GUIDEPOST is doing the rounds of English-speaking churches in Madrid in order to inform readers about what the Spanish capital has to offer in terms of spiritual communion. The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is our first stop.
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Madrid, led by Fr. Ronald Ochylski, is truly a community blessing. When walking into church you are met with smiling faces, hospitality, generosity, and God’s presence. This church is more than just a meeting place; it is a community that consists of a diverse English-speaking faithful from around the world, including the United States and many countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is a blessed congregation of people who take the time to know one another and introduce themselves to the new members or visitors.
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church was originally located in Torrejon de Arroz, which is 20 kilometers east of Madrid, until 1969 when Father Sullivan relocated it to a small school, the Nuestra Señora de la Merced, in the city. The name Our Lady of Mercy is derived from that small school’s name. With the arrival of Father Ochylski attendance grew and they moved from a smaller chapel into their current location where services continue to have full attendance.
Fr. Ronald Ochylski leads the parish in both worship and guidance. He attended the famous University of Salamanca in 1993 for Theology and hoped to get into Spanish ministry. While in Madrid he visited Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church and became friends with Reverend Sullivan, the lead minister at the time. He was asked to help with the parish and became an assistant. Following the passing of Reverend Sullivan in 1996 he was asked to take over the ministry and has since been with the parish. That’s over 19 years ago.
Sunday Mass is at 11 am, and all are welcome. The first Sunday of the month is the children’s service. It is the day when everyone wears name tags to introduce themselves. Before each mass there is a free nursing clinic to anyone of the parishioners who is in need.
Following mass there is a variety of activities available. There is children’s catechism as well as adult catechism, bible study, coffee hour, and distribution of food to needy members. Our Lady of Mercy is blessed enough to have a connection with the popular Caprabo supermarket which donates some of the food that is distributed. Parishioners who are able are also asked to donate non-perishable food items.
10:15 am – Choir practice
10:30 am – Rosary in the small chapel
11:00 am – Mass
12:15 pm – Coffee hour and kids and adult catechism classes. (Adult catechism is at the café across the street from the parish.) Also, bible study is conducted at this time. Another offering to members is a support group for members in need.
1:00 pm – Food distribution to needy members at the church
1:00 pm to 2:30 pm – Free Spanish classes are offered to the church members.
Weekday Mass is said on Wednesdays at 12:30 during the school year.
Every other Thursday of the month, starting April 18th, there is Youth Bible study from 9 to 10 pm at Hotel Abba on Avenida America.
On Saturdays a Charismatic prayer group meets at the church from 6 to 8 pm. Food distribution to members in need follows this meeting.
Coming up on May 18th: Our Lady of Mercy will be having a concert at 7 pm. Entrance is 10 euros that will go towards supporting the church.
To contact the church for more information:
For information on becoming a member of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church you can visit their website – ourladyofmercy.info – or attend a service and speak to the reverend yourself.