With the upcoming transition of pastoral leadership only a few weeks away, I believe that it is important that we have the opportunity as a parish family to pray through this transition together in an intentional way. After talking to the other friars, we decided that something that fits the “ethos” of our parish very well is to have a special Triduum of Masses in the evenings during the last (non-holiday) full week the friars will be here. These Masses will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening, November 16-18, at 7:30 PM each night at St. Mary Church.
The Tuesday Mass will be a Requiem Mass to pray for the souls of all the deceased Dominican friars who have served at St. Mary’s over the past 135 years, with a special focus on the ones who died while here in New Haven. The Wednesday Mass will be a Mass of Thanksgiving: thanksgiving for the many ways God’s grace has been present over the years, thanksgiving for the many religious vocations that were nurtured from this parish, thanksgiving for the strong marriages that have emerged from this parish, thanksgiving for the many benefactors who have made so much of what has happened here possible, and for the innumerable other blessings of the last 135 years. The final Mass will be one of hope and expectation, praying for the continued flourishing and growth of the parish and for God’s blessings upon the parish, the wider Church in New Haven, and the archdiocese as a whole.
As many of you know, at various times over these past years we have had these sorts of special evening Masses. I think especially of when we did this most recently, this past August, when we celebrated a novena of special evening Masses in preparation for the first celebration of Blessed Michael McGivney’s feast day. I know that I experienced a profound grace as a result of those Masses, and I have heard similar reports from parishioners who were able to attend them as well. There can be very powerful blessings that come from such Masses.
The following week, which is the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, will be relatively low-key as many people will be traveling, spending time with family, and so forth.
I know not only myself, but all the friars here, look forward to praying with you during the weeks ahead -- even as we pray for you every single day.
Fr. John Paul