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Academy of Our Lady

Fr. Ron's Blog


Dear friends,
Welcome back. Welcome home. Happy New Year. All sentiments that have to do with beginning and return, returning home from vacations, returning back to school, beginning a new school year and a new program year. All conjured up by the idea that September marks a change. For some, it’s the first time a child has gone off to college. For others, the first time a child will go off to school for a full day, every day. Whatever the case may be – let’s all step into this new present with a renewed sense of hope for all that can be and a new vision and dream that we can make it all come true.

While I write to you about returning, I have to confess that you will not see me this weekend because I will be out of state, on vacation. That’s not because I’ve taken three weeks off, but because, this year, I had to break up my vacation into smaller pieces, with brief returns home in between. And the basic reason for this was the need to accompany Cardinal Tobin on his first pastoral visit to the Mission in the Turks and Caicos Islands. As I write this on Thursday morning, just before leaving, the predictions about the dire nature of Hurricane Irma, have already begun to be realized on the Islands it has already passed, with the death toll already at 10. It’s six in the morning and I just got off the phone with Fr. Orlando, the pastor of Our Lady of Divine Providence. They have not experienced anything yet but have been told the winds would start to grow around 2:00 PM. The power company warned them that when they reach 70 mph, the company will cut all power to the Islands. I told him the first priority was their safety and the safety of all for whom they could provide shelter. Property can be re-built, but lives cannot. By the time you read this, Irma will have passed, but I ask you to keep them in your continued prayers as, I am sure, recovery will be long and hard.

The Cardinal and I left, as scheduled, on Labor Day after a wonderful visit. I cannot always but marvel at the growth of the Mission. At the first Mass that Fr. Peter Baldacchino celebrated on the Islands, back in July of 1999, there were 10 people in attendance. At the Mass last Sunday, it was standing room only. A testimony both to the power of the Word to touch hearts when preached and to the dedication of the many priests who have served there in these nineteen years, the first ones being sent in July of 1998. The Cardinal celebrated Mass for the faculty of the school, which was to have started today (9/7) and was impressed with their dedication not only as teachers but as messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and its power in the lives of the students. An interesting note from the last academic year. In TCI there is a national science competition among all of the schools on the Islands. This year, that competition was won by the students from Holy Family Academy, a sign that even thousands of miles away, a Catholic school can make a difference in the lives of its students, not only spiritually, but academically, as well. Not bad for a school that began only ten years ago with 7 students. (Note well, for those thinking of our parish school, the Academy of Our Lady).

I pray all of this wonderful growth will not be washed away by Irma.

Tomorrow is the 16th Anniversary of 9/11. Once again, we will celebrate a Memorial Mass for the parishioners of Mount Carmel, and the other residents of Ridgewood, who lost their lives in a senseless act of violence and hatred. Remembering them, and those who suffered most from their loss, reminds us that we are a community, a community who cares, and because we care, we remember. Please join us for this special remembrance tomorrow, at 7:00 PM in the church.

Because of the Memorial Mass, Monday night confessions, which were scheduled to resume tomorrow, will not resume until next Monday, Sept. 18th.
God bless,
Fr. Ron


Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 




Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish