It’s back to school for our OLM School children this week. Yes, the first day of school is this coming Friday! It’s hard to believe it’s already arrived. Where did the summer go? As the students return to OLM School I ask that you please continue to pray for them, and also for the administration, faculty and staff of OLM School. May God abundantly bless this new academic year with wisdom, faith, hope and love as our students strive to be both saints and scholars. Our Lady of Mercy, pray for them.
Our terrific faculty make a retreat on Thursday at the Retreat Center on Enders Island in Mystic, CT. Father Chris Murphy, the Chaplain at Bishop Hendricken High School, is leading the retreat. It is a great way for our faculty to renew their faith and zeal for the Lord as they begin another year teaching our children at OLM School. Let us offer this prayer for the new school year at OLM School: Merciful Father, We give You thanks for the opportunity to begin this new school year, and we ask that you bless the students, administration, faculty, staff and school families that make our school a place of excellence and faith. We pray that you will guide them in your ways, so that they always seek Your will in all they do, and strive to always love others as You love us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
OLM School is back in session this week and so is our Back-To-School Supplies Drive for St. Patrick’s Parish in Providence. Fr. James Ruggeri, St. Patrick’s Pastor, called me earlier in the summer seeking the help of OLM. So again this year we pledged to help and to bring back-packs full of much needed school supplies to the children at St. Patrick’s in Providence. There is a complete list of needed supplies in the bulletin. You can place all donated school supplies in the boxes in the vestibule of the Church. If you would rather donate monetarily, please do so by striking a check payable to OLM Outreach with “Back-Pack Drive” in the memo and simply place it in the collection basket at Mass. We are collecting these supplies through the end of August and hope to make delivery before September 1st. I offer my thanks for your generous support of this good work of OLM Outreach.
Sandra Demers, our Parish Secretary, returned safe and sound from World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. She and her daughter, Simone, joined over 60 pilgrims from Rhode Island and say it was truly a fun and faith filled trip. They joined scores of young and happy Catholics from around the world singing and celebrating their Catholic faith together. The closing Mass with Pope Francis saw over 2 million gathered together! At the closing Mass, Pope Francis offered some profound words to the Catholic Youth of the World:
“God loves us the way we are, and no sin, fault or mistake of ours makes him change his mind. As far as Jesus is concerned – as the Gospel shows – no one is unworthy of, or far from, his thoughts. No one is insignificant. He loves all of us with a special love; for him all of us are important: you are important! God counts on you for what you are, not for what you possess. In his eyes the clothes you wear or the kind of cell phone you use are of absolutely no concern. He doesn’t care whether you are stylish or not; he cares about you! In his eyes, you are precious, and your value is inestimable. God is hopelessly hopeful! He believes that we can always get up. He demands of us real courage: the courage to be more powerful than evil by loving everyone, even our enemies. People may laugh at you because you believe in the gentle and unassuming power of mercy. But do not be afraid.”
This powerful message of God’s love and mercy from Pope Francis provides something for all of us, both young and old, to pray and reflect about this week. Thanks for your generous support of this week’s Peter’s Pence Collection. Also many thanks for helping Fr. Ruggeri and the good people at St. Patrick’s Parish with back-to-school supplies. I know it makes a big difference in their lives. Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Sox!