August 14, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

I hope this finds you all well.

In our Gospel reading this weekend, Jesus acknowledges that he did not come to bring peace on the earth. Jesus was and remains an agent of change. Jesus calls us to conversion, that is, to a change of heart; and a change in the way that we live.

Jesus is a force of change, and that is unsettling to those of us who are quite comfortable with the status quo.
The truth is that with Jesus in our lives, we cannot hold on to the way things are. We cannot continue to fool ourselves into thinking that we have power to do whatever we may choose in our lives.

Jesus chose to be powerless in the face of evil to defeat the proud who were convinced of their own righteousness. The Pharisees and the temple officials were so convinced that they had God all figured out. With their adherence to the fine points of the law and with their temple worship, they may have thought they had God under their control.
But God had another idea. God wanted to break their hearts of stone and turn them back toward Him because He is the only true source of righteousness, not the law, not their bloody animal sacrifices! But God alone. The true worship that God wants comes from the heart and not out of a book of rules.

Brothers and sisters, we need to learn a lesson about change. God is calling us to change our hearts and turn toward Him. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews urges us to persevere in running the race, just like in the Olympics. But our competition is being waged against the power of sin that is within us and all around us. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent in that struggle.

Change is difficult. Trying to hold on to how things are, and how we are, makes it even more difficult because we put ourselves in opposition to God who calls us to change for the better. What we need to do is learn to surrender ourselves to God, just as Jesus surrendered himself to do God’s will.

God bless you all!

Love,

Father Marty


AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE THE LORD

We are currently looking for additional young people to become part of our altar server ministry here in the parish. We are grateful to those who are coming forward and volunteering to serve our Lord and our parish as Altar Servers. We appreciate parents and other adults who encourage the young people in their lives to volunteer to fill this role at Mass. Sign-up sheets are available in the vestibule of the church. You can submit the completed forms to the Parish Office or give them to Father Marty or Father Andrew. If you have any questions, please speak to one of the priests. We will soon be posting a schedule for the training sessions for those who volunteer to become Altar Servers.


REMINDER OF THE CHANGE IN OUR COLLECTION PROCEDURE

As mentioned previously, we have returned to our former way of collecting your offerings a Mass. After the Creed and General Intercessions, those at Mass are invited to come forward with their financial donations and place them in the baskets at the head of each aisle. As we come forward, we can remember that the Lord not only wants us to offer our money but to also our lives in service to Him and his Church.

Those using WESHARE, our online giving service, are welcome to join the procession of those coming forward to the baskets. If they wish, they may place a collection envelope, note, or card in the basket indicating their use of online giving.


THOSE INVOLVED IN MINISTRIES AND SOCIETIES MEET AND PROCLAIM ONE CHURCH. ONE LOVE.

Saturday, July 30, there was a general gathering in the Maria Room of those involved in the many ministries and societies that serve and support our parish. This was the first time such a meeting took place. More than 54 people attended the meeting generously hosted by Fr. Marty. During the meeting, which took place over morning coffee and pastry, they became acquainted, shared fellowship, and were given informative presentations on church safety and security. At the meeting they were also given a crash course on the use of a tourniquet and how to do an initial evaluation and treatment of injured persons until the arrival of professional first responders.

The purpose of this meeting was to gather the different ministries and instill the belief that while there are separate and distinct groups, they all share the common mission of serving God and the OLM Parish Family.

This attitude and belief can be seen in the sense of responsibility and ownership felt by “all” when it comes to reaching out in faith and expressing hospitality to all who come through the doors of our church, both affiliated parishioners and newcomers.

This idea was strongly endorsed by those in attendance as they shouted out their new mantra: “One Church. One Love.”
Parishioners interested in supporting OLM by joining its ministries are encouraged to contact the parish office or to speak to one of the ministry directors. We welcome your enthusiasm and fellowship.

Remember… “One Church. One Love”.


ARE YOU EXPECTING?

All Moms and Dads to be, our Baptismal Team would also like to celebrate your joy with a “Gathering To Rejoice!” Every month we have an event just for that. The team is ready to rejoice with you and to assist you as you look forward to your child’s baptism and beyond. Let us know that you are expecting by stopping by or calling the parish office at 201-434-7500.


Archbishop’s 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 , and ministries of the Archdiocese. This year’s goal for our parish is $42,120. There is a 100% rebate of every dollar collected above our goal. Currently, donors from OLM have pledged
$51,281 and $44,486 has been received. Please continue to be generous as always!