St. Mary of Magdala
July 22
The Church today recognizes Mary of Magdala’s rightful role as an important early Christian leader. She is mentioned a total of fourteen times in all four accounts of the Gospel – more than most of the apostles. Saint Augustine was the first to call her “the Apostle to the Apostles.”
Confessional woodcarving, right (west) transept
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

July 19 – July 26, 2020

Weekly Activities

The Celebration of 10 A. M. Mass on Sunday has resumed.

Sunday services resumed on June 21, 2020; daily and Saturday Masses, meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Wednesday, July 22, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (July 22, August 5, August 19, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Sunday, July 19 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Catherine Gress (Requested by Amy Johnson)

The celebration of Daily Mass for the public has not yet resumed at Blessed Trinity. Daily Mass readings for the week of July 12 are available on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by Clicking HERE. Select the desired day on their Roman Liturgical Calendar, and the text of the readings for that day will appear.

Sunday, July 26 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Richard Plunkett (Requested by Amy Johnson)

Lector Schedule ~ July 19: Chris Porter; July 26: Judy Casassa

St. James, Apostle
July 25
St. James, known as the Greater in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle St. James, was St. John’s brother. With Peter and John he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration, and later, of the agony in the garden. There are two symbols on the church façade representing St. James, one of which is this shell (second from left) on one of the 45 decorated roofline corbels.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

News from our Parish Community

Reflection on Sunday’s Readings by Sr. Corinne Yarborough, SSMN: Matthew 13:1-23

There is a common theme in the readings today. The vision of God Isaiah expresses is one of gentleness and kindness, in spite of our weakness and sin. Isaiah says “Your might is the source of justice.” Yes, leniency & clemency are the way God always deals with us. Some think that justice requires a stern, “letter of the law” approach, with harsh enforcement of laws and regulations. Leniency and clemency from God seem to connote something different. They do not negate enforcing laws, but do have another way of looking at punishment for disobedience. Isaiah is saying that God has repeatedly chosen to deal with us in this lenient way. He is reminding us that God’s ways are not our ways, that in his love for us, God has chosen a milder method, a kinder method. (I sometimes wonder if the person believing in that stern enforcement is usually expecting it to be used more for others than for him/herself.)

Paul says that in our weakness the Spirit comes to our aid. When we see that someone is weak, the implication is that harshness is inappropriate and a gentler response is needed. He continues to say that the Spirit searches our hearts and intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will. He also points to the kindness of God.

Matthew quotes Isaiah, speaking of the bruised reed and smoldering wick, which God will not quench until he brings justice to victory. Matthew is thus using both the idea of gentleness toward the wounded but also bringing justice to victory. I have to ask, how do the concepts of gentleness and bringing justice “fit together?” How do they help us to live more consistently in the manner that Jesus taught? “What would Jesus do?” 

We are asked to constantly reflect on how Jesus would act (if he were in this situation). The answer is clear in the pages of the Gospels. Jesus used these images: a parent with a child, a mother hen, a shepherd… Each can be stern when necessary – but also protective and nourishing: to act in goodness and love is primary.

This can feel a little overwhelming, so it requires a great deal of prayer. We see the people now demonstrating in our streets and are reminded of that. People are hurting greatly. There are no easy answers, but we need to keep struggling to find solutions. Peace in our country and in our world depends on our doing so. Injustice cannot be allowed to continue while we ask those who suffer to be “gentle” or to “turn the other cheek” and accept more passively what is. More is required of us than that.

God will bring justice – yes, but God uses people to accomplish this. What is our part in making that happen? If justice does not come, we are not “blameless.” This is our world. Just as creating a healthy environment needs our help – as Pope Francis has so often reminded us – so does peace, equality and justice. We are not free of responsibility.

“Vacation Bible School in a Bag” will be available for all children up to grade 7 (Fall 2020) through the end of July. Pick them up from Pat Dyer after Mass. If you would like them for a child not already registered, please call 716-256-2598 to get on the list. Our Faith Formation Page has so many more resources for children, and information about programs for adult parishioners as well. Click HERE to see what you’ve been missing.. 

Second Collection ~ On July 19, the second collection is the annual Peter’s Pence Collection. Your generosity helps Pope Francis to: continue his pastoral care for the Church; share the gospel message through the world; and assist victims of disaster.

What to Expect ~ Our church resumed Sunday services on June 21, and we welcome both parishioners and visitors to join us again in worship. We will be observing guidelines as required by the Diocese of Buffalo and/or the State of New York. When inside the church, everyone over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask. (You are expected to bring your own mask or face covering. If you forget, an usher will supply one). The church will also provide hand sanitizer, and ushers will greet you at each entrance and dispense sanitizer as you enter. To maintain social distancing, some pews will be “off limits.” Families and couples may sit together; unrelated individuals must sit 6 ft. away from each other. Copies of Breaking Bread have been removed, and there can be no music sheets or bulletins.There is to be no congregational singing (except in our hearts). We appreciate the fact that you are all anxious to see each other but to protect everyone’s health, please refrain from shaking hands shakes or hugging. If you wish to visit (from an acceptable distance), please wait until you are outside and do not congregate in the vestibules.The church will be sanitized before we gather again each Sunday. We hope that everyone joins in worshiping as community this Sunday, but please remember that — for now — there is no obligation to do so. If you are not feeling well or are just uncomfortable being in a group setting, please remain at home. Those of us who are lucky enough to attend will continue to pray for everyone who cannot be physically present.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at: Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

Regular Office Hours ~ We are happy to report that the parish has been able to resume regular office hours. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30am-2:30pm.

Rosary Video for All Ages ~ Our pastoral associate and director of religious education, Pat Dyer, would like to share her YouTube video on The Rosary. The opening portion of her video was made with the children in mind, so be sure they join in.

Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches. Click HERE to read the 10-page document. 

An Assist for the Finance Council ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join their committee. Could that be you? Please see Father Victor if you believe you are able to serve in this capacity.

Have your responded to the 2020 Census? It is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated for critical public services. The current corona virus pandemic should certainly enforce in our minds how crucial such funding can be. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will also have an impact on planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance, and so much more. The Diocese of Buffalo has joined other faith communities and civic organizations in encouraging all people in our community to participate. You should have received a census form in the mail during the month of March. If you misplaced yours, go to to find out how you obtain another or complete the census online. Then ask your friends and family as well as your neighbors and co-workers if THEY have completed the census, and — if not — encourage them to do the same.

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.

St. Rocco
A patron in time of pandemics
St. Rocco is depicted in terra cotta relief above the metal door of a reliquary located on the left side of our church Sanctuary.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 4 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented us from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone or email took on increased importance. 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? 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 be included in our online email list, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday or Wednesday 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.

Home Visits ~ Because of the COVID-19 protocols, Father Victor has had to discontinue his “last Friday” visits to homebound parishioners. However, if someone is ill and in need of Last Rites, please call him at the rectory.

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

Our Friends at Family Promise of WNY are just finishing renovations to their facility on Hickory Street. When they are able to resume intakes in the coming weeks, they will do so with double the capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Their anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that they know is coming when the current NYS eviction moratorium is lifted. If you are in a position to lend financial support to this community asset for which Blessed Trinity is a support congregation, your contribution will be doubled by two generous donors. Click HERE to make a donation or learn more about Family Promise.

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.