Dear Parishioners: We said “Farewell” to our Summer Seminarian Billy Burdier last weekend. He now gets ready to return to his priestly studies in Rome in September. Billy is entering his third year and has two years left before ordination to the priesthood. My thanks to all who helped organize the “Farewell Reception” in Mercy Park and the many parishioners who stopped by to offer Billy their thanks. Vaya con Dios Billy!!
No sooner did we say good-bye to Billy when Sister Lourdes and Sister Emma returned from Nebraska on Sunday night. The good sisters were on retreat and made their way back travelling across the country in their mini-van. They arrived safe and sound late Sunday night. Now rested and ready from their retreat they once again take up their ministry here at OLM. Welcome home Sisters!!!
I recently received the news that Deacon Brian Morris, a native son of OLM and graduate of OLM School, is to be ordained a priest on Saturday, June 3, 2017. He is to offer his Mass of Thanksgiving here at OLM on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Please put those dates on your calendar now as it will be a weekend for our parish family to celebrate with Brian and his family. Brian is coming to OLM next Sunday, August 21st to preach at all the Masses. He then returns to his final year of studies at St. John Seminary in Boston and prepares for priestly ordination next June!
This week I learned that another OLM native son, Father Eric Bennett, who is the son of OLM parishioners Dudley and Kathy Bennett was named Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in East Boston. Fr. Bennett worked in Boston as a Physical Therapist before entering the seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in June 2012. It is a sure expression of Cardinal O’Malley’s trust and confidence in Fr. Bennett’s tremendous abilities and talents to name him a Pastor of such a large parish as Sacred Heart.
It is a diverse parish that offers Masses in English, Italian and Vietnamese and has a parish school. Fr. Bennett studied in Rome so Mass In Italian shouldn’t be a problem and he has the assistance of a Vietnamese Priest who serves the large Vietnamese population there. Fr. Bennett begins his first pastorate on August 15th, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a sure sign that Our Lady is to guide his pastorate! We congratulate Fr. Bennett and his parents on this great milestone in his priestly ministry and extend him our prayerful best wishes!
With all this news of seminarians and young priests, I remind you of that there remains a great need to pray for priestly vocations for the Diocese of Providence. We have just twenty seminarians studying for the priesthood for our diocese. Keep them in your prayers but also pray that more young men might answer God’s call to serve the Church of Providence.
The Gospel says that “Jesus went about all the cities and villages... When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Mt 9:35-38). The prayer which Jesus asks of all of us, therefore concerns the need to increase the number of those who serve his Kingdom as priests.
The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not a holy day of obligation this year as it falls on a Monday. There is an explanation provided by the Office of Worship in the bulletin this week. There is to be only one Mass offered on this Solemnity at 7:30am on Monday, August 15th and I encourage you to join us on this great feast of Our Lady. The arrival of the Assumption is always a sign that summer is coming to an end too fast.
Next week we take up the Peter’s Pence Collection for the Holy Father’s many charities. Thanks for you generous support of Pope Francis’ many good works. Be well. Do good. Go Sox! God Bless.