Last Saturday night our Summer Seminarian, Patrick Ryan, and myself attended Mass at Portsmouth Abbey. The Mass was celebrated by Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York who also delivered an address at the dinner that followed. This was part of the Annual Portsmouth Institute which this year examined “Faith, Family and Civilization.”
An apostolate of the Benedictine monastic communities of Portsmouth and Saint Louis Abbeys, the Portsmouth Institute for Faith and Culture is a center for Catholic scholarship and evangelization. It explores Catholic thought and promotes Christian culture by examining the connection between faith and reason, religion and public life. It annually holds a conference in June. Cardinal Dolan delivered an outstanding talk at the dinner which featured some of his trademark humor. His insights into the family life and the Church in our contemporary culture were excellent. It was a great evening and the Cardinal provided much food for thought for the large crowd gathered at the event.
This Saturday night our OLM Youth Group are hosting a cookout in Mercy Park! Hamburgers, cheese burgers and hot dogs are to be served and tickets can be purchased at the event. We thank the many parishioners who bought tickets last weekend and are joining us. This cookout is a fundraiser for the OLM Youth Group who are attending the huge Steubenville East Conference this July. The funds raised help defray the cost of the conference, lodging and transportation. I thank those parishioners who generously sponsored some of our youth group for this pilgrimage. If you are interested in sponsoring a teen for the pilgrimage, please contact me at the Parish Office. The OLM Youth Group chose to celebrate the priesthood for their cookout. We are grateful for their recognition of their parish priests.
Fr. Connors celebrates six years of priesthood on Saturday, June 23rd. I celebrate twenty-three years of priesthood on Sunday, June 24th. Fr. Barrow celebrates six years of priesthood on Wednesday, June 27th. And Bishop Evans celebrates forty-five years of priesthood on July 2nd! As Billy Burdier, our OLM Youth Activities Coordinator, mentioned last weekend at Masses, that is over 75 years of priestly service. It seems just like yesterday that I was ordained by Bishop Gelineau at the Cathedral. In the name of my brother priests, we thank our OLM Youth Group for their recognition of our priesthood and prayers.
Next Saturday Bishop Tobin is to ordain Transitional Deacon Phillip Dufor as a priest of the Diocese of Providence. Deacon Dufor has been studying at the North American College in Rome and after ordination is to return to complete his studies. The Ordination Mass is Saturday, June 30th at 10:00am at the Cathedral in Providence. Everyone is most welcome to attend the Mass which is always a very joyful, beautiful and solemn occasion. Please keep our newest priest of Providence in your prayers.
You may have read in last week’s edition of the R.I. Catholic that Bishop Tobin announced that he has, in conformity with the Code of Canon Law and the Priest Personnel Policy of the Diocese of Providence, appointed twenty-three pastors to a new six year term effective July 1, 2018. I am happy to report that I was one of those twenty-three pastors. At the end of this month, I mark the end of my first six year term as Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church.
It has been a truly wonderful six years serving as pastor to this great parish with such committed, faithful, and joyful parishioners. I continue to thank God for the blessing that OLM has been to my priestly life and I pray that my pastorate may always be faithful, joyful and fruitful.
On Monday morning we begin our OLM Vacation Bible School. It runs every day all week and is a fantastic opportunity for our parish children to learn about Christ and His Church. It is a week of fun and faith! We look forward to seeing the many children here at OLM each morning Keep them in your prayers. It’s summer!
If you’re traveling away this summer check out Masstimes.org to find where you can go to Sunday Mass. Do good. Be well. God Bless. Go Sox!