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Bishop da Cunha suspends public Masses, Liturgical services amid COVID-19 national crisis Statement of Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., Suspending the Celebration of Masses in the Fall River Diocese March 16, 2020 Out of concern for the health and well-being of all who reside in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands and in response to the direction of public officials, I am suspending all public Masses and other Liturgical services in the Diocese of Fall River effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and continuing until further notice. This includes Masses of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. At the same time, I am issuing a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to all Catholics of the Diocese. Exceptions are granted for the celebration of weddings and funerals, but attendance must be limited

Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C. named director of Family Rosary. Page two

to immediate family members only, not to exceed 10 persons. Every effort must be made to follow precautions already announced in previous communications from the Diocese along with recommendations of public health officials.

Diocese of Fall River, Mass. † Friday, March 20, 2020

I am asking that churches be open for a limited time during the day to the extent possible and at the discretion of the pastor to provide the faithful who still wish with an opportunity to visit for private prayer. Parishes should provide this information on their websites. I strongly encourage our Catholics to pray at home and to seek out opportunities to participate in Masses available on television or online instead. Information is available on our website, www.fallriverdiocese.org. The Mass is our central act of worship, the source 8 Turn to page three

Catechumens and Candidates attend Rite of Election. Page three

Hundreds of diocesan faithful attended the annual Women and Men’s Conference at Stonehill College in Easton on March 7. It was a day of prayer, music, fellowship and talks. More photos on page 20.

Bishop da Cunha’s Pastoral Letter. Page seven

Women and Men’s Conference photos. Page 20

Dear Friends, you will find in this issue of The Anchor my new Pastoral Letter that I am addressing to the clergy, religious and faithful in our diocese. While we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking up much of our thoughts and actions, I decided to publish this letter now with the expectation that it will be a source of some joy, hope and light for all of you. We appreciate your devotion and fidelity as we continue to pray and minister to all those affected by this health crisis. March 20, 2020 †

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Father Jim Phalan named national director of Family Rosary By Kenneth J. Souza Co-Editor

kensouza@anchornews.org

EASTON — Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C., has been named na-

tional director of Family Rosary, responsible for day-to-day operations of the ministry founded in 1942 by Venerable Patrick Peyton, the famed “Rosary priest”

and a candidate for sainthood by the Vatican. Family Rosary is dedicated to inspiring, promoting and fostering the prayer life and Spiritual well-being of fami-

lies throughout the world with impactful videos, retreats, radio, and daily family prayers via app or email, Rosary app, weekly eBooks, and reflections through social media and blogs. “We are excited to welcome Father Jim to a leadership position at Family Rosary,” said Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C., president of Holy Cross Family Ministries.

Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C. “His experience and devotion to this ministry is invaluable, particularly as he has served here in many capacities. Father Jim truly follows in Father Peyton’s footsteps as ‘Mary’s donkey’ — willing to serve God in whatever way he is asked.” Father Phalan has worked in many capacities at Holy Cross Family Ministries since 1994. Most recently, he served on the Family Rosary Team in France as assistant director managing the Family Rosary Pavilion/Chapel at the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Lourdes, France. At the same time, he served in the Englishlanguage pastoral program at the shrine. Father Phalan also served as director of Family Rosary in Peru, international director of Family Rosary overseeing mission offices 8 Turn to page 19 2

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Bishop suspends public Masses continued from page one

Twenty-seven catechumens responded to Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha’s call by expressing their desire for the Sacraments and inscribing their names in what is called the “Book of the Elect.” For the catechumens, this follows a period of study and reflection on the Word of God at their pace and with the assistance of parish instructors. The Rite of Election ceremony at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River on February 29 also included the Call to Continuing Conversion for persons called candidates in the RCIA process. Candidates are those who have been baptized in other Christian traditions who now seek to become members of the Catholic Church or baptized Catholics who had no instruction in the faith and are now preparing for Eucharist and Confirmation. Bishop da Cunha sought the approval from the sponsors of these candidates for the continuation of their preparation for reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

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Name: _____________________________________ Address: __________________________________ City: _______________ State: _____ Zip: ________ Please enclose check or money order and mail to:

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and summit of our Catholic faith, and it goes without saying that this difficult decision was not made lightly. It was done after prayerful consideration of the critical health threat that now confronts us. The gravity of it demands that we take whatever action is needed, despite the hardship, for the good of the protection of all especially those who are most vulnerable at this time. Please join me in prayer in these challenging days for

all who are impacted by COVID-19 and in a special way for those who are sick and for those who work to combat the disease. I wish to entrust all of our people especially our sick and elderly to the protection of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Assumption, the patroness of our Diocese, so that under her motherly care we all may persevere in faith to support one another. Let us all pray that this may come to a quick end and normalcy may be restored.

Visit The Anchor online at www.Anchornews.org † Diocese of Fall River † OFFICIAL Appointments

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D., Bishop of Fall River, has made the following appointments: Reverend Dariusz Kalinowski, Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish and St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Attleboro to Parochial Vicar of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee. Effective: March 18, 2020 _______________ Reverend Sudhir Cristodas Nayak, SS.CC., Pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in New Bedford to Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville and Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Osterville. Effective: March 15, 2020 March 20, 2020 †

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Mary, Mother of the Church and mother of the domestic Church

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ccording to the “Catechism,” “The family is the privileged setting where every person learns to give and receive love.” The family — based on the permanent union of one man and one woman in Marriage — is threatened by a culture of death that promotes isolation from God. It takes extraordinary effort for families to foster a “culture of life” against such pervasive threats, yet that is precisely its mission as St. John Paul II advocated throughout his papacy. Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the Fifth World Meeting of Families stated, “The family is a necessary good for peoples, an indispensable foundation for society and a great and lifelong treasure for couples. It is a unique good for children, who are meant to be the fruit of the love, of the total and generous self-giving of their parents. To proclaim the whole truth about the family, based on Marriage as a domestic Church and a sanctuary of life, is a great responsibility incumbent upon all.” More recently Pope Francis proclaimed the family to be an “icon of God’s love” and recommends looking to Our

Lady with “assiduous and persevering prayer” recognizing her maternal presence in the practical circumstances of life. The Christian family is called to be a domestic Church and school of holiness where the faith is passed down to each generation. The Most Holy Trinity is the source of God’s self-giving love. God Who is love, created the human family to be a living reflection of this triune love. We can look to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the archetype of every human family. Mary’s journey of faith began at the Annunciation and continued in her Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. Mary’s attentiveness to the Word of God prompted her to pronounce her “Fiat” and through the words of the angel, leave promptly in obedience to serve her pregnant elder cousin. Her self-forgetfulness about her own needs, while ever mindful of the Christ Child in her womb and magnifying the great things the Lord has done in her, is a model for all. Mary is present to assist any person, any family and any nation in dire need of a Queen Mother to direct its paths to the Heart of Christ. We need only to approach Our Mother’s Immaculate Heart, the throne

Director of Faith Formation

St. Mary’s Parish in Norton is seeking a Director of Faith Formation to plan, integrate, implement, oversee and evaluate the Faith Formation Program. The focus is on evangelizing and catechizing grades 1-9, and their families. The program has approximately 550 students, RCIA and Adult Formation. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Fr. Timothy Reis (frtimreis@gmail.com) or mail to One Power St. Norton, Mass. 02766. For more information visit fallriverdiocese.org and click on Employment Opportunities. 4

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of grace, with faith and confidence, and imitate her generous response to serve the needs of others. Mary and Joseph in obedience to the just laws of government authority enrolled their family in the Roman census. Though denied entrance at the inns, the family was glad to find

a poor stable of Bethlehem which served as the humble reception room for the King of Heaven. Mary made even a difficult situation pleasant by her confident presence uniting the family together in faith and trust in God’s providence. Yet, in order to flee the sword of Herod and his unlawful dictate to kill the unborn, Joseph, attentive once again to the Word of God through the angel of the Lord, took the Holy Family and escaped by night to Egypt, in order to flee persecution. Their detachment from all things, save the will of God, enabled them to survive and return to Nazareth after several years. The Holy Family overcame challenges to their safety and survival by their unity and dependence on the will of the Father for all their needs and their discernment to obey in everything except sin. Here we can reflect that laws that sanction killing of the unborn or the elderly must not be obeyed, but rather we must work to take in persons and families in need like good Samaritans trusting in God’s providence.

In the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the family traveled joyfully together to worship God. In a time of sorrow, when Mary and Joseph lost Jesus, they sought Jesus for three days. The persistence of family prayer and hope in God while still doing their part in searching for Him was rewarded in finding Jesus in the temple doing the will of the Father. This encourages us in times of darkness and trial to never give up hope, but rather to pray with more earnestness while continuing to do the will of God as it is made known to us daily. It also emphasizes the need to worship God together as a family on the Lord’s day and to spend time as a family deepening bonds of love and faith through prayerful reading, rest and wholesome recreation. In Nazareth, the Mother of God reveals the dignity and nobility of motherhood and Marriage by her faithful love, constant presence and loving service. The Virgin of Nazareth serves her Son and her chaste spouse Joseph by Divine charity as she worked at ordinary chores as Joseph labored to provide for the Holy Family as a carpenter. As she fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, and performed all the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, Mary’s heart continued at prayer and thanksgiving, pondering the marvelous works of God. In the heart of the domestic Church, the family, Mary is love. It is not so much by her activity, but primarily by her being and presence. By her interior life of prayer which animated her every earthly activity,

Mary did the will of the Father. Having lived 30 years in the domestic Church, Jesus at the outset of His public ministry, exalted Mary, not for her unique privilege of being made the physical Mother of God, but above all for hearing the Word of God and following it in her life. Scripture records, “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You, and blessed are the breasts that nursed You.’ But He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it’” (Lk 11: 27-28). This Lenten season let us strive to make our families domestic Churches, attentive to God’s Word in prayer and in faithful obedience to the Father’s commands. Let us take up the holy Rosary anew to meditate on the life of Christ and obtain the graces we need as a family. In this union of hearts, we will be victorious in our discipleship with Jesus, by imitating and having recourse to Mary, the personification of holiness in the Church and our loving Mother. In my next column we will meditate how the Mother of the Church at the Annunciation teaches the mystical Body of Christ to accept the cross and surrender to the will of God. Anchor guest columnist Grace Small and her husband Bill are parishioners of St. Vincent’s Parish in Attleboro and have recently made their solemn profession as Third Order Franciscans of the Immaculate on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. They are also attending classes with TINE at the Pastoral Center in Braintree, toward a certificate in Catechetical Studies.


