Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time ~ August 23, 2020

First Reading:
“I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut when he shuts, no one shall open.” (Is. 22:22)

Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands. (Ps. 138)

Second Reading:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! (Rom. 11:33)

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Mt. 16:18)

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass ©2001, 1998, 1970 CCD. 

Live the Liturgy—Inspiration for the Week:
To stand in the presence of God is to stand in the presence of incomprehensible mystery. We are people of proofs and facts. With good reason, we are becoming more doubtful of what presents itself to us, as technology makes it easy to fabricate false images and distort what is actually true. What we think is real actually may not be. We become skeptical. Does this skepticism affect our relationship with God? To have faith in God means that we must be willing to trust in the absence of full knowledge. To know the mind of God means we would know God himself, and that is impossible. To acknowledge Jesus as the Christ means we acknowledge that the reality and presence of an incarnate God has a fundamental claim on who we are. When we name this truth, we participate in a depth of knowledge that stretches us far beyond the scope of our minds. It brings us to silence, which is the only way to touch our soul.

Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:








© Liturgical Publications Inc.

Events to come:

  • Food Pantries:
    • Ovid Federated church: Mondays, 10:00 a.m. Food truck is every other Tuesday (September 1) at 3:00 p.m. in the parking lot at South Seneca high school
    • 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 (August 24)
  • Fr. Bernard is Available: 6:30 p.m., Fridays, St. Francis Solanus
  • Parish Churches: Opened daily for private visiting and prayer
  • Second Collection for Diocesan Missions: August 22–23
  • Registration for the Family Faith Formation program open until: August 25
  • Inspiring Women: Celebrating their Legacy: 6:00–8:00 p.m., September 26, Club 86, Geneva, NY

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.

Second Collection for Diocesan Missions Sunday:
Due to the Pandemic, the Diocesan Propagation of the Faith Office was not able to celebrate Diocesan Missions Sunday in May. Diocesan Missions Sunday will take place this Sunday. Bishop Matano has given permission to honor the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Sisters of Mercy working in Brazil and Chile on this weekend of August 22–23. We call upon you to help with your prayers and sacrificial gift, so that they may continue to bring Christ into the world where darkness, despair and emptiness prevail. Because collections cannot be taken up in the Church, please mark your offering on a check in support of the Diocesan Missions or put cash in a marked envelope.

Parish Mass:
During this time of social distancing the parish has provided ways for attending Mass in celebrating the memory of Jesus’s death and resurrection and the presence and union with Jesus in Holy Communion. The parish has four Masses on the weekend (two at St. James the Apostle, one at St. Francis Solanus, and one at Holy Cross); an 8:30 a.m. daily Mass at St. Francis (Monday–Friday); and a video taken each week of the Sunday Mass at St. James the Apostle (this week’s Mass is available HERE). The attendance at public Masses is limited to 33% of the total building occupancy which percentage has never been reached in the churches. It has been suggested that parishioners might consider attending a daily Mass where social distancing is more easily attained.

Family Faith Formation:
Registration for the 2020 Family Faith Formation program is underway! The program begins on September 20 and is open to families with children in grades K-7. Like last year, this year’s program will consist of a weekly home based portion and a monthly gathering for families (when permitted) on the third Sunday of each month after the 9 a.m. Mass at St. James. We are switching to the Faith and Life book series this year. The theme for this year’s group gatherings will be the Saints. We will learn about a different Saint each month: their background, their accomplishments, and their motivations. Due to public health concerns, a take home kit for the monthly gathering will be available to families who request it or when gatherings are not permitted. The registration form may be found on here. Please register by August 25 so book orders can be placed. Contact Susan Guydosh at with any questions.

Parish Cemeteries:
St. James the Apostle and Holy Cross churches have cemeteries. Each cemetery has a committee to oversee the cemeteries. The parish has the need for more volunteers to be committee members. Please phone the parish office to join the committee. Thank you.

