Dear Parishioners: We celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation this weekend for 100 young people of our parish. These students have been studying over the last year at RE Classes and have taken a Retreat in preparation of this milestone in their faith lives. On Monday night they came to October Devotions where Father Chris Murphy, the Chaplain at Bishop Hendricken High School, spoke to them about the importance of Confirmation in their lives. They also had the chance to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession. I ask you to please pray for these young people that they may continue to stay close to Christ and His Church in the years ahead.
We welcome Bishop John G. Noonan, the Bishop of Orlando, to Our Lady of Mercy for the celebration of Confirmation. I first met Bishop Noonan when he was the Rector of the St. John Vianney Seminary College in Miami where two of my priesthood classmates teach philosophy. A few years ago when he was then the Auxiliary Bishop of Miami he visited my last parish in Albion for the celebration of Confirmation. It was that very weekend in October 2010 that he was appointed the Bishop of Orlando, Florida.
He is a native of Limerick, Ireland and studied for the priesthood in Florida. He is priest of the Archdiocese of Miami where he served as a parish priest, high school principal, and seminary rector. His Episcopal motto “God before me and God with me” originates in Exodus when Moses was leading the chosen people out of slavery and into the Promised Land. That same prayer was spoken by St. Patrick as he preached the Gospel in Ireland. Confirmation is an important event in the life of our parish and I am grateful to Bishop Noonan for taking the time from his busy schedule and the warm weather of sunny Florida to be with us. We also offer our gratitude to the newly confirmed young people of Our Lady of Mercy for their commitment to the faith. In your name, I offer our congratulations and prayerful best wishes to them all.
Daylight savings time ends next Sunday, November 2nd at 2:00AM as our clocks fall back one hour. Our 5:00PM Saturday evening Mass moves to 4:00PM beginning next Saturday. This also means that Confessions on Saturday afternoon move to 3:00PM beginning next Saturday. Next weekend we also celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints on Saturday. It is a feast that honors the saints both known and unknown, the obscure as well as the famous. This year it is not a Holy Day of Obligation because it falls on a Saturday. Therefore, the only All Saints Mass to be offered is Saturday at 8:30AM.
During November we are called to remember in a special way “our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection.” The Feast of Souls, a day in which we remember all the faithful departed, falls on a Sunday this year. So next Sunday, November 2nd we remember in particular all the Our Lady of Mercy parishioners who have died since last November. Their families have been invited to join us at the 10:30AM Mass as their deceased loved ones are remembered. Following the Mass we are to process to St. Patrick’s Cemetery to pray for the faithful departed who rest in that sacred ground. The Church has encouraged prayer for the dead from the earliest times as an act of Christian charity. "If we had no care for the dead," Saint Augustine noted, "we would not be in the habit of praying for them." I encourage you to pray for all the dead during the Month of November. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
I hope you can join us next Saturday night in the OLM School Gym following the 4:00PM Mass for our OLM Outreach “Helping Hands” Event for Catholic Relief Services . It is a great way for all parishioners to celebrate All Saints as we strive to be saints! Again we say congratulations to the newly confirmed of OLM! Also we thank Bishop Noonan for being with us for this special day. Have a great week. God Bless. Go Pats!