"Zeal for your house will consume me" (Ps 69:9)

Thoughts of a parish priest…

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Powerful Witnesses: March for Life 2015

With the exception of the years I was living in Rome for seminary studies, I have gone to Washington, D.C. every January for the March for Life, marking the anniversary of the awful decision of our nation’s Supreme Court in 1973 to legalize abortion in our country. This year, I did not attend the March because I had just started in a new assignment and the timing made it difficult to plan. Here is a great video that I think captures the beauty of why people go to the March for Life:

Each year on January 22nd people young and old (though the crowd is looking predominantly younger each year) participate in a peaceful march on our nation’s capital ending at the Supreme Court to voice our opposition to the “Roe vs Wade” decision and also to give a voice to the MOST vulnerable in society, those who do not have a voice of their own, the unborn!

Now many probably don’t know much about the March for Life and that’s because the secular media doesn’t give it much coverage, probably because they are very much opposed to what we stand for. But regardless of what the media shows or doesn’t, those present know the truth, that EVERY human life is SACRED and worth defending!


In addition to the walk on the National Mall, there are a number of prayer vigils and youth rallies for the hundreds of thousands that converge on our nation’s capitol. The morning of the March, there is huge youth rally at the Verizon center with about 15,000 young people, hundreds of priests and bishops and cardinals as well!

This year, there was a powerful witness given by the homilist for that Mass, check it out here:


Let us continue to pray for the unborn and all women who find themselves thinking about an abortion! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!



new parishes

The “blizzard of 2015” has given me the opportunity to catch up on a bunch of things, including getting back to posting on this blog which unfortunately I haven’t been to faithful too! (Speaking of the blizzard and New England winters, I think God might be calling me to be a missionary priest… in CANCUN).

In September, my work as a parochial vicar (or assistant priest) came to an end when I was made the temporary administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford, MA after the unexpected death of one of our priests. In November, our new Bishop, Bishop Edgar da Cunha reassigned me to be the administrator of St. Joseph’s Parish and St. Michael’s parish (which has a wonderful parish school) as well as remaining in the diocesan vocation office.

(A word on the title “Administrator” – In the Diocese of Fall River, there is a policy that when a priest becomes a pastor of a parish for the first time, that he has the title “administrator” for one year. Most of it has to deal with some canonical (Church law) distinctions, but the best analogy that I can come up with is that it is like a learner’s permit before one gets a drivers license.)

The role of a pastor/administrator comes with a lot of additional responsibilities. In addition to trying to meet the spiritual needs of the people, which is most important, there is also the care of the properties and financial stability of the parish, as well as the school! I will humbly say, it has been quite a learning experience these first few weeks. I have learned a lot about hot water tanks, boilers, leaking roofs, and now snow removal too.

While all this is important and necessary, it is not the most important thing we do as parish priests! I explained to both parishes my first weekend here (in English and broken Portuguese) that we must ALL work together to renew and rebuild our parish communities and we do that by focusing everything we do on Jesus Christ!

While addressing the clergy of the diocese, Bishop da Cunha explained that we can not continue to just “maintain” our parishes, settling for the status quo or just doing things as we have always done them, but that we must focus on “mission” – on strengthening our catholic identity, on evangelizing, on reaching out to those who have stopped coming, and bringing excitement and renewal those who are already here!

Life will certainly be busy here, but I am excited and will try to be better about weekly posts! If you are ever in the Fall River area, stop in at St. Michaels or St. Josephs!