Dear Parishioners: What a grand celebration of Christmas was had at Our Lady of Mercy! Crowds of people coming to worship and praise God for the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. Beautiful singing and music in the spirit of the season. Reverent and solemn celebrations befitting the King of Kings! Christmas at Our Lady of Mercy was truly terrific. Of course, none of this is possible without the hard work of lots of good people. The OLM Parish Staff and our many wonderful volunteers put lots of time and talent into getting ready for the Birth of our Savior!
We thank God for all His blessings upon this parish throughout the past year! We also thank all those who made Christmas so special at OLM. Celia Franzone and her dedicated band of decorators who ensure our Church is always so beautifully decorated with trees, flowers and a truly beautiful nativity. Paul Anderson and our hard working OLM Maintenance Staff who do all the heavy lifting, the moving of trees, and ensure the cleanliness of our Church.
We also thank our great musicians and choirs for giving us the great gift of music this Christmas. Our OLM Organist and Music Director, Henri St. Louis and the OLM Choir provided beautiful music at Masses. Our OLM Soloist, Deirdre Donovan sang beautifully the great hymns of Christmas! The Children's Choir sounded truly terrific at the 4:00pm Vigil Mass. Their angelic voices add such grace to the Mass! If you couldn’t attend the Midnight Mass then you missed the Choir accompanied by our majestic organ, brass, timpani, and strings! The Concert of Christmas Music prior to Midnight Mass was spectacular. We are so blessed to have such talented and gifted musicians at OLM. If you’ve never been to Midnight Mass, make the effort next year as it is truly an outstanding celebration of Christmas.
We must thank our hard working OLM Sacristans who ensure all the Mass linens, sacred vessels and vestments are cleaned, polished and ready to go for Christmas! We thank also our great Altar Servers for serving God at Holy Mass with dignity, grace and reverence. We give thanks for the Lectors who proclaimed God’s Word so profoundly and the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who ensure that the Body of Christ is distributed with reverence. We are grateful for our many Ushers who offer a warm welcome to visitors and see to the good order of Mass. Yes, God is good and we rightly give Him thanks and praise. We thank Him for the blessings of Our Lady of Mercy Parish. We thank Him for the beautiful celebration of Christmas. We thank Him for the gift of His Son born on Christmas Day!
The Christmas Season continues so don’t take the tree down just yet or put away the lights now! We have another week to celebrate the light and the joy of the Christ Child as the great feast of the Epiphany comes next Sunday and draws the season to a close. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. We begin the New Year dedicating our lives and our parish to the protection and guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a great start to the New Year as we give praise to the Mother of God and seek her maternal intercession.
In this New Year of 2017 the world marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has proclaimed that the Diocese of Providence is to commemorate this historic anniversary to a special Year dedicated to Mary our Mother. In declaring the Year of Mary, Bishop Tobin stated: “Mary is part of our family and our spiritual family. So we honor her, we love her, we keep mementos of her around us and we turn to her for help whenever we need it. So our devotion to Mary is really a family celebration in our Catholic family .”
On behalf of Fr. Barrow, Deacon Dowd and myself, we offer our deep thanks and gratitude to the many kind parishioners who were so thoughtful in remembering us at Christmas with generous gifts, warm greetings and delicious goodies at Christmas! Their generous recognition of our ministry at OLM is appreciated
A Happy New Year to you all! Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats!!! 2017 is here!!