Saint Agnes Parish Bible Camp EXPANDED - June 24th to 27th - JOIN US!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Welcome! Saint Agnes Outreach will host an initial, 4-day trial-Vacation Bible School this summer from June 24-27, 9:30 am - 12 noon. The end of the week will conclude with an ice cream social for the parish on Friday evening at 6:30 pm. We will admit 40 children, ages 4-8 years old, on a first-come basis. We will be able to expand only if more volunteers step forward. You can find registration forms in the back of church, or on the Outreach website, www.SaintAgnesParish.blogspot.com. We will maintain a waitlist of children -- this will help us gauge interest, and allow us to expand in case we are blessed with more volunteers. If you would like to contribute to this great project for our parish, please email Marianne Hudelson (Marianne.Hudelson [at] gmail.com). Thank you!

If you would like to sign up for Bible Camp, please click and print the form below.  No electronic submissions will be accepted, but you can mail a printed version in the parish center, as per the directions on the sheet.

Fidelity House Fun Fair on Saturday at 10 am

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Come to our amazing parish-run youth center, Fidelity House, this Saturday, May 31st to join the fun at 10:00 am with music, face painting, games, a cookout and more.  Meet others from your community and share in the day together.  Hope you can join us!

Catholic Reading Wednesday & Catechesis Tonight!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

With many thanks to our wonderful and insightful curator, Karen Celano, you can delve into a faith-related news article each Wednesday! Karen writes:

On Monday we as a nation celebrated Memorial Day, in commemoration of veterans throughout American history who have given their lives in service to our country. In this 2011 piece in the New York Times, history professor David Blight explains the origins of the holiday in the aftermath of the Civil War. The United States, reeling from the deaths of 625,000 young soldiers, was also seeking a path to reunion, and it found a means of reconciliation by memorializing those killed in the war. Memorial Day celebrations, Blight writes, transcended north-south lines and united people across religious boundaries, contributing to the country’s “civic religion” through the use of quasi-religious rituals that self-consciously imitated European Catholic traditions of processing as a community to graveyards and cemeteries.

But the very means of reconciliation also turned into a contested battle over the “meaning” of the war, with Southerners latching onto the nobility of their “Lost Cause” and Northerners claiming the moral high ground against the “rebels.” What many white Americans lost sight of during this process of reconciliation and contestation was the suffering of former slaves, who claimed for themselves another meaning for the war: neither the “Lost Cause” nor the reunion of the nation, but freedom for the oppressed.

In our world today, civil wars are still being fought, and similar battles for meaning in the aftermath of war’s tragedy are being negotiated. Pope Francis recently visited one such war-ravaged region when he went to the Middle East. Especially poignant was the Pope’s trip to Israel, where, in the midst of Jewish-versus-Muslim rhetoric the suffering of the Palestinian Christian minority often gets forgotten, whose communities have been displaced, their worship interrupted, and their families denied rights to education and healthcare. 
In his visit to Gethsemane, Pope Francis called on Catholic religious in Israel to be signs of contradiction, witnessing to Christ’s peace and presence in the midst of conflict as they “follow the Lord with joy in this holy land,” and his actions at the Western Wall was a gesture of his solidarity with those who are suffering most in this conflict.


Although Memorial Day is a distinctly American holiday that some Catholic parishes have (though not without controversy) chosen to integrate into Catholic worship, we must remember that our membership in the Church transcends all national and political boundaries. I believe that we, as Catholics who believe that God reveals Himself in and through history, can use Memorial Day as an opportunity to reflect on our own Church’s and our nation’s past as we strive to seek peace for our brothers and sisters around the world. From the Civil War we have learned how the plight of slaves was neglected as white Americans disputed the meaning of the war in their partisan struggles. From the conflict in Israel we can see how the plight of minority Christians is being forgotten in the midst of politico-religious rhetoric. As we remember those who died in war for the sake of seeking peace and reconciliation, let us honor them by remembering, as Pope Francis did, the poorest among us, who suffer the worst when the heavy hand of war and tragedy falls upon their homelands.

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Join us tonight for more learning and discussions on the faith!

Weekly Digest

Monday, May 26, 2014

Welcome everyone!
This week at the parish:
  • Tuesday - Saint Agnes Playgroup (10:30 am), Fatima Apostolate (7 pm)
  • Wednesday - Feast of the Ascension Vigil Mass (4 pm in the Lower Church), Bereavement Meeting, Community Catechesis (7 pm)
  • Thursday - Feast of the Ascension, HOLY DAY of Obligation.  Mass times in the LOWER CHURCH: 7 am, 12 noon, 5:30 pm
  • Friday - VBS Planning Meeting (9:30 am)
  • Saturday - Fidelity House Children's Fun Festival (10 am), Confessions (3 pm)
  • Monday - Anointing of the Sick Mass (9 am at Saint Eulalia's Parish), Men's Bible Study (7:30 pm)
    Thursday, May 29th, 2014
    Feast of Christ's Ascension into Heaven - Holy Day of Obligation
    A great day to contemplate again the amazing mystery of Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. We can also think about the ocean of God's mercy which has been opened up for those who repentant sinners. Eye has not seen and ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love Him! (Isaiah 64:4) Saint Agnes Mass times are as follows.

