Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
Greetings from the Philippines. I hope you are all doing well.
First and foremost, I congratulate our young boys and girls who are receiving their First Holy Communion this weekend. I know they are excited to reach the day when they can receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. They have been happy and faithful in coming, along with their parents, to their monthly preparation sessions. This is their day.
I want to thank Jeng Villa and the office of Faith Formation, together with Vena Cheng, Deacon Edwin Dava, and others who helped to give these children proper knowledge to be well equipped for this next step in their spiritual journey.
I thank the members of our Wellness Ministry under the leadership of Henry Racelis, for last Sunday’s Health Fair. They are of great service to our community, especially those of us who are in need of medical advice. Thank you to all who assisted during the Health Fair and special thanks to the vendors. Your contributions are greatly appreciated. God sees the good that you do.
I am also grateful to Liam Barredo, Krystelle Pring, Jeng Villa, the musically talented boys and girls, and all those who help produce the concert this past Friday to raise funds to assist the suffering Ukrainian people. Of course, the concert not only helped Ukraine, but it also showcased the talents of the young people of our parish family.
I am so sorry I was not there in person for these big events. I was so looking forward to be present but an unexpected situation occurred when Father Jack Cryan and I travelled to the Philippines. We had plans to return May 13, but Father Jack became ill. As a matter of fact, as I write this column, Father Jack is still in the hospital. Therefore, it was impossible for us to fly back last Friday, May 13. Father Jack is improving and is receiving all the care he needs. Thank God, he did not have Covid 19, otherwise it would be even longer before we could return. We are now scheduled to return on May 25, praying there will be no other unforeseen events. Please continue to pray for Father Jack and me.
As we move along in this life, let us continue to have faith in God and all His promises. We hear a promise in this weekend’s gospel passage. Jesus promises us that God the Father will send us the Holy Spirit who will serve as our Advocate who will guide us to the truth.
Jesus also offers us his peace, which is the calm assurance that no matter what happens to us, God will always be on our side. Jesus tells us that his peace is not the same as the peace that we may find in this world. Jesus’ peace is a peace that comes from within us, where God dwells in our hearts. Jesus’ peace does not depend on whether everything is working out according to our wishes. Jesus’ peace is knowing that our lives are in God’s loving hands.
I think that all of us go through moments of doubt and fear. We may experience the devastation of losing someone or something that we treasure.
At times, we may feel like victims of a cursed fate or random circumstances. But it is precisely in those moments that we most need the peace that only Jesus can offer us. When we feel lost and abandoned by God, that is the very moment when we will be able to experience Jesus’ peace and joy. But we need to have faith that God’s Spirit dwelling within us will get us through those challenging times.
Jesus prepared his disciples for the rough road ahead so they would have everything they needed to survive and thrive no matter what they might face. We too have everything we need because we have Jesus’ promise to be with us and to sustain us with his enduring love.
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD NEXT SUNDAY MAY 29
The Ascension of the Lord, one of the great feasts of the Easter season was normally celebrated on the Thursday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter. However, on March 23, the Bishops of New Jersey decided by a unanimous vote to permanently transfer the observance of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, effective this year. This means the Solemnity of Ascension will be observed next Sunday, May 29. Most of the Dioceses of the United States made this change several years ago. The decision was made so that more Catholics will be able to celebrate this great feast of the Easter Season by coming to Mass on a Sunday. The Ascension celebrates our belief that the Risen Lord, who has passed beyond our sight, is still with us but in a unique way − a way that makes him even more present to his people. The Masses for the Ascension will take place according to our usual schedule, namely, Saturday 5pm, Sunday, 8am, 10am, and 12noon.
PEACE BEGINS WITH ME: A Night for Ukraine
This Friday, May 20, 7 pm / OLM Church
Tickets $10 / Tickets on sale after Mass and at the Parish Office
OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH WILL SHOWCASE THEIR TALENTS DURING THIS FUNDRAISER.
TALENT NIGHT PERFORMERS INCLUDE: Justin Nguyen, Lauren Nguyen, Evan Nguyen, Tiffany Esteban,
Florence Ria Villa, Alyssa Bacay, Zachary Zulueta, Jedrik Digao, Emily Gocon, Shiloh Guanlao, Haley Zamora,
Eiren Maghacut, Jack Balbutin, Jhaika Lopez, Jhorayne Lopez, Mary Cabalquinto, Gregory Cabalquinto, Elesa
Adelene Dias, Andrew Ian Ortega, Maia Flores, Gabriel Paez, Jiselle Paez, Ysabella Fallarme, Francheska
Fallarme, Lucas Reyes, Matt Reyes, Rafael Reyes, Melissa Atienza, Camille Maria Lee, Nicole Espinosa, Zian
Panganiban, Gabriel Panganiban, MJ Catuncan, Mia Catuncan, AND MORE…
DONATIONS FROM THE FUNDRAISER will be sent to Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic
organization with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly
displaced persons, that they may heal, learn, and determine their own future. JRS and the Society of Jesus (the
Jesuits) are mobilizing resources worldwide to provide immediate support in Ukraine and in neighboring
countries. In Ukraine, Jesuits are helping and supporting internally displaced, even turning a retreat house into
housing for those displaced.
YOU MAY ALSO DONATE ONLINE THROUGH WeShare, VISIT OUR PARISH WEBSITE OLMNJ.ORG
REQUESTING BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENTS
To submit an announcement for our bulletin, send it in digital form to OLMChurchMail@gmail.com
Put BULLETIN in the subject line. All submissions must be received ten days in advance of the requested date of publication. We encourage committees, groups, and ministries to submit information regarding their meetings and activities in order to keep the members of OLM informed of what is taking place in the parish.
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 have pledged $41,771 and $29,501 has been received. Please be generous as always!