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uring the 1576 plague that menaced Milan and eventually took 25,000 lives, the civil government fled the city out of fear. The Archbishop of Milan, St. Charles Borromeo, took over, assured the people he would not abandon them and, together with priests from the parishes and religious orders, began to care for their material and Spiritual needs. He organized hospitals, cared for orphans, and brought the Sacraments to those who were quarantined in their homes. He got priests to offer Masses in public squares and the middle of streets so that people could participate from their houses. He sold his personal goods and much of the diocesan treasury to feed the hungry and had the tapestries of his residence converted into blankets to warm the poor. As a Good Shepherd, he was willing to risk his life to care for the souls and the bodies of those entrusted to him and was able to persuade so many of his brother priests to join him. Recalling how Christ died for them first, he declared that Christ “does not even request this pathetic life of ours, but only that we put it at risk.” He challenged them to pay attention not only to what can kill the body, like the pestilence, but also to what can harm the soul, commenting, “the devout souls of our brethren languish with desire for Divine things.” And providing them, he argued, is not a small matter. “I will certainly say that the sick do not need our assistance in such a way that without it they would have no hope of Salvation, but often our services are necessary. Besides, it is indisputably clear that we all understand how much [the Sacraments] benefit not only

Virtues needed for a time of crisis the bad but also the good, and how much alleviation they usually bring to the sick body and above all to the soul solicitous for its Salvation.” The greatest illustration of that point was how he scaled a mountain of corpses to give absolution and viaticum to a man at the top of the heap who had been placed there prematurely. His example of courage tied to charity is a mirror for the Church and her leaders in every age, most especially at times of crisis. As all of us confront the Coronavirus, we can all profit from how St. Charles put the Catholic faith into action in the most demanding and dangerous circumstances. I would heartily recommend reading Msgr. John Cihak’s superb 2017 work, “Charles Borromeo: Selected Orations, Homilies and Writings.” To become courageous like he was, what virtues do we need? The first is faith, to recognize that Christ, Who promised to be with us always until the end of time (Mt 28:20), is good to His word. Faith likewise helps us trust in God’s providential care. There’s a temptation, in times of crisis, to try to take control even over things that human beings cannot control. This can come from a practical atheism, from living as if God doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. Faith inspires us to do all we can, but in tandem, rather than apart, from God, knowing that our life is in God’s hands. The second is prudence, which helps us to discern the good in each circumstance among many competing goods — and to choose the right means to achieving it. It helps us set a proper rule or measure, something desper-

ately needed in times of crisis when certain goods can be emphasized out of measure and others can be forgotten. Aristotle, and St. Thomas Aquinas after him, taught that moral virtue is a middle point between two extremes, deficiency and excess. Compassion, for example, is the mean between apathy and sentimental indulgence. Courage is found within the extremes of cowardice and recklessness.

In this present circumstance, prudence can help us to see that an “overabundance of caution” is not a virtue but a vice. Prudence focuses on the right measure of caution, balancing, for example, the duty we need to protect those most vulnerable to infection by “flattening the curve” through social distancing, hand-washing, and various other practices, with other needs, like providing for one’s family, nourishing one’s soul and others’, providing goods and services, etc. Prudence assists courage in helping people know how to take the right risks. The third virtue is charity, which helps us to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. “No one has greater love,” Jesus said during the Last Supper, “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13), and charity motivates us to take risks, even dangerous ones, to protect and provide for those we love. Moms and dads, even the most temperamentally timid and conflict adverse, instinctively protect their children in the face of gunmen, bombs, and

tornados. The greater the us that the easiest way to love, the greater the audacity. overcome the fear of death is Courage does not mean fear- to ponder it each day. “In evlessness, but doing what we ery deed and every thought, ought despite our fear, and act as though you were to die love gives us the strength to this very day.” overcome fear and do what Once we start doing love demands. that, we start taking every The fourth is patience, day more seriously: we do which means principally not not procrastinate on telling an ability to wait but a capac- family members and friends ity to suffer. The word pathat we love them, we ask tience comes from the Latin forgiveness from God and patior, to “suffer,” which those we’ve wronged while is why we call the sick in we still have time, we let pass hospitals “patients.” so many things that in the Courage requires final analysis don’t matter that we do not have much, and we start to get our an excessive fear of real priorities straight. pain and of where When we pray each our fear of pain ulday Jesus’ last words from timately derives, the the cross, “Father, into fear of death. Your hands I commend My In the present spirit” (Lk 23:46), we become circumstance, many, emboldened, like Jesus, not including young to have our life taken from people at very low risk of us but rather freely to lay it serious consequences from down (Jn 10:18). When we’re COVID-19, are terrified of not afraid to die because contracting it, as if it were we’ve rehearsed it daily in an automatic death sentence, prayer, we will be ready to even though, for 80 peroffer our life without fear cent of those who get it, the should that prove necessary. symptoms are mild and pass Crises, like the present like a cold or flu, and only situation of the Coronavithose whose bodies are com- rus, are times for Catholics promised by old age or other united with Christ truly to serious health conditions are shine. As salt, light and leavin serious danger. en, Catholics are called to We should all be doing help everyone else to become everything reasonable to pre- courageous in the face of the vent transmission out of con- threats, to be willing to act cern for those who would be to help others and save their most vulnerable, conscious lives, and to show everyone of the reality that our health how to unite their situations care system is inadequate to to God. handle more than 120,000 It’s a time for Catholics people in ICUs at the same to show that we truly believe time. We need to work toJesus’ words, “Take courage. gether to ensure that no one It is I. Do not be afraid!” dies when medical services, (Mk 6:50), and, like waves received promptly, could of Apostles and martyrs save their lives. At the same throughout the centuries, time, however, we should not and saints like Charles Borbe giving in to an epidemic romeo, boldly lead not only of fear as if catching COin response to people’s mateVID-19 is getting leprosy or rial needs, but to care for stage-four pancreatic cancer. their even more important Hysteria, based on fear of Spiritual needs. pain and death, doesn’t help. Anchor columnist “The Imitation of Christ,” Father Roger Landry can be Thomas à Kempis’ 15th-cen- contacted at fatherlandry@ tury Spiritual classic, advised catholicpreaching.com. March 20, 2020 † 5


Editorial

A new type of Lent

This is certainly a time like no other — for most of us, that is. We need to keep in perspective that almost anyone reading this editorial is doing so from the comfort of home (although the mortgage or rent payments might be under threat from an economic downturn). However, the reason we are home is to try to protect our own lives and (even more importantly) the lives of other people, even people we do not know. St. Paul told us last Sunday in the second reading, “For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6-8). Most of us are not being asked to die (unlike some of the health professionals around the world who gave their lives while caring for people with the Coronavirus). We are being asked to put up with the inconvenience of staying home. It can be boring, but it is not the most painful march up Calvary one can experience. Many Catholics have prepared things on the Internet to help us with our prayers. Father Riley Williams, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, said on YouTube, “These coming weeks are going to be ones of difficulty for all of us. However, we can’t just look at what we’re losing. We also have to reflect on how we can make good use of this time.” Other than people in certain essential jobs (health care, fire and police departments, the military, pharmacy and grocery workers, etc.), most of us will have a lot more free time than usual. Yes, we will not be “free” to go wherever we want. Jesus told St. Peter, “When you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go” (Jn 21:18). St. John then explained that the Risen Christ said this to Peter to signify the death Peter would undergo to “glorify God” (Jn 21:19), but these words were also a reality for so many people in this world before the Coronavirus crisis. Even before this crisis, many patients in nursing homes weren’t “having the time of [their] lives,” as the old song goes. They longed for the days, maybe not too long ago, when they could have enjoyed their retirement, maybe just hanging around home with a good OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 64, No. 6

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Published biweekly by the Catholic Press of the Diocese of Fall River, 887 Highland Avenue, Fall River, Mass. 02720, Tel. 508-675-7151; FAX 508-675-7048; email: office@anchornews.org. Subscription price by mail, prepaid $25.00 per year for U.S. addresses. Please send address changes to 887 Highland Avenue, Fall River, Mass., call or use email address.

