Dear Parishioners: Sister Emma and Sister Lourdes are settling in at OLM. My thanks to the parishioners who gave them such a warm welcome. Many parishioners stopped by the Franciscan Convent with well wishes and gifts on the day the Sisters moved in to their new home. Many more parishioners officially welcomed the good Sisters at 10:30am Mass last Sunday. On behalf of the OLM Parish and School, the Sisters were given statues of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of their religious community, and Our Lady, the patroness of our parish. These two images are symbolic of the Sisters service to our parish and also of their Franciscan tradition. They have now begun their ministry here at OLM and you are likely to see them around town, please be sure to stop and say hello!
Of course, we marked the Feast of St. Francis with the traditional blessing of pet and animals last Saturday morning. Although it was a little damp and cold there was a nice crowd assembled to have their dogs blessed. Yes, it was all dogs! Not a single cat, lizard, fish, donkey or cow to be found! My thanks to Ginny Belanger for providing the music and leading the song for this special occasion. Maybe next year a cat or a horse might show up!!
October is Respect Life Month, a time for us to pray and reflect upon the need for more respect for life in our nation and in our world. Pope Francis reminds us in his Respect Life Message: “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”
The recent revelations of the gruesome practices at the abortion mills of Planned Parenthood demonstrate that human life continues to be degraded in our culture. All too often human life is treated as mere commodity by many in our “throw away” society. There is a great need for prayer for an increase in the respect for human life. Let us use this Respect Life to commit to prayer for life and in defense of life.
One of the best ways to pray for the respect for human life is with the Rosary. Whether you are at work, at home or at school the Rosary offers us a great chance for prayer. Saint Pope John Paul II, whose Feast Day we look forward to on October 22nd, commenting on the Rosary said: “The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel message in its entirety. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb.... It can be said that the rosary is, in some sense, a prayer-commentary on the final chapter of the Vatican II Constitution Lumen Gentium, a chapter that discusses the wondrous presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church.”
October is also a month dedicated to Our Blessed Mother Mary so in honor of her each Monday night at 7:00pm we gather for Marian Devotions during the Month . It is truly a wonderful way to pray together as a faith community before the Eucharistic Lord and with our Lady’s intercession. Join us this Monday and every Monday in October! It will be the best 20 minutes you have all week!
In the bulletin this week you will find the last call for the OLM Pilgrimage to the Divine Mercy Shrine on October 22nd. Last year a large group from OLM made the spiritual pilgrimage to the beautiful and prayerful shrine. It is a great way to prepare to celebrate the upcoming Year of Mercy! There are still openings on the bus and details for sign-up are in the bulletin.
I offer my sincerest thanks to the parishioners who have donated to the Annual Collection. Their support is truly appreciated and I am deeply grateful. We are still waiting to hear from many other OLM parishioners who have not yet responded. Thank you in advance for your generosity! Be well. Do Good. Go Pats. God Bless.