Dear Parishioners: It was quite a big crowd of our Catholic Athletic League (CAL) Basketball players, coaches and families joined us at last Saturday’s 5:00PM Mass.  Their season begins this weekend and we were able to offer our prayers, support and a special blessing for them last week.  My thanks to the CAL coordinators and coaches who volunteer so much time and energy for our youth.  Best of luck to all the players for a great season! Go OLM!

On Sunday Father Shemek and I attended the OLM School CAL Cross Country Team Banquet.  The Boys’ Team were the State Champions and the Girls’ Team were the Divisional Champions this year.  At the banquet, Ryan Meehan, a graduate of OLM School where he ran for the Cross Country Team, offered some very inspirational words to our young runners.  Ryan  is now an outstanding NCAA athlete at Harvard  where he studies Math and Economics.  It was  a great celebration on Sunday and I offer our thanks to the coaches for their dedication to providing such a great opportunity and terrific program to our school children. A sincere congratulations to all of our OLM runners on a great season!

Next weekend students from our Confirmation Class are holding a Coat Drive at all Masses looking for some gently used winter coats.  Interestingly enough on November 11th we celebrate the Feast of St. Martin of Tours. The story  told of St. Martin is that on a bitterly cold day he met a poor man with no coat trembling in the cold and begging at the city gate. Martin, a pagan Roman solider,  had nothing but his weapons and his clothes. He drew his sword, cut his cloak into two pieces, gave one to the beggar and wrapped himself in the other half. Later that night in his sleep Martin saw Christ dressed in the half of the garment he had given away, and heard him say, "Martin, still unbaptized, has covered me with his garment."  Perhaps inspired  the example of St. Martin you might consider giving an extra coat to someone in need.

No doubt we are all still concerned and praying for all the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Many parishioners have asked about helping people with relief efforts.  If you would like to help , I ask you to please write a check payable to OLM with “Hurricane Sandy” in the memo line, place it in an envelope marked “Hurricane Relief”  and throw in the regular collection basket.  All the funds collected from OLM will be sent to the Diocese and distributed to those in need.  Let’s keep praying for the victims. We have a bulletin this week thanks to a generator in New Jersey!

I am away this weekend in Baltimore at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Annual Meeting where I serve on a subcommittee for the Defense of Marriage. Hope you have a very Happy Veterans Day!  My thanks and prayers to all veterans, please pray for them.  Please also pray for our country and our newly elected leaders. God Bless America.  God Bless.