December 27, 2020 ~ Year of St. Joseph / The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

First Reading:
The Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.” (Gn. 15:5)

The Lord remembers his covenant for ever. (Ps. 105)

Second Reading:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. (Heb. 11:8)

The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. (Lk. 2:40)

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass ©2001, 1998, 1970 CCD. The English translation of Psalm Responses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

Live the Liturgy—Inspiration for the Week:
While families come in all shapes and sizes and no two are the same, they all need a common focus and grounding. Families are intended to be pivotal in providing us with a proper social structure and understanding, a support system, lessons about relationships and communication and the unconditional acceptance and love we so desperately crave. In additional to all of these things, the axis of every family has to be centered on faith. It is here that we can learn about the virtues and discover the windows to God Himself in His gifts of faith, hope, and love. We can learn, modeling our experience after the Holy Family, how to use these as anchors in our lives so that we can live out the other virtues with greater integrity. Because our human families struggle with weakness and sin, we have to come back to the Holy Family often for inspiration and guidance. In the bond of love that they shared, they clung to the anchor of God Himself and endured challenges far greater than many we will ever face.

Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:










  • 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 (January 4)
  • 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:

January 1st – Friday:
The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is January 1st – New Year’s Day. It is a holy day of obligation, however, this year due to the pandemic, the obligation to attend Mass is suspended. Nevertheless, we will have two Masses on January 1:

  • 9:00 a.m. at St. James the Apostle, and
  • 10:30 a.m. at Holy Cross.

2020 Food Pantry Volunteers Needed:
Every two months the churches of Trumansburg and Jacksonville take turns providing volunteers for the Trumansburg Food Pantry located in the Trumansburg United Methodist church. January and February are the months this year for Mary Mother of Mercy to provide volunteers. Please consider helping by signing up on the list provided in St. James the Apostle church foyer, which also has a chart providing more details about each task. We especially need younger people to help carry boxes and bags up and down stairs. The dates are January 4 and 18 and February 1 and 15. Don’t forget to leave your phone number if you would like a reminder call. Start out your new year by following Jesus’s example of caring for those in need. “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Mt. 25: 40). Thank you.

“Thank You”:
Nancy Canniff, Director of the South Seneca Ecumenical Food Pantry, wrote to the parish: “Thank you for your generous support throughout this year. You are a blessing to us, and the community.

Offertory Collection:
During this time of the pandemic, offertory collections cannot be taken up. When parishioners attend Mass, please place your offertory in the new collection stand at the entrances of the church. The new stand replaces the baskets at the entrances and offers security to your offering.

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 17, ninety (90) parish households 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 parishioners have contributed $18,396 which represents 61.36% 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.

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

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.

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.”

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

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.

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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