Thursday, December 25, 2014

Homelessness: Through the Eyes of Faith

Ask one of the Confirmation students what they did on the night of December 12th and prepare to be surprised by the
answer you will receive. Instead of holiday shopping or 
celebrating, 24 of our parish teens participated in a homelessness
awareness event that lasted overnight - from 7:00 on a Friday 
night to 7:00 the next morning.
   Throughout the evening students participated in 
activities that introduced them to terms, statistics
and general information about homelessness. One student 
commented that he was surprised to learn that 12% of home
less individuals in our state are employed – they just don’t 
make enough money to afford a home. Mrs. Elizabeth 
Neubauer, a guest speaker who came from the McAuley House 
(a local day-shelter and meal site) explained. She said that 
 the cost of housing in Rhode Island has become very 
 expensive and that wages have not increased at the same 
rate. She shared the startling statistic that a worker making minimum wage would have to work 102 hours per week for 
52 weeks a year in order to afford just a 2 bedroom apartment in 
Rhode Island. She also spoke about the people who come to 
the McAuley House each day, the services offered to them, 
the welcoming and respectful environment they experience, 
and the delicious and healthy meals they are served.
   Later in the evening the teens watched an award winning documentary, The Human Experience.One student later
recalled the sadness of a homeless woman in the video 
who described that she had once seen people respond with 
care and concern to stray dogs living on the street, but 
they wouldn’t extend the same compassion to human beings
on the street.
   After a warm bowl of homemade soup, bread and 
a drink of water, the teens prepared to go out into the
cold night. Just before heading out they participated in a 
brief prayer service, during which each student received 
a battery operated votive candle – their “light” to carry 
into the darkness – and the name of a homeless man 
or woman who would also be sleeping on the streets that 
night, provided by Mrs. Neubauer. “These men and women 
need angels,” she said, “and tonight you can be their angels by praying for them.”
   All 24 students endured the cold air and hard ground 
until at least 1:30 AM, but temperatures dropped and those
without heavy blankets and coats were encouraged to
go inside for safety’s sake. One student commented
that she couldn’t keep her face warm, and others didn’t find
their boxes to be as warm and cozy as they had presumed they’d be. At 3:00 AM there were still thirteen students sleeping
outside. The temperature with the wind chill factored in was 
25 degrees,and the breeze began picking up. That’s when the 
decision was made to bring everyone inside to sleep in the 
cafeteria for the remainder of the night.
   The next morning, over bagels and hot cider, more than 
half of the students said they would be interested in
participating in this type of event again – but some suggested 
it take place earlier in the fall, or in the spring when it wouldn’t
be quite as cold. Many students commented that experiencing homelessness was better than just learning about it, and that
they realized how important it is to have faith to get through 
the difficult times in life. One student said that faith means
always having hope, and another said that it means
realizing that we are never alone because Jesus is always 
watching over us and the church always reaches out to help.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Edgewood-Pawtuxet Ecumenical Food Closet Sends Thanks...


for the exceptional generosity of St. Paul’s Parish
community with our Thanksgiving and ongoing weekly
donations. Your support of our hungry neighbors in need is
truly life-changing! Thanks also to the dedication of the
parish volunteers and members of the St. Paul Conference
of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for your outstanding
assistance. God’s blessings always!

Friday, October 10, 2014

SPIRITUAL ADOPTION PROGRAM

The purpose of this Spiritual Adoption initiative is to raise awareness of the gift of human life!  This is done by encouraging people to "spiritually adopt" an unborn baby,  and to follow their baby along the path to be being born.  How does this work?  It is very simple.  Participants pledge to pray for nine months for a baby in danger of abortion.  While this child will remain unknown to his 'spiritual parent', God knows who the child is.  Many people have found that naming 'their child' helps to keep them focused on the reality that their prayers are helping to save a particular baby from the harm of abortion.  So, sign up today.  Return the sign-up form in the collection basket.  Your prayers save lives!  Won't you commit to spiritual adoption today?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
SPIRITUAL ADOPTION PROGRAM

I,______________________________________________________________________________ 
(your name) 
                                        
promise to spiritually adopt an unborn baby.
___________________________________,
(choose a name for your baby)
who is in danger of abortion by praying daily for the life of this child until birth.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

St. Paul Parish Stewardship Appeal

Reflecting on our recently completed Stewardship Appeal, it is clear that St. Paul Parish is truly blessed!  We are working together to create and sustain a community of belonging, where each individual's dignity and worth is strengthened by the solidarity or our shared faith, the respect and affection we have for one another, and our mutual commitment and dedication to our god-given mission.

