Dear Parishioners: We had a great week of Vacation Bible School this past week. Over 50 children spent the week learning about their Catholic Faith through fun activities. I am grateful to Mrs. Bethany Bessette, Mrs. Karen Maguire and Mr. Michael LaChima from OLM School for planning and running the camp. They were assisted by a great group of volunteer parents and young adults in providing this great time for the children of the parish. We thank them all!
Many were expecting something dramatic from Pope Francis’ new encyclical. There were predictions of controversy and politics. Instead what he has given us is something much more profound. Laudato Si is indeed very provocative, but far less political than the prognosticators pontificated. No doubt there are those who will use the encyclical to suit their own ideological purposes. Doing so is truly a great disservice not only to the Holy Father but also to those who have not yet read it. We can all profit from a careful and thorough reading of the encyclical. The Holy Father has not attempted to change public policies, but rather to call us to conversion. I encourage you to read the full text of the encyclical. If you aren’t up to reading the entire document than please read the prayer with which Pope Francis concludes the encyclical. This prayer gives a clear sense of what the Pontiff is trying to say. In the meantime, ignore the hype and hyperbole and read the encyclical yourself on the patio, at the beach, or anywhere in the beautiful world God created!
On Saturday Bishop Tobin ordained three young men as priests for service in our Diocese of Providence. The beautiful Ordination Mass took place at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. It is truly a great day for the Church and we rejoice that these men have answered the call to serve God’s People! As is the tradition, these three new priests each celebrate a First Mass of Thanksgiving at their home parishes. It is always a special day for a parish when a native son returns to celebrate his priesthood by offering Mass where their faith began and was nurtured. I know the music is to be very good as our own parish organist, Henri St. Louis, is playing each of the three First Masses.
Brian Morris, our own native vocation from OLM, is to be ordained a Transitional Deacon next spring. After a year of Diaconal service and upon the completion of his seminary training and theological studies at St. John’s Seminary, he is to be ordained a priest in June 2017. We continue to pray for Brian and look forward to his Frist Mass of Thanksgiving at OLM in 2017!
There is also good news about another native vocation from OLM, Brian Bennett. He is the son of OLM parishioners Dudley and Kathy Bennett and the brother of Father Eric Bennett, another OLM vocation, who celebrated his First Mass here and is a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. Brian has been accepted into the 2015 Novitiate class of the St. Joseph Province of the Dominican Fathers of the Eastern United States.Brian enters this first stage of discerning the call to be a Dominican Friar along with fourteen other young men. A novitiate is a time of formation as a member of a religious order. It is almost like a year long retreat or a year long spiritual boot camp. Novices learn how to pray, study, and share their lives together in community. By its very nature the novitiate is a testing out of the Order as the Order is testing out the novice. Brian and his brother novices begin their novitiate on the feast of St. Dominic on August 8, 2015 in St. Gertrude Priory in Cincinnati. The Novice Master for the Dominican Fathers is another OLM vocation, Fr. Francis Belanger, OP! Father Francis is the son of Bob and Ginny Belanger and a frequent visitor to OLM! We offer our prayers and congratulations to Brian and his brother Dominican novices!
It’s hard to believe that its July 4th already! Our Parish Office is closed on Friday, July 3rd, in observance of the holiday and Mass is to be offered at 8:30am on Friday. Hope you are enjoying the summer! God Bless. Happy Independence Day!