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book or the newspaper or a little TV. Those folks in the nursing homes had it better than the millions of refugees all over the world, from our southern border to the Syrian/ Turkish border to the people of Yemen. How lucky these refugees would have felt to be just “cooped up” at home for a few months! We also have it better than our servicemen and women, deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and so many other places around the globe, worried about attacks from hidden enemies, while also concerned for their families back home (and about the possibility that the pandemic might pay them a call, too). We can’t give a list here of everyone, from both now and from the past (e.g., everyone from the World Wars, etc.), who has had it worse than us. The idea of our sacrificing some of our freedom now is so that less people have to suffer like those other people. It truly is an act of mercy. As Father Williams said, let us think about how we can use this time productively. If we have other people in our household, we can pray together daily. If we live alone, we should not be going out to pray with others (so as to not infect them or us), but we can pray over the phone with people (and also call to cheer them up). We can look up the daily Mass readings from www.usccb.org/bible/ readings and pray them together. On Sundays, although we have been dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass, the Third Commandment (Keep holy the Sabbath) remains in force. We should look to see how we can make extra time for God on Sundays, both in communal prayer (in person with our family members or over the phone or via the internet or television) and in individual prayer, seeking to listen to Our Lord in the depths of our hearts. In last Sunday’s Gospel Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He longed to give her “living water,” which would “become in [whoever receives it] a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14). This water is our Baptisms, which we only received once, but which made us temples of the Holy Spirit. As such, we can draw upon this reservoir of grace that the God has placed in our souls to see how our prayers, fasting and almsgiving during this special Lent can help us live as new people when we come out of our homes one day, like Lazarus out of the tomb.

Daily Readings † March 21 - April 3

Sat. Mar. 21, Hos 6:1-6; Ps 51:3-4,18-21ab; Lk 18:9-14. Sun. Mar. 22, Fourth Sunday of Lent, 1 Sm 16:1b,6-7,10-13a; Ps 23:1-6; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1,6-9,13-17,34-38. Mon. Mar. 23, Is 65:17-21; Ps 30:2,4-6,11-12a,13b; Jn 4:43-54. Tue. Mar. 24, Ez 47:1-9,12; Ps 46:2-3,5-6,8-9; Jn 5:1-16. Wed. Mar. 25, Is 7:10-14; 8:10; Ps 40:7-11; Heb 10:4-10; Lk 1:26-38. Thu. Mar. 26, Ex 32:7-14; Ps 106:19-23; Jn 5:31-47. Fri. Mar. 27, Wis 2:1a,12-22; Ps 34:17-21,23; Jn 7:1-2,10,25-30. Sat. Mar. 28, Jer 11:18-20; Ps 7:2-3,9b-12; Jn 7:40-53. Sun. Mar. 29, Fifth Sunday of Lent, Ez 37:12-14; Ps 130:1-8; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7,17,2027,33b-45. Mon. Mar. 30, Dn 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62 or 13:41c-62; Ps 23:16; Jn 8:1-11. Tue. Mar. 31, Nm 21:4-9; Ps 102:2-3,16-21; Jn 8:21-30. Wed. Apr. 1, Dn 3:14-20,91-92,95; (Ps) Dn 3:52-56; Jn 8:31-42. Thu. Apr. 2, Gn 17:3-9; Ps 105:4-9; Jn 8:51-59. Fri. Apr. 3, Jer 20:10-13; Ps 18:2-7; Jn 10:31-42.


A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy, Religious and Faithful People of the Diocese of Fall River By The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D., Bishop of Fall River Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of Fall River, The holy season of Lent is a grace-filled time in which we strive to enter more fully into Jesus’ life, passion, death and Resurrection. We do so by going back to some of the basics of our faith like prayer, which orders our relationship to God; almsgiving, which resets the way we approach our neighbors; and fasting, which helps us to master our desires within. It is a time in which the whole Church goes on retreat with Jesus for 40 days in the desert, away from distractions, to focus on what is most important.

meet with Pope Francis and present to him and his chief collaborators, as is required, a lengthy report on the situation of the Diocese, highlighting our areas of strength and those where we need to improve. The Holy Father was so encouraging of our efforts to rebuild the Church.

During the Ash Wednesday Liturgy St. Paul tell us, “Now is the acceptable time!,” referring to the urgency of embracing Jesus’ call to repent and believe. It’s the acceptable time to review our life in the light of the Gospel and, where fitting, to make changes to follow Him more fully. It’s also the acceptable time for the Church to do a similar review. That’s why I write this pastoral letter to you today, entering into a conversation about some of the joys and hopes, blessings and challenges in our Diocese. These are thoughts that I have been praying about for several months, spurred on by three recent graces. • First, last September 24, I celebrated my fifth anniversary as Bishop of this Diocese. It was an occasion for me to thank God for all He has helped us to do together in terms of pastoral care, improved administration, greater involvement of the gifts and dedication of the laity, as well as a time to think about the many things still ahead of us and implore God’s assistance. • Second, at the beginning of November, I was privileged to go to the Vatican to

• Most importantly, throughout the last couple of years, I have had the chance to meet so many of you in different consultations across our Diocese, hearing in person about your desires and dreams, worries and fears, praise, constructive criticism and recommendations for our Catholic life and witness throughout southeastern Massachusetts. This input and counsel have been invaluable.

rebuilding the Church in faith and hope. A rich history to build upon Our Diocese has an extraordinary 116year legacy, making us heirs of an enormous Spiritual inheritance. No one coming here can miss the rich traditions of faith that have built so many beautiful churches and enhanced local culture. The Portuguese, Irish, French-Canadian, Polish, Italian, Latino, Cape Verdean and other ethnic expressions of our faith have all contributed to enriching our catholicity and evangelizing the South Coast. I love participating in parish feasts and processions that express this faith and nourish it. While the geography of our Diocese is well-known, the faith of our Diocese is, to me, even more beautiful. At the same time, changes in demographics as well as the secularization of society have made guarding and investing this great inheritance more challenging. Fewer are practicing the faith as fervently, something we see in lower Mass attendance figures, Catholic school enrollments, vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and Marriage, Church collections, and other indices. This provides us a real challenge. We cannot do things as we have before. The Lord is calling us to be creative, as we seek to share the unchanging love and truth of the Gospel in changing times.

Moreover, the evil of the clerical sexual abuse has not only wounded those who This letter is a fruit of those experiences. have suffered this evil directly, but has injured and appalled all of us, weakened I would like to reflect on where we have trust in priests and bishops, tested our faith come over the last five years and share some thoughts on how I would like to build and disfigured the holiness of the Church. The only adequate response to something on those foundations, acting on the many suggestions you have given me as we move so indefensible and foreign to the Gospel is a renewed focus on the holiness that should ahead. I thank you for reading this letter and continuing on this journey with me in have been present all along. We can be sure March 20, 2020 †

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that God, Who is the most outraged by attacks against His beloved children, will give us the help He knows we need to rebuild. That’s what gives us hope and also a sense of urgency. Yet, even though some might want to define the Church exclusively by the scandals, we know that there is much more to the Church. I have seen the grace in the resilience and perseverance of so many in our parishes. I have seen it in the enthusiasm of our youth. I have seen it in the quiet fidelity of our priests, religious, and deacons that seldom makes headlines. I have seen it in the response of so many to become co-responsible for the present and future of our Diocese. All of this inspires me and fills me with hope. But there’s an even greater reason for hope. The Lord is at work in our Diocese. Jesus reminds us not to be afraid because He is with us. He Who has risen from the dead, Who has conquered sin and draws good out of evil, now journeys with us through time. He invites us to enter more fully into the Kingdom of God and to help others to enter. That is the work of the Church in every age and place. My First Five Years A bishop’s work, as a disciple and successor to the Apostles, is to try to continue Jesus’ work and help His Kingdom come more fully alive. Given this mission and the needs that are unique to our Diocese, I have prioritized 10 activities. I’m sharing these activities with you now to showcase the good work that has been accomplished and where I hope we can build moving forward.

to be co-responsible for the mission Christ has given to the Church. In fulfillment of this priority, I hosted 11 listening sessions across the Diocese. More than 1,800 parishioners attended one or more. Nearly 400 people volunteered to be part of the strategic plan. It was clear to me how so many people love the Church and are concerned about it, how they want to see it remain meaningful and relevant, how they want to deepen their Spirituality and life of faith, how they want to do far more than show up to church but see the Church transform lives and society. So many told me they were happy and honored to be asked to get involved. People made huge sacrifices to be part of the Strategic Plan. They took time off of work. They arranged for baby-sitters. They came in from the Islands or the end of the Cape. They paid for hotels to stay overnight. They did this multiple times. I couldn’t help but be astounded at their level of loving commitment. They came from so many different backgrounds, with different talents, experiences, expertise, all wanting to share those gifts with the Church.

The life of faith in a diocese happens principally through parishes and therefore to strengthen the Church we must strengthen parish life.

1) Unleashing the gifts God has given to all of the faithful of the diocese My biggest priority has been to try to harness the particular gifts God has given to the faithful of our Diocese. There is so much faith and talent in our Diocese and my preeminent focus has been to try to encourage everyone to open those gifts and put them to use in building Christ’s Kingdom. We’re all called together to be good stewards of the treasure God has given us,

I was a pastor for nine years of St. Nicholas Parish in Palisades Park, New Jersey and for three years at St. Michael’s Parish in Newark. I loved those years, which were filled with many blessings, being close to the people God had entrusted to me, opening up for them God’s Word, celebrating the Sacraments for them in the happiest and saddest moments of their lives, help-

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That is one of the reasons why we have had to take a hard look at the parishes of our Diocese, to make sure that each of them has what is necessary to thrive. Jesus once gave a parable in which He said that before we build a tower, we have to make sure we have the resources to finish it (Lk 14:28). While once our Diocese had so many practicing Catholics that we were

2) Renewing and revitalizing our parishes

A strong parish facilitates people’s becoming fully alive in faith. It has beautiful Liturgies, with great hospitality and fraternity, great preaching, great music, that really nourish the people and form them as evangelized evangelizers. A strong parish has ministries to and for all people of the parish, from youngest to oldest, new and stalwart, thriving or suffering, in which everyone gets engaged, supports one another, and reaches out to those who need the Gospel.

