Dear Parishioners: While we are disappointed that our own Father Shemek is moving on from Our Lady of Mercy in July, we must also offer our congratulations to him on being named Pastor of St. Christopher and St. Theresa Parishes in Tiverton. I know that Bishop Tobin has expressed his great confidence in Father Shemek in giving him such an assignment. Many parishioners told me how they shall miss Father Shemek but that they understand that he is getting a promotion with his appointment as pastor. I too shall miss him as it has been truly enjoyable to live and work with him over the last year. He and I have never had a cross word with one another and have truly enjoyed getting to learn about Our Lady of Mercy together. Father Shemek continues to serve at Our Lady of Mercy until the end of June and we will have an opportunity to officially bid him “Farewell” and offer our thanks before he leaves. Bishop has assured me that Our Lady of Mercy is to receive another Assistant Pastor to replace Fr. Shemek. In the meantime, let’s enjoy our time with Father Shemek!
This week the RI Catholic listed the seventeen new pastor assignments made by Bishop Tobin including Father Shemek’s appointment to Tiverton. We have had many pastors retire in the Diocese and so new pastors are needed to replace them. Only two young men are to be ordained to the priesthood this year for our Diocese. Father Bert Theroux the Pastor at our neighboring parish of St. Francis de Sales in North Kingstown is retiring this June. Last month their Assistant Pastor, Father Andrew Messina, was named Pastor of St. Timothy in Warwick and was not replaced. So St. Francis is to become a one priest parish. So please pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood!
In your name I offer congratulations to the OLM School Science Olympiad Team who captured their 6th State Title last weekend defeating Barrington Middle School. Full details about the event are in the school news section of the bulletin. We can all help support the team next weekend as they host a Bake Sale to help defray the cost of traveling to Ohio for the National Competition. I hope you are able to help them by buying some tasty homemade treats next weekend. The Bake Sale is to take place after all Masses, so please be prepared to help support this outstanding team. We are certainly very proud of our OLM School Science Olympiad Team for such a great job by the students and coaches. Next weekend we can wish them good luck in the Nationals and help ensure they can make the trip all the way to Ohio to represent Rhode Island!
Like many of you, I continue to follow the news surrounding the Patriots’ Day Attack in Boston last week. This horrific evil resulted in the deaths of four people with many more severely injured some losing their limbs. Of course, we were all left asking why? Why would people commit such an evil act? It is difficult to comprehend any answer and even more difficult if we fail to search for such without our Catholic Faith. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston offered a fine reflection on this horrific evil in his Good Shepherd Sunday homily last weekend (I’ve posted it on the parish website). He states in his powerful homily that “it is very difficult to understand what was going on in the young men’s minds, what demons were operative, what ideologies or politics or the perversion of their religion. It was amazing to witness, however, how much goodness and generosity were evidenced in our community as a result of the tragic events they perpetrated.”
One of our OLM Families presented me with a wristband last week after Mass. It is yellow and blue, the Boston Marathon colors and reads: “Combat evil with good”—Pope Francis, Boston 2013. Their son ran the Marathon and was inspired by the Pope’s words to the people of Boston. May we too be inspired to combat evil with good! God Bless.