Celebrating Catechetical Sunday!  Pray for OLM Religous Educators

Celebrating Catechetical Sunday! Pray for OLM Religous Educators

Dear Parishioners:                          

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This weekend we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only pray for our parish catechists who teach in the OLM Religious Education Program but we also commend parents and families and encourage them to take seriously their role of making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed on to the next generation. At the 9:00AM Mass on Sunday we are to commission the men and women who volunteer to teach the some 400 children of our parish about the Catholic Faith. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity for every parishioner to reflect on the role they play, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith. Many Catholics have used the word "catechism" for years, and they know it has something to do with the compendium of the Church's teachings. The root word, "catechesis," is from a Greek word meaning "to echo, or resound." Catechesis is the act of resounding or bringing the Church's teachings to the world. A catechist is one who teaches in the name of the Church.

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Catechesis is a distinct and special ministry in the Church. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, “Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church’s life . . . her inner growth and correspondence with God’s plan depend essentially on catechesis.” This ministry of teaching in the name of the Church has a profound dignity, which is why catechists are formally commissioned by the Church. It is only fitting that we set aside a day to highlight this ministry and invite the entire church community to think about our responsibility to share our faith with others. In a very special way, we pray for our catechists and all those families enrolled in our Religious Education Program. On Catechetical Sunday, we are also reminded that parents are truly the primary catechists of their children. It is  Catholic Parents who must prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith.  So please pray for the parents of the children in our Religious Education Program, that they may strive to fulfill the promise they made on the day of their child’s baptism to “teach them in the ways of the faith.”

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I wish to thank Mickey St. Jean and Doug Green who direct our OLM Religious Education Program. They do exemplary work in ensuring the teachings of Christ and His Church are taught to our parish children with zeal, integrity and joy.  We must also thank the men and women who volunteer to serve as teachers in our RE Program for their service and sacrifice. We thank the many families in our RE Program.  They have chosen to prepare  the future of our parish and Church by educating their children in the faith.  We thank them for their willingness to ensure the faith is an importnat part of their family life and bringing their children to Christ in this way.  Ours is a large program and it requires the work and dedication of many people along with the cooperation of the students and their families. We are grateful for their cooperation with our teachers and RE Directors.  Working together to educate the children of OLM in the ways of the faith is critical to our parish life and future.

Pope Francis reminds parents: “We need simplicity to pray as a family! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is not something extraordinary: it’s easy. And praying the Rosary together, as a family, is very beautiful and a source of great strength!  And also praying for one another! The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents praying for each other.  This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong: prayer!” May we pray for all OLM families and may all OLM families pray!

Finally, a word of thanks to the many parishioners who were so kind in offering sympathy, prayers and Masses for my late brother Kevin whose Funeral Mass I celebrated last week. My family is truly grateful for your support and prayers at this time of grief and sadness.  May he rest in peace.

Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats! Oremus pro invicem!

 

September is for Saints and Scholars!  Feasting and Festing too!

September is for Saints and Scholars! Feasting and Festing too!

Dear Parishioners:                          

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             We officially welcome our new OLM School Families this weekend at the 9:00AM Mass.  In a special way, we pray for them and their children as they begin the school year at OLM School.   We thank them for choosing OLM School and making the sacrifice to ensure their children a first class Catholic Education.      On Friday we celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirt for the opening of the school year.  We also installed our new OLM School Principal, Mr. Patrick H. McNabb.  We are  very grateful for his leadership of our school and look forward to his administration.  Mr. McNabb along with our excellent faculty are off to a great start this year.  With 230 happy and eager students and with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we  truly look forward to another great year. Our OLM School students begin the week with Confessions on Monday afternoon and then Mass on Tuesday morning. Of course, they always begin and end each school day with prayer and are taught the Catholic Faith every day in the classroom.  What a great opportunity for  Catholic children to learn not only academics but also to truly grow in the love and knowledge of God and His Church! 

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You can help support this daily Mission of OLM School by signing up for the Saints and Scholars Golf Tournament.  It is  always a great chance to play golf, have a good time with friends  and watch Fr Barrow try to swing  a golf club!  And all of it in support of the little OLM Saints and Scholars.  This year the tournament is Monday, September 23rd at Quidnesett Country Club. It begins with a 1pm Shotgun Start following lunch. So call three friends and sign up for a foursome today.  There is a chance to win a car with a hole in one, lots of raffles, a live sports auction, a great lunch to start the day and a delicious dinner.  Fr. Barrow and I are both  playing this year.  Our young Associate Pastor assures me he expects to shoot well below par this year! Come and see him try!!

