May I take this moment to thank you for touching our lives for so many decades and most especially, thank you for my Mom, Mary E. Burns? She died on March 27, 2007, and raised us reading The Providence Visitor. She would have been thrilled to see the new name and meet our new Bishop, not only in person, but also in his wonderfully written and engaging columns. (She loved all of our bishops – Bishop McVinney, Bishop Gelineau, Bishop Angell, Bishop Mc Manus, Bishop Mulvee — and of course was thrilled when Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was installed.)
Right up until her death, she always looked forward to our Catholic newspaper and quoted from it often. Although chronologically old and an invalid in pain, Mom’s mind was ever young, and the writers of our Catholic newspaper helped keep her young. She loved so many of your writers over the years but seemed to always run to Father John Kiley’s column first, then to Professor Patrick Reid’s columns; and whenever they contributed, she adored all of Father Joseph Lennon’s writings and Professor Fritz Wenisch’s columns too.
I find myself now running each week wondering what our columnists or our Bishop have written. Although I am highly educated and I love to read, I know I will never out-read my Mom. She could not only quote from our insightful and inspired writers, but she could tell you where the commas and periods were of each article too. Mom’s faith was renewed with each writer’s insights, and she knew the truth and lived it out every day.
Our Catholic newspaper helped Mom in her faith journey home to our Blessed Lord; and as she suffered for so many years, she would always say to me every Thursday, “Bobby, did our newspaper come yet?”
And if it didn’t, she would say, “My week is just not the same without reading my friends from our newspaper.”
Thank you Rhode Island Catholic (The Visitor) for enriching my Mom’s faith and for bringing her hope through so many years of suffering. Indeed, you are doing that for us all. God bless you in all you do for so many of us still journeying.
Professor Robert E. Burns