From the Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope and pray that you all are safe and doing well.
This weekend we are celebrating the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It takes real effort to create a Christian home. That is why we need to exert ourselves to make that effort. To succeed, all the members of the family need to pull together with the same purpose in mind and with the right attitude.
We do well to reflect on today’s Second Reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the people in Colossae. Saint Paul wrote about what it takes to achieve a truly Christian and holy family. He tells us, “Put on as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col. 3:12). These are wonderful words but unless we put those virtues into practice on a daily basis, they are just pretty words. St. Paul says to “PUT ON” these virtues just as we put on the clothes that we wear.
Then he continues saying: “… bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.” (v. 13) St. Paul tells us to bear with one another and forgive one another. That means that we do not try to “get even” with someone when they hurt our feelings. Rather, we deal with it appropriately and try not to hold a grudge. Our forgiving is not a sign of weakness on our part. By being able to forgive and be reconciled with others, we strengthen the bond that is between us and we all win.
“And over all these virtues put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” (v.14). You see, the whole point of this is to preserve that bond of perfect love that is God’s gift to us in any relationship, but especially in the relationships we have with our family members. Nothing pleases God more than to see a family united in love and care for one another, even in the midst of trials and troubles. There is nothing greater than the love and support of your family.
St. Paul also offers us some very good advice that is specific to family life when he tells us, “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged.” (verses 18-21)
This is good advice that fits the people and the society of St. Paul’s time. It may not be as appropriate for our day since our society has changed a great deal since then. Nevertheless, the basic ideas are sound, and the purpose is good. It is to preserve the bond of love that we need in our families. That was Paul’s main objective, and it should be the goal that we have as well, namely, to have a truly holy, Christian family life. Times may change, our expectations may change but the need for good, healthy and holy family relations never changes.
May we strive to follow this good advice from Saint Paul. May we always have the model of the holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph before us.
On another note, I thank all of you for your generosity in gifting your parish this Christmas. It is highly appreciated. Every single dollar you give helps our parish to keep moving forward. For those who have not sent in their gifts, know that you can still do so.
I also thank Jon Camaya, Guiz Macalintal, the Holy Name Society, ushers and all those who help facilitate Father Nol’s last weekend and greetings. You made the receiving line easy and properly distanced.
Last but not the least, please check our bulletin and take note of our schedule of Masses for the coming weeks.
God bless you all.
Father Tom and Father Marty pose with Father Nol at his farewell event, Sunday, December 13.
Rev. Ranulfo Docabo, Administrator
Saint Anthony of Padua Church
750 North Seventh Street
Newark, NJ 07107
Note the Church is located at
63 Franklin Street, Belleville, NJ 07109
Father Marty and Father Nol pose with Querubin & Beatriz Padilla who celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage at our parish, on November
Residents of our area are pictured waiting in line for a Covid-19 Test. The testing was provided by Prestige Infusions. It took place Monday, November 30, through Saturday, December 5, in a mobile van located in our parking area on Lembeck Avenue. 712 tests were administered during the six days. The testing event was a result of the efforts of the OLM Wellness Committee, in particular committee member, Henry Racelis.
Lautaro Sanfilippo of Prestige Infusions (far right) is seen presenting a donation of $1,000 to Our Lady of Mercy Parish to thank OLM for providing a testing site in our neighborhood. Pictured from left to right are: Beth Anne Macdonald, Director of Community Planning and Development at Commercial District Services, Henry Racelis of the OLM Wellness Committee, Father Tom Iwanowski, and Father Marty Jacinto, Pastor.
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!