Dear Parishioners: We had a pretty good crowd last Sunday night for our new 5:00PM Mass.  Given that it was a rainy night and also Labor Day Weekend it was great to see so many turn out for it.  I think we might see more as the word gets out and folks return from summer homes and vacations.  In the meantime please tell your neighbors, friends and family members that they now have a fifth chance to get to Mass on Sunday!

Next Sunday is National Catechetical  Sunday in the US. It is a day that we celebrate the religious education and formation of our parish children.  I invite you to join us at the 10:30AM Mass next Sunday as we recognize the men and women who have volunteered to teach the Catholic Faith in our catechetical-sunday-2013-300x250Religious Education Program. This year we begin with changes in our Religious Education Program including moving all our classes to Sunday.  All children in Grades 1-5 will attend classes following the 9:00AM Family Mass (10:00AM-11:00AM) and our students in Grades 6-8 will attend following the 5:00PM Sunday Mass from 6:00PM until 7:00PM.  I thank the volunteer teachers for coming forth to share the faith and teach the children about  Jesus and His Church.  Pray for them as they begin this good work of faith formation and evangelization.  Also pray for the many children and their families of our RE Program, may it be a great year of faith and wisdom for them all! I  ask also for your prayers for our 9th Grade Confirmation Candidates.  They are on Retreat this weekend and on September 22nd.  They are to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on Sunday, October 6th at the 5:00PM Mass.  As they continue to prepare to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, may they also continue to grow in their faith.

On Friday we invoked the Holy Spirit upon the faculty, staff and students of our OLM School.  The Mass for Holy Spirit for the Opening of the School year is traditionally celebrated this time of year.  In fact this coming week Father Connors and I will concelebrate  Masses at the Prout School and Bishop Hendricken with the school chaplains and other local clergy.  May it be a year of growing and learning for all students.

I ask you to mark your calendars for the OLM Parish Picnic on Sunday, September 22nd from 1:00PM until 4:00PM.  Once again  we look forward to gathering and celebrating as a Parish Family in anticipation of the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy on September 24th.  We are hoping for a beautiful day 232323232fp73476_nu=3353_;___887_WSNRCG=3875_337_2336nu0mrjof weather (say some prayers!) and a great turnout once again this year. You are welcome to join us and bring your own picnic food, a chair and a beverage of your choice.  We will provide the tent, condiments, paper-goods,  music, cold water, grills for grilling, games for children and adults, pony rides for kids, and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream for all!  We are always in need of volunteers to help with set-up, running things the day of the picnic and clean-up.   If you can help in anyway just contact the Parish Office at 884-4968 or via email at parish@olmparish.org  Hope to see you there!

Following on Pope Francis’s call to pray for peace this weekend, I ask you to please pray for peace and for a resolution to the conflicts in the Middle East especially in Syria.  Pope Francis stated: “All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace. I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs to all of humanity!”  May the Queen of Peace, the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose birth we celebrate today, truly guide our world into the ways of peace.   We thank Senior Priest, Fr. Nick Smith for preaching to us this weekend about the Priests Retirement Fund Collection.  This important collection is to be taken up next weekend.  Your generosity is always appreciated as is your prayers for our Senior Priests.  Have a great week!  God Bless! Go Sox!  Go Pats!