Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you safe and well. Peace be with you!
It was interesting and sad these past two weeks celebrating Mass in an empty church. But you and I know that in these scary and challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone’s safety is of utmost importance. We will never stop telling you to be extra careful and to follow all the guidelines of our leaders.
Father Tom, Father Nol, Father Butchie and I are so happy to know that you are participating virtually in our Masses. After the live streaming of the Mass of Holy Thursday, I shared with Father Nol, Michael and Liam that I could feel your presence in the church. It must be the spirit of being one in prayer. Your online comments after those Masses warm our hearts.
Also, we want to let you know that we are happy for the outpouring of your prayerful support and for your fi-nancial contributions.
Some of you have sent your contribution envelopes through the mail, placed them in the parish drop box, or given through Go Fund Me.
As you know, our Go Fund Me goal is a weekly goal. If you check our Go Fund Me update, you will see that during the past three weeks we raised $11,000 plus.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank those who have contributed. But because the crisis is not over yet, we would like to raise our goal to $80,000 which would be our eight-week goal from March 20. And we don’t know how long this situation will last. For the time being, we encourage you to continue to support your church.
It is not too late to make your Easter gift. As you know, the Easter collection is an important source of funding for our parish. For those who have sent in their Easter Gift, thank you so much! We are aware that everybody is hurting financially, including the church. That is why I ask you to support the church with whatever you can.
I would also like to let you know two Masses are being offered every day, Monday to Saturday. The 7 am Mass is said privately any time of the day by one of us priests. The 8:30 am Mass has been changed to 11:30 am when it is live streamed. The live streaming of our Sunday Mass is at 10 am. The other scheduled Sunday Masses are said privately. See that announcement on the next page of the bulletin.
Brothers and sisters let us continue to pray for an end to this crisis. We pray that those who are sick and infect-ed by the virus will be healed and those who have died will be welcomed to heaven. We pray for the front lin-ers, scientists, researchers, and those in leadership all around the globe. And we pray for each one of you. May we all come out of this pandemic safe and healthy so we can gather again as one community around the table of the Lord.
God bless you and your loved ones. HAPPY EASTER again!
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.