St. James the Apostle Rectory:
Sister Anne Alderman, SSJ and Ms. Jan Seeley (a lay SSJ Associate) have visited the rectory and have expressed an interested in it as a possible living quarters. Negotiations between the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Diocese, and the Parish are taking place. Sr. Anne and Jan would like to be moved in by September 1, 2020.

Notre Dame Retreat House:
In these troubling times, give yourself a day to converse with God in order to revitalize your life and heart.  Allow yourself time to recover emotional balance, interior unity, inner balance and peace of soul. We will give you the time, space, and materials . . . all you need to do is come with a willing heart and an open mind. In the place of their normally scheduled fall retreat weekends, Notre Dame Retreat House will be offering single days in silence and reflection entitled “Desert Day.” All men, women, and couples are invited to join. There are twelve dates available from mid-September through the beginning of November. Please note that in order to address social distancing requirements and needs, at this time attendance on each “Desert Day” is limited to fifteen people. For specifics on dates, retreat format, cost, and how to register, please visit: For other inquiries, please contact the Notre Dame Retreat House at 585–394–5700 or

Inspiring Women: Celebrating Their Legacy:
Feminists Choosing Life of New York (FCLNY) is celebrating the Centennial of the Women’s Suffrage Movement on September 26 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. at Club 86 in Geneva, NY. The event is named “Inspiring Women: Celebrating Their Legacy.” The guest speaker will be Serrin Foster who is the president of Feminists for Life of America (FFL). FCLNY and FFL are sister coalitions. Both non-profits recognize “that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women,” and they see the need to “systematically eliminat[e]… the root causes that drive women to abortion — primarily [the] lack of practical resources and support.” A pro-life feminist mantra is “Women Deserve Better than Abortion,” a term trademarked by FFL. As clearly stated on FFL’s website: “Like Susan B. Anthony and other early American suffragists, today’s pro-life feminists envision a better world in which no woman would be driven by desperation to abortion: A world in which pregnancy, motherhood, and birth motherhood are accepted and supported; campuses and workplaces that support mothers in practical ways and do not force them to choose between their education or career plans and their children; a society that supports the role of mothers, values the role of fathers, and helps parents provide both financial and emotional support for their children; and a culture in which parents are respected, whether they decide to stay at home or return to work.” Dinner choices are Baked Chicken/Seasoned, Roasted and Falls Off the Bone; Grilled Stuffed Portabella/Spinich and Farrow; or Grilled Salmon/Pan seared Faroe Island Salmon. Reservations are $75.00 with limited seating due to COVID-19. Reservations, program ads (no political ads), and sponsorship opportunities are available by emailing; calling Michelle Sterlace-Accorsi, executive director of FCLNY, at 716–864–1454; or by contacting Kathy Peters at or 315–539–8006.

To All Parish Households:
Households have become more aware of themselves as domestic churches. To help support the church at home, the Diocese of Rochester’s Office of Evangelization and Catechesis provides families with weekly gospel reflections, catechesis, ideas for family time, parent support, and more. Each week the Diocese publishes a newsletter titled Family Zone. The newsletter is linked from our parish’s web page and Facebook page. The newsletter is proving to be a great resource, and it has something that appeals to people of all ages. Even if you are living alone, you will find it of great interest, both stimulating and inspirational. Simply check it out and see for yourself.

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

Fill Out your 2020 US Census:
The every-10-year-census count is extremely important. It determines how many state and federal representatives our region will get and informs the distribution of billions of dollars of federal and state funding. You can answer the quick census questionnaire at or by phoning 844–330– 2020 or by filing out the questionnaire you received in the mail. And tell others, “Fill out your 2020 US Census.”

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 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.

Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes:
The Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes is located at 551 Exchange St. in Geneva. “If you regret your abortion, you are not alone. Let us help you learn to forgive yourself.” 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.



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© 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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