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ing them to say yes to God in things big and small. But they were also challenging years. The biggest challenge was to keep the people engaged and enthusiastic about our faith in the midst of the growing influence of secularization. That remains one of the biggest challenges for each of the pastors in our Diocese, and for me as bishop.

able to sustain far more than 100 thriving parishes, demographics have changed, rates of practice have changed, the number of priests we have has changed, and we cannot sustain the situation of previous decades. This is what has been behind the strategic planning we have been doing throughout the Diocese, to help assess parishes’ vitality, monitor their progress, and see whether they’re able to fulfill their mission. This is what has been behind the formation of collaboratives and the linking of parishes in the same area. For far too long, we have been living in isolated parochial silos. Instead, we need to build bridges among the parishes of our Diocese and ac-


centuate the communion that is one of the marks of Catholic life. This is what has also led to the arduous decision to close some parishes, something no bishop ever wants to do and no parishioner ever wants to experience. We rightly love our parishes. Collaboratives are an attempt to maintain many of our parishes by creating an arc of growth and innovation in response to a pattern of decline. The desire to strengthen our parishes has also led to some new financial practices we’ve implemented through the collaboratives. Just like families have to do at home, so we as a family of faith have to be very careful, frugal and responsible with our limited resources.

We are so fortunate in the Diocese of Fall River to have such a dedicated and gifted clergy who serve God and His people with fervor and distinction. I’m concerned about them, however. Many are overburdened, at times overwhelmed, and unable to be the priests they desire to be because so much of their day is caught up with administrative responsibilities. Many are responsible for doing today what even a short time ago three or more priests were responsible for. Their excessive workload leads many to neglect their physical and emotional health, and some their Spiritual health. They have less time for priestly camaraderie, collaboration and

Good Leaders, Good Shepherds program from the Catholic Leadership Institute, which helps priests better manage their administrative tasks. • We launched a program called Better Brothers so that priests could confidentially share their hopes and fears in a way that could build priestly spirit and morale. • Our staff at the Diocesan headquarters is always ready to help our priests as much as possible to lighten at least some of their administrative tasks, like care for properties and human resources issues. • We hired someone who has the specific responsibility to meet with priests to address whatever health issues they have in a more effective way. • We continue to offer retreats and days of recollection.

We’ve looked at many ways to save On several occasions, I have money and resources, especially reached out to the priests of our by sharing resources. For example, Diocese for their feedback, as many parishes on their own cannot I did in anticipation of writing afford full-time Religious Education this pastoral letter, and I’m grateleaders, or youth ministers, or musiful for their candor and counsel. cians, but two or three parishes in a They love this Diocese and its collaborative can. We have worked people. They love Christ and His hard at the Diocesan level to do priesthood. They want the faith to group purchasing arrangements to thrive in this Diocese more than help save money, for example, on anyone. gas and electric bills, something that can help not only our parishes, but Perhaps most inspiring to me is also our schools, nursing homes and that we have prayed together. SevPriests attend Good Leaders, Good Shepherds leadership program. other facilities. We have looked at eral priests told me that, besides the facilities that are aging so that we concelebrating Masses or praying can make proper decisions as to whether mutual support. All of this impacts their the Liturgy of the Hours, it was not a cominvestments and updating are prudent. priestly morale. mon practice for us to get together to pray. I have really benefitted from this time toWe have implemented greater financial One of the most important things a gether and many priests have told me that guidelines to ensure that what is contribut- bishop does is care for his priests. Without they have too. ed to parishes is put to best use and dollars these generous priestly collaborators, no are stretched. bishop can effectively teach, sanctify and I desire to do everything possible to enshepherd the people of a Diocese entrusted able our priests to be the priests they hunIn all of this, strengthening parish life to him. ger to be. The revitalization of our Diocese demands changing from a mentality that requires the reinvigoration of our priests. focuses on maintenance to one focused on I have offered many things to support the I ask you to help me in praying for these mission. Our primary consideration canpriests of our Diocese: good men whom Jesus has called to be not be preserving what we have now at any • I have met with them individually, Spiritual fathers in the family of faith in our cost. It must be assessing the needs of our in small groups, in different regions or Diocese. I ask you to join me in thanking Diocese today as we look to the future. We deaneries, and as a presbyterate (group of and encouraging them for their sacrifices, must keep in mind that our parishes are priests) in convocations, study days and most of which are hidden. I also ask you not fundamentally physical structures, but days of recollection. to help me free them from the occasionpeople, what St. Peter calls “living stones” • We have inaugurated a program of ally crushing weight of administrative built on Christ the Cornerstone. renewal with the Jesuits of Boston College, tasks, allowing them more time for prayer, focusing on their Spiritual, psychological preaching and pastoral care. That’s one of 3) Strengthening and supporting our and physical wellbeing. the reasons behind our strategic planning, priests now and for the future • Established a cohort of the acclaimed to marshal resources so that others may March 20, 2020 †

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do administrative work and priests may be unleashed to do what they were ordained to do.

One of the highlights of my year is the time I spend each summer at the Quo Vadis Days camp, where young men open 4) Promoting priestly vocations to priestly vocations come for a week of prayer, discussion, sports and fun with our An obvious part of care for our priests is seminarians and the priests of our Diocpraying to the Harvest Master to send more esan Vocations Office. I celebrate Mass, laborers for His harvest (Mt 9:38). Promot- reflect about my own vocation,sit and share ing priestly vocations is also an essential a meal with them and challenge them on part of the revitalization of a Diocese and the soccer field. Many of our seminarians an investment for the future. have had their vocations awakened and strengthened by this camp. I’d urge you to For me, promoting vocations has always promote it among your sons and grandsons been central to my religious and priestly and especially among those who already identity. I am a priest of the Society of serve in the Church, such as altar servers. Divine Vocations. Our Founder, Blessed Giustino Russolillo (d. 1955) had a special Through the Diocesan Vocations Ofcalling to foster and promote vocations to fice, we have been trying to help families the priesthood, religious life, and holiness promote vocations, first and foremost by praying for vocations as they pray as a family. Parents, do not be afraid to encourage your sons to ask whether God might be calling them to be priests or your daughters to be religious Sisters. They will be doing something beautiful for God and making a difference in the world. among all God’s people. He founded our order to help in that crucial work. As your Bishop, I share his mission and am doing all I can to energize a culture of promoting vocations in our Diocese.

We have provided parishes with resources to help support vocation discernment including: prayers, bulletin inserts, General Intercessions for Sundays, and encouraged identifying a parish vocations promoter.

We are blessed to have 15 young men in the seminary, at different stages in their discernment and preparation for the priesthood. I ask you to please pray for them. During the summers, they come to work in parishes across the diocese, which is a source of encouragement not only to the faithful but especially as a reminder to young people that God has made us all for a purpose. If seminarians are assigned to your parish please thank them for their generosity and encourage them by your faith.

Priestly vocations, as we know, are not the only callings God gives! My own experience in religious life has been a real source of gladness. It made me part of a Christian community, praying together, celebrating together, working together as a family, something that was a particular grace for me as I left my family and country to come to the United States. The Lord is calling many in our Diocese to the grace of a more intimate form of baptismal consecration to Him through religious life. We pray together for those He is calling, that

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they may hear the Lord’s voice and respond with generosity. The Diocese of Fall River has also been blessed with many who have responded to the vocational call to the Permanent Diaconate. I had the joy last year to ordain a new class of permanent deacons who are already making a difference in parishes throughout the Diocese. Permanent deacons are so important to the Mission of the Church. With fewer priests, the need for deacons is greater. A vibrant diocese is one with a thriving vocational culture in which everyone hears the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” and responds, “Here I am. Send me!” (Is 6:8). That’s what we need to help cultivate together at a time when so many look at things from too worldly a perspective. 5) Renewing Diocesan ministries to serve better the needs of the faithful One of the essential tasks of a bishop is governing the Diocese in such a way as to promote the whole mission of the Church. He has to be a good steward of the resources in a Diocese. Good administration is a responsibility I take seriously. I grew up in a poor family of 13 children and out of necessity we were always frugal. My siblings and I learned to make our own toys out of sticks and materials we found outside. I learned from my parents how to use gifts responsibly; we never threw anything away that was usable. I have tried to bring that same spirit to leading this family of faith. At the same time, pondering and preaching on the Parable of the Talents (Mt 25:14-31), I recognize that the Lord wants us to invest His gifts. It’s not enough to keep things status quo. With prudent boldness we need to try to make them grow and make money stretch. Good and faithful stewards do their best to make good returns. I have spent a lot of time and effort over my first five years revitalizing Diocesan administration and finances, properties and buildings, human resources, safe environment, and communications. Our Diocesan administration and finances needed a lot of work to bring them up to


the standards of transparency and accountability our priests and people rightfully expect. We hadn’t had a financial audit of the chancery or published online Diocesan financial reports for years. That’s one of the first things I did, because I’m not dealing with my own money, but the faithful’s, and they have a right to know what is happening with their generosity. I reconfigured the Diocesan Finance Council, and expanded our financial leadership team that implemented new audit and investment strategies. Out of necessity we instituted parish assessments to help us better assist the parishes and the other institutions of the Diocese. We established the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts to help us raise long-term resources for Diocesan needs. With regard to properties and buildings, we wanted to honor the legacy of so many who had sacrificed to build, while being good stewards of the present and future. Our Diocese has many aging buildings that are suffering the consequences of deferred maintenance, with costly repairs needed to keep them fit for purpose. We likewise have many vacant or underutilized buildings. We established a Diocesan office for facilities and real estate and began a thorough inventory and assessment of all the buildings. With regard to personnel, we had no Human Resources (HR) Department five years ago, just a department to manage employee benefits. An HR Department is so important not just to manage Diocesan staff, but also to assist our parishes and institutions with their recruitment and retention of employees, compliance with complex labor laws, fair compensation, employment benefits, performance appraisal, and more. We hired a new Executive Director of Human Resources with sufficient staff so that we can manage the talented and committed people who help us throughout the Diocese, to develop their skills and competencies, and to motivate them in a missionoriented way. We also needed to address our internal and external communications infrastruc-

