December 20 – December 27, 2020
COVID-19 Precautions: Following a November 25, 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Diocese of Buffalo has relaxed restrictions on capacity at worship services. See, Nov. 26 COVID-19 Update. It is no longer necessary to make a reservation to attend Mass at Blessed Trinity.
NEW: Christmas and Weekend Masses are now being livestreamed on our Facebook page: Blessed Trinity R. C. Church. Click HERE to view the Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. If you “Like” us on Facebook, you should receive notification when future Masses are posted.
Also, we are now providing personal copies of the Breaking Bread missal for each parishioner who would like one. You may claim yours at church and either take it home or place it in a zip-lock bag and reclaim it when you come again. Paper copies of the bulletin are once again available. Look for them at the middle crossing of the church.
Keep in mind, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on other Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect in our diocese.
Please pray for the health and safety of all in our community.
All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.
Wednesday, December 23, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURS ~ Catholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Dec 23, Jan 6, 20, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.
The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, and the NEW schedule for daily Mass, as of Monday, November 9, 2020 is: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no morning Mass on Thursdays.
Sunday, December 20 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessings for Robert Kresse (Req. by Jack and Marina O’Donnell)
Monday, November 21 ~ St. Peter Canisius ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for Randolph McGhee (Req. by Amy Johnson)
Tuesday, December 22 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Special Intentions of Helen Roddy Gray (Req. by Your Parish Family)
Wednesday, December 23 ~ St. John of Kanty ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Praying for All Souls (Req. by St. Theresa Parish)
Thursday, December 24 ~ Christmas Eve Mass at 10:00 p.m. – Praying for All Souls (Req. by St. Theresa Parish)
Friday, December 25 ~ Christmas Day Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Praying for All Souls (Req. by St. Theresa Parish)
Saturday, December 26 ~ St. Stephen ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. – Blessings for Robert Kresse (Req. by John E. Curtin)
Sunday, December 27 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Req. by Mary Karlis) and Birthday Remembrance for Ethel Grabenstatter (Req. by A Grateful Parish)
Lector Schedule ~ Dec 26 – John Curtin; Dec 27: Mary Kresse
A Note from Father Bob ~ Four Candles Make Way!
A fourth candle lit marks the ending of a season but not an extinguishing of The Light! We have spent these weeks of Advent preparing our hearts and lives for the coming of our Savior, allowing the flames that top our wreathed purple and pink wax pillars to show us the way to “make a straight path for our God”. Growing flames, with their warmth of season, are meant to capture us and make us aglow with what we will celebrate, in just a few days… the eternal Light of the World and Warmth of Saving Love. As Advent days have hopefully helped us make the needed changes in our lives, those that better open the heart to receive the outpouring of love who is Jesus, let us drink in the Joy of the Birth of Jesus with a spirited anticipation of His welcome return some day. Good News!…for us to announce and share in these days… days that can certainly use some good news!!
This indeed will be most a unique Christmas for all families as we heed the strong pleadings of health care leaders to remain safe and healthy. Though we will not come together as usual, as our gatherings will be very small, if at all, we can rise up to meet the current threats of pandemic challenges with our determination to mark Christmas in new and innovative ways. There will be miracles, and surprises undreamed of, I am sure! These gifts, born of our God-given creativity, will be the best gifts ever!
I encourage each of you to share the gifted and unexpected miracles and surprises that come your way. (Email us at blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com by Tuesday to let us know of your Christmas miracles and we will share your Christmas story in our bulletin throughout our coming days.)
I extend a warm welcome to anyone visiting our church this Christmas. I offer words of gratitude for the faith family that remains strong and true and anchors our parish. Special recognition of all those who lend their gifts and talents to making our prayer, worship, and faith life deep and life-giving through ministry: music ministry, ushers, lectors, staff, Eucharistic ministers, decorators, greeters, sacristan, and the behind-the-scenes workers that quietly do the undoable! These unique days call us to humble prayer.
May this Christmas bring us much needed healing, restoration, renewal, forgiveness, health, happiness, Peace, Love, & Joy! On behalf of myself and our dedicated staff and parish leaders, Merry Christmas with the blessings of many miracles!
. . . Fr. Bob
Christmas Services ~ Our Christmas Eve Service on Thursday, December 24, will begin at 9:30 PM with choral preludes sung by the choir. Mass will be celebrated at 10 p.m. Our Mass on Christmas Day will be begin at 10 AM.
Job Opportunities at Blessed Trinity ~ We have several part-time positions now available. Are you or someone you know looking for work?
Part-time Administrative Assistant ~ General secretarial-receptionist responsibilities. Weekly church bulletin. Computer competency needed (email, data entry, Microsoft Word, Excel, PDS). Organization skills necessary. Record keeping. Flexible weekday, daytime hours/days.