With God's help, may we continue to grow in Discipleship.  The willingness of our members to enter into sacrificial giving of time, talent and treasure in response to our Stewardship Appeal speaks of our continued gratitude for God's many gifts.

May God continue to bless us as we share in His work!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Priceless Treasure

"The Eucharist is a priceless treasure:  by not only celebrating it, but also by praying before it outside of Mass, we are able to make contact with the very wellspring of grace.  A Christian community desirous of contemplating the face of Christ cannot fail also to develop this aspect of Eucharistic worship, which prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the Body and Blood of Our Lord."  St. John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration will resume on Monday, September 8 from 12:30 PM until 6:30 PM when the prayers of Benediction will take place.  Eucharistic Adoration continues each Monday immediately following the 12:05 Mass (excluding holidays and the months of July and August).  Come...let us adore Him!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Permanent" Saturday Mass Time Change

Beginning November 1, 2014 the Saturday Mass time will change to 4:30 PM "permanently".  This means that unlike in past years, the Mass time will NOT change back to 5:15 PM beginning the first Saturday in May.  Please note this change and plan accordingly when booking Saturday evening memorial Masses or weddings.  Again, this change takes place on November 1st!

SCRIP Cards Summer Sales

SCRIP cards to local supermarkets and a variety of other merchants are sold only after the 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM Masses through August.  Beginning in September, sales will resume after all the weekend Masses.  SCRIP cards continue to be available to purchase in the Rectory during normal office hours.  Thank you for supporting this ongoing fundraiser for St. Paul School.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Interested in Becoming Catholic?

Beginning at the end of September, a group will meet in the
Rectory during the year to inquire into the Catholic faith, to
come to know Jesus through the Gospels, to learn the
teachings of the Church and to prayerfully prepare for the
Easter Sacraments. This process is also open to those
Catholic adults who have not yet received all the
Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Communion and
Confirmation).
For more information about this process which is called
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) contact
Deacon Paul at 461-5734, ext. 112 or
pshea@saintpaulcranston.org

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fr. Jack Lavin to Celebrate Weekend Mass at St. Paul’s

Fr. Jack Lavin, a senior priest of the Diocese of Providence
who recently celebrated his 50th Anniversary of Ordination
to the Priesthood, will be celebrating Mass each weekend
at St. Paul’s on a regular basis beginning in August. For
almost two years, Fr. Lavin has been celebrating the 12:05
daily Mass here, usually twice per week. A resident of
Cranston, Fr. Lavin retired as Pastor of St. Joseph Church
in Newport after serving there for 21 years. Previously, he
served over 9 years at St. Williams in Warwick in addition
to many years on the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. We look
forward to welcoming Fr. Lavin to his new weekend
assignment!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spring & Summer Repair Projects

During the past few months, there has been some ongoing
interior and exterior work on the parish properties.
-Several more buttresses of the church building have been
repointed and rebuilt. These repairs were necessary due to
deterioration of the stonework from age and the elements.
-The exterior oak doors of the church have been stripped,
sanded, stained and varnished with a marine-grade finish.
They have been beautifully restored to their former glory.
Once again, weather and age had taken their toll.
Hopefully, this restoration work will last a long time.
-The roof on Canning Hall has been replaced. There had
been many quick-fix patches over the years; however, with
every significant rainfall, a consistent roof leak over the
years has warped and rotted part of the floor. It is
necessary that Canning Hall continue to be maintained. In
addition to the parish functions, this building is utilized as
our school gymnasium and for various meetings and activities.
Thanks are in order to our fellow parishioner Paul Simas,
Volunteer Chairman of our St. Paul Building Committee,
who has single-handedly coordinated these parish projects
and been an invaluable resource in negotiating and helping
execute the completion of the work.
Thank you, Paul!

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Prayer for Every Finger of Our Hand

by
(Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
aka Pope Francis 
 
1. The thumb is the finger closest to you. Begin, therefore,to pray for those 
who are closest to you. They are thepeople that we easily remember. To pray for
 our dear ones is a “sweet obligation.”
 
2. The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach, educate and 
care for the sick. This category includes teachers, professors, 
doctors and priests. They need support and wisdom to indicate to others the 
right direction. Remember them always in your prayers. 
 
3. The next finger is the highest one. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray 
for the President, the members of Congress, the employers and the managers. 
They are the people who lead the destiny of our country and guide the public 
opinion. They need the guidance of God. 
 
4. The fourth finger is the ring finger. Many will be surprised, but this 
is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher could confirm. It is there to 
remind us to pray for the weakest, for those who have challenges to face,
and for the sick. They need your prayers day and night. Prayers for them will 
never be too many. And it is there also to remind us to pray for married couples. 
 
