Rev. Robert L. Gebhard, Jr., appointed as temporary administrator of Blessed Trinity Parish in October 2020, celebrated Masses with his new congregation on All Saints weekend. “Father Bob” was introduced and officially welcomed at the October 31st and November 1st liturgies by Parish Council President Palma Zanghi with these words:
On this Holy Feast day of All Saints, November 1, 2020, I am pleased to introduce and welcome our new administrator, Fr. Robert Gebhard…otherwise Fr. Bob.
Fr. Bob comes to Blessed Trinity with a wealth of experience. He was previous Pastor of St. James Parish and also worked closely with St. Lawrence parish along with St. Gerard’s. He has been the Vicar of the Northwest Central Vicariate and also Coordinator of Catholic Urban Outreach Network.
Following his Pastoral assignment, he was on Faculty at Christ the King Seminary, where he was Director of Seminarian Human Formation where all four major dimensions of seminary life are emphasized: Human, Spiritual, Academic and Pastoral Service.
After several years, he was assigned Pastor of St John Vianney parish in Orchard Park. After taking a sabbatical, Fr Bob then returned to the Seminary where he continued work in Formation of Seminarians.
Fr. Bob is a native of Buffalo and both his parents, now in their eighties are doing well. He has one married brother and sister in law, one sister who is single and another sister and brother-in-law, along with several nieces and nephews.
He loves family get-togethers and considers family one of his greatest blessings!
Fr. Bob attended Catholic schools all the way up through undergraduate school. He then went on to receive two Masters degrees, one in Natural Science from University at Buffalo and another Masters degree in Divinity from Christ the King Seminary.
Fr. Bob loves nature and being outdoors. He has a cabin buried out in the woods in the Southern tier where he can periodically vacate on his days off and engage in numerous projects. He also enjoys travel and appreciates learning and exploring other geographic places.
In the future, if you see a truck regularly parked in the back lot behind the garage, it will be Fr. Bob’s! —-How nice it will be for us, just in case we need to cart items in the back end for some of our future church projects!
Like many, Fr. Bob enjoys a good cup of coffee and we have also learned that he does enjoy chocolate too!
Fr. Bob, on behalf of our Blessed Trinity Parish Council and all the Blessed Trinity community, we welcome you and we thank you for being here and for your willingness to serve our parish.
On this Holy All Saints day may all the Saints in Heaven join us now in prayer.
As we are accustomed to doing at Blessed Trinity when praying over someone, I ask that we all extend our arms in prayer as we pray:
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for Fr. Bob and the gift of all our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.
Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.
We ask special blessings on Fr. Bob.
Grant him the wisdom, understanding, and the strength he needs to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire him with the vision of your Kingdom.
Give him the words he needs to spread the Gospel.
Allow him to experience joy in his ministry.
Help him and all priests to become instruments of your divine grace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest. Amen
Fr. Bob, the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord makes His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
Normally we would gather for a Reception to acknowledge such an important occasion, however, because of COVID we are not able to hold such an event. We ask that, if you can budget a little more time next weekend, there will be a “social distance receiving line” following Mass to greet and introduce yourselves to Father along with a Welcome Book to sign and extend wishes.
A receiving line took place after Masses on Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8, allowing parishioners the opportunity to introduce themselves to Fr. Bob. A guest book was also provided so that everyone could write him notes of welcome and encouragement.