Dear Parishioners: Today is the great Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Traditionally called Corpus Christi, it is the occasion of deep faith, great joy and solemnity. Corpus Christi reminds us of three things as Catholics. First, it reminds us of who it is that we are receiving and what we are doing when we approach the Eucharist. It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, truly present in the Eucharist. Second, it gives us the chance to be grateful to the Lord, for so great a wondrous gift. Thirdly, Corpus Christi reminds us that we ought to look at the Lord together in communion. It is the Lord Jesus who has the power to unite us into one. This great feast calls us to realize that unity is not our gift to God but rather unity is God’s gift to us and if we want unity, we need to look at the Lord.
We celebrate the feast with a Procession to Mercy Park immediately following the 10:30AM Mass. The Corpus Christi Procession helps us to see and better understand that the meaning of “receiving” Holy Communion is not restricted to lining up and coming up to receive Holy Communion. In the procession, the meaning of receiving Holy Communion is expanded and is expressed fully because it means that we accompany the Victor over death in His triumphant procession through the streets. In his homily for Corpus Christi last June, Pope Francis offered this prayerful reflection on the Feast: “Shortly, in the procession, we will follow Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. The Host is our manna, through which the Lord gives us Himself. We turn to Him with trust: Jesus, defend us from the temptations of worldly goods that render us slaves, poisoned food; purify our memory, so that it will not remain enslaved in egoistic and worldly selectivity, but will be a lively memory of your presence throughout the history of your people, memory that becomes “memorial” of your gesture of redemptive love. Amen.“
Next Sunday at the 10:30AM Mass we celebrate with the 8th Grade of Our Lady of Mercy School. At this Mass we acknowledge their hard work and dedication as they prayerfully prepare to graduate on Monday, June 15th. Each student receives the specially designed OLM School Medal at the Mass and then along with their families continue the celebration at Quidnessett Country Club with a luncheon, academic awards and yearbook signing. Keep these forty-two young students in your prayers as they depart our school and look forward to high school! May God grant his many blessing upon them and may Our Lady of Mercy guide and protect them!
I hope you saw the newly restored Our Lady of Mercy Church sign now located in front the Church. Last year the sign was knocked down and damaged in a wind storm. We placed a new sign in its place and had the old sign restored. It now offers a sign of welcome and a warm invitation to all who pass by our parish. You also may have noticed the new sign for Mercy House where our OLM Outreach and Religious Education Offices are located. Mercy House is the white house located on the far side of the parking lot. We hope this new sign helps visitors and parishioners locate these important offices.
Last Sunday Bishop Tobin marked ten years of episcopal ministry and service as the Bishop of Providence. We offer him our congratulations and prayerful best wishes as he continues to shepherd our Church in Rhode Island with his “strong, loving and wise” leadership. I ask you to please pray for our good bishop that God continues to bless him with the gifts of faith, hope and charity. Ad multos gloriosque annos Bishop Tobin! I will be away this week in St. Louis at the Annual Spring Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops where I serve as a consultant to the Committee on Marriage. Upon returning I look forward to the conclusion of the legislative session of the RI General Assembly where the end seems to be in sight! However, the end of the session usually means a flurry of activity and the appearance of new legislation! God Bless. Go Sox, please!!