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If you cannot make it to the tournament perhaps you or your business might consider sponsoring a tee. Your name and message or a business logo will be prominently displayed on at tees on the course. What a terrific way to support our little OLM Saints and Scholars!  You can register for the Golf Tournament and Tee Sponsorships online at the parish website, olmparish.org

The Saints and Scholars Open begins a full week of events at OLM as we celebrate our parish feast.  The Feast of Our Lady of Mercy is Tuesday, September 24th. On the feast day there is a beautiful Mass at 9:00AM with the newly ordained Fr. Eric Silva, who served here at OLM as a summer seminarian, as our homilist.  On Wednesday September 25th, join us for a Holy Hour for Mercy. As we pray and listen to sacred music in honor of Our Lady of Mercy sung by our adult and children’s choirs.  It is always a prayerful time to call upon our parish patroness for her powerful intercession for our own needs and the needs of our parish.

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On Thursday, September 26th, we gather to perform a Work of Mercy in honor of our patroness.  All parishioners of any age and all parish families are invited to join with us in the OLM School Cafeteria as we prepare meals for the hungry and homeless of our state. We begin this Work of Mercy at 6:00PM, so please join us! And of course, we end our Feast Week on Friday, September 27th with our fun filled Octoberfest.  Join us on the OLM field under the tent as we enjoy German music, German food and also perhaps even have a  stein of German Beer!  We begin this fun family event at 6pm! So get your lederhosen ready and plan on being at the Octoberfest!   Prost!!

September is a special month at OLM. We celebrate our parish and our faith as we honor Our Lady of Mercy and her feast!  So mark your calendar for these fun and faith-filled events as we gather as a parish family in celebration of what unites us and sustains us, our Catholic Faith!Let’s celebrate as a parish family with fun and with faith! Our Lady of Mercy, pray for us!

A gentle reminder that our Sunday Evening 5:00PM Mass is back on the calendar.  There wasn’t much of a crowd at the Mass last weekend. So spread the word that there is yet another opportunity to get to Sunday Mass at OLM! Go Pats! Oremus pro invicem!

 

Come Holy Spirit!  Renew the Face of the Earth!!

Come Holy Spirit! Renew the Face of the Earth!!

Dear Parishioners:                          

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School has begun! This past Wednesday school started again for many students including our students at OLM School.  The First Day of School is always a fun day at OLM.  We wish all the teachers and students God’s blessing for a fruitful and holy year!                                              

Just in time for the return to school we delivered over 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to the students of St. Patrick Church in Providence.  Father James Ruggeri, the Pastor at St. Patrick’s and my dear classmate, was overjoyed with the generosity of OLM!  In his name and in the name of the many students who have school supplies this year, I offer thanks for your generous support of the Annual Backpack Drive for St. Patrick’s!  

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Now that classes are back at OLM School we are looking forward to the Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit on Friday, September 6th at 9:00AM.  We celebrate a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit  at the opening of the school year, imploring the descent of the Holy Spirit upon our OLM School Community to impart his wondrous gifts in all that we undertake in this new school year. The Holy Spirit produces the saints and scholars we need for our Church and world! Age after age and in every epoch the Holy Spirit produces  men, women and children who respond to the gifts given to them. So we invoke the Holy Spirit to pour out his graces upon OLM School as we begin this school year.

In a very special way at the Mass on Friday, we pray for our new OLM School Principal, Patrick H. McNabb. Patrick most recently served as the middle school theology teacher and director of faith formation at Holy Name Parish and School in Fall River, MA.  Prior to his time at Holy Name, Mr. McNabb served for eleven years in public and charter schools as a teacher and vice principal at the middle and high school levels.  Patrick and his wife are the parents of two young daughters and attend St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth. He attended Catholic schools from pre-K through twelfth grade and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Haverford College and a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from National Louis University Pray for him as he begins his first year at OLM School.  All  are invited to join us for the Mass of the Holy Spirit this Friday at 9:00AM.  Bishop Evans is to celebrate the Mass and I will be preaching.  In addition to installing our new Principal, we also install our returning and new faculty. 

