity of human procreation. Yet such an obvious falsehood of abortion as “reproductive rights” is created and reiterated in order to cover the indisputable truth that abortion kills a vulnerable and defenseless human being and thus is a deliberate deception designed to try to make what is obviously morally unacceptable sound more palatable. How t is this approach all that different from the public relations tactics used by the Third Reich when they called Auschwitz and other such places “resettlement” rather than extermination camps! So on this Mother’s Day, let us all be deeply grateful to those selfless women who when they learned they were carrying us in their womb, were grateful to God, rather than resentful, and who chose, convenient or not, to bring us to birth no matter the cost to themselves! They have sacrificed much to permit us to enjoy the right of all rights which is that to life; let us thank God and them from the depths of our hearts and with our prayers and praises today!!


Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate: On next Saturday, May 20th, at 11AM two of our parishioners, Richard Fish and David Laird, will be among the group of men whom Bishop Da Cunha will ordain to the Sacred Order of Deacon. If you have never been to our Cathedral in Fall River, or never witnessed an ordination, please feel most welcome to attend as no sacramental celebration, especially an ordination, is ever private but rather for the benefit of the whole church. The Ordination will also likely be available on live stream at the website of the Diocese of Fall River. Our new deacons will exercise their ordained ministry among us at two Masses at which they will both serve. On Saturday May 20th at 4PM David Laird will preach as he serves as Deacon of the Word, while Richard Fish will serve as Deacon of the Altar. At 10:30 AM Mass next Sunday, Richard Fish will preach as Deacon of the Word, while David Laird serves as Deacon of the Altar. Receptions will be held in the Parish Hall after each of these Masses; please come and congratulate our new deacons and enjoy the hospitality of the parish and continue to cultivate the camaraderie that must be ours as members together of this community of faith. {PLEASE LET US KNOW YOU WILL BE ATTENDING THE RECEPTION(S)}


Catholic Appeal: 125 Households of our parish have already responded generously to our Bishop’s annual request for our assistance in supporting the ministries, apostolates, charities and services which carry out the many good works that characterize our local church as Catholic. Please be mindful of the appeal and plan to make a pledge or contribution before it closes on June 30th.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land- 2024; Still Open: With gratitude to Mr. George Khoury and the staff at NAWAS Travel, we have acquired additional airline seats so as to be able to accommodate those who still wish to travel to the land made holy by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The pilgrimage will take place over 11 days, two of which are travel to and from Israel, with 9 days “on the ground” from Galilee to Judea, February 16 to the 26th. The dates were selected especially to enable those who enjoy a school vacation at this time to be able to spend it on pilgrimage. Don’t delay registering as this has proved to be a most popular trip!

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Our Annual Expression of Solidarity: We are the Catholic people of the local church defined as the Diocese of Fall River by the Bishop of Rome who sends a shepherd to lead us and be our high priest in his stead. Presently, Bishop Edgar Da Cunha is that shepherd as we were reminded just last week when he was among us to confirm the young people of our parish and he stood in the sanctuary of our church holding the crozier as a sign of his office which is really the shepherd’s staff. Each year we are asked to concretely express our solidarity with our bishop as we join with other members of the flock in supporting the pastoral, social, catechetical and charitable works of our Diocese through the annual Catholic Appeal. The Catholic Appeal has officially opened on May 1st and will continue until June 30th, so let us each plan on when it is most opportune for us to give, or better yet pledge, a gift to the appeal that supports so many ministries and other good works in our name.

