Saint Stephen Parish
221 Concord St,
Framingham Massachusetts 01702.
Saturday: 4 p.m,
Sunday: 7 a.m., 9 a.m.
Saturday: 7 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m
Monday to Saturday: 8 a.m.
Monday to Friday 12:10 p.m. during Lent.
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (in Spanish)
HOLY DAY MASSES
Saturdays from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. and
Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Rev. Francisco J. Anzoátegui, Pastor
Rev. Gabino O. Macias, Parochial Vicar
Rev. Peter F. DeFazio, Parochial Vicar
Rev. Albert H. Stankard, Senior Priest in residence.
Deacon: Pedro L. Torres
Deacon: Alfredo Nieves
Music Director and Organist: Cynthia Angelini
Religious Education Coordinator:
James J. Drummey
Assistant Coordinator: María M. Nieves
Pastoral Associate: Enrique Méndez
Secretary: Gloria Villamil
Financial Manager: Robert Percheski
Sacristan: Pat Robinson
Building and Grounds Supervisor:
Retiro de Jóvenes 2017
— Due to the earlier starting time for the 8:30 Mass, our English Religious Education classes will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude at 10:45. This is 30 minutes earlier than in the past, so please mark your calendars accordingly and have the children arrive on time.
MEET OUR NEW SEMINARIAN
— Deacon Jimmy Macalinao, from the Diocese of Oakland, a fourth year student at Pope Saint John XXIII starts his assignment here at Saint Stephen this weekend. Please extend your welcome to Deacon Jimmy and make him feel at home!
Thanksgiving Mass, November 23rd
Although each day is a good day to say “Thanks!”, there is a special day when we gather in our Church to give thanks to God for all His grace and favor. We are hoping you will join us again this year to give thanks to our loving God. Our Thanksgiving Mass will take place on Thursday, November 23rd, at 9:00 a.m. Please join us to give thanks to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us. There will be no 8:00 a.m. Mass that day.
Reasons to Go to Confession
Here are some of the reasons to make good use
of the wonderful Sacrament of Reconciliation:
* You shower to show respect for those around you;
cleaning your soul makes you better to be around,
* Love means having to say you are sorry to the one you love —
* If you are hoping to convert on your deathbed, that's not very likely.
It is more likely that you will die as you lived.
* Don't be scared to death of Confession. Be scared of death without Confession.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! We have reached the $115,000 mark of our Furnace Campaign and we have less than two months to raise the remaining money to reach our goal of $150,000 Thank you to all for such a generous response, and may you be abundantly blessed!
Christmas Giving Tree
— Following our custom, you will see a Giving Tree near the altar, beginning on November 25th and 26th. On the tree will be cards with information about children in need of presents for Christmas. If you are able to help, please take a card, buy and wrap the gift, and return it to us no later than December 10th.
The Parable of the Talents
Sometimes the parables of Jesus are puzzling. They don’t seem to make sense when viewed through the lens of modernday society. That is true of today’s Gospel in which we see how three servants were treated by a master who gave them varying amounts of talents.
A talent in the time of Christ was a unit of money, so we can see how the master would be pleased with those servants who doubled the amount of money they were given and, conversely, how he would be displeased with the servant who buried his
What we find hard to understand, however, is why the master would take the talent from the man who had only one and give it to the man who had ten. Or what Jesus meant when He said, “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” The parable is not about money, however. It is about the gifts that God has given to us, and how we use those gifts. If God has given us great talents in the sense of abilities to achieve great things for Him, and we squander those talents, God will not be pleased. Each of us has a part to play in the divine plan of the Creator, and our failure to play that part well out of laziness not only hinders the growth of the kingdom, but it puts our own salvation in jeopardy.
At first, it doesn’t seem fair that more will be given to those who have more, but Jesus is talking about those who respond enthusiastically to His words. They will be given greater understanding of the kingdom, while those who shirk their responsibilities will lose even the little understanding that they have. So use your talents wisely!
— To help you to know your Catholic
Faith better, we have been making available in the front foyer of the Church books and CDs that are both interesting and informative — and inexpensive. Here are some of the latest CDs available for your purchase:
The Treasure of Our Soul: The Apostles’ Creed by Scott Hahn; Love, Sacrifice,and Trust by Fr. Mike Schmitz; Chaplet of Divine Mercy in Song by Vicki Kueppers, Who Am I to Judge by Edward
Sri; Religionless Spirituality: Why We Need the
Church by Tim Gray; Building Your Life on Rock by Ralph Martin; Put Not Your Trust in Princes by Christopher Check; and The Ultimate Goal: Why I Left Pro Soccer to Answer God’s Call by Sr. Raffaella Cavallin.
There are also some valuable Q and A books (Catholic
Replies 1 and 2) to answer any questions you have.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
For three years prior to His Ascension into Heaven, Jesus had been trying to educate the Apostles about the Kingdom of God and what their role would be in spreading that Kingdom. But it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles on Pentecost that they finally began to understand what the Lord had been telling them.
The Spirit not only gave them the gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, He also gave them the gift of fortitude or courage that would be essential if they were to survive the coming persecution. James was murdered in Jerusalem in the year 42, Peter and Paul were executed in Rome around the years 65 to 67, and the other Apostles, with the exception of John, were also brutally killed.
