Dear Parishioners: 104cd39ea7f1f726e59b76203c4cc80fYes another Sunday and another snowstorm! It seems to be a constant refrain in this column. Yet another snowstorm arrived last weekend! Let’s hope and pray that spring weather comes soon! I don’t know about you but I am more than ready for warm sunny weather!

I am grateful to Kevin McDevitt for his fine job last weekend helping us with the Catholic Charity Appeal In-Pew Solicitation. This method has proven to be successful across the Diocese of Providence. There is only one parish left that still collects for the CCA by going door to door. A few others only do mailings to collect donations. Since we have begun the in-pew solicitation our total raised for the CCA has increased by nearly $50,000! But more importantly the number of donors has increased and includes nearly 150 new donors. If you have made your pledge or given your donation to the CCA, I thank you for your generous support. charity_appeal_banner

Last weekend we were able to raise $32,000 toward our parish goal of $193,000. As has been said these funds are the major source of funding for the many chartable works of our Church. Everyday thousands are served and helped by our many Diocesan agencies and your donations make it possible. We invite every parish family to consider pledging a gift of $250 over 10 months. Your gift of $25 per month (that’s just $5 a week!) goes a long way in ensuring that our many brothers and sisters who are in need, who are suffering in sickness and who live in poverty are served. We are blessed at Our Lady of Mercy that many of our parishioners are so generous in supporting the CCA. Some are very generous in supporting the CCA by becoming Bishop’s Partners in Charity. There are about 70 parishioners who are members of the BPC and generously donate $1,000 and many who donate much, much more. If you have been greatly blessed in life, we ask you to consider sharing your blessings by becoming a Bishop’s Partner in Charity and donating $1,000 or more.

homeless1_360_360_90Whatever amount you are willing to donate, please know of my gratitude for your generosity. But also know of the gratitude and thanks of the many people whose lives' you impact with your donation. The homeless, the refugees, prisoners, the dying, the sick, the addicted, and the poor are indeed grateful for your generous support of the CCA. If you have not yet made your pledge or given your donation, please take the envelope provided in the pews home and return it next weekend. You can simply place in the regular collection baskets in the coming weeks, put it in the mail or drop it off at the Parish Office. We are steadily making our way toward our parish goal but need all 2,500 families at Our Lady of Mercy to support the CCA in order to reach it.

I thank Mrs. Grace Murphy who organized this weekend’s new blanket collection for the homeless. Your generous donation of a blanket or two helps a homeless person stay warm during these cold and snowy days. Any blankets can be dropped off in the collection box in the vestibule. Thank you for your support.

Lent is coasting along as March has arrived and we enter our third week of this holy season. We continue to pray, fast and give alms as we attempt to deepen our conversion to Christ. This conversion to Christ can only lead to a life of more fulfillment, deeper meaning and greater happiness. At his weekly Angelus message last Sunday,Titian_-_Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_-_WGA22830 Pope Francis reminded us: “The way of Jesus always leads us to happiness—do not forget it. The way of Jesus always leads us to happiness. There will always be a cross, and there will be trials along the way, but it will always lead us to happiness. Jesus does not deceive us. He has promised us happiness and he will give it to us, if we follow his ways.” Lent marches on and so must we as we continue the solemn fast of forty days toward Easter. We continue to carry the cross of Lent in order to truly enjoy the glory of the resurrection at Easter. Don’t forget Fridays are for fish and Stations of the Cross. God Bless.