    All Masses are in the LOWER CHURCH.
    Wednesday, May 28th - 4 pm
    Thursday, May 29th - 7 am, 12 noon, 5:30 pm


    Saint Agnes Family Playgroup - CHECK BEFORE YOU LEAVE!
    Now that we are in summer mode, we will be holding Tuesday playgroups outdoors at nearby parks. To print a written schedule of our summer playgroup locations, please click here. To see a map of our summer park schedule, please click here.

    This Tuesday, May 27th, we will meet at Robbins Farm Park (56 Eastern Ave., Arlington) at 10:30 am. This park is on a beautiful hill, has lots of play equipment, is good for KITES and also SANDBOX toys!  Please bring your own lunch and join us!


    **NOTE THAT our outdoor summer schedule is highly dependent on good weather. If the weather seems questionable, please check your email or the blog page before you leave for playgroup. In case of rain, our usual rain location will be at Fidelity House, 25 Medford St., Arlington. Thanks!**



    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Can you help the Rose Drive?
    Saint Agnes Respect Life Parishioners are looking for volunteers to help distribute silk roses and collect donations after the Masses, June 14-15th, for the Father's Day Rose Drive, to benefit MCFL.  The funds raised will help Massachusetts Citizens for Life continue their educational and lobbying efforts to defend the  Right to Life of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly.  If you are able to help sell roses after one of the weekend Masses, please contact Eileen Cahill at 781-643-5915 (EileenTigheCahill [at] gmail.com, or Tom Harvey (THarveyEsq [at] aol.com).



    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Children's Way of the Cross
    Did you take your children to the beautiful Children's Way of the Cross this past Lent?  This is such a great ministry for our parish.  However, Tricia Sheehan, who has coordinated for many years is looking for new parents to take on this annual devotion!  If you are able to give yourself in service this way, please contact Tricia Sheehan (781-648-7709).

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Training for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
    The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based religious education program that addresses the religious potential of children ages 3-6 (Level 1).  It is in its 11th year at our parish.  Please consider joining us in this beautiful ministry!  Part 1 of a 2-part catechist training course takes place July 7-12, 2014 (part 2 to take place July 2015) in Clinton, MA.  The cost of Part 1 of the course is $200.  For more information, please contact Kateryna Cuddeback at 617-504-3028 or kcuddeb [at] gmail.com

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Project Rachel
    Project Rachel retreats help women find hope, healing and reconciliation after abortion.  If you or a loved one is suffering from post-abortion pain, contact Project Rachel about upcoming "Come to the Waters of Healing" retreats on Saturdays, February 22, March 29, or April 12.  Contact Project Rachel  at help [at] ProjectRachelBoston.com or 508-651-3100.  All inquiries are confidential.

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    FALL 2014 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR OUR WONDERFUL PARISH SCHOOLS!
    FIDELITY HOUSE - Preschool and Pre-K
    SAINT AGNES GRAMMAR SCHOOL - Pre-K through Grade 8
    Links to these websites are located at the top right-hand of the blog page.
    When you invest and involve your family here, you can participate
    in the evangelical mission and service of these community resources,
    which are offered by - and in the long tradition of - our very own Catholic Church.
    Financial Aid is available.  WOW!

    Saint Agnes Parish Bible Camp - June 24th to 27th - JOIN US!

    Saturday, May 24, 2014

    Welcome! Saint Agnes Outreach will host an initial, 4-day trial-Vacation Bible School this summer from June 24-27, 9:30 am - 12 noon. The end of the week will conclude with an ice cream social for the parish on Friday evening at 6:30 pm. We will admit 40 children, ages 4-8 years old, on a first-come basis. We will be able to expand only if more volunteers step forward. You can find registration forms in the back of church, or on the Outreach website, www.SaintAgnesParish.blogspot.com. We will maintain a waitlist of children -- this will help us gauge interest, and allow us to expand in case we are blessed with more volunteers. If you would like to contribute to this great project for our parish, please email Marianne Hudelson (Marianne.Hudelson [at] gmail.com). Thank you!

    If you would like to sign up for Bible Camp, please click and print the form below.  No electronic submissions will be accepted, but you can mail a printed version in the parish center, as per the directions on the sheet.

    Check it out!! Diocesan Youth Programs....

