Novena to St. Anne

Starting Sunday July 17, we begin spiritual preparation for St. Anne’s feast day with a novena of prayer.  Each day, in addition to the 11:30am, Mass will be celebrated in the Shrine at 6:30pm.

This year, we are fortunate to have a series of speakers share with us the fruit of their prayer, as well as their lived experience, as they help us encounter Christ more profoundly.

The subjects presented are as follows:

  • Ideals
  • The Paschal Mystery
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • Communicating with God
  • The Universal Call to Holiness
  • Christ the Man, Christ in man and woman
  • The Community of Love
  • The Christian in Action
  • The Future

If you can’t make it to the Shrine for the novena events, you are nevertheless invited to join us in prayer.  Below, please find the Chaplet of St. Anne and the novena prayer that will be used each day at St. Anne’s Parish and Shrine.  Let us pray for each other during this novena that the Lord may bless and strengthen us, that He may send His Holy Spirit to rest upon us.  Let us ask St. Anne, our great patroness and protector, for her aid and her prayer.

Chaplet of Saint Anne
1. In honor of Jesus, say 1 Our Father… and 5 Hail Mary’s.
Then say, “Jesus, Mary, Anne, grant us the favor we ask.”
2. In honor of Mary, say 1 Our Father… and 5 Hail Mary’s.
Then say, “Jesus, Mary, Anne, grant us the favor we ask.”
3. In honor of Saint Anne, say 1 Our Father… and 5 Hail Mary’s.
Then say, “Jesus, Mary, Anne, grant us the favor we ask.”

Remember O Saint Anne, whose name signifies grace and mercy, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, and sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto you, good and kind mother; before you we kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O holy mother of the immaculate Virgin Mary, despise not our petitions, but hear us and answer our prayer. Amen.

Feast of Saints Anne & Joachim

July 26th – Schedule of Services

11:30 am – Mass followed by Chaplet and veneration of St. Anne’s relics.  The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be made available after Mass.

6:30 pm – Mass followed by procession inside the Shrine church while praying Chaplet.  After Chaplet and procession, St. Anne’s relics will be available for veneration.  The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be available after the veneration of the relics.

Why do Catholics have more books in their Bible?

Over the centuries of salvation history, the Holy Spirit inspired the authors of Sacred Scripture to write down God’s revelation to us. As time went on, the Church compiled these books to form a Canon—an authoritative set of Sacred Scripture—and declared it “God’s Word.” More about it in the following visual presentation. Fr. Stanibuła.


2016 Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fall River

The Catholic Charities Appeal for the Diocese of Fall River and our parish participate every year in this important charity and you have given last  more than $ 12,000. We wish to reach the goal of the last year. If you have not already donated, please prayerfully consider giving as generously as you can.  If you have not yet made your personal contribution please be sure to do it.  Your example of charity is a powerful testament to the importance of helping our local needy.Catholic Charities in Fall River 2016

This short video will give you some idea of the type of work charitable agencies of Fall River Diocese do and with your support Catholic Charities can ensure that these works will continue and grow. Making a positive impact on those around us is what lies at the heart of Living Catholic. Touching interviews with  less fortunate neighbors and friends in the Fall River Diocese. For more information visit

Saint Anne’s First Holy Communion


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 on Sunday April 3, 10 AM Mass. Boys and Girls, Jesus loves you, very much just like your mothers and fathers. Every time 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


Please remember 2016 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

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 (Shrine) 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.

10:00 am rehearsals for the Confirmation class, RCIA and Altar Servers

11:00 am to 12:00 pm – Confessions (Shrine)
7:00 pm – Youth’s Station of the Cross (Shrine)

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.

10:00 am rehearsals for the Confirmation class, RCIA and Altar Servers

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

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm confessions

Easter Vigil


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  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

40 days of Lent

Wednesday, February 10th

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.

Catholic Schools Week January 31- February 7

Fall River Diocese celebrates the distinctive spiritual, academic, and social mission of Catholic education.  Through different events, we emphasize the important value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our multidimensional and personal integration.

Catholic Education Center
423 Highland Avenue
Fall River, MA
(508) 678-2828

Bishop Connolly High School
373 Elsbree Street
Fall River, MA
(508) 676-1071

Espirito Santo Parochial School
143 Everett Street
Fall River, MA
(508) 672-2229

Saint Stanislaus School
37 Rockland Street
Fall River, MA
(508) 674-6771

Holy Name School
850 Pearce St
Tel. 508-674-9131, FAX 508-679-0571

Holy Trinity School
64 Lamphor St
Tel. 508-673-6772, FAX 508-730-1864

St. Michael School
209 Essex St
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-2996
Tel. 508-678-0266, FAX 508-324-4433

SS. Peter & Paul School
240 Dover St
Tel. 508-672-7258, FAX 508-674-6042

Seton Academy for Girls
1262 North High Street
Fall River, MA
(508) 672-4274

St. Vincent’s Residential/Special Education Treatment Center
2425 Highland Ave
Tel. 508-679-8511, FAX 508-672-2558

photo of St. Anne's

Bishop’s message for Lent 2016

We all remember Lent as a time of prayer, penance, fasting, abstinence, a time to give up sweets, smoking, etc. Although all these things are good and noble, Lent is much more than that; it is a time when we are called to “Repent, and believe in the gospel”. A time for change, but change can only come about when we are open to hear the Word of God and live by it. In the first part of Lent, the Gospel texts for weekdays are taken from the Synoptics. The message running throughout is a call to a life of Gospel conversion. We can call this the “ETHICAL” section. The Gospel readings for the second half of Lent are taken from the Gospel of John, taking a presentation of the mystery of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, of whom John says that all who believe in Him will have eternal life. Christ is presented as the healer and life-giver, as the one who gives life through his confrontation with death and gathers into one the scattered children of God. can call this the CHRISTOLOGICAL” section.

How do these two sections of the lectionary fit together and what can they tell us about the spirit of Lent? The purpose of the first part of Lent is to bring us to compunction, contrition, and remorse. “Compunction” is etymologically related to the verb “to puncture” and suggests the deflation of our inflated egos, a challenge to any self-deceit about the equal? of our lives as disciples of Jesus. “..,return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your heafts, not your garments, and retum to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” (Joel 2:12-13) By hitting us again and again with demands which we not only fail to obey, but which we come to recognize as being quite beyond us, the Gospel passages are meant to trouble us, to confront our illusions about ourselves. “Remember, you are dust…” From this perspective, the purpose of Lenten penance is not to confirm us in our sense of virtue but to bring home to us our radical need for conversion and for salvation. “Delay not your conversion to the LORD, put it not off from day to day.” (Sirach 5:8) As we celebrate this Lenten Season during the Holy Year of Mercy, let us keep in mind the merciful love of God, our Father, and let us turn to Him with faith and trust. Let us rejoice in the gift of Salvation which we fully experience at the end of the Lenten Season, when celebrate the Paschal Mystery of the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Sincerely yours in Christ,

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

Bishop of Fall River