Golfing for Saints and Scholars, Helping Hurricane Victims and Celebrating Our Lady of Mercy

Golfing for Saints and Scholars, Helping Hurricane Victims and Celebrating Our Lady of Mercy

Dear Parishioners:     

The OLM Golf Tournament at Quidnessett Country Club, September 11, 2017.  L to R: OLM Parishioner George Simms, Michael & David Simms (OLM School Graduates) and Tom Tally of Tally's Religious Goods Store. 

The OLM Golf Tournament at Quidnessett Country Club, September 11, 2017.  L to R: OLM Parishioner George Simms, Michael & David Simms (OLM School Graduates) and Tom Tally of Tally's Religious Goods Store. 

What a spectacular day we had on Monday at the First Annual OLM Golf Tournament. We had 120 golfers playing atthe beautiful Quidnessett Country Club.  God provided beautiful weather and everyone had grand time.                               

We thank Jamie Pedro and her crew of volunteers who organized and put together a great day in support of the Saints and Scholars Fund.  We also thank Lorraine Kane and the great folks at Quidnessett for their generosity and hospitality in hosting our golf tournament. We must also thank our corporate sponsors from Washington Trust, Ocean State Signal, Home Loan Bank, Barrington Promotions, and Wardell & Reed.  We must thank those who sponsored our retired priests and faculty members. We had over 40 tee sponsors and we thank them too!  We are grateful for the generous support from many parishioners, school family and friends of OLM!

We had some great golfers who put their talents on display and the winning score was an incredible 59!!  Fr. Barrow won the clergy prize for lowest score for a first timegolfer!  It was a grand day and we are grateful for all who helped to make it possible.  We are already planning next year’s OLM Golf Tournament!


Sadly while we were on the course golfing in beautiful weather, our brothers and sisters in Florida were dealing the devastation and destruction of Hurricane Irma.  Like Texas once again hundreds of thousands of people in Florida and the Caribbean are suffering and in need. All funds collected in September though OLM Outreach is being dedicated to Hurricane Relief in Texas and Florida through Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and we will also aid those in the Caribbean through Catholic Relief Services (CRS).  


If you would like to help this effort, please make a check payable to OLM Outreach and write “Hurricane Relief” on the envelope and place it in the collection basket or simply mail it to the parish office. There are many of our brothers and sisters suffering and we can aid them in their need with our support. 


CRS is responding to Hurricane Irma with pre-stocked relief supplies and a skilled emergency team headed to the worst affected areas in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean Islands. CCUSA, the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, is already delivering compassionate care and support to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

As Catholics we can take great pride that both these Catholic agencies provide essential support before, during and after disasters and that 100% of the funds collected go directly to those affected.  In the name of the thousands of people suffering because natural disasters, I thank you for your generous support. 

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Next Sunday we mark our Parish Feast Day.  The Feast of Our Lady of Mercy is September 24th and we begin the day with a Solemn Mass at 10:30am.  Following the Mass, we gather for our Annual Parish Picnic, complete with hamburgers and hot dogs, ice cream, games for kids and adults.  Please join us for this great day. 

We ask you to please bring your own beverage (adult or otherwise), chairs, blankets, cigars, and a homemade dessert to share! It should be another great celebration of parish family and friends.  Of course there will be a large screen TV to watch the Pat’s game too!  The Annual Tug-of-War between Team Healey and Team Barrow is on again this year!  I won’t be the anchor this year as I’m a little lighter now!  Join us for good fun, good food and good times!


On Monday, September 25th we have a Holy Hour of Mercy preached by one of our newly ordained priests, Fr. Joseph Brice from St. Augustine Church in Providence.  Two hours of Confession precede the Holy Hour for those in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness of sins.

On Tuesday, September 26th, our talented musicians, Henri St. Louis and Deirdre Donovan, lead our OLM Adult and Children’s Choirs in a Concert of Mercy.  Join us for beautiful sacred music in honor of our patroness, Our Lady of Mercy.  And on Wednesday, September 27th, we invite you to join us in an Act of Mercy as we prepare meals for the homeless.

Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Sox! Go Pats!!!
Celebrate Our Lady of Mercy!


Celebrating Faith, Committment, Prayer and Charity

Celebrating Faith, Committment, Prayer and Charity


Dear Parishioners:   

Labor Day has passed and with it the summer vacation! School is now underway everywhere in the state and collegians have returned to their dorm rooms.  It’s hard to believe that September is well underway already, where did the summer go??!                                                          

On Friday Bishop Evans celebrated the Opening Mass of the School Year for our parish school.  It was an a great way to renew ourselves spiritually for the new school year on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Our excellent faculty including a few new teachers were solemnly installed.  We prayed together for the school, the faculty and staff, students and families.                       