    Thursday, May 22, 2014


    Faith Formation of Youth and Young Adults Summer Programs






    Catholic Reading Wednesday & Men's Night Out

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    With many thanks to our wonderful and insightful curator, Karen Celano, you can delve into a faith-related news article each Wednesday! Karen writes:

    It’s that time of year again, when high schools and colleges across the country send their graduates off into the world to put their education to good use. It’s also a good time for thoughtful Catholics to reflect on the purpose and nature of education, especially when the educational system in our country is undergoing tumultuous (and controversial) change. The USCCB, in addressing certain concerns they have about the Common Core Curriculum now being adopted in many locales, quotes Vatican II in reminding us that the goal of education is “the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his ultimate end and the good of the societies of which he . . . is a member and in whose obligations as an adult he will share.” This is a statement worth unpacking. Forming the human person in the Catholic sense entails a holistic view of the human person, who is not merely a rational mind but also a free moral creature endowed with an immortal soul. The idea of pursuing [man’s] ultimate end means that education must empower its students to ask and answer the questions: What is our ultimate end? For what purpose were we made? And the concept of seeking the good of society demands that we ask moral questions about goodness, and vocational questions about how we are each called to contribute to that good. True Christian education, then, must incorporate not only lessons that teach us how to think, but also empower us to make moral choices by forcing us to confront questions of ultimate truth and goodness.

    But, as R.R. Reno writes in First Things, modern education in the Western world is not demanding of its students that they ask these moral questions. Indeed, he writes, schools are no longer demanding that students ask and answer the “most important question” of their lives – “that is to say, the question of how they should live.” On college campuses, he says, holistic community is not promoted; instead, college culture promotes an environment in which students’ lives and minds are dichotomized into parts that “drink, vomit, and fornicate by night” and parts that “posture critically and ironically” by day. Education is no longer motivated by the desire to know “good or evil, truth or falsehood, beauty or ugliness.” Students know only how to “critique and correct” but not how to form genuine moral commitments.

    Wendell Berry, in a 2012 Commencement Address at Bellarmine University, lays part of the blame on education’s increasing emphasis on technical, utilitarian training under the guise of the “STEM” agenda, which he believes encourages a technological determinism that serves to further the money-making enterprises of technological corporations rather than responsible citizenship. He argues that the STEM mentality implies that students must adapt to the rapidly-evolving technological corporate world that threatens to steamroll over them if they don’t cooperate with its all-powerful momentum, without giving students any sense that they have the moral freedom and responsibility to change or critique that world. He encourages students to take a stand: “To urge you toward responsible citizenship,” he says, “is to say that I do not accept either the technological determinism or the conventional greed or the thoughtless individualism of that world. . . Nor do I accept the global corporate empire and its economic totalitarianism. . . If you love your family, your neighbors, your community, and your place, you are going to have to resist.”

    Even the humanities are being swept up by the technological determinism Berry deplores. The Editors of The Point Magazine write of how the humanities have also been coopted by an overly-technical, research-based mentality that “distances [us] from those. . . who continue to appeal to the humanities for reflection on such topics as how to live or what to value.” Anthony Kronman’s book Education’s End echoes this concern, arguing that academic philosophers have abdicated their responsibility to ask questions of “ultimate meaning” because they lack confidence in their authority to do so. Instead, humanities professors seek refuge in the shelter of pseudo-science, doing research to demonstrate that there is a “measurable difference” between reading Virginia Woolf and Dan Brown, or trying to elucidate psychological correlations between characters in Victorian fiction and real-life human beings.

    There are still signs of hope, however. There are educators who recognize that education means more than vocational training, such as Scott Samuelson, who writes in The Atlantic of his own resistance to the notion that “the goal of an education is simply economic advancement and technological power,” arguing that “we should strive to be a society of free people, not simply one of well-compensated managers.” There are students such as those at Franciscan University, who see themselves as citizens with moral responsibilities towards their communities. And there are students who are rejecting what Wendell Berry calls the “logic of success” in favor of the “logic of vocation,” as they take time off from school and career to volunteer around the world.

    Though he wrote over a century ago, I believe that G.K. Chesterton still has it right when he argued that many educators are “too timid to endure responsibilities,” particularly that “awful and ancestral responsibility. . . of affirming the truth of our human tradition and handing it on with a voice of authority.” Education is only worthy of its name when teachers are “sure enough that something is true that [they] dare to tell it to a child.” But this is an enormous responsibility, and one that our relativistic culture encourages us to renounce. However, as Catholics we must acknowledge that any type of education that does not empower its students to ask questions about objective truth, value, and meaning is doing a grave disservice to the dignity of human person, who is created in the image of God and endowed with freedom and responsibility. And to create responsible students, we must have responsible educators. Let us pray that our Catholic institutions of education continue to foster a sense of moral responsibility in the young ones who are our Church’s future on earth.

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    Here's a friendly reminder that tonight, May 21st, is Men's Night.  Join other Catholic men from the parish for a low-key gathering, games (think: Settlers of Catan) and food.  The host's address will not be published publicly online, however if you are interested in joining us, please email Hudelson [at] gmail.com.  Bring a drink or food to share.  We will start at 7 pm. Hope you can join us!

    Distribute Roses at Saint Agnes and Promote a Respect for Life!

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    How can we be PRO-life every day?
    By maintaining a positive attitude towards others,
    appreciating the unique person that God has created in each individual,
    reaching out in kindness and compassion,
    praying for the unborn, disabled and elderly,
    and giving alms to the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable in our society.