ture so that we could much better coordinate within the family of faith and share the Gospel with those to whom Christ sends us. We have of course the Diocesan website and our storied Anchor newspaper, but were not adequately using modern communications technology to be in contact with our priests and people. A team of communications advisors is now in place updating our antiquated means of communicating with priests and parishes so that we can be in touch in a much more timely way. I have started a blog more to be able to communicate more directly and transparently

and we have strengthened our presence in social media. We still have a long way to go but we are rapidly moving forward. I’m grateful for all those who have contributed their gifts to assist in these various transitions and change the at times negative perception of the chancery. Our chancery staff is full of people who are problemsolvers, ready and eager to help. We have made a lot of progress. Much more still needs to be done. But we’re doing that work together, as good stewards of the blessings God has given to our Diocese. 6) Caring with Christ-like love for those in need Jesus’ fundamental command for us is to love God and to love others as He has loved us. Our love for Him, as He explained in a conversation with St. Peter after the Resur-

rection, is shown in how we care for those He entrusts to us (Jn 21:15-19). He takes personally the way we love those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, on the move, imprisoned, or otherwise in need (Mt 25:31-46). The real fruit of faith is always charity and we can never love too much. Among the chief tasks of a bishop, as a follower of Jesus and a successor to the Apostles, is to make Christ’s love visible and to spur, by words and example, not just the faithful but all people of good will to care for those in need. In every age, the Church must organize so as better to love those in our midst and respond to the basic needs of the most vulnerable in the community with Christ-like compassion. The Diocese of Fall River has been known for generations for its care for those in difficult circumstances. Over the course of the last 79 years, faithful of the Diocese of Fall River have through the Catholic Charities Appeal donated more than a staggering $150 million to care for the poor and vulnerable. That generosity continues today, as Catholics here sacrifice more than many dioceses that are considerably bigger. Many parishes similarly have vibrant St. Vincent de Paul Society Chapters. The number of volunteers deeply committed to the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in our Diocese has impressed me even more than the enormous financial sacrifices people make. But the needs are growing with so many coming to us who cannot find adequate help elsewhere: the hungry, homeless, aging, addicted, wounded, immigrants, those in troubled Marriages, struggling parents, and so many in the most vulnerable stages of life who do not know where to turn. Love for God and others compels us to be even more efficient and effective with the resources we have. That’s one of the reasons why I have prioritized the renewal of Catholic Social Services (CSS), which spearheads the Diocese’s charitable outreach. We have expanded CSS’ Board of Directors, hired a new Director and some new staff, worked to expand the recruitment and March 20, 2020 †

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training of volunteers and are looking at our headquarters and other buildings to ensure that they can meet the demands of today and tomorrow. One of the high points of my first five years has been going out to volunteer in the various charitable works of our Diocese. Last Lent, a particular highlight was cooking a meal for the homeless at the Sister Rose House.

the costs of their schools, and we know that parents often struggle to cover tuition. We must work together as a Catholic family to save this precious gift. If we don’t, many will not survive. We have therefore:

7) Bolstering Catholic schools

For many reasons — such as fewer practicing Catholics, smaller families, a decrease in religious vocations, the shift of Catholic families from cities to suburbs, different economic factors and others — some Catholics schools have had to close and a number of others are struggling. But Catholic schools are too critical for the mission of the Church not to do everything we can, together, to save and strengthen the schools of our Diocese. We need to help them continue in developing as centers of re-evangelization, academic excellence, optimal character formation and vibrant Christian service. Keeping our Catholic schools thriving is not easy. Parishes often cannot cover all of 12

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8) Forming life-long disciples Catholic schools are one part of the mission Christ entrusted to the Church to “go, teach all nations” (Mt 28:19). The word “disciple” in Greek means “student” and we never cease to be pupils of Jesus the Master.

Jesus told us during the Last Supper that everyone will know we are His disciples by the love we have for each other (Jn 13:35). The Church at her best is a communion of Good Samaritans and love for our neighbors in southeastern Massachusetts will always be among our top priorities. I am so grateful for all of those who use their time, talents and financial resources to help those less fortunate.

During the decades of rapid growth in the Diocese’s history, nearly every parish had a thriving parochial school, staffed by dedicated religious, which formed the next generations to succeed in faith and life. There were also several top-notch Catholic high schools that not only provided a superb academic education but taught the faith and moral values that people could not get anywhere else. Catholic schools contributed mightily to the vitality of the Church in our country and became the envy of the entire Catholic world.

larly obtain far higher results on standardized tests. I thank them for their faith and commitment. We need to come together as a Diocese to support their work for the benefit of upcoming generations.

• Created a Taskforce on Catholic Education, comprised of Church, business, educational and philanthropic leaders to assess the schools of our Diocese on academics, enrollment, effective governance, financial sustainability and marketing and make a strategic plan for the Diocese. • Established a Central School Board. • Expanded tuition assistance funds and scholarships through the Diocese’s Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE). • Formed alliances with higher educational institutions and public school districts to provide greater resources for our students. • Beefed up Religious Education formation and instituted programs for teachers to grow Spiritually and in the knowledge of their faith. • Offered schools greater assistance with budget and financial reporting. One extraordinary resource is our Catholic teachers and administrators, now mostly lay, who are so dedicated to the mission of Catholic education. Many receive far less than what their counterparts do in other schools, even though their students regu-

That begins with the catechesis we provide for children. With the cultural changes in our society, our young people need to be formed in their faith more deeply than before. Faith Formation is not just passing on knowledge, but helping people to meet Christ, know Him, accept Him, love Him, and follow Him. A Commission studied Faith Formation in our Diocese and noted inconsistent quality of Religious Education across different parishes. The Commission suggested engaging the younger generation in a new and improved way, by: • Strengthening the participation of the family and the faith knowledge of parents. • Increasing the number and preparation of our volunteer catechists. • Counteracting the powerful influence of secular culture. We also need to bolster the Faith Formation of our youth and young adults in our Diocesan high schools, colleges and universities. The goal in this critical stage of life is to get to know Jesus more deeply in prayer, the Christian community, charitable service and learning so that they might make the mature choice to follow Jesus as missionary disciples. Recognizing the power and presence of social media, the goal is to invest in resources to meet them where they are and bring them to where Christ wants them to be. We must together help them to see that the Church is their family, their home, where they encounter God, find nourishment and get answers to the most important questions of life. That’s why our parishes need to have the resources to offer organized outreaches for youth and young adults beyond their Confirmation. That’s why we must continue and expand opportunities at the Diocesan


level through programs like the Christian Leadership Institute (CLI), Encountering Christ in Others (ECHO), and Diocesan and World Youth Days. To excel in life-long learning, we must also give greater attention to opportunities for adults to grow in their faith. The experience of Mass on Sunday ought to spur people to hunger for more. Parishes must provide resources and opportunities for adults to get to know their faith better. At the Diocesan level, we have started the annual Men’s and Women’s Conference to rekindle the fire of faith in the lives of Catholic adults. I really love this event, where I give a brief talk, celebrate Mass, hear Confessions, and grow in faith together with the people of the Diocese.

have taught them. 9) Supporting parents and families The Church is a family of families and, therefore, strengthening a Diocese must involve strengthening the families within that Diocese. The family is not just the building block of society but also of the Church.

I am the fourth in a family of 13 kids, eight boys and five girls. I still remember vividly, as if it were yesterday, praying together as a family. My mother had a little shrine of images of saints and we would pray the Rosary there and other prayers. I learned at that little shrine in our home how important God is in our daily life. When things were difficult for us, my parents used to say, “It is in God’s hands. God will take I also want to say a word about seniors, care of it.” We learned to trust in God Who who are the pillars of many of our parishes. never let us down. We learned to speak to The example so many of them set of a hun- Him and to say, “Speak, Lord, Your servant ger to continue to learn the faith inspires is listening.” We learned to love Him and to us all. One of my favorite pictures from my make time for him. My parents didn’t have pilgrimage to the island of St. Michael in doctoral degrees, but they were great teachthe Azores for the Santo Cristo Feast is of ers of their children in the most important a grandfather teaching his three-year-old subject of all. My vocation as a Christian, granddaughter how to pray in front of the as a future priest and now as a bishop was Santo Cristo image. I have a copy of it in my certainly nourished there. As a young religious Brother in Newark, New Jersey, soon after arriving in the United States, I used to teach catechism. I could readily tell the children who came from stable situations at home versus those who didn’t. It showed me how important families are not only for people to grow in faith, but to have solid foundations for almost everything in life. So much of the Church’s educational mission is to buttress the work of parents as the first and best of teachers of their families in the ways of faith. We have to do everything we can to support them.

office and it never ceases to remind me of how many grandparents are superb teachers of the youngest generation in the ways of faith. Teaching is a great way to learn and seniors grow in faith by seeking to pass on to others the wisdom Christ and life

preparation to help young couples prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. The Church has a responsibility to defend and promote Marriage and the family; as one of the most effective and prophetic ways we do that is through vibrant Marriages that show the shining witness of human love in the Divine plan. One of the things I’ve tried to build on has been the celebration of major wedding anniversaries with a special Mass in the Cathedral. These couples demonstrate for the younger generations that a covenant “until death do us part” is not just possible but beautiful and life-giving. No amount of Marriage preparation, however, can address all the issues couples will face including the reality that some Marriages may end in separation or divorce. The Church needs and wants to help with the healing process in those cases with all of the means Christ has placed at our disposal. St. John Paul II used to emphasize that the future of humanity passes by way of the family. So does the future of our Diocese. That’s why strengthening families in every way is a great priority. 10) Carrying out our mission to spread the faith One of the things that Pope Francis has repeatedly stressed — and before him, Pope Benedict, Saints John Paul II and Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council — is that the Church doesn’t have a mission but is a mission. Each one of us is meant to recognize, as Pope Francis wrote, “I am a mission on this earth. That is the reason why I am here.”

