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A letter from Cardinal O'Malley regarding lifting the dispensation of Sunday Mass obligation, effective June 19-20:

 

Brothers and Sisters,

“Without the Lord’s day, we cannot live!” His Holiness, Pope Benedict, in his homily at the Cathedral of Saint Stephen in Vienna on September 9, 2007, quoted the Abitinian Martyrs, who during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian were arrested for celebrating Sunday Mass. The martyrs responded to the magistrate: “Sine dominico non possumus!” – without the Lord’s day, we cannot live! The Pope went on to say: “For these Christians, the Sunday Eucharist was not a commandment, but an inner necessity. Without him who sustains our lives, life itself is empty. To do without or to betray this focus would deprive life of its very foundation, would take away its inner dignity and beauty.”

Aware that the opportunity to participate in Sunday Mass is increasingly available and increasingly safe for our Catholic people, we are joining dioceses in the Boston Province (Boston, Fall River, Springfield, Manchester, and Portland) in lifting the dispensation of the Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligation, effective the weekend of June 19 and 20, 2021.

We are mindful of the Lord’s statement: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20). While we certainly can pray alone, there is both strength and blessedness in communal prayer.

We do also note that attendance at Mass is our way of following the Third Commandment of the Decalogue: “Remember the sabbath day – keep it holy. For six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8,11)

We call to mind the many times we see Jesus observing the sabbath by going to the synagogue and teaching there (Mt 13:54, Mk 1:21-28, Lk 4:16-30, Jn 6:22-59). It is a desire of every Christian to conform his or her life to the life of Jesus, and Jesus went to the synagogue on the sabbath.

Most significantly, receiving the Eucharist is the center of every Catholic life. The Lord commands us to take and eat, and to do it in memory of Him. (Mt 26:26-30, Mk 14:22-26, Lk 22:14-20, 1 Cor 11:23-26, CCC 1324). The Eucharist is food for our difficult journey through life, filling us with joy and strengthening us to embrace our suffering. It transforms us from the inside out and creates a unity among us that is a strong witness to the whole world.

Therefore, it is with great confidence and trust in the Lord that we reinstate this Sunday Mass obligation. It has been a long, difficult year. People have experienced great pain and suffering throughout this pandemic. Loss of life has been immense. People continue to recover from the long-term effects of the coronavirus.

The heroes among us — our nurses, doctors, first responders and all medical professionals — were a source of enormous comfort. Priests brought the Sacrament of the Sick to COVID patients. Now we are able to join together, remembering the lives changed and the sacrifices made. Let us gather together again in joy, as one people united around the Eucharist.

In this year of Saint Joseph, who was always a faithful observer of the sabbath, we chose Father’s Day as an appropriate day to encourage all of our people, and especially our families, to return to the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist.

This obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have been recently exposed to COVID or any other communicable illness; those who are confined to their homes or to hospitals or other facilities due to illness, infirmity, frailty, or age; and those who are not yet able to be vaccinated, due to age or any health consideration. Parishioners should consult their local pastor if they have questions about the obligation.

To all of those who have not been able to be with us during this last year, we look forward to welcoming you back to the celebration of the Mass.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap
Archbishop of Boston

 

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Celebrate The Year of the Eucharist

The real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist will be celebrated across the world from June 14 (the 2020 Feast of Corpus Christi) to June 2022, uniting all Catholics as one body of Christ. Join with family and friends in prayer, promotion and participation...

Each day commit to praying an additional 15 minutes, including Mass, Adoration, grace before meals and bedtime prayer. Share your faith in the true presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist by giving witness by talking to others about your beliefs.

           

If you are interested in participating, please contact our parish coordinator, Mary Regan, by emailing her at skeedood1@aol.com.

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That’s right! Get rid of your unwanted household stuff and support Saint Michael’s Yard Sale & Savers summer fundraisers.

WHEN: NOW—JULY 1, Monday thru Friday 9am-4pm & Saturday thru Sunday 7:30am-5pm.

WHERE: Drop off your bagged or boxed items inside the church hall vestibule; receipts available there.

WHY: Your donations of “unwanted stuff” will support our second annual Indoor Yard Sale and our third    annual Savers fundraiser (both in August).

Acceptable Items in Working Order/Gently Used: Clothing, Shoes, Sneakers, Boots, Bedding, Coats, Towels, Linens, Scarfs, Socks, Purses, Wallets, Backpacks, Handbags, Belts, Jewelry, Yarn, Fabric, Toasters, Microwaves, Coffee Makers, Radios, Irons, Blenders, Mixers, Small Garden Tools, Sporting Goods, Toys, Lamps, Picture Frames, Mirrors, Wall Hangings, Baskets, Vases, Seasonal Décor, Games, Crafts,  Small Furniture

Unacceptable Items: Books, CD’s, DVD’s, Large Furniture, Bike Helmets, Car Seats/Boosters, Cribs, Mattresses, Medical Equipment, Televisions, Construction Materials, Car Parts, Personal Toiletries, Business Furniture, Food

For more Information: Please call the rectory at 978-459-0713 or email pminch@saint-michael.com

 

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Rooted in our sacramental  celebrations of the Eucharist, we seek to shape our future in a positive way through our parish school, religious education, youth ministry programs and numerous Christian services.  While maintaining a strong sense of Catholic tradition, we look for ways to revitalize our Christian values through more openness to God's word and our gospel call to love God and neighbor.  Trusting in the Holy Spirit, we seek new ways of being a church for members, active or not, as well as reaching out to the wider community.

Please click on the video below to take a tour of Saint Michael Church!

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day with Lowell's Franco-Americans!

June 24 is an official holiday in Quebec and is celebrated by people of French-Canadian background around the world. Here is Lowell, the Franco-American community has observed the day for decades with a mid-morning raising of Quebec's flag at City Hall, followed by an early evening prayer service in honor of Saint John the Baptist, patron of Quebec.

Join us at City Hall on Thursday, June 24th at 10:00am for our rain-or-shine flag raising, to be followed by coffee and donuts outside on City Hall plaza (if sunny) or inside the Mayor's Reception Hall (if rainy).

Then join us at 6:00pm here at Saint Michael's, 543 Bridge Street, Lowell, for a prayer service in the church, followed by light refreshments in the downstairs church hall. Parking available on Sixth Street and in parking lot near Bridge Street between the church and rectory. Parking is also available on Read Street side of the church, where there is a handicap ramp is located. Ground-level doors to the downstairs hall are on the Bridge Street side of the church.

These events are presented by Lowell's Franco-American Day Committee.

 
 
 
 
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