    “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for Me.”Matthew 25:40

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    Can you help the Rose Drive?
    Saint Agnes Respect Life Parishioners are looking for volunteers to help distribute silk roses and collect donations after the Masses, June 14-15th, for the Father's Day Rose Drive, to benefit MCFL.  The funds raised will help Massachusetts Citizens for Life continue their educational and lobbying efforts to defend the  Right to Life of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly.  If you are able to help sell roses after one of the weekend Masses, please contact Eileen Cahill at 781-643-5915 (EileenTigheCahill [at] gmail.com), or Tom Harvey (THarveyEsq [at] aol.com).

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Do you like to Run (or walk?)
    Calling all runners and walkers… have you heard of the national organization LIFE Runners? It is the world’s largest Pro-Life Running/Walking Team with chapters in all 50 states and 17 countries! LIFE Runners pray and run (or walk) to defend Life from conception to natural death… All in Christ for Pro-Life! There are two chapters in Massachusetts (Springfield and Still River), but no Boston area chapter yet. Would you be interested in starting a Boston area chapter of LIFE Runners? E-mail SAParishforLife [at] gmail.com or call Eileen Cahill at 781-643-5915. This would be a great way for all ages in our parish and our community to work and pray together to support God’s gift of life.

    “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”
    -Pope Francis

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Project Rachel
    Project Rachel is a confidential Catholic outreach ministry offering healing, compassion and hope to women and men hurting from an abortion experience. People are available to listen, to answer questions, to pray for you, and to help in any way. Project Rachel can help begin the experience of forgiveness, freedom and peace waiting for you in the tender embrace of God’s love and mercy. The phone number for Project Rachel is 508-651-3100, email is help [at] ProjectRachelBoston.com, and the website is www.ProjectRachelBoston.com.  All inquiries are confidential.

    Weekly Digest

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    Welcome everyone!
    This week at the parish:
    • Monday - Men's Bible Study (7:30 pm)
    • Tuesday - Saint Agnes Playgroup (10:30 am), Fatima Apostolate (7 pm)
    • Wednesday - Arlington Catholic Women's Club Luncheon (11:30 am), Bereavement Meeting (7 pm), AC Baccalaureate Mass (7 pm), Men's Night Out (7 pm)
    • Thursday - Outreach Committee Meeting (7 pm)
    Saint Agnes Family Playgroup - CHECK BEFORE YOU LEAVE!
    Now that we are in summer mode, we will be holding Tuesday playgroups outdoors at nearby parks. To print a written schedule of our summer playgroup locations, please click here. To see a map of our summer park schedule, please click here.

    This Tuesday, May 20th, we will meet at Menotomy Rocks Park (127 Jason St., Arlington) at 10:30 am. This park is near a small pond and trail, woods with trails, and is itself beautiful and wooded!  Please bring your own lunch and join us!


    **NOTE THAT our outdoor summer schedule is highly dependent on good weather. If the weather seems questionable, please check your email or the blog page before you leave for playgroup. In case of rain, our usual rain location will be at Fidelity House, 25 Medford St., Arlington. Thanks!**

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Can you help the Rose Drive?
    Saint Agnes Respect Life Parishioners are looking for volunteers to help distribute silk roses and collect donations after the Masses, June 14-15th, for the Father's Day Rose Drive, to benefit MCFL.  The funds raised will help Massachusetts Citizens for Life continue their educational and lobbying efforts to defend the  Right to Life of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly.  If you are able to help sell roses after one of the weekend Masses, please contact Eileen Cahill at 781-643-5915 (EileenTigheCahill [at] gmail.com, or Tom Harvey (THarveyEsq [at] aol.com).

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Men's Night Out
    Join other Catholic men from the parish this Wednesday, May 21st for a low-key gathering, games (think: Settlers of Catan) and food.  The host's address will not be published publicly online, however if you are interested in joining us, please email Hudelson [at] gmail.com.  Bring a drink or food to share.  We will start at 7 pm.  Hope you can join us!

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Children's Way of the Cross
    Did you take your children to the beautiful Children's Way of the Cross this past Lent?  This is such a great ministry for our parish.  However, Tricia Sheehan, who has coordinated for many years is looking for new parents to take on this annual devotion!  If you are able to give yourself in service this way, please contact Tricia Sheehan (781-648-7709).

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Training for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
    The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based religious education program that addresses the religious potential of children ages 3-6 (Level 1).  It is in its 11th year at our parish.  Please consider joining us in this beautiful ministry!  Part 1 of a 2-part catechist training course takes place July 7-12, 2014 (part 2 to take place July 2015) in Clinton, MA.  The cost of Part 1 of the course is $200.  For more information, please contact Kateryna Cuddeback at 617-504-3028 or kcuddeb [at] gmail.com

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Project Rachel
    Project Rachel retreats help women find hope, healing and reconciliation after abortion.  If you or a loved one is suffering from post-abortion pain, contact Project Rachel about upcoming "Come to the Waters of Healing" retreats on Saturdays, February 22, March 29, or April 12.  Contact Project Rachel  at help [at] ProjectRachelBoston.com or 508-651-3100.  All inquiries are confidential.

