July 24, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

I hope this finds you well and safe!

In Sunday’s gospel reading, there is one important lesson that Jesus wants to teach us about prayer. He wants us to learn to be persistent in prayer. We are to persevere in prayer even when it seems like God is not listening to us, even when we do not see any results from our prayers.

I think it is important to realize that God is always going to do what is best for us, even if we do not understand why God does not answer our prayers as we would hope. We need to keep praying. We especially need to be persistent in lifting up the needs of our brothers and sisters in prayer. By praying for them, we become more aware of their needs, and we draw closer to them.

Even when there is nothing that we can do about a particular need or issue, we need to pray, because that is how we put those things into God’s hands. There is a lot that goes on in our lives over which we have no control. If we try to take responsibility and shoulder all the grief and trouble we see, we cannot bear it. We need to be persistent and put those things into God’s hands, because what is impossible for us is never too much for God. When we put those things in God’s hands and learn to resign ourselves to God’s will, then we can bear the weight of those burdens so much better, but that all depends on prayer.

As I write this column, I am in Austria on a pilgrimage that included a trip to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany. I am with Father Butchie and a group from our parish and a few folks from other parishes as well.

There were lots of persistent prayers prior to this trip. We prayed that it was really going to happen because it was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid19 pandemic. There were prayers for a safe journey, for good health and healing for the sick, prayers for the souls of those who had died, and prayers requested for special intentions and for our spiritual growth. Really God is so good. The Lord answered our prayers, most of them were granted.

The main event of this journey was to watch the Passion Play that takes place every ten years. This event is another example of being persistent in prayer.

In the seventeenth century, the small village of Oberammergau, Germany was struck by a plague brought into the village by a man named Kaspar Schisler. In their sorrow over the suffering this terrible disease had brought to the community, the leaders of the town came together and vowed to hold a Passion Play every ten years. From that time on, not a single person died of the plague.

As I reflected on this event and most especially as I watched the play, it reminded me of the pandemic we have just gone through since the beginning of the year 2020. I prayed that through this year’s play, which reminds us of how Christ came into the world, suffered, died and rose again, the whole world might be healed through our persistent prayer.

Our gospel this weekend is a reminder for us all to pray without ceasing for healing, peace throughout the world, and for our salvation.

May God bless us all!

Love,

Father Marty


DURING HIS FIRST WEEKEND AT OUR PARISH FATHER ANDREW GREETED PARISHIONERS OF ALL AGES AFTER MASS

Father Andrew Jung, who was assigned by Cardinal Tobin as our new parochial vicar, began his ministry at OLM this past weekend, July 16 & 17, by celebrating our Sunday Masses. Please keep him in your prayers as he becomes acquainted with his new parish family.


REGISTRATION for FAITH FORMATION FOR YEAR 2022-2023 IS NOW OPEN!

Faith Formation is a lifelong process that begins in childhood and continues throughout life as we grow in our relationship with Christ. It is necessary that we provide the children of our parish with a strong foundation of their Catholic Faith.

Our parish Faith Formation program informs, forms, and transforms the person and the community. The OLM Faith Formation program for children is from Grade 1 to Grade 8.

New students must submit a copy of their baptismal certificate. Returning students must register at the beginning of each school year. Register online now at our parish website olmnj.org For inquiries, please contact Jeng Matias-Villa at 201-434-7500 ext. 102 or email her at reginavilla@olmnj.org


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 $51,281 and $42,386 has been received. Please continue to be generous as always!