“We do not want … a Church that moves with the world.
We want a Church that will move the world.” ~G. K. Chesterton
A Message from Our Pastor:
November 22, 2021
St. Cecilia Day, Virgin & Martyr
Dear Parish households,
As we enter the Advent season and prepare for the celebration of Christmas, God become incarnate, we all can reflect on the past 18 months of the pandemic and feel more positive about our future. Activity at our Parish has assumed a more ‘normal’ atmosphere – music has been reintroduced as part of the liturgy, and religious education for youth has restarted. Outreach activities such as the CROP walk, food pantry participation, and clothing drives have also resumed and remind us of the gifts we have been given and the mission to share those gifts. We are also incredibly thankful that due to the generosity of our parishioners, the Parish continues to run a financial surplus even during the difficult circumstances of the pandemic.
Yet, participation at our Sunday masses has not returned to pre-pandemic levels. We live in a community where Catholics (and for that matter, Christians) are in the minority. Not too long ago in our society, getting to Church on Sunday was a priority and Catholic and Protestant churches would be filled. That is not the case today. Going to church on Sundays encourages us to obey the third commandment of God, “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day”. To help obey the third commandment, there is also the commandment of Jesus to celebrate the memory of his death and resurrection. The Church in the fourth century promulgated a law, that continues to exist today, that Catholics participate in Mass on Sundays. The law reflects the tradition handed down from the apostles of gathering on Jesus’s Day, the Lord’s Day.
Most people in our community do not go to Church on Sunday and it affects our way of thinking and acting. To go to Church is countercultural. That is, church goers, (parishioners) must be different from what our culture accepts and what the majority is doing. At the same time many of those who do not go to Church on Sundays admire those who do. They admire their integrity in their relationship with God. They admire their strength to be different. They admire their faithfulness in attempting to follow the third commandment of God.
Hopefully the peak of the pandemic is behind us. People are free to move about in society and have resumed family gatherings, shopping, eating at restaurants, and attending sports and arts events. Parishioners have exercised their liberty by coming to Church. For individuals and families who have not, I encourage you to prayerfully reflect on rejoining us at Mass and reengaging in charitable works. Your participation gives us joy and makes us a more vibrant parish.
When you do go to Church on Sundays (weekends) always have in mind the reality that you are in the minority, you are countercultural, yet admired by all. You inspire others to do the same.
With love for you all,
Fr. Bernard OFM Cap
For the season of Advent and Christmas, please keep in mind the following:
- “Word Among Us” booklets are available in the church providing daily meditations during the Season of Advent.
- Friday, December 3, 2021, there will be a holy hour at St. Francis Solanus Church, Interlaken, at 7:00 p.m. to mark the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year – the Advent season. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) will also be available.
- Christmas Masses are scheduled for:
- Friday, December 24, 2021
- St. James the Apostle, Trumansburg, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- Holy Cross, Ovid, 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday, December 25, 2021
- St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken, 9:00 a.m.
- Friday, December 24, 2021
- Please share this information with other members of your home. Thank you.
- This weekend’s bulletin is available here.
- On a final note, Parish Council has made it a priority to improve our electronic communications. Thank you for visiting the parish web site where there are many helpful links here and on our weekly bulletin page. We are increasing activity on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Visiting and “liking” our pages on these social media platforms helps us to engage and reach new parishioners.
Gospel Meditation—Encourage Deeper Understanding of Scripture
November 28, 2021 ~ First Sunday of Advent
Staying awake can often be a challenge, especially when we are exhausted. Life’s demands have a way of zapping every last bit of energy out of us. When we are tired it affects us not only physically, but psychologically and spiritually as well. All of our senses are dulled and diminished. We can overlook details, become disinterested, lethargic and apathetic, and detached. Getting sufficient physical rest only helps so much. We need to be rejuvenated, refreshed, and reenergized in other ways. If we are psychologically exhausted, we need to understand what is draining our emotions and taxing our relationships. If we are spiritually tired, we need to find the necessary “shot in the arm” to put us back in touch with God. Unfortunately, exhaustion is seldom limited to just one part of who we are. When we lack energy and zeal it is usually the case that everything suffers. We not only are affected physically, but psychologically and spiritually as well. In short, when we run out of gas the engine stops.
