Sunday, January 27, 2008

Construction; Literally & Figuratively

As you read your reflections, I am away on vacation. It is good to get away from the noise, dirt and confusion of the rectory. As you know we are now under renovation. The progress has been very good over the course of the past few weeks. Our initial goals are to finish the new garage and the office area. Both Father Matt and I will now have offices on the first floor which will give us a better separation between our work and living areas. The next phase of the project will be the kitchen and an expanded dining room. We estimate the cost of the project to be $280,000. Every week we have had meetings with all those connected to the project.

On February 11 (Monday) at 7 p.m. in the church, there will be an open parish meeting. When I arrived in 2005 we had a very productive meeting where hopes and dreams for the parish were discussed. Now it is time to take a look at how far we’ve come and where we would like to continue to grow. Ed Caron, a personal friend, who works at Providence College will facilitate this meeting. As a leader I need to listen carefully to your ideas. Please come and join us on February 11th.

Fr. Bob Hawkins - January 27, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Respecting Life

As we celebrate Pro-Life Month, below are some recent statements with regard to showing respect for the dignity of human life.

Studies published…in the journals Cell and Science offer new hope for advancing stem cell research and therapies while maintaining respect for the dignity of human life.

Scientists in Japan and Wisconsin used four genes to “reprogram” ordinary adult human cells, creating “induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells)…Thus the goal sought for years through failed attempts at human cloning – the production of “pluripotent” stem cells that are an exact match to a patient – has been brought within reach by an ethical procedure.

The technology avoids the ethical landmines associated with embryonic stem cell research: it does not clone or destroy human embryos, (and) does not harm or exploit women for their eggs…This advance reminds us once again that medical progress and respect for human life are not in conflict…”

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Statement
on Stem Cell Breakthrough, Nov. 20, 2007

“The Church is not trying to impose Catholic doctrine on the world, but we are trying to invite our people to take seriously their obligation to vote in a way that respects the moral law, the natural law, and takes into account the common good, care for the poor, and particularly the Gospel of Life, which is always at the center of Catholic social teaching…”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, commenting on
“Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”, Nov. 15, 2007

Fr. Bob Hawkins - January 20, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Everyday Blessings

Several people have asked me for the blessing I used on Holy Family Sunday. It comes from Edward Hays' book Prayers for the Domestic Church. May this prayer be beneficial for all our families in the new year.

“Lord our God, you whose home is in heaven and on earth and in that undiscovered beyond, come and bless this house…Surround this shelter with your Spirit. Encompass all its four sides with the Power of your protection. Blessed be this doorway. May all who come to it be treated with respect and kindness. May all our comings and goings be under the seal of God’s loving care… Blessed be all the rooms of this home… May we truly live in it as people of peace… Bless this place where we shall eat. May all our meals be sacraments of the presence of God… Lord our God, may your name always be holy in our home…May God’s blessings rest upon us all… Amen.”

Fr. Bob Hawkins - January 12, 2008