5. And lastly there is our pinkie, the smallest of them all. We must feel 
small before God and our neighbor. As the Bible says, “the last will be first.” 
The pinkie reminds us to pray for ourselves. After you have prayed for 
everyone else, then you will be able to understand your own necessities 
better by looking at them in the right perspective.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer SPOONFULS!

 Saint Paul’s Ecumenical Food Pantry Shopping List 
Pasta Sauce, Canned tuna, Jelly & jam, Soup, Canned fruit-
Clip this list and bring it with you when you go shopping.
Drop off your items in the food chests in the front vestibule
of the church.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Externals Count! The Eucharist: Do’s & Don’ts to Follow

Last weekend we gathered to celebrate the Solemnity of
the Body and Blood of Christ, a beautiful occasion to reflect
on the precious gift of the Eucharist. It is also an opportunity
to examine how we worship in practical terms. The externals do 
have an impact and make a difference for us and other members 
of our faith community. With this is mind, let us prayerfully
reflect and commit ourselves to putting into practice the following: 
REVERENCE
- Some have been confused on the mandate to bow before receiving 
the Eucharist. The General Instruction on the Roman Missal has 
suggested a slight bow of the head as (or before) one receives. 
(It may be most appropriate to make a bow of the head just as the
 person in front of you is receiving the Eucharist). A profound bow 
(from the waist) is not recommended and does NOT need to be made. 
A genuflection should NOT be made as that gesture is specially indicated
toward the reserved presence of the Eucharist in the tabernacle.
The Eucharist can be received either in the hand or on the tongue. 
To receive the Eucharist by hand, you may place your
right hand under your left “making an altar,” palms
facing upward, and extend them toward the priest, deacon or
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. When they
say, “the Body of Christ,” you should respond in a normal tone of
voice, “Amen.” If you are holding a baby, a cane or
something (or someone else), even a pair of Rosary beads in your
hands, it would be preferable (with few exceptions)
to receive the Eucharist on the tongue. Under no circumstances should
the Eucharist be “grabbed, snatched” or taken by fingertips out of 
the hands of the person distributing Communion as respect for the 
Eucharist must be exercised at all times by all parties.
Let us also remember to keep reverence for the Eucharist by either 
praying silently to the Lord or by joining in the singing of
the Communion hymn. Communion time is also a wonderful opportunity 
to offer thanks to God for all our blessings, to pray for others and to 
be conscious of our oneness and unity in the Body of Christ. 
DRESS -
Do I make a conscious effort to wear modest clothing when attending 
Mass or other liturgical functions? Is my clothing distinctly different than 
what I would wear for the beach, gardening, sports or other recreational activities? 
PARTICIPATION -
Do I make a concerted effort to make the verbal responses, join 
in the singing, be attentive to the homilist, acknowledge other worshippers 
and exhibit an overall awareness and interest in what is taking place? Do I limit
conversation, appreciate the place of silence before and during the Mass? 
PUNCTUALITY -
Do I arrive before Mass begins and allow a few moments to achieve 
some inner calm and properly dispose myself to the sacredness of the occasion? 
Do I refrain from getting up from my seat during Mass, especially during
the time when the bread & wine is being consecrated into the Body & Blood of 
Jesus Christ? Do I refrain from leaving Mass early, join in the final hymn and wait 
for the priest to leave the church? 
FIDELITY -
Do I try to make Sunday Mass the number one priority of my week and not 
let sports and other activities take precedence? Do I recognize that 
when I miss weekend Mass, I should not receive the Eucharist again until
I have confessed this sin of missing Mass? 
The Externals Do Count! May our appearance and actions always
 represent our true devotion and love of the Most Holy Eucharist.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Fifty Days of Easter Time

