The Parish of Mary, Mother of Mercy

In October of 2015 the Bishop of Rochester came to the conclusion that “one faith community better serves our mission as disciples of Jesus Christ” in the area between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes in New York State. Bishop Matano explained his reasoning for merging the parishes of St. James the Apostle in Trumansburg, St. Francis Solanus in Interlaken, and Holy Cross in Ovid in a letter dated October 1, 2015. A planning committee was formed with members representing each of the three parishes. Karen Rinefierd was tasked by the bishop with guiding the committee through the difficult merge process. Members of the planning committee were as follows:

  • Lee Anne Fox, Gerry Frank, Kathy Sinkiewicz (Holy Cross);
  • Stephanie Houck, Karl Messmer, Jennifer Sharp, Bob Duthie (St. Francis Solanus);
  • Scott Hamula, Kathleen Rourke, Barbara Willers (St. James);
  • Fr. Bernard Maloney, OFM Cap.;
  • Fr. Brendan Buckley, OFM Cap.;
  • Karen Rinefierd (diocesan representative); and
  • David Zellinger (regional finance director).

Minutes of the planning committee’s meetings are available here.

While initially asked to consider closing one of the churches, leaving it only available for weddings or funerals, the committee convinced the bishop that, if a church needed to be maintained for such events it might as well be used for Sunday Masses. In February 2016 Bishop Mattano affirmed his support of a Mass schedule that includes at least one weekend Masses at each of the three churches. He conveyed his gratitude to Fr. Bernard and the planning team for all the work being done to create a unified faith community and ensure a vibrant Catholic presence between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.

In April 2016, the planning committee came to a difficult decision regarding a new Mass schedule for the three churches. Beginning June 4 and 5 of that year the new schedule was:

  • Saturday 5:00 p.m. at St. James the Apostle, Trumansburg
  • Sunday 8:15 a.m. at St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken
  • Sunday 9:30 a.m. at Holy Cross, Ovid
  • Sunday 11:00 a.m. at St. James the Apostle, Trumansburg

This new Mass schedule required sacrifices and adjustments from parishioners across the three parishes—families with children and teens getting up earlier on Sunday mornings; regular Saturday night Mass goers changing to a Sunday morning Mass; and early Sunday morning Mass goers choosing either to go on Saturday, later on Sunday, or possibly attending a different church in the same parish. The community adjusted their weekend routines so that celebration of the Eucharist with the community continued to be a priority in their lives.

In May the Bishop issued a decree stating that, effective on the first day of July, 2016, the parishes of St. Francis Solanus Catholic Church in Interlaken, the Church of the Holy Cross in Ovid, and St. James the Apostle Church in Trumansburg shall be “amalgamated one to another and so be constituted as a single parish.”

It was decided that the new parish needed a new name. The parish council members of the three parishes chose five from the many suggestions presented by parishioners. In order of preference they were: Divine Mercy; St. Pio of Pietrecina; Mary, Mother of Mercy; Christ Our Light; and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. These proposed names were presented to Bishop Matano who, in a letter dated June 6, decreed that the name for the parish would be Mary, Mother of Mercy. In the letter Bishop Matano stated: “This title seems to embrace all the themes and virtues contained in the other proposed titles and the exiting titles of the Churches.”

The work of the planning committee concluded with the committee’s final meeting being held on June 22, 2016, at St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken. A new pastoral council met that month to begin work with Fr. Bernard to set pastoral priorities and establish good communication with parishioners. Plans were begun to create events to bring people of the new parish together, to ensure that people are warmly welcomed at Masses, and to continue the traditions of the three churches.

Beginning July 1, 2016, the three churches, who maintain their individual building names, were united under the one parish name of Mary, Mother of Mercy. The corporate merge of the three parishes took effect in January of 2017 and a shared finance council soon began meeting. A new parish office was created in the annex to St. Francis Solanus in Interlaken as that is a central location for the parishioners. A unified faith community and a vibrant Catholic presence continues to thrive between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.

Available on this web page are links to the following:


~As of February 2017

Mass Times:

Weekday Liturgies:
Communion service at 9:00 a.m. at St. James the Apostle church.

Tuesday through Friday:
Mass at 8:30 a.m. at St. Francis Solanus church (Recitation of the Rosary begins at 8:00 a.m.)

NOTE: Weekday liturgies may be cancelled due to funerals or bad weather.

Weekend Masses:
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 Mass in person due to health reasons, please see this list of ways to participate in Sunday Mass online.

Mass intentions: Those wishing to have someone remembered at a parish Mass may fill out a Mass Intentions Request form which is automatically submitted to the church office.

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.

© 2024 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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