March 20, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying this first weekend of spring. Trees and flowers start to come back to life and burst into bloom. How appropriate it is that our gospel parable is about an orchard. In our gospel passage today, Jesus tells a parable about a barren fig tree that refused to bear fruit.

The owner of the orchard came looking for the tree to produce figs every year, but the tree failed to produce. After three years, with his patience exhausted, he was ready to have the tree cut down and removed from the garden. But the patient gardener begged the owner:
“Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not, you can cut it down.” (Luke 13:8-9).

In this parable the owner of the orchard is God the Father and the gardener is Jesus. The Father is always waiting for us to bear the spiritual fruits of repentance and love. Jesus intercedes on our behalf with the Father. He urges the Father to have even more patience and forbearance for us, his wayward children.

This weekend is a time for us to search into our innermost self and discover if we are bearing fruit in our spiritual lives. Are we shining with good fruit, that is with good works, in our lives? Are we progressing in our Lenten practices and disciplines, such as fasting, almsgiving and prayer? Have we been true to God, faithful to our service for Him and others? Have we been true to ourselves, admitting our faults and failures and seeking reconciliation with God?

I hope and pray that we take extra effort in caring for our spiritual lives by cutting off all sinful inclinations, selfishness, and pride, and by moving towards our goal, which is gaining life eternal.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is waiting for you in the confessional. We are available for confessions 9:00-9:30 am Monday through Friday, and 4:00-4:30 pm on Saturday. Also, we will have our Parish Lenten Reconciliation Service on Saturday, April 2, at 1:30-2:30 pm for children and 2:30-4:00 pm for adults. Please make use of these opportunities to come to confession.

I would like to inform you that online giving is coming soon. Please stay tuned for more announcements on when this program will go live. Next weekend, we will give you information on how to make your online donations.

Children can still sign up to be among our Easter Salubong Angels. Please find the registration forms on the table in the back of the church.

Last but not least, please see our schedule for Holy Week on this page.

Thank you. God bless you all!

Love,

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!


2022 LENTEN REGULATIONS

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.


OLM HOLY NAME SOCIETY FOOD DRIVE APRIL 2, SATURDAY, 9 am to 11 am

The OLM Holy Name Society is sponsoring a Lenten Food Drive to benefit the Food Pantry sponsored by Our Lady of Sorrows Parish here in Jersey City. The food drive will take place Saturday, April 2.

Members of the OLM Holy Name Society will collect your donated items in the OLM parking area by the entrance to the Maria Room from 9 am to 11 am.

They will then deliver your donations to the OLS Food Pantry. Please bring your food items only during the designated hours, namely, Saturday, April 2, from 9 am to 11 am.

Non-perishable food items are needed such as breakfast cereal, canned goods (vegetables/fruits), pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, rice, soup, etc.

Monetary contributions are also accepted (please make checks payable to Our Lady of Sorrows and write Food Pantry on the memo line). Despite all the challenges of life, let us remember that there will always be someone less fortunate. It is during these times when we must especially come together to assist our neighbors in need.