OLM Church is open for private prayer each day from 1 to 3pm only. Face masks and social distancing are required. Please use the main doors of the church. Confessions are available from 1 to 1:30pm every Saturday only.
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you safe and well.
Can you believe we are almost half-way through the year? We are! And we wonder where the first half went. We never realized it because our time was spent mostly in keeping ourselves safe during this coronavirus pandemic.
For a good number of our brothers and sisters it has been a long time spent in prayer for their loved ones to be healed of the virus. And for others, it has been a never-ending sorrow at the death of their loved ones, especially those who died from the coronavirus.
I also have been in sorrow because of those parishioners and friends who died. It has not been an easy four or five months for many of us. And who knows what the future holds? During times like these, all we can do is keep praying and hoping that our present situation gets better without losing hope and faith in God.
Our gospel passage this weekend gives us a promise that will help us get through these difficult times: “I am with you always until the end of the age!” This promise comes after Jesus commands us to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Yes, brothers and sisters, we all were given that command when we were baptized into Christ. How are we going to do that, especially in these challenging times, when we cannot even go out of our homes because of the pandemic? That is our assignment.
Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you on how you can be a disciple of Jesus and make other disciples. The obvious thing to do is to start right where you are, in your own homes. Spread the good news of salvation to the members of your household. Then use your initiative to spread it to others. Maybe by internet, social media, text messages and many other means of communication. You have learned how to better use these tools during these days of being locked down.
As we progress in flattening the curve (I pray and hope that continues), here at Our Lady of Mercy, we are preparing for the reopening and return to worship together. Of course, it will not be the same as before, it will change. There will be a new normal. We start-ed planning for that. We are following the guidelines and directives from the Archdiocese of Newark that are in line with the guidelines issued by our nation’s president, health experts, civic leaders and scientists.
We need you to follow all protocols and procedures. We will surely guide you in doing so. All we ask of you is to comply and cooperate. It will be hard in the beginning, but I am sure you will get used to it. It is for your safety and protection as well as out of re-spect and care for the welfare of the people around us. We are all in this together.
Please check our website (olmnj.org) constantly for updates, for ways to send in your financial contributions, for links to our Facebook page, and for other important and useful information to help us care for our souls.
Be safe and God bless you.
A Message from Pope Francis: Words of Challenge and Hope
My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, it has to be recognized that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.
I pray for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism. May there be national reconciliation and peace.
Today I wish to emphasize that the problem of intolerance must be confronted in all its forms: wherever any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnic identity, the well-being of society as a whole is endangered and each one of us must feel affected. With particular sadness I think of the sufferings, the marginalization and the very real persecutions which not a few Christians are undergoing in various countries. Let us combine our efforts in promoting a culture of encounter, respect, understanding, and mutual forgiveness.
Scapegoats are not only sought to pay, with their freedom and with their life, for all social ills such as was typical in primitive societies, but over and beyond this, there is at times a tendency to deliberately fabricate enemies: stereotyped figures who represent all the characteristics that society perceives or interprets as threatening. The mechanisms that form these images are the same that allowed the spread of racist ideas in their time.
Let nobody turn their back on society and feel excluded! No to segregation! No to racism!