Dear Parishioners: It was a great first week of school as children across the state returned to classes.  Here at OLM we began the week with a Mass for our OLM School Faculty and then Wednesday morning the children made their way back to school.  This coming Friday at 9:00AM we celebrate a Mass of the Holy Spirit as we officially open the academic year for OLM School.  This is a parish celebration so I hope you might consider joining our OLM students, faculty, staff and parents as we call upon the Holy Spirit to guide us during this  year.  If you cannot attend, then please offer a prayer for all students and teachers and ask the Holy Spirit to guide them to grow in wisdom, faith, hope and love.

The response to the upcoming Parish Picnic on September 23 has been truly overwhelming!  Father Shemek and his Committee continue to grow as does the number of people who say they are coming.  We hope to get a big tent and ask  you to bring your own picnic food, drinks and supplies along with some beach chairs and small tables!  A table of homemade baked goods, some arts and crafts and games for kids and even Pony Rides are all part of the day!   A few parish pessimists have asked what happens in case of rain! Well, start  praying there is no rain at all and  we won’t have to cancel!  Here’s a prayer I picked up in New Orleans last year to avert hurricanes and it works!  Let us pray it over the next couple of weeks:  “Father, all the elements of nature obey your command. Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us and our parish picnic. Turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Father Shemek is looking for some high school students to help him with the Parish Picnic.   He needs help canvassing the neighborhood to invite our neighbors to the Picnic as our guests and also with some activities on the day of the Picnic.   If you are in high school, and are willing to smile and lend a helping hand then call  Father Shemek at the Parish Office.  He hopes to soon get a Youth Group up and running so we can plan some exciting activities.  Also he is planning for an OLM Youth Mission Trip.  Let him know if you are interested!

Next week Father John Kiley joins us at OLM to preach  on the Senior Priest Retirement Fund Collection. The collection is scheduled for September 15/16 and is an important source of funding the retirement of our Senior Priests.  Father Kiley, a retired Pastor and distinguished Senior Priest, will preach at all the Masses and share more information about this very critical collection for the priests of the Diocese.  In full disclosure, Father Shemek and I  would also benefit from this fund in a few decades!

In their Labor Day Statement the U.S. Bishops reaffirm the Church’s beautiful teaching on the dignity of work and the rights of workers and remind us: “This Labor Day, our country continues to struggle with a broken economy. As people of faith, we are called to stand with those left behind, offer our solidarity, and join forces with "the least of these" to help meet their basic needs.” Let us pray for all workers especially the unemployed.  God Bless. Happy Labor Day!