On September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we received Raymond Fredette and Joseph Marsala into the novitiate for the Oratory. They are now known as Bro. Raymond and Bro. Joseph. Due to Covid-19 and the backlog that many tailors have right now, we weren’t able to have their habit to us in time. Once the habits are mailed to us, we will clothe them in the proper Oratorian habit. So, while they are still wearing ‘regular’ clothing, they should be called Bro. Raymond and Bro. Joseph, if you happen to see them. I will certainly put a notice in the bulletin when I know when the clothing will be.
For the Oratorian, our novitiate lasts three years. In most places, it is just one year. During the first year, known as first probation, the entire year is spent in house learning St. Philip’s spirituality. During the second two years, known as second probation, they will begin their proper studies for the priesthood. Once the three-year novitiate is complete, they will be considered to become what is known as a triennial. This makes a man permanently aggregated, that is incorporated, into the Oratory. They may attend Community meetings, and they have a passive voice, but they lack a vote known as active voice. The active voice comes after six years in the Community, becoming a sexennial.
So please be sure to keep Bro. Raymond and Bro. Joseph in your prayers during these days of their formation. Also, remember to keep Bro. Brent and Bro. Henry in your prayers as they near the end of their formation for the priesthood. They will be ordained sometime in the first half of 2021. The Oratory continues to receive many visitors and guests, so also keep vocations to the priesthood and the religious life in your daily prayers.
We will be starting RCIA up very soon. If you know anyone interested in becoming Catholics or learning more about the Catholic Faith, please contact the parish office for more information.
As I announced a few weeks ago, Jim O’Shaunghnessy, our Office Manager, has accepted a job offer with a company in the secular world. I thank Jim for his service to our parishes. He will work through the end of the month. Donna Kuglics, our Administrative Assistant, will be assuming many of Jim’s financial and office responsibilities. Jim also, however, had many responsibilities for the upkeep of both of our old, but beautiful Churches. In discussing the matter, we decided a Facilities Manager was needed to assist me in the maintenance. You may find a copy of the Job Description on the parish web page today. I will accept applications until September 30 and hope to fill the position in early October. Please contact me with any questions.
Finally, as an insert today, please find the annual parish financial report included with the bulletin. Both parishes are doing well financially, even given the fact that Sacred Heart has lost a lot of revenue due to the canceling of the Italian Dinner in the spring and now the fall. I am also pleased with Mass attendance. Many parishes, and every priest I have spoken to, have told me that their attendance is maybe a third of what it was pre-Covid-19. Attendance at Old St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart is either at pre Covid numbers or higher than normal. So thank you for returning to Mass even though the obligation is currently suspended. Mass is the making present to us here and now the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. St. Pio (Padre Pio) once said it would be easier for the world to exist without the sun than the Holy Eucharist. While continuing to be prudent and smart in regard to illness, continue to hold the Holy Eucharist as the most important part of your life!
Have a blessed week ahead!