December 20, 2020 ~ Fourth Sunday of Advent

First Reading:
“When your times comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom firm.” (2 Sm. 12)

For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. (Ps. 89)

Second Reading:
According to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God. (Rom. 16:25b-26a)

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.” (Lk. 1:31-32a) 

Live the Liturgy—Inspiration for the Week:
Does the world realize that it is waiting? As we go about all of the busyness of our lives and entertain our distractions, there are many holes and gaps in our lives that need to be filled. We are always wanting more, but not really sure what that “more” needs to be. Fulfillment, happiness, contentment, and true satisfactions are fleeting occurrences and often come to us in illusive ways. What we think is the ultimate fix to our anxious emptiness really is only a fancy trend that we entertain. The world does not realize any more today than it did over two thousand years ago that it is waiting for a Savior. We need a Savior. We need to see and embrace the God who has broken into history and become one with us. It is this union of God and man that sets us on a straight path, orders our relationships, establishes proper focus and goals, and tells us whose kingdom we really are meant to serve. The world does not know how truly lost it is. Do you realize how lost you are and that the One you need most is here among us and within your grasp?


Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:







© Liturgical Publications Inc.


  • Food Pantries:
    • Ovid Federated church: Mondays, 10:00 a.m. Food truck resumes in January at 4:00 p.m. in the parking lot at South Seneca high school.
    • Interlaken Reformed church: 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., Fridays
    • Trumansburg Food Pantry: Methodist church 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 5:15–6:00 p.m., every other Monday (December 21)
  • Family Hope Center: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00–4:00 p.m., Holy Cross
  • AA Meetings:
    • Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m., St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken
    • Thursdays, Noon, St. James the Apostle, Trumansburg
  • Bernard is Available: 6:30–7:30 p.m., Fridays, St. Francis Solanus
  • Parish of Mary, Mother of Mercy’s Sunday Mass: Can be viewed at our parish website:

Christmas Mass Schedule:
Due to Covid-19 and the restrictions of attendees in church buildings, pre-registration to attend Christmas Masses will be required. Mass attendance at St. James is limited to 54, at St. Francis to 35, and Holy Cross to 80. Please phone the parish office (607–294–0064) or email ( to make your reservation together with the number of persons attending with you. All are to sanitize their hands on entering the church and wear masks. According to the directives there will be no singing.

Christmas Eve Masses, Thursday, December 24:

4:00 p.m. St. James the Apostle
(this Mass is now full with no more seats available)

5:00 p.m. St. Francis Solanus

7:00 p.m. St. James the Apostle

8:00 p.m. Holy Cross

Christmas Day Masses, Friday, December 25:

9:00 a.m. St. James the Apostle

10:30 a.m. Holy Cross

No Morning Mass on December 24:
There will be no 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Francis Solanus Church on Thursday, December 24. Please confer the Christmas Mass Schedule for the times of Masses on December 24.

Boxed Offertory Envelopes:
Boxed offertory envelopes for 2021 are available in the foyers of the churches for parishioners who are presently using them. Parishioners wishing to have boxed offertory envelopes, please notify the Parish Office and a box of envelopes will be made available for pick-up.

Parish 2021 Calendars:
In the foyers of our churches the Parish 2021 Calendars are available. Simply, please, take one calendar per household. Thank you.

Card Ministry at Mary, Mother of Mercy:
The Card Ministry program sends cards and notes to the homebound and those in extended care facilities from our parish. Each month a different volunteer sends out a message of our care and hope for the recipients of the cards. Currently we are seeking additional volunteers to keep the mailings to once a month. If you are interested in participating in this ministry please contact Marilynn Frank at Thank you!

2020/2021 Catholic Ministries Appeal:
As of December 10, 85 parish families have contributed to the CMA. We thank those who have given generously and ask all who have not yet given to prayerfully consider doing so. The CMA helps our Church and our parish in so many ways. Please consider all the ways that God has blessed you and your family and think how the Church has brought goodness into your lives. Join our appeal and give back what you can so that we remain strong and able to do God’s great work. Our parishioner households have contributed $17,971 which represents 59.95% of our given goal of $29,979.

Year of St. Joseph:
On December 8, 2020, His Holiness, Pope Francis, declared a Year of St. Joseph, until December 8, 2021. This announcement comes on the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s December 8, 1870 proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. Pope Francis made this declaration to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal. During this period, the faithful will have the opportunity to obtain, with the help of St. Joseph, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that besiege the contemporary world today.

