November 26, 2023 – From the Pastor Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy, Greetings in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ! With today’s celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King, we come to the last Sunday in the liturgical calendar. Next weekend will be the First Sunday of Advent and the start of the liturgical year of 2024. That means that Christmas is around the corner! I know that time flies by so quickly these days, so we had better hurry to prepare ourselves to meet the Lord. And what does that mean? It means that as time quickly passes us by, our time here on earth is getting shorter. In other words, we must be mindful of our existence. I am not saying this to scare you about facing death, but we have to be realistic. How much time remains for us to do what is necessary to attain eternal life? We do not know. But our time will come to an end. So, I encourage you to take our gospel passage this weekend to heart. Have we done all we are obliged to do for our brothers and sisters? I urge you to think deeply about that question. Two weeks ago, the Coffee Chat event for adults called, “De-stressing and Dancing,” went so well. It was well attended, and people so enjoyed it that they proposed having such an event regularly. Well, we will do that starting in the new year of 2024. In the name of our community, I thank all the volunteers who helped Jeng Villa in organizing and putting this event together. Our upcoming events are described in this bulletin and on posters around the church such as the Advent reflection series with Father Anton called “Journeying to Bethlehem,” Simbang Gabi, and our Christmas Party. Please see all the information on these events. I hope that you all will take part in them. Also, please be mindful of our Christmas schedule of Masses. This year, Christmas Day is on Monday. That means that we will be “sleeping” in church, so to speak. Besides our regular Mass schedule for Sunday, December 24, we will have our Christmas Eve Masses in the evening at 5 pm and 10 pm (our “midnight Mass”). Then the next day, Christmas Day, Masses will be at 8 am, 10 am and 12 noon. We will post this schedule again in future bulletins. Last but not least, I would like to ask you to be generous to your parish. Kindly increase your weekly donations. We have projects to do in our building such as installing a chair lift to access the Maria Room (parish hall) and upgrading our church restrooms. These are the priorities for now. There is also a plan to upgrade the kneelers in church. I am sure you are aching for them to be replaced. So, please give. Also, please be sure to read the article about Henry Racelis, who was recently appointed a trustee of our parish. I am happy for his willingness to serve in this important role. Thank you. God bless you all! Love, Father Marty (Previous Week) Introducing Our New Parish Trustee: Henry Racelis Henry Racelis is a registered nurse with critical care, transplant, and pharmaceutical sales experience. He is also a licensed real estate broker for Racelis Realty, a family business serving the communities of Jersey City and Northern New Jersey for over 40 years. Like his father, Greg, Henry is very involved in the Jersey City community as a board member of the business improvement district of West Side Ave, called the West Side Partnership. He has served on our parish Wellness Ministry for four years, and currently is a member of our Parish Pastoral Council. Henry also serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for Rutgers School of Nursing. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and MBA degree at Rutgers University. He also attained a Masters in Public Administration from Seton Hall University. Henry and his wife, Vina, love to travel and they enjoy spending time with relatives who live in New Jersey, Virginia, California, Canada, and the Caribbean. The Role of The Parish Trustee The following information is from the Pastor’s Administrative Manual published by the Archdiocese of Newark The two lay trustees serve on the civil governing body of the parish corporation. They assist with ordinary business and exercise their powers as necessary and proper for attaining the corporation’s purposes…Lay trustees should be members in good standing of the parish, be active participants in the parish community, have relevant business experience or ability, and have the commitment needed for the position. The two lay trustees can be male or female. Lay trustees are appointed at the annual meeting of the parish corporation and serve a term of one year. There is no limit on the number of terms one individual may serve. 2024 Mass Intentions / Our Mass Book Opens Monday, November 27 Our 2024 Mass Book opens for your Mass intentions starting tomorrow, Monday, November 27. Masses may be scheduled on weekdays during regular office hours, 8 am to 3 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays, between 9 am to 1 pm. Please note that during the first month the Mass Book is open, we request that parishioners book no more than 5 Masses. In addition to Mass intentions, you may also make donations for the sanctuary lamp and for the bread and wine used at our Masses. The suggested offering for weekday Masses is $15, and the suggested offering for Sunday Masses is $25. The suggested offering for the sanctuary lamp that burn by the tabernacle, or the bread, or the wine to be used at our Masses is $25.