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    FALL 2014 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR OUR WONDERFUL PARISH SCHOOLS!
    FIDELITY HOUSE - Preschool and Pre-K
    SAINT AGNES GRAMMAR SCHOOL - Pre-K through Grade 8
    Links to these websites are located at the top right-hand of the blog page.
    When you invest and involve your family here, you can participate
    in the evangelical mission and service of these community resources,
    which are offered by - and in the long tradition of - our very own Catholic Church.
    Financial Aid is available.  WOW!

    Men's Bible Study on Monday

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    Arlington Men:  Are you looking for a way to get involved at the parish and grow in your faith?  Look no further, and don't delay!
    Saint Agnes bi-weekly Men's Bible Study is held on Monday!

    You don't need any background knowledge, just come as you are and enjoy the fellowship of other men who also want to learn something new.  Dates for the bible study throughout the spring are also included on the parish calendar to the right.  So gentlemen: bring your wife some flowers for patiently watching the kids, promise to come home on Mom's-Night-In, and join us!

    Mom's Night In is Tonight!

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Here's a friendly reminder that Mom's-Night-In is tonight: THURSDAY, May 15th
    We will get together for a stress-free evening, and play some get-to-know-you games (think: Apples to Apples) . I would rather not publish
    the hostesses address, so please email me at saintagnesfamilies [at] gmail.com if you plan to come. Please bring a snack or drink to share!
     We will kick it off at 7:00 pm.

    Distribute Roses at Saint Agnes and Promote a Respect for Life!

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    How can we be PRO-life every day?
    By maintaining a positive attitude towards others,
    appreciating the unique person that God has created in each individual,
    reaching out in kindness and compassion,
    praying for the unborn, disabled and elderly,
    and giving alms to the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable in our society.

    “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for Me.”
    Matthew 25:40

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Can you help the Rose Drive?
    Saint Agnes Respect Life Parishioners are looking for volunteers to help distribute silk roses and collect donations after the Masses, June 14-15th, for the Father's Day Rose Drive, to benefit MCFL.  The funds raised will help Massachusetts Citizens for Life continue their educational and lobbying efforts to defend the  Right to Life of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly.  If you are able to help sell roses after one of the weekend Masses, please contact Eileen Cahill at 781-643-5915 (EileenTigheCahill [at] gmail.com), or Tom Harvey (THarveyEsq [at] aol.com).

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Do you like to Run (or walk?)
    Calling all runners and walkers… have you heard of the national organization LIFE Runners? It is the world’s largest Pro-Life Running/Walking Team with chapters in all 50 states and 17 countries! LIFE Runners pray and run (or walk) to defend Life from conception to natural death… All in Christ for Pro-Life! There are two chapters in Massachusetts (Springfield and Still River), but no Boston area chapter yet. Would you be interested in starting a Boston area chapter of LIFE Runners? E-mail SAParishforLife [at] gmail.com or call Eileen Cahill at 781-643-5915. This would be a great way for all ages in our parish and our community to work and pray together to support God’s gift of life.

    “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”
    -Pope Francis

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Project Rachel
    Project Rachel is a confidential Catholic outreach ministry offering healing, compassion and hope to women and men hurting from an abortion experience. People are available to listen, to answer questions, to pray for you, and to help in any way. Project Rachel can help begin the experience of forgiveness, freedom and peace waiting for you in the tender embrace of God’s love and mercy. The phone number for Project Rachel is 508-651-3100, email is help [at] ProjectRachelBoston.com, and the website is www.ProjectRachelBoston.com.  All inquiries are confidential.

    Weekly Digest

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Welcome everyone!
    This week at the parish:
    • Monday - Rosary Vigil in Response to Black Mass at Harvard (6:30 pm)
    • Tuesday - Saint Agnes Playgroup (10:30 am), Fatima Apostolate (7 pm)
    • Wednesday - Bereavement Meeting (7 pm)
    • Thursday - VBS Planning Meeting (9:30 am), Mom's Night In (7 pm)
    • Saturday - Confessions (3 pm)
    • Sunday - Parish Baptisms (2 pm)
    • Monday - Men's Bible Study (7:30 pm)
    Saint Agnes Family Playgroup - CHECK BEFORE YOU LEAVE!
    Now that we are in summer mode, we will be holding Tuesday playgroups outdoors at nearby parks. To print a written schedule of our summer playgroup locations, please click here. To see a map of our summer park schedule, please click here.

    This Tuesday, May 13th, we will meet at Mullen Playground (80 Lockeland Rd., Winchester) at 10:30 am. This park has a fun fenced play area, joined by a very large soccer field, good for kites!  Please bring your own lunch and join us!


