Dear Parishioners: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!” So sings the Psalmist on Easter Sunday and so sang the large crowds at our Easter Masses. It was truly a day of rejoicing in our faith and hope in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! Our Holy Week was truly a beautiful celebration here at OLM. Our Franciscan Apostolic Sisters, Sister Emma and Sister Lourdes, enjoyed their first OLM Holy Week. They offered our parish a compliment when they said it reminded them of the Philippines because it was “so solemn and so many people attended!”
Indeed all of Holy Week saw great attendance and it is always so uplifting to see so many gathered for the Sacred Triduum of Holy Week. It began with a beautiful performance of the Living Stations by our OLM School Middle School students. If you have never made it to this moving event, please put it on your calendar for next Holy Week. The students did a terrific job offering a very prayerful and meditative Living Stations of the Cross.
At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper we solemnly celebrated the institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood by Jesus Christ. We thank Fr. Connors for presiding at the solemn Mass and for offering a profound sermon on the meaning of the great feast. A full church is always a great witness of faith to behold and so many praying at the Altar of Repose throughout the night is a profound witness of faith and love. Good Friday at the both the Stations of the Cross in the afternoon and the Solemn Liturgy in the evening we also had a full church. While many others carried on the day as usual it was so great to see so many come to pray and ponder the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ.
We are grateful to Bishop Evans who baptized two people, received four baptized Christians into the Catholic Church and confirmed two adult Catholics on Holy Saturday at the Vigil Mass. It was a beautiful and joyful celebration of faith for our newly initiated and for our parish family. It was a solemn but joyous celebration of the Easter Resurrection alive in the Sacraments. We had large crowds at our Easter Sunday Masses and had the great celebration of a baptism at the 10:30am Mass. It truly was a day to rejoice and be glad!
But of course none of it is possible without the dedication and hard work of so many. In the name of Fr. Connors, Deacon Dowd and myself, I wish to thank the many parishioners who help make Holy Week so beautiful, joyful and solemn. Frist, we thank Celia Franzone and her steadfast decorating crew who decorated for each day and made the Church look so spectacularly beautiful for Easter. We thank our team of Sacritisans for ensuring everything is set-up, cleaned, polished and starched. Also thanks to Paul Anderson and our hard working crew for all the work in cleaning, preparing, setting-up, taking-down and ensuring all things are spic and span for Holy Week and Easter. We thank our choirs and musicians, Henri St. Louis and Deirdre Donovan, for their great gift of music which contributed such joy, beauty and solemnity to our celebrations.
We also thank our Altar Servers, perhaps the best in the Diocese, for their reverent and solemn service at the Sacred Liturgies! We thank our ushers for their welcome and hospitality to our many parishioners and visitors. We thank our Lectors for their solemn proclamation of God’s Word. We thank our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for ensuring the reverent distribution of Holy Communion at Mass and to the many ill and shut-in of our parish.
Yes, Christ is Risen! He has truly Risen! Let us continue to rejoice and be glad in this Easter Season. Let us give thanks to God who is so good for all the gifts of our wonderful parish. Let us rejoice at the lively faith of our parish. Let us thank the many who volunteers. ! We are getting close to our goal for the Catholic Charity Appeal, please pledge today if you haven’t yet. Thank You! God Bless. Rejoice. Be Glad. The Lord is truly Risen! Happy Easter!