Dear Parishioners: It was a joyful and wonderful celebration of First Holy Communion last weekend at Our Lady of Mercy. Over 100 of our parish children received the Eucharistic Lord in Holy Communion for the very first time Saturday. Congratulations to them all!
On Sunday they returned to Church for the May Crowing at the 10:30AM Mass and celebrated our patroness, Our Lady of Mercy, in fine fashion. Of course, the May Crowning is so special on Mother’s Day and this year was no exception. In your name, I offer our thanks to all who made the celebration possible for these children. Their parents and families who first planted the seed of faith and ensured it is nourished and strengthened with the Sacraments are to be thanked. We are also grateful to the many teachers and helpers who instructed and prepared the children for this joyous time in their lives. We thank the musicians, ushers, readers, ministers and all those who worked so hard in making this celebration such a great occasion of faith, hope and love for our parish and for these children.
We also must thank Sister Rose who has dedicated herself to forming the young children of our parish in the Catholic Faith. For twenty years, she has committed her time and talent to ensuring that Jesus and His Church are central in the lives of the children of our parish and we are grateful for her tireless and selfless service. Just a few weeks ago after meeting with the Provincial of the Filipini Sisters, Sister Rose informed me of her intention to retire from her role as the Directress of Religious Education. We are certainly most grateful for her many years of service to Our Lady of Mercy Parish. Also, Sister Lucy who has served here for many years will be retiring as the Pastoral Minister to the Sick, Elderly and Homebound. Mother Provincial has indicated that both Sister Rose and Sister Lucy will be moving from the Filipini Convent at OLM in the coming months to live with larger Filipini Communities. Sister Lucy is to move to the Filipini Convent at Mt. Carmel Parish in Bristol while Sister Rose is to return to her native New Jersey. We are planning a Special Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration for the good sisters in the coming weeks.
This weekend we welcome the Most Reverend Thomas Tobin, the Bishop of Providence, to Our Lady of Mercy. He is coming to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for over 100 of our OLM young adults at 1:00PM on Sunday. We look forward to officially welcoming our Bishop and celebrating with our Confirmation Class and their families. How appropriate that we celebrate Confirmation on the great feast of Pentecost when we celebrate the Holy Spirit. Pentecost recalls the Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles and Mary and then, through them came upon all who would choose Jesus Christ. The apostles began the mission of evangelization, of bringing the world to the Good News of the Gospel by invoking the Holy Spirit, the Power of God. In a very special way we pray for these young adults of our parish as they are confirmed by Bishop Tobin and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is a great day for them and their families but also for our parish congratulations as they are confirmed in their Catholic Faith.
In April, Pope Francis celebrated Confirmation in Rome for 44 young adults from around the world including several from the United States. In a profound reflection, Pope Francis reminded the young people about the importance of Confirmation. He invited these young people to live their faith fully and courageously. He stated: “It is an invitation which I make to you, young confirmandi, and to all present. Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. Pay attention, my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage!” Congrats to our OLM newly confirmed in the faith! God Bless.