Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Flags of St. Paul's

One of the highlights of our beautiful church is the flags which represent the 12 Apostles.  They were commissioned as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the building of the church in 1979 and installed for Christmas in 1981.Each week, we will describe the details of one of the flags.  See if you can find it!

Saint Paul, while never one of the apostles, is usually given the respect as if he had been one.  Before his conversion to Christianity, Saul of Tarsus had been persecuting the Christian community.  After his conversion he wrote many of the Epistles and preached and thus his device symbolizes his new life, the Gospel, being placed over his former life, the sword.  The sword was also the method of his martyrdom.

When Christ founded His Church He entrusted to Simon-Peter, in what is called the Apostolic mandate, the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.  These keys are placed on an inverted cross because tradition tells us that when Peter was martyred by the Romans, he was crucified upside-down because he did not feel worthy enough even to die in the same manner as Jesus.

Saint Philip's device depicts the symbol of his faith in Christ, the cross, for which he suffered a cruel death.  Reportedly when scourging did not silence him, he was stoned, crucified, and finally run through with a lance.  The two loaves of bread are to represent his commitment to Christ at the feeding of the multitudes, "Two hundred silver pieces would not buy enough bread for them, even to give each a little." (John 6:7)

Saint John, when represented as an Apostle, rather than his role as an evangelist, is represented by the snake coming out of his chalice.  Tradition tells us that Saint John was the only Apostle not to have been martyred and to have died of natural causes at an old age, even though many attempts were made on his life.  The most notable attempt was with a poisoned chalice.

Saint James, the Less, used to differentiate him for the other Apostle Saint James, was reported to have been taken to the top of the Temple in Jerusalem and pushed off.  After hitting the ground and being grievously injured, he pulled himself to his knees begging forgiveness for those who had injured him, whereupon another of his assailants caved in his skull with a fuller's bat.  When dead it is told that his body was sawn asunder, and thus the significance of the charge in his device

Saint Matthias, who was that Apostle elected to fill the twelfth seat vacated by Judas Iscariot, is represented by a battle-ax. It is the instrument of martyrdom for having preached the Gospel in Judea. The ax is placed on the book of Truth for which he gave his life. 

Very little is actually known about Saint Bartholomew, except that some accounts believe him to have been Nathaniel, about whom much is said in Saint John's Gospel ( John 1: 45-51).  Reportedly, Saint Bartholomew was martyred by being flayed alive before being crucified and thus the reason for the flaying knives on his flag.

Saint Jude, brother of Saint James, also known as Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus, traveled widely with Saint Simon to preach the Gospel, and thus he was given the sailboat to signify his many journeys. There is no record of the manner of his death.

Saint Matthew, when he is represented, like Saint John, as one of the Apostles, and not as an evangelist, is represented by three bags of money reflecting his position as a tax collector when he was called by Christ to follow Him.  Saint Matthew is reported to have been crucified on a Tau cross and then beheaded in Ethiopia where he was preaching the Gospel.

Saint Simon, who was the companion of Saint Jude on many missionary journeys, is represented by a fish resting on a book because he was a great fisher of men through the power of the Gospel.  The actual method of his death is uncertain but it is believed that he was beheaded for his faith.

Saint Andrew, the first to be called by Christ to be an Apostle, along with his brother Simon, now called Peter, is believed to have been crucified on an "X" shaped cross in Greece after preaching the Gospel there.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Knights of Columbus Have Returned to St. Paul's !

The Knights of Columbus are re-establishing the St. Paul Council.  We are Catholic men who are committed to living a life of faith, honor and charitable action.  Our new council members are men of all ages who are truly focused on helping others in need.  Meetings are held every third Sunday of the month after the 11:30 Mass in Canning Hall.

We're also looking for A Few Good Men!  If you have an interest in becoming a Knight, please contact Steve Bradley at: or 401-528-9548.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Interested in Becoming Catholic? Need to Receive a Sacrament?

