Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
We are in the first week of the Lenten Season. Lent started a few days ago on Ash Wednesday and will continue for forty days. We commemorate the forty days that Jesus spent in prayer and fasting in the desert. There Jesus endured temptations from Satan.
Temptation is a strange thing. It seems to be a force that begins outside of us, yet there are deeper aspects of our character that cause us to give into temptation. Our desires need to be controlled and placed into their proper spiritual order. We need to examine our priorities according to what we truly need in life and not let our desires control us. We also need the grace of humility so that we can be honest before God about what we truly deserve in life.
In the gospel this weekend, we see that Jesus himself passed through times of temptation without falling into sin. When we are in danger of falling, we need to turn to God, we need to turn to Jesus for help. He is our savior, our refuge and fortress, who will be with us in times of distress to deliver us from evil.
I encourage us all to make good use of this Lenten season by looking into our hearts and doing some interior, spiritual inventory. This is the time when our scripture readings are challenging us to carefully examine our conscience and to do what is necessary to grow in holiness of life.
Please pay attention to our calendar of events in the bulletin, especially this Lenten season. You can still join our Lenten program Appreciate the Word, Live the Word. Kindly check out the schedules of different sessions we offer on the next page and contact us to join a small group.
Also, soon you will be able to send your weekly donation electronically. Stay tuned for more information regarding this in the next issues of the bulletin. We are trying to make church giving easier for those of you who are into technology by using an Online Giving Program called “We Share.”
God bless you all!
“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.