We also recognized at the Mass the special anniversaries of two special people at OLM. Sister Lourdes celebrated 25 years of profession as a Franciscan Apostolic Sister in August and last weekend Sister Jeanne Barry celebrated 60 years as Religious Sister of Mercy.  We thank them for their continued faithful witness to the Evangelical Counsels.                 

On Monday we begin a new event in the life of Our Lady of Mercy Parish.  Our FirstOLM Golf Tournament at Quidnessestt Country Club. We are grateful to those who are playing in the tournament.  It should be a fun filled day of golf and fellowship. We thank all who sponsored the event.              

Next week’s Second Collection is for the Senior Priests Retirement Fund.  This important collection helps to defray the costs of pensions for our Senior Priests. You have always been generous in supporting this crucial collection for priests and I thank you in advance for your generosity.  For the record, I won’t receive the modest priest pension until the year 2040 and Fr. Barrow until the year 2064!!!                           


We continue to pray for the many victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The devastation and destruction of property is costly but the death of so many due to the storm is so terribly tragic.  Let us continue to pray for the repose of the souls of those who died as we also pray for those still suffering.  For those who wish to help the Hurricane Harvey Relief, we encourage your support of September’s OLM Outreach collection. If you wish to support the relief effort, I ask you to please make a check payable to OLM Outreach and place it in an envelope marked“Hurricane Relief.” Simply place the envelope in the collection basket during the month of September.  As always I thank you for your generous support!      

We’ve all seen the utter devastation and destruction in Texas.  However, what has been more impressive is the response of kindness and compassion offered to strangers from so many.  Such charity and civility has been lacking in our society for many years now.  The last time I witnessed such a tremendous outpouring of compassion and service was following the September 11th attacks upon our nation.                   

Sadly we recall that somber anniversary on Monday.  It has been sixteen years since that fateful day on which so many died at the hands of madmen.  Sadly many still suffer loss and grief and we continue to be a nation at war with terror. But the response of charity and service following September 11thshould serve as a reminder of what we can truly be in this nation.  When tragedy strikes, we respond not with fear and loathing but with courage and compassion.  Let us pray that the great spirit of service and charity witnessed sixteen years ago inspires us to recommit to such courage and compassion again!                           


I am reminded of the words of Timothy Cardinal Dolan on the Tenth Anniversary of September 11th. He stated:      “We came together across religious, political, social and ethnic lines to stand as one people to heal wounds and defend against terrorism. As we face today's challenges of people out of work, families struggling, and the continuing dangers of wars and terrorism, let us summon the 9/11 spirit of unity to confront our challenges. Let us pray that the lasting legacy of 9/11 is not fear, but rather hope for a world renewed. May we resolve to put aside our
differences and join together in the task of renewing our nation and world.”                                            

Good words to reflect on for the anniversary of 9/11 and the recent events in Texas.  Pray for all victims and all those still suffering.  Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Sox! Go Pats!!!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

We wish all a Happy Labor Day!  Let us together pray for all working men and women and for all who seek the dignity that work bestows.  

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Hurricane Harvey Relief, Praying for Victims and Giving Thanks for Labor

Hurricane Harvey Relief, Praying for Victims and Giving Thanks for Labor

Dear Parishioners:                                


No doubt you have been watching the news coverage of the incredible damage that Hurricane Harvey has left behind in Texas.  Buildings destroyed, homes wrecked, lives destroyed and flooding beyond belief.  I have a cousinliving in Houston but thankfully she fled to Dallas to be with her daughter.  Others were not so lucky and I know many parishioners have friends and relatives suffering in Texas. Let us continue to pray for those so adversely affected by the hurricane.

Daniel Cardinal Di Nardo issued the following statement:

“As the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, this crisis hits very close to home. In solidarity with my brother bishops in this area of the country, I call on people of faith to pray for all of those who have been impacted by this Hurricane, and I ask people of good will to stand with the victims and their families.


May God, the Lord of mercy and compassion, protect all who are still in danger, and bring to safety those who are missing. May He care in a special way for those who were already homeless, or without support and resources, before this disaster. We pray in thanksgiving for the first responders who are risking their lives to save others at this very moment. We include in our intentions the everyday heroes reaching out to help their neighbors in need, those who, like the Good Samaritan, cannot walk by a person in need without offering their hand in aid.”

