March 13, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

The Second Sunday of Lent is here. It is another moment for us to re-check our Lenten journey.

In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus brought some of his disciples to a mountain, where he was transfigured. He shone with divine glory. From this mountain of the transfiguration, Jesus asks us to consider how his life and mission was always being shaped by the interplay of both suffering and glory. Jesus invites us also to consider how our lives fit into this paschal rhythm. He wants us to consider how we are constantly passing through experiences of death and loss into new life and new possibilities. He also wants us to know how we will share in the glory that awaits us.

In other words, brothers and sisters, our Lenten journey must be a time for us to fight and to win the battle over sin and selfishness. We are at war with the evil inside us and the evil that is all around us in this world. This Sunday, let us escape and imagine that, like Jesus and his disciples, we go to the mountain and there we get a glimpse of the glory promised to everyone who is willing to take up the cross of suffering and follow Jesus. Let us transform our lives for the better so that we can be glorious in the sight of God.

Let us continue to do our Lenten practices such as praying, fasting and almsgiving. Let us pray for ourselves, our community, our nation, and our world. May war and injustices be over. May peace reign around the world. And may this coronavirus pandemic be completely over so we can see the smile in each other’s faces. Also, please continue to support each other and our community in prayer.

I want to call your attention to some of the events taking place in our parish. Next Sunday, March 20, after the 12 noon Mass, we will have Cafè OLM in the Maria Room. I invite you to please join us as we meet each other in a relaxing way with food and camaraderie and as we enjoy the first day of springtime. Also, be sure to pay attention to our schedule of Holy Week celebrations. To give you a heads-up, we are not going to have a second celebration of the Passion of the Christ on Good Friday evening. We are going to have only one celebration of the Passion at 3 pm.

We are also inviting our young boys and girls to serve as angels in our Easter Salubong ceremony that will take place at the 10 am Mass on Easter Sunday. For more information, please check out the forms on the table in the back of the church or see Jeng Villa, our Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation, or me.

Thank you.

God bless you all!


Father Marty

CATHOLIC STEWARDSHIP IN ACTION” is the theme of this year’s Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Newark. This appeal supports the mission, programs. and ministries of the Archdiocese. This year’s goal for Our Lady of Mercy Parish is $42,120 There will be a 100% rebate of every dollar collected above our goal. Please be generous as always!


Lent is a time for prayer, fasting, and charity as we prepare to renew our baptismal promises at Easter. The practice of penance forms a necessary part of this preparation. The Church gives us the following regulations to help us make good use Lent.

1. Good Friday (April 15) is a day of Fast. This means that only one full meal is permitted. Two smaller meals may be eaten. There is no food taken between meals. Those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast; others are encouraged to fast.

2. All the Fridays of Lent are days of Abstinence. On a Day of Abstinence, no meat may be eaten. Those 14 years of age and older are obliged to abstain from meat. For a serious reason, Church Law allows the pastor to dispense an individual from refraining from meat on a Friday during the Lenten Season.

3. The obligation to observe the laws of Fast and Abstinence “substantially” or as a whole, is a serious obligation.

4. Catholics should go to Holy Communion at least once between the First Sunday of Lent (March 6) and Trinity Sunday (June 12). If necessary, they should go to Confession. Individual confessions are heard at OLM Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9:30 am and Saturdays from 4 pm to 4:30 pm.


Café OLM is a new program here at OLM. Once a month after one of our Sunday Masses, the Maria Room becomes CAFÉ OLM. The Café opened Sunday, November 21, after the 8 am Mass, and Sunday, December 12, after the 10 AM. The Café OLM will open next Sunday, March 20, after the Noon Mass. The Café will feature a “Spring Feast” of food and drinks. The event is free, so please plan to join us next Sunday. Have some good food and meet some of your fellow parish members. As the saying goes, CAFÉ OLM IS THE PLACE TO BE AFTER MASS!