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May the Holy Spirit descend upon OLM School!  Let us pray for OLM School: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.”

There is also another important event happening this week at OLM!  On Tuesday, September 3rd, Sister Jeanne Barry, RSM celebrates her 80th Birthday!  It will be “Sister Jeanne Day” at OLM School and we will mark this special day with a school celebration!  We offer Sister Jeanne a very Happy Birthday and continued blessings for health, happiness and holiness! 

Labor Day is Monday and with it we mark the unofficial end of summer!!  So enjoy the holiday, relax and celebrate the dignity that work bestows upon us.  Pray for those who have no work and give thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy because of work!  Enjoy the end of summer cookouts, outings to the beach and golf too!

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As we mark Labor Day, let us reflect on it with the wisdom of St. Pope John Paul the Great:  “Man must work, both because the Creator has commanded it and because of his own humanity, which requires work in order to be maintained and developed. Man must work out of regard for others, especially his own family, but also for the society he belongs to, the country of which he is a child, and the whole human family of which he is a member, since he is the heir to the work of generations and at the same time a sharer in building the future of those who will come after him in the succession of history.”

Happy Labor Day!  Pray for OLM School and be sure to wish Sister Jeanne a Happy 80th Birthday! Be well. Do Good. God Bless!  Go Sox????!! Go Pats! Oremus pro invicem!

 

First Priestly Blessings and First Day of School!!

First Priestly Blessings and First Day of School!!

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Dear Parishioners:                          
It was a beautiful celebration at last Sunday’s 10:30AM Mass with the newly ordained Father Tim Deely.  His celebration of a Mass of Thanksgiving here at OLM was solemn and reverent.  It is always  a very prayerful and  joyful experience to receive a First Blessing from a newly ordained priest.  When  a newly ordained  priest offers an individual his first priestly blessing it  is  an  opportunity  for  the  faithful   to  gain  a  plenary  indulgence. Holy  Mother  Church  updated  this  tradition  by  granting a  plenary  indulgence  to  all  first  Masses and Masses of Thanksgiving the newly ordained priest  celebrates.   Also an additional grace may be gained from receiving the First Blessing of a newly ordained priest. 
First Blessings are customarily given when first Masses are celebrated, but they may be given up to a full year after ordination.  Upon  receiving  the blessing, it is the tradition to kiss the palms of the newly ordained priest in recognition of the sacred character of   his   priesthood   and   of   the   hands   that   now   hold   the   Eucharist   and   confer   the   sacraments. We thank Fr. Deely for celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving  here at OLM and also for conferring his First Blessings upon the many who came forward after the Mass.  It is a great occasion of grace for our parish to host such a joyous occasion.  We offer Fr. Deely our gratitude and thanks.  Pray for him as he begins his priestly duties in Pittsburgh

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Speaking of “Firsts”, this week marks the First Day of School at OLM School and in both the Warwick and East Greenwich Public Schools. Sadly for teachers and students summer has ended!  Although I suspect we might spy quite a few smiling parents at OLM!  Pray for all the students and teachers returning to school this week.  May they grow in faith, hope, love and wisdom! May our Blessed Mother lay her mantle of love and protection upon them all!

We are excited to begin another school year at OLM School.  Once again our weekdays resound with the sounds of happy children heading to school and playing outside at recess while our school corridors resound with the sounds of math, science, religion, English, history, Spanish, music and prayer! This year we welcome our new OLM School Principal, Mr. Patrick H. McNabb, along with several new faculty members.  Our OLM School teachers are among the finest in the Catholic School System in the Diocese!  They are dedicated  professionals who are very dutiful and make great sacrifices to teach in our school.  But best of all, they strive to live the Mission of OLM School in developing our future Saints and Scholars!  I thank them for their dedication and professionalism.

I ask you to pray for them this week as they take up their classroom duties.  They begin this week with a Faculty Retreat on Monday at St. Edmunds Retreat Center on Enders Island in Mystic, CT.  Dominican Father James Sullivan, OP, the Pastor of St. Pius V School in Providence, is leading the retreat.  I know it will be a fruitful time and provide the necessary spiritual formation to being the school year. 

