Happy Fourth of July!

July 5 – July 12, 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 8, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (July 8, July 22, August 5, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Sunday, July 5 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m.– Eternal Rest for Edward F. Schroeder (Requested by Rolly and Mary LaLoux)

The celebration of Daily Mass for the public has not yet resumed at Blessed Trinity. Daily Mass readings for the week of July 5 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 12 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – For the intentions of our parishioners, both living and deceased (Requested by Blessed Trinity Parish)

Lector Schedule ~ July 12: Palma Zanghi

St. Benedict (c. 480-547)
July 11
St. Benedict, whose feast day the Church celebrates this week, is depicted as the kneeling figure at the far right in a group of twelve figures identified as “Monks, Hermits, and Religious” in this dome painting by Buffalo-born artist Joseph Mazur.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

News from our Parish Community

Saturday, July 4, is Independence Day. This weekend, the celebration of our country’s “birthday” is tempered by a national pandemic and the recognition of social inequities that have existed for centuries. Please pray for divine inspiration, forgiveness, and a new dedication to bring about social healing among all our citizenry.

Commentary on Sunday’s Gospel by Sister Patricia Brady, SSMN: Matthew 11: 25-30 

When I was rereading the Gospel and thinking about it, I began to see why Jesus talks about the “little ones” who have things revealed to them and not those of us who are adults and feel we are so “wise.” How are the little ones to understand the business about the yoke, which is normally a little heavy, and the fact that it will be light when it is Jesus’ burden and yoke.

All of us labor to some extent and many times we feel burdened. This can mean many things, depending on what burdens are in one’s life. However, the key or clue to figuring out how the burden can feel easier or lighter is to hone in on one of the last words in the gospel. The part where Jesus says:  “For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” When Jesus is connected to whatever the pain, burden, hardship, misery is, then the lightness can somehow happen because we know that we are not alone in the struggle. We aren’t alone in bearing the yoke. The image of the yoke usually refers to animals because it connects them to whatever it is they are pulling and often it is two animals doing the pulling. Usually,  they are oxen. But they walk together pulling the burden behind them together. They pull it equally, in step so as to manage the load.

It is little ones, those who know they need help, those who know they don’t have all the answers, those who know that their strength must come from someone stronger, who know the secret of how to take a yoke upon themselves. They call upon Jesus to pull with them. The burden is shared. The burden is lighter. Most of us have heard the famous story of the person walking along the seashore who asks Jesus why he wasn’t walking along side the one in need in his/her time of need because the person saw only one set of footprints. The famous response tells the person that there was only one set of footprints because Jesus was carrying the person. He was always there. The footprints belonged to Jesus.

So, in this moment of worldly turmoil and distress, when as an international community we are fighting an invisible enemy, the corona virus, we need to dig deep into our hearts and spirits and find the truth this gospel reveals to us. The one who is meek and humble of heart, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, he is the one who is in the midst of the pandemic with us. He is pulling the yoke with us and will not abandon us if we become little ones.

“Then in awe, I turned to the single-hearted: How does it feel to be pure in heart?  I asked.
With tenderness the single-hearted replied: It feels like a child exploring a new day.
It feels like having all your false images smashed with brand new eyes.
In fact it feels like having eyes that do nothing but see
And all things are possible for those who can see…
It is to have a heart with direction and purpose and love.
It is to seek the kingdom first believing that all else will be given besides.” (Origin unknown)

Visiting Musicians ~ We sincerely thank Pianist Luke Humphrey and cantor Catherine Humphrey who provided music at our re-opening Mass on June 21 and will join us again on July 12. On June 28 we welcomed Cory Gallagher, who will be with us again on July 5. Thank you to all for enhancing our worship service. We just wish we could sing with you.

“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 ~ There will be a second collection on Sunday, July 12, for the Mission Co-op. Normally, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith would have designated a visiting missionary to speak at our parish. This year, the Co-op collection will take the place of a visiting missionary’s personal appeal. Please be as generous as possible.

A Message from Father Victor ~ Welcome back dear parishioner! Our church resumed Sunday services on June 21. For now, there will only be a Sunday Mass. No weekday or Saturday Masses will be offered. 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, and you are expected to bring your own mask or face covering. The church will provide hand sanitizer, and ushers will greet you at each entrance and dispense sanitizer as you enter. Please assist them by arriving early, and listen to their seating instructions.To maintain social distancing, some pews (marked with an “X”) 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). While I appreciate the fact that you are all anxious to see each other, “please do not make any physical contact with other parishioners [such as hand shakes or hugs} in order to protect everyone’s health.” And “please do not congregate in the church or 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. “I pray for good health and continued blessing in your life, and for our parish. Sincerely, Fr. Victor Ibhawa.”

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. 

Adapting the Bulletin Under New Diocesan Guidelines ~ Under the new diocesan guidelines for our physical return to church, all paper resources (e.g., hymn books, missalettes, bulletins, etc.) must be removed and “[can]not be returned to the church until the [corona virus] outbreak has passed.”  As a result, no PRINTED bulletins will be available to those attending Mass. An electronic copy of the bulletin will be sent to all parishioners who have an email address on file with the church office, but that is only about 40 households. If you are not one of them, please update or share your current email address with Pat Pendleton so that you will be included. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Tuesday-Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm. The information from the bulletin will also be available on this web site. Always look for the “Week of …” post on the home page. If you do not have internet access but would still like access to information in the digital bulletin, please give Pat a call.

Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have continued their weekly offerings. While we have not been able to worship together since March 15, many expenses associated with running the parish continue. If you have underlying health conditions and are not yet comfortable with returning to worship services but are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider continuing your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

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 2020census.gov 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.

A Message from Catholic Charities Appeal 2020:

Catholic Charities is doing everything possible to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this time. We are operating every service we safely can and especially those most vital at this time such as basic emergency assistance, including our food pantries (all nine are up and running, assisted by CC staff from other departments) and counseling and mental health services. We are here to help! Many of our staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily.

For the Appeal, our office at 741 Delaware Ave. is closed to visitors. Parishes (and even individual parishioners) are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department. We also encourage online donations:https://www.ccwny.org/donation when possible. Appeal staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily. Please call Clara Moran, 716-713-4410, with questions or concerns. We are grateful for the returns that are being mailed already!

For a daily update about Catholic Charities, go to our home page at ccwny.org. Thank you!

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 3 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

Open House ~The School of Two Hearts, a K-12 school in the Roman Catholic tradition, will open for the first time this September at 300 Wendel Avenue in Tonawanda. Their open house will take place from 6:30-8:30pm on Sunday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 15.

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.