Dear Parishioners: The nation continues to deal the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that took place in Dallas last week. We continue to mourn the loss of live and pray for peace and justice. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas issued a statement in response. His words are well worth reflecting upon:
“The magnitude of the violence in downtown Dallas Thursday night is staggering. Five police officers were killed and seven other officers and two civilians were wounded in a deadly spate of gunfire at the conclusion of a peaceful march protesting recent killings of black men in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis. Our first concern is for the families who have lost loved ones in this tragic attack. We pray for consolation and healing for both the families and those killed and wounded. We are reminded of the ever -present danger to those who are dedicated to protecting us. We have been swept up in the escalating cycle of violence that has now touched us intimately as it has others throughout our country and the world. All lives matter: black, white, Muslim, Christian, Hindu. We are all children of God and all human life is precious.
We cannot lose respect for each other and we call upon all of our civic leaders to speak to one another and work together to come to a sensible resolution to this escalating violence. Let us implore God our Heavenly Father to touch the minds and hearts of all people to work together for peace and understanding. Let us recall the words of Pope Francis, ‘May the God of peace arouse in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace.’
Last weekend our Parish Organist, Henri St. Louis, sang a beautiful meditation for the victims of the violence in Dallas, the ancient chant, In Paradisum. It is an antiphon from the traditional Latin liturgy of the Western Church Requiem Mass. It may be familiar to you as it is often used at Funeral Masses and it reads: "May choirs of angels escort you into paradise: and at your arrival may the martyrs receive and welcome you; may they bring you home into the holy city, Jerusalem. May the holy angels welcome you, and with Lazarus, who lived in poverty, may you have everlasting rest.” May the fallen of Dallas’ finest, rest in peace.
Next weekend is our Annual Mission Co-op at Our Lady of Mercy. This is weekend dedicated to helping those who serve our Church in the missions. Every year and in every parish a weekend is dedicated to learn more about the work of the Missionaries and commit to supporting them spiritually and financially. So please note that the Second Collection next weekend is dedicated to this effort and there is no envelope provided for this collection. This year at OLM, the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, a community of religious sisters founded in Ireland in 1924 by Bishop Joseph Shanahan, C.S.Sp. to work in the Missions in Africa. There is more about them in the bulletin this week.
Next weekend we are to be joined by two of their good sisters from Kenya, Sister Therese and Sister Josephine. They are to speak at all the Masses about their good works and the works of the Missions in Africa. Sister Therese administers their House of Studies for young sisters outside Nairobi and Sister Josephine is a nurse-midwife-administrator of a new health care center that serves the poor of the area. I know you will give them your usual warm welcome and generous support.
Our own Franciscan Sisters, Sister Emma and Sister Lourdes, leave this week for Nebraska for two weeks. There they join all the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters serving in the U.S. They have community meetings and also have a community retreat at the Seminary of St. Gregory in Seward, Nebraska. Please keep our good Sisters in your prayers for their safe travel and safe return home to OLM! I know while they take this time of prayer and reflection they are praying for us.
Pray for Dallas! Pray for peace! Be well. Do Good. God Bless. Go Sox!