We’ve gone deep into the demolition and removal of the destroyed walls and platform in the Santo Cristo Chapel; there is a lot more still to be done.
Water leakage over the past many years destroyed the altar pediment (platform), the plaster walls, and exposed the original brickwork foundation laid in the 1890s.
We’ve enough to keep us busy and are moving forward on remediating the water leakage issue (in a building as old and massive as this, you can imagine it is a big job to keep ahead of the problem).
So, moving forward, through the generosity of many of our patrons, friends, visitors, and extended members of the St. Anne Shrine family that keep in touch via this website, we’re at the 50% mark for the estimated $10,000 we need to have in hand dedicated to restoring the Santo Cristo Chapel and ensure that the water issues don’t contribute to its destruction again.
Please consider tapping on the Donate button below and help push us over the line to return this special chapel, donated by the Portuguese community here in Fall River and so treasured by them (and us!), to its rightful place in St Anne’s. Or, stop by the Shrine Office during regular business hours (M-Sat 8a-1P, Sun 12P-4P) and we’ll be happy to speak with you about this project.
In the Roman Catholic tradition we observe the Ember Days four times a year, around the changes of the seasons: during Lent, at Pentecost, Exaltation of the Cross, and close to St. Lucy’s Day on December 12 (“Lenty, Penty, Crucy, Lucy”). This year, the Fall Ember Days fall on September 16, 18, and 19.
These days set apart for special prayer and fasting were considered especially suitable for the ordination of clergy. The Ember Days are known in Latin as thequatuor anni tempora (the “four seasons of the year”), or formerly as thejejunia quatuor temporum (“fasts of the four seasons”).
Catholics who lived before Vatican-II would say that Ember Days were one of the most confusing Catholic practices. Ember Days are an extension of our agrarian roots, but were usually seen merely as fast and abstinence days on the calendar. Most Catholics born after 1965 typically have an outlook of: “Ember Days? I never heard of them.” While not universally practiced, Ember Days are still a vital part of the Church’s tradition.
In the 1969 Calendar reform, the observance of Ember Days was left to the discretion of conferences of bishops, and can be adjusted and expanded. In the USA most bishops have chosen to not officially observe Ember Days, but in other countries they are observed. While Ember Days are not part of the calendar of community worship, personal observance at home or small communities is not discouraged.
Bishop Edgar da Cunha, S.D.V, Ordinary of the Diocese of Fall River, has graciously appointed Rev. Edward Murphy, Co-Pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle and Annunciation of the Lord parishes in Taunton, MA to assume additional responsibilities as Chaplain to the Preservation Society and St. Anne Shrine.
Fr. Murphy, known throughout the region for his healing ministries and deep devotion to the Blessed Mother, will continue to celebrate his Healing Masses on the third Thursday of each month, and in addition will provide spiritual guidance and support to the Society to ensure our efforts are directed in accordance with God’s Will as we expand our services and offerings to visitors and pilgrims to St. Anne’s.
The Preservation Society is deeply grateful to Bishop da Cunha for this appointment, thankful to Fr. Murphy in assuming this additional burden, and we look forward to an even deeper journey with Our Lord under the patronage of Good St. Anne.