    **NOTE THAT our outdoor summer schedule is highly dependent on good weather. If the weather seems questionable, please check your email or the blog page before you leave for playgroup. In case of rain, our usual rain location will be at Fidelity House, 25 Medford St., Arlington. Thanks!**

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Can you help the Rose Drive?
    Saint Agnes Respect Life Parishioners are looking for volunteers to help distribute silk roses and collect donations after the Masses, June 14-15th, for the Father's Day Rose Drive, to benefit MCFL.  The funds raised will help Massachusetts Citizens for Life continue their educational and lobbying efforts to defend the  Right to Life of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly.  If you are able to help sell roses after one of the weekend Masses, please contact Eileen Cahill at 781-643-5915 (EileenTigheCahill [at] gmail.com, or Tom Harvey (THarveyEsq [at] aol.com).

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Mom's Night In - THURSDAY, May 15th at 7:00 pm
    We will get together for a stress-free evening, play some get-to-know-you games (think: Apples to Apples), and pray together. I would rather not publish the hostesses address, so please email me at saintagnesfamilies [at] gmail.com if you plan to come. Please bring a snack or drink to share!  We will kick it off at 7:00 pm.
    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Children's Way of the Cross
    Did you take your children to the beautiful Children's Way of the Cross this past Lent?  This is such a great ministry for our parish.  However, Tricia Sheehan, who has coordinated for many years is looking for new parents to take on this annual devotion!  If you are able to give yourself in service this way, please contact Tricia Sheehan (781-648-7709).

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Training for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
    The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based religious education program that addresses the religious potential of children ages 3-6 (Level 1).  It is in its 11th year at our parish.  Please consider joining us in this beautiful ministry!  Part 1 of a 2-part catechist training course takes place July 7-12, 2014 (part 2 to take place July 2015) in Clinton, MA.  The cost of Part 1 of the course is $200.  For more information, please contact Kateryna Cuddeback at 617-504-3028 or kcuddeb [at] gmail.com

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    Project Rachel
    Project Rachel retreats help women find hope, healing and reconciliation after abortion.  If you or a loved one is suffering from post-abortion pain, contact Project Rachel about upcoming "Come to the Waters of Healing" retreats on Saturdays, February 22, March 29, or April 12.  Contact Project Rachel  at help [at] ProjectRachelBoston.com or 508-651-3100.  All inquiries are confidential.

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    FALL 2014 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR OUR WONDERFUL PARISH SCHOOLS!
    FIDELITY HOUSE - Preschool and Pre-K
    SAINT AGNES GRAMMAR SCHOOL - Pre-K through Grade 8
    Links to these websites are located at the top right-hand of the blog page.
    When you invest and involve your family here, you can participate
    in the evangelical mission and service of these community resources,
    which are offered by - and in the long tradition of - our very own Catholic Church.
    Financial Aid is available.  WOW!

    Harvard's Black Mass and Catholic Response

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    As you may have heard, the Harvard Extension School is hosting a Satanic Black Mass this Monday, May 12th. Without adding my own fumbling thoughts on the matter, please inform yourself according to the Archdiocese of Boston press releases, as well as prayer vigils which you can participate in, including at our own parish in Arlington. Even if you can't make it out tomorrow night, please join the Boston Christian Community in prayer, with your families in your homes - prayer matters!

    Statement from the Archdiocese of Boston:
    The Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Boston expresses its deep sadness and strong opposition to the plan to stage a “black mass” on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge.

    For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship. This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.

    In a recent statement, Pope Francis warned of the danger of being naïve about or underestimating the power of Satan, whose evil is too often tragically present in our midst. We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself from this activity.


    Excerpt from Father Michael Drea, Senior Catholic Chaplain at Harvard:
    As Senior Catholic Chaplain, it is my duty to offer my pastoral support to all in our community. And so, I call on the entire Harvard Catholic community to respond to this egregious action as our Lord Jesus would: with prayer and calm. We pray for all associated with this act that they may turn away from evil and be converted to the Truth of Christ in their lives. We pray as well for spiritual strength from our Heavenly Father that will guide us through this time of testing for us all.

    I therefore invite all Catholics and people of good will in the community to gather for a Eucharistic Holy Hour and Benediction this coming Monday evening, May 12th, from 8.00 to 9.00 PM in St. Paul’s Church at the corner of Bow and Arrow Streets in Harvard Square. As a community, we will be strengthened by uniting in prayer before of Eucharistic Lord asking for His grace to be his faithful followers in a world that is shrouded in darkness.


    The following events are taking place on Monday, May 12th in response to the Black Mass planned by a group at Harvard:

    Saint Agnes Parish Center, 6:30 pm
    (51 Medford St., Arlington)
    Rosary in the Chapel, Ground Floor of Parish Center

    MIT Chapel, 7:00-8:00 pm
    (Massachusetts Ave and Amherst Street, Cambridge)
    Exposition and Adoration of the Eucharist. A Eucharistic procession will leave the chapel at approximately 7:15 pm and process up Mass Ave to Saint Paul's Church in Cambridge.

