St. Bernard's is part of the Fall River Diocese which includes Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands. We celebrate our diversity, yet we stand together as one. Together we strive to be holy. “Catholic” means “universal” — open to all people of all ethnics, of all races, of all economic levels. We are proud to be called Catholic. Our parish conducts various programs to serve you and our community. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our many activities.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING SUNDAY AND HOLY DAY DISPENSATION
Bishop da Cunha and regional bishops to lift the Sunday and Holy Day Mass dispensation
Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., and regional Catholic bishops have together decided to inform the Catholic faithful that the dispensation of the Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligation will be lifted on Father’s Day weekend, June 19-20, 2021
The bishops saw Father’s Day weekend as an appropriate time to encourage Catholic faithful, especially families, to return to the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, the center of every Catholic life.
The obligation does not apply to those who are ill, recently exposed to COVID-19 or other communicable illnesses, those confined to their homes or other facilities for various reasons, and those who are not able to be vaccinated for specific reasons.
The full official release of the bishops’ statement will be posted on The Anchor website at anchornews.org and the diocesan website, fallriverdiocese.org
St. Bernard's is fully open (without reservations) for you and your families to return.
Please read "Fr Jim's Column" below for important messages
7:00 AM, 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM
Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM
Holy Days of Obligation
9:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Monday - Thursday 8:30 AM (Chapel)
Best Wishes, Farewell AND Welcome
On Sunday, August 15, 2021, after the 10:30am Mass, there will be a gathering to
welcome Fr. Gerard Hebert and a Farewell to Fr. Jim downstairs in the church hall.
We will have hamburgers, hot dogs & malassadas with beverages.
*Starting the weekend of July 24/25, a basket will be available near the pulpit if you would like to leave a personal card or message for Fr. Jim.
Save the Date
St. Bernard's Harvest Festival - "2021"
September 25th & 26th
Fr Jim's Column
I would like to address my words this week to all ourfriends who have not been able to join us due to the Pandemic. WE MISS YOU! In healthier times, we have an average attendance of about 600 attendees spread over four Masses.
Since the church reopened on June 1st, we’ve had an average of 220 each weekend...about 1/3 of the normal congregation. We are following all the protocols set out by the State, as well as, the Diocese. All persons call to register for a seat at Mass: this guarantees you a seat and if we have to notify you that
someone at the Mass tested positive for COVID, we’d be able to contact you. In addition, all seats are six feet apart, all members wear face masks and there is plenty of hand sanitizer. Also, everyone receives Holy Communion in the hand and I sanitize before and after I distribute Holy Communion and I wear a face shield to give Holy Communion. As you know, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass has been dispensed since last March. Imagine...that means that 2/3 of our parishioners have not been present for Sunday worship...and worse...have not received the Eucharist...the Bread of Life...the center of our Faith! And while I understand FULLY why folks are staying away, yet I see some of our friends at restaurants, wakes and even Planet Fitness. Many of us priests are beginning to feel that it has become too easy to stay home...away from Sunday worship. WILL PEOPLE EVER COME BACK?
All that aside, there is the FINANCIAL PIECE of the Pandemic. I hope all parishioners take the time to read the Sunday Bulletin available on the Saint Bernard Parish website...and I hope many are taking advantage of the SUNDAY MASS TAPED AND AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE BY SUNDAY AT NOON. I thank Brian Correia for faithfully taping the Mass each Sunday for your convenience during the Pandemic. In the bulletin each week, there is printed the WEEKLY FINANCIAL STATEMENT. Have you been watching the “Income and Expenses?” Many weeks we are spending more than we are taking in. I believe this is due in large part to an erroneous belief that if I don’t go to church...I don’t have to give. That’s just not so. Whether our people
come to Sunday Mass or not, the Church is still open and active: Mass is offered daily...the babies are baptized...the sick are anointed...the dead are buried...even five couples received the Sacrament of Matrimony during the Pandemic...and this year there are 388 students in Faith Formation. The financial support of Saint Bernard’s Parish is the responsibility of everyone. In short, the Church is here when
you need us. So I am asking all parishioners (those who receive envelopes, as well as, those who choose not to use them) to think about making a regular contribution to Saint Bernard’s. Stick us someplace between the gas and electric bills in order that our Parish will remain financially solvent as we navigate through the Pandemic.