And yet, our Lord’s directive is clear, “Be vigilant at all times.” Even Jesus knew what “the anxieties of daily life” can do to us. One day pours into another and time quickly flies by. Any one of us can take a moment and reflect on how many wonderful, creative opportunities we miss because there is always so much “stuff” to do and so little time to do it. Usually these are missed moments of love, and if we are missing love encounters we are also missing God. Sleepwalking through life, we check the boxes next to our list of “must and have to dos” and justify it all by convincing ourselves that tomorrow is another day and there’ll be more time. It may surprise us, but tomorrow is here, and time is running out. While we may like to believe that we have an “eternity” of time to do all those things that require the focus, energy, and desire we do not currently have, we don’t. We’re on a limited ride and time is short.
Jesus is also clear on another point. “That day [will] catch you by surprise like a trap.” If we are going to be judged on love and so easily justify not having all that much time to do so, then it seems we must shift focus a bit. St. Teresa of Calcutta tells us, “We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another.” Getting to this place doesn’t “just happen.” It requires vigilance and discipline both with a knowledge of what is really of importance and what really needs to be the focus of our energy and time. Pray, starting now and not tomorrow, that we can stay alert, be strengthened in our faith, and prepared for whatever will come. Don’t miss another opportunity to love.
The Diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, continues to discover and develop new ways to reach out to families in these unprecedented times. The Family Zone is an online newsletter (go here for the latest issue) designed to help you prepare for full and active participation in the liturgy as well as formation within your families.
Advent: Darkness to Light: Today we begin the liturgical season of Advent and our new liturgical year. It is a time to slow down and allow ourselves to experience the Advent attitudes of peace, patience and hope. During this season, we take the time to bring the light of Christ into the dark spots in our world and we make space for Jesus to enter our hearts on Christmas. How can you dismiss some of the hustle and bustle of the holiday and embrace the peace of Advent? It’s a great time to consider how you and your family will make this season feel different.
Be Well: Embrace the Advent season by working quiet time into each day. Quiet time, free of stimulation, noise and screens can have a tremendous effect on our health. Silence can reduce stress and at the same time, increase our creativity.
Here are some ways to embrace silence during Advent:
1. Bring your family to church to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament
2. Turn down the lights in the house and sit only in the light of the Christmas tree and manger
3. Take a snowy evening walk
4. Place a sleeping bag in front of the tree for a nap time
5. Put out colored pencils and paper and doodle..no talking!
Word of the Week: On December 8, we observe the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation. But what does “immaculate conception” mean? Many think the day is connected to the conception of Jesus. However, when we speak of this Solemnity, we understand it is a day attributed to Mary, Mother of Jesus. It is part of our dogma that Mary could not bear the Son of God if she was a sinner, and so, from her conception in the womb of St. Anne, Mary was free from sin; even the original sin of Adam and Eve. This was also given to Mary by the grace of God, preparing her to be the mother of Jesus.
All of this and much more on the Family Zone web page. Join in as we start the season of Advent!
Journeying with St. Joseph: The year of St. Joseph is coming to a close on December 8, but that does not mean St. Joseph is going away. We can still turn to him as an inspiration and as a model for us. St. Joseph has been an inspiration to Christians for over 2,000 years – and will continue to be for many, many more. Learn more about him, and the other Saints, as a way to find inspiration in your own life at https://www.catholic.org/saints/.
We have a rich history of relying on St. Joseph’s intercessions in our diocese. Make sure you check out the diocese’s St. Joseph webpage or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/dioceseofrochester. Throughout the year we will be adding additional resources for the Year of St. Joseph and the Year of the Family!
The Family Zone: The Family Zone newsletter prepares you for the readings that you will hear at the Sunday’s Mass for the coming two weeks. This will give you a chance to prepare your heart and mind for full and active participation in Mass! You will find the readings here as well as an expansion of those themes to prepare for full and active participation in the liturgy and formation within your families. There are stories for parents to read to their kids that will help them apply this week’s theme to other areas of life and connect the lines between our beliefs and daily life! There are ideas for family field trips, fun, and exploring. There is also a section on prayer where ideas are shared for personal prayer, family prayer, and learning more about the ACT of prayer as a discipleship skill! Ordinary Time doesn’t have to be boring: Transform yourself!
The Family Zone is an interactive newsletter that “takes parents directly to online sites they can use, themselves, to be the primary formators of their children’s faith.” To stay up to date with opportunities around the diocese, sign up for the Family Zone newsletter on their web page.
You are all invited!
“Certainly, our presence and encounter with the Eucharistic Lord should be a top priority among all other activities,” wrote our bishop in a recent Catholic Courier article. “Our love for Christ truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist and our profound union with Him in the reception of Holy Communion should rise above any obligation and increase our desire to be present at Holy Mass when there are no serious health concerns, which are determined by each person.”
