Summer events just heating up for area faithful

By Becky Aubut, Anchor Staff

MASHPEE, Mass. — As schools in the Fall River Diocese have let out to allow students to take a break from academics during the summer, parishes and other organizations around the diocese are just gearing up their schedules for the summer months.

A collaboration of Cape Cod parishes (Our Lady of the Assumption, Osterville; Our Lady of Victory, Centerville; and St. Patrick’s, Falmouth) has already begun at Christ the King in Mashpee its annual Summer Catholic Reflections, a series of speakers that “consistently have about 225 folks attend” the presentations, said the pastor of the parish, Msgr. Daniel Hoye. “We must be doing something right.”

A committee composed of people from various parishes, explained Msgr. Hoye, chooses the speakers corroboratively, thus creating a varied summer program that is always well attended. On July 22 at 7 p.m., Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., will present “Being the Body of Christ Today.” A Catholic priest and Dominican friar, Father Radcliffe has taught, studied and continues to live at the Blackfriars in Oxford. On August 7 at 7 p.m., Mark K. Shriver will present “Faith, Hope and Love in Action” by using his father’s example to glean insights about the durability of faith. Shriver will share the lessons he learned in writhing his New York Times best-selling and Christopher Award-winning memoir, “A Good Man: Rediscovering my Father, Sargent Shriver.” 

“The speaker series is a great way for parishes to collaborate,” said Msgr. Hoye. “We are able to offer an excellent adult education series.”

The Blessing of the Fleet in New Bedford will be taking place during the Working Waterfront Festival on September 29 at 1 p.m. 

From July 31 to August 3, the streets of New Bedford will come alive as thousands of visitors will descend on the city to celebrate the 100th feast of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by four Madeiran immigrant men who wanted to recreate the religious festivals that were so common in the villages of their home island and to commemorate their safe passage to these American shores. A summer tradition, the feast has become the largest Portuguese feast in the world. 

For the youth in the diocese, there is a summer program being offered at the College of St. Mary Magdalen in Warner, N.H. High school students can take the opportunity to study theology, philosophy, literature and political science. During the summer program, students also attend daily Mass, enjoy sports, socials and day-trips that include hiking and canoeing. The program is open to students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school; it runs from July 27 to August 9. For more information, go to or contact the admissions office: 603-456-2656.

On July 11, the Pro-Life Apostolate of the Fall River Diocese will be hosting its fourth annual Pro-Life Boot Camp at Stonehill College in North Easton. A huge part of its continued success is seeing campers returning to work as junior staffers, as past junior staffers return as chaperones, said diocesan director of the Pro-Life Apostolate, Marian Desrosiers, who also credits Jocelyn Trindade and Cassandra Borges as tireless supporters and volunteers for the annual Boot Camp.

“We are very excited,” said Desrosiers, as she began to list the speakers who will present during the weekend. “Father Roger Landry [pastor of St. Bernadette’s Parish in Fall River] will join us on Saturday evening and keynote with ‘Renew: The New Evangelization.’ Judy Studer, the Guardian of the International Our Lady of Fatima Statue and her granddaughter, Jessica Marfeo, Miss Rhode Island 2013, will speak on Sunday to campers and their parents. A member of Pure in Heart, Christina Giordano, from Boston and Jay Hamel, married father of eight, will be speaking to the young men and women on Femininity/Masculinity. They spoke last year, did a tremendous job, and were well-received by the youth; Jay is from St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet.”

Father Riley Williams, a parochial vicar St. Vincent de Paul and St. John  the Evangelist parishes in Attleboro, will speak and help during the course of the weekend, while Deacon Eduardo Borges will be joining the group for the first time as a speaker.

Thanks to financial and spiritual support by contributors that include Mass. State Council of the Knights of Columbus, local Knight councils, parish and individuals, the annual Pro-Life Boot Camp is accessible to all, said Desrosiers.

The St. Mary’s Education Fund Gala, an annual fund-raiser whose proceeds benefit the St. Mary’s Education Fund that provides need-based scholarships to students in the Diocese of Fall River, is being held on July 11 at the Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee. Various levels of sponsorship are available. For more information, contact Jane Robin at 508-759-3566.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro ( and its Retreat and Conference Center ( have many events during the summer; click on “Events Calendar” on their respective websites.

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