Science and Religion: There is a popular myth that pervades in our day that religion, and in particular the Catholic Church, is opposed to science. Of course, such a generality does not serve truth well and it should never be forgotten that the first university ever founded in western civilization was done so in 1088 at Bologna by the Catholic Church, and then also at Paris which soon followed in 1150 . It should also be remembered that the Vatican has two astronomical observatories including one here in the United States at Mt Graham in Arizona. In reality, the Church embraces science as it exposes the truth of nature, creation, the cosmos and the wonders within it all ultimately attributable to God . While it was actually a friend and colleague of Galileo who refused to look into his telescope, Cardinals of the Church are usually those incorrectly cited as opposed to Galileo’s scientific inquiries. Yet, ironically, it is in truth just as likely to be the other way around with people of science choosing to be blind to the truths of faith which can be supported by science. . Let us note well that when a sample of the red clot- like substance that grew out of a consecrated host in Argentina in the 1990’s was presented to an accomplished histologist for examination under the microscope, this expert refused to do so when learning where the material originated. Others not so prejudiced found upon examining the mysterious substance that it was in fact human heart tissue which showed evidence of being living when the sample was harvested. In the contemporary world things held as miraculous in the past can actually be put to the test and at the insistence of the Church everything from fragments of bone claimed to belong to the apostles, to the Shroud of Turin to the remnants of multiple Eucharistic Miracles are being examined, Today we know through scientific investigation that the face of the same body wrapped in the Shroud of Turin was also once covered by the Sudarium of Oviedo! We have also learned through research of at least five of many Eucharistic miracles across the centuries beginning with Lanciano in the 8th that the tissue which springs spontaneously from consecrated hosts is consistently heart muscle and the blood is human blood of the AB type most common among the people of Palestine!. Those who have further interest in these subjects should look up the work of Blessed Carlo Acutis on the internet or read the book A CARDIOLOGIST EXAMINES JESUS by Dr. Franco Searfini. Yet in the meantime let us not miss the irony that when faith can be supported by science, there are some scientists whose prejudice against faith is stronger than that of some people of faith’s prejudice against science! Let us be authentically Catholic in our approach confident that any discoveries of the truth through science or any other legitimate academic discipline will never contradict God nor the basis of our faith in Him for God is Truth!

First Eucharist: This weekend at a special Mass to be celebrated at 12:30PM on Sunday, 19 young people of our parish will receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. All parishioners are most welcome to attend this special Mass as no celebration of the sacraments with the exception of penance is ever private but rather a celebration of the whole Christian community. The Eucharist along with Baptism and Confirmation are the Sacraments of Initiation by which we achieve our full membership in the Church. Of those sacraments, only the reception of the Eucharist is repeatable, reminding us that our immersion in the life of Christ through the Church is never really completed and can and must be constantly deepened!. So let us pray that the tragedy of First Communion being Last Communion for quite a while will not befall any of these young people who are receiving this Sacrament of Sacraments this weekend. Let us not forget that it is by the Eucharist that we are enabled to remain in Christ and Christ in us, for as Jesus himself tells us “Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man you cannot have life within you” (Jn: 6)

April 30, 2023

Community Sunday: This weekend we make some small but not insignificant efforts to increase “koinonia “ among us as a community of believers. We are indeed each called by name by God and brought into his household which is the church where we are meant to have fellowship with one another as fellow believers in Christ. So let us all happily wear name tags during Mass and keep them on as we spend some time in the parish hall after the Saturday evening and Sunday morning Masses enjoying some refreshments and one another’s company. Surely in the early church everyone knew one another’s names and their circumstances so as to be more ware of who needed help and who could be tapped to provide it! As the church grew during and after the 4th Century , it was easy to treat it as a “gas station” where people came to get what they needed and leave without being known or getting the least bit involved. Let us work together to overcome that tendency in ourselves, and to help build a stronger parish where we are a community in reality rather than only in name!


National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 4th, 2023: Each year a Day of Prayer is held in Washington, D.C. to offer prayers of intercession for several of the more important aspects of American life , culture and society. To join this day of prayer go to WWW.NATIONALDAYOFPRAYER.ORG.


Blessings Wrought From Sacrifice: The proceeds from our Simple Supper held on the last Friday evening of Lent, as well as the collection of the alms generated from our Lenten sacrifices and self-denial have yielded a total of $ 11,819.00. This amount has been divided equally among our three designated charities giving $ 3,939.00 each to Matthew 25, Catholic Relief Services and The El Tablon Project of Food for the Poor. May those who willingly deprived themselves during Lent so as to be able to better provide for the poor now know many blessings as well from God who is never outdone in generosity.

Congratulations: 23 young people of our parish completed their initiation into the church on Friday evening as they received the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Let us continue to keep them in our prayers that they will not be tempted to misunderstand this milestone as the end of religious instruction and a graduation from church as sadly is all too common in our times. Our gratitude goes to Mrs. laird and the Confirmation Formation team as well as the sponsors who have brought these young people to this important day!