Jesus used the image of a harvest to speak about spreading the faith and called us to Families have always had to face common lift up our heads and see that the fields are challenges, like finances, health issues, dis- white, ripe and ready for the harvest (Jn agreements and finding time together. But 4:35). Those words are valid in every time today there are new issues that undermine and place, but they are very fit to describe the unity of the family, and every mom and the situation of our part of the Lord’s vinedad has had to contend with the fact that yard in 2020. We are now in mission terthey are competing with media and social ritory. So many, including those who have media as their children’s formative influbeen baptized, are structuring their life ences. without Jesus at the center. We love them too much, and love Christ too much, to During the last five years, we have tried leave them like this. to do several things to strengthen families. We have focused on quality Marriage We have in Jesus a treasure that we canMarch 20, 2020 †

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not keep to ourselves. Like St. Paul, fervent Christians will burst unless we share the Gospel (1 Cor 9:16). This isn’t easy today. But the same Holy Spirit Who helped the Apostles, the first followers of Jesus, and then successive generations seeks to enliven us in the Diocese of Fall River to bring about a New Evangelization. While we’re aware of our personal inadequacies and all of the cultural challenges, we know what the Holy Spirit has done and wants to do again. Everything we do has to be geared toward helping the faithful of the Diocese become evangelized evangelizers, missionary disciples in communion. Our parishes, schools, Religious Education programs, hospitals and nursing homes, charities, communications, even our fund-raising efforts must all be part of sharing the Gospel with those for whom Jesus cared enough about to enter our world and die on Calvary. I mentioned before that the transformation our Diocese needs most is from “maintenance to mission,” from focusing on preserving what we have — our buildings, structures, and mentalities — to sharing the gift of our faith, bringing Christ to others and others to Christ. When the other bishops from New England and I met with Pope Francis in November, he spoke about this urgent missionary metamorphosis so that everything in the Church can be channeled for the evangelization of today’s world. That is not a short-term goal or something that will be able to be achieved by a strategic plan. That will happen only from all of us unleashing the power of the Holy Spirit and cooperating with His desire to help us help others come to experience God’s saving love in the Church. The challenge is vast, but let’s make it practical. Let’s each of us, bishop, faithful, priests, religious, deacons, young, old, men, women, girls and boys, make the effort with persistent prayer, cheerful example and invitation, to bring at least one person to Christ this holy season. How pleased Christ would be to welcome 14

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them, and it’s all possible because the Holy Spirit would be working with and through us! CONCLUSION Thank you for taking the time to read these reflections about the priorities that have guided my prayer and work as Bishop of Fall River over the last five years. I am grateful to God for the progress we have made and I am confident in His help for the years ahead. I’ve given a general overview but I have on my desk detailed recommendations from the Planning Commissions we’ve

established, recommendations from our priests, and many other things that I intend, with everyone’s help, to implement moving ahead to advance these priorities. We obviously face some continued pruning, but I want to focus far more on planting. With gratitude for the past, I want to concentrate with hope on the present and the future. I would like to finish with a prayer to the Patroness of our Diocese, Our Lady of the Assumption. I am so grateful for her maternal prayers for me and for all those whom I am entrusted to serve in this Diocese. We turn to her and ask: O Mary, Mother of Mercy, You who have been full of grace from the

first instant of your life: Intercede for us that to correspond fully to the grace of your Son. You who said Fiat to God’s plans for you announced by the Angel: Help us similarly to say a similar yes to God’s plans for us and our Diocese. You brought the embryonic Jesus with haste to Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist: Help us have the yearning to bring Christ with joy to our family members and friends. You whose soul magnified the Lord and spirit rejoiced in God your Savior: Teach us to give thanks to God in every circumstance. You prayed for the couple in Cana before they even knew they had a crisis on their hands: Assist the families of our Diocese to center their homes on your Son and do whatever He tells us. You who stood faithfully by the Cross of your Son until the end: Obtain for us the graces to remain faithful in picking up our Cross and following Him all the way. You who received from Jesus on Calvary the Beloved Disciple as a Spiritual son: Raise us, as your sons and daughters, to be, like Him, fervent disciples and ardent Apostles. You who led the Church in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: Show us how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in a new Pentecost throughout our Diocese. You who have been assumed body and soul into Heavenly glory: Pray for us that, after this exile, we might come to be with you forever at your Son’s eternal right side. You who were chosen by God the Father from all eternity to be the Mother of His Son and whom that Son chose to be our Mother: Pray for us now and always and help us fulfill the Mission for which your Son has created and called us, to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen. Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. Bishop of Fall River


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C hurch Y outh

The seventh-grade boys basketball teams from St. John the Evangelist in Attleboro and Mercymount Country Day School in Cumberland, R.I. recently gathered for a scrimmage at St. John’s for their annual Hoops for the Hungry game. The students asked for a non-perishable food donation in lieu of an admission fee. They collected more than 20 bags of food which was given to the St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Pantry. High School teens are invited to join 2,500 other Catholic teen-agers from around New England at the University of Rhode Island campus this summer, July 10-12, for the Steubenville East Youth Conference. This is an amazing weekend. Come be surrounded with other Catholic teens and be restored. We will need chaperones, so parents, please pray about helping us in this way. Text Lori Lavigne, 508-233-3312, if you are interested in joining this epic weekend.

The Anchor is always pleased to run news and photos about diocesan youth. If schools, parish Religious Education programs or home-schoolers have newsworthy stories and photos they would like to share with our readers, please email them to: schools@ anchornews.org

American Heritage Girls Troop MA3712 Pioneers and Patriots based at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Seekonk, are working on the All God’s Children badge. The troop visited the Dighton Public Library while studying the American Disability Act. The girls had a tour of the building led by Jocelyn Tavares, the head librarian. Next the girls made an “inclusion walk” through the 110-yearold building to see if it was up to the standards set by legislation put in place in 1990. This was an excellent opportunity for the girls to become aware of the challenges facing those with disabilities, and those trying to serve them. March 20, 2020 †

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T

Healing our blindness

his weekend we are once again being reminded to be the light for others, to lift the darkness from their lives, as well as our own. We are also asked to not be too quick to judge others simply by appearances, but rather to remove our blinders and truly see. This very theme is echoed in the readings and the Gospel. We see how Samuel immediately believes that one of the men present is most definitely the “chosen one,” who is to go forth and rule. He makes this assumption based on the young man’s stature, appearance, and age. Yet David, the young-

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est of all of Jesse’s sons, is chosen — a young man, whom even his father most likely felt was too young to even be considered to rule God’s people, leaving him to tend to the flock in the field. In both circumstances, judgement and preconceived notions led to their decisions. God reminded Samuel, as He reminds us, not to be fooled by mere appearance or stature, and that God sees beyond our physical trappings, recognizing the person by his or her heart. In the Gospel, we see how the Pharisees are quick

† March 20, 2020

to condemn Jesus, how they claim that only a sinner would heal someone or do any kind of “work” on a Sabbath, which clearly proves He is not a man of God. Throughout history we have seen how people

blindly follow the charismatic leader — the person who looks, sounds, and acts like a leader, or buy into the misconceptions or distortions of truth. Yet these individuals have led many people to harm their fellow man, to condemn those who do not fit in, and to even kill or die for the cause or misguided belief. It is this point that Jesus speaks of when He tells the healed man that He has come to help the blind see, and to blind those who see in misguided ways. In the second reading, St. Paul implores us to “live as children of light.” He is telling us to be the light, to put an end to injustice, corruption, and all the “fruitless works of darkness.” When we become the light,

we begin to truly see what is happening around us, what needs to be taken care of, and who needs help finding their way. By being the light, we expose the wrongs, we affect change, and we become hope in a weary world. So not only do we dispel the darkness, we also gain clarity, and it is this newly-gained “sight” that begins to propel us to make changes — in ourselves, others, and our world. Yet, like the Pharisees, so many of us believe we have perfect vision and do not need healing — we are not blind. But this “sight” that we hear of in the Gospel is more than just ordinary sight, it is the ability to “see” with the eyes of faith. It is to open not only our eyes, but our hearts as well. To see with eyes of faith is to recognize Christ in each and every one we encounter. It is to look at individuals as God looks at them, to see with our hearts, rather than our preconceived ideology of what they should look like and how they should act. Sadly, we live in a world that readily passes judgment and determines whether someone is “worthy” or “acceptable,” by their appearance or actions. Rather than recognize the child of God, we quickly pass judgment on those who are less fortunate — the homeless, those struggling with mental illness or addiction, immigrants who are seeking a new home far from oppression and hate, and any others who simply

do not fit in with our ideal of what we consider to be “appropriate.” However, if we learn to see with our hearts, if we allow ourselves to be “healed” as the blind man was healed, we can truly begin to see. It is in our blindness that we allow so much that is wrong in the world to continue. Yes, sometimes it is much easier to remain blind — it keeps us from getting involved or making a difference. However, we are challenged to be anything but blind — to have faith, to believe, and to help others come to believe and grow in faith and truth. We are called to be the Samuels of this world, who rather than follow our first impressions, wait on the prompting of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to rush upon us as it did for David. We are called to be the light dispelling the “darkness” and all that it conceals, bringing about goodness and justice to an otherwise, discouraged world. We are called to allow ourselves to be “healed” of our own blindness and to truly recognize the “Son of Man” in everyone we meet. During this Lenten season, let us allow ourselves to be fully healed, to lift the blinders that keep us from seeing the need in our fellow man, and to be the light that produces “goodness and righteousness.” May the truth “wash away” that which blinds us! Anchor columnist Rose Mary Saraiva is a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Fall River and works for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation.


