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PPT Leadership

Dear Parish Family,

I attended my first Pastoral Planning Team meeting Monday night (July 25th) since the March meeting due to my Sabbatical. What a wonderful leadership team we have as a parish. There was respectful listening one to another as concern for inactive families was brought to the table. The listening was not only respectful; there was genuine concern on behalf of all to respond with thoughtful, reflective encouragement toward solutions and desire on the part of all to be a part of the solution and not stare at the problem nor be overwhelmed, nor discouraged by it. I got a sense that we were all in this together and wanted to work this out and help our parish grow as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

I read the minutes from the meetings while I was away, and the PPT continued to work together to lead our parish in healthy directions and raise issues that would assist us in continuing to listen to God’s will and be led by the power of the Holy Spirit. How lucky we are to have such faithful people who care about the future of our parish!
In the months ahead we will be inviting new leaders to “sit at the table where decisions are made.” I invite you to consider taking a leadership role in our parish, and also to approach others you know who love our Catholic faith and parish and encourage them to consider serving in this leadership capacity. Let’s together pray that the Holy Spirit will assist us in choosing good, faithful and wise leadership for our Pastoral Planning Team and our four Parish Ministries: Message Shapers, Operations, Mission and Outreach, and Weekend Experience.

Next week I will be attending the annual Voluntas Dei Congress in Paoli, PA. at Daylesford Abbey. On Saturday morning August 6th Alexis Ibarra will be ordained a Deacon for our Voluntas Dei community. This is a wonderful celebration for us all as he finishes up his last year of studies moving on to priesthood. I will not be present for the 4:00 P.M. Mass that Saturday and have made arrangements for one of the priests from Fatima Shrine to join you in prayer. (Msgr. Doran was not available.) However, I will be back in time for Sunday Mass on August 7th. In the meantime, please pray for us as we gather.

Fr. Bill

Gospel “Good News”

Dear Parish Family,

As Christians we need to allow the Gospel “Good News” to out-shine the “bad news” we are surrounded with through the news media. I was always taught in homiletics that an effective preacher will have the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. These past few weeks we have been instructed by Jesus to be “neighbor” to all; that no one is “enemy.” We are to treat everyone with mercy. Jesus tells us all to “Go and do likewise!” At the same time, in the story of Martha and Mary we hear Jesus’ invitation to sit and listen. Our hearts are like Martha “anxious and concerned about many things.” As I suggested we need to have a Mary heart in a Martha world.

Prayer also is a powerful part of who we are as followers of Jesus Christ. Our role as faithful disciples is to make the “Good News” of the gospel out shine the bad news of the world today. We are not to live in fear, but walk in faith. I am inviting us all to join in prayer with members of our Hopedale and Milford communities to walk and pray together shedding the light of the Good News on the situations in our world today. An invitation to all:

“Community members will gather at Hopedale Pond at 6:30 pm Monday July 25th to remember those lost in senseless violence over these past weeks, from the tragedies of Orlando and Nice, to the systemic racism (one part of which surfaces as the killing of people of color by police in circumstances that would never end in the death of white people), to the violent responses directed at police in Dallas and Baton Rouge. We will remember the lives of all who were lost and we will honor and give thanks for the dedicated service of our local police departments. Following the remembrance service at Hopedale Pond, we will walk (and / or carpool) to the Fino Park bridge at the Cedar Swamp Pond in Milford and conclude our remembrance in Milford.”

Please come and join us in prayer and remembrance!

Fr. Bill

Pews Moved, Tiles Coming Up

Dear Parish Family,

Thank you so much for the warm welcome back. I was happy to hear how well received Msgr. John Doran was; many people commented on how happy they were he was here in my place. Also, many of you were wondering if I would share my pictures that I took and hold an evening of sharing my experiences. I will work on that. First, I have to figure out how to get the pictures from my phone to a computer. There are some pictures I would like to print; but have no clue how to do that. Pam taught me how to post on Facebook two days before I left, but I never learned how to respond to your comments. I am technologically challenged; but I have other gifts!

I wanted to take a moment to update you on church renovations so that everyone understands what we are doing. We will be holding Mass in the church throughout the weeks ahead, but the pews will not be anchored down, nor will there be any flooring until August. As I write this all the pews are on the organ side of the church and the Aero-Tec staff has enclosed the other side in plastic while removing all the asbestos tile on that side. On Tuesday the other side will be done. The asbestos tile was already removed in the old cry room and the hallway into the bathroom in the front of the church.

While the pews are movable the ceiling and beams will be painted throughout the church. When that is complete the new flooring will be installed and then the pews will be anchored at an angle so that we are all facing the altar. Eventually the bathroom in front of the church will be made handicap accessible, the former cry room will be made into the reconciliation space and the current reconciliation space will become a parlor for meetings. Finally, our new front doors will be installed.

