Dear Parishioners:

We had a great afternoon last Sunday at our OLM School Picnic.  The sun was shining; the food was good and the company even better.  Father Shemek and I truly enjoyed meeting many of our school families. It was a great way to start the school year.  My thanks to all who worked so hard in planning and preparing it.  Of course, it was made all the better as the Picnic began after an impressive Patriot’s victory!

On Monday I spoke to a large group of OLM School Parents at the Open House.  I shared with them my fear that at times an attitude appears in the Church that the support of our Catholic schools is only the duty of the parents who have children there and sometimes schools are looked upon as “drain” on the rest of the parish.  However, sometimes the school is viewed by school families as a separate entity removed from the life of the parish. Neither attitude is acceptable and both are really “non-Catholic.”  OLM School families are a vital part of our parish community as are the many families whose children do not attend the school.  Too often parishes develop an attitude of “us and them.” This type of attitude is unacceptable for any faith community but most especially for a Catholic Parish Family.  It can never be “us and them” but must always be “we” at Our Lady of Mercy!

We have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the “We” of Our Lady of Mercy next Sunday at our Parish Family Picnic.  Father Shemek and his hardworking committee have planned a great day in just a short time.  There will be good food, good times and good fun for the entire parish family.  We’ve heard from over 600 families that they will be attending.  I hope you and your family might join us!  Father Shemek and I have been truly humbled by the warm welcome and enthusiastic reception we have received since arriving at OLM and we are looking forward to seeing and celebrating our Catholic faith and our parish family next Sunday.

My thanks to Bishop Evans for taking the time from his busy schedule to celebrate Mass and install me as Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy this weekend.  I am overjoyed to be here and look forward to serving such a wonderful parish family.  God Bless.  Go Pats!!