Dear Parishioners:Alleluia, He is Risen! We continue to bask in the glory of Easter! It was a magnificent Easter and Holy Week at Our Lady of Mercy. We had large crowds for our Liturgies of the Sacred Triduum and on Easter Sunday. We welcomed thirteen fully initiated Catholics into the Church at the Easter Vigil! These are great signs of faith and vitality for our parish and community.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to many people for helping make it such a solemn and joyful celebration of our Catholic Faith. We must thank our OLM Maintenance Staff under the direction of Paul Anderson for all their hard work cleaning the Church and the property around the parish from the sandy debris of the harsh winter. We also thank the many volunteers who clean and prepare the Church for Holy Week. We are truly grateful for the dedicated work of Nancy Wray and our Sacristans who prepare all the vestments, vessels and other essentials for Holy Week Liturgies. The flowers and decorations that contributed to the beauty and joy of Easter and Holy Week are the result of the devotion and care of Cecila Franzone and her band of decorators. We thank them! The music provided by our OLM Choir led by our Music Director, Henri St. Louis and the singing of our Soloist, Deirdre Donovan, during Holy Week and Easter was spectacular and we are grateful! The service of our many Altar Servers was truly reverent and solemn and we thank them all! Also our Lectors proclaimed the Word of God with great faith and joy and we are grateful. The many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who so reverently distribute Holy Communion and those who bring the Eucharist to the homebound on Easter is truly appreciated. And of course our dedicated troop of ushers provided their usual strong support and warm welcome to our many visitors. We thank them all!
I must also thank our hardworking Associate Pastor, Fr. Connors, for his dedication to ensuring all the preparations and many details for Holy Week were not just completed but completed with care and concern. Father was able to serve as the celebrant the Mother of All Vigils, the great Easter Vigil, for the very first time as a priest. He did a magnificent job of celebrating the Mass as he baptized, received, and confirmed our thirteen candidates. If you didn’t get to the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night then you missed an outstanding celebration of the Catholic Faith. We thank our thirteen new Catholics for their commitment to RCIA Class and for answering the call of Christ to follow Him in His Church. We also thank their many teachers of the faith in the RCIA who weekly taught and exemplified the joy of being a committed Catholic! Yes, we can certainly sing with the Psalmist that “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!” Holy Week and Easter are the most important events of the liturgical year. Here at OLM we are truly graced with so many people who not just understand this but choose to celebrate it with faith and devotion.
Fr. Connors and I also were privileged this Holy Week to celebrate an extra special event. On Wednesday of Holy Week, longtime OLM Parishioner, Mrs. Claire Sharpe, celebrated her 105th birthday. Father Connors and I were able to celebrate a special Mass for her with her daughters and some friends from the parish. It was truly a great blessing to celebrate Claire’s long life but also her deep and abiding Catholic Faith. All she wanted for her 105th Birthday was to go to Mass! Happy Birthday and God’s Blessing to this wonderful Catholic lady!
After such a long, cold and snowy winter, the glory of Easter and the signs of new life are truly a welcome sight. We give thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed on our parish and in our own lives. I know I give thanks to God for allowing me the great privilege to serve such a wonderful parish community of faith and love. God is good and we thank Him! Alleluia, the Lord is Risen! He has Risen Indeed! Let us continue to celebrate the Risen Lord who is so alive in our lives and in our Church! God Bless.