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Pastor's Letters

A MOTHER’S DAY REFLECTIONON THE BLESSINGS, JOYS, AND HEARTACHES OF THE MATERNAL VOCATION

Updated: Oct 13

Today, in the beginning part of the month of May which we, as Catholics, dedicate in a special way to

our Blessed Mother Mary, I would like to extend my thanks, prayers, and blessings to all the women of

our parish. Please note I didn’t say in that last sentence, “…to all the moms of the parish,” but, “…to all

the women of the parish.” That was intentional. As St. Pope John Paul II beautifully taught, every woman has a fundamentally maternal vocation and identity this is a big part of the “feminine genius,” to use that wonderful phrase so favored by the saintly pope. At every moment of their lives, women are called to this maternal vocation in some form, and the way this maternal vocation is lived out varies greatly depending upon their state in life and even where they are within that state in life. To all the mothers of our parish, I pray for you as you live out your motherhood in the course of family life, and I thank you for the beautiful witness you bring to us and to the whole world. While both fathers and mothers make great sacrifices in the course of their vocations and their responsibilities in family life, there is something inherently sacrificial about the vocation of motherhood that has no parallel. From the first moment of conception, even before she knows she is carrying a new life within her, a mother’s body is already sacrificing for the sake of the child within. This sacrifice, lived first as a purely physical phenomenon over the course of those first nine months of life, is then lived out in so many other ways over the course of the many years and decades to follow. Is there any vocation in the world so filled with joy while so linked to the Cross as being a mother?

But today is not only about the “moms.” I also pray today for women who are unmarried or who are

widowed, and share their maternal gifts with the rest of us in the church through their compassion, service, and prayer on our behalf. Especially for those who are single and yet feel called to that vocation of

marriage and motherhood, I pray that the Lord might shower you with the gift of His peace as you await

the further unveiling of His calling in your life.

And of course on this Mother’s Day I can’t forgot the nuns and sisters of our Church, who live a unique

vocation to consecrated spiritual motherhood that greatly enriches all of us in the Church. You who

most perfectly represent the Church as the Bride of Christ, witness to the joy that comes from drawing

close to Jesus as the greatest Love the world has ever known.

Finally, I extend perhaps my most powerful promise of prayers to those who find today to be an especially difficult and trying and even heartbreaking day. I pray for those moms who have lost their babies

from miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, or early infant loss. I pray for those married women longing to be

mothers but who have not been given the gift of a pregnancy. Working with one of the extraordinary

young adults from our Frassati group, I had scheduled a special Mass in the parish this weekend precisely for all women who have suffered any of these things, to give them all a chance to come together (with

their families and loved ones) to pray for God’s healing for whatever heartache they bear. While the

closing of Masses as a result of the pandemic forced the cancellation of the Mass this year, it is something I hope to do in the parish every year moving forward right around Mother’s Day as a way of showing that the wider Church family recognizes your pain and wishes to join with you in prayer.

May our Blessed Mother Mary shower her special graces upon all her daughters, inspire you to further

share your maternal gifts, and most of all, lead you all closer to her Divine Son.


God bless,

Fr. John Paul




St. Mary Parish  | 5 Hillhouse Ave New Haven, CT 06511 | (203) 562-6193 | church@stmarysnewhaven.org

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