With the Coronavirus restrictions in New York State lifted, our parish’s church buildings can now be filled to full capacity. People who have not been vaccinated are asked to continue to wear masks. The reception of Holy Communion will be under one form: the Sacred Host. The exchange of the sign of peace (which is always optional) is will be done without shaking hands and all holy water fonts are to remain empty.
Those who cannot attend Mass in person are encouraged to check out the diocese’s list of Masses that are available online. Additionally, the diocese provides a variety of virtual events for “prayer, worship, and faith sharing.” For updated and additional information, please visit the diocese’s web page related to the Covid-19 response.
“Now that the capacity in our churches has increased and advances have been made to address more effectively COVID-19 I once again encourage all who are physically able to return to the regular practice of attendance at Holy Mass,” wrote Bishop Matano.
We look forward to seeing you Mass at Holy Cross, St. Francis, and St. James!
Welcome to the web page for the parish of Mary, Mother of Mercy. This parish has three churches:
- Holy Cross in Ovid, New York;
- St. Francis Solanus in Interlaken, New York; and
- St. James the Apostle in Trumansburg, New York.
The title Mother of Mercy is thought to have been first given to Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Odo (d.942), Abbot of Cluny. It is a fitting title of Our Lady both because she brought forth for us Jesus, the Christ, the visible manifestation of the mercy of the invisible God, and because she is the spiritual mother of the faithful, full of grace and mercy. In recognizing Mary as a mother of mercy, it is easy to approach her in prayer with confidence and joy. Please join us in faith and in prayer at any of our three churches which are open each day for private devotions.
Pastor: Fr. Bernard Maloney, OFM Cap.
Pastoral year: Br. Francisco Serrano, OFM Cap.
The parish office is located at the Parish Center: 3660 Orchard St., Interlaken, New York.
To join the parish community or to celebrate the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, anointing of the sick, or marriage, please phone the parish office (607 294–0064) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
Father Bernard is available for confessions at St. Francis church in Interlaken every Friday from 6:30–7:30 p.m. (social distancing will be respected). You may also phone the parish office (607 294–0064) to make an appointment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation with a priest.
In residence at St. Fidelis Friary in Interlaken and part of our faith community:
- Fr. Richard Crawley, OFM Cap., chaplain at Cayuga Correctional Facility, Moravia, N.Y.; and
- Br. Antonine Lizama, OFM Cap.
Mass Intentions at St. James the Apostle in Trumansburg, Holy Cross in Ovid, and St. Francis Solanus in Interlaken for the week of November 27—December 5, 2021:
|Saturday, November 27||St. Francis, 4:00 p.m.||Parishioners and benefactors|
|Sunday, November 28||St. James, 9:00 a.m.
||Irene Antonini Baldini
from Kathleen Rourke
|Holy Cross, 10:30 a.m.||Parishioners and benefactors|
|Monday, November 29||St. Francis, 8:30 a.m.||No Mass–Communion service|
|Tuesday, November 30||St. Francis, 8:30 a.m.||No Mass–Communion service|
|Wednesday, December 1||St. Francis, 8:30 a.m.||No Mass–Communion service|
|Thursday, December 2||St. Francis, 8:30 a.m.||Special intention|
|Friday, December 3||St. Francis, 8:30 a.m.||Special intention|
|Saturday, December 4||St. Francis, 4:00 p.m.
||Parishioners and benefactors|
|Sunday, December 5||St. James, 9:00 a.m.||Raymond Ackley from
Linda and Mark Scibilia-Carver
|Holy Cross, 10:30 a.m.||Joseph Carroll
from the Carroll family
Those wishing to have someone remembered at a Mass on a particular day and time and place may phone the parish office (607-294-0064) expressing their request. You may also print out the Mass Intentions Request form, fill it out, and mail it to the parish office. All of the Mass intentions presently scheduled can be seen on the parish calendar.
A donation has been made to the parish churches for a sanctuary lamp to be lit for the following intention:
|St. James the Apostle||November 14–20||Priests and brothers at St. Fidelis Friary|
Prayer to Mary, Mother of Mercy
Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent! Receive our gratitude, and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins. Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven and enable them to make our peace with God.
Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the discouraged, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God. May all who venerate you feel now your help and protection. Be ready to help us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it your continual concern to pray for the people of God, for you were blessed by God and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.