Dear Parishioners: Labor Day Weekend has come and gone and so it seems has summer! It’s good news and bad news! The good news is that now we get to see and meet many parishioners who have been away at those “summer parishes” but the bad news is we meet summer’s end. It’s good news too that the Patriot’s Season Opener is Sunday after all the bad news about the Red Sox!! The good news is that after just a month here at Our Lady of Mercy I am now beginning to settle in a bit but the bad news is I still don’t know everyone’s name yet! It’s certainly good news to welcome Father John A. Kiley who is with us this weekend to preach on behalf of the Senior Priests’ Retirement Fund. The fund which provides a modest pension for Senior Priests of the Diocese of Providence is greatly underfunded and is in critical need of financial support. Father Kiley was a long serving and distinguished pastor in our Diocese who retired last June and now serves as one of our finest Senior Priests. He provided great help to me while I was Pastor at St. Ambrose and he continues to serve there regularly. In addition to that he also serves many other parishes as a supply priest as well as helping out the Chaplains at Rhode Island Hospital. Father Kiley never says “No” when it comes to serving God’s people! Father Kiley still writes his weekly column in The Rhode Island Catholic entitled The Quiet Corner and he is a frequently published letter-to-the-editor writer to The Providence Journal. With credit to General McArthur’s Farewell Address to Congress let me paraphrase: “Old priests never die nor do they fade away!” For as you can see by Father Kiley’s exemplary example, Senior Priests in the Diocese of Providence are vital to the continued life and ministry of our Church and the many parishes of our Diocese. In their name and my own, I ask you to please be generous in next week’s Second Collection for the Senior Priests’ Retirement Fund. Consider your gift as an act of thanksgiving for the priests you’ve known over the years and the many Senior Priests today who like Father Kiley have served and continue to serve so faithfully in our Diocese. It seems ironic that the very weekend I am to be officially installed as the seventeenth Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church; we are having a second collection for retired priests! I am far from retiring as I am only 47 years old and cannot even consider retirement until I am at least 70 and then only if the Bishop allows it! So I am here to stay and hope in the years ahead we can together continue to build upon the fine tradition of faith and good works at Our Lady of Mercy Parish. Bishop Evans is to officially install me as Pastor next Sunday at the 10:30AM Mass. If you cannot be present at the Mass, I humbly ask for your continued prayers for my pastorate. May Our Lady of Mercy, our Parish Patroness, continue to guide and protect us as we serve her Son and His Church. God Bless. Go Pats!!!