I did not want Msgr. Doran to have to celebrate Mass during all this renovation work. So now it begins in full swing, and we will get to watch as our church is transformed and the hazardous asbestos is finally taken away!
Again, thank you for your generous welcome back, and your generous contributions to the Capital Campaign that make all this work possible!

Fr. Bill

Fr. Bill Is Back!

Dear Parish Family,

I’m back!!!!! And sitting at my desk realizing how very lucky I am to be here at Sacred Heart! As I walk through the Parish House I see that many of you have been hard at work transforming the whole environment into a wonderful welcoming space that makes all who enter feel very much at home. What a surprise to see the hard work, freely given by many who take pride in who we are as Sacred Heart Parish.

A sincere thank you to Msgr. John Doran who answered the call to provide pastoral care while I was on Sabbatical. I am looking forward to sitting down with him and hearing his impressions of us as a parish community. Many people took responsibility for ministries that I normally attend to while I am here. I wish to thank them all for their willingness to provide pastoral care to our parishioners at the hospital and nursing homes; daily communion; writing bulletin letters; chairing and attending parish meetings; and overseeing the day to day operation of the parish.

There were some timely decisions that needed to be made while I was gone and parish staff rose to the occasion and kept the campus open when we needed an emergency upgrade of our fire alarm system; especially Dan Soares who spent the entire day fixing and replacing emergency signs and lighting.

Many of you followed my pilgrimage on our parish Facebook and even though I didn’t know how to respond to individual comments, your words of encouragement and prayers for safety were greatly appreciated. It was good for me to record my experiences on a daily basis so that I was aware of all that I was experiencing while on my journey of faith. It will take months to unpack all the experiences from my journey, and you know that I will tie them into my homilies as we continue to break open the word of God in the weeks and months ahead.

Yes, at times I was homesick, especially when I was attending Mass in communities that were not as vibrant as we are here at Sacred Heart. That again helped me to remember how lucky I am to be here with you on this journey of faith. To all of you who made this time away possible, I thank you so very much. It is good to be back!

Fr. Bill

World Traveler returns home to Sacred Heart!

That’s right!  He’s back from sabbatical!

This weekend will be Father Bill’s first weekend back with us and we have planned a reception for him in the parish center after each of the Masses this weekend:

  • after the Saturday 4:00pm Mass
  • after the Sunday 9:30am Mass

Please join us in welcoming Father Bill back in true Sacred Heart fashion!

View from a life long member

Dear Parish Family,

My name is Catherine Hodgens, and I have been coming to Sacred Heart for my entire life. Altar Serving is the ministry that allows me to share my time, talent, and treasure during mass. Outside of mass, I became a member of the Pastoral Planning Team last spring. As one of the two youth members at-large, I represent the younger members of this parish.

From attending these PPT meetings, I have discovered the inner workings of Sacred Heart. I have realized how much planning and effort is constantly invested behind the scenes in order to plan parish events, construct our renovations, make the weekly mass celebrations happen, and ultimately keep our parish functioning. From sitting alongside adults at these meetings, I have learned some invaluable skills such as how to discuss and resolve issues diplomatically and how to respect each individual’s opinion, because they are all unique, which makes them essential. Hearing all the unique opinions and ideas these men and women bring to discussion is what truly makes the PPT such a crucial group. Oftentimes, our discussions at meetings begin with one small topic, and suddenly someone creates a resolution or expresses another opinion to improve and expand upon the small idea.

Through being a part of the PPT, I learned that although it can be difficult at first to put yourself out there and become involved in ministry, especially at a young age, in the end, your dedication could make a big difference for everyone. As a youth member of Sacred Heart, I believe it is vital to keep the young members of our parish active in ministries, by sharing their talents at mass through altar serving, being part of the Youth Ministry Group, or helping at Cherub’s Corner. It is essential that we continue to have a dedicated generation to continue worshipping at Sacred Heart in order to keep this vibrant parish going in the future. We need to follow in the footsteps of our older parishioners who have shown us the true importance of dedication and service!

Happy Independence Day and enjoy your week!
Catherine Hodgens

School’s Out for the Summer

Dear Parish Family,

School is out. Summer is official here and vacation season is upon us. Let the parties, picnics and barbecues begin with friends and families.

It’s important to remember that your parish family here at Sacred Heart church does not go on vacation. We continue to do the work that we have all been called to do. We go to Parish Life Night and PPT meetings, the parish office is open and functioning, the lawn gets mowed and the church is still open with the air conditioning on. All of this and more take the same amount of time, talent and treasures as if it were January.

We all belong to a parish community that is alive, viable and financial responsible. All of this is because of this neighborhood we call Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hopedale. This neighborhood still knows and cares about who lives next door, helps each other out, still has block parties, enjoys each other’s company and watches out for each other. Life is good here at Sacred Heart………Thanks to all of you.

Have a wonderful summer,

Sue Conciatori