|Online Contact Form|
|Official Web Site||SomersAllSaints.org|
|Hours||7:30 AM - 3:30 PM|
|Parish Secretary||Nancy Charbonneau|
|Music Director||Judy Bray|
|Altar Servers||Jacque Courville|
The Reverend Roland C. Cloutier Welcomes You to All Saints Catholic Church
All Saints Parish in Somersville, Connecticut is committed as a faith-filled community to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of those we encounter in all ministries of our faith. Through prayer, sacramental life and works of charity, in love and obedience to God, the Lord of all life. All Saints stands ready to proclaim the Good News in word, sacrament, and service to all.
If you know of anyone who is hospitalized or homebound and would like to receive the Eucharist, please contact the rectory office.
DECEMBER OFFICE HOUR CHANGES
Throughout the month of December the rectory office will be closed on Fridays: December 6, 13, 20, and 27.
The rectory office will also be closed on: Monday, December 9, Tuesday, December 24, Wednesday, December 25, Thursday, December 26, Tuesday, December 31.
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
The season of Advent officially begins our church year. Advent is a time of prayer and preparation. We celebrate the past coming of the Lord in the birth of Jesus Christ. We also anticipate the future coming of the Lord at the end of time with the return of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. The scripture readings remind us that our time is both valuable and short. Of all of God’s blessings, time is among the most precious. We cannot know how much time we have left, but each of us has today and each of us has now. May our sinfulness be a thing of the past and our present be an encounter with the life-changing love of God. Let us use the time we have in prayer and good works so that, when Christ does come to meet us, he may find us ready to welcome him with expectant faith.
ON POPE FRANCIS
In March of 2013 the Cardinals of the Church elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina as the Pope of the Catholic Church after the historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. As Pope he took the name of Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi. He is the first Pope from Argentina, the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, the first to take the name Francis and the first non-European Pope in 1,200 year.
Though many had not predicted his election at this conclave because he was already 76, it could not have been much of a surprise that he was elected since some mistakenly released documents from the election of Benedict XVI showed that he had been second in votes at that conclave. But he was 76 and the demands of the papacy are enormous, as became evident when Benedict XVI resigned claiming that he no longer had the stamina to perform his job as he thought the ‘office of the papacy’ demanded.
Pope Francis has not yet shown any signs of fatigue in the performance of his duties and in his calling all of us to a simpler way of life. His challenge reminds me of the challenge of Pope Paul VI when he called on all of us “to live simply so that others could simply live.” I believe it was in a Hartford Courant article of a few weeks ago that the writer said of Pope Francis that ‘he was not afraid of being who he was.’ The Papacy has taken on many ‘trappings’ throughout the centuries and many of them seem to be ‘part of the job.’ But Pope Francis does not come from the ranks of the Roman Curia (Vatican offices) who are mired in centuries of tradition. He is a true outsider who can look at the dysfunction and see it for what it is.
While being Archbishop of Buenos Aires he chose not to live in the ‘official’ archbishop’s residence but rather in a small apartment in the center of the city and would take the bus to his office each morning. Anyone who wanted to talk to him just had to hop on the same bus and talk to him. He often criticized the government of Argentina for their lack of concern for the poor in their country. They were probably very happy when he was elected Pope and left Buenos Aires for Rome.
Pope Francis is now in the process of reforming the Vatican Offices (the Curia) so that it will be responsive to the needs of the 21st century church. He appointed a group of eight cardinals to look at the Vatican offices and determine how they could be modernized. Several weeks ago they gave the Pope an initial report that said the present system of governance was so broken that it could not be fixed. Therefore, they are now tasked to present a new system of governance for the Vatican State. This will not be resolved in the near future.
Being true to who he is, Pope Francis, after being shown to the Papal Apartments, chose not to move in but rather stay where he had stayed during the conclave that elected him. The Papal Apartments are removed and very private and Pope Francis felt that he would be too isolated in that environment. This is not who he is. He needs to be with people and, so, he remains at the Vatican guest house named after St. Martha. There, each morning, he says Mass with whoever is staying there that day, usually Cardinals and Bishops who have business with the Vatican.
Pope Francis has not allowed the trappings of the Papacy to change who he is. In fact, he seems to be the one who has changed the Papacy. He is determined to make things there more transparent to the faithful. One of the first things he did was to appoint a few bishops and lay people to reorganize the papal bank which had come under great scrutiny in the past and been the object of scandal. This, also, was something known to past popes who were unable to change the entrenched system of doing things.
Pope Francis has made many comments that the press has grabbed onto giving the impression that he is about the change some of the doctrines and moral stances of the Church. Pope Francis himself has said, “I am a son of the Church,” and he has not changed any of the fundamental teachings of the Church. He has, however, changed the tone that the Church has taken with those whom some think are great sinners. His, “who am I to judge” comment has made us all aware of our own judgments on the people around us whom we consider to be sinners. He has made us aware that, though we may not condone what some people do, we must always acknowledge the sinner to be a child of God. The sin is not the sinner.
Hopefully, Pope Francis will have a long enough reign to realize some of his initiatives and to bring more transparency to the working of the Vatican. Let us all pray daily for Pope Francis.
~ Fr. Roland ~
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