Dear Parishioners: Your response to Fr. Nick Smith’s appeal to support the Priests’ Retirement Collection was extremely generous. Once again this year we collected over $10,000 for the fund. As you know the Senior Priest Retirement Fund benefits those priests in our diocese who have reached the retirement age of 70 or older. Despite ‘retirement’ many priests continue to provide pastoral care to the faithful through celebrating Masses, visiting hospitals and nursing homes, volunteering in schools and fulfilling many other duties in continued service to the Lord and the faithful. Thank you for your support of this critical effort to provide for senior priests in their retirement years – years many priests continue to spend very active in ministry. Fr. Smith wrote me a note and shared with me how delighted he was to be here at Our Lady of Mercy. He met several couples he married years ago and hadn’t seen since their wedding day. He also reunited with a man from OLM who was an altar boy for him at the Cathedral back in the 1960s! I thank you for your generous response to the collection. I ask you to please pray for Fr. Smith and all the retired priests of our Diocese who continue to labor in the vineyard.
This week we celebrate our Patronal Feast, as a Parish as, the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy is Tuesday, September 24th. We begin our celebration this Sunday with the Annual OLM Parish Picnic. I hope you can join us for a fun-filled afternoon right here on the grounds of OLM. We will have games for kids and adults, pony rides for children, plenty of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and a Tug-of-War competition between Team Healey and Team Connors! Also we look forward to seeing Fr. Connors display his juggling talents! So stop by on Sunday afternoon to spend some time celebrating our OLM Parish Family. The Knights of Columbus will be cooking hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. You can bring your own picnic food, a chair, blanket and beverage of your choice. There will be a big tent to sit under as well as a dessert table complete with homemade desserts.
On Tuesday we celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mercy Parish so please try to join us for Mass at 7:30AM. We will call upon the intercession of our Patroness, Our Lady of Mercy, to guide and protect our parish family and help us continue to grow in faith, hope and love. This Feast originated when the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter Nolassco in Barcelona, Spain. She also appeared to his confessor, Saint Raymond of Pennafort, and to the King. These three men established a work of the ransoming of captives. Our Lady indicated to them that she desired the establishment of the Mercedarian religious order. The name is derived from the Spanish word for mercy, merced. Its members would seek to free Christian captives from the Moors and offer themselves, if necessary, as an exchange. The Order was constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon, established in Spain and later approved by Pope Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy.
In our times we might pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy as we face the continued threats of terrorism and violence that she might lead us to restore mercy and peace in our world. Also we must turn to her to protect the persecuted Christians in places like Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, India and Nigeria. Just last week a Catholic Priest in Zanzibar was burned with acid by Islamic extremists. May Our Lady of Mercy guide and protect all Christians especially those who face oppression and persecution. You may have noticed the work being done on the Church bathrooms. After many years these bathrooms are being remodeled and updated with new, modern fixtures. A changing table will also be added to one of the bathrooms. They both should be fully operational soon. This project was made possible because of your generosity to the Annual Collection. Thanks for the support. See you at the Picnic! God Bless!