To: Parents of Students in the Religious Education Program

Mary_Rosary-3MAY IS THE MONTH OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER. We encourage each parishioner to make a special effort to pray to Mary, particularly the Rosary, during the month of May. We have many intentions for which to pray and Mary will intercede with the Lord for all of us. Thanks to all who pray the Rosary, particularly those who do so in Saint Anne’s Shrine right before our Daily Mass, Monday. – Friday



To: Parents of Students in the Religious Education Program

Dear Parents,

As the summer approaches and we take a break from our weekly religious education classes, I would implore you to please consider how to continue your child’s religious education and growth during the next few months of their summer vacation.

We hope that your child has found our weekly classes rewarding and nurturing as they grow to be children of God and hopefully lead a religious life through their daily actions and treatment of others. However, the most effective way for your child to continue this growth is through receipt of the Sacraments of the Church through attending the celebration of the Mass on a weekly basis.

As has been shared through the ages by past Saints and Popes, I would like to share the following with you:

  • During Holy Mass, you kneel amid a multitude of Holy Angels, who are present at the Eucharistic Sacrifice with reverential awe.
  • Through Holy Mass, you are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.
  • Through Holy Mass, you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes, which should otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your purgatory at every Mass.
  • One Holy Mass heard during your life will be of more benefit to you than many offered for you after your death.

These are just a few of the benefits received by attending and participating in the Holy Mass, but as important, you establish through personal example to your children the importance of attending weekly Mass.

I hope you all have a very safe and blessed summer, and one which is also reverent to Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior who provides for all good things in our life. Thank you very much for your consideration of this request and for your great example as parents in raising your children toward a life based in Christ’s teaching.


Parish Staff and Fr Chris


The Ascension of Our Lord

Beginning with the Ascension Thursday May 14th, 2015 we have been celebrating  Masses in the Shrine due to the necessary UpperChurch inspections. We will post you when the inspection occurs. The complete engineering report we may expect in a few months. We are sorry for any inconveniences.


The Ascention of Our Lord, which occurred 40 days after Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter, is the final act of our redemption that Christ began on Good Friday. On this day, the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven according to Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19 and Acts 1:9-11. Our holy day of obligation Mass is celebrated at 11:30 AM and 6:30 PM in the Shrine.

Saint Anne’s First Holy Communion

Please remember 2015 Catholic Charity Appeal  in your charitable giving. Support your Catholic Charity Appeal with a recurring monthly or quarterly gift, or make a one-time donation to:

Catholic Charities Appeal Office
P.O. Box 1470 Fall River, MA 02722
Ph: 508-675-1311 Fx: 508-676-6591

The word ‘communion’ means ‘to be united with’. Catholics believe that in Holy  Communion, we are united in a special way with Jesus Christ. “Take this and eat, this is my body”, Jesus said of the bread he shared among his followers at his last super. Then taking a cup of wine he said, “take this and drink, for this is my blood”.

Catholics believe that in a mysterious way, when we receive Holy Communion, we are sharing in the body and blood – the very life – of Christ our Savior. Holy Communion, and the whole service (Mass) is also known as Eucharist, from a Greek word meaning thanksgiving.

Congratulations to our second grade on the occasion of them making their First Communion. Boys and Girls, Jesus loves you, very much just like your mothers and fathers. Everytime you come to Mass with your family, you may receive His blessings. Always remember you want to be the best boy or the girl you can be. Again, congratulations! May the Lord bless you and your family. Fr. Chris

Holy Week and Paschal Triduum schedule

 Holy Week,

In the west, it is  the last week of Lent, and includes Passion Sunday, Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday), Holy Thursday, Good Friday (Holy Friday), and Holy Saturday. It does not include Easter Sunday, which is the beginning of Easter and another liturgical week. Holy Week begins with what our Church calls Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. In the Roman Rite, before 1955 it was known simply as Palm Sunday. Our Solemn Mass will be celebrated with CCD students leading the procession at 10 am.

Holy Thursday,

The Mass today specially commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the ordained Priesthood at the Last Supper. Because it is a Mass of joy and thanksgiving, the Church lays aside the penitential purple and assumes festive white vestments; the altar is decorated; the Gloria is sung.

