March 21, 2021 ~ Fifth Sunday of Lent / Year of St. Joseph

First Reading:
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more. (Jer. 31:34)

Create a clean heart in me, O God. (Ps. 51)

Second Reading:
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; (Heb. 5:8)

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. (Jn. 20:24)

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:
How do we convince people that God’s law is written upon their hearts? God is wedded to God’s people. This is a simple and fundamental fact of life. Yet, many ignore this truth and carry on as if they, or humanity as a whole, are the center of the universe. As a grain of wheat has to fall to the ground and die in order to become what it really is, we too must die to our secular images and ideas of ourselves so that we can become who God really made us to be. If all of us kept our focus on God’s deep bonded love with human beings, indeed with our very self, then there would be no need to teach others this fundamental life lesson. They would simply know this truth, as Jeremiah tells us. Somehow, perhaps through original and personal sin, we have lost sight of this reality. We have lost our way and our axis. It is time to find our way back, to learn the virtue of obedience, to pay attention to what God is saying and become aware of the Divine Love that is the reason for all creation. Then, even in our darkest hour when all may seem to be lost, we can say as did Jesus, the model of obedience, “Father, glorify your name,” By this perseverance, people can come to know the Lord and what God has done.

Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:




© Liturgical Publications Inc.


  • Food Pantries:
    • Ovid Federated church: Mondays, 10:00 a.m.
    • Food truck: Every other Tuesday (March 30), 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 29) 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
  • Fr. 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 11, 107 parish households have pledged $27,236. We need $2,743 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.

Mass Intention Requests:
Parishioners requesting a Mass intention for a particular date and time can do so by completing the “Mass Intentions Request Form” located in the foyers of the churches. Mass intentions may also be requested by phoning the parish office.

Year of St. Joseph:
Pope Francis initiated the Year of St. Joseph in recognition of the 150th Anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as patron of the Catholic Church. This year is dedicated to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal.

Palm Sunday – Next Sunday :
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the church has issued directives on the distribution of the palms. The palms will be blessed privately before the Masses. The Mass will be celebrated as usual. The palms can be picked up when leaving the church.

Holy Week Schedule:
Due to COVID-19 directives regarding the number of people allowed in a place for the gathering of people, the Holy Thursday and Good Friday parish liturgies will be held at Holy Cross Church, Ovid. Holy Cross church, because of its size, will be able to accommodate parishioners attending the liturgies. The Holy Thursday Liturgy will be at 7:00 p.m. and the Good Friday Liturgy will be at 3:00 p.m. Because of COVID-19, the Liturgies have been modified.

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil:
Please keep in mind there cannot be early evening Masses on Holy Saturday. Therefore, there will be no 4:00 nor 5:00 p.m. Masses. The Eater Vigil will be celebrated at St. James the Apostle Church, Trumansburg at 8:00 p.m.

Easter Sunday Mass Schedule:

  • 7:30 a.m. St. James the Apostle
  • 9:00 a.m. St. James the Apostle
  • 10:30 a.m. Holy Cross

Holy Week & the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
The extra times for the celebration of the forgiveness of sins will be from 7:00–8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 29, at St. James the Apostle Church and Tuesday, March 30, at Holy Cross Church.

Booklet – The Word Among Us:
This booklet contains the Sacred Scripture readings for the Holy Week Liturgies. A suggestion, bring the booklet to Church with you to follow the Liturgy and allow you to participate in the Gospel readings. Word Among Us booklets are still available in the foyers of the churches.

Now Available on Parish Online Giving:
Parishioners can now donate online to Easter Flowers, Catholic Ministries Appeal and Rice Bowl. Please refer to our Sunday Bulletin announcement “Donating to Your Parish” for directions. Thank you.

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.

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

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.

ExultRochester :
The Exult Rochester Catholic Men’s Conference planning committee is organizing for the next Men’s Conference. They need men for leadership positions. Please join them via Zoom on March 22 at 6:30 p.m. Email the ExultRochester executive committee at if you have any questions. This is an excellent opportunity to acquire leadership skills and bond with men from all over the diocese. Strengthening and encouraging men in our faith is greatly needed. Your help is critical!
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 862 1957 8226
Passcode: 834992 

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.

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

Posted in Uncategorized
© 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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