Welcome to the parish of Mary, Mother of Mercy!

“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:

September 10, 2021

Dear Parish households,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This weekend’s gospel (Mk. 8:27-35) reminds us of the apostles’ and disciples’ joy when they came to the realization that Jesus was the “Christ”. In calling Jesus, the “Christ”, they were recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, Liberator, Deliverer. So, their delight was, here is the one who is setting humanity free from all that is bad and evil even victory over death. Knowing Jesus is the “Christ” created in the apostles and disciples an even greater attraction and attachment to Jesus. Their desire was to spend more time in his company and learn from him. They rejoiced in the enlightenment they received from him. The enlightenment created in them a desire to follow Jesus and imitate his behavior. What they learned changed their way of thinking and acting. They experienced his joy in the victory of freedom over the enslavement of evil.

This Sunday’s gospel invites us, like the apostles and disciples, to rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus is the “Christ”. With that knowledge we are all the more attracted to Jesus and the accompanying desire to spend time rejoicing in the enlightenment his teachings and example gives. He is a “special person” a “unique person”. He is the “Christ”.

With love for you all,

Fr. Bernard


  • Brother Francisco Serrano, OFM Cap., who this past Spring received a master’s degree in divinity, began on September 1, 2021 a pastoral year at our Parish. In joy we welcome Br. Francisco and hope and pray that the year will be most beneficial for him.
  • This weekend we welcome Rev. Antony Muthu who will be speaking at all the Masses on behalf of the Society of the Propagation of Faith regarding the missionary activities and challenges of the Diocese of Kumbakonam, India. A second collection will be for the missionary endeavors of that diocese.
  • Our parish has chosen the second Sunday of September to celebrate our feast day, Mary, Mother of Mercy. Formerly on that day we gather to celebrate it with a parish picnic. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic last year and this year, we are advised not to have large gatherings of people.
  • Please share this letter with other members of your home. Thank you.
  • This weekend’s bulletin is available here.

Gospel Meditation—Encourage Deeper Understanding of Scripture

September 12, 2021 ~ Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We need to get our bearings straight and properly lay life’s cornerstone. Otherwise, the rest of our journey will be skewed, and our judgment clouded. We can recall Jesus’ famous rebuke of Peter, “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Even he, as one of Jesus’ closest friends struggles with understanding things and grasping the big picture. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) a renowned and learned French Jesuit priest often has these words attributed to him: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Whether they were actually from his lips, they certainly mimic his thought. These wise words orient us and capture the essence of who we really are.

Many people consider spirituality an option. It is no wonder that they come to this conclusion when they predominantly define themselves using human terms and concepts. Immersed in this world view, they struggle finding any semblance of God because God does not work according to human expectations! This is especially true when suffering and death enter life’s picture. If we are only human beings having a spiritual experience, then we wrongly expect our spirituality to serve us as we desire. The human expectation is that my spiritual life is something that is useful in avoiding pain, hardship, and death, not something that gives the courage to live through it!

So, when we protest and get upset with God because our journey is becoming difficult, painful, treacherous, disappointing, and even pointing us toward death, Jesus rebukes us as he did Peter and gently reminds us how to see. It is God who inspires and opens hearts to see truth and beauty. In God, the true meaning of things is understood, and we receive a depth of insight and understanding that is not found following purely human paths. It is not our task to understand God, as God is beyond human understanding. Ours is the joyful privilege of simply resting in God’s presence simply because God is God and we are who we are. As spiritual beings having an exciting and adventurous human experience, it is in our DNA to do so. Through prayer we can let go and let be. This is how we lose our lives but then save them.

Family Faith Formation Begins:

Registration for our parish Family Faith Formation program is now open. The program will begin on September 19, 2021, and is open to all families with children in grades K-7. To learn more or register, please check out the form available here.

For Families

The Diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, continues to discover and develop new ways to reach out to families in these unprecedented times. The latest issue of their newsletter, Family Zone, is now available. The Family Zone is designed to help you prepare for full and active participation in the liturgy as well as formation within your families.

