February 13, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

I pray you are doing well and staying in good health.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, these past two years, we have suffered and gone through life filled with fear. We have dealt with the fear of getting infected with Covid-19, fear of dying, fear of the future, and the fear of dealing with people and situations that negatively impact our personal lives.

It is in our nature to avoid those things that cause us fear and suffering. But the truth is that we Christians are called to find meaning in suffering by having hope in Christ Jesus. In our gospel this weekend, Jesus says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.” (Luke 6:20-23a).

In a way, the gospel is telling us that those who are poor, hungry, weeping, or persecuted are richer spiritually because they have nothing left other than the Lord Jesus. Also, the more we have stripped away from us in this life, the richer we become as we rely more and more on the Lord, the source of true riches. So, let’s not lose hope, but rather hope in the Lord.

On a different note, I am happy to announce that we have received a rebate from the 2021 Annual Appeal. That rebate amounted to $19,821.63. The total in pledge payments in last year’s appeal was $64,328. The Archdiocese of Newark thanks you for your generosity and support. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, our goal this year in the 2022 Appeal is $42,120. Please be supportive and generous once again.

Last weekend, our parish started the Synod on Synodality listening session with the heads of different ministries. These heads of ministries will then hold listening sessions with the members of their particular ministries. Then, there will be a listening session on Saturday, March 5, at 9:30am, which will be open to all parishioners.

In the November 28 issue of our bulletin, there was an article on Synod 2021-2023. But I would like to add to that explanation by quoting how Cardinal Tobin, our Archbishop, explained what that synod is about. He said that a “synod” is a global process of discussion and reflection on a topic of particular importance to the Church. He cautioned that the synodal process “is not simply a series of meetings,” but “an effort to open ourselves to a permanent conversion of heart.”

“The synod will shine a light on the cracks of our church” and is an opportunity for a “change of a culture of our Church at all levels,” he said. “The synod recognizes that the people of God, those who have been called out of darkness into light by virtue of their baptism, are called to walk the same road. And sometimes it means they realize they’re going the wrong way,” Cardinal Tobin said. And so, I hope and pray that you will have an interest to participate in this synod process. It is a very timely event in the church as we listen, talk, and discuss how we have been, how are we now, and what lies ahead of us as we move towards the direction that the Holy Spirit is leading us now and in the future.

Last but not least, in the name of our parish staff, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your 2021 Christmas gift to your parish of $49,535! Our parish is greatly blessed because of you, the good and holy people of God.

God bless you all!

Love,

Father Marty



EVICTION ASSISTANCE FOR JERSEY CITY RESIDENTS

The United Way of Hudson County has received a Homeless Prevention Grant for residents of Jersey City. This grant may be able to assist individuals/families who are facing eviction and whose income is less than half of the average income in our area.

There are criteria to be met and documentation that is required to receive assistance. Each person will be screened by a caseworker to see if they are eligible for assistance.
For inquiries, please contact United Way of Hudson County at 201-492-2368.


WORLD MARRIAGE DAY – FEBRUARY 13

World Marriage Day is an outgrowth of Worldwide Marriage Encounter, an apostolate aimed at helping couples make good marriages even better.

World Marriage Day began in 1983 and is celebrated every second Sunday of February in Catholic dioceses across the country. In 1993, Pope Saint John Paul II, imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day.

This year World Marriage Day falls on February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. The purpose of World Marriage Day is to highlight the beauty of marriage and to honor husbands and wives for their faithfulness and sacrifices.
In recognition of World Marriage Day, there will be a special blessing of all married couples at our Masses next weekend, February 12 & 13.

We encourage all married persons to attend Mass with their husband or wife next weekend so they might be blessed as a couple.