Dear Parishioners: The Month of May has arrived! May is always a busy month at the parish with First Communions and May Crowning. First Communion at OLM is next Saturday, so please pray for fine weather! Also, please pray for our First Communion Class as they receive Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist for the very first time. We hope and pray that nourished by the Eucharistic Lord they might continue to grow in faith and remain close to Christ and His Church. May is also a month dedicated to Our Blessed Mother Mary. We celebrate Mary each Monday night at 7:00PM at May Devotions. We expose the Blessed Sacrament, pray the Rosary and offer Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. It is a wonderful and prayerful way to honor the Mother of God. Pope Francis reminds us about Mary: “I like reflecting on the life of Mary; you see how Mary always leads us to Jesus.” So please join us as we turn to Mary, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, to intercede for us and lead us ever closer to Christ!
Next Sunday is Mothers’ Day and we offer Masses for all Mothers, living and deceased. At the 10:30AM Mass our First Communion Class crowns Mary. It is always a beautiful ceremony and celebrating the May Crowning on Mothers’ Day makes it even more special.
Last week I made a trip up to St. John’s Seminary in Boston where many of our Providence seminarians are preparing for the priesthood. It was an appreciation night for the priests who have worked with seminarians during the year or over the summer. I was able to join with our parish seminarian Brian Morris and some of the other young men studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Providence. Bishop Tobin recently wrote to inform me that Our Lady of Mercy Church is once again to have a seminarian assigned to serve here for the summer. This year we are happy to welcome Providence Seminarian Eric Silva.
I met Eric last week at St. John’s where he is finishing up his pre-theology studies of philosophy. He is a fine young man and arrives to OLM on May 18th to begin ten weeks of living and working with us. Eric is a life-long resident of Cranston where he makes his home with his parents and attends St. Mark Church. He attended the Cranston-Johnston Catholic Regional School (now the Immaculate Conception School) and graduated from Bishop Hendricken High School in 2009. Eric received a B.A. in Communications at URI and worked for a few years in radio industry including producing Pawtucket Red Sox games! He has been studying the last two years at St. Johns and enters his first year of Theology there next fall. Fr. Connors and I are delighted to have Eric live and work with us at OLM. Eric informs me that he is an avid Red Sox fan, but not to worry he also studies philosophy so he and Fr. Connors have something to chat about at breakfast too!
Good Shepherd Sunday last weekend was also World Day for Prayer for Vocations. Bishop Tobin announced at our Annual Priest’s Study Day two weeks ago that nearly 50% of our active priests are scheduled to retire in the next five years! This year eight priests retired from active administration as pastors and only three new priests are to be ordained in June. How blessed we truly are at OLM to have two priests serve our parish. I urge you to pray every day for an increase of vocations. There is urgent need for this prayer and for more priests!
The Month of May is here! The late Francis Cardinal George once said : “I’m glad to remember on May 1 that we dedicate a full month, no matter what else happens, to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In recent years, many Catholics have re-discovered the Rosary or have learned to pray it for the first time. A month is not too long to think about Mary and join in prayer.“ Please join us for May Devotions on Mondays this month, “no matter what else happens!” Let us pray for our Frist Communion Class as we turn to Our Lady of Mercy, our patroness and Mother, to intercede for them. God Bless.