Part-time General Housekeeping ~ General parish rectory housekeeping; cleaning responsibilities. Occasional laundry. 10-16 hours/month.
Part-time Maintenance Position ~ Jack-of-all-trades; general maintenance/cleaning. Familiarity with light plumbing, electrical, heating. Lawn maintenance, weekday snow removal. 1-2 days/week. Flexible hours/days.
Send applications to Blessed Trinity RC Church, 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214 (716-833-0301) or email blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com.
The Bishop has lifted the 25-person maximum for Mass. We may now have 33% of our church capacity in attendance, spaced for social distance. Thus, given the large size of our church, many more may attend. Also, our weekend Masses are now available live on our Facebook page. To view it, use the link on our home page under “Worship” or the one near the beginning of this post.
The Giving Tree ~ This year our annual Giving Tree will benefit Little Portion Friary, a resource for homeless men in need of temporary shelter and a meal, as well as counseling and other necessary services. Select an envelope from the tree located near the ramp door. Instead of purchasing the suggested gift item, we ask that you offer the cash value (or a check made out to Blessed Trinity Parish with “Giving Tree” on the subject line) in the envelope. Return the envelope in the collection basket before December 25. Our parish donations are another way we can live out our Mission Statement as a loving community that reaches out to our brothers and sisters in need. Thank you for your participation.
Know Your Faith: “Be not afraid” ~ In many parts of the world, as the Christmas Season gets closer, children begin to anticipate the coming of Santa Claus. Whether known as Santa and arriving with flying reindeer, Father Christmas as in much of Europe, or as Pastor Blessing found at local markets in Nigeria, his visit is always welcome.
When my sister and I were young girls, we heard Santa Claus land on the roof. There was “a prancing and pawing of each little hoof.” We held our breath, squeezed our eyes tight and waited quietly lest the jolly gentleman discover that we were not asleep. In the morning there were goodies for us and our younger brothers under the tree. We could scarcely contain ourselves as we told the tale of how Santa had landed on the roof. “No,” Dad insisted. “You must have heard me tinkering with that old furnace.”
About fifteen years later I was a young mother of four with another baby on the way. Our furnace didn’t work and our business was failing. We had no money, and I was worried. Dad came to see me. “Don’t worry about that furnace or Christmas.” And, I knew my Dad and I didn’t worry. On Christmas Eve, a decorated tree cut from our little farm sat with nothing under it. We took our excited children to stay with my mother while we went to Mass. Later that evening with our children “all snug in their beds,” my husband and I ventured out onto the porch from our now toasty warm living room. Gifts from Santa were piled high – dolls and a rocking horse, stuffed animals, doll cradles and a kitchen set, warm hats and mittens, knitted slippers, dresses and pants, pajamas and robes, canned pasta sauce and frozen beef. Big boxes of homemade cookies, too. We looked at each other and the tears came. Our family – Dad and Mom, my grandmothers and my husband’s parents had gone to their respective workshops and created the most unimaginably magical Christmas – the kids were thrilled, too. Ordinary people doing ordinary things.
The Christmas Season is filled with stories of magic and mystery and miracles. Stories of compassion and mercy. When I think about this story, I think about St. Joseph, an ordinary man doing ordinary things with great love. My Dad needed a key from me to get into our house, and when he asked, I gave it to him with no idea what he was going to do. When God asks, we have the key to let him in and to receive the many gifts he offers.
Pope Francis released an apostolic letter recently called Patris corde (With a Father’s Heart.) The letter was written in the midst of a pandemic, “which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of ‘ordinary’ people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day.”
Sacred Scripture is filled with passages about turning our fates over to God, but none so consequential as this, “‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid.’” (Mt 1:20.) With this one phrase, the Son of God entered the world as an ordinary baby with an ordinary family to do extraordinary things.
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. My prayer for you this year is that you know many ordinary people making a difference in the lives of others and in yours.
…Patricia Dyer, MAPM
Prisoner Gift Bags for 2021 ~ As reported last month, the Prisoner Gift Project for 2020 is canceled. Yet we can remember our prisoners and get a jump on the 2021 project by decorating gift bags this Christmas Season. Covid-19 restrictions mean we are spending more time inside, so consider using some of your home time to decorate next years’ bags. Bags and directions are available for pick up in the back pew. Please plan to return your bags by the end of January 2020.
From the Loft ~ The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons of Advent since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat Canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers
O Wisdom, O Leader, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Radiant Dawn, O King of All Nations, O Emmanual – come to save us, Lord our God!
. . . Elizabeth Clay
Zoom Bible Study will resume after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. “Praying the Gospel of Mark” – Monday, January 4 at 6:30pm and “Acts of the Apostles” (Bible Study) – Tuesday, January 12 at 7pm. We are now reading Chapters 15 and 16. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Members of the Ladies Sodality offer their prayerful thanks to all who have supported the Sodality’s collection for homebound parishioners. Because of your generosity, the Sodality has sent grocery store gift cards to fifteen different households along with a greeting card from “Your Blessed Trinity Parish Family.” In addition, Masses will be offered in the coming weeks for the special intentions of 4 parishioners living in senior care facilities. May you all have a blessed Christmas.
