Dear Parishioners: I wish to thank OLM Parishioner Colin Tierney, a Junior at Bishop Hendricken High School for including the parish in his efforts to help the victims of the Boston Terrorist Attacks. He was at the Boston Marathon and inspired to react. So he created and designed wristbands with the Holy Father's words to the City of Boston, “Combat evil with good.” What a great way to react to the tragedy with faith and hope! I’m happy to report that he raised $750 selling these wristbands after Mass at OLM for the One Boston Fund. The horrific tragedy in Boston continues to play out in the news media and seems to gain more connections to little Rhode Island everyday. We can only respond with faith, hope and love. In a world too full of fear, hate, violence and war, perhaps we might pray for the many victims of violence and hatred as well as their families who suffer with them. Let us not only pray but let us truly work to “combat evil with good!”
We are looking forward to the celebration of First Communion next weekend. What a happy day for our parish children as they receive the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist for the very first time. Let us pray for them as they continue to prepare for this great day in their young lives. Several years ago Benedict, Pope Emeritus, meet with a group of children who recently made their First Holy Communion. He reflected about his own First Communion and said: “So on that day I was really filled with great joy, because Jesus came to me and I realized that a new stage in my life was beginning, I was 9 years old, and that it was henceforth important to stay faithful to that encounter, to that communion. I promised the Lord as best I could: ‘I always want to stay with you’, and I prayed to him, ‘but above all, stay with me’. So I went on living my life like that; thanks be to God, the Lord has always taken me by the hand and guided me, even in difficult situations.”
I too remember my First Communion Day at St. Paul’s in Cranston. My older brothers served the Mass and I received the Eucharist from Father Raymond Rafferty, then the Assistant Pastor. Afterwards the whole Healey Family went to IHOP! It was a great day and I hope and pray that our OLM First Communion Class will also always remember their special day when they receive the Eucharistic Lord for the first time.
Of course, next Sunday is Mothers’ Day, so we will be praying for all mothers, living and deceased. The First Communion Class will celebrate Mothers’ Day in fine fashion with the May Crowning at next Sunday’s 10:30AM Mass. What a great way to celebrate Mothers’ Day by crowning Mary ,the Mother of the Church and Queen of the May! Father Shemek and I will remember all Mothers at the Masses on Mothers’ Day as we call upon the intercession of our Mother, Our Lady of Mercy.
During his reflection at a recent Wednesday Audience Pope Francis departed from his official text to say, “Mothers, go forth with this witness to the living Christ.” He was referring to the fact that women were the first messengers of the risen Christ when Mary Magdalene took the good news of the resurrection to the disciples. Pope Francis is urging mothers everywhere to be the messengers of the risen Christ to their families most especially their children. Let us pray that Mothers continue to bear witness to the living Christ especially to their children!
It’s hard to believe that year has gone by since we learned of Monsignor Lolio’s tragic death. Without a doubt his family, friends and many parishioners continue to grieve the loss of such a fine priest and pastor. I invite all parishioners to join us for a special First Anniversary Mass in memory of Monsignor Lolio on Monday morning at 9:00AM. Bishop Evans is to celebrate and preach the Mass that will include the children from our parish school. As a former Catholic high school teacher Monsignor Lolio was always very dedicated to Catholic Education. Thanks to his generosity we now have a OLM School Scholarship Fund dedicated to his memory. Let us continue to pray for the repose of his noble soul. God Bless.