Dear Parishioners: We had a wonderful celebration last week as we opened the School Year with the Mass. As you know every day at our parish school the children begin and end their day with prayer. The greatest prayer we can offer is the Eucharist and at OLM School we always open the School Year with a special Mass. We also have Mass the First Friday of every month throughout the school year. This year are also offering a simple Mass for the School once a week. It is on a rotating schedule and yet another great opportunity for our school children to gather and give praise and worship to God. Our “first simple Mass” was last Tuesday on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was an excellent start to another fine tradition at Our Lady of Mercy Parish School.
The first two weeks of school despite some of the hot and humid weather have been just great. The children are happy to be back in the classroom and our excellent faculty have jumped right into the rigors of teaching them. With the additions of some fine new faculty members and the renovation of a few classrooms there is a great spirit of excitement at OLM School. Our parish school is a great blessing for our church.
It provides an opportunity for parish families to educate their children in a safe, secure and faith filled environment. There is a great learning environment that includes high academic standards, deep Catholic values, and strong discipline. Of course, all this is offered in a very friendly and nurturing environment that daily espouses faith, joy, and mercy. The vitality and esprit de corps at OLM School is a great sign for the future of our parish and Church.
Next Sunday we invite all parishioners to celebrate together as a parish family at the Annual OLM Parish Picnic. Once again we begin at 1pm and end at 4pm (just in time for folks to get to the 5pm Sunday Mass!) as we celebrate faith and family, parish and church. There are games for the kids, hot dogs and hamburgers, ice cream, pony rides for kids, and the Annual Tug-a-War! We don’t often get together as a whole parish in such a way and this is a great opportunity to celebrate and recreate together! I urge you to come along to the picnic and bring a chair and blanket, a picnic lunch, a cold beverage of your choice, a homemade desert for the communal desert table and a smiling face! Invite the whole family and ask a neighbor to come along too! It promises to be a fun filled day for everyone.
Fr. Connors continues to reassure me that through his many connections in Rome there is very good chance Pope Francis might stop by the picnic to meet and greet us and pose for a few family shots. I think Fr. Connors may also juggle and ride his unicycle for the Holy Father too! Be sure not to miss it!
I am happy to announce that we are to get a couple of new additions to our parish family. Sister Lourdes DeLeon, FAS and Sister Emma Salvador, FAS are coming to live and work at OLM! The good sisters are members of the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters, a religious women’s community established in the Philippines in 1953. Both Sisters are natives of the Philippines and have served in the Diocese of Providence for many years. More recently they have lived and worked at Precious Blood Parish in Woonsocket. Some of the Sisters of their community presently live and work at Scalabrini Villa.
Over the summer their Mother General inquired if OLM might be willing to have the Sisters come live and work here at OLM as their time at Precious Blood was coming to an end. After meeting them, Fr. Connors and I offer a warm invitation to them to join the OLM Family. They are to live in the former Filipini Convent across from the Rectory, now to be known as the Franciscan Convent and officially arrive on Sunday, October 4th, the Feast of their patron, St. Francis of Assisi! Sr. Lourdes and Sr. Emma are very excited to be coming to live and work here at OLM. See you at the Parish Picnic! Pray for fine weather for next Sunday! Be well. Do Good. Go Pats! God Bless.