The first time I ever visited Our Lady of Mercy Church was in 2001. Ever since that first visit, my love for this church has grown and I believe “something very good is happening here.” Whenever I visit Baton Rouge for Mission Appeals in the name of the Franciscan Capuchins from India, I always make it a point to visit Mercy and spend some days helping the Mercy priests to hear confessions and to celebrate Masses. Fr. Cleo is always so hospitable to me.
I have been to many churches in Baton Rouge but I must say OLOM Church is my favorite. Without any hesitation I can say that it is a “great Shrine” where God’s mercy flows and is dispensed generously in the confessional. People come from parishes near and far to be spiritually nourished and consoled. The Masses are very well attended with devotion and the line for confessions is unending. The parish office staff is truly prompt and efficient; who along with Fr. Cleo leaves no stone unturned to make things happen in the parish all for the love God and for the faithful.
Our Lady of Mercy School shines like a star. I enjoyed the opportunity to visit the school campus and interact with the principal, staff and students. I loved celebrating the Mass for the school children and attending morning assemblies. The facilities provided for the all-round development of the children are state of the art. The teachers are at their best. I like to say the letters for the word TEACHER stand for the following: Trustworthy, Efficient, Available, Committed, Hardworking, Effective, Reliable. The children are given an all-round development. The focus is on value-based education, character formation, which help them to bloom spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally and culturally. There is a lot of cooperation among the teachers and parents. Parents are the first and the best teachers.
There is a great energy and vision at work at Mercy that is vibrant and dynamic. Obviously this is possible only with good leadership and a faithful, committed congregation.
I wish Fr. Cleo, Fr. Nutan, the parish staff, the teachers and parishioners, God’s blessings. My stay at Mercy was truly enjoyable and cozy. Till we meet again! God bless you with love, joy and peace. “May the Lord bless and keep you; may He let His face shine upon you; and be gracious to you; and give you His peace.”
Fr. Steve Rodrigues, OFM Cap.