Holy Land Pilgrimage: February 2024: Those still desiring to participate in this special pilgrimage who have not yet registered and made a deposit, may continue to send their applications without a deposit and be placed on a waiting list to fill spaces that may be vacated between now and December. The pilgrimage received a very encouraging but overwhelming response; for those unable to be accommodated on this trip and those who would still be interested, another pilgrimage will likely be planned for the Fall of 2025.


Satancon: This weekend a sold out convention hosted by the Satanic Temple is taking place at the Marriott Hotel in Boston. Some 800 participants will be there all weekend listening to various presentations and deepening connections with one another in what they see as a movement to challenge Christian privilege in our nation. The group chose Boston because its present Mayor, Michelle Wu, who when a city councilor voted against allowing the group which has registered itself as an official religion from offering an invocation at a City Council meeting. The group claims not to believe in either God nor Satan and its main thrust is to combat any religious presence or influence in the public square by asserting that it has all the same rights that other religions do. Thus it is no surprise that where nativity scenes are permitted on town commons or court house grounds the Satanic Temple will insist that an image of a goat like demonic figure must also be allowed. Whatever the group might claim about itself, its very existence and its activities are in truth diabolical. This is the same group that insisted on its right to conduct a Black Mass at Harvard several years ago, and when that permission was rescinded after protests by Christians and others of faith and good will, the Black Mass was carried out at a Chinese restaurant in Boston. No matter what it may claim, in the end this group is a hate group, which sets itself up to oppose Christianity with a particular penchant to attack what is most sacred to Catholics. So how should we respond? With hatred? With protests? Cardinal O’Malley who is bishop of the city where this convention is taking place is asking that none of that be our response, especially if we are true to our founder’s command to love even our enemies! What we must do is what we do best, which is to pray for all involved! Indeed, anyone affiliating with a group organized under the banner of Satan, whether they claim to actually believe in him or not, is placing themselves in opposition to God and to his son Jesus Christ and so placing their souls in serious peril. Satan’s power is actually increased by those who claim that he doesn’t exist because then the Prince of lies and Master of Deception can more easily fool people into doing his bidding; the Satanic Temple’s whole sale approval and promotion of abortion is clear evidence of that! So let us pray for all who are participating in this convention, asking that the Holy Spirit change their minds and hearts and bring those who have fallen into the darkness of unbelief and under the influence of evil be brought back to the light and life found only in God through his son Jesus Christ.

April 23, 2023, Third Sunday of Easter

The Emmaus Account: This Sunday, the third of the seven Sundays of Easter we are presented with yet another account of an encounter with the risen Christ on that first day of the week, the day of his glorious resurrection. While we can trust that all of these accounts are actual experiences of the disciples as they are privileged to meet the risen Lord, but because the gospels are finally recorded some three or more decades after the resurrection, these accounts also reflect the rhythm of life and the liturgical practices of the first Christians. As those who are participating in the Adult Enrichment Series on Worship by Dr. Brant Pitre have been instructed, the Emmaus account provides a clear example of how the Scriptures , and in particular the Gospels, can reflect both the life, death and resurrection of Jesus on one level and on another that of the practice of his followers across better than three decades after his Ascension. First, the Emmaus account tells us on what day the Risen Lord is to be encountered, it is the first day of the week, Sunday, indicating that these early followers saw this as the day to worship at least in addition if not as a replacement of the Sabbath. As the Emmaus account unfolds we see reflected there two main parts of the early Christian Liturgy . When walking with the disciples the Lord cites every passage in the Old Testament that refers to him, and then he interprets those for them, which suggests the reading of the scriptures and the homily. When they arrive at their destination and they ask him to remain with them, the Lord reveals himself to them fully in the breaking of the bread which reflects the Liturgy of the Eucharist. So not only do we see the components of the worship for the earliest Christians in the account, but most importantly we should find reassurance that we have remained true to their practices as these still remain the two major parts of our Sunday Liturgy as Catholics as well. These then are the necessary components of authentic Christian worship, and so we should never accept the criticism that is all too frequently leveled at us by more fundamentalist sects of Christians whose worship is lacking both elements and often places an exaggerated emphasis on the preaching of the Word while regularly omitting the liturgy of the Eucharist This weekend, the concluding presentation by Dr. Pitre will be on the Liturgy of the Eucharist, as he leads us through a biblical understanding of the Mass. Participation at the previous five presentations while helpful is not necessary to glean valuable insights from this final presentation. Sessions are from 9:30AM to 10:20Amon Sunday morning or in the evening from 6:30PM to 7:20PM in Classroom A

