By Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark
OLM 2021 Holy Week Schedule
Caring for the Retired Clergy
OLM Stations of the Cross
From the Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you well and safe.
In our reading today from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Paul gives us a stunning perspective on the suffering and death of Jesus. He shows us that it is not merely about how much Jesus suffered on the cross, but rather how much Jesus’ passion expresses his love for God and for us.
St. Paul shows us how love transforms suffering and death into sacrifice. By becoming obedient to the point of death on the cross out of love for the Father and for us, Jesus transforms all His suffering and death into an acceptable sacrifice for our salvation.
For me, this perspective rings true in so many people’s experience of suffering. For example, it seems to me that parents suffer for the sake of their children all the time. They scrimp and save for their children’s future, worrying about them, suffering with them through times of illness and fits of temper and adolescence. These are examples of suffering made noble as a worthy and acceptable sacrifice. It is suffering for the sake of love.
As a non-parent-sort-of-Father, I am often privy to parents’ worries and struggles as they see their children learning how to make good decisions, which is often a matter of learning by trial and error. Kids need to fall down a lot in order to learn how to walk in life but knowing that does not make it any easier for worried parents.
Brothers and sisters, suffering is inevitable in this imperfect world in which we live. We are particularly aware of this fact of life at the present time when so many people are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The question is, can our suffering become something that is of value, or is it just meaningless? Does it alienate us from God and from one another? Can we learn and grow through our suffering? Can our suffering be something that has the capacity to bring us closer to one another through sharing the burdens of our suffering? Can our suffering bring us closer to God?
This week we have the opportunity to share in a particular way in the suffering of Jesus. But do we have the courage to walk with Jesus through this time, in spite of the challenges we are facing in our own lives? Can we share the burden of Jesus’ suffering,
and perhaps even unite our suffering with His during this time? Do we have the courage to look at how we have been living, and acknowledge how our sinful attitudes and behaviors may have added to the suffering of the people around us, and how they have contributed to the burden of sin that Jesus bore for our sake?
I hope these questions will serve as good points for reflection during this week as we us our attention on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
I would like to thank Father Tom for leading our Lenten Reflection this past Sunday. He helped us to consider, “What have we learned during the past 12 months?”
I also wish to thank our Holy Name Society for bringing the donations that were received in their Spring Food Drive to the food pantry at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish here in Jersey City. Also, I am grateful to the members of the Holy Name Society for donating tables for the vestibule of our church.
Lastly, please consider giving a generous Easter gift to our parish. By your participation and support ,you help to make OLM a bright sign of God’s presence.
Remember to keep this bulletin so that you can refer to our schedule of Holy Week Services.
Thank you and may God bless us all.
2021 Annual Appeal
“Catholic Stewardship in Action” is the theme of this year’s Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Newark. This appeal supports the mission, programs, and ministries of the Archdiocese. This year’s goal for Our Lady of Mercy Parish is $42,122. OLM will receive a 100% rebate of every dollar collected above our parish goal. Please be generous and support this Annual Appeal. It will benefit the Archdiocese and our parish as well. Thank you and God bless! If you need a pledge envelope, they are available at the parish office.
Confessions During Lent
Since there will be no Communal Penance Service this Lent because of the ongoing pandemic, we encourage you to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation/ Penance during our normal confession times, namely, Monday through Friday 9 am to 9:30 pm / Saturdays 4 pm to 4:30 pm in the former Daily Mass Chapel
You may also contact one of the priests to set up an appointment for confession outside of the scheduled times.
March 19, 2021 – 7:00pm EST
March 26, 2021 – 7:00pm EST
Let us journey with Jesus Christ this Lenten season. Praying the Stations of the Cross brings us closer to Jesus as we meditate on the great love he showed us in his suffering and death!
Report on the Captain’s Meeting of Tuesday, March 9
The first in-person Captain’s Meeting since the start of the current pandemic took place here at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in the Maria Room on Tuesday evening, March 9. The meeting was hosted by the OLM Core Team of Jersey City Together.
The meeting, which was attended by 65 people, featured a presentation by Captain Patrick Sullivan, the Commander of the South District of the Jersey City Police Department. This district includes Country Village, Society Hill, and other neighborhoods in the Greenville area. The Captain updated the audience on public safety issues and then answered questions posed by parishioners from Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Mercy, St. Paul’s, and residents of the area.
The meeting was also attended by Tawana Moody, the new Director of the JCPD, Deputy Chief Nick Flora, Lieutenant Chris Dalton, and City Council Members, Denise Ridley and Jermaine Robinson.
2021 Lenten Regulations
Lent is a time for prayer, fasting, and charity as we prepare to renew our baptismal promises at Easter. The practice of penance forms a necessary part of this preparation. The Church gives us the following regulations to help us make good use of the season of Lent.
All the Fridays of Lent are days of Abstinence. On a Day of Abstinence, no meat may be eaten. Those 14 years of age and older are obliged to abstain from meat. For a serious reason, Church Law allows the pastor to dispense an individual from refraining from meat on a Friday during the Lenten Season.
Good Friday (April 2) is a day of Fast and Abstinence. A Day of Fast means that only one full meal is permitted. Two smaller meals may be eaten. There is no food taken between meals. Those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast, though others are encouraged to fast. The days of fast are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
The obligation to observe the laws of Fast and Abstinence “substantially” or as a whole, is a serious obligation.
Catholics should go to Holy Communion at least once between the First Sunday of Lent (February 21) and Trinity Sunday (May 30). If necessary, they should celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. Individual confessions are heard here at OLM Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9:30 am and Saturday from 4 pm to 4:30 pm in the former daily Mass chapel.