Dear Parishioners: Let  me begin by offering my gratitude for your generous response to the  Priests’ Retirement Fund Collection last weekend.  Your generosity in support of this important collection helped raise over $11,000  and is a steep increase from last year’s total of $7,700.   In the name of all the priests of the Diocese of Providence, I offer our thanks for your support.  I called Fr. Kiley this week to tell him what an effective preacher he truly is and that he is welcome back to OLM anytime!

I also thank the many people who helped to plan and prepare the beautiful Mass and Reception for my installation as Pastor last Sunday.  The presence of  so many parishioners, family, and friends at the Mass was a great source of joy.  I am also grateful to Bishop Evans, my brother priests, the Choir, the Altar Servers and so many others who ensured the Mass was so truly beautiful.  It was a great beginning to my pastorate here at Our Lady of Mercy and again I thank God and Bishop Tobin for sending me to such a wonderful community of faith.  May Our Lady of Mercy, our parish patroness, continue to guide us in the years ahead.

This week we welcomed our First Graders to the Religious Education Program at OLM.  It is always so hopeful to see these young children and their families come to Mass and RE Class.   They were a little shy at first but I’m confident that by the end of classes they will know their prayers and continue to provide hope for the future of our parish.  I thank all of our RE parents for their commitment to ensuring their children are educated and formed in the Catholic Faith.  They are an important and vital part of our parish family.

Fr. Shemek reports that over 30 youth came to the Youth Group Meeting last Saturday. A great beginning to what promises to be an important part of  the life and vitality of our parish family.  There is much planned for the year ahead and all high school students from OLM are free to join them.  Keep an eye on the bulletin for updates on their many activities. I hope to see you on Sunday at the Parish Picnic from Noon to 5pm.  It looks like a beautiful day with good food, good times and good company are in store for us.  God Bless. Go Pats, please!!!