July 10, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

I hope this finds you all well.

Last week, Liam Barredo, Krystelle Pring and I attended the Convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) in Louisville, Kentucky. This is an annual convention whose purpose is to foster the art of musical liturgy. The members of this association serve the Catholic Church in the United States as musicians, clergy,
liturgists, and other leaders of prayer.

Below is our Music Director, Liam Barredo’s reflection on his experience at NPM. I hope that reading it will give you a picture of what happened at the convention and how we were inspired and enlightened by it.

The National Pastoral Musicians Convention was held in Louisville, Kentucky this year. This was my first NPM as a Music Director. It is an honor to serve our parish alongside Krystelle Pring. I am forever grateful that our pastor, Fr. Marty, allows us to be a part of such a wonderful parish community.

When I was growing up, I did not see persons like me represented in many areas of music. There simply was not much Filipino representation in music, even in liturgical music. So, this week in Louisville, Kentucky brought my heart so much joy to see Filipino songwriters and artists represented in liturgical music.

Fr. Ricky Manalo has been such a trailblazer in liturgical music with timeless compositions. This year, Paulo Tirol and Maria Nieva had beautiful pieces published by Oregon Catholic Press (OCP). Their songs were played at OCP’s showcase.

Those of Asian background even had a special concert, entitled, Many Colors, Many Stories, One Voice, One God where Joseph Legaspi conducted our NPM Asian Pacific Group and later performed Paulo’s piece at the OCP showcase.

Diana Macalintal also had a piece showcased by GIA Music Publishers. Ariel Mayormita, Allen Del Rosario, and Jose Gallardo also wrote beautiful pieces that were played at a “Simbang Gabi” breakout session.

It was beautiful to see and hear the heart of Filipino worship and music being shared with everyone. May this experience encourage those who do not see themselves represented and may it inspire them to create and dream a more diverse future.

The theme for this year’s NPM Convention was “Tested by Fire: Renewed and Transformed”. The last three years of the pandemic have surely been a test for all of us. It has also been a reminder to us about our need to be a more welcoming community that celebrates the diversity and beauty of all people.

The Plenums (the larger group presentations) this year were such an eye-opening experience. They included: “Veni Creator Spiritus: Renew the Face of the Earth” delivered by Bishop Mark Seitz; “Living Your Discipleship: Our Calling to Prophetic, Pastoral Ministry” presented by Laura Fanucci, and finally, “The Church: Divided Tongues Like Fire” by Brenda Noriega.

I was especially moved by the talk given by Brenda Noriega. She spoke from the perspective of a member of the congregation, she spoke of the ways we can better serve and welcome those who do not look like us or worship like us.

For example, we often exclude members who speak a different mother tongue from our sung prayer. This can make an impact on those who want to be a part of our Universal Community.

One of the most touching things she shared was her experience earlier this year when she had a miscarriage during Holy Week. She thought going to church would help her grieve and pray and instead the music was unwelcoming and too boisterous.

Often in an effort to impress others with our gifts we forget that these gifts are given to us to help heal a wounded world. The voice of the people is the primary voice in any Church Community. There were so many lessons and so much music to bring back to our community. I can’t wait to share it all with you.

As I said earlier, NPM was held in Louisville, Kentucky. One of the first places I wanted to go to when I arrived was the busy street corner where the mystic Thomas Merton had an encounter with the Divine, an encounter with God. He had an awakening, a metanoia (a change of heart). His encounter with the Divine on a busy street corner is something we also have the opportunity to experience if we allow it. It is my prayer that we all have that encounter, that change of mind and awareness. May the music and worship that is channeled through us be a part of breaking open the hearts and minds of all people.

I am grateful for Liam’s sharing his experience at NPM. As I conclude, I want to once again thank him and Krystelle for being holy and faithful servants here in our community of Our Lady of Mercy. God bless you both and your ministry, and may God bless us all!

Love,

Father Marty


A POSSIBLE ROLE FOR YOU

As Christians we are to be hospitable. We are called to open ourselves and our hearts to our neighbor. When someone new walks through the doors of our church, they are making a spiritual decision. Whether they realize it or not, God is already at work in their heart inspiring them to come to OLM. As God’s people, we have the chance to show them God’s love by how we welcome them, even if only for a quick moment.

Hospitality Ministers have a special role in welcoming people to our parish. Regular tasks include the following: (1) Greet and acknowledge ALL those who enter our church. (2) Perform housecleaning after Mass such as spraying disinfectant. (3) Turn off electric votive lights after the last Mass. (4) Bring items left by churchgoers to the parish office. (5) Track number of attendees at Mass. (6) Help with the needs of churchgoers. (7) Maintain security during services. (8) Guide churchgoers during time of communion and recession .

Anyone interested in joining this ministry may contact Guiz Macalintal at 551-655-1441 or email him at themacalintals@gmail.com. You may also contact the OLM Parish Office at 201-434-7500 or email olmjcparish@olmnj.org. God Bless!


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 $50,901 and $39,847 has been received. Please continue to be generous as always!