The OLM Wellness Committee invites you to view a video featuring committee members and expert guests as they discuss depression and depressive symptoms. This video will help you to recognize possible signs and symptoms in your life or in others.. Resources are available at the end of the video. Any questions or information from the video can be addressed to the Wellness Committee.
From the Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope and pray that you are all doing well and safe.
How are you doing? During this stressful time of the coronavirus pandemic, we have been asked that question by people who care about us. We have also asked the people in our lives that very same question: How are you doing? That same question might come to mind when we think about our parish.
We are writing to let you know how OLM is doing as it confronts a situation that none of us could have imagined at the start of 2020.
Our parish was certainly affected when the lock down began in mid-March. No Masses, no weddings, no funerals, no baptisms, no celebrations of Holy Week, no meetings, no social gatherings, and a steep decrease in financial support.
Thankfully, since our churches were permitted to reopen at a reduced capacity, things have somewhat improved.
Mass attendance is now averaging about 500 people on a weekend, that is about 1/3 of our pre-Covid-19 attendance. Weekday Mass attendance has returned to normal with about 30 to 50 people at each weekday Mass. We are taking all necessary and suggested precautions and people seem to be comfortable gathering to pray as a parish family. We are also live streaming our 10 am Sunday Mass and our 8:30 am weekday Mass for the benefit of those with health concerns.
We have resumed baptizing infants, but we now celebrate baptisms on Sunday afternoons in small family groups. We are once more celebrating funerals and weddings. We celebrated First Communion at different Sunday Masses during August and Confirmation with Bishop Cruz on Sunday, October 18.
Parish groups and committees and the OLM parish staff are meeting, but now through Zoom. We have also resumed our program of religious education, but the sessions are virtual for the present time.
We have greatly improved our parish website (olmnj.org) to give you more information about the parish and also to provide you with resources that might help you as you deal with the current pandemic.
Our parish’s financial situation remains challenging. Our Sunday collection has decreased. Before the pandemic, our Sunday collections averaged slightly over $8,000. Now we receive about $5,500 per Sunday from the contributions brought to church, received through the mail, or given online.
Since our church was closed during Holy Week, our 2020 Easter collection decreased $25,000 from the previous year. That reduced amount combined with lower Sunday collections means we are not doing as well as we need to.
Thankfully, our parish was able to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection SBA Loan Program. We received a $53,095 loan that was used to help us meet payroll for eight weeks. We plan to submit a loan forgiveness application in the future.
Once we receive the required information that we have requested from the Archdiocesan Finance Office, we will publish a complete financial statement. In the meantime, we wanted to give you some idea of how your parish is doing.
As you may guess, your increased financial support is greatly needed, especially this Christmas. Even more importantly, your presence at Mass would be a blessing and it would encourage us as we lift our hearts to the Lord. Also, we miss seeing you!
Father Marty and the Members of the OLM Finance Council
Celia Obedencio, JoAnn Valencia, Presy Lorenzo, Rose Duque, Cyr Empestan, Lourdes Miranda, Ato Tuazon, Vickie Figueras
SMALL THINGS, BIG THANKS!
What are the little things we are thankful for? In this video project, the second graders are grateful not only for the things that they have but also for the relationships that matter to them the most. Watch it here.
Our Mass Book Opens Sunday, November 29
Our 2021 Mass Book will open for your Mass Intentions on Sunday, November 29. 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.
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!