Dear Parishioners: What a weekend we had last week! It started with the Pat’s big win over the hapless Miami Dolphins on Thursday night! On Friday the OLM School community gathered for the “Trunk or Treat” celebration of Halloween. It was a great time for our school families decorated cars trunks, lots of candy, hot chocolate and hot dogs, and hay rides for the whole family! Kids from every grade were in great costumes and happily collecting all kinds of goodies. The car trunks were all very creatively decorated. It was a really fun and safe night for all. My thanks to the OLM PTG for organizing such a family fun event! Fun family events is what makes our parish school such a great place.
On Sunday Bishop Tobin celebrated Confirmation at the 5:00pm Mass for 101 of our OLM young adults. It was truly a joyful and faith-filled event for our parish. Each candidate was sealed with the Holy Spirit and took on a Saint’s name as their role model in faith. It was a prayerful and wonderful way to mark the great Solemnity of All Saints. I offer my thanks to the newly Confirmed and their families for staying the course in their faith. They are a true and joyful blessing to our community. We also thank Bishop Tobin for conferring the Sacrament upon our young adults.
The music for the Mass was excellent and so I thank Henri St. Louis, Deirdre Donovan, the OLM Choir and the musicians for sharing their talents with us! I must also thank Doug Green who directs our Confirmation Program for his hard work and commitment to the Confirmation Class. He is ably aided by Mickey St. Jean, Maryanne Weaver, Kathy Hall and also an excellent Reception Committee. We thank them for ensuring that Confirmation is a truly memorable and meaningful event in the life of our parish.
All Souls Day was Monday and this is the one day of the liturgical year that priests are given the great privilege to celebrate three Masses in one day. These three Masses are offered for the faithful departed especially those souls in Purgatory. We continue to remember all our beloved dead throughout November. We also prayed for the OLM parishioners who have died since last All Souls Day. At OLM there were 64 souls who went on to their eternal reward during that time. We commend them to the mercy of God and keep their grieving families in our payers. May they rest in eternal peace.
I received two interesting letters from the Chancery Office this week. One was a request to update my funeral plans! Yes, every priest is asked to plan their own Funeral Mass in advance and send it to be put on file in the Chancery until the time of death. We must select the readings, the music, and even name who the homilist is to be for our own Funeral Mass. We must also provide the details about the cemetery and graves, and any pre-arrangements we have made with a funeral director. Now I know that some people view planning for their own funeral a rather unpleasant thought. However, after twenty years of priesthood and hundreds of funerals I think prior planning is not such a bad idea. It is often very difficult for family members to make decisions about funeral details during a time of grief. I know this myself from helping with the funerals in my own family.
I also received a letter from the Catholic Foundation of RI asking me to include my parish in my funeral planning! Not sure if the timing of these two letters was planned or just coincidence. I’ve already made OLM the designated charity for my memorial gifts at the time of my death. My plans have always included the parish where I serve as the recipient of any memorial gifts at the time of my death. This was a very common practice among faithful Catholics in the past but in recent times seems to have fallen off. Perhaps the best way to prepare for our own death is to lead a faithful and moral Catholic life! As for planning the funeral details in advance, that’s not such a bad idea either. Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats!!!