A Tribute to Parishioner Robert Kresse: “Mr. Preservation” ~ We are all aware of the tremendous influence our dear parishioner, “Bob” Kresse had on preserving the historic architecture in our community. He touched almost every important restoration project that helped to move our Buffalo/Erie County area forward.
The local press has had wonderful coverage of the numerous projects he championed. But they missed one. In 2014 Blessed Trinity filed an application to the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) for funding to restore our roof and the front steps of the church. Bob casually asked how we were doing in the competition for preservation funding. Not well. He immediately contacted a high-ranking Parks Dept. official with whom he had worked on other local projects, inviting him for an in-person visit to beautiful Blessed Trinity Church. Seeing was apparently believing, with the end result that we were awarded a major matching grant to complete the improvements we needed. The end of this project is this Tuesday, December 15. Thank you, Bob. We could not have done it without you!
Our sincerest condolences to Mary Ann and the whole Kresse family in your loss. We pray for all of you and for the repose of Bob’s soul. He may already be redesigning the Gates of Heaven!
Join Our Family Promise Ministry ~ As a shelter for homeless families and recently certified by NYS, Family Promise of WNY is following new health and safety guidelines and cannot accept donations of home prepared meals. Instead, volunteers have become grocery donors in a food category assigned to the day of the week. Blessed Trinity volunteers did this on 9/15 and found it much easier than coordinating and cooking a full dinner. We signed up for a date on the meal schedule and delivered the requested foods during the day at our convenience. We hope more parishioners will be able to participate. Family Promise also needs volunteers in areas like tutoring and transportation. If you think you might want to help and need more information go to their web site at fpwny.org and click on “Get Involved” to find the grocery sign up schedule. Also, you may contact our parish coordinator, Amy Johnson, at 716-836-4694 and join forces with another member of the team.
Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 8 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented many from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone, mail or email took on increased importance. Because not everyone has computer access, really important information is sent in a letter. If you have not received written correspondence from the parish since September 2020, we don’t have your address. Even though we are now able to resume Mass attendance, this may be a good time to ask yourself: Does the church office have my correct mailing address and phone number? (Important, too, for contact tracing). Have I shared my email address? Make sure that we have been notified of any changes in your contact information by completing this form. This is also a chance to let us know if you: wish to receive the bulletin electronically via email, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm; sending an email to blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com; or using the contact feature below to submit the information. If you choose either of the last two, please use “Contact Update” as the subject of the email or message.
Lectors ~ Please pick up your workbooks for the new liturgical year. They are on the first bench on the Baptismal Font side of the church.
Religious education materials are available now. If you were not contacted please call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598.
Do you miss being at church? Of course long-time parishioners can probably close their eyes and picture the view from a favorite pew. But if you are not yet able to be physically present, it is possible to make a virtual visit. Buffalo Rising and Explore Buffalo teamed up to give their online followers a “tour” of Blessed Trinity. You can join them, by Clicking HERE. You will be treated to both exterior and interior photos and more than a little history. Take the “tour” and test your knowledge about your house of worship
News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community
Request from Our Lady of Hope Parish ~ Immigrant family in desperate need of single (twin) beds for 5 children. If you or anyone you know has any to give away, please call Deacon Ron Thaler, 716-553-6203.
The dated announcement below was received before the “yellow/orange zone” changes to pandemic guidelines. It is suggested that you check with the hosting entity before attending.
Fridays and Saturdays November 21 – January 3, 5-9pm ~ Nativity Sets on Display. Fr. Roy Herberger will have 300 (of his 650) nativity sets from 58 countries on display at the Fatima Shrine, Lewiston during their Festival of Lights. Contact Fr. Roy at 716-852-2076 (roy [at] aol [dot] com) with questions.
Alumni of St. Martin of Tours, St. Ambrose, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa, St. Agatha, Holy Family, St. John the Evangelist, Trinity, St. Bonaventure or Notre Dame Academy are invited to share your story with our current students and families via social media. Help us build on the traditions you loved so much while attending Catholic school. Drop us a note at GoodNews [at] NotreDameBuffalo [dot] org.
Help for Victims of Domestic Violence ~ Because of COVID-19, the Family Justice Center (“FJC”) is not accepting walk-in appointments or in-person meetings. In case of emergency, call 911. For help with safety planning or other services you may need during this time, call or text the FJC Safeline, 716-558-SAFE (7233).
Food Assistance for Seniors ~ The County of Erie advises anyone over the age of 60 who is in need of food assistance to call 716-858-8526.