We need to continue to pray for the relief efforts, the rescuers, and the many victims.  But we can also help with solidarity and support through generous donations. 

All funds collected for OLM Outreach during the month of September are being dedicated to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts under the direction of Catholic Charities USA.  There is more information about this effort in the bulletin and links are available online at the parish website. If you care to donate, simply make a check payable to OLM Outreach with “Hurricane Relief” in the memo and drop it in the collection basket at Sunday Mass.


Here is a prayer we can offer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey: “Merciful Father, we pray for all those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and offer the words of the psalmist:   ‘May the Lord give might to his people; may the Lord bless his people with peace.’  We pray for families who seek shelter, for people who search for loved ones, for survivorswho look to the future, forrescue workerswho work tirelessly and for the dead and injured.  Lord, give might to those who need your strength to carry on. Fill their troubled hearts with your peace and move us with your compassion that we may respond generously to those in need.  Amen.”

The damage from Hurricane Harvey is absolutely staggering. The latest news reports suggest that five people have been reported dead and many more missing.  The early estimate is that the long-term recovery needs in Houston are beyond $20 billion and this does not include the other major cites like Rockport, Corpus Christi,  Victoria, and the hard hit rural areas of Austin.   Let us continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Texas and offer our support and solidarity.


We celebrate Labor Day this weekend and so we pray for all working men and women and all those who seek the dignity of work. As Catholics we should remember thatthe moral and philosophical framework that energized and sustained the struggles of working women and men in the early days of organized labor are found in Catholic teaching.

The US Bishops state: “The message of solidarity and the pursuit of the global common good builds on the tradition begun by Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum in 1891 and extends through the twentieth century in a powerful series of papal encyclicals. It was embraced and expanded by the prophetic words and witness of Pope John Paul II, an apostle of solidarity, who constantly stood with workers and the poor.”

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On Labor Day we pray for workers, for a just wage for all workers, for a deeper respect of the dignity that work provides people and for an increase of opportunities for good jobs. 

Pope Francis reminds us: “Power, money, and culture do not give us dignity.  Work, honest work, gives us dignity." Happy Labor Day! Do good. Be well. God Bless!!  Go Sox!! Pray for Texas!!

First Day of School, New Schedules and a little Golf Outing at OLM

First Day of School, New Schedules and a little Golf Outing at OLM

Dear Parishioners:                                


Fr. Connors left this past week to return to his studies.  He is to be in Germany for the next month working on his German language skills and then back to Rome.  He expects to complete his doctorate this academic year and defend his dissertation some time in the spring.  It is usually a three to five year process, Fr. Connors is completing it in just two years.  Keep him in your prayers.  He will be back to OLM for the Christmas holiday.

It’s back to school for many students and teachers this coming week! OLM School begins on Wednesday as does the Town of East Greenwich. Please keep all teachers and students in your prayers and pray they may have a productive and fruitful year growing in faith, love and knowledge.  It’s hard to believe that the summer is over!!

St. Patrick's Parishioners receive backpacks

St. Patrick's Parishioners receive backpacks

In the name of Fr. James Ruggeri and his parishioners, I wish to thank the many OLM parishioners who were so generous to the recent Backpack Drive. Thanks to your generous support we were able to deliver 125 backpacks full of school supplies to some very happy and grateful children at St. Patrick’s Parish in Providence!  I thank our OLM Confirmation Candidates who helped organize and assemble all the backpacks and also Mary Anne Weaver and Kathy Hall who coordinated and delivered the backpacks!

Now that the summer is drawing to a close and September arrives this week please note a couple of changes in our schedule.  The 5:00pm Mass on Sunday evenings returns next Sunday, September 3rd for those who like a later Mass on Sundays.  Also First Friday Eucharistic Adoration returns on this Friday, September 1st.  As always we are in need of people to sign up for prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

Speaking of the schedule, please add to your list of events on your calendar the First Annual OLM Golf Tournament.  It takes place on Monday, September 11th at the Quidnessett Country Club.  There are a limited number of foursomes but there are still a few left for any OLM golfers.  Also if you or your business would like to support this great event with sponsorship there are ample opportunities.  We are also looking for a sponsorship of a clergy foursome for some of our retired priests. You can find the details about the OLM Golf Tournament on our parish webpage. Just click the link and all the information about foursomes, the dinner, and sponsorship is readily available.  You can register online or in person at the Parish Office.  Thanks for your support!

