Dear Parishioners:This weekend we begin a new tradition at Our Lady of Mercy as we celebrate a Mass for our 8th Grade Class. At the 10:30AM Mass each of our graduating 8th Graders is to receive a newly designed Our Lady of Mercy School Graduation Medal. Gathering with the 8th Grade Graduation Class at a parish Mass provides the entire parish an opportunity to acknowledge their hard work, academic achievement and growth in the Catholic Faith over these last eight years. These thirty-one young men and women are to graduate from our parish school on Wednesday night. So as they prepare for this milestone in their young lives, we as their parish family offer them our heartfelt congratulations and the promise of prayers as they go off to high school. As we pay tribute to the OLM Graduation Class, it is also an opportunity to congratulate all those who graduate from school this year. Our parish has many parishioners graduating high school, college and graduate school. We wish all of them the best of luck and offer our prayerful congratulations. We pray for their continued success as they mark a new chapter in their young lives. Let us pray for the Class of 2014: “May you have wisdom in heart and mind, success in every challenge you find, courage to seek God’s purpose for you, belief in yourself to make it come true, strength to do your best and endure in trial, and the guiding light of faith to ensure that wherever you go, whatever you do, God’s love will always see you through the years ahead. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” We had a good start to the sign-ups for our new OLM Vacation Bible School scheduled for the week of June 23rd. If your child is in Grade Kindergarten through 6, we encourage them to sign up for this great time to discover more about their Catholic Faith. This is an exciting new program and we look forward to helping the children of our parish learn about their faith and have some summer fun too! I encourage parents of children in our Religious Education Program to re-register them for next year’s program. Forms can be obtained online at the parish website or picked up at the Parish Office during business hours. We also remind parents of all students entering the 8th Grade whether Catholic, private or public schools that your child needs to register for the Confirmation Program. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in the fall of their 9th Grade and the program should be completed in the 8th Grade. For more information, please contact our Religious Education Office. I am very appreciative of the many parishioners who offered a warm welcome last weekend to our Summer Seminarian, Nick Robenhymer. He is here for about ten weeks working and living with Fr. Connors and me. If you have not introduced yourself yet, please do so after Mass or when you see him around the parish or in town. It can be tough to be the new guy in town, so please be sure to welcome him to OLM! Today is Pentecost Sunday, a feast that ranks with Christmas and Easter as one of the great feast of our Catholic Faith. On Christmas we celebrate the birthday of Christ in His Physical Body. On Easter, we celebrate the new birth of Christ in His Resurrected Body. Today is the birthday of the Church, of all those who have been reborn into His Mystical Body. Pope Francis preaching on Pentecost says: “The Pentecost of the Upper Room in Jerusalem is the beginning, a beginning which endures. The Holy Spirit is the supreme gift of the risen Christ to his apostles, yet he wants that gift to reach everyone. It is the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, the “Comforter”, who grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the Gospel! The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon and drives us to the very outskirts of existence in order to proclaim life in Jesus Christ.” Happy Pentecost! Summer is coming soon. One sure sign was the number of parishioners Fr. Connors and I saw last Saturday night at the Hilltop Creamery! Congratulations to our OLM 8th Grade! God Bless. Go Sox!