July 31, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

I hope this finds everybody well and safe despite the heat we all have been enduring these past few days and weeks. We are not over this summer heat, so stay cool and hydrated.

As I pondered the readings for this weekend, there was one theme (among many others) that caught my attention immediately; that is, the realization of the length of our existence in this world. We are asked to face our mortality, the reality of death, and the knowledge that life is short. And with that in mind, to consider what we need to do in the meantime.

In the gospel parable Jesus said to the rich man: “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” (Luke 12:20). With those words, Jesus encourages all of us to store up treasure that will last for eternity.

Brothers and sisters, we might ask ourselves how we have been doing as we move along in life. Are we paying attention to what really matters most? In this world in which we live, it is easy for us to get so distracted with material things that we neglect what lasts forever. There are so many distractions. We can be blinded by our obsession to be on top of everything, to be in control, to be the smartest, or to be the first to have the latest gadget, that we neglect to consider the eternal destiny of our soul.

Sunday’s gospel is a reminder for us to work at storing up treasure in heaven. And we know what that treasure is, it is the salvation of our souls. That is what matters most. It is high time for us to have a change of heart and listen to God. As the Responsorial Psalm says: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

Before I forget, I want to let you know that the weekend of August 13 & 14, a missionary sent by the Archdiocesan Office of the Propagation of Faith, will be with us here at OLM. The missionary will preach at all our Masses. I am sure that you will hear once again about the importance of supporting the missionary efforts of the Church.

I wish you a happy summertime. Enjoy your vacation. Wherever you will be, please stay safe. May we all come back in September refreshed and energized.

God bless you all!

Love,

Father Marty


JOIN THE ALTAR SERVER MINISTRY

We are currently looking for additional young people to become part of our altar server ministry here in the parish. We thank those who will come forward and volunteer to serve our Lord and our parish by becoming committed Altar Servers.

We are grateful to parents and other adults who encourage young people to volunteer to fill this role at Mass. Scan the QR code for the sign-up forms and drop it off in the parish office or hand it to Father Marty or Father Andrew.


REMINDER OF THE CHANGE IN OUR COLLECTION PROCEDURE

Before the pandemic, it was the custom here at OLM for parishioners to participate in the presentation of the gifts at Sunday Mass. In addition to the people bringing forward the bread and wine to be used during the liturgy, all those at Mass came from their pews and walked to the head of each aisle where they deposited their offerings in the baskets placed there by our Ministers of Hospitality or Ushers.

In this way, everyone had an opportunity to come forward and present their personal gifts to the Lord. Afterwards the baskets would be placed near the altar and then brought to the parish office.

Because of the pandemic, we stopped having people process forward and we asked those at Mass to place their offerings in the boxes near the baptismal font. We have now returned to our previous practice.

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.

This change was made primarily for security reasons. Recently, several attempts have been made to break into the offering boxes to steal their contents.

As we come forward with our gifts, we can remember that the Lord not only wants us to offer our money but to also offer ourselves 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.


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!