Community Sunday(s) On next Sunday we will ask each participant at the Masses to wear a name tag which will be provided in the Narthex before being seated in church. We would then ask that we call one another by name at the invitation of the celebrant as Mass begins, and then again as we exchange a sign of peace, and perhaps once more before we are dismissed. Thus we are picking up where we left off before the pandemic when we had asked this before, and many of us commented how relieved we were to finally know or be reminded of the names of the people whom we often see around us each weekend at Mass but whose names we never knew or more embarrassingly, had learned but quickly forgot! In other Christian denominations they only periodically observe “Communion Sunday” but encourage “fellowship” each week. As Catholics we are right in having every Sunday be Communion Sunday as this practice comes to us from the teachings of the earliest Christians, however, we can be somewhat lacking in our efforts at “koinonia” which is the term used by the first Christians to indicate community building. While that effort begins by knowing one another’s names it continues by coming to know one another better, and so on this Community Sunday we will have gatherings in the parish hall after each Mass with appropriate refreshments to the time of day which will provide further opportunity to learn names and for conversation. As had been our intention before pandemic caution prevented large gatherings, we will have Community Sunday each Spring before the influx of vacationers and again each Fall after they leave so that we who are here much of the year will be able to enhance the koinonia to which we are called as Christians!

A Season of Sacraments: With the coming of Easter, the Sacraments of Initiation are celebrated in the community of faith beginning with the baptism and reception of new members at the Vigil of Easter but also continuing throughout the seven week season of Easter. On this coming Friday evening at 7PM, Bishop Da Cunha will be here to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with the young people of our parish who have been preparing for it. This celebration is not exclusive to the candidates and their families, as sacraments are for the building up o of the whole community of faith and thus important to all of us. Thus every parishioner should feel most welcome to come this this Mass on Friday evening, and you are especially encouraged to do so if you have not yet, or seldom, had the occasion to be at a Mass celebrated by our bishop. We must appreciate that the bishop is “high priest” of the local church to which we all belong which is the Diocese of Fall River, and it is through him, sent to us by the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter, that we are held in communion with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church throughout the world and the ages. On the fifth Sunday of Easter, May 7th, at a special Mass at 12:30 PM, young people of our parish will continue the process of their full initiation into the church by receiving holy communion for the first time, again, all parishioners are welcome to participate in the Mass and by your presence and prayers support these first communicants!

Adult Confirmation: Any parishioners 18years of age or older who have not yet been Confirmed may receive this sacrament at a Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Da Cunha at the Cathedral of St Mary in Fall River on May 11th at 7PM. Please contact the parish to arrange for instruction and to be registered for this celebration with the Diocese of Fall River.

April 16, 2023, Second Sunday of Easter

Adult Enrichment Series: Presentations on WHY WE WORSHIP –by Dr. Brant Pitre will resume on this Sunday with a session at 9:30AM and another at 6:30PM. Attendance at previous sessions is optimal but not necessary in order to receive some valuable insights as to why we worship in the manner in which we do as Catholics.

Many Thanks: The holiest days of our year as Catholics are also the busiest for many who take an active role in the liturgical ministries of the church , Let us express our prayerful thanks to our ushers, sacristans, altar servers, eucharistic ministers, and lectors, as well as to our acolytes, deacons, and assisting priests for helping to insure that the liturgies of Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum were fully and properly celebrated. Thanks especially to our musicians, cantors and choir members who shared their talent to enhance the celebrations, and most especially to Donny Nolan and Anthony Teixeira who devoted so much of their time to serve all aspects of the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum We must thank Deacon Chris Hughes who worked behind the scenes in planning the details of the liturgies and saw that these were properly carried out with the assistance of Jonah Erdman and Richard Fish as masters of ceremonies in training! Thanks too to our dedicated office staff and Dwight Giddings , plant manager, without whom none of this would be possible. Many have expressed their appreciation for the ability to participate in some or all of the services of Holy Week and Easter through live stream and so we thank Judy Warren and David Laird for helping to make that possible. It is not right to boast as we could run the risk of divine judgement, but we can say that the liturgies here at Christ the King Parish, especially these which are so very central to our faith, were planned and carried out with great care; so let us give thanks to God for all the generosity shown by so many in the great effort made to do so.