    Saint Paul's Church, 8:00-9:00 pm
    (Bow and Arrow Steets, Harvard Square)
    Eucharistic Holy Hour and Benediction, joined by MIT Eucharistic procession

    "For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, nor any powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

    Here is a prayer that can be said in reparation of a sacrilege, for those who won't be able to join the various prayer vigils outside of their homes tonight.
    My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love You.
    I beg 
    pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not 
    trust and do not love You.
    O Most Holy Trinity, Father, 
    Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly.
    I offer You 
    the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus 
    Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in 
    reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by 
    which He is offended, and by the infinite merits of the Sacred 
    Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the 
    conversion of poor sinners.  Amen.

    What are you doing this summer?


    What are you doing this summer?  Consider putting some of these opportunities on your calendar!

    Training for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
    The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based religious education program that addresses the religious potential of children ages 3-6 (Level 1).  It is in its 11th year at our parish.  Please consider joining us in this beautiful ministry!  Part 1 of a 2-part catechist training course takes place July 7-12, 2014 (part 2 to take place July 2015) in Clinton, MA.  The cost of Part 1 of the course is $200.  For more information, please contact Kateryna Cuddeback at 617-504-3028 or kcuddeb [at] gmail.com
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    Are your relatives calling you?  They want to know what the summer plans are. 
    Well before you give away all your dates to in-laws, make sure you mark your calendars!

    SECOND ANNUAL SAINT AGNES CAMPOUT
    July 18-20, 2014
    Greenfield State Park, NH
    "Day Campers" invited to join us on Saturday, July 19th*

    Details:
    1. If you know you are coming (or when you decide you are coming), please use this form, so we can keep track of how many people and WHO we are expecting to meet at the park! Ultimately, I will need everyone to fill out this form, so I have names and numbers in case of any emergency. So go ahead and fill it out ASAP.


    2. The dates for this camping trip are July 18-20. We will plan to camp at Greenfield State Park in Greenfield, NH - about an hour-and-a-half drive from Arlington. This park has come highly recommended as a fun and easy park for family camping. The park features camping (with toilets/showers), hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and a camp store.

    3. Make your reservations now! To get more information on the park, see: http://www.nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/greenfield-state-park.aspx


    Reservations are through Reserve America, and can be found here.  We will try to cluster our group around campsite #44 on the small loop near Beaver Pond.  A map is here.
    • There are no cabins. You can bring a tent, rent a tent from REI, borrow a tent from a friend, or drive an RV (if you have one). Cost for a campsite per night is $25 + a small processing fee. This is for two adults and their dependent children. If you plan on bringing a pet, please read the park's pet policy VERY CAREFULLY and be sure to reserve a site which allows pets... since most sites prohibit pets.
    • Greenfield State Park Ranger "Harry" was extremely generous to answer my many questions over the phone. He is friendly and helpful, and I can't wait to stay at his park!  Ranger Harry recommends the "Small Loop," sites 26-64 for families with small children, because it is a loop with little traffic and close walking distances.  For the most fun together, try to cluster our reservations around campsite #44.
    • This is our second ever Saint Agnes Family Group camping trip. It is meant to build community and friendships that will serve as an organic support network for people in our parish, as well as encourage you to give back to the community in the way you feel called.
      Together, we will take on the great adventure of family camping! While we are really excited about this, we are using the good old KISS rule - Keep it Simple, Stupid. Therefore, we will distribute information about the campground, and a rough schedule of breakfast / activities / dinner / Sunday Masses, etc. However, each family will be primarily responsible for their own specific plans and accommodations. If you don't want to stay both nights - that's cool - come when you can. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for your own camping trip, camping gear, CAMPING FOOD, camping survival (hehe). We will not be caravanning or providing transportation. We will meet you there!
    I will be happy to answer questions, post camping tips, attempt to anticipate concerns, etc. Feel free to contact me with questions at saintagnesfamilies [at] gmail.com. See you there!


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    As you make arrangements for the summer, make sure you check out our own awesome parish resource - Fidelity House!
    Fidelity House offers many community summer youth programs including day camps, a summer preschool program, sports camps, and Full Day Programs!  They also have adult leagues, and a certified preschool and Pre-K that have open enrollment and start in the fall!
    For more information, visit www.FidelityHouse.org

    YOU are our Parish! How can you help?

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Are you looking for ways to become more involved in our parish this summer?  There is truly a place for each and every talent in our community.  Below is listed several very specific volunteer needs, however the list doesn't stop there.  If you would like to help at our parish, if you have a passion or a talent you would like to share, but aren't sure how - JUST ASK!  We will point you in the right direction to put these wonderful God-given gifts to work.
    In the meantime, if you can help with any of the needs below, please email the Outreach Coordinator, Marianne.Hudelson [at] gmail.com.  Thank you very much!

