Last Monday Bishop Tobin appointed me as the Administrator pro tem of St. Vincent de Paul Church and Our Lady of Czestochowa Church both located in Coventry. Their pastor is on an indefinite administrative leave and I am to serve as the Temporary Administrator of both parishes during this period. I remain and will remain the Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy and continue to reside here at OLM. This is only a temporary assignment. I am responsible to maintain the status quo and good order of each these parishes and to see to the financial administration, and ensure the Sacraments are readily available.
This means that from time to time both Fr. Barrow and I will be covering Masses at OLM as well as each of the Coventry parishes. Thankfully many of my brother priests have come forward to help cover Masses, Confessions, funerals, Baptisms and weddings at both OLC and St. Vincent. While this is only a temporary situation it is unclear how long it might last. So I ask for your patience and understanding during this time and also your prayers. Also please pray for the parishioners at OLC and St. Vincent and for their Pastor, Fr. Jacek Ploch.
I would urge you to also pray for more vocations to the priesthood especially in the Diocese of Providence. The number of priests is declining and many of our priests are called to cover multiple parishes. We are truly blessed at OLM to have two priests assigned here. But we must also realize that from time to time we must share our blessings.
Last weekend I celebrated all the Masses at OLC and St. Vincent. Fr. Barrow also covered Saturday night Mass at St. John and James in West Warwick so the pastor there might get his summer vacation. We thank Fr. Connors for helping to cover Masses at OLM but he too is covering at many other parishes this summer. So please pray for more priestly vocations in our Diocese!
One vocation to the priesthood you must continue to pray for is our Summer Seminarian, Dan Mahoney. His ten weeks working at OLM and with Fr. Barrow and me ends this week.. Next weekend is to be his final weekend at OLM and he then gets a justly deserved vacation before returning to St. John Seminary in late August. It has been a joy to have Dan live and work with us. He is a very prayerful, bright and committed seminarian. I hope you enjoyed his weekly columns over these last weeks. He has been a tremendous help at Masses, with our Youth Group, at OLM School and visiting our shut-ins and nursing homes.
Dan is also a big sports fan so it was great to have him in the Rectory. We watched the Red Sox and commiserated together over this rather dismal season. He is also a first class Chef and provided many a fine meal especially on the grill this summer. I am grateful for his presence here at OLM these last ten weeks. Dan enters his Third Year of Theology at St. John’s Seminary this fall. Next spring he is to be ordained a transitional Deacon and God willing a priest in June 2021. Pray for him. Be sure to wish Dan well and say Farewell! Join us in offering him thanks at a Farewell Reception next Sunday in Mercy Park following the 10:30am Mass.
This weekend we welcome the La Salette Missionaries to OLM. In your name, I welcome Bishop Donald Pelletier, the Bishop emeritus of Monrondava, Madagascar who is celebrating Masses here. We also welcome the La Salette Lay Missionaries, John and Sharon Moskowitz, who are speaking about the work of the Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette. In their name, I thank your for your warm welcome, your prayers for missionaries and your generous financial contributions of this weekend’s Second Collection. All the monies in the Second Collection this weekend go directly to support the La Salette Missionaries, thank you for your prayerful and generous support.
I am away this week at the Annual Summer Meeting of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors in Charleston, South Carolina. This annual meeting provides a great opportunity to discuss the Church’s involvement in advancing the Gospel in the arena of public policy with national experts Be well. Do Good. God Bless! Go Sox!!!! Oremus pro invicem!