I offer my thanks to the many parishioners who so generously responded in supporting the Catholic Charity Appeal last weekend.  Over 250 parishioners donated or pledge a gift last week including over 100 who did so for the very first time!  I am grateful to Kevin and Nancy McDevitt for their leadership of the Appeal and especially for Kevin’s great job helping us with the in-pew pledge process.

The in-pew pledge system is currently used by nearly every parish in the Diocese and has proven effective  not only in helping parishes meet their goals but increasing awareness of the Appeal and its many good works as well as bringing in new donors.  Clearly this was the case at OLM last week as 125 people responded for the very first time!

If you have not yet made your pledge to the Appeal, I ask you to please consider doing so this week.  We are asking every family to consider a pledge of $250 payable over 12 months. This is about $20 per month to support the Diocese’s efforts to serve the poor, the needy and the suffering.  I ask you to please take an Appeal pledge envelope located in the pews home with you this weekend and return your pledge in next weekend’s collection basket.     ehouse21

I wish to also thank Steven Zubiago, the Chair of the Bishop’s Partners in Charity at OLM, for leading the effort to reach out  to those parishioners who are able to donate $1000 or more in support of the Appeal.  This is also a very important part of reaching our Appeal Goal of $195,000 and I am grateful for his leadership.

In 1925, Bishop William Hickey, the Bishop of Providence, established the  Appeal to support the good works of the Catholic Church in Rhode Island.  Today, the Appeal supports 39 charitable ministries and programs of the Diocese of Providence that provide social, educational and spiritual support to those in need. My thanks for your generous support in keeping this outstanding tradition alive today for the many poor and needy who benefit from the good works of our Church.

I am happy to welcome  Father Tim Reilly to Our Lady of Mercy this weekend.  Father Reilly will be leading us on our annual Parish Lenten Mission.  He serves  as the Chancellor of the Diocese of Providence and Assistant Spiritual Director at Our Lady of Providence Seminary.  Father Reilly is a native of Riverside and a graduate of Boston University  and studied for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he obtained advanced degrees in theology and OLM Crucifixcanon law. During his priesthood he has served at St. Francis in Wakefield, St. Brendan and as Chaplain at Prout.  He is a gifted speaker and I am sure you will enjoy his preaching.

He is to preach all the Masses this weekend and then will give a talk each night on  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:00PM.  Please note that Mass will not be celebrated these nights but there will be Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesday night’s Mission.  Also confessions will be heard each night of the Mission from 5:30 until 6:30 PM.  I hope you can make some or all of the Mission this year.  It is a great Lenten tradition to take some time out to pray, reflect and renew our spiritual lives at a Mission.  If you cannot make it, please pray for those making the Mission and for it’s success in deepening the faith life of our parish.

We look forward to next week’s celebration of the great feasts of St. Joseph and St. Patrick.  Monsignor Albert Kenney will celebrate the Mass and preach to us on Tuesday, March 19th at 12:05PM.  In honor of  St. Joseph’s Day  the Mass will be celebrated in Italian complete with Italian Hymns.  Don’t be fooled by Monsignor’s surname, his Mother’s maiden name is Spinale and he studied in Rome! I invite you to join us for a zeppole after the Mass!  On Saturday night,  March 23rd, we will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an “Irish Celebration” to benefit McAuley House.  Join us in the OLM School Cafeteria for  corned beef sandwiches, Irish soda bread, live Irish Music and Step Dancers.  God Bless.