    SUMMER 2014 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

    1. Respect Life Rose Drive - June 14-15, all Masses

    2. Parish VBS - June 24-27, 9:30-12 noon
    *Adult and teen volunteers needed!  Planning meetings set for May 15 & 29, June 9 & 19

    3. Parish Ice Cream Social - June 27, 6:30 pm
    *Volunteers needed for set up, serving, and clean up

    4. Give an elderly parishioner a ride to your regular Sunday Mass



    Also check out:

    Catholic Reading Wednesday

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    With many thanks to our wonderful and insightful curator, Karen Celano, you can delve into a faith-related news article each Wednesday! Karen writes:

    Felix Just, S.J., a theologian at Loyola Marymount University, suggested that "the best Christian answer to any theological question is always 'both/and' rather than 'either/or.'" It is in this light that I would like to address three pressing news items from the past few weeks, relating to the contentious topics of divorce, abortion, and religious freedom.


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    In April, Pope Francis unleashed another debate among Catholics when he called an Argentinian woman who had expressed her sadness that she and her husband were not allowed to receive communion because her husband was divorced and she had married him outside the Church. According to news reports, Francis told her that she is “not doing anything wrong” when she receives communion. Immediately questions began to arise about whether Francis is considering changing the Church’s longstanding practice that prohibits divorced Catholics who have not obtained an annulment but who are civilly remarried from receiving communion. Cardinal Walter Kasper, a noted theologian, took his cue from Francis’ statements that the “Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine for the weak" and argued that the Church’s pastoral practice could be amended for people who have not received a juridical annulment but who are convinced in conscience that their first marriages were invalid. Such an approach would speak to people like the family friend mentioned in Elizabeth Scalia’s essay on the matter, but Cardinal Raymond Burke reminds us to tread carefully where annulments are concerned, because the annulment process is not merely a juridical issue but is “essentially connected with the doctrinal truth” of the Church. His argument is that the annulment process as it currently stands is just, but should be followed more “attentively.” Certainly it is very difficult to disentangle canon law, pastoral practice, and unchangeable doctrine, as each of these have implications for the others, and the Church must carefully consider the message any change in practice will send to the faithful. Amendments in canon law and pastoral practice are sure to be slow and halting, but the theological debate is certainly welcome (including the opportunity to learn from our Orthodox brothers and sisters!) as we pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and for all Catholics who have suffered through a divorce.

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    In response to pressure from NARAL, search engine Google has agreed, within limits, to remove advertisements for Crisis Pregnancy Centers from results when people search for terms containing the word "abortion." NARAL has claimed a victory over "false advertising," but Carol Tobias of National Right to Life argues that the move is "ridiculous" and deprives women the ability to find alternatives when seeking care during their pregnancies. The issue also raises the question of who gets to decide what advertising is considered fair or truthful, and how such adjudications are made.  In the meantime, of late the media has provided many women who have procured abortions with a venue to share their stories, such as the Huffington Post's recent article about a woman who had an abortion after her baby was diagnosed with abnormalities "incompatible with life." Her story is moving and should rouse the compassion of all Christians. Still, the story of Amy Kuebelbeck, who faced a similar diagnosis but chose to carry her baby to term, reminds us that there are life-affirming alternatives to abortion, even for those in such heartbreaking circumstances. However, because hearing the stories of women's abortions enables us to consider what alternatives the Church can offer them, Lauren Ely argues that we should welcome these narratives and approach pro-life activism from a more holistic perspective.

    ----------------------------------------------
    Finally, on May 5, the Supreme Court ruled in the Greece v. Galloway decision that the town of Greece in upstate New York could continue to open its legislative sessions with a prayer that explicitly invokes Jesus Christ. The court was divided 5-4 along religious lines, with five of the Catholic members of the Court voting in favor of Greece, while the four dissenters included three Jews and non-practicing Catholic Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The New York State Catholic Conference has praised the Court  for this decision, but Jewish and Hindu groups have expressed their dismay. Justice Elena Kagan, one of the dissenters, suggested that the five Justices in the majority do not understand what it is like to be a member of a minority religion, although it takes only a brief glimpse into American history to reveal that Catholics have themselves faced discrimination as "minorities" in this country, and Catholic activists have historically fought long and hard for religious freedom in this country (including the right to read non-Protestant Bibles and to open their own schools). Catholics in America have tried, with varying degrees of success, to balance a commitment to tolerance and diversity with the right to publicly practice their faith. This case reveals how tricky it is to define and implement "religious freedom" and "separation of church and state."

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    I believe that these issues should be approached with the "both/and" spirit advocated by Fr. Just. Taking an either/or approach will, in my view, lead only to injustice and error. With regard to divorce, there is a way to affirm both the indissolubility of marriage and the freedom of an individual's conscience, both of which are inviolable and unchanging dogmas of our Church. With regard to abortion, there is a way both to protect the lives of the unborn and to offer support and compassion to suffering women. And with regard to religious freedom, there is a way both to allow for the flourishing of religious diversity and to permit Christians to profess their faith in Christ in the nation's public forum. Let us pray for our religious, cultural, and political leaders, that they search for solutions that protect the rights and freedoms of us all.