Dear Parishioners: As I look out my window on this Monday morning I see the Public Works Crew working on the sidewalks. Many of the sidewalks and curbs around OLM have been deteriorating over the years. Last winter’s particularly harsh weather also contributed to their further deterioration. The corners of the sidewalks were redesigned for handicapped accessibility. The new sidewalks and curbs were sorely needed. I hope as you read this column they are all firmly in place. I am grateful to the East Greenwich Public Works Crew for their great work. Also I thank EG Town Manager Tom Coyle, EG Public Works Director Joe Duarte and EG Town Councilwoman Sue Cienki for helping to make this important project possible. We are grateful for their efforts ensuring access to our Church is easy and safe for all!
The work on the sidewalks is not the only work taking place at OLM. At OLM School our maintenance crew under the direction of Paul Anderson is working hard on several school improvement projects. They have removed all the carpeting from the walls of the corridors. The walls are freshly plastered and painted and now brightening up the hallways! They have also been painting classrooms and hope to completely renovate two classrooms with new paint, new flooring, and new furniture. It is an expensive but worthwhile endeavor to keep the classrooms in good condition. We are also in the process of updating our technology and internet services in the school. This too is a time consuming and costly project but well worth it to keep our parish school up to date.
You may see our teachers coming and going from the school over these next few weeks as they prepare their classrooms for the new year. The first day of school is scheduled for September 1st! I know it’s hard to believe during these beautiful days of summer but school is coming in September! Speaking of September, its time to mark your calendars for some upcoming special events. Of course, there is the fist day of school with all its fanfare but also the opening Mass of the Holy Spirit is to be celebrated on Friday, September 4th. Our Annual Parish Picnic is scheduled for Sunday, September 20th!
The Parish Picnic is the kick-off of a week of Mercy Events in honor of the Patronal Feast of Our Lady of Mercy on September 24th. These events include a special Mercy Event for Families in conjunction with the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis in Philadelphia. Also we plan a Concert of Mercy, a Work of Mercy Event and the Feast Day Mass on Thursday, September 24th.
Fr. Connors is the Spiritual Director for the Diocesan Pilgrimage from Providence to the World Meeting of Families. He is to lead over 500 pilgrims from Rhode Island to the many events at the meeting and with Pope Francis. There are several families from OLM going along too. Keep them all in your prayers as they prepare for this wonderful pilgrimage of faith. Pope Francis is to make an Apostolic Visit the United States in September. His trip includes visits to Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia. He is to visit the White House, address Congress and the UN, celebrate several Masses and canonize Blessed Father Juniperro Serra a Saint at the National Shrine in DC. He is to also visit a prison and meet with prisoners and deliver a major address on religious liberty at Independence Hall. In addition he is to visit a Catholic elementary school in Harlem and also offer prayers at the World Trade Center.
Let us pray for our Holy Father and for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. May the visit and the meeting be successful in strengthening family life and marriage in our nation. May it lead to an increased respect for human life and dignity in our nation. May the Holy Father’s wisdom and pastoral leadership lead to a renewed zeal for the faith and the life of the Church. They say “time flies” but please enjoy the summer sun during the rest of this month of August. September is coming ! Be well. Do good. God Bless