Last week we sent in our Annual Report of Sacramental Statistics to the Diocese of Providence. Each year we compile the number of sacraments administered at OLM along with the number people attending Masses and enrolled in Catholic Schools and Religious Education programs.
We currently have 2,047 families registered at OLM with a total of 6,900 parishioners. This is a decrease from last year by 40 families. Of course, registered at OLM is a rather broad term. It includes anyone who registered and has not indicated they’ve left the parish. About half the registered families with a total of 1,370 receive the weekly budget envelopes. Only slightly more than 500 parish families actually contribute with either the weekly budget envelope or through online giving (EFT).
Nearly 100 faithful souls attend our daily 7:30am Mass with about 1,200 total coming to Mass on weekends. This number has remained consistent in the last few years. Some Masses are better attended than others. This year we baptized 42 infants into the Catholic Faith which is an increase from last year’s 36 baptized babies. Also another 8 children were baptized this year. Overall most parishes report a growing decrease in baptisms as couples seem to be having less children and many others choosing not to practice any type of religion,
We had 65 young children receive First Holy Communion last May. This is a decrease from the 82 the previous year. Again this is part of a growing trend in our state as there are less and less children being born and/or raised with religious faith. We had 87 young adults Confirmed in the Catholic Faith last October. This is an increase by one over the previous year. In addition, we had another 8 adults confirmed in the faith including one adult who was baptized a Catholic and two others who converted to the Catholic Faith last year.
Twenty-one young couples received the Sacrament of Marriage at OLM last year. This is a very large increase from the previous year when only 9 couples were married at OLM. Of course, these numbers are also reflective of the societal trend of less couples getting married at all or getting married in a Church.
We gave the Sacrament of the Sick to 85 people last year. Over thirty of these anointings were done as the person was dying. And we continue to get many people coming to Confession at OLM both on Saturday afternoons and Monday nights.
We laid to rest 58 souls last year at OLM. Most of these deceased parishioners received a Mass of Christian Burial. However, some had family members choose to have either a funeral home service or graveside prayers only. This is a troubling trend as people who do not practice the Catholic Faith choose not to have their loved ones receive a Mass of Christian Burial even when the deceased ar faithful Mass goers. Every Catholic by virtue of their baptism is due the dignity and honor of a Mass of Christian Burial. May they rest in peace and may eternal light shine upon them.
The statistical report indicates that the faith is still very much alive and well at OLM. Many people continue to come to Mass and receive the Sacraments of the Church. Of course, there is always room for growth and improvement. We know many of our neighbors and family members do not practice their Catholic Faith on a regular basis.
So help us evangelize at OLM. Invite a friend or family member to attend Mass with you. If you know someone is sick or is having surgery, call the priests so we can give them the Sacrament of the Sick. If you know a young couple who are getting married, invite them to consider a Sacramental Wedding at OLM rather than a ceremony on a beach in Aruba!
We offer a fond farewell to our OLM Soloist, Deirdre Donovan, this weekend as she retires from Church singing. We shall miss her beautiful voice uplifting us to God each week at Mass. God’s blessing upon her.
October is for Mary and the Rosary. Join us for Devotions on Mondays at 7:00pm. This Monday we offer our Rosary for an increase of respect for all human life. Take some time and join us in prayer. Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Sox! Go Pats!!! See you on Monday at Devotions!