Speaking of the parish website, have you taken a look at it lately.  Thanks to the hard work of Fr. Barrow and our Parish Secretary, Sandra Demers, we have a newly redesigned webpage.  You can find it at and, so go take a look.  I think you will like the improvements made on it and some of the new content.  It is a work in progress and we are still continuing to add more information and content. 


Our school is now graced with a new school sign.  It matches all the other signage at the parish and replaces the old sign that was rotting and kept falling down.  I hope you like it! Paul Anderson and the hard working OLM Maintenance crew have OLM School in tip-top shape for the first day of school.  They’ve worked tremendously hard these last few weeks, cleaning, painting, landscaping and waxing floors!  I am grateful for their dedication to keeping OLM Parish and School a beautiful place to worship and praise God!

First Day of School at OLM 2016

First Day of School at OLM 2016

It seems most students are back to school this week whether at OLM School, high school or college.  Let us keep them in our prayers and offer this prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas, the Patron of Students:  “Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever.”

Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Sox!

Remembering the End of War and Rejecting the Evil of Racism

Remembering the End of War and Rejecting the Evil of Racism

Dear Parishioners:                             


Last weekend there was a mild debate in the rectory among the priests as to what we should properly call Monday’s holiday.  Is it “Victory Day” or “VJ Day”? Officially it is named “Victory Day” and Rhode Island is the only state that still celebrates it as a holiday.   When I was a child it was always called “VJ Day” as it marked the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II. 

The day had special significance in my household as my late Father was a combat veteran of the Second World War.  He fought the German Army and the Nazi regime in Italy.  My Father always told me that if Japan had not surrendered he would have been shipped to the Pacific for an invasion of Japan.  Therefore, he always insisted on calling the holiday, “VJ Day.” Well, no matter what we call it, what is important is that we remember its historical significance. And also remember the sacrifice made by America’s Greatest Generation. They helped to defeat the hatred and violence of the Japanese and German fascists regimes.                                


How terribly sad it was to learn of the last weekend’s tragedy in Virginia where agroup of neo-Nazis and White Supremacists gathered to publicly display their racist and hateful ideas.  Violence erupted and a young woman lost her life.   How very tragic and sad that such hate and violence should take place as we mark the defeat of fascists in World War II. The racist message espoused by these neo-Nazis and White Supremacists is repugnant and reprehensible.  It is an affront to all right thinking Americans but especially to America’s Greatest Generation who sacrificed so much to defeat the racist and hateful ideology of the Nazis.


It wasn’t lost on me that as we marked Monday’s civic holiday, the Church celebrated the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe,  a  Franciscan Priest who died at the hands of the Nazis at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Inspired by the truth of Jesus Christ, St. Maximilian resisted the racist ideology of the Nazi regime with every ounce of his being.  In the ultimate sacrifice, he gave up life to save a fellow prisoner from execution at the hands of their Nazi captors.              

With his in mind, let us pray for end to racism, hatred and violence of all kinds and let us reject the Nazi and bigoted ideology displayed in Virginia. News reports indicate that these Nazis are bringing their racist and hateful message to Boston this weekend.  Their sinful and evil message of racism and hatred must be condemned and rejected at everyone of us.             

In light of the tragedy in Virginia,  Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement:       "Our prayer turns to the people of Charlottesville who offered a counter example to the hate marching in the streets. Let us unite ourselves in the spirit of hope offered by the clergy, people of faith, and all people of good will who peacefully defended their city and country.  We stand against the evil of racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. We stand with our sisters and brothers united in the sacrifice of Jesus, by which love's victory over every form of evil is assured."                                

Let it be very clear that racism of all kinds and anyone expressing hatred for another because of the color of his or her skin, is always evil.  In Catholic teaching, racism is considered an intrinsic evil on par with a the evils of abortion, assisted suicide and torture.  In moral theology, this means it can never be justified. It is always, under every circumstance, evil. And the events of last weekend serve to remind us, perhaps with even more urgency now that we are called reject such evil and work for its end.  This goes far beyond any politics. There are no two sides to this issue. There is only one side. We can only stand against the evil of racism.             


St. John Paul taught us: “Racism is a sin that constitutes a serious offence against God.  To oppose racism we must practice the culture of reciprocal acceptance, recognizing in every man and woman a brother or sister with whom we walk in solidarity and peace. The Church asks all believers to make their own responsible contribution of conversion of heart. ”Let us unite against all racism and pray for the end of such evil and hatred.                          

We say “So Long” to Fr. Connors who returns to Rome this week. Do good.  Be well. God Bless. Go Sox!