Dear Parishioners: What a week we have ahead of us! We look forward to the Parish Feast Day on Thursday, September 24th with a Week of Mercy. Each day leading up to the Feast Day there is a special event planned. Also this week our Holy Father, Pope Francis, makes his first Apostolic Visit to the United States. Today we gather for the Annual OLM Parish Picnic and I hope you will stop by.
Please join the good fun and enjoy some good food. We have pony rides for kids, games for kids and adults, hamburgers and hot dogs, ice cream and cold water, music for all ages, and the Annual Tug-A-War between Team Healey and Team Connors! As you know by now, Fr. Connors has promised to get Pope Francis to the picnic. Once he has arrived, he has promised to pose for photographs with OLM parishioners. Fr. Connors might even perform his juggling and unicycle act for the Holy Father! So stop by and celebrate the OLM Family at the Parish Picnic.
Of course, the Picnic is just the lead off event for the Week of Mercy. On Monday night at 7pm you are invited join a celebration in honor of marriage and family life. Pope Francis is coming to the US to attend the World Meeting of Families which is an international gathering in support of the Church’s rich teaching about marriage and family life. In anticipation of this great event we offer prayers and blessings in honor of marriage and family life here at OLM. One of our newly ordained priests, Fr. Ryan Simas, is to serve as our homilist.
On Tuesday at 7pm our superb parish musicians Henri. St. Louis and Deirdre Donovan along with the wonderful OLM Adult and Children’s Choirs offer music in honor of Our Lady of Mercy. It is always a beautiful time of prayerful and joyful music, so please join us. On Wednesday everyone is welcome to join our Work of Mercy night, “Sandwiches and Socks for the Homeless.” We gather to make sandwiches and ask everyone to bring a pair or two of new adult socks to distributed to the homeless at Emmanuel House in Providence.
On Thursday, September 24th we celebrate with a solemn Mass in honor of our parish patroness. Monsignor Jay Darcy, the Pastor of St. Margaret Church, who served here at OLM is to be our homilist. The children from OLM School are to join us for this great celebration of our Church and Parish. If you cannot join us for the Feast Day Mass, please offer a prayer for our parish on Thursday and ask Our Lady to intercede for us. I hope you join us for all or any of the Week of Mercy events. They are a great way to celebrate as a parish family as we dedicate ourselves and our parish to Our Lady of Mercy. This week we gather, pray, perform, work and celebrate Mercy!!
Also this week we as the Church in the United States celebrate as one family as we welcome Pope Francis. We are mindful of the words of St. Ambrose: "Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia" (Where there is Peter, there is the Church). The Holy Father’s visit to our nation is a great opportunity for us to meet him and for him to meet us! Fr. Connors leads nearly 500 pilgrims from RI to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. We pray for him and for all those on pilgrimage this week. I myself was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Welcoming Ceremony for Pope Francis at the White House on Wednesday morning. The Holy Father is also to address Congress, eat lunch with the homeless, visit with inmates in a prison, canonize Blessed Junipero Serra a saint, visit a parish school in New York and celebrate a few large Masses!
As I mentioned earlier, what a week we have ahead of us! A week of faith, joy and mercy! Let us pray for our parish as we celebrate our patroness, Our Lady of Mercy, and also for Pope Francis and his Apostolic Visit to the United States. May it truly be a time of faith, joy and hope for all of us at OLM and for all throughout our nation. May it renew and rekindle our faith, our parish and our Church! Welcome Holy Father! See you at the Picnic! Be well. Do Good. Go Pats. God Bless.