Dear Parishioners: Last week was the debut for our new Music Ministers, Jeff Allard and Deirdre Donovan. They are two very talented musicians as you can tell from listening. Jeff serves as our Music Director and Organist and Deirdre as our Assistant Music Director and Soloist. Jeff is a native of North Providence and currently teaches Music at his alma mater, LaSalle Academy. He has served as the Music Director and Organist at various Catholic and Protestant Churches most recently at Our Lady of Grace Church in Johnston. When you see him please give him your usual warm welcome. The voice you heard from the Choir Loft is Deirdre Donovan who comes to us after many years as the soloist at St. Joseph Church in Providence. She also serves as the Music Teacher at St. Paul School in Cranston. Also, please be sure to give her a warm welcome when you see her. So as our new musicians begin their ministry at Our Lady of Mercy, let us pick up our hymnals and sing loudly together in praise and worship of God. As St. Augustine so wisely reminds us: “He who sings, prays twice!”
Next weekend we host the Annual Mission Co-Op Collection and Father Bernard Dore, the Pastor of St. Paul Church in Foster, RI, is to preach at all Masses on behalf of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore in India. The Mission Co-op is an annual event at every parish in the Diocese in which we are called to help support the work of the Missions with our prayers and financial resources. Each summer Missionaries come to parishes across Rhode Island to tell about the good works of the Missions across the globe. Father Dore is a native of India and has been asked to speak to us on the great needs of his home Archdiocese. It is in need of support for its seminarians studying for the priesthood, support of the good works of parish priests, serving the needs of the poor and marginalized, and providing social services to the poorest of the poor through housing projects, education and healthcare initiatives.
There is truly great need in the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. So I ask you to please be prepared for the Second Collection next week which goes directly to support the good works of the Church. There is no envelope for this collection but all checks should be made payable to Our Lady of Mercy Church. The proceeds of next week’s Second Collection are forwarded to the Diocese and then sent directly to the Missions in India. I ask that you please pray for Father Dore, the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore, the Church in India, all missionaries and for the spread of the Gospel in the Missions. In their name, I thank you in advance for your generous response to their needs and your prayerful support of the Mission Co-Op next weekend.
Father Connors is settling in very nicely and was very appreciative of the warm welcome he received last week. If you have not yet met him, please introduce yourself after Mass or when you see him next. Some parishioners remarked to me that Father Connors “seems so young.” Well he was born the year I graduated from high school so I guess that means I’m old! Young or old it is great to have Father Connors on board here at OLM!!
You have probably heard the news that Pope Francis has cleared the way for Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Pope John XXIII to become saints later this year. These two exemplary holy men of the Church are certainly worthy candidates for sainthood. Let us pray for their powerful intercession for our parish and Church. “O Holy Trinity, we thank you for having given to the Church, Blessed Pope John Paul II, and Blessed Pope John XXIII and for having made them shine with your fatherly tenderness and lead in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Grant us, through their intercession, according to your will, the grace that we implore, in the hope that they will soon be numbered among your saints.” I am away next weekend in New York at the baptism of my third grand-niece, Elizabeth Ann. Have a great week and enjoy the All-Star break! God Bless.