Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy:
Tomorrow, Monday, we are celebrating one of the major holidays here in our country, the Presidents’ Day. It is a day when we pause to honor and give thanks to the founders of this country of the United States of America. As we do so, I urge you to always pray for our country. Let us especially pray for our elected leaders, that they will always consider all of us, people in all walks of life as they make laws and policies for the common good. As I write this I am humming Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America!” Maybe it’s as good an opportunity as any to take and make this our prayer as well? So join me in giving homage to this great country as we pray and sing:
“God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home
God bless America, my home sweet home.”
Let us try to be ONE in helping and lifting one another, instead of putting each other down.
This past weekend was a busy weekend for the community of Our Lady of Mercy. The Exposition of Sacred Relics with Father Carlos Martins was a great opportunity for us to be able to understand more what the church teaches about them. We had an opportunity also to pray for our own sickness and for our brothers and sisters who are suffering from different illnesses and diseases through the intercessions of the saints. And we had a privilege to touch those sacred relics. What a blessing! And I want to echo Father Martins’ words on how to have a right disposition in asking God’s grace and healing. We can be healed, through God’s will, by following certain conditions. He said (and I quote): “And so as a priest, I’m going to list what I perceive as the four most common roadblocks, or what I like to call “handcuffs” that we place on God, preventing him from entering our hearts and acting in our lives the way he desires. The first handcuff is a refusal to attend Sunday Mass. The second handcuff is a refusal to confess our sins sacramentally, a refusal to go to confession to a priest. The third handcuff is a refusal to make a complete disclosure of our sins within the sacrament of confession. The fourth handcuff is a refusal to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt and have wounded us.” (- taken from his talk about “Sacred Relics.”) What he said is not written on stones, but I guess it won’t hurt us if we try, asking the intercession of the saints. If we stop and think about it, it is faith in God that makes all these things happen.
Another event that was a success was our parishes’ evangelization: “Live Christ, Share Christ!” It was a nice kick off of this new way of nurturing our spirituality. The way we live our Christianity is a living testimony of our love of Christ. But we also need verbal way of testifying to this love. So, I urge you brothers and sisters to go out and tell the good news to others and invite them to come to church and also to avail the next gathering of “Live Christ, Share Christ” next month. Kudos the organizing team again and to the speakers, even to those who supplied food for everybody.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Krystelle Pring and Nelson Cotto who help Our Lady Of Sorrows Church’s music ministry, at the English and Spanish masses, respectively. We keep praying that we will be provided with musicians on a regular basis.
Khaled and Majida want to thank you all at Our Lady of Mercy for supporting the Christians in Holy Land by stopping by at their Bethlehem handicrafts display.
Lastly, please check out the bulletin. There is a lot for you there.
Thank you and God bless us all!
Final Chance To Sign Up / Workshop for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
All Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion of our parish are invited to attend a training and updating session sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office of Divine Worship. It will take place this coming Saturday, February 25, at the Archdiocesan Center in Newark. The workshop will cover three areas: The Basis of Liturgical Ministry; Home and Hospital Visitation; and the Origin and Role of the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
This workshop will help those who distribute Holy Communion to improve their ministry and their understanding of the liturgy. We encourage all our Extraordinary Ministers who have not attended this workshop in the past to please join us. We will leave OLM for the workshop at 8 am this coming Saturday, February 25, and return by 1 pm. The parish will cover the registration fee. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please contact Father Tom by calling the parish office (201-434-7500) or sending him at an email (email@example.com). Don’t miss this workshop, it will not be repeated until the fall of 2017. All requests to attend must be received by Thursday, February 23.
There is a new ministry in our parish called “Wellness Ministry!” What this ministry does is a service in our parish to stay ready and be alert to any possible emergency at every mass or parish events. We need people in the medical field to be part of this ministry. You can use your God-given gift and expertise in giving first aid and be the first responders to our people in need of medical attention and help. So, I am calling doctors, nurses, physical therapists, EMTs, and others to please step up and be ministers. There are sign up forms at both entrances of the church. You can also leave your name and phone number in the parish office or see Bernadette Cordon or Father Marty.