Archive | April 2015

Singing Priests at Barrington Stage

singing priestsPRIEST CONCERT SCHEDULED FOR MAY 15
There are less than 100 mezzanine seats left!

Our singing diocesan priests are at it again! Mark your calendars today for Friday, May 15th, at 7pm. This concert will benefit the Sisters of Saint Joseph and be held at the Barrington Stage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield. Tickets are $25 each and may be purchased by calling the box office at 413-236-8888, in person at the box office, or online at www.barringtonstageco.org/rentals/singingpriests.

This concert will once again be a mix of favorite hymns and  popular tunes. St. Mark’s Father John and Father David will be among the singing priests at the concert! Monsignor Mike, Father Joyce and Father C.J. will also be singing.

St. Mark’s Ladies Guild

ladies guild logoWe would like to thank Bishop Emeritus Timothy McDonnell for an uplifting, informative and delightful evening. It was so enjoyable to be together.  Thank you Bishop McDonnell.

SAVE THE DATE:  Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 6:30 pm in the Parish Center.  This will be our “Invitational Meeting” and all members are asked to bring a guest. It will be a special time to socialize, have refreshments and enjoy our special quest, Pittsfield celebrity, Daniel Hamilton.

All are welcome.
“Socialize, Pray and Serve”

Request from Bishop: Nepal Earthquake Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

nepal earthquakeApril 27, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

On the morning of April 25, a devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal near Kathmandu. The earthquake affected nearby parts of India and caused major avalanches in the Himalayas, including on Mount Everest.

There is catastrophic structural damage in Kathmandu and people are trapped in collapsed buildings. The death toll is climbing at an alarming rate as survivors dig through the rubble frantically trying to free loved ones and neighbors.   Thousands are dead and injured, and thousands of survivors are expected to need disaster relief assistance in Kathmandu and the many smaller villages throughout Nepal. With no electricity and the constant threat of powerful quake after-shocks, many are forced to stay outdoors, spending the night in the chilled rainy conditions.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has made an initial commitment of $725,000 toward relief efforts in Nepal and surrounding countries where the powerful earthquake caused widespread damage. A dozen CRS emergency specialists are on the way to Nepal to provide critical on the ground assistance. CRS and its Caritas partners have begun procuring emergency relief materials such as tarpaulins/shelter kits and water, sanitation and hygiene materials, as well as blankets. But CRS urgently needs our help. Our donations will help immediate emergency response efforts and allow CRS to reach affected families to provide critically needed assistance.

I ask that a special collection for Catholic Relief Service Nepal Earthquake Relief be taken up at all Masses on the weekend of May 9th and 10th.

We offer our prayers for the victims and their families that God, whose love knows no bounds, will ease their suffering and grant them His comfort and peace.

In Christ,

Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski
Bishop of Springfield

CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF ST. MARK

St. Mark statueOn Friday, April 24th, there will be a pizza dinner at the Parish Center from 5-7pm. Homemade pizzas (with Fr. John’s sauce) and salad. $10.00 per person.

On Saturday, April 25th, there will be wine and cheese on the patio (weather permitting), after the 4pm Mass.

On Sunday, April 26th, the 11:00am Mass will be in English and Spanish, with music provided by our African community, followed by a light lunch on the patio.

Come join us as we celebrate the feast of our patron saint.

St. Mark’s Community Garden

filling garden bedsThis year we are planning on adding two more raised beds to the food pantry garden and expanding our distributions to other in-need organizations.

If you would like to be involved our next meetings are April 22 & 29th at 6:30 at Fr. Leonard Hall and out in the garden.
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Wish List!

Needed immediately:
– 3 foot rabbit fence and fence poles
– cinder blocks
– lumber for the raised beds (10 foot x 2 inches x 10 inches)

If you can donate these supplies and would like to help put up the fence and raised beds call the office at 447-7510 and leave a message for Jessica.

Needed next month:
– Flower seeds: cosmos, alyssum, bachelor buttons etc.
– Annuals: marigolds, zinnias etc.
– Perennials: iris, black eyed Susans, daisies etc.
– Bulbs: canna, gladiolas

This summer we will have a sign up sheet for anyone interested in watering, weeding and maintaining the gardens.
Grab your gloves and have some fun!

Please call or email TODAY & support the need for an increase in Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program

Dear Friends:
TODAY’S THE DAY,….TO CALL OUR STATE LEGISLATORS re: the need for an increase in Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (line item DAR  2511-0105). See detailed reasons and contact information below.
On Monday, we held a conference call with clergy leaders in the eastern part of the state who are involved with one of our sister organizations. They are not experiencing the same amount of increase in need as we are experiencing at our pantries here in the Berkshires. We shared our story (Thank you, Rev. Joel Huntington, South Congregational Church for your important role in that call!), and they were surprised to hear that the upswing of the economy hasn’t happened here in the Berkshires. After our conversation, they agreed to mention our concern to their state representatives as well. An example of mutual aid — we’re all in this together!!
Blessings,
Wendy
Wendy Krom, Lead Organizer
Berkshire Interfaith Organizing
P.O. Box 1133
Pittsfield, MA 01202
The most radical thing we can do
is to introduce people to each other.
— Saul Alinsky, Organizer

Reasons: The need for food assistance in Western Massachusetts is steadily increasing. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts currently serves more than 235,000 people per year through our 250 feeding programs.
MEFAP helps us meet the need of providing assistance to working families, veterans, the elderly, disabled, and children. The additional $5 million would allow the four food banks in Massachusetts to provide an additional 7 million healthy meals to people in need. MEFAP is a reliable source of nutritious staples such as meat, eggs, milk, and fresh produce, which supports public health. MEFAP also helps support the Massachusetts economy, as many of the food distributors and growers are local, including:
• Pioneer Valley Growers Association (South Deerfield)
• Szawlowski Farms, Hatfield
• Long Plain Farm, Whately
More than one-third of the people in need across the Commonwealth do not qualify for government benefits. They rely on the network of food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters across the state to supply their basic needs. The four non-profit food banks in Massachusetts use MEFAP food to help these vulnerable people feed their families.
The increase in MEFAP funding last year helped The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts obtain 180,409 lbs (the equivalent of more than 150,000 meals) more than the year before. Please help us continue to assist our communities by supporting MEFAP funding!
Contacts (Click links for contact info):
House:
Stephen Kulik, Vice Chair
Benjamin Swan, Assistant Vice Chair
Nicholas Boldyga
Michael Finn
William Smitty Pignatelli
Thomas Petrolati
Todd Smola
Senate:
Benjamin Downing
Donald Humason
State House Switch Board: (617) 722-2000

mass food bank image