Soon we will begin the Season of Lent. Once again, this year we will have the ANNUAL APPEAL, “My Lenten
Sacrifice to my Parish.” This will run through the months of February, March and April. You will receive a letter from me and an envelope. Please consider how generous you might be able to be, considering your own finances during the Pandemic. Finally, I want to applaud all those who so faithfully submit weekly envelopes in the mail and by dropping them off. And...many are taking advantage of online giving (think about it!) Because of your devotion to Saint Bernard’s the “heat is steaming...and the lights are blinking.”
I hope all who have been away will think about joining us once again in the near future. Know that each week at Mass we lift up in prayer all who have been affected by Covid...those who are sick…their families...the medical staff and first responders.
Our Lady of Health, pray for us!
Yours in Our Lord,
Here at Saint Bernard’s Parish we are blessed to have a good deal of request to have children baptized… a great sign of growth for our community! One of the things I run across when meeting with parents of children to be baptized is that they are not members of a parish. So I explain that Baptism is the sacrament of belonging and it makes sense to join a parish before the sacraments are celebrated there. Last week a couple from another town came in to inquire about having their child baptized: they didn’t want to join Saint Bernard’s...they just want to “get the baby baptized ‘cause she’s already five months old.” I explained that they were welcome to join the parish and have the child baptized here...or join a parish closer to where they lived. I went on to say that you have a local bank...a local supermarket...a local gas station...a local pharmacy...so we should have a local parish where we partake of the services of the local parish: a parish where we come to know the priest (and he comes to know us). A parish where we worship and support...where we receive the sacraments along the journey of life...and when someone in the family is sick that priest visits them and brings the sacraments...where our children go to be married...where our children are instructed in the Catholic faith through Religious Education...and when called home to God, our funeral is celebrated in the parish church where I lived my faith during life.
It is important to feel a part of a parish. These days with the pandemic it seems that we are just “coming and going from Mass” for a half hour or so. That’s why I ask you to please read the bulletin, especially about the new “FUN”RAISING GROUP and the MINI FESTIVAL to be held at the end of September...just a few ways to come together as a community...as a parish family...to feel like we belong!
AND ALL ARE WELCOME!
Last week I wrote about the importance of “belonging” to a parish family. This week I’d like to address the topic of SPONSORSHIP FOR THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION. When parents ask to have a child baptized, they choose two GODparents to assist them in raising the child in the faith. In this, parents are asked to choose two people (one man and one woman) who, by living the life of an active catholic can best give witness to the child being baptized...or confirmed. A person who is asked to be a sponsor for either Baptism or Confirmation should approach their parish priest and ask for a SPONSOR CERTIFICATE. Listed on a sponsor certificate are the qualifications for what makes a worthy sponsor: the sponsor should have received the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation). It only makes sense that a catholic who is asked to “stand up” for someone being baptized should themselves be fully initiated catholics. The sponsor should be a PRACTICING CATHOLIC by regularly attending Mass and confession when necessary. The sponsor, if married, should be married sacramentally by a priest through the Sacrament of Matrimony: again, setting a good example of catholic living. I would also add that if a sponsor has children, those children should also be receiving the sacraments and being raised as catholics. That’s what you promise to do at baptism.
So it is important for perspective parents to give prayerful thought before choosing the right GODparents for your children. When the case arises that GODparents are not living the catholic faith, I invite them to “come back” to a living faith...that if you are being honored by being asked to be a GODparent, why not be the best example you can be for that child. If a GODparent doesn’t want to be a practicing catholic, then I would challenge them to politely excuse themselves and suggest that the baby’s parents select someone different.
Remember...none of us are 100% at living the faith...that’s why we’re called “practicing” catholics...because we’re always trying to get it right!
I hope this is helpful...
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Calendar of Events
Online Giving is available for one-time donations, recurring weekly offerings, as well as other parish collections. Donating is simple, safe, and secure and takes less than five minutes. For more information and instructions, click here. To donate on-line, click on the "Give Online" image below. Please email Online Giving Support for questions or assistance. Thank you for your generosity!