11:00 am to 12:00 pm – Confessions (shrine)
7:00 pm – MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER (upper church) followed by Eucharistic procession to the altar of repose in the Rosary Chapel. The church will remain open for visits to the Blessed Sacrament until 10:00 pm for the family prayer.

Good Friday,

Today’s special liturgical act solemnly commemorates the Passion and death of our Lord.

11:00 am to 12:00 pm – Confessions (shrine)
7:00 pm – 123rd annual Way of the Cross (upper church)

Holy Saturday,

Holy Saturday is liturgically a day of deepest mourning, as the Church meditates on our Lord’s sacred Passion and death. There is no Mass in the morning or afternoon; the sacred altar is bare. The celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection begins at sunset tonight with the Easter Vigil Mass.

11:00 am to 12:00 pm – Confessions (shrine)


Easter Vigil

7:00 pm – SOLEMN EASTER VIGIL (upper church)

Easter Vigil Mass does satisfy the obligation for Easter Sunday. Actually Easter Vigil is the Highest Mass of the entire year. It is during the Easter Vigil Mass that the catechumens and candidates are baptized, confirmed, and welcomed into the Church. That is such a wonderful time for the Church! Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.

Easter Sunday Mass schedule

10 am and 6:30 pmHomilybp

Bishop da Cunha’s 2015 Easter Message


Dear Friends,


When I was growing up, I remember how important Holy Week was, especially Good Friday. It was not only a day of fasting and abstinence, but also a day of quiet, a day of prayer, reflection on the Lord’s passion and death. We were not supposed to watch television or listen to music, but spend the day in prayer and reflection on the passion of Jesus. So it was indeed a different and special day. It seemed that, at least in our culture and our time, we gave more emphasis to Good Friday than to Easter Sunday.

Although Good Friday is a very important day in our Christian tradition and in our spirituality, Easter is truly the summit of our feasts and it cannot be second to any other liturgical celebration. We are Christians not because we believe in suffering and death, or Lent and Good Friday, but because Christ rose from the dead, and therefore we believe in life, love, and joy.

Easter is the mystery of God the Father rewarding Jesus for his sacrifice, suffering, and his obedience to all that the Father asked him to do. Easter is the proof of God’s love for humanity and our assurance that God wants all of us to be raised up after our own death and to live with him forever.

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.” (I Cor. 15:13). The celebration of Easter is our way of saying, professing, and celebrating the victory of good over evil, of grace over sin, and of life over death. It is a time for us to know and celebrate not only Christ’s victory, but our own as well. We rise the moment we begin to climb out of whatever hole we are in, the minute we begin to get over whatever is holding us back.

Easter means the passage from the old to the new. It means a new beginning, leaving sin behind, and covering ourselves with the new grace of Christ. It means putting away the darkness of ignorance and putting on the light of his truth. Easter is when we are washed clean in the waters of baptism, our lives are renewed, and we are never the same again.

When Jesus conquered death in his body, he conquered it in ours. We are called to live a life of appreciation of the Resurrection of Jesus and of our own. Ultimately, it is the Resurrection that gives meaning to life. Life doesn’t make sense unless we can make some sense out of death, and death does not make sense without the Resurrection.

As I celebrate my first Easter as the servant of God’s people here in the Diocese of Fall River, my hope and prayer is that this Easter of 2015 will bring renewed hope to all of us, so that we may  continue living and practicing our faith and rejoicing in the abiding presence of our loving God. Happy Easter! Feliz Páscoa! !Felices Pascuas de Resurrección!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Edgar M. da Cunha

Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.

Bishop of Fall River

Saint Joseph’s Day

Thursday, March 19

Our Lord Jesus Christ employed thirty years assiduously obeying Joseph and Mary. This humble obedience of the Son of God teaches us that the dignity of St Joseph is above that of all the other Saints, except that of the Queen of Saints. As Our Lord was pleased to be subject to St Joseph upon the earth, so He is now pleased to grant whatever this Saint asks for in heaven. We should be particularly devout to St Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death.