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Of course OLM School would never be the great success it truly is without our terrific little Saints and Scholars. They are always so eager to learn more about their subjects but also learn more about Jesus Christ and His Church.  They begin and end every day with prayer, come to weekly Mass, and perform many works of mercy and charity.  Best of all they get to do so in a loving Catholic community where truth is taught and virtues are honored!  Welcome back OLM School Students!

We thank their parents who make the choice to send their children to our parish school and sacrifice to ensure a first class Catholic Education.  With a tremendous new principal, an excellent faculty, our eager students and committed parents, OLM School is truly a great school and I thank them all for making it so!

Next Sunday, September 1st  the 5:00PM Sunday Evening Mass returns to the weekly schedule.  Spread the word abut this and let your family and friends know! It is yet another chance to get to Mass on Sunday! Be well. Do Good. God Bless!  Go Sox????!! Go Pats! Oremus pro invicem!

 

Celebrating and Praying for Vocations!!

Celebrating and Praying for Vocations!!

Dear Parishioners:                          

Father Tim Deely

Father Tim Deely

             We welcome Fr. Tim Deely for a Mass of Thanksgiving this Sunday.  As you know Fr. Deely was recently ordained a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh but he has lots of connections at OLM and here in RI.  He is Fr. Connors former college roommate at Boston College and is a frequent guest at OLM.  He also taught for nearly a decade at Bishop Hendricken High School before entering the seminary.  I thank you for your warm welcome offered to Fr. Deely.  Pray for him as I know he is praying for our parish!

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I ask you to continue to pray for more vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life especially in the Diocese of Providence.  Fr. Brian Morris, an OLM parishioner and graduate of OLM School, is the Vocation Director for our diocese, please keep him in your prayers too. 

We have more good news about vocations from OLM! On August 8th, the Feast of St. Dominic, Laura Makin, an OLM Parishioner,  completed her Postulant Year with the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia in Nashville, TN.  Laura is the child of Tom and Elizabeth Makin and  now she enters her Canonical Novice Year.  At the Reception of the Habit  ceremony on August 8th she was given her new religious name, Sister Anna Josephine. 

Sister Anna Josephine of the Nashville Dominicans.

Sister Anna Josephine of the Nashville Dominicans.

The ceremony took place at the Motherhouse in Nashville in the presence of the entire community of some 300 sisters. Mother Anna Grace, OP, the Prioress General, conferred the habit and gave Sister Laura her new religious name.  The tradition is that the Postulants submit three choices of religious names that take significance from their chosen Feast Day. Sister Anna Josephine's feast day is the Feast of the Presentation, February 2nd. 

Sister Anna Josephine received the habit along with five other young women. We give thanks to God for Sister Anna Josephine’s vocation to the consecrated life as it is truly a great honor for our parish family. We also offer Sister and her family our heartfelt congratulations and prayerful best wishes. 

The Nashville Dominican Sisters were founded 150 years in Nashville, Tennessee.  They are a growing congregation with some 300 sisters.  Their primary mission is teaching in Catholic Schools and in fact, they administer  and teach at St. Pius V School in Providence.  Please keep Sister Anna Josephine and the Nashville Dominican Sisters in your prayers! 

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia stand in stark contrast to the decline of many religious congregations over the last fifty years.  While many congregations of women religious have grown older and smaller, the Nashville Dominicans have seen a boom in vocations and overall interest in recent years.   As reported in Regina Magazine, the community has grown 46% in just the past 14 years, and with 300 sisters currently, are the largest they have ever been. 

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The reason for the continuing growth of the order is as simple as it is sincere. Contrary to a contemporary culture which is so morally confused and indifferent to God, the Nashville Dominicans offer a life of timeless truths and selfless service.  If you have ever encountered Nashville Dominican Sisters or visited their Motherhouse in Nashville, you discvoer holy and happy religious sisters who are filled with the joy of the Gospel and a zeal for the Catholic Faith.

Sister Peter Marie O.P., vocations director for the Nashville Dominicans, observes:

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Many are hearing the call to give everything and are seeking an authentic religious life that is joyfully lived. They have discovered that true happiness is realized in doing the Lord’s will and have come to recognize the invitation of the Lord in the silence of their hearts. If you have heard the Lord’s gentle invitation to religious life, it may have taken you by surprise. Fear is not an uncommon response to the first stirrings of a religious vocation. However, if one is called to the religious life then, with time and prayer, fear turns to conviction and we can begin the first steps to finding and accepting his will. This conviction brings a peace and joy that nothing else can match. A young woman open to the call to give her whole life to Christ will find that she can only surrender to this irresistible prompting that He has placed within her heart.”

