Fourth Sunday of Lent ~ March 22, 2020

First reading:
“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” (1 Sm. 16:7b)

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. (Ps. 23)

Second reading:
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” (Eph. 5:14b)

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (Jn. 9:35)

Live the Liturgy—Inspiration for the Week:
Seeing is much more than just a function of our eyes. We can look at something with clear vision but not really see it. Often what we think we see is colored by our presuppositions, prejudices, assumptions, and needs. We judge things by appearance, but God looks into the heart. God’s sight has a much wider range and far greater depth. Receiving things or people just based on appearance can lead us to erroneous and hurtful judgments. We think we are seeing clearly, but we are not. Allowing God to restore our sight so that we can truly see is a worthy goal for our Lenten journey. Look within and look without. What do you see? Allow God to complete the picture for you. Ask Him to give you the insight to look into someone’s heart. Don’t draw hasty conclusions or presume you know the truth. Be open and humble enough so that you can receive the sight that only God can give.

Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:








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NOTE: All regularly scheduled public Masses and parish social and educational events are suspended until further notice.

  • Food Pantries:
    • Ovid Federated church: Mondays, 10:00 a.m. Food truck is every other Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. (March 31)
    • 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 (March 30)
  • Bishop’s Sunday Mass: 11:00 a.m. on March 22, live-stream from Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation:
    • 6:30 p.m., March 26, at Holy Cross Church
    • 4:00 p.m., March 27, at St. James the Apostle
    • 10:00 a.m. to noon, 2:00–4:00 p.m., and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on April 1 at St. Francis Solanus.

During the season of Lent, the Church urges all the faithful to reflect a spirit of prayer, penance (conversion), and charity.

Churches Open for Private Prayer:
Regarding accessibility of churches in this time of Coronavirus disease precautions: New York State officials, through the New York State Catholic Conference, report that, “churches can remain open for personal prayer but not congregant services.” Our parish churches will be open—St. James The Apostle and Holy Cross will be open during the day; St. Francis Solanus church is always open, night and day. Please visit the diocese’s web page related to the coronavirus response for updated information. “May Mary, our Mother, protect us.”

Virtual Mass in Difficult Times:
Since you can’t attend Mass in person these days, please note that the Pope is televising his morning Mass for people who cannot get to church. There are a number of churches in the diocese offering live-streaming Masses. Go here for the complete list. You are encouraged to join from home during a live-stream of Bishop Salvatore R. Matano celebrating Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 11 a.m. on March 22.

Catholic Relief Services Collection:
This weekend, March 21 and 22, our parish will take up the Catholic Relief Services Collection (CRSC) to “help Jesus in disguise.” This collection helps six Catholic agencies to provide struggling communities with relief and support and to work for peace and reconciliation among our marginalized brothers and sisters here and around the world. Please prayerfully consider how you can support the collection through our online giving page. You can learn more about it at

Online Donors:
The opportunity to donate to the Easter flower fund, the 2020 CRS Operation Rice Bowl, and Easter is now available for a limited time (until April 15) on the parish’s online giving page. Please visit that page through the giving tab on our website.

During the Season of Lent:

  • The faithful of the Diocese of Rochester are granted a dispensation from the law of abstinence from meat on the Fridays of Lent for this year in an effort to assist people who may have difficulties in shopping for food or other reasons which would make this practice difficult at this time. Fridays of Lent remain days of penance and prayer, which unite us ever closer to Jesus Christ.
  • The Word Among Us: A few copies of the “Word Among Us” Lenten booklets are still available in the foyers of each church. These booklets contain the daily Sacred Scripture readings for Mass during Lent and also a daily meditation section to guide you in your daily Lenten prayer time. Please be sure each family has a copy of the “Word Among Us” to enrich your Lenten experience.

Additional Times for Confessions:
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered only behind a screen (the face to face option will be suspended at this time):

  • Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Church
  • Friday, March 27 at 4:00 p.m. at St. James the Apostle.

The Diocesan Day of Penance and Mercy scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, has been cancelled. However, confessions will be heard on April 1 from 10:00 a.m. to noon, 2:00–4:00 p.m., and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at St. Francis Solanus.

Flu Season and the Coronavirus:
On March 12 Bishop Matano issued guidelines in response to information provided by local and state government and health officials regarding the Coronavirus (Covid-19). This week’s bulletin insert contains the directives from the Bishop. For updated information from the bishop visit the diocese’s “Response to Covid-19” webpage.

2019-2020 Catholic Ministries Appeal:
Thank you to everyone who has responded with a pledge to the Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA). As of March 13, one hundred and seven parish families pledged $22,821.00 which is 76.12% of the parish goal of $29,979. The CMA provides funding for important programs, services and ministries that strengthen our whole Church. What is primary is our parishioners’ participation. If you have not made a pledge, please do so as soon as possible. If we do not reach our given goal, the parish is billed to make up the difference.

Knights of Columbus Insurance:
The Knights of Columbus is seeking a field agent for a career opportunity representing their insurance program in the Western New York area. The Knights offer a complete benefits package with this full-time position. In order to qualify one must be eligible for membership in the Knights of Columbus. For more information, please contact, John Hoolick, general agent at 570-654-3390 or

Problem Gambling Awareness:
The month of March is “Problem Gambling Month.” Responsible gambling for entertainment purposes is very different than problem gambling, which often causes medical, financial, social, and emotional hardships. Help is available for those who are dealing with this addiction. Start taking action towards recovery by calling the United Way of Seneca County office at 315–539–1135.

Marriage Enrichment:
If you’re ready for more in your marriage consider attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next planned weekends will be on April 17–19 and Nov 20–22 of this year. Go to

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.

Employment Opportunity:
Could you use a little extra income? The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people to collect important information for the 2020 census in their own communities. These are temporary, part-time, or full-time positions with flexible hours. The hourly wages are $17 an hour for an enumerator/lister and $18.50 for a census field supervisor. Mileage is reimbursed at $0.58 per mile. No experience or educational requirement is necessary. If you are interested or have questions go to This is your chance to be a part of history!

Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes:
Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes, located at 551 Exchange St. in Geneva, is offering a “Forgiven and Set Free” post abortive ten-week session beginning October 4 until December 13. There is no cost involved. “If you regret your abortion, you are not alone. Let us help you learn to forgive yourself. Pleased join us for this healing ministry program.” For more information phone 315 789 0708.

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.

Toiletries and Hygiene Products:
There is a basket in the vestibule of St. James church for donations of toiletries. The request comes from Catholic Charities which is in need of items like shampoo, toothpaste, diapers etc. The items will be transferred to the Catholic Charities office in Ithaca.

Posted in Uncategorized
In re Diocese of Rochester Case No. 19-20905

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT, On September 12, 2019, the Diocese of Rochester ("Diocese") filed for protection under chapter 11 of title 11 of the United States Code (the "Bankruptcy Code"). The Bankruptcy Court has established August 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (prevailing Eastern time) as the deadline to file proofs of claim against the Diocese (the "Bar Date"). If you have a claim against the Diocese, including, without limitation, a claim related to sexual abuse committed by any person connected with the Diocese, you must file a claim on or before the Bar Date.

Please visit or call (855) 347-3773 for more information on how to file your proof of claim.

© 2020 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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