Welcome to Our Lady of Peace

In our parish timeless tradition meshes with new beginnings, all under the guiding grace of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Welcome.

As a parish, we aim to skillfully intertwine the sacred threads of our past with the vibrant hues of the present, united in our faith and devotion to God and Jesus.

Whether you’re hearing the tender cries of a newborn during Mass or the steadfast prayers of those who’ve walked this path for years, you are welcome here. Our doors are open wide, inviting everyone—-from the tiniest voices to those seasoned in life and faith.

Of our parish stands a trio of shepherds, each with a story as unique as the flock they guide. United by a passion for the Gospel and the people they serve, our priests guide us through the ebb and flow of life with wisdom gleaned from far corners of the world and experiences that span the spectrum of human existence.

At the helm is our pastor, Fr. Francisco Mendonça, a man whose laughter is as infectious as his dedication is deep. With a wealth of life experience before his ordination, he weaves humor and storytelling into every homily, making each message not just heard, but felt.

We invite you to join us, to find your place within this mosaic of faith. Whether you’re taking your first steps towards spirituality, seeking a haven for your prayers, or simply curious about the journey ahead, know that here, at Our Lady of Peace, there’s a space just for you.

We can’t wait to welcome you home.

How can you get involved?

1.

Come To Mass

Attend mass and feel the OLP difference that fosters spiritual growth and connection with our community. Explore our ministries and sacraments.

2.

Join a Ministry

We have many ministries, such as the choir, weekly sandwich making, etc.

3.

Involve Your Child

Register your child for Family Faith Formation, Academy of Our Lady of Peace, CYO basketball, Boy Scouts or any of our youth ministries.

4.

Donate

Donating to OLP funds parish-focused projects that strengthen community bonds and enhance our spiritual growth. Your contributions directly support vital initiatives, ensuring the parish can continue its mission and outreach efforts.

Welcome to the Parish

Visiting Our Lady of Peace Church

Entering our parish and finding your way in the property

The driveway entrance to the parish is located on South Street, to the right of the church and the Academy.

Where do I park if I’m coming for mass?

The best place to park is by the parish hall. Once you enter our parking lot, drive to the back portion of the lot and make a left. You can park anywhere in this lot and along side the curb. The doors to the church are along the driveway out of the parking lot and additional doors are peppered around toward the front and sides, as our church is in the shape of a circle.

Where’s the church and where are the entrances?

Main doors to the church are on South Street, as well as doors on the left and right sides of the doors as you face the church. The rectory doors are on your left, as you leave the parking lot, with a marked sign.

Where’s the rectory, aka church office?

The rectory doors are on your left, as you leave the parking lot behind the church, with a marked sign.   To help you identify it, look for garage doors–the rectory is just past there.

Where’s the entrance to the Academy?

The entrance to our academy is right by the entrance of the property. As soon as you enter the driveway, the main entrance will be on your left, just before the white picket fence. The long walkway will lead you to the main school entrance.

Are children welcome at Mass?

Yes, children are always welcomed.  Please do not avoid coming because of your little ones.  How can they get used to going to church or living their faith if they don’t learn from you from the very beginning.

What do I do if they start acting up or crying?

First of all, you keep breathing and remember that every parent in church has gone through the same thing.  A few suggestions in the event that you feel that you need to do something:

    • Feel free to take your child to the front vestibule, which is also in a direct line to the altar so you can still participate at mass.  
    • Some parents find that just cradling the baby/small child as they slowly walk the outer perimeter of the church gets them to not only get quiet but fall asleep. 
    •  If you look for the area where our music ministry is placed in the church (side of the church where the chair of the priest is located), there are exit doors of the church there, if you go our that door you’ll find a pretty good size playground.
Can I bring a snack or an activity to keep my child entertained during mass?
  • Absolutely, and you would not be the only one.  What we would ask is that in reference to the snack, be something that is not very loud as the child bites or jews on it, and if it could be something that doesn’t leave crumbs all over the seat.  We do ask our parents that do bring snacks to please make sure that the pew is left clean since we have masses one after the other without time to have a cleaning crew in the property but if it becomes messy just look for one of the ushers, altar servers or priest and they be more than happy to help
  • In reference to activities, we ask that is not any kind of toy that plays music or makes sounds, coloring books or activity books are great ideas.  In the event that you forget, no sweat, just go to one of the tables in the back of the pews and we always have  little activities available too. If a particular table is empty, check one of the other three tables.
I’m allergic to gluten, can I receive communion, and what's the process?
  • Yes you can. Although there is not a completely gluten-free host for communion in the Catholic church, the level of gluten is very low and have no reports of any issues.  But in the event that you are extremely sensitive then we suggest that you receive only from the chalice, the Precious Blood.  
  • Should you need the low-gluten host, please just tell one of the altar servers, ushers or priest before mass starts and we will make sure that the main celebrant will have it with him before he starts to distribute communion. When it’s your turn to receive, just let him know that you need the low-gluten host.  In the event that you end up arriving after the mass has started, just go to the main celebrant’s line and ask him.
Where are your bathrooms in the church?

We have 2 bathrooms toward the main doors of the church, straight across from the altar and into the main vestibule, one for the gentleman and the other for the ladies.

How does seating work? Are there places that I shouldn't sit?

You can sit anywhere you want, the only area where most people will leave open is the first pew of the first group of seats by the left of the altar, for this row has been left with more space for wheelchairs, people with walkers or people who need assistance to get in and out can do so with more ease.  The other area, is at the complete other side of the church, which is the choir riser, but this is only for the masses where the choir is singing.

Do I need to bring money, and if yes how much?

We do take a collection (and sometimes for special occasions we’ll have a second one) but only give if you want.  Coming to church and living one’s faith is absolutely free, but we do live conscious lives and appreciate donations to maintain different aspects of the property.  Common donations are between $10 and $20, others give less, others give more, but the bottom line is you give what you feel you can and should.

What should I wear?

Our parish is a very down-to-earth, relaxed parish. Think of it this way: if you were going to visit a friend what would you wear? That’s your answer.  Some wear suits and ties, jeans and shirts all the way down to t-shirts and shorts for the guys. For the ladies, dresses, jeans and blouses, jeans and t-shirts–it’s up to you.

It’s been years since I went to mass, and I forgot my prayers. What should I do?

We have you covered. Pick up one of the soft cover song books found in any pew, look at the side page edges and find the pages in a darker gray.Those pages guide you through the entire mass, including responses. Also, look at the front part of the book for the actual sunday date, you’ll see the different readings particular to that sunday.  If you need help, trust me, ask someone sitting next to you and they will help.

I’ve been hearing cool stuff about your church for a while. I loved your christmas lights, wanted to go there, but not ready to commit, can i come?

Of Course you can, don’t be silly, and stop by a priest at the end as you leave, we’ll love to say hello to you.

Can I attend your services if I am not affiliated with the Catholic Church?

It is not just our home, but the Lord’s home, it is your home, come and join us any time you would like.

The only thing we ask is that you do not receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ at Communion.

Are there any prerequisites for attending Mass at Our Lady Of Peace?

There are none, just come on in and join us.

How accessible are church facilities for those with physical disabilities?

We are very conscious that not everyone walks into our parish the same way and therefore special care has been taken to make sure no one feels left out.  Not only do all of our sidewalks have ramps for easy access to them from the road or parking lots, but we also have two sets of automatic double doors on each side of the church.  We have a special area reserved for wheelchairs or those needing a little more help, as well as if you have difficulties to come to us for communion, just let us know and we’ll go.

What ministries and programs are available at Our Lady Of Peace?

