From the Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you well and safe.
In today’s Gospel passage Jesus describes himself as the “Good Shepherd,” the one who lays down his life for the sheep. We know that Jesus did indeed lay down his life for us. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to follow the example of the Good Shepherd and to lay down our lives for one another. We are called to shape our lives in the image of the Good Shepherd, and to lead others in the right paths that Jesus has shown to us.
We can learn a lot from Jesus’ example of how to be a good shepherd. Jesus tells us that the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. We need to learn how to lay down all the selfishness and egotistical neediness that keeps us from being better shepherds to one another. That is a life-long project but that is what it really means to be a Christian disciple, that is what it means to be someone who is learning all about life from Jesus. In some ways, it is the easiest thing in the world, the simplest way to live. But doing it right is probably the most difficult thing. We just can’t give up trying to be better and better every day. Thank God we have a whole lifetime to get it right!
As we announced in last week’s bulletin, today we welcome Bishop Greg Studerus, our Shepherd here in Hudson County, to our 10 am Mass. It is good to have him here with us. May he find us in a good situation and truly welcoming. And please keep him always in your prayers.
I ask your prayers also for our First Communicants. As they come nearer to the end of their time of preparation for the reception of the Eucharist, may they truly understand who and what it is they are about to receive. May their parents and family members be blessed with wisdom and be empowered to show them by their example how to love God and neighbor.
In two weeks, we will be honoring Mama Mary, our Blessed Mother, by holding our annual celebration of Flores De Mayo or May Crowning. We will do this during an 11:30 am Mass on Saturday, May 8th. Please come and join us for this special Mass and pass this invitation along to your family members and friends. Bring your own flowers for Mama Mary.
Also, I would like to let you know that the Philippines is celebrating its 500th anniversary of Christianity. One of the ways to celebrate this anniversary is by participating in the pilgrimage of the special Jubilee Cross that is being brought to twelve churches. Our Lady of Mercy is one of them. The journey of the Jubilee Cross started this past weekend. For more information, please read the poster or pick up a flyer/ pilgrim passport in the vestibule of the church. We encourage you to participate in this devotion, even if you are not Filipino. You will be surprised to see how God will show his abundant blessings on you and your loved ones.
Meet Your Parish Finance Council
The Archdiocese, as well as the Church Law, requires every parish to have a Parish Finance Council. The role of the Council is described as follows, “The Finance Council is responsible to assist the pastor with parish financial planning and administration with the specific mandate to assist the pastor in the administration of temporal goods. A Parish Finance Council is essential to parish life in financially supporting the mission of the parish and planning for the future.” The OLM Finance Council consists of the priests of the parish, and eight parishioners who represent the parish and have financial backgrounds and skills.
PRESY A. LORENZO has been a member of OLM for over 48 years. She is a retired financial service professional. She is also a trustee of the parish.
GUIZ MACALINTAL has been part of OLM since 1996. He worked as a mainframe tech specialist in the financial industry. He also operated his own business.
VICKIE FIGUERAS has been part of OLM for more than 25 years. She is also a member of the Parish Pastoral Council and is active in many ministries.
CYR EMPESTAN has been part of OLM for 25 years. He is a retired bank employee and well acquainted with accounting procedures, general ledger accounts, reconciliation, money markets and hedges.
JOANN VALENCIA has been a part of OLM since 2004. She serves as a lector at Mass. She has a background in accounting.
ROSELYN DUQUE is a long time member of OLM. She works in accounting and was a CPA in the Philippines. She serves in various parish ministries.
LOURDES MIRANDA has been part of OLM for more than 34 years. She has professional experience in finance that she has put at the service of the parish.
ATO TUAZON has been part of OLM for almost 30 years. He is a retired financial professional, a trustee of the parish, and active in Jersey City Together.
Coping with Caregiver Burnout! Monday, April 26, 6:30pm at OLM
The Wellness Committee of our parish is happy to announce that a noted expert in the field of caregiver burnout has accepted our invitation to speak about the topic here at OLM. This in-person session will take place Monday, April 26, at 6:30 pm in the Maria Room. Social distancing will be observed, and masks will be required. Everyone is invited. (Full details)
Flores de Mayo, Saturday (May 8) 11:30am
It is traditional during the month of May, which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to have devotions in her honor. Last May we were unable to have such services because of the pandemic. Thankfully, with the grace of God, we can honor our Blessed Mother this year. We will do so during a special Mass that will take place Saturday, May 8, at 11:30 am. That Mass will include the crowning of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a presentation of flowers in her honor. This May Crowning and Flores de Mayo Celebration (Flowers of May) will include the participation of our First Communion children and members of our Rosary Society. All parishioners and their friends are warmly invited to honor our Blessed Mother, especially here at Our Lady of Mercy, a parish named in her honor.
Sunday, May 2 Jersey City Together Wants To Hear From You!
As you may know, our parish is an important part of Jersey City Together (JCT), a organization working to improve life in our city. On Sunday, May 2, Al Tariq Witcher, one of the lead organizers of JCT will speak briefly at the end of our 10 am & 12 noon Masses. He will invite those present to take part in a short “Listening Session” that will take place in our Maria Room immediately after Mass. He would like to hear your ideas and opinions concerning life in Jersey City. If we want things to improve, we need to speak up, so please plan to take part.
2021 Annual Appeal
“Catholic Stewardship in Action” is the theme of this year’s Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Newark. This appeal helps to support the mission, programs and ministries of the Archdiocese. This year’s goal for Our Lady of Mercy Parish is $42,122. There will be a 100% rebate of every dollar collected above our goal. So far, donors have pledged $45,849 (108.85%) to the Annual Appeal and the amount received is $25,900. Please continue to send in you pledges. Additional pledge envelopes are available in the office and on the tables by the doors of the church. Thank you for your generosity and God bless!
Recent Update on We Are Living Stones
Our total pledged amount in the Archdiocesan Capital Campaign, called WE ARE LIVING STONES is now $501,722. We are at 100.72% of our goal of $498,144, of that $435,768 has been collected and $196,234 has been disbursed to our parish for various projects. 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!