 Are you or someone you know interested in learning about the Catholic  Faith?   Have you been coming to church for a "long time" with your spouse but haven't decided if Catholicism is for you?   If any of these descriptions fit you, why not consider joining us to explore the Faith a little more deeply? Contact Deacon Paul at the Rectory at 461–5734 or email him through the app.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Have You Tried the Saint Paul Parish App?

Are you looking for updated information on what is happening at Saint Paul's? Do you want to register your child for Faith Formation?  Would you like information on Saint Paul School?  Then you need The Saint Paul Parish App!
The Saint Paul Parish App is available at Google Play  (Android Systems) and the App Store (iPhone).

How do I download the Saint Paul Parish App?
  1. Android users (Samsung, LG, HTC and Nexus are some of the more popular brand names) will go to Google play store and Apple users (iPhone, IPads) will go to the App Store.
  2. Tap the search area and type in Saint Paul Church Cranston.  Hit the magnifying glass and the app should be your only choice.  Tap the word GET.  Then tap the word INSTALL.
  3. Once the app is finished installing you will be prompted to open the app.  Hit open and now you will have up-to-date information about everything going on in the parish!

Faith Formation Staff Updates

It is with great joy that we welcome Mrs. Frances Rowell to the parish staff!  Mrs. Rowell has served as our third-grade catechist for many years and will now be coordinating the Faith Formation Program for the elementary grades.  Mrs. Bradley will focus on faith formation for middle and high-school students, including Confirmation Prep and Youth Group, as well as programs for adults.  We are very grateful to Mrs. Debbie Cabral, who is transitioning from coordinating the Confirmation Program to managing communications for the parish, which includes the bulletin and the new parish app.  Congratulations and best wishes to everyone in their new roles!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Farewell from Matt Boni

Dear Parishioners,

     I wanted to express my deep gratitude for all that you have done for me during the summer and also for all that you do for your wonderful parish.  It is hard to believe how quickly my time at St. Paul's passed by.  I have enjoyed this summer very much because it has been a pleasure praying with you and getting to know you.  Thank you for being so kind and welcoming.  I have definitely received much encouragement from you all.  I was very fortunate to be assigned to St. Paul's, and I made sure to say a special prayer to thank God for it.

     It has been a great joy to see the beautiful ways that God is working in all of your hearts.  I have seen the hard work the faculty at St. Paul's School does to provide such an educational and faith-filled environment for their students.  I have met people who are preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation through the RCIA program.  I have met others who are anticipating their children's baptism and are preparing to raise them in the faith.  I have met couples who are preparing for marriage.  I have met high-school students who are discerning God's will in their lives as they begin college applications and plan their future.  I have also met several kids at St. Paul's School and many young altar servers.  And of course, I have seen all of you who have been so dedicated and faithful to your parish every week.  I know that the future holds great things for everyone here, and I wish I could stay at this parish longer to see all of this potential fulfilled.

     Thank you once again for all you have given to your parish and for me.  I will certainly miss you all, but St. Paul's will always have a special place in my heart.

With sincere gratitude,

5 Ways to Make Summer More Spiritual

  1. Commit to a new daily prayer:  Choose a new prayer, whatever prayer that is, adding a new one this summer will bring a fresh perspective and help to put a daily focus on God for the next few months.
  2. Tell God you are sorry:  Get to confession this summer.  Before going, think about the past year.  Think about next year.  Use the weather, fun, and freedom to make a fresh start.
  3. Make a visit to the church:  Hour?  Half-hour?  10 minutes?  Doesn't matter!  The church is open from 8AM to 1PM every day.  Stop in and say "hi" to the Lord.
  4. Be grateful:  Summer goes by quickly.  Before we know it, we are back to school, sports, and other activities that crowd our days during the year.  Summer is the time to be grateful for the many gifts God has given us.
  5. Read the psalms:  This is a great way to synthesize the previous four suggestions.  Take one psalm, and read a couple lines.  Many speak about thanksgiving, contrition, joy, etc.  You won't regret it!