All they had to say to escape death was that Jesus was not God, that He had not risen from the dead, and that their whole mission was a lie. But they persevered in the face of terrible persecution because they knew Jesus had risen and that they, too, would one day rise from the dead and spend an eternity of joy with Him in Heaven.
Fast forward 2,000 years and we find thousands of our fellow Christians giving up their lives rather than renounce Jesus. Would you be willing to die for Jesus if confronted by enemies of our Faith? Or would you be willing to live for Jesus in a culture that is hostile to our beliefs?
Only the naïve can think that we will not soon face such a crisis in our lives. Will you be like St. Peter and deny even knowing Jesus, or will you proudly say that He is your friend and that you will never turn your back on Him? To do this, you must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Third Fatima Apparition (Part III)
When Our Lady appeared to the three children on September 13th, an estimated 25,000 people were present, the largest crowd since the appearances began on May 13th. The children had difficulty getting through the crowd because so many of them were seeking Our Lady’s help.
When the Blessed Virgin arrived at the Covada Iria, she insisted again that the children pray the rosary for an end to World War I, which concluded a year later. This should be a reminder to us of the power of prayer to end the wars in our own time.
The Virgin also foretold some of the appearance in October. She said that Our Lord would come at that time, that she herself would appear as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and that St. Joseph would appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.
After praising the children for their sacrifices, the Lady cautioned them to modify the penance of tying a piece of rope around their waists, saying that God only wanted them to “wear it during the daytime.” This practice had caused the children much suffering, either because the rope was too rough or was tied too tightly, and God wanted them to have some relief during the night. Imagine little children offering this kind of sacrifice for sinners!
Among the crowd that day were many priests who would later give testimony that contributed to the official approval of the apparitions in 1930.
With the feast of the Archangels Rafael, Gabriel, and Michael two days ago, and the feast of the Guardian Angels this week, it is good to reflect on these heavenly messengers and their place in our lives. Angels are not fat little babies with wings; they are powerful warriors whom God has given to us for our protection. Angels are mentioned some 300 times in the Bible and these highly intelligent spirits have played a key role in salvation history — from assisting the Israelites crossing the desert, to being present at all the important events in the life of Jesus, to their role in helping us today. While they are spirits, than can and do take on human form, and there are many credible accounts of angelic interventions that have rescued people from harm in recent years. We know that from the moment of our birth a special angel was assigned by God to each one of us, and if you are not already saying the following prayer every day, you should start immediately:
Angel of God, my guardian dear To whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
We can pray not only to our own Guardian Angel, but also to the guardian angels of our family members, especially our children and grandchildren, who need their protection more than ever these days. Wouldn’t it be foolish for us to neglect this source of love and guidance that God has provided for us?
The Gift of Fatherhood
As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, we are aware that fatherhood is under attack today
— on TV sitcoms where fathers are often portrayed as morons or in real life where there are efforts to eliminate the word “father” and replace it with “parent” or “partner.” But fathers, if they follow the guidance of “Our Father” in Heaven, are a vital part of the family, and of society, since the family is the basic unit of society. Without strong fathers, we won’t have strong families, and without strong families, our society will collapse. We call God Father because Jesus told us to do so and because God is the first origin of everything and at the same time the perfect role model of goodness and loving care for His children. Thus, we associate with fathers such good qualities as protective love, fidelity, leadership, strength, security, and stability, and we should not be swayed against using this term of endearment by those who promote negative images of fatherhood based on the failings of fallible human fathers. Instead of wondering what gifts you would like this Father’s Day, may we suggest to all fathers reading this that you ask yourself, “What gift can I give to my family?” How about being a more loving spouse to your wife and a more loving and involved father to your children? How about being truly interested in what is important to each of them, setting aside quality time to listen and support them? How about praying with the family, going to Mass together with them, reading the Bible, and discussing religion together? A Christ-like father can be the greatest gift to his wife and to his children. Happy Father’s Day!
Do We Have to Love Our Enemies?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to love our enemies, which is a very difficult thing to do. But Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything that He didn't do first. Recall that on the Cross, when so many were jeering Him, Jesus asked His Father in Heaven to forgive His enemies.
Down through the centuries, many disciples of Jesus have followed the difficult path of forgiving their enemies. Thus, Pope St, John Paul II in 1981 went to the prison where the man who had tried to kill him was being held and forgave him.
Another remarkable disciple is Immaculee Ilibagiza, who survived the horrors of the Rwanda genocide in the 1990s, when she and six other women hid for 91 days in a hotel bathroom while her parents and nearly one million Rwandan Tutsis were killed by rival Hutus out of racial hatred.
How did Immaculee survive? “I said 27 rosaries every day,” she said. “And I counted! I had nothing else to do in the bathroom, so I said 27 rosaries every day and 40 Di-vine Mercy chaplets every day. We never spoke with each other. All we did was pray …. It helped my sanity.”
She said that while she was praying, she realized she was not being honest with God in that she was asking for His forgiveness without extending forgiveness to her enemies. So she fell to her knees and “begged God to help me. I want to feel peace, I want to forgive. I want to be part of You, but I don’t know how to forgive, and if I don’t for-give, I don’t feel like I’m being honest with You. And He did, which again is a grace. Because what helped me to forgive was when Jesus was dying on the Cross.”
To read more about this amazing woman, see her best-selling book Left to Tell.
Saint Stephen Parish - Framingham Massachusetts