Diocesan Deanery Events

ATTLEBORO DEANERY The Attleboro District St. Vincent de Paul Society will host area legislators to discuss issues facing the poor and those in need in our area on Saturday, March 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mary Lyon Hall on the Wheaton College campus, East Main Street (Route 123) in Norton. Sponsored by the Voice of the Poor Committee of the Attleboro District St. Vincent de Paul Society, in collaboration with several other social service agencies, the forum will address homelessness, lowincome housing, transportation and other services needed to improve the lives of our neighbors in need. Invited legislators include Senators Paul Feeney and Rebecca Rausch and Representatives James Hawkins, Steven Howitt, Elizabeth Poirier, and Jay Barrows. All are welcome. A Women’s Lenten Retreat entitled “Holiness: Not Just for Saints” will be held on Saturday, March 28 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 58 Church Street, North Attleboro. All are invited to gather with other women to learn about the call to Holiness and how God calls us to be holy in our everyday lives. Brunch will be included. This free event is sponsored by the Women’s Spirituality Group. For more information, contact Kim Simmons, simmonskima7@ gmail.com, or register by calling 508-369-3435. Looking for a Spiritual pick-meup? La Salette Retreat Center in Attleboro has published its complete schedule of 2020 retreat programs and days of recollection. Visit its website at: www.lasaletteretreatcenter. org. Or, send for a catalog of programs at: La Salette Retreat Center, 947 Park Street, Attleboro, Mass., 02703.

CAPE COD DEANERY

FALL RIVER DEANERY

NEW BEDFORD DEANERY

TAUNTON DEANERY

Did you know if you or someone you know needs the help of Birthright of Falmouth, 320 Gifford Street, they will pick her and a friend up at the boat and return them. Contact them at 508-457-0680, or online http:// birthright.org/en/landingpage/ lp-falmouth. For more information please contact Sue Pagliccia at 508-693-0342, or Donna Gazaille at 508-627-5095. The Love for Life Apostolate at Good Shepherd Parish on Martha’s Vineyard has monthly meetings are on the second Friday of each month at 3:30 p.m. at the parish center.

The annual Fall River Area Deanery Lenten Mission will take place from Monday, March 30 to Thursday, April 2 at St. Mary’s Cathedral each evening at 6 p.m. (Confessions) followed by Mass and the Mission Presentation. The Mission will also be given those same days at the 12:05 p.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Father James Ferreira from the Archdiocese of New York will present this year’s Mission.

St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet will host a Marriage Boot Camp entitled “Back to the Basics” on Sunday, March 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration Forms for this special Day of Reflection are in the church narthex (entrance). The fee is only $20 per couple to cover both meal and materials. Additional lunches can be purchased and free child care will be provided. This is a day of inspiring talks, prayer, and fellowship for married couples.

Beacon Hospice in Fall River is looking for caring and compassionate individuals to spend time with their patients. In addition they also utilize volunteers to make memory boards and blankets. If you want to make a difference please contact Erin Hassel at 508-324-1900, extension 108 or email erin.hassell@amedisys.com with any questions.

Please note: Despite Coronavirus concerns, the one-day Lenten Mission at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, 1359 Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford, will take place. “An Encounter with Jesus and Mary” will be held on Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring speaker Roy Schoeman, a Jewish convert to Christianity. To register or for more information, www.saintanthonynewbedford. com or call the parish rectory at 508-993-1691.

Due to concerns about the flu and COVID-19, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Taunton will be instituting some temporary changes. If you are sick, please stay home. Don’t come to pantry if you are coughing, have a fever, or have any other symptoms. If you have health issues like diabetes, COPD, cardiac issues or are immune compromised, please stay home. They will be accepting phone calls from at risk individuals or individuals experiencing illness, to schedule appointments for pickup of groceries. Please call 508823-6676 between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday through Friday to schedule. This is not a permanent change to the food pantry.

The Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group provides temporary and emergency financial assistance to year-round island cancer patients and their families. The funds provided are used primarily for travel and expenses not covered by insurance. Information is also provided about resources available to Vineyard cancer patients and elsewhere in New England. The group is run completely by volunteers allowing all of the money raised to go directly to the people it serves. Gifts of any amount are very much appreciated: MVCSG, P.O. Box 2214, Vineyard Haven, Mass., 02568. For more information: mvcancersupport.org. A Non-Residential Worldwide Marriage Encounter experience will be taking place at Our Lady of the Cape Parish, 468 Stony Brook Road in Brewster on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19. Discounted accommodations are available on a limited basis. For more information call Steve and Michelle O’Leary at 1-800-710-WWME or visit www.WWMEMA.org. Space is limited, so please call today. An ecumenical choir, St. Cecelia Schola, will present Franz Liszt’s Via Crucis on Good Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m., at Holy Redeemer Church in Chatham, the same time they usually recite the Stations of the Cross. Music director Ryan Peteraf says of the program, “Liszt masterfully sets music to all 14 Stations of the Cross by using complex harmonies to paint a musical image of Christ’s Passion.” The Stations are a worship service and not a concert, so there is no entrance charge. It will be a very moving way to meditate and pray on the Lord’s Passion and all are welcome.

The 2020 Fall River Area Support Group is a support group to help people cope with the loss of a loved one. Losing someone we love truly hurts, leaving us with so many unanswered questions and a multitude of conflicting emotions. At first, we may turn to family and friends to share our grief; but as time goes on, we may find it difficult to reach out to them. This support group meets on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. at the Catholic Education Center, 423 Highland Avenue, Fall River, 7-9 p.m. The sessions are each 6 weeks long. They are: May 12-June 23, July 21-September 1, and September 29-November 10. There are no fees and parking is available adjacent to the building. For more information or to register, call 508-675-1311, ext. 6701, or email rsaraiva@dfrcs.org.

Editor’s note: With the public restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it would be wise to check with any contact person to see if the event is still on.

“Finding Hope,” A Lenten retreat led by Peggy Patenaude will take place Wednesday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cathedral Camp Retreat Center, East Freetown. The $55 fee includes lunch. Registration required by March 17. For more information and a registration form contact Peggy at 508-548-9149 or timeoutretreats@comcast.net. St. John Neumann Church, 157 Middleboro Road (Route 18) in East Freetown, will host a Palm Sunday Taizé Service — the theme is “Put out into the deep.” This service is a combination of songs, reflections and readings. It will take place on Sunday, April 5 at  7 p.m. Take Chace Road exit off Route 140. A Recharge Retreat for Moms will be held on Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mother of Light Convent, 856 Tucker Road in Dartmouth. Hosted by the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light, the retreat will include a day of prayer, discussion and fellowship with reflections on the example of the Mother of God. A $30 donation is suggested to offset expenses. To register or for more information, contact sister@maroniteservants.org. Registration deadline is April 25.

Cursillo is a short course in Christianity where one can encounter Christ in a small Christian community. It can deepen faith and strengthen the ability to share our faith with others. Cursillos are hosted by Holy Cross Retreat House in Easton. The weekend runs from Thursday evening through Sunday evening. The cost is $150 per person. Financial aid is available. The 2020 dates for Cursillo are: Men’s: March 26-29 and October 22-25. Women’s: April 23-26 and November 19-22 For more information, contact Diane Cheevers at 508-577-4548 or www.retreathouse.org. On April 18, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul 2020 Northeast Regional Meeting will take place at the Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Boulevard in Taunton. If you have ever thought about becoming a Vincentian, this is a wonderful opportunity to get a sense of the organization. For more information, go to https:/meetingssvdpusa.regfox.com/2020-northeast-regional-meeting. If you would like to participate, please email Marie Morrell, mmorrell. svdp@gmail.com for registration information.

