Dear Parishioners: On Monday we celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. We always turn to our Mother, Mary, in times of trouble but in a special way we do so on this feast. Our world seems to be full of the bad news of war and violence, suffering and sorrow and so we need especially to turn to Our Lady for her powerful intercession. Pope Francis said last weekend that “war is madness.” Standing at an altar beneath the towering Redipuglia memorial entombing 100,000 Italian soldiers fallen in World War I, the pope said "even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction."
The President and Congress are considering how to engage the war on terror against the Islamic terrorists who continue to brutally attack innocents across the Mideast and beyond. Last week this blood-thirsty band of madmen know as ISIS or ISIL beheaded another journalist. Their savagery knows no bounds as we continue to wait to see how the world might stop their campaign of evil and destruction. So if there were ever the time for us to turn to prayer and ask for the powerful intercession of Our Lady it is now.
We began this past week by turning to Our Lady of Sorrows asking her to intercede for those who suffer in sorrow for the death of loved one but also for those who suffer the sorrow of war, disease and violence. We certainly need the maternal closeness of the Sorrowful Mother to sustain us when overcome by the terrifying trials of life in this world. And while we looked to Our Lady of Sorrows last week, we now look forward in faith, hope and joy to Our Lady of Mercy’s Feast this week!
We begin the celebration of our parish feast this Sunday with the Parish Picnic. It should be a great day of sun and fun, good food and good times for parishioners of all ages. So skip the Patriot’s game, tell the kids they can play soccer next Sunday, play golf another day, sail sometime later and instead join us for a great family celebration as a parish. The celebration continues this week with three more special events in the life our parish.
On Monday night at 7:00PM we have a time of prayer and reflection that includes Eucharistic Adoration and a reflection on the meaning of mercy by Father Chris Maher. Father served as an Associate Pastor here at OLM and now serves as the Rector of Our Lady of Providence Seminary where he oversees the young men preparing for the priesthood. I hope you can attend this time of prayer and reflection in honor of Our Lady of Mercy. Also plan on joining us on Tuesday night at 7:00PM for a concert of Marian Music. Our very talented organist Henri St. Louis and soloist Deirdre Donovan along with our wonderful Adult and Children’s Choirs perform a selection of beautiful hymns and songs dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Following the concert you are invited to join us a reception in the Church vestibule as we continue our celebration of our parish feast.
On the actual Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, Wednesday, September 24th, we gather for Mass at 7:30AM. We sing and pray for the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of our parish. Join us for the Mass and the reception to follow immediately afterwards. If you cannot celebrate at these events I do ask each parishioner to offer a prayer on Wednesday on her feast day to Our Lady of Mercy. We turn to her with all our sorrows and joys and ask her to intercede for us and our parish family.
Let us pray: “O Mother of Mercy, Healer of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comforter of the Afflicted, You know my wants, my difficulties, my suffering. Look with Mercy on me and comfort me in my time of trouble and lay your healing love upon me. Amen.”
On behalf of my family, I offer my sincerest thanks for your many acts of kindness and expressions of sympathy on the recent death of my brother. I am truly grateful for being part of such a supportive, caring and merciful parish family as OLM. God Bless. See you at the Picnic!!