Last weekend Senator John McCain of Arizona died and is to be laid to rest this weekend. He was an American Hero who exhibited great faith and courage throughout his life. As a young Navy Pilot he endured incredible suffering and torture while held as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. Yet he overcame this adversity and survived.
He went on to serve our nation as a distinguished Member of Congress and U.S. Senator. Let us pray for the gentle repose of his noble soul, may he rest in peace. Senator McCain, a true profile in courage, once said: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.”
His words offer us inspiration as we continue to face the problems in our Church. Fear can easily overcome us and lead us into despair. We face many challenges in our Church, in our world and in our lives, let us do so with faith, hope and courage,
In Character Is Destiny, one of the many books he authored, Senator McCain wrote of the stories he learned from his parents and at school. The book is a compilation of stories of heroes, both famous and obscure, whose values exemplify character and courage.
Included in the book are many profiles of courage including Sir Winston Churchill, who offered simple and sage advice: "never give up!" McCain includes the story of Mary Clarke, who left her life as a Beverly Hills socialite to work in the desperate conditions of a Mexican jail. George Washington is lauded by McCain for his wisdom and ability to adapt in the face of battle.
Although not a Catholic himself, Senator McCain writes about several Catholic Saints including Saint Maximillian Kolbe, a Catholic priest in Auschwitz who offered to take a condemned man's place. St. Thomas More, a Catholic layman who took on a king and died a martyr for the faith, is also featured. And so is St. Joan of Arc, a young girl who exhibited great faith and courage and became the Patroness of France.
It is people of character, faith and courage such as these as well as Senator McCain himself who came to my mind this week. If ever there is a time when our Church and our world cries out for men, women and children as well as religious sisters, priests, deacons and bishops of character, courage and faith it is in this moment in our history. St. Thomas More reminds us: “You wouldn’t abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn’t control the winds.”
This past Wednesday was the first day at OLM School. The first day of school is always a day of joy and hope as students return and others arrive for the very first time. It was great to welcome them all to OLM School! Our parish school declares its mission to teach our students to strive to be saints and scholars. We pray for our students, families and faculty that they continue to grow in the faith, knowledge and love of God and strive to be saints and scholars!
I offer my sincere thanks to the many families who make the sacrifice to send their children to OLM School. Their commitment to Catholic Education and their support of our school is deeply appreciated. I also thank our excellent faculty for their sacrifice and commitment to our school. May God bless OLM School with abundant graces this school year!
In the bulletin you will find a copy of an article from the Providence Journal by Kevin O’Brien, the Director of Compliance for the Diocese of Providence. I think you may find it very informative about the Diocese of Providence’s work in fighting abuse in the Church. If you would like more information about the policies and procedures of our Office of Compliance, it is readily available on the Diocese of Providence’s website.
In your name, I offer congratulations and best wishes to long time OLM parishioners, John and Terry Romano. On Labor Day, they celebrate their 95th and 100th birthdays! John and Terry are at Mass every week, in fact John continues to usher at the 7:30am Mass. We wish this wonderful couple continued health and happiness. May God bestow his choicest blessings upon them and their family! Happy Birthday!!
I wish you and your families a Happy Labor Day! Be well. Do good. God Bless. Oremus pro invicem, let us pray for each other.