March 14, 2021 ~ Fourth Sunday of Lent / Year of St. Joseph

First Reading:
Their enemies burnt the house of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, set all its palaces afire, and destroyed all its precious objects. (2 Chr. 36:19)

Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you! (Ps. 137)

Second Reading:
For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. (Eph. 2:10)

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (Jn. 3:16)

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:
God’s messengers always seem to get mocked. They speak a truth that some folks do not want to hear. While on the one hand we admire them, we also are quite happy keeping them at a distance. After all, they are not referring to me but someone else, aren’t they? We often wrongly conclude that because we may be more avant-garde, contemporary, politically sensitive, and untraditional, we are somehow more in the light than others. People tend to prefer darkness more than light, even the most spiritually sensitive among us. The light always carries with it the richness of God’s mercy and compassion which see beyond ideologies and concepts to relationships that cultivate life, earthly and eternal. Every hand of compassion and mercy extended to a human being must always point back to God. The call always involves ordering our lives in accord with our truth and essence of being. As God never forgets us, we must never forget God. Now is the time to take stock of our infidelity and return to the light, even though it is difficult to look at.

Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:










  • Food Pantries:
    • Ovid Federated church: Mondays, 10:00 a.m.
    • Food truck: Every other Tuesday (March 16), 4:00 p.m., South Seneca high school parking lot
    • Interlaken Reformed church: Fridays, 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.,
    • Trumansburg Food Pantry: Every other Monday (March 15) 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 5:15–6:00 p.m., Methodist church
  • 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: Fridays, 6:30–7:30 p.m., St. Francis Solanus
  • Parish of Mary, Mother of Mercy’s Sunday Mass can be viewed at our parish website:
  • Parent meeting for 2021 First Holy Communion: March 21, 10:00 a.m., St. James

2020/2021 Catholic Ministries Appeal:
The theme of the 2020-2021 CMA is Christ, Our Light. It is only through the Light of Our Savior that we are able to navigate through these unprecedented times. Gifts to the CMA are critical to the care and education of our seminarians, deacon candidates and pastoral leaders, religious education in our parishes and schools, and services provided by the Diocese in support of parish life and ministry. Our given Appeal parish goal is $29,979. As of March 4, 103 parish households have pledged $23,511. We need $6,468 to reach our goal. Participation in the Appeal is primary, what is pledged is secondary. Please do what you are able. To make your gift please use the CMA pledge envelopes located in the foyers of the church or go online to Thank you for considering this request.

Catholic Relief Services Collection:
This weekend, March 13 & 14, is the annual Catholic Relief Services Collection. 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. You can learn more about it at

March 19:
The feast day of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is this Friday. It is a special day this year because this year has been dedicated to St. Joseph – the Year of St. Joseph, December 8, 2020 – December 8, 2021. It is also special day this year because the Apostolic Penitentiary grants a plenary indulgence to the faithful who will recite any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph especially on March 19. On Friday, at the conclusion of the 8:30 a.m. Mass, the Litany to St. Joseph will be prayed for the persecuted Church, and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution. The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions of sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.

Easter Flower Collection:
The annual Easter Flower Collection was scheduled for February 28 and an announcement regarding the collection was inadvertently omitted from the Sunday bulletin. Together with that, collections cannot be taken up in churches during this time of the pandemic. In the usual ways of making offerings to the parish during these times, please consider making an Easter Flower offering. The parish has always depended on this financial help. Thank you. 

Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga:
During Lent we reflect on Jesus’ arrest, passion and death. Let’s also remember how he remains in prison to this day in the “least of his brothers and sisters” and advocate for those who are put through the psychological trauma, even torture, of solitary confinement. You can help end the abuses of solitary confinement in our state by advocating for the HALT Solitary bill which would limit its use to 15 days maximum and ban its use with pregnant people and new mothers caring for a child while in prison, and with people 21 years or younger, 55 or older, or who have a physical, mental, or medical disability.

A Family Lenten Practice:
A great help to parents and families is “The Family Zone” newsletter. It offers a listing of activities and opportunities for further learning one’s faith. The newsletter can easily be shared to encourage the promotion of parents as primary catechist. The newsletter is easy to follow, offers several topics in various formats, it is fun and most of all it is educational. The newsletter is for all in the family, young and elderly. Try it out.

The Word Among Us:
The season of Lent begins on February 17. Booklets containing daily meditations and daily Mass Sacred Scripture readings for February 17–April 4, 2021 are available in the foyers of the church. Please take one for yourself and your family and please bring a booklet to one who is homebound. A free will offering may be offered for the booklet.

Rice Bowls:
The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowls are available in the foyers of the church. During the season of Lent the bowls are provided for households to keep in mind the poor throughout the world and to make a sacrificial financial offering for the support of the needy of the world. For stories of hope and other CRS Rice Bowl videos go to

Problem Gambling Awareness Month 2021:
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 2 million U.S. adults (1%) are estimated to meet criteria for severe gambling problems in a given year. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered to have mild or moderate gambling problems. It’s been estimated that 8-10 additional people can be negatively affected by one person’s gambling behaviors (Petry 2005). These people include family members, friends, neighbors and even coworkers. If we account for individuals experiencing gambling problems and others who are affected, the estimate of those affected by problem gambling is between 64 and 80 million people. If you or someone you love is struggling, please visit to connect with resources in your community.

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

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.

Lenten Reminders:

  • The season of Lent runs from Ash Wednesday (February 17) until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (April 1)
  • “Alleluia” is not sung or said from the beginning of Lent until the Easter Vigil.
  • During Lent the altar is not to be decorated with flowers.
  • Musical instruments may be played only to give necessary support to the singing.
  • The readings for the Lenten Masses have been chosen in relation to the themes of baptismal renewal and conversion.
  • The Easter celebration is: Holy Thursday, Good Friday & Holy Saturday – the Easter Triduum (Three Days of Easter).

Season of Lent—Fridays:
Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence, i.e. meatless days. Abstinence prohibits individuals from eating meat on a particular day. Abstinence obliges all those who have reached the age of 14 and continues to oblige throughout ones entire life. 

40 Days For Life—A Lenten Opportunity:
Through Palm Sunday, March 28, there will be fasting, prayer and peaceful public witness across the street from Planned Parenthood, 620 W. Seneca Street, Ithaca. Your public presence offers a sign of hope and a resource of life-affirming options to women facing a crisis pregnancy. Visit for more information.

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 Sisters Anne Marie Burns and Dolores Bachman will be praying for our parish and parishioners throughout 2021. Let us keep in our prayers the two sisters praying for us and for all the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester.

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.

Diocese of Rochester Request:
Victims of sexual abuse should always report to the civil authorities. To receive help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator: Deborah Housel, 585–328–3228, ext. 1555. Toll-free 1–800–388–7177 ext. 1555 or by email to

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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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