May 2, 2021 ~ Fifth Sunday of Easter / Year of St. Joseph

First Reading:
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. (Acts 9:26) 

I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people. (Ps. 22)

Second Reading:
And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. (1 Jn. 3:23)

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:5)

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:
Anyone familiar with gardening knows that proper and timely pruning is essential. The health of the plant depends upon it. An unpruned tree can quickly produce suckers that zap many of the essential nutrients from its body. Pruning requires patience and vision. Studies reveal that plants often respond defensively to being pruned, displaying reactions that are similar to hurt or discomfort. Pruning is not easy but necessary. A hard lesson for us to learn is that we also need to be pruned. We become far healthier when we allow God to stretch, refine, and form us into the best version of ourselves. The fruit that then comes from our vines will be more abundant, nutritious, and robust. Left to our own devices we can easily find ourselves running amuck and spiraling out of control. Without a proper vision and trust in the Master Pruner, we will never find the contentment we desperately desire. Nor will the work of the Gospel stand a chance of succeeding.

Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:








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  • Food Pantries:
    • Ovid Federated church: Mondays, 10:00 a.m.
    • Food truck: Every other Tuesday (May 11), 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 (May 10) 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
      (Site temporarily changed)
    • 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:
  • Catholic Home Missions Appeal Offering: April 24 and 25
  • First Holy Communion: May 2, 9:00 a.m., St. James
  • Easter Sacraments presentations: 7 p.m., St. Francis Solanus
    May 4: Confirmation
    May 11: Eucharist

• St. Francis Solanus Church, Interlaken is open at all times.
• St. James the Apostle Church, Trumansburg is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

2020/2021 Catholic Ministries Appeal:
Bishop Salvatore R. Matano wrote a letter, dated April 12, to the parish expressing his sincere gratitude for exceeding our parish CMA goal of $29,979. He stated that this year’s theme was Christ, Our Light, beckoning us to look to the Light of Our Savior to navigate us through these challenging times especially in this time of great uncertainty during the tragic pandemic affecting so many aspects of our daily life.
As of April 22 one hundred and twenty parish households have pledged $32,604 to the CMA. The bishop referred to this as a living testament to our faith in our mission and good works. He added, “I am so very thankful for and deeply encouraged by the parish’s commitment and dedication. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless your parish family.”

First Communions:
Two parishioners will celebrate their first communion this Sunday, May 2, at the 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. James the Apostle Church. They are Grace Guydosh and Porter Landon.

The Easter Sacraments:
Fr. Bernard will give a presentation on the Sacrament of Confirmation (May 4) and Eucharist (May 11) at the Parish Center, Interlaken, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

“Lord, when did we see You… in prison?” Matthew 25:39:
There are many ways in which a parish may get involved in prison or jail ministry. They can be as simple as sending cards on Christmas to organizing bible studies and focus groups to address certain issues. The first thing a parish would want to do is see if there are members of the congregation interested in the topic of ministry to the incarcerated. Many times, there are members who know someone who spent time in prison or who have been incarcerated themselves. These people are valuable resources to offer firsthand experiences in visiting inmates or living among them. They typically have a heartfelt desire to bring the mercy of God and the hope of Jesus to those in hopeless situations which landed them behind bars.

Diocesan Social Ministry Conference:
Join Catholics from around the diocese on Thursday, May 6, for the annual Diocesan Social Ministry Conference on Zoom. The conference will include a reflection on Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti – On Fraternity and Social Friendship. Additionally, you will connect with other social ministry volunteers and Catholic organizations to strengthen parish ministries; join in interactive workshops on issues of Catholic Social Teaching like: Racism-Life Issues, Dignity of Work, and Creation Care; and learn how to make your Zoom meeting more fun and energizing. To register, go to:

Notre Dame Retreat House:
“Desert Days” are special days for individuals seeking a one-day retreat alone with God. We will give you the time, space and materials . . . all you need to do is come with a willing heart and an open mind. The three dates for Spring are: May 5, May 19, and June 2. The day begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 3:00 p.m. During your time with us, our priests will be available for confession and/or conversation and will offer Mass at the closing of our day. The cost is $25.00 and includes lunch! To register, please contact us at 585–394–5700 or

Notre Dame High School Open House:
Notre Dame High School, Grades 7–12 is hosting a Spring Open House on Wednesday, May 19, at 6 p.m. The evening will begin with a brief presentation in the Auditorium at the school at 6:00 p.m. with campus tours to follow. Notre Dame is a college preparatory school. Additionally, Notre Dame offers a competitive athletic program along with many opportunities to participate in the performing, visual, and language arts. Notre Dame High School is located at 1400 Maple Avenue, Elmira. There is a transportation option available for students residing in Ithaca and the surrounding area. Notre Dame is currently accepting applications for new students for the 2021-22 school year. Please RSVP for the Spring Open House by visiting or calling 607–734–2267 ext. 8.

Human Life Action:
Roe v. Wade, the movie, opened in theaters earlier this month. Visit to learn more. With some artistic liberties of the movie industry, the film provides insight into the cultural circumstance that resulted in the Court decision that led to more than 62 million American children killed by abortion over the past 48 years. The release of Roe v. Wade provides an opportunity to remember and reflect upon a seminal event that launched the long struggle for the lives of the unborn.

Documentary on Pope Francis I:
There is a new documentary about Pope Francis entitled Francesco. It is a beautiful film, which will make you weep and make you cheer. Most of all it will give you hope.  See the trailer: You can access it through the Ithaca-based not for profit movie house Cinemapolis,

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.

Easter Duty:
“All the faithful, after they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once a year. The precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at some other time during the year.” (Church law #920) In reference to this precept the Easter season is considered the First Sunday of Lent until Trinity Sunday (this year May 30).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

National day of prayer is May 6, 2021

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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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