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Patron Saint of the Universal Church

[ All events in the lower church ]


11:30 am Mass followed by the Litany of St Joseph

Bishop da Cunha’s 2015 Lenten Message

Dear Friends,

The ashes we received this past Wednesday remind us of the 40-day journey upon which we have embarked toward the Paschal Mystery. All other ritual symbols we receive become invisible. When we leave church, no one knows we were marked with the symbol. On Ash Wednesday, we keep the mark visible on our foreheads for hours. Everyone knows where we have been, what we did, and who we are. Only Ash Wednesday does this to us. However, after some hours, the ashes are worn away. What remains is not the external mark of the ashes on our foreheads, but the mark of our commitment imprinted on our minds and hearts, to live the spirit of Lent, a spirit of penance, prayer, charity, and conversion. We don’t need the sign on our foreheads for the rest of Lent because we ourselves embody the sign.

Ashes were not given to us as some magic formula to protect us or to force us into something, nor are they received because it is what one does on Ash Wednesday. This would be a great disservice to something so cherished and important to our faith and to our values. However, we cannot live in the Church without the ashes of change. Ashes are for those who are willing to embrace deep down the call to conversion and discipleship.

During Lent, we tend to give emphasis to giving up the things we like – food, sweets, drinks, etc., but that is the easy part of doing penance. Perhaps a more challenging and more fruitful way of doing penance this Lent would be to give up things that will truly change us and benefit our spiritual life and the lives of those around us. We can make this Lent a time to give up things such as criticizing others, selfishness, laziness, indifference, and time spent watching TV, and devote more time spent with family.

As Pope Francis said in his Lenten message: “As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters.” Pope Francis went on to say, “…today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.”

In practical terms, Catholics often choose to isolate an enjoyable food or activity to forego during this 40-day period. However, during this Lenten Season, I challenge you to look for ways not only to make a sacrifice or “give something up”, but to also find something extra to do. As individuals or as families, we should commit to one practice that we can take part in to help our neighbors. This way, we will not only be motivated by an inward piety, but our charity will be directed outward towards the betterment of all our brothers and sisters.

As the holy Season of Lent unfolds, we turn to God and pay attention more intensely than usual to the presence of Christ in our lives. During this time, the Church invites us to examine our actions, our attitudes, and the quality of our faith with renewed scrutiny. Through our practices of generosity, sacrifice, service and charity, we rediscover the true meaning of this penitential season. We prepare ourselves to participate fully in the glorious hope of the Resurrection. May our journey through Lent prepare us for the greatest feast of the Church year—Easter—and to receive the blessings of the new life it promises.

                                                                      Sincerely yours in Christ,

                                                Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.

                                                                     Bishop of Fall River

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 18th

ash-wednesdayAsh Wednesday begins the liturgical season of Lent, which formerly began with the First Sunday and comprised only thirty-six days. The addition of Wednesday and the three following days brought the number to forty, which is that of our Lord’s fast in the desert. In the Old Law ashes were generally a symbolic expression of grief, mourning, or repentance. In the early Church the use of ashes formed part of the public penances. The blessing and imposition of ashes was originally instituted for public penitents, but is now intended for all Christians, as Lent should be a time of penance for all.

The imposition of ashes will take place in the lower church (shrine) at the  scheduled  Masses  11:30 am and at 6:00 pm. All are welcome to receive ashes (whether Catholic or not), but only practicing Catholics in the state of grace are permitted to receive Holy Communion at Mass.

Blessing of throats on St. Blaise day

St. Blaise day in February

2_3_blaseToday is the memorial of Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr. He was bishop of Sebaste in Armenia in the fourth century and was beheaded during the persecution of Licinius. While in prison, he miraculously cured a small boy who was choking to death on a fishbone lodged in his throat. Saint Blaise is invoked for his protection against any physical ailment of the throat.

The blessing of throats will take place at the end of Mass today.

Candlemas Day

Monday, February 2

purificationForty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The feast recalls the scene in the Gospel of Luke when Mary and Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the Temple as Mary receives ritual purification after childbirth as the Law required. There Jesus is recognized by Simeon as the one who is to be “a light of revelation to the Gentiles.” This day is also known as Candlemas Day because of the special blessing of candles that are included in the liturgy.