COVID-19 Response

The safety of our parishioners, clergy, and staff is of utmost importance as we take every precaution necessary in response to the developments of the COVID-19 virus. All Masses are suspended until further notice.

Cardinal O’Malley has issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston. Parishioners are encouraged to watch the Mass on The Catholic TV Network or online, www.WatchtheMass.com.

All parish events, meetings, Religious Education and RCIA classes are canceled indefinitely. We will keep you informed on our website, social media, and phone message as this situation evolves.

Video Gospel and Homily Reflections

Each week a video Gospel reflection will be made available online in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

A Reflection from the Pastor

March 29, 2020

Virus Spirituality: Week Two

During the pandemic, I would like to share with you each week some prayerful reflections. God speaks to us in every event of our lives and perhaps, the suffering of this moment can bring us closer to Christ who bore our human frailty.

“This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)

Years ago, I was speaking with a woman whose very dear friend had just died after a long battle with cancer. She was understandably struggling with heartfelt grief. At one point, she told me how she had prayed for this friend throughout her long illness and during her prayer, the words from this Sunday’s gospel, the story of the raising of Lazarus, kept coming to her mind and heart. Each day in her prayer, she could hear the words “This illness is not to end in death but is for the glory of God…” Those words gave her the hope that just maybe her dear friend would survive her illness. Her friend’s death brought her to question her faith and the meaning of prayer. Together we explored her feeling of being betrayed by God but we also slowly grew in a deeper sense of what those words might mean and how God was glorified in her friend’s death.

David Brooks wrote a wonderful article in the New York Times entitled “The Moral Meaning of the Plague”, he wrote “We don’t get to choose our difficulties, but we do have the freedom to select our responses”. I don’t know how true it is but I recently read that while William Shakespeare was quarantined due to a plague, he wrote “King Lear”. This virus offers us a choice, we can be totally focused on self-preservation, totally focused on ourselves and the basic need to survive or we can focus on the love and concern that we can show to others. We can totally focus on the horror of this virus which has brought so much grief to so many or we can focus on allowing something beautiful to arise from the suffering of the present moment.
Next week we begin the celebration of Holy Week, we once again enter into the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we celebrate the central mysteries of our Christian faith. “Unless the grain of wheat fall to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat but if it dies it produces much fruit” (John 12:24), the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches us that there is no new life without some form of death and that all suffering can be redemptive. David Brooks writes: “Suffering can be redemptive. We learn more about ourselves in these hard periods.” Our greatest moments of spiritual growth come in times of suffering and loss, it is the moments of suffering and fear which mature us and draw us closer to Christ. 

Can it be that the fear and suffering of this virus will help us as individuals and as a society to reflect on our values, to reflect of the choices which guide our lives? Can it be that this virus will deepen our prayer and move us to more deeply appreciate one another? Can it be that this virus will make us more aware of the inequalities and injustices in our society? Can it be that we will arise from this crisis better human beings and better Christians more deeply united to Christ and one another? I conclude with the words of St. Paul: “I consider the sufferings of the present moment to be as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18)

Very Rev. Joseph Tizio, C.Ss.R.