Dear Parishioners:At Mass last Sunday in St. Peter’s Square Pope Francis canonized the Blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Maria dell'Immacolata Concezione, and Ludovico Martin and Maria Azelia Guérin as new Saints of our Church. Saint Vincent Grossi was a an Italian parish priest who served the poor and the young. Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception was an Italian Religious Sister and the foundress of the Sisters, Expiatory Victims of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, who dedicated her life to teaching and serving the poor.
Husband and wife, Ludovico Martin and Maria Azelia Guérin, were devout lay French Catholics and also the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. They were well known for their deep faith and had nine children. Only five of their daughters survived to childhood but each of the five would become a cloistered nun including their youngest, the Little Flower, St. Therese. In his homily at the Mass of Canonization Pope Francis suggested: "The radiant witness of these new saints inspires us to persevere in joyful service to our brothers and sisters, trusting in the help of God and the maternal protection of Mary. From heaven may they now watch over us and sustain us by their powerful intercession.”
What fitting words for us to reflect upon as we prepare to celebrate the great Solemnity of All Saints next Sunday. November First falls on a Sunday this year thus we celebrate the feast at all our Masses next weekend. This feast honors all saints both the known and the unknown. Like the three new saints we celebrate those saints known the world over but also those unknown to the world. These unknown saints might be the many good parish priests, dedicated religious sisters, loving parents and grandparents, or wise teachers who have gone before us in faith. May all the saints intercede for us!
The Solemnity of All Saints is made even more special at Our Lady of Mercy as we celebrate Confirmation next Sunday at the 5:00pm Mass. Bishop Tobin is coming to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation upon 101 young adults of our parish. We pray for these young people as they prepare for the life changing event of receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. May they strive to be saints in the City of Man!
In anticipation of All Saints Day, the American custom is to celebrate on All Hallows Eve. More commonly called Halloween, this traditional holiday includes children dressing in costume and going door to door collecting candy. I have my own fond memories of going door to door on Halloween in a clown costume made by my older sister. Way back then there were no mini-bars just the full sized candy bars! However, the times change along with the size of candy bars on Halloween! Fr. Connors and I are truly looking forward to celebrating Halloween this year with the children of OLM School.
This coming Friday night we celebrate Halloween in totally new manner called “Trunk or Treat.” This is a new and really a great way to celebrate Halloween Along with dozens of our school families we gather in the school parking lot for “Trunk or Treat.” Cars are decorated and kids make their way around the parking lot going from car trunk to car trunk filling their bags with treats and candy. It’s a very fun and safe way to celebrate the holiday. I am grateful for the OLM School PTG for once again bringing such a great family event to our school.
As October draws to a close we prepare for Halloween and All Saints. November is also a month for All Souls. At 10:30AM Mass next Sunday we remember in prayer and with deep faith all the deceased souls of our parish who have died over the past year. Their families are invited to attend as we pray as a parish family for the repose their loved ones’ souls. On Monday, November 2nd there are three Masses for al the faithful departed. We ask you to please return your All Souls envelopes before November 2nd. Pray for the young people who are to be confirmed in the faith next Sunday Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats!!