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In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests and deacons during the coming weeks: March 20 Rev. Francis A. Mrozinski, Pastor, St. Hedwig, New Bedford, 1951 Permanent Deacon Lawrence St. Pierre, 2017 March 22 Rev. Joseph A. Martins, Assistant, St. John the Baptist, New Bedford, 1940 Rev. James T. Keefe, SS.CC., Chaplain, U.S. Army, 2003 Rev. Francis X. Wallace, Catholic Memorial Home, Retired U.S. Army Chaplain, Former Parochial Vicar, St. Patrick, Falmouth, 2018 March 23 Rev. James F. Kelley, USN Retired, Archdiocese of Anchorage, Former Assistant, St. Mary’s Mansfield, 2002 Rev. Normand J. Boulet, 2015 March 24 Rev. John J. Murphy, C.S.C., 2004 March 25 Permanent Deacon Thomas Prevost, 2007 Rev. John J. Brennan, SS.CC. Retired Founder Holy Redeemer, Chatham, 1991 March 26 Permanent Deacon Francis J. “Frank” Camacho, 2019 March 27 Rev. James W. Conlin, Pastor, St. Patrick, Somerset, 1918 Rev. Antonio P. Vieira, Pastor, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, New Bedford, 1964 Rev. Richard W. Beaulieu, Former Diocesan Director of Education, Former Pastor, Notre Dame de Lourdes, Fall River, 2007 Rev. Manuel Garcia, Editor of Portuguese Missalette, 2019 March 28 Rev. Alfred J. Levesque, Pastor, St. Jacques, Taunton, 1960 Rev. Bernard A. Lavoie,Chaplain, Catholic Memorial Home, Fall River, 1972 Rev. Dieudonne Masse, OFM, Retired, Montreal, Canada, 1983 Rev. Howard A. Waldron, Retired Pastor, St. Thomas More, Somerset, 1985 March 29 Rev. James H. Carr, S.T.L., Assistant, St. Patrick, Fall River, 1923 Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Moriarty, Pastor, St. Patrick, Fall River, 1951 March 30 Rev. Aime Barre, On Sick Leave, Fall River, 1963, Rev. Benoit R. Galland, USN Retired Chaplain, 1985 Rev. Lucio B. Phillipino, Retired Pastor, Immaculate Conception, North Easton, 2002 Rev. Robert F. Kirby, Catholic Memorial Home, Retired Pastor, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, South Attleboro, 2015 March 31 Rt. Rev. Msgr. George C. Maxwell, Pastor, SS. Peter & Paul, Fall River, 1953 Rev. Dennis Loomis, M.S., 2019 April 1 Rev. George A. Lewin, Pastor, St. Mary, Hebronville, 1958 Rev. Edwin J. Loew, Pastor, St. Joseph, Woods Hole, 1974 April 2 Rev. Adolph Banach, OFM Conv., Pastor, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, New Bedford, 1961 Rev. Donald Belanger, Pastor, St. Stephen, Attleboro, 1976 Rev. James B. Coyle, Retired Pastor, St. Dorothea, Eatontown, N.J., 1993

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Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese Acushnet — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Evening prayer and Benediction is held Monday through Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ASSONET — St. Bernard’s Parish will have Eucharistic Adoration every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar at the conclusion of 9 a.m. Mass and the church will be open all day, concluding with evening prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m. ATTLEBORO — The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette holds 6:30 p.m. Mass followed by the Chaplet of Divine Mercy Adoration at 7:15 p.m. every Wednesday evening. Brewster — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. buzzards Bay — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every First Friday following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending at 5 p.m. DARTMOUTH — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Mary’s Church, 783 Dartmouth Street, every First Monday of the month, following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with evening prayers and Benediction at 5 p.m. East Freetown — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. John Neumann Church every Monday (excluding legal holidays) 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady, Mother of All Nations Chapel. (The base of the bell tower). EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic Adoration takes place in the chapel at Holy Family Parish Center, 438 Middleboro Avenue, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On First Fridays, Eucharistic Adoration takes place at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. until 7:45 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has Eucharistic Adoration every Wednesday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Chapel of Reconciliation, with Benediction at 11:30 a.m. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of Padua Church, on the corner of Bedford and Sixteenth streets, has Eucharistic Adoration accompanied by music and prayer every first Wednesday of the month from 6-7 p.m. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has Eucharistic Adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursdays following the 8 a.m. Mass until Friday at 8 a.m. FALL RIVER — Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover Street, has Eucharistic Adoration Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady of Grace Chapel. FALL RIVER — Good Shepherd Parish has Eucharistic Adoration every Friday following the 8 a.m. Mass and concluding with 3 p.m. Benediction in the Daily Mass Chapel. A bilingual holy hour takes place from 2 to 3 p.m. Park behind the church and enter the back door of the connector between the church and the rectory. FALL RIVER — St. Joseph’s Church has a Holy Hour every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m., with Benediction at 6:45 p.m. FALL RIVER — St. Michael’s Church has Eucharistic Adoration every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with Benediction at 5:30 p.m. Falmouth — St. Patrick’s Church has Eucharistic Adoration each First Friday following the 7 a.m. Mass, with Benediction at 4:30 p.m. HYANNIS — St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis, 347 South Street, Hyannis, has Eucharistic Adoration from noon to 3 p.m., daily Monday through Friday. MANSFIELD — St. Mary’s Parish, 330 Pratt Street, has Eucharistic Adoration every First Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with Benediction at 5:30 p.m. MASHPEE — Christ the King Parish, Route 151 and Job’s Fishing Road has 8:30 a.m. Each First Friday Mass ends with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration continues until Benediction at 5 p.m. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic Adoration is held every Thursday, with Confessions, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Church. Please use the side entrance. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the Rosary, and the opportunity for Confession. NEW BEDFORD — St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, 565 County Street, holds Eucharistic Adoration in the side chapel Fridays from 7:30-11:45 a.m. ending with a simple Benediction NORTH DARTMOUTH — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Julie Billiart Church, 494 Slocum Road, every Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., ending with Benediction. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at this time. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic Adoration takes place every Wednesday following 8:00 a.m. Mass and concludes with Benediction at 4 p.m. Eucharistic Adoration also takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 4 p.m. The Rosary is recited Monday through Thursday from 7:30 to 8 a.m., and every First Friday. NORTH EASTON — A Holy Hour for Families including Eucharistic Adoration is held every Friday from 3-4 p.m. at The Father Peyton Center, 518 Washington Street. NORTH EASTON — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at Immaculate Conception Church Chapel on the first Wednesday of the month beginning after the 8:30 a.m. Mass, until 6:40 p.m. Those wishing to make a monthly commitment can sign up on the parish website at www.icceaston.org or call the parish office at 508-238-3232. ORLEANS — St. Joan of Arc Parish, 61 Canal Road, has Eucharistic Adoration every First Friday starting after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending with Benediction at 11:45 a.m. The Sacrament of the Sick is also available immediately after the 8 a.m. Mass. SEEKONK ­— Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has perpetual Eucharistic Adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508-336-5549. Taunton — Eucharistic Adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the Rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. Taunton — Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament takes place every First Friday at Annunciation of the Lord, 31 First Street. Exposition begins following the 8 a.m. Mass until 9 a.m. Taunton — The Chapel of St. Andrew the Apostle, 19 Kilmer Avenue, Taunton, will host Eucharistic Adoration Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Taunton — St. Jude the Apostle Parish in Taunton will host Eucharistic Adoration on Mondays following the 9 a.m. Mass and the St. Jude Novena, until 11:30, ending with Benediction. It will take place at Holy Rosary Chapel during the summer months. WAREHAM — Eucharistic Adoration at St. Patrick’s Church takes place 9 a.m. Thursday through 7 p.m. Friday. Adoration is held in our Adoration Chapel in the lower Parish Hall.

† PERPETUAL EUCHARISTIC ADORATION † ATTLEBORO — Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 71 Linden Street in Attleboro. All welcome to visit. To sign up for an hour or for more information call 508-212-8528. East Sandwich — The Corpus Christi Parish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 324 Quaker Meeting House Road, East Sandwich. Use the Chapel entrance on the side of the church. NEW BEDFORD — Our Lady’s Chapel, 600 Pleasant Street, offers Eucharistic Adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day. For information call 508-996-8274. SEEKONK ­— Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish has perpetual Eucharistic Adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508-336-5549. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street (Rte. 28), holds perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. We are a regional chapel serving all of the surrounding parishes. All are invited to sign up to cover open hours. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716.


Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on the Portuguese Channel Sunday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Broadcast from St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fall River

Diocese of Fall River TV Mass

on the Portuguese Channel Sunday, March 29 at 7 p.m. Broadcast from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in New Bedford

Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, March 22 at 11:00 a.m.

Celebrant is Father Marek Chmurski, Pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in Buzzards Bay.

Sunday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Jason Brilhante, Parochial Vicar at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fall River.

Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C., named director of Family Rosary continued from page two

in 17 countries, and Latin American regional coordinator and director of Family Rosary in Mexico. In addition, he served in the formation of seminarians and Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Peru and Chile and was Novice Master for Latin America. “I’m excited to become national director of Holy Cross Family Ministries,” Father Phalan said. “This is such an important mission as we strive to serve the Spiritual needs families in this complicated modern era. There are more pressures on parents and children than ever before as they

struggle to find faith and bring meaning to their daily lives.” Father Phalan has a B.A. in psychology and history from Stonehill College, and a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. In addition to his native English, Father Phalan is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French. In the spirit of its founder, Venerable Patrick Peyton, Family Rosary serves Jesus Christ and His Church by inspiring, promoting and fostering the Spiritual well-being of families throughout the world. Faithful to Mary,

the Mother of God, Family Rosary encourages family prayer, especially the Rosary. Family Rosary is a member ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries, which inspires, promotes and fosters the prayer life and Spiritual well-being of families throughout the world. Its mission outreach includes family faith-based media, including social media and prayer programs, to fulfill the founder’s vision that “the family that prays together stays together.” For more information, visit www. FatherPeyton.org or www. FamilyRosary.org.

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To advertise in The Anchor, contact Wayne Powers at 508-675-7151 or Email waynepowers@ anchornews.org March 20, 2020 †

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The Fall River Diocese once again hosted a Women and Men’s Convention on March 7 at the Ames Spots Complex on the campus of Stonehill College in Easton. Hundreds of diocesan faithful attended to jump-start their Lenten season. Above right, Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.V.D., addresses attendees; left, Deacon Kevin Gingras, his daughter Faith, and his wife Allison, from Holy Family Parish in East Taunton, greet the bishop; and Deacon Bruce Bonneau, bottom, right, from the diocesan office of Adult Evangelization and Spirituality, takes part in a discussion.

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†March 20, 2020

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