“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Who is Jesus to you? Next week, the Gospel will lead us to ponder the question “Who Do You Say That I Am?” in reference to Jesus Christ. The disciples were asked the question and reflected on what their community was saying about Jesus. Jesus shared that instead of living the life of a king, he would experience great suffering and he and his disciples led a very simple life. This theme extends into the following week as we ponder the idea of “greatness.” We are reminded that greatness might be very different than what our society labels as such. Often we are led to believe that we can judge our success by how many things we have acquired: a nice car, a beautiful home, many “toys.” Society teaches us about accumulation. However, it is often shared that those that have a lot, more than most, are still challenged to find happiness. It’s interesting to reflect on this as we observe Labor Day, a holiday created to honor those who toil for long days and little wages. How can your family engage the Christian practice of simplicity? How can you focus less on “stuff” and more on relationship with one another, with neighbor and with Jesus? How might that draw your whole family closer to Christ?

Journeying with St. Joseph:
Pope Francis remarked that Joseph’s “humility and simplicity” help show us the way of life. The humble life that Mary and Joseph led as the parents of Jesus are a wonderful symbol to mothers and fathers of the beauty that can be found in our simple daily life, often filled with hard work and mundane tasks. What are the simple tasks of your family life that feel holy in the way you carry them out day after day?

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.

Our Church’s Responses to COVID-19

You are all invited to come home to Mass!

New York State has lifted Coronavirus restrictions and so church buildings in our parish will no longer be divided into “Distancing and No Distancing Sections” and the churches can now be filled to full capacity. People who have not been vaccinated, however, are asked to continue to wear masks. There will be a return to having altar servers, lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and offertory collections. There will be a return to singing. Churches will not have to be sanitized after services. What will be maintained is the reception of Holy Communion 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.

“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.” 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!

Our Parish

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: immmercy@dor.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 September 11–September 19, 2021:
Saturday, September 11 St. Francis, 4:00 p.m. Parishioners and benefactors
Sunday, September 12 St. James, 9:00 a.m.
Thomas Duffy
from Rick and Barb Willers
Holy Cross, 10:30 a.m.
John Bligh
from Connie and Ed Conroy
Monday, September 13 St. Francis, 8:30 a.m. Special intention
Tuesday, September 14 St. Francis, 8:30 a.m. Special intention
Wednesday, September 15 St. Francis, 8:30 a.m. Special intention
Thursday, September 16 St. Francis, 8:30 a.m. Special intention
Friday, September 17 St. Francis, 8:30 a.m. Special intention
Saturday, September 18 St. Francis, 4:00 p.m.
Parishioners and benefactors
Sunday, September 10 St. James, 9:00 a.m. Teresa Jones
from Roy and Doreen Doty
Holy Cross, 10:30 a.m.
Henry Bromka
from the Bromka 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.

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.

Mass Times:

Daily Mass is available, Monday through Friday, at 8:30 a.m. in St. Francis Solanus church, Interlaken, N.Y.

Weekend schedule of Masses in the parish:

4:00 p.m. at St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken

9:00 a.m. at St. James the Apostle, Trumansburg

10:30 a.m. at Holy Cross, Ovid

(If you are unable to attend in person due to health reasons, please see this list of ways to participate in Sunday Mass online.)

Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession:

Fridays, 6:30–7:30 p.m., at St. Francis Solanus church in Interlaken or by appointment with a priest.

Private Prayer:

• St. Francis Solanus Church in Interlaken is open at all times.
• St. James the Apostle Church in Trumansburg is open most days from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

© 2021 The Parish of Mary Mother of Mercy
3660 Orchard St., P.O. Box 403, Interlaken, NY 14847

St. James the Apostle, 17 Whig St, Trumansburg, NY
Holy Cross, 7231 Main Street, Ovid, N.Y.
St. Francis Solanus, 3660 Orchard St., Interlaken, N.Y.
Diocese of Rochester

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