Let me begin by wishing you a Joyous Easter. I pray that the strength and peace of the Risen Lord may be with you and your families. I would love to be offering you my Easter greetings in person, but unfortunately that is not possible.
We are living in very strange times. Things are not as they should be. Schools are closed. Many businesses have shut their doors. Stores are short of certain products. Normally crowded streets are deserted.
We are isolated in our homes. We avoid getting too close to one another. Digital contact has replaced physical contact.
People are sick. Hospital beds are in short supply. Words we never said before like Covid-19, coronavirus, and social distancing are now part of our vocabulary.
At this difficult and challenging time when we would like to gather to pray as a parish family and to seek the Lord’s help, our churches are closed. Mass and the celebration of the Sacraments has been suspended to help stop the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus. For the immediate future we need to avoid gathering together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
As your pastor, I want to let you know that Father Nol, Father Tom and I, and the other members of the staff, miss you, especially at Easter. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We look forward to the day when we can all gather again as the OLM Parish Family.
There is a serious challenge that I need to bring to your attention. The suspension of our Sunday Masses has meant the suspension of our Sunday collections, and that means our income has fallen drastically but our expenses have remained relatively the same. I realize that for many of you, your financial situation has also been negatively impacted as well.
I am writing to ask, if you are able, to take the amount you would have given in the Sunday collection and to send that weekly donation to the parish. You can do that by mailing a check or by making a weekly donation by credit card on the parish’s Go Fund Me Page that you can access on our website, olmnj.orgYou can also make your Easter Donation, which we greatly depend on, in the same way.
I also want to let you know that our complete Sunday Bulletin and other important information is on our website olmnj.orgWe are also on Facebook. You can find us at facebook.com/ourladyofmercyjerseycityofficial
Thank for your love, support, and understanding and prayers. Stay safe and be well! May the Risen Lord lift us up from the darkness of this Coronavirus into the light of brighter day.
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.