Dear Parishioners: We had a great celebration last Sunday night as 93 of our young parishioners were confirmed by Bishop Evans. The Confirmation Mass was solemn and beautiful and I offer thanks to the many who worked so hard to make it a wonderful celebration. In special way, we thank Bishop Evans for his presence and ministry at our parish, the Choir and musicians for adding such beauty to the celebration, and the ushers who did a great job helping our many visitors to OLM. I also wish to thank our Religious Education Staff especially Mickey St. Jean and Doug Green who helped to plan and prepare the candidates for this important day. We also thank the many teachers who taught the candidates over the years about Christ and His Church. They along with their parents who guide them in the ways of the faith are to be commended. Finally, we thank the 93 newly confirmed for staying the course and committing to Christ as young adults. They have done so in a very public and communal way and that is most commendable. The parish celebration of Confirmation gives the candidates strength in their faith and our parish and Church hope for the future. Now these newly confirmed must continue to grow in the faith and guide their lives by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I ask you to continue to pray for them that they will stay close to Christ and His Church and bear witness to the Lord in their lives. In the coming weeks, Fr. Connors and I will be sending each of them a letter inviting them to take up a ministry here at OLM and we hope they will consider serving God and their parish as Confirmed Catholics! Pope Francis confirmed young adults last April at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In his homily, he encouraged the newly confirmed and his words are worth reflecting upon by all of us but most especially by the young people of our parish. Pope Francis states: “And here I come to my last point. 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! There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives. This is especially so whenever we feel poor, weak and sinful, because God grants strength to our weakness, riches to our poverty, conversion and forgiveness to our sinfulness. The Lord is so rich in mercy: every time, if we go to him, he forgives us. Let us trust in God’s work! With him we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses. Commit yourselves to great ideals, to the most important things. We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals, my dear young people.”
It was great to see quite a few people take advantage of our new Monday night Confessions. We hope that this addition to our OLM Schedule provides a more convenient day and time to get to Confession. Consider what Pope Francis has said about Confession: “Humility and kindness are the framework of a Christian life. Oftentimes we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaners to get out a stain, but it isn’t. It’s an encounter with Jesus who waits for us to forgive us and offer salvation.” We had a pretty good crowd for our first Monday of October Devotions. If you couldn’t make it, consider coming this Monday. We gather before the Eucharist, listen to a short talk, pray the Rosary and adore the Lord. Can you think of something better to do on a Monday night? Have a Happy Columbus Day! God Bless. Go Pats! Go Sox?!! Remember Mondays are for Mary!!