The Mass Schedule has changed. There will be no mass on Mondays until July 27th.
9:00 am Tuesday and Thursday
5:30 pm Saturday
9:00 am and 11:00 am Sunday
We are wheelchair accessible.
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday through Friday
Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop
We have an epidemic of poverty in Bennington.
More than 87% of students at Bennington Elementary School
qualify for free or reduced fee lunch.
Molly Stark is only slightly lower at 78%.
Even Monument has 51% of students who qualify.
These numbers compare to 32% of students
in Vermont overall.
I shudder to think what it will look like here in another generation--- we need to take action now.
Learn more by joining in on the
Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop
sponsored by Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services, Inc.
This workshop welcomes members of the Bennington community.
It will look at the impact of generational poverty on families and communities, why we must respond,
and how we can use an understanding of economic diversity to build a sustainable Bennington.
For more information, to to the official webpage.
The event will be on Friday, June 22, 2018, 9 AM to 4 PM
at the Sacred Heart St. Francis Parish Center, 238 Main St.
Registration is required and costs $30.
The cost includes served lunch and handouts. Scholarships available! Register
Father Hugh Speaks About Pope Francis
Pope Francis: A fearless man
That same style upsets many others who fear the pope is too lax in formulating and communicating the dogma and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church leading to confusion and misunderstanding among people.
Pope Francis has been the chief shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church for five years now. To mark the occasion the Vatican engaged Wim Wenders, a highly acclaimed German filmmaker, to produce a documentary on Pope Francis entitled "A Man of His Word." The documentary is being shown locally this week at Image Cinema in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Mr. Wenders has called Pope Francis "the most fearless man I have ever met. He is not influenced by polls or whatever. I don't think he would ever consider any public opinion over something he means and he's convinced of. He's totally fearless." Perhaps the fearlessness of the Pope is causing fearful reactions in more traditional circles that he will do more harm than good in the long run.
In my own view, Pope Francis is actually quite traditional in upholding Catholic social and moral teachings. He is not the liberal some make him out to be. His pastoral style invites people to think and reflect deeply on the Gospel and on the Church's teaching. The pope elaborates the implications of Jesus' incarnation of God's love in our own day and age, in the present world culture. He has the potential to challenge all of us.
But truly, if anyone is threatening, it is not the pope, it is Jesus himself! His Gospel had him crucified. His Gospel still has the same impact today in many parts of the world either subtly or overtly. It is Jesus himself who challenges all of us and makes us queasy because we are forced to confront ourselves, if we dare listen to what he has to say. Confronting ourselves is work enough, let alone judging others.
Pope Francis has been communicating to the Church through "Apostolic Exhortations." His latest, called "Gaudate et Exsultate" ("Rejoice and Be Glad") was released to the world this past April. In it, he exhorts us to grow in holiness. But the pope's Exhortations are not easily accepted with joy by everyone. Rebukes of the pope's Gospel logic sometimes prevent us from accepting his exhortations as a whole.
My biggest fear with our culture is that we are allowing ourselves to become more and more polarized from each other, defending our various camps, demonizing those we disagree with, all in the name of personal rights over common responsibilities.
For example, in "Gaudete et Exsultate" we are called to holiness in large part through prayer and openness to the Beatitudes. But then the pope flavors his exhortation with examples that push red buttons in our contemporary culture. We pounce on the examples and tend to miss what they have to teach us about holiness if we were to ponder them beyond our current biases or even convictions.
The pope, for example, offers an example on the dignity of life. "Our defense of the innocent unborn needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection...."
In our culture there may be some who denounce abortion yet care less passionately for life beyond the womb. Such passions run vice-versa so much so that we demonize one another rather than understand one another. The pope's Gospel logic is all embracing. He challenges all of us.
The pope goads us on to get our priorities straight. But who is listening?
Maybe we could sneak off to that documentary playing this week in Williamstown and hear the pope speak to us as a man of his word. Maybe he just might engage us in conversation, our word with his word. Maybe, just maybe, that conversation might change our lives.
The Rev. Hugh Cleary, C.S.C. is parochial vicar at Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales and St. John the Baptist Church in Bennington and North Bennington.
Father Bob and Father Hugh Talk with Phil Maqson
Formed Pick of the Week
Our Mission Statement
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is a community of baptized people who have, as their common goals: to love, model, teach, serve, and celebrate Christ in our lives.
Committed to the Eucharist, our Bread of Life, and guided by the Holy Spirit, we are dedicated to service to God’s people and center our faith-life around liturgical celebrations, the Gospel, and prayer.
Based on the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, we reach out to all people lovingly, acknowledging their uniqueness and dignity, and treat all with respect, tolerance, and acceptance, having the love of Jesus as our core.