Dear Parishioners: What a great weekend we had last week. The weather was beautiful, all our Fathers were happy on Fathers’ Day and we had a grand send off for Fr. Connors. It was so nice to see nearly 20 of our great Altar Servers volunteer to serve the 10:30am Mass to honor Fr. Connors. Father is now off on retreat with the Benedictine Fathers at St. Vincent’s Archabbey in Latrobe, PA. Please pray for him. I offer my thanks to the many folks who worked so hard to make Fr. Connors Final Mass and Farewell Reception truly a wonderful occasion for him, his family and the parish. The Mass was beautiful, the music superb, the altar servers reverent, and the occasion was so joyful and faith-filled. The great crowd at Mercy Park to wish Fr. Connors farewell was well deserved. Thanks for making the day so memorable.
We now await the arrival of young Fr. Barrow as our newly appointed Associate Pastor at OLM. We thank Bishop Tobin for sending us Fr. Barrow. As you know there is an ever increasing shortage of priests and to get a second priest is rare luxury for parishes. So please be sure to thank Bishop Tobin and also please commit to praying for more priestly vocations for our diocese. Fr. Barrow is sure to be a great blessing for our parish. He is just 27 years old and full of zeal, energy and very eager to begin his priestly ministry here at OLM.
He is a native of Warwick where he was educated at the public schools and graduated from Pilgrim High School. He grew up in St. Timothy Church in Warwick. After high school, Fr. Barrow entered Our Lady of Providence Seminary and graduated from Providence College with a B.A. in Philosophy. Bishop Tobin then assigned him for priestly formation and theological studies to the North American College in Rome. Father was ordained a priest in June 2015 and then returned to Rome for graduate studies. After completing an S.T.L Degree in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas this past spring, he was assigned to OLM. I am sure you will give him your usual warm welcome to OLM. Father Barrow begins his priestly service here on July 1st. Welcome Fr. Barrow!
Our energetic young Summer Seminarian, Billy Burdier, continues to impress all those he meets! This week he is working at our OLM Vacation Bible School. We have over 50 of our parish children signed-up and eager to learn more about their Catholic Faith this week. I am grateful to Michael LaChimia, our OLM Youth Activities Coordinator and Middle School Religion Teacher, for organizing this great event. Also I thank our many volunteers who help us out all week. If you see large groups of smiling children at OLM this week, now you know why!
I retuned last week after a retreat at the Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra, California. Located just outside Los Angeles it is run by the Carmelite Sisters. These holy and happy sisters are not cloistered but have many apostolates in addition to the Retreat House. They administer homes for the aged and infirm, day care centers, elementary and high schools in California, Florida, Ohio and New Mexico. They were founded in 1921 by the Venerable Mother Lusita who was a wealthy Mexican widow who desired to start a religious community of women. Fleeing the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico during the 1920s she fled to Los Angeles. The Retreat House is also the Mother House for the over 40 Sisters there. They have many young sisters including a good number of postulants and novices. I had the great privilege of offering Mass for the community daily. These holy and happy sisters continue to pray for me and for OLM! Keep them in your prayers too! You can learn more about them at the website carmelitesistersocd.com
Summer officially began on Monday! It’s here, so enjoy it now! Welcome Father Barrow! Be well. Do Good. God Bless. Go Sox!