We have a rich Ministry and they’re all listed here

What is the process for participating in the sacrament of reconciliation?
  • The Church’s teaching on confession is that every Catholic is obliged to go to confession for grave sins at least once a year, or if the Catholic is receiving communion on a regular basis and has committed a grave sin he/she should go to confession as soon as possible.  For venial sins it is recommended that a Catholic go to confession at least once a year as to benefit to a closer, more pure connection with God.  
  • The process itself consists of looking at the scheduled times for confessions at any particular parish, calling the rectory if specific times are needed, or just talking to a priest at the end of mass or any time.
Can I receive communion before going to confession

If one finds themselves at mass with the desire to receive communion but is aware of the need to go to confession, can they still receive communion?  The answer is yes.  Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is so important that the Church has established a way that one can still receive Communion, being in a state of grace and then going to confession later.  All one has to do is pray an Act of Contrition, which places one in the state of grace long enough for communion, but at the same time that individual promises with that prayer to God to go to confession at the next available change.

How can I receive communion if I am unable to attend Mass?

If one is unable to attend mass because of being sick, hospitalized or homebound one can still receive communion by getting in contact with a parish and asking if a priest or someone could come to where the sick person is, pray with them and bring them communion.  Another way that one can receive communion even if a priest or an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist cannot come is to do a spiritual communion prayer.  For these one can look on line or call the rectory and ask for assistance.

How can my child participate in youth ministries at the church?

Please take a look under our youth ministry section where you can find not only the different ministries catering to you, but also age appropriate.  A different option is to get in contact with Rachael F., our youth ministry leader and speak to her

How can I connect with other church members outside of services and programs?

Just call the rectory and we’ll be more than happy to give you a tour of the parish, including the school if you like. We can also connect you with some of our ministries if you’re looking to get involved.

What are the specific expectations and responsibilities required of church members?

Catholics are obligated to attend Mass every Sunday, go to confession at least once a year, and live a life according to God and His laws. We do this because we love God and desire a life with Him.

How does Our Lady Of Peace compare to other Catholic Churches in the area?

Each parish, or church as it is more commonly referred to, is not made up of brick and mortar, but instead of all its members, parishioners, staff and priests, each bringing their own personality to the community.  At Our Lady of Peace we believe that we do have a welcoming community.  Just like every family that has all sorts of personalities, so does our parish, for it truly has a little bit for everyone and everyone is welcomed. Our priests tell jokes and stories in their homilies, as much as the guidelines of the core teachings of the Church, just to give an example.  The best thing is to come and see for yourself.

What is the role of music in the Mass, and what genres are typically played?

The music ministry in our parish has had a dramatic overhaul in the past two years with the hiring of our new music director by our pastor.  We sing a little bit of everything, from classic hymns to the more modern. We truly have a great music ministry and all are welcome to join; just speak to our music director. We truly have a great music ministry and all are welcomed to join, just speak to Sarah our music director.

What is the process of financially supporting the church through donations or tithing?

Each person donates what they can. Without donations, the parish would not survive. You can either donate through the weekly collection basket at Mass or through our online giving platform, Pushpay. With Pushpay, you also have the ability to donate to specific parish projects online. If you prefer writing a check, just note in the memo section which project you would like to donate to. Feel free to call the rectory or ask the pastor for more information.

Visiting Our Lady of Peace Church

What are the differences between Catholicism and other religions?

As we know, every faith has its own attributes, that which is unique to it.  In the Roman Catholic Church we have the Eucharist, which is the Actual Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who chose, from His own free will and desire, to stay with us until the end of times.  We also have the absolute forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of reconciliation, aka confession, in John 20:22-23 and Matthew 18:18, we hear Jesus give the Church the ability to forgive sins.

How do I know if Our Lady Of Peace is the right church for me?

What’s better, steak or shrimp? Obviously depends on who you ask, so we invite you to come and visit and see for yourself, ask questions and pray too.  OLP is a parish with three newly appointed priests, although each one completely different from the other they do share the same beautiful gift, a love and passion for Our Lord, the faith and people. All three come from different backgrounds and have completely different styles, but all complement each other perfectly making it the perfect place where everyone finds their own little niche to come and worship.