Mental Health Ministry: On April 11th, Rosemary Saraiva and Jack Weldon of Catholic Social Services were here to introduce a new initiative throughout the Diocese of Fall River to establish a ministry to accompany those who are challenged with various forms of mental illness; Donna Erdman will coordinate this effort in our parish. Further training for those who are interested in assisting in this ministry will be held in the near future, including some that will be open to all who desire to enhance their own effectiveness at being helpful rather than hurtful when relating to people who are struggling with issues of mental health and wellbeing. This prayer used to open the meeting is one that may be useful for all of us: Lord, we pray for those who have a mental illness. Help us understand that the way we talk about people with a mental illness affects the people themselves and how we treat the illness. So often people who have a mental illness are known as their illness; people say that “she is bipolar” or “ he is schizophrenic”. People with cancer are not cancer; those with heart disease are not heart disease. Let us always remember that people with a mental illness are not the illness – they are beautiful creations of God. There is so much fear, ignorance, and hurtful attitudes that people who suffer from mental illness needlessly suffer further. Help us to support and be compassionate to them every bit as much as we would support those who suffer from any other illness. Grant courage to those for whom we pray and fill them with hope. If it is in accord with Your Divine Will, grant them the recovery and cure they desire. Help them to remember that You Love them;so they are never alone. St Dymphna, Patron of those with an mental illness, pray for us!

Holy Land Pilgrimage – February 2024: All who are interested in participating in the pilgrimage guided by Fr. Healey and Deacon Chris Hughes next February are asked to register and make their deposit by April 30t. The trip is rapidly filling and as airspace and coach space are limited, the agent will need to know the number of participants to see if additional space may be acquired to accommodate all who want to be part of the pilgrimage. .

April 9, 2023 Easter Day

“We proclaim your death O Lord, and profess your resurrection, until you come again!”


Easter – There is no other annual commemoration so desperately needed than that of Easter! This feast is undoubtedly the source of our greatest hope!. Yet Easter is sadly void of all hope when it is trivialized in secular and nonreligious ways which would reduce it merely to a rite of Spring symbolized by bunnies and baby chicks and celebrated by consumption of candy and marshmallow confections of the same. Rather, Easter is meant to be about the celebration of the astounding truth that Christ who has truly died, has risen again, and promises the same to all who place their faith in him and who incorporate themselves into him by baptism. So today we dare look at our future, and boldly count on it enduring past even the supposed limit of death because in Christ God has mercifully rescued us from death’s power. On a daily basis the news reports stories of lives cut short by war, gun violence, murder, the effects of inadequate food or medical care and countless other injustices . With these tragic stories and more repeating hour by hour on news channels we could easily fall into despair. The remedy to that is the Easter hope that is ours because Christ who alone is perfectly innocent, died the most cruel and unjust of all deaths but rose again from the dead. . Thus, no unjust tragedy is a stranger to Christ who has redeemed even what we may find especially disturbing by sharing in a similar fate yet coming to the glory of the resurrection, So let us be, as Christ’s followers, people of life, who are good stewards of our own lives and reliable advocates for the value, dignity and protection of the lives of others whether they be innocent or guilty. Therefore, even though our peace may rightly be disturbed by much of what we see, may we never be robbed of hope because we can trust that in the end all will be made right when those unjustly deprived of life here will be part of the resurrection to life eternal revealed by God in Christ.

50 Days: The week of weeks, that is, seven weeks of seven days and ending with the feast of Pentecost is the time set aside to celebrate Easter. This is the longest season in our Church year because it is the most important. So let us not fall into the notion that Eater is a single holiday, but rather 50 very holy days during which we are to proclaim and celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the hope of our own rising one day through him, with him, and in him! .

Easter Duty: Because of an emphasis on the unworthiness of any of us to receive Holy Communion which has been part of the piety of the Christian faithful at times in the past, legislation was enacted in the Church requiring the faithful to receive Holy Communion at least once each year. As that is the case, then Confession was also understood as necessary prior to receiving the Eucharist and so Easter Duty became part of Canon Law and still remains there. This annual duty is fulfilled by going to Confession and Communion between the beginning of Lent and the end of the Season of Easter.

