Dear Parishioners: We recall this weekend and remember in prayer the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It is a day we all know precisely where we were as we watched in horror and disbelief the senseless attacks upon our nation. This Sunday on the Fifteenth Anniversary we remember the thousands of innocent who died that day and those who grieve the loss of loved ones. We pray for them especially at Mass.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, delivered a homily on the Tenth Anniversary of September 11th. His profound words are worth recalling today on this Fifteenth Anniversary of that tragic day.
Cardinal Dolan said:
“They say there are no atheists in foxholes. I’ve heard it said as well that there were no atheists on 9/11 here in New York. That’s why we decided to gather for this greatest of all prayers, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at these very moments when bells are ringing throughout the United States, when people are united in their parishes, their churches, their synagogues, and their mosques, their heads bowed in reverent silence, recalling –recalling with somberness,recalling with gratitude and recalling with prayers — the events of 10 years ago today at these very moments when the second of the Twin Towers was attacked.
Mercy, forgiveness, pardon, healing, compassion, redemption, kindness, patience…Those are all words from God’s Holy Word in the Liturgy of the Word this morning. You all realize, of course, and it’s basic to anybody who considers himself or herself a person of faith, that there is an intense battle that is being waged in the human heart. It’s that battle, that war, that is going on in the human soul that gives rise to all the violence, and battles and wars that we see outside.
You and I are aware of that tension deep within. It’s a battle between sin and grace, between darkness and light. It’s a war where evil is against good, where death is versus life, lies versus truth, pride against humility, selfishness against selflessness, revenge versus mercy, hate versus love, Satan versus Almighty God.
Now a decade ago, at about this very moment, throughout the United States, throughout the world, and especially in this our beloved community, it seemed that the side of darkness had conquered, as innocent people perished, as valiant rescuers rushed to their aid, as families were fractured, and as a nation seemed on the ground.
And yet what I propose at our Mass this Sunday morning, on this tenth anniversary of that day, is that as a matter of fact the side of light actually triumphed, as temptations to despair, fearful panic, revenge, and dread gave way to such things as rescue, recovery, rebuilding, outreach, and resilience. The side of the angels, not of the demons, conquered. Good Friday became Easter Sunday. And once again God has the last word.”
God does have the last word, and that word is that good does triumph over evil. Let us pray for the fallen of September 11th and let also us pray for our nation, first responders, our firefighters, police officers and our armed forces. We must never despair but rather prayerfully remember in faith and hope.
Next Sunday, Bishop Tobin is to celebrate the Blue Mass for Police Officers. I serve as the Chaplain to the East Greenwich Police Department and R.I. Capitol Police Department and plan on attending the Mass at the Cathedral. All are welcomed to come to the Mass. Please pray for the men and women who serve and protect our community and state. May these “finest” who bravely serve us receive our pledge of prayers!
Next weekend’s Second Collection is for the Senior Priests’ Retirement Fund. I hope you can be generous in aiding the Senior Priests who serve so faithfully even after retirement. By the way, Fr. Barrow retires in 48 years and I hope to retire in the year 2040. So we won’t benefit from this collection for some time!! Thanks for your support.
Be well. Do good. God Bless America! Go Sox! And now we can say, Go Pats!!!!