What is the difference between a sacrament and a ministry?

The Sacraments are outward signs instituted by Christ, and entrusted to the church to give grace, versus ministries which are groups of parishioners that have a common cause and work to help the church and others in a variety of ways.

Are there any age limitations for participating in the sacraments?

Some yes and some no:  for example the Sacraments of Confirmation, First Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage and Holy Orders all have a suggested minimum age, while the Sacraments of Baptism and the Anointing of the Sick can be done at any point from the moment of the birth all the way through to the moment of death, with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick being able to be administered multiple times during one’s life.

How can I overcome doubts and uncertainties about religious beliefs?

Before anything pray, spend some time with God, even if your question is about His existence, ask Him if He really exists to help you find Him.  Also, come and talk to us, come and ask us your questions.  Don’t be afraid, we don’t bite, yell or throw you out.  We just ask you to come with an open mind and heart and that’s exactly what you’ll find.  And know this, you wont be the first one or will you be the last, you may even leave surprised how many priests had those same doubts ourselves.

What is the process for becoming part of the Catholic Church?

First just start coming, visit the parish and attend mass, talk to people, no strings attached, completely free.  Once you start to feel more comfortable, and whenever you feel like it come and talk to a priests, grab one of us at the end of one mass.  Once your ready your enroll in OCIA, aka catechism for adults, go through a year or two, and once you are ready we’ll take care of the details and the ceremonies.

How can I develop a closer relationship with God?

Ask Him for help.  There’s nothing better that God loves more than having us ask Him to be part of our lives.  Alongside of this make sure you go to mass when you can weekends, weekdays, it’s up to you.  Read the Bible, there are aps that help you read it in a year, but just remember there are parts of that bible that are very dry, others very intimidating, just keep things in perspective, and if you need to talk to someone about it.  Come talk to a priests and just reaf positive faith filled books.

What is the role of prayer in the Catholic faith?

The role of prayer anywhere is not only to connect us with God but to draw us closer to Him as well.  This is such an important aspect of the faith that we have examples of this from Jesus all over the New Testament.  He not only prayed but prayed specifically to show us the importance of praying, John 1:41-42 “Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” We have Him praying for Himself as we see in Luke 22:42 when He prayed “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”  And lastly when the Disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray and He teaches us the Our Father, Luke 11.

What is the role of confession in the Catholic Church?

Confession, or the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is a Sacrament instituted by Christ to help us draw back closer to God after offending Him with our sins. This command is seen both in John 20:22-23 and Matthew 18:18.  A true confession must have three parts, the penitent must ask to declare that has sinned against God and verbally pronounce the sins, and at the end ask God for forgiveness.  The penitent is then given a penance (something that he or she must do as a physical sign of penance) and get absolution.  Once the absolution is given and the penance completed the sin is completely forgiven and forgotten by God.  Think of having done something wrong, going to court, admitting you did wrong, ask for forgiveness, a sentence given, and once you fulfill that sentence you can no longer be tried for it again.  The cool thing with confession and Gos is that God always forgives and it is forgotten, not to ever show up again not even at our last judgment.  Besides forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation one also receives graces of strength and fortitude from God which helps one to have the desire to stay closer to God and hopefully therefore sin less.

What is the role of forgiveness in the Catholic faith?

God is the judge and always willing to forgive, and the Church teaches us and asks us to do the same.  Unfortunately that is not always the case and so we fall into sin.  In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus taught, “If you forgive others for the wrongs they have done to you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you for the same wrongs.” MT 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. And lastly LK 23:34 Jesus forgave those who crucified him, saying, ‘Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.’  But the important thing for us to remember is that it is God that asks us to forgive, so we should not use the mistakes or others, or the unwillingness of others to forgive, regardless of who they are, to block us from forgiving one another, and we should leave the rest of judging up to God.

How does attending Mass contribute to building a community at Our Lady Of Peace?

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