Adult Enrichment: WHY WE WORSHIP a series of lectures by Dr. Brant Pitre held on Sundays in between the 8:30 and !0:30 Masses and on Sunday evenings after the 5:30 Mass will resume next weekend, April 16th.

Grand Annual Collection: Gratitude is due to those 210 parish households who have responded to this important annual fund raiser to support the major capital expenditures in the maintenance of the parish’s buildings and grounds. Thus far the grand annual collection has raised $95,950. Those who have not yet done so are asked to consider making a gift before the end of April.

Decision Time – The Holy Land: The pilgrimage to the Holy Land in February 2024 to be Led by Fr. Healey and Deacon Hughes is filling rapidly, so those who are still sitting on the fence might wish to sign on before the trip is full. Information is available at the entrances to the Church; those who wish to participate are encouraged to fill out the registration form provided and include the $500 deposit with it and return it to Kellie Alliegro in the parish office by April 30th.

April 2, 2023 Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Boy’s Echo: Please pray for the team and candidates of the Echo retreat taking place this weekend. The team is led by David Ryan as Rector and includes Deacon Brendan Brides, Kevin Duarte, and who are from Christ the King Parish. Let us pray that the team and candidates will come away from this special experience with a renewed appreciation of the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection as essential to our salvation and as operating daily in the lives of all the faithful.

A Truly Holy Week: As we try to keep this week holy the opportunity to participate in daily Mass on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will be available at 5:30PM in addition to 8:30 AM . This should enable those who find it challenging to get up and out early, or who are working, to be able to attend Mass on the days of Holy Week that its celebration is permitted.

Adult Enrichment Classes: WHY WE WORSHIP will not be held on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday, but will resume on Sunday, April 16th at 9:30AM and 6:30PM.

Holy Week Confessions: Monday, April 3rd from 3PM to 6PM in the Main Church.

Last Year’s Palms: Dried blessed palms from the past year(s) may be placed in the baskets found at the entrances to the church through Wednesday of this week. These will be burnt in the new fire kindled and blessed at the beginning of the Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday.


Holy Thursday: There is no Mass permitted in parishes on this Thursday except the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper which begins at 7PM. This Mass marks the end of Lent and the opening of the Triduum which is actually one liturgy that unfolds over three days. As Lent officially ends a collection of the alms for the poor which have been generated by our fasting and self-denial during the past 40 days is taken up. As is customary, each person will be invited forward with their gift for the poor in monetary form which represents the fruit if our Lenten self-denial through meal(s) not taken out at restaurants, liquor, sweets, or other treats not consumed or costly entertainments not enjoyed; sacrifices which now translate into great blessings for the poor. Non-perishable food items will also be welcome in the presentation of gifts that evening. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament instituted at the Lord’s Supper will follow Mass until 10PM Night Prayer, many are encouraged to remain in prayer and thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharis on this special night.

Good Friday: Good Friday will begin with the communal celebration of Morning Prayer at 9am. This is the one day of the year that Mass is not permitted but all are called to keep holy the hours of noon to 3 o’clock which coincide with the time during which Christ hung on the cross and then died. At 3 o’clock, the hour of his death and thus divine mercy, we gather together to commemorate Christ’s suffering and death by participating in the Service of the Passion which includes Veneration of the Cross and the reception of Holy Communion. The Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 7PM for those unable to attend the 3 O’clock service.
The Good Friday Collection for the support of the Christians and sacred sites of the Holy land is taken up at the Service and the Stations.

Holy Saturday: This day also begins with the communal celebration of Morning Prayer at 9AM. As we remember the Lord as he lay in the tomb in the sleep of death we are asked to wait in vigil for the celebration of his glorious resurrection which begins with the Great Vigil of Easter at 7PM. The Easter Vigil is the most important liturgy of the year during which the “Alleluia” returns and the catechumens and candidates are brought into the fullness of the faith with us.

Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord: Masses at 8AM, 9:30AM and 11AM. Please note the change in Mass times on Easter Sunday only in order to accommodate three Masses in the morning as there will be no 5:30 PM Mass on Easter Sunday evening.