Dear Parishioners: It’s been a busy week this week even though we started with the Columbus Day Holiday on Monday. On Tuesday, Fr. Connors joined with Fr. Chris Murphy, the Chaplain of Bishop Hendricken High School, and Fr. Joe Upton, the Prout Chaplain, and took a bus of high school students to St. John’s Seminary in Boston. These young men were able to tour the seminary, pray with the nearly 100 seminarians, and join them for a meal. They were also able to meet with Seminarian Brian Morris who is from Our Lady of Mercy Parish, and Nick Robenhymer, who served as our Summer Seminarian this past summer. It was a great opportunity for this group of young men to see first hand what life in a major seminary is like, but also to meet many other young men who are presently preparing for the priesthood. I am grateful that Fr. Connors, Fr. Murphy, and Fr. Upton took time out of their busy schedules to arrange this Vocation Awareness Trip.
However, vocations are everyone’s business not just the young priests of our diocese. Bishop Tobin has asked for all Catholics to pray with devotion and fervor for more vocations to the priesthood. He is holding monthly Holy Hours for Vocations across the Diocese. The next Holy Hour for Vocations is scheduled for Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM at St. Joseph Church, 1200 Mendon Road, Woonsocket. Bishop Tobin has called us to unite in prayer that many more men respond to God's call to the priesthood in the Diocese of Providence.
Bishop Tobin was with us on Wednesday night for Mass at Our Lady of Mercy and we had a great crowd. He came at the invitation of Fr. Connors as part the Diocesan effort to outreach to Young Catholics. Fr. Connors has been working with the Diocesan Office of Catholic Youth Ministry to develop programs for Catholics in their 20s and 30s. Bishop Tobin not only celebrated Mass here but following the Mass he joined many of these Young Catholics for a time of questions and answers.
On Thursday nearly 50 of our OLM Parishioners made a Pilgrimage to the Divine Mercy Shrine in beautiful Stockbridge, Massachusetts. They had a great day of prayer and devotion that included Mass at the Shrine, a talk by Fr. Michael Gaitley, who serves at the Shrine and is a noted spiritual writer, and also some time of private prayer at the beautiful shrine. It was truly a tremendous day of faith and a wonderful way to come together as a parish community.
Our parish community has a great opportunity coming on Saturday, November 1st. It is the Feast of All Saints but because the holy day falls on a Saturday it is not a holy day of obligation. However, we can celebrate our faith in the communion of saints by putting our efforts to be holy into action. OLM is hosting a “Helping Hands” Meal Packing event co-sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and End Hunger Now. We need volunteers to serve in one hour shifts from 5:00PM through 8:00PM on Saturday, November 1st as we pack meals in the OLM School Gym. We must package 10,000 meals to be shipped to the people of the West African country of Burkina Faso. An assembly line of packing takes place after a brief presentation by the folks from CRS. It is a event open to anyone in the parish, of any age, and a great way for a whole family to celebrate All Saints Day. Each of these 10,000 meals costs just 50 cents and we need to purchase them. So if you cannot attend the All Saints Day Event and would like to sponsor some meals please know that our monthly OLM Outreach Collection for November is dedicated to this worthwhile effort. Also, if you would like to donate some of these meals just make a check payable to OLM Outreach and mark “Helping Hands” in the memo line. I am grateful to OLM Parishioner Kathy Bennett for organizing this opportunity to put our mercy and faith into action. Have you come to October Devotions yet? Why not join us on Mondays at 7:00PM as we pray the Rosary before the Eucharistic Lord. It’s a wonderful way to start your week with prayer. Have a great week. God Bless.