The Meaning of the Season
Alleluia! He is Risen! The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost 
are celebrated in joyful exultation as one feast day, or better, as one 
“great Sunday.” With Easter Sunday, we began Fifty Days of rejoicing. 
During these Fifty Days, the Church continues to instruct the neophytes 
(the newly baptized) about the new life they have embraced. In the 
process, all of us are called to reflect on the meaning of our baptism 
and on what living the baptized life looks like. What does it mean to 
live the resurrected life of Christ? What does it mean to be Church? 
How do we live our lives now that we have died and been raised up? 
The neophytes spend their time in post-baptismal formation (which is also
referred to as mystagogical catechesis). It is an opportunity to unpack 
their experience of Easter and to reflect on what it all means for their 
life now as members of the Church. Like the early Church, we are a 
people shaped by the resurrection, a people called to share our joy 
and the good news with others, a people freed from sin and filled with
the life of the Holy Spirit, a people who constantly give thanks for all
God’s gifts, a people who have risen from the font to a whole new way of
life.
Fifty Days of Celebration 
Part of the challenge of Easter is learning how to celebrate the 
fifty-day feast! Perhaps, as Catholics, we find it easier to do
penance than to celebrate; we find it easier to observe the 
forty days of Lent than the fifty days of Easter. Part of the
problem lies with our stress on Lent as the religious period for Catholics. 
Easter Sunday is not just the endpoint of Lent. It is
the beginning of a sustained conversion of heart and mind to Jesus Christ. 
The truth is, however, that we are called to maintain the festivity and 
celebration throughout the entire fifty-day period as one joyful feast. 
Easter, Ascension and Pentecost are not three separate, independent 
feast days, each with its own themes. Rather, they are all part of one
continuous Easter celebration. 
The Structure of the Season
The Easter season is composed of three phases, but these internal 
variations in rhythm never should eclipse its central unity as the great Fifty Days.
1.The Octave:
The first eight days are celebrated almost as one exuberant festival, with 
each day celebrated as a Solemnity. The tradition of mystagogical catechesis
during this time influenced the selection of the scriptural passages.
2.The 31 Middle Days:
The Gospels of the Sundays of the Easter season give focus to the season 
of Easter time. The first three Sundays of Easter relate post-resurrection 
appearances. The Fourth Sunday always focuses on the powerful image 
of the Good Shepherd. The next three Sundays of the season (and many 
of the weekdays nearby) draw from what has come to be known as the 
“farewell discourse” or “high-priestly prayer” in the Gospel of John. While this
paschal season can include references and hymns to Mary, the paschal 
references and overall unity of the Fifty Days should not be compromised 
by excess attention to May as “Mary’s month.”
3.The Final Days:
The season does not end on Ascension Thursday! Over the following nine 
days (the original novena!) and then on Pentecost day itself, we are invited in
to intense prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Easter time ends at the
conclusion of Pentecost Sunday.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pope Francis Canonizes Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II

The canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014  celebrated the personal holiness of two men who profoundly impacted the universal Church.  It is also be the first time in the history of the Church that two popes will be canonized in a single ceremony.  Cardinal Angel Amato, prefect of the congregation for Saints' Causes, spoke of their "service to peace" and the tremendous impact both popes had "inside and outside the Christian community" at times of great cultural, political and religious transformation.

Blessed John XXIII

Although John XXIII's pontificate was relatively brief (1958-1963). he will forever be known as the pope who  convened the Second Vatican Council which continues to shape the Church's mission of evangelization. A humble man of peasant origins, John XXIII had a warm personality and affectionately became known as "Il Papa Buono" ("The Good Pope"). With his background in Vatican diplomacy, John XXIII understood that the Second Vatican Council should address the need for the Church to speak to the modern world. Because he was elected at a time of immense social upheaval, he understood that he needed to move quickly to deal with the challenges.  Pope John Paul II specifically commented on John XXIII's visionary approach in his homily for his beatification on September 3, 2000: "The breath of newness he brought certainly did not concern doctrine, but rather the way to explain it; his style of speaking and acting was new, as was his friendly approach to ordinary people and the the powerful of the world. Christians heard themselves called to proclaim the Gospel with renewed courage and greater attentiveness to the 'signs' of the times." John XXIII died June 3, 1963, and did not see the council to completion.  As a joyful witness the the Gospel, John XXIII will be raised on April 27 to the glories of the altar and named among the Church's saints.  Saint John XXIII, pray for us!

Blessed John Paul II

The third longest reigning pope in history (1978-2005), John Paul II is also one of the most beloved. The unofficial cause for his canonization began almost immediately, with crowds spontaneously acclaiming, "Santo subito!"   ("Sainthood now!") at his funeral April 8, 2005. The official cause began only a month later when Pope Benedict XVI wiaved the customary five year waiting period.  
Any attempt to list John Paul II's central achievements will necessarily be incomplete. In a broad sense, John Paul II called for a radical renewal of faith that would bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ in our age.  He called for witnesses - of all ages - whose worship, words and very existence would radiate the Gospel to a world profoundly thirsting for God.  Some of the essential insights of John Paul II which defined his papacy and transformed the world include, the theology of human love, his fearless defense of the dignity of the human person, his articulation of the "saving mission of the family," and in his suffering, he pointed us to the mercy of God. Among his earliest pastoral innovations was World Youth Day which touched the minds and hearts of young people and nurtured them in the ways of faith. On the feast of Divine Mercy - the feast that John Paul II himself gave to the Church - the world will formally recognize the sanctity of this inspiring witness of the Gospel and celebrate his spiritual legacy as a saint of the Church. St. John Paul II, pray for us.