PROVIDENCE —The state’s House of Representatives has adopted a resolution commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Providence providing a home to worship and celebrate among the Catholic faithful in Rhode Island.
“For the past 150 years, since February 16, 1872, the Diocese of Providence has served the ministerial needs of the faithful and has been a beacon of refuge and comfort to those in need, from the early immigrants arriving from Europe and other points on the globe, to the current Diocesan population of 679,000, many of whom struggle with the kinds of issues and problems that ail modern society,” the three-page resolution begins.
The document outlines a brief history of the diocese, from its early roots in 1780, when the first public Mass was celebrated in Rhode Island, to 1843, when the Diocese of Boston was split to serve the growing population of Catholic immigrants. It also provides short biographical summaries and key accomplishments of each of the eight bishops who’ve shepherded the Diocese of Providence.
House Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy provided a copy of the resolution, which is embossed with the House seal, to Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on April 19.
“Throughout the long, storied history of the diocese, we have seen the church provide a bridge to those who settled in Rhode Island from distant lands and helped them to make the Catholic church their spiritual home,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to the bishop accompanying the resolution.
“For other Catholics born in Rhode Island, it has always been our community for worship. While there have been good times, and some bad times, the Catholic parishes and the priests who minister in our state have been there to help grow and guide us in our religious passion,” wrote Kennedy, a parishioner at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Ashaway.
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