Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you safe and well.
It has been more than a month since the start of this health crisis and lockdown. As hard as it is not to see each other in person, we must give our full cooperation to help stop the spread of the virus. As much as it stretches our patience, we have to stay at home and follow all safety measures. And we need to keep praying that this crisis is going to be over soon.
These past few days my heart feels as if it would explode in sadness each time I get a call or text message telling me that someone is in the hospital or has died because of the coronavirus.
We continue to pray for our protection, for those who are infected and sick, for front liners who risk their lives saving others, for world leaders that they may cooperate with doctors and scientists who are trying to find the cure for this deadly virus, and we pray for those who have died that they may enter God’s eternal kingdom.
I would like to call your attention to the prayer printed in the next column (A Prayer During the Time of the Corona Virus). It is from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I encourage you to make this prayer your own as we deal with the coronavirus.
I encourage you to continue to support your parish in the best way you can. I will continue to have reminders at our livestream Sunday Masses on ways you can financially help our parish. I encourage you to make use of electronic giving.
Please be sure to visit our parish website (olmnj.org). It has our current and past Sunday bulletins, more information on ways to support OLM, as well as updates and other announcements.
For those of you who are faithfully sending in your donations, thank you so much!
BE SAFE and STAY HOME!
A Message From Father Tom
Dear Members of OLM,
I want to let you know that I am fine. I was away for a few days when the Governor’s order to shelter in place was issued as well as the directive from Cardinal Tobin to suspend the celebration of the Sacraments and to close all churches. I spoke with Father Marty and he advised me that it would be better to stay sheltered in place where I was rather than to return to Jersey City. I am grateful for his thoughtfulness.
Thanks to the digital world in which we live, I have been able to continue preparing the parish bulletin and preparing the binder used by the priests at Mass.
I have been celebrating Mass privately for the intentions I have been assigned and I have also been viewing the live streaming of the services from OLM.
I miss you, my OLM parish family, very much and look forward to the day when we can freely gather for Mass and for the parish activities that bring us together as a loving community of faithful Catholics.
I pray for you daily and ask that you pray for me and for Father Marty, Father Nol, and Father Butchie. Through prayer we are spiritually united when we cannot be physically close.
Life is Changed, Not Ended!
Father Marty and Father Nol celebrated the Easter Sunday Mass of April 12. The Mass was live streamed through our parish website (olmnj.org). It is estimated that more than 700 people were watching and joining in prayer.
Those watching the live stream of our Easter Sunday Mass saw things one way, but what Father Marty and Father Nol saw was very different. While the pews were empty, the priests mentioned they could feel the spiritual presence of the OLM Parish Family.
Update from Roman Catholic Church
of the Archdiocese of Newark
NEW DIRECTIVES effective March 25, 2020:
- Wakes and funerals must be postponed until further notice. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. Burials may take place with only the priest.
- All baptisms must be postponed until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.
- All weddings are postponed until further notice.
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation is suspended until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.
- All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until further notice. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until further notice.
- Parish offices must be closed until further notice. Employees who provide essential services should be limited and on staggered schedules.
- Pastors should see that the Blessed Sacrament is renewed in tabernacles regularly from celebrations of private Masses.