Pray for more vocations! Be well. Do Good. God Bless!  Go Pats! Oremus pro invicem!

 

Priests, Peace & Prayers to Our Lady of the Assumption

Priests, Peace & Prayers to Our Lady of the Assumption

Dear Parishioners:

I thank you for you fond farewell to our Summer Seminarian Dan Mahoney last weekend. He spent ten weeks working here at OLM and now he heads back to St. John Seminary in Boston for his Third Year of Theology. Next spring Dan is to be ordained a Transitional Deacon and then a Priest of Providence in 2021! Thank you for your support of Dan, please continue to pray for him and his vocation to the priesthood.

The newly ordained Priests of Pittsburgh including Fr. Tim Deely pose with Bishop Zubik.

The newly ordained Priests of Pittsburgh including Fr. Tim Deely pose with Bishop Zubik.

Next Sunday Father Tim Deely who was ordained on June 29th as a Priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh is to celebrate the 10:30am Mass here at OLM. Father Deely was a frequent guest at OLM over the last few years. He is a classmate of Fr. Connors from Boston College and then went on to teach at Bishop Hendricken High School for many years. Fr. Deely currently serves as an Associate Pastor in a parish in the Pittsburgh area. I know you will give Fr. Deely a warm welcome as he celebrates a Mass of Thanksgiving. This is a great occasion for his many friends and former students in the Rhode Island area to join in celebrating his recent ordination. Fr. Deely will offer First Priestly Blessings after the 10:30AM Mass on Sunday, August 18th. We look forward to this celebration as we offer thanks to God for this newly ordained Priest. Please pray for him. Ad multos annos, Father Deely!

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The Solemnity of the Assumption is this coming Thursday, August 15th. It is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics and there are three Masses. A Vigil Mass on Wednesday, August 14th at 5:00pm and two Masses on August 15th, 7:30AM and 7:00PM. I hope to see you at the Holy Day Mass!

St. Bernard of Clairvaux teaches about this important Solemnity and states:

“And with regard to ourselves, how deservedly do we keep the feast of the Assumption with all solemnity. What reasons for rejoicing, what motives for exultation have we on this most beautiful day! The presence of Mary illumines the entire world so that even the holy city above has now a more dazzling splendor from the light of this virginal Lamp. With good reason thanksgiving and the voice of praise resound today throughout the courts of Heaven…let us not complain for here we do not have a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come, the same which the blessed Mary entered today.”

We continue to pray for the victims of the recent attacks in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We pray for the repose the victims’ souls and for the healing and consolation of their families and for both those communities. Sadly these types of violent and senseless attacks are all too common in our world today. Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso in reflecting on the horrific attack in his Diocese stated:

Catholics gather in prayer in El Paso following the tragic shootings at Walmart.

Catholics gather in prayer in El Paso following the tragic shootings at Walmart.

“It was precisely to confront this diabolic evil that God sent his Son into the world. It was to enter into the midst of this and to experience its full force that the innocent one, Jesus, experienced his passion and cross. Just when it appeared that evil had won the day Christ rose victorious! This is my hope for all who have suffered this violence today and for our community. The Christ who suffered is in our midst. He is our companion. We trust he will raise up the fallen, bring healing to the victims and console our broken community.

Let us pray that Mary the Mother of Sorrows bring solace and consolation to all who grieve and that the Prince of Peace restore a sense of safety and bring love to our world. Perhaps we might offer special prayers for this intention on the Solemnity of the Assumption this week. May the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven, hear our pleas and intercede for us.

I still serve as the Temporary Administrator at St. Vincent De Paul Church and Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Coventry and will until at least until October. Please understand that I am still the Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy and I continue to reside and work at OLM! I am grateful to Fr. Barrow and other local priests who continue to assist in covering Masses, Funerals, Baptisms, Confessions and Weddings at the Coventry parishes. I also wish to thank you for your patience during this time as both Fr. Barrow and I continue our duties here at OLM and assist the good people of St. Vincent De Paul and OLC.

Be well. Do Good. God Bless! Oremus pro invicem!