We had a wonderful celebration of Confirmation last Sunday. Our 87 newly confirmed young adults have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and confirmed in their Catholic Faith. We give thanks to God for this great occasion in the life our parish and we continue to pray for these young men and women.
We must also give thanks to so many who helped make Confirmation a truly joyous and solemn celebration. We thank Doug Green, our OLM Confirmation Coordinator, who works so hard to ensure a quality Religious Education program for the candidates and for his tireless efforts in making the Confirmation Ceremony so wonderful. We also thank those helping Doug especially Mickey St. Jean, Mary Anne Weaver and Kathy Hall.
We offer our thanks to Henri St. Louis, our Choir Director, Deidre Donovan, our soloist and the OLM Choir for the beautiful music at the Mass. Our Altar Servers and OLM Ushers also helped make the ceremony so terrific. And we thank all those who helped to prepare, decorate and make the Mass truly solemn.
We thank Bishop Checchio of Metuchen who conferred the Sacrament upon our young adults His presence and preaching are truly appreciated. We are grateful that he took time from his very busy schedule to be with us at OLM. When the Bishop was Rector of the Seminary in Rome, he helped to prepare Fr. Barrow and Fr. Connors for the priesthood. We’ve been blessed with these two great Associate Pastors at OLM and I thank Bishop Checchio who played such an important role in forming our young OLM priests.
Our newly Confirmed young adults are fully initiated in the Catholic Faith and we hope to put them to work for God and Parish. In the coming weeks, they are to receive a letter inviting each of them to consider taking up a ministry at OLM. We hope they willingly choose to serve their parish as Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Choir Members, Ushers and Religious Education teachers. May they remember the words of the great Saint Catherine of Siena: “Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire!”
Fr. Barrow attended the Diocese of Providence Priests’ Convocation this past week at the Gurney’s Newport Hotel on Goat Island. Noted Catholic author Sherry Weddell presented talks based upon her books: Forming Intentional Disciples, Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples and Fruitful Discipleship. Her insights on building up discipleship at a parish were very helpful and produced much fruitful discussion among the priests gathered. Such a time away together is truly a great time for the priests to join with our bishops in prayer, reflection and also a little casual socializing.
While Fr. Barrow stayed in Newport and attended the entire Convocation, I stayed behind at OLM but was able to commute to Newport and attend some of the conferences as well. These Convocations are held every other year and they are truly a great resource for priests. We do not often come together except at occasional business meetings and funerals of brother priests. So it is always a welcomed occasion to gather together in a more relaxed and reflective time. I thank both Bishop Tobin and Bishop Evans who continue to make these important Convocations a meaningful opportunity for their brother priests.
Every priest is also required to make an annual retreat. This is to be a time of intense prayer and reflection at a Retreat House or a Monastery. This week I am making my Annual Retreat from Monday evening until Friday morning. I am grateful to Fr. Barrow who will ably run the parish in my absence. I am also grateful to the Priests of Opus Dei for their invitation to attend their Retreat for Diocesan Priests at the Arnold Hall Retreat Center in Pembroke, Massachusetts.
I look forward to the experience of prayer and reflection. I humbly ask for your prayers during this time of retreat that it may be a truly fruitful and helpful time in support of my priestly ministry. Please know that I shall pray for you and your intentions daily during the retreat.
Have a great week! Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Pats!!!