I wish to thank the parishioners who so generously donated the new automated external defibrillators (AED) for our church and school. An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest when someone’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. There are two located in OLM Church, one in the vestibule and one by the sacristy. We have also placed two in the school and a third is portable and brought outside when the students are at gym or recess.
These life-saving devices can be used by anyone with a little training. After Christmas, we will be holding training sessions for our OLM School faculty and staff and for our OLM Ushers and Staff. The training will be open for anyone interested in learning how to use an AED. We are truly thankful for those who were so quick and generous to support our effort to purchase the AEDs for OLM. They cost over $1,000 a piece but they are an invaluable addition to our parish. In your name, I offer our sincere thanks for the donation of these life-saving AEDs.
During Advent we are called to prepare ourselves and our world with prayer and charity for the coming of the Messiah. At last Sunday’s Weekly Angelus Address, Pope Francis offer this reflection on Advent. The Holy Father stated:
“Jesus exhorts us in the Gospel (Cf. Mark 13:33-37) to take heed and watch, to be ready to receive Him the moment of his return. He says to us: “Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time will come lest He come suddenly and find you asleep” (vv. 33-36). The person that takes heed is one that, in the noise of the world, doesn’t let himself be overwhelmed by distraction or by superficiality, but lives in a full and aware way, with concern first of all for others. With this attitude, we are aware of the tears and the needs of our neighbor and we can also grasp his human and spiritual capacities and qualities. The person that heeds then turns also to the world, trying to counter the indifference and cruelty in it.”
As we continue to prepare ourselves and our world for the Messiah, let us heed the Holy Father’s Advent words. Our concern for our neighbors especially those less fortunate and in need should be a hallmark of our anticipation of the Messiah’s coming.
The Catholic Church in the United States is the largest Refugee Resettlement agency in the nation and the Diocese of Providence is the largest in the State of RI. This Advent OLM Outreach is looking for help in aiding several Refugee Families who have been resettled to RI. These families are fleeing wars, famines, persecution and poverty and arrive here with only the clothing on their backs. The Diocese of Providence helps them find housing and work.
Any help you may wish to offer our efforts is truly appreciated. We always are in need of monetary donations, and also gift cards especially to Walmart and Stop & Shop. If you would like to help in any way, large or small, please contact Doug Green, our OLM Outreach Director.
Pope Francis reminds us that Advent calls us to turn to the world and counter its often “indifferent cruelty.” We are called to prepare for Christ at Christmas not only in our own homes but in the world around us. We can do this in all kinds of ways: helping OLM Outreach, visiting neglected neighbors or lonely relatives, volunteering at McAuley House or Emmanuel House homeless shelters.
This Advent we are bringing the Bambinelli Blessing to OLM. Bambinelli is the Italian name for Baby Jesus figurines that children bring to be blessed by the Pope. We have a small number of these beautiful figurines available for sale after Masses this weekend. Next Sunday after the 9:00am Mass we invite you to come to Mercy Park by the parish crèche to bless the Bambinelli. So please join us, and bring the Baby Jesus from your own crèche to be blessed by your priests (not the Pope!). We’ll have singing led by our Children’s Choir, hot chocolate and donuts too! It’s a great way to prepare for Christmas and celebrate Gaudete Sunday!
It’s Advent so take heed and "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths." Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Pats!!!