From the Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you well and safe.
In our first reading this weekend from the Book of Exodus, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. This is a great opportunity for us to examine our spiritual life and faith journey using these commandments. Have we been faithful in following these commandments?
Acknowledging our sinfulness and imperfections, let us take this time to make an effort to change our lives for the better. It is never too late to do that. We need to humble ourselves and ask God’s forgiveness for all the wrongs we have done and move forward.
Always remember that God wants us to know that He loves us and that He gives us all the good that we need in life. He offers us His eternal love, but we need to make a step of faith. Let us continue building our love relationship with God and one another. When we do that, then we are on the right path towards salvation.
Governor Murphy raised the allowed capacity in churches. It is now up to fifty percent capacity. I would like to ask you to spread the news and invite your family and friends to come back and worship with us. We have to continue putting on masks or face coverings in church, sanitize hands, maintain social distancing and follow other protocols in place. Father Tom, Father Butchie, and I have been vaccinated, but it does not mean we are shielded from the virus. We will continue to follow all precautionary measures. We do not want to risk an infection and neither should you. We want to keep everybody safe. So, I pray that you keep doing what needs to be done because this pandemic is far from over.
I would like to remind you to respond to the 2021 Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese. Please support her missions. Our Lady of Mercy is part of that mission. If you have not yet made your commitment and contribution, please pray about it and be generous.
Also, I appeal to you to send your weekly contribution to your church or drop it in the box. We also ask for your generosity for the church flowers. For now, we ordered a minimal number of flowers for the Easter season. I believe you would like to see your church well decorated, so please help.
Thank you and God bless us all.
Final Chance To Sign Up For Our Online Lenten Scripture Program–– Appreciate The Word, Live The Word!
Appreciate the Word, Live the Word helps people to grow in their understanding of God’s word. It helps them to apply that word to their daily lives. In the process they made new friends and grown in their faith. This Lenten season, we are having a four-session program focused on the Gospel Readings for the Sundays of March. (March 7, 14, 21, 28) These sessions will take place online, using ZOOM.
Pick the time that works best for you from the schedule below and then register today by sending an email with your name, email, phone number and preferred time slot to (email@example.com). You can go to https://forms.gle/1yb5Hnrze21d3cbX8
- Sundays at 6 pm (Feb. 28, March 7, 14, 21)
- Mondays at 4 pm (March 1, 8, 15, 22)
- Mondays at 7 pm (March 1, 8, 15, 22)
- Tuesdays at 9:30 am (March 2, 9, 16, 23)
- Wednesdays at 7 pm (March 3, 10, 17, 24)
- Thursdays at 7 pm (March 4, 11, 18, 25)
Online Stations of the Cross During the Season of Lent
The Holy Name Society of our parish will sponsor Stations of the Cross on the Fridays of Lent at 7 pm. Because of the current pandemic these services will be online. To participate, go to our parish website (olmnj.org) and click on FACEBOOK|LIVESTREAM. The Stations will take place on the following Fridays of Lent at 7 pm
March 12, 2021 – 7:00pm EST
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!
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.