I hope those of you who lost your electricity in the storm last week are now in the light! It was a long weekend for many parishioners left in the cold and dark! Thankfully we never lost the power at OLM like several other parishes throughout the state. They celebrated Masses with just the candlelight!
However, the high winds did some damage to the northeast corner of the Church roof and we lost many shingles. Also the wind caught a door in the school and did some damage. There were also a few leaks that sprung up as result of the rain and strong winds! Thankfully Paul Anderson, our very able and reliable Director of the Physical Plant, was able to limit any severe damage. Also a large branch on a tree next to the Mercy Convent fell but thankfully missed the Convent. Several large limbs fell over at St. Patrick Cemetery but missed the fence and headstones. It’s nice to see that kind of storm go back to sea! Thankfully Spring is just around the corner!
I hope you were able to join us for the Lenten Mission this past week. We had good crowds at the Mission each night and the priests were also kept busy in the Confessionals each evening. It was a great time of prayer and renewal for our parish. The Mission reminded us to make Lent a time to truly remember so we can truly celebrate Easter on April 1st!
In your name, I thank Monsignor Douglas Cook from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Newport Beach, California who led our Mission last week. He did a terrific job preaching the Gospel and leading us on Mission. Let’s take his message to heart so we change our hearts this Lent and truly prepare them to celebrate the crucified and risen Christ at Easter!
I invite you to join us for the Feast of St. Patrick next Saturday with Mass at 11:00am as we honor of the Apostle of Ireland. The Mass features readings and hymns in Irish. Bishop Evans is our celebrant and Father David Gaffney, the Rector of Our Lady of Providence Seminary, is our homilist. As usual we are having a reception following the Mass complete with Irish Coffee, Irish Soda Bread and Shamrock cookies! You don’t have to be Irish to come celebrate!
A week from Monday at 12:05pm we mark the Solemnity of St. Joseph with a Mass in Italian. Bishop Evans who is fluent in Italian is our celebrant and Fr. James Ruggeri, my classmate and Pastor of St. Patrick Church in Providence, is our homilist. The Mass features readings and hymns in Italian. Not to worry the homily is in English! Our reception following features Italian Coffee and those delicious treats, zeppolies! You don’t have to be Italian to come celebrate.
The last two Saturdays we have celebrated First Confession for our Second Grade First Communion Classes. The children did an excellent job and know all their prayers! I thank their teachers, OLM RE Directress Mickey St. Jean and Mrs. Mary Ryan from OLM School. I also thank their parents for sharing the Catholic faith with their children and continuing to see that they are grow in the faith.
Thanks to a few brother priests, the parents were also able to go to Confession while the children came foreword for the first time. Confession as they say is good for soul! We have ample opportunities here at OLM for Confession, so if you’ve not made a good Confession in sometime, try to do it before Easter.
On Saturday, March 24th OLM is hosting All-Day Confessions from 9:00am until 3:00pm. There is going to be four priests available the entire time so there won’t be any waiting or long lines. This is an annual event across the world and in some Churches in major cities they hold Confessions for 24 hours! Here in Rhode Island there are many other parishes across the Ocean State with All-Day Confessions.
So if you’ve been away from God, if you need the second chance that only God can offer, if you need some mercy and forgiveness in your life or you simply want to properly prepare for Easter, make a good Confession. Saint Pope John Paul II taught us: “Confession is an act of honesty and courage - an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.” Be sure to make a good Confession this Lent and make it an Easter to celebrate with peace and joy! Do good. Be well.