Dear Parishioners: I was informed this week by Father Dore that he is not coming but that  Fr. Susai Pascal Raj who just arrived from India will now be preaching the Mission Co-Op this weekend at OLM.     The Mission Co-Op annually calls us to see beyond the borders of our own parish and diocese and help support the work of the Church in  the Missions.  As American Catholics we are blessed with a Church that has many financial resources and many generous benefactors.  This is not true for the Church in the Missions especially in India where the Catholic population is small.  DSCN1318Fr. Raj  is here to preach about  the great needs in India for building up and sustaining the Church and helping the neediest.  I ask you to please be generous in responding to the call for help and to continue to pray for the Missions. Also please give Father Raj your usual warm welcome to OLM!

Father Connors and I have been meeting and planning for the upcoming year.  We hope to offer a series of Adult Education Lectures, offer Adoration on a regular basis, and we looking  forward to being very involved in the school and the newly restructured Religious Education Program.

Recently at a meeting with the priests of the Diocese, Bishop Tobin told us that there are over 500 Masses offered across the Diocese of Providence every weekend!  We have a Catholic  population of about 600,000 people of which about a third go to Mass on Sundays.  In this tiny state that is a whole lot  of Masses, many of which are not well attended. So our Bishop is asking  Pastors to look at their Mass schedules to see if Masses need to be reduced.  This is especially true for parishes where there is only one priest but have a Mass schedule that was originally empty-pews designed for two or three priests. We are truly blessed at OLM with a large Church that holds over 800 people and two priests. It is because of this that we are able to offer  four Masses on weekends. But  beginning on the first Sunday in September we are to offer a fifth Weekend Mass at 5:00PM  on Sunday nights.  This Mass is to be offered only from September through June.  Many parishioners have told me that they often have commitments on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings and therefore go to Mass on Sunday night at St. Francis de Sales or Saints Rose and Clement.  Both those parishes have just one priest and with two priests here at OLM we felt we should offer a similar option.  Plus we’d like to keep our parishioners  coming to OLM!  Also this Mass is to be followed by Religious Education Classes for Grades 6, 7 & 8 on Sundays from 6:00PM until 7:00PM. So please spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors that beginning on September 1st they can go to Mass on Sunday nights at 5:00PM! In addition our Religious Education Program for Grades 1 through 5 is to meet on Sundays from 10:00AM until 11:00AM following the 9:00AM Family Mass.  Moving RE Classes to Sundays connects Religious Education closer to the Eucharist and also provides a  better opportunity for the priests to be more involved.  So get ready for “Mass and Class” this upcoming year.

Last Saturday I visited with Sister Edna Lynch, RSM at Mt. St. Rita in Cumberland.  Sister Edna has had some serious setbacks in her health that require greater care.  She has decided that she is to remain at Mt. St. Rita and leave the Our Lady of Mercy Convent. She has lived on her own but now she feels she needs greater access to health care givers.  She has written a short note published in the bulletin this week.  Also her address is listed in this week’s bulletin if you would like to send her  best wishes.    Mt. St. Rita is certainly a beautiful place and she is getting  the great care and attention she so justly deserves. Please keep her in your prayers and drop her a note or go stop by for visit if you can.

In your name, I welcome to OLM Father Raj!   I am  in upstate  New York this weekend to perform the baptism of my grand-niece and leave you in the capable hands of Fr. Connors  See you next week.  God Bless.  Go Sox!!