Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy:
I hope all is well.
I am writing this on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is so appropriate to take this opportunity to thank those who volunteer to be on the Baptismal Team. Like in every single ministry of the Church, I am fully aware that you take extra time to be of service to others and to the community. That’s a sacrifice of your precious time and talent, in a sense, but doing it with love and joy is priceless. With that, in the name of this parish, I am truly grateful.
And to those of you who are not fully aware of the process for the baptism I would like to give you a snap shot of it. We have adapted a process of which the parents and godparents are more involved. It begins as soon as the mother is expecting a baby and it is called “Gathering to Rejoice.” It is a gathering or meeting of all expectant mothers with their husbands. The baptismal team welcomes them and rejoices with them for having been blessed with a gift of life. So, in a way, it’s a party, it’s a celebration! In that gathering they talk about motherhood and prepare them for the upcoming baptism of the baby. As soon as the baby is born, there is a “Gathering to Understand.” This a meeting to learn and understand what Baptism is all about. It is a catechism of sort regarding the Sacrament of Baptism. And it is not only for parents of the baby to be baptized but we encourage the godparents to attend to this meeting as well because godparents are the second parents of the baby. Parents and godparents need to know their role and responsibility to their child. The next meeting is the “Gathering to Prepare.” This is the part where parents and godparents are being prepared for the liturgy of baptism. We can also call it a “rehearsal.” It takes place on the day of or the day before baptism. The next one is the “Gathering to Celebrate.” This is the actual baptism itself. And the gatherings are not over yet. A year after, there is a “Gathering to Remember.” Those who have been baptized, after a year, are called to get together and have a reunion of sort. It is for the Church to find out how those children are doing with their parents and godparents.
So, these are the steps we do for baptism: we gather to rejoice, understand, prepare, celebrate and remember. You may wonder why so much gatherings? My answer to that is because we care for you and your child. The Church is trying her best to give you all the help you need in order for your child (and parents and godparents as well) to grow in love and wisdom of God.
I ask you to help the Church in spreading what you hear and learn. In that way you are cooperating in building up God’s kingdom here on earth and doing your part as children of God in virtue of your own baptism.
Thank you and God bless you all!
Please pray for the sick:
Paul Calefati, Elaine Staltari, Othelia G. Laurena, Jean Karycinski, Dorothy Darcy, Erlinda Jacinto, Leonora Loyola, Eric Bautista, Lilian Kryczkowski, Ellen Iorio, Jessica Pavone, Ian Malesiewski, Ruben Catipon, Angela Salvador, Clarita Salvador, Teresita Cordon , Vincent Mastria, Maria Svaligma, Bill Macchi, Craig Rutkowski, James Seaman, Makenzie Cadmus, Manuel J.Juson, MD, Gina Marquez, Daniel Tamayo Santos, Marie Ronzitti, Lucia Vanderburg, Betty Scerbo, Philip Scerbo, Alejandra Ancheta, Cindy Popolo, Mario Banaag, Oscar Alladin, Antonio Roldan, Esperanza Galarza, Carmen Tuazon, Susan Ranola Rivera, Conrado “Boy” Tanada, John Broderick, Joanne Diaz, Ligaya Tan, Leonarda DeCarlo, Dolores Steinhauser, Eugenio Cacananta, Austin Macalintal, Carolyn Taliaferro, Nonong Dava, John Gaito, Elsa Concepcion, Ricardo Vales, Virginia T. Mercurio, James Leung, Tran Phouc, Sophia Gonzalez, Jocelyn Tuazon, Florentino Chanco, Edgardo Cruz, Luchie Vivas, Deacon Nick Fargo, Mark Dudek, Eugene Manlongat, Sandra M. Escoto, Joel Rivera.
Is Your Marriage Valid?
If you were married civilly, that is, not in the Catholic Church before a priest or deacon, it might not be a valid marriage. Some couples believe that a marriage before a Justice of the Peace or a non-Catholic minister is valid. For a marriage to be valid in the Catholic Church, the marriage must be in a Catholic Church or Chapel and officiated by an authorized Catholic priest or deacon along with 2 witnesses. (There are limited interfaith exceptions with proper permission.)
We invite you to speak with one of our priests if there are any questions or if indeed you wish to validate your marriage. The process can be very simple and your marriage will now be blessed by the Church.