Call to Stop Executions:
In the wake of more federal executions scheduled in coming weeks, two bishop chairmen have issued a statement calling on the Federal Administration to act as a witness to the dignity of all human life. Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, have called on the Administration, yet again, to stop executions which amounted to ten in 2020, more than double the previous record of four in 1938. “The death penalty is not necessary to protect society. It (the death penalty) is not necessary to hold people accountable for grave crimes. The decision not to execute someone, even someone who has done something terrible, is not ‘soft on crime’; rather, it is strong on the dignity of life.” “We are all sinners. Some have done terrible things. Victims need help. Justice is needed for peace. But executions solve nothing.”

Enrollment Info at Notre Dame High School:
Notre Dame High School, Grades 7–12, is holding virtual admissions and enrollment sessions on Thursday evenings via ZOOM from 7–8 p.m. now and through early 2021. Interested students and their families can join the link by visiting the Notre Dame website: ND offers busing from the Ithaca area to Notre Dame. For more information, please contact Brett Moore at 607–734–2267.

Respect Life:
All are welcome to come and pray every Friday morning from 8:30–11 a.m. at Planned Parenthood, 620 W. Seneca St., Ithaca, and to be available to offer life-affirming options to women considering abortions. For more information contact Carolann Darling at 607–351–6668.

United Way of Seneca County:
The United Way has 24 hour/7 day a week services that are available to people struggling with addictions. New York State offers support 24/7 via phone or text at 1–877–846–7369. Additionally, when you need help but don’t know where to turn, you can always call 2–1–1 to reach the Life Line. Also, the Seneca County Community Counseling Center is there to help (315–539–1985) whether it be with problem gambling or substance use concerns.

Support Your Local Economy:
An encouragement has been offered by the Labor Religion Coalition in Tompkins County to support the local economy. To keep more people employed in our area and to ensure that local governments can fund social services for youth, elders, and low income people through sales taxes, please help local economies thrive.

The Bishop’s Reminder:
Due to the prevalence of the Coronavirus, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is suspended until further notice. Those who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 and those concerned for their health are urged not to come to church for Mass. Those who feel in any way sick should not enter any parish building or church.

Donating to Your Parish:
Online giving by WeShare is safe, simple and convenient. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Visit the parish website’s giving page:
  2. Follow the directions under the “Donate Online” section.
  3. Set up your donation or payment.

That’s it! Your account will be created and you can put away your checkbook. If you experience any problems, please email Eileen at

Snow Days:
A reminder that during the week, if a “snow day” has been declared for local schools, there will be no 8:30 a.m. morning Mass.

Churches Will Be Closed on Weekdays:
Due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases, our parish churches of Holy Cross, Ovid and St. James the Apostle, Trumansburg will be open only for the weekend Masses. St. Francis Solanus Church, Interlaken, the Church and Parish Office, will remain open.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program:
This program is designed to provide up to three months of rent relief to eligible households who have experienced a loss of income related to the public health crisis. To learn more or apply, visit or phone 607–277–4500. Assistance is available to renters in four counties including Seneca, Schuyler, Tioga, and Tompkins.

Please take time this week to pray the rosary for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prayer Intentions:
Since we presently cannot have the prayer request books in our churches, do know that the prayer requests of fellow parishioners are still being listed on the parish website (see PRAYERS in top bar). If you would like to add a request, please email the parish at or phone the parish office at 607–294–0064 and it will be added to the list.

Prayers from the Sisters of St. Joseph:
The Sisters of St. Joseph have a prayer ministry for the Diocese of Rochester. They have informed our parish that Sr. Anne Marie Burns will be praying for the parish of Mary, Mother of Mercy, during 2020. In gratitude, let us pray for Sr. Anne Burns and all the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes:
The Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes is located at 551 Exchange St. in Geneva with an office in Ovid at 7231 Main St. “If you regret your abortion, you are not alone. Let us help you learn to forgive yourself.” For more information phone 315 789 0708, text: 315-945-1019, or e-mail

Cancer Services Program (CSP):
Cortland and Tompkins Counties offer free cancer screenings to those who are uninsured or have health insurance that does not cover these screenings. The screening services are provided in local health centers, doctors’ offices, and hospitals. For more information, contact CSP at 866 442 2262.

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© 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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