It’s September and Labor Day has come and gone! School is in full swing and summer is coming to an end. It seems to have gone too quickly once again this year. As Oscar Wilde said: “…and all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”
With the coming of fall, comes the beginning of our OLM Religious Education Program. On Sunday, September 16th, we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. Our dedicated RE Teachers join us at the 10:30am Mass as we pray for them and commission them to teach the faith to the children of our parish. The theme of this year’s Catechetical Sunday is "Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ.”
We are grateful to the many parishioners who volunteer as catechists here at OLM. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity for us to pray for them but also to reflect on the role that each one of us has, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all of us to rededicate ourselves to this mission as a community of faith, hope, mercy and love.
I am grateful to the many OLM families who annually take part in our RE Program. Each year a few hundred of our parish children participate in our RE Program. Mickey St. Jean and Doug Green do a tremendous job ensuring our program runs smoothly and teaches the children the fullness of the faith. If you have not registered your child for RE, please do so today. RE Classes begin on September 30th!
Also this fall our OLM Confirmation Candidates are gathering for their retreat in preparation for the Sacrament. I ask you to please continue to pray for these young people as they prepare to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation is to be celebrated on Sunday, November 11th at 5:00pm by Bishop Mark Spalding of Nashville.
Also we begin once again this fall the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Program at OLM. Fr. Barrow and a dedicated group of parishioners meet weekly to teach and discuss the Catholic Faith with those interested in becoming Catholic and those Catholics in need of full initiation into the Church. There is more information in the bulletin about this great program.
If you or someone you know is a non-Catholic or a Catholic in need of the Sacraments of Communion and Confirmation, please contact Fr. Barrow. The RCIA meets each week to explore and learn more about Christ and His Church. And then at Easter our RCIA Candidates are fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
Of course, September also means that we are gearing up for the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, our Parish Patroness, on September 24th. We begin the celebration at 9:00AM on Monday, September 24th, with the Feast Day Mass. Fr. Brain Morris, a native son of OLM and graduate of OLM School, is our homilist this year. Following the Feast Day Mass at 1:00PM we have our 2nd Annual OLM Saints and Scholars Golf Tournament at Warwick Country Club. You can sign-up to play or sponsor a tee online at the parish website. Golfers be forewarned, both Fr. Barrow and myself are playing this year!
On Tuesday night of our Feast Week, our talented parish musicians and choirs join us for a Holy Hour of Mercy. We are to gather before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer with our reflection aided by beautiful sacred music. Fr. Stephen Battey, a fine young priest, is to offer a reflection on mercy.
Then on Wednesday night of the Feast Week, I invite you and your family to join us for an Act of Mercy, “ Socks and Sandwiches for the Homeless.” We will be making sandwiches for the homeless. All you need do is come to the OLM School Cafeteria with a new pair of adult socks and help us make the sandwiches!
Finally in lieu of the OLM Parish Picnic, we begin a new tradition at OLM. On Friday, September 28th we celebrate OLM Octoberfest. Join us under the tent for German food, beer and music. This family event includes games for both adults and children! If you like bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels and a beer in a stein, join us!
Yes, summer is collapsing into fall but there’s still plenty to celebrate. Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Sox! Go Pats!!! Oremus pro invicem, let us pray for each other.