From the Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope and pray that you are all doing well and safe.
We have come to the Third Sunday of Advent. We are now in the middle of the season that leads us to Christmas, which is just two weeks away. Soon we will be celebrating the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are all excited to celebrate that day.
In today’s Gospel, we hear that John the Baptist was so excited for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, that he went out and told people to prepare for his coming. John said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’”
We may ask ourselves about our preparation for Christmas.. How are we preparing to celebrate the birthday of the Lord? I am not talking about dinner parties or exchanging gifts. I am talking about our spiritual preparation and disposition. Are we preparing ourselves to truly celebrate and thank God for giving us His only-begotten Son as our Savior?
Folks, we still have time for that spiritual preparation. We can be well prepared by changing our lives and striving to be better people. Be sure to check out our confession times and schedule of Christmas Masses.
This is Father Nol’s last weekend with us. As we announced, you will have a chance to greet him and express your thanks after all our Masses. When Father Nol leaves for his new assignment as Administrator of St. Anthony’s Parish in Belleville, only Father Tom and I will be serving in the parish. Another priest is not going to be assigned. We ask you to pray for us as you pray for Father Nol as he starts his new ministry.
This Christmas, we ask you to generously support your parish with your prayers and your financial contribution and gifts. As you can see from our past bulletins, our collection has dropped significantly. Every now and then it goes up a little, that is because some of you are giving your contribution for the entire year at one time. We appreciate that. But as we move along, we still need your help.
I encourage you to please continue to support your parish with your weekly contribution and Christmas gifts. We count on you to keep our parish going and open. This bulletin has information about some government incentives to encourage charitable giving.
Thank you and God bless you.
Video Dealing with Depression
The Wellness Committee of our parish has a new video on our website (olmnj.org) dealing with depression. The ongoing pandemic has affected our lives in different ways. One effect of the pandemic is depression, which manifests itself in different ways. It affects us physically, mentally, and spiritually. This video features a discussion by health care professionals, including a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nurse, and a priest speaking about the topic of depression. We encourage you to view this video. We are sure you will find it helpful. Watch it here.
Our Mass Book is Now Open
Our 2021 Mass Book opens today, Sunday, November 29, for your Mass Intentions. Please note that no more than five Mass intentions may be scheduled at any one time. Besides Mass intentions, you will also be able to make donations for the sanctuary lamp and for the bread and wine used at our Masses.
OLM Giving Tree
The Giving Tree is a wonderful custom that involves people giving to those in need during the Christmas season. Many families cannot afford rent or food, and certainly not Christmas gifts. The beautiful tradition about the Giving Tree is that the giver does not know the receiver, and the recipient does not know the giver, but both are touched by the love of Christ.
The Giving Tree continues this Christmas season despite the current pandemic. Stars are on the trees and on display in the entrance area of the church, however, in the interest of everyone’s health and safety, rather than purchasing actual items, we are requesting only cash, gift cards, or checks.
Your donations will be given to the charities that we normally support: Saint Ann’s Day Care Center, Catholic Charities, Several Sources Shelters (serving unwed mothers), Broadway House (HIV/AIDS) and Covenant House (Newark). These charities will then purchase gifts for those in need this Christmas.
Please return your donations by Friday, December 18 and place them under the Giving Tree or bring them to the parish office.
The 2021 Bible Diary is Now Available!
The new edition of the Bible Diary is now available for $10 at the Parish Office after Mass or during office hours. The 2021 Bible Diary contains the assigned scripture reading for each day of the year, a reflection on the reading, and also information about the saint of day. The Bible Diary is a great help for personal daily prayer. These books also make an appreciated Christmas Gift.
Update on Shining The Light of Christ
“Shining the Light of Christ” is the theme of 2020 Annual Appeal that supports the mission, programs and ministries of the Archdiocese. This year’s goal for Our Lady of Mercy Parish is $42,809. There is a 100% rebate of every dollar collected above our goal. Currently, the total pledge amount is $50,600 and $47,316 has been collected. Please support this appeal.
New Update On We Are Living Stones
Our total pledged amount is now $501,472. We are at 100.65% of our goal of that $432,293 has been collected and $194,137 disbursed to the parish. We remind those who have not fully paid their pledge to continue sending your payment to the We Are Living Stones Office. (171 Clifton Avenue, Newark, NJ 07104-0500) God bless your generosity!