May 17 – May 24, 2020
Weekly Activities –
We are social distancing. All services, meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.
Wednesday, May 27, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURS ~ Catholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (May 27, June 10, June 24, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.
Mass Intentions – As of March 16, 2020, all services are cancelled until further notice.
Mass for the Seventh Sunday of Easter celebrated at neighboring St. Joseph University Church is available on YouTube. You can watch it at any time by Clicking HERE.
We also invite you to follow the daily Mass readings for the week of May 24. They 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
News from our Parish Community
Reflection on the Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter
The post resurrection appearances of Jesus had bolstered the shaken faith of the disciples who had been confused and disillusioned by Jesus’ crucifixion and death. But then Jesus left them, at least physically, for good. Today’s first reading is an account of the days after the ascension. You can imagine the followers of Jesus looking at one another and saying, “And now what?” The truth is, they probably did not know what to do next, so they simply did the most natural thing: they came together in mutual support and they devoted themselves to prayer. And, significantly, they prayed in community.
The Buddhist monk and pacifist Thich Nhat Hanh once said that “without a community we can’t go very far.” Evidently the disciples sensed that as they gathered once again in Jerusalem. In those days spent together they most likely also remembered, recalling the words of Jesus, looking for hints to help direct their future. Jesus’ words in today’s gospel were probably among their memories. Shortly before his death Jesus prayed that God would give eternal life to all those God had given to him: “They belonged to you … they have kept your word … they have believed that you have sent me … they are yours … and I have been glorified in them … And now I will no longer be in the world, but they will be in the world….”
A sudden realization, no doubt – the onus is on them! It will be up to them to be Christ in the world – to teach, to preach, to heal, to pray, to break bread and drink from the cup in memory of him. Perhaps, too, to suffer and to die like him. And so they prayed. It was probably a somewhat anguished prayer where they tried to find both a clarity of direction, and the moral fortitude to move ahead. It makes me think of T.S. Eliot’s embellishment of the words of Julian of Norwich. “And all shall be well … by the purification of the motive in the ground of our beseeching.”
Today, we are the ones “in the world.” May we, too, find in prayer the purity of heart and intention to go forward in faith and to work for the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Sister Regina Murphy, SSMN
Ascension Day is Thursday, May 21. Here is a sonnet for Ascension Day by Rev. Malcolm Guite, from his collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press in England and available from Amazon in the U.S. Father Guite writes: “In the mystery of the Ascension we reflect on the way in which, one sense Christ ‘leaves’ us and is taken away into Heaven, but in another sense he is given to us and to the world in a new and more universal way. He is no longer located only in one physical space to the exclusion of all others. He is in the Heaven which is at the heart of all things now and is universally accessible to all who call upon Him. And since His humanity is taken into Heaven, our humanity belongs there too, and is in a sense already there with him. ‘For you have died,’ says St. Paul, ‘and your life is hidden with Christ in God.’ In the Ascension Christ’s glory is at once revealed and concealed, and so is ours. The sonnet form seemed to me one way to begin to tease these things out.”
We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed.
Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches, now scheduled for New York’s Phase 4. Obviously much thought went into this. If you would like to see what our return to the pews might look like, Click HERE to read the 10-page document.
Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have 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 are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider resuming your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.
Saints in a time of pandemics ~ St. Camillus de Lellis was canonized in 1746, and is venerated as a patron of the sick as well as patron of doctors, nurses and nursing groups. His biography reveals some interesting parallels with our present situation. Born at Bocchianico, Italy, he fought for the Venetians against the Turks and, at the age of 17, sustained a war injury that led to a chronically diseased leg. He became addicted to gambling, and by 1574 was penniless in Naples. Camillus became a Capuchin novice, but was unable to be professed because of his diseased leg. He devoted himself to caring for the sick, and became director of St. Giacomo Hospital in Rome. Charity was his first concern, but the physical aspects of the hospital also received his diligent attention. Camillus insisted on cleanliness and the technical competence of those who served the sick. He received permission from his confessor (St. Philip Neri) to be ordained and decided, with two companions, to found his own congregation, the Ministers of the Sick (the Camellians). They ministered to the sick of Holy Ghost Hospital in Rome, enlarged their facilities in 1585, and founded a new house in Naples in 1588. During the corona virus pandemic, we have learned of tourists quarantined on Carnival cruise ships and sailors unable to disembark from the USS Theodore Roosevelt. In 16th century Naples, Camillus and his men went onto the galleys that were not allowed to dock because of the plague and ministered to those on board. Today our attention is drawn to the effect of the virus on those who are incarcerated. The members of his community bound themselves to serve prisoners infected by the plague as well as those dying in private homes. When he discovered that there were people being buried alive, Camillus ordered his brothers to continue the prayers for the dying 15 minutes after apparent death. In 1595, some of his men were embedded with troops fighting in Hungary and Croatia, forming the first recorded military field ambulance. His feast day is July 18.
Prayer to St. Camillus De Lellis
Glorious St Camillus, turn your merciful eyes upon those who suffer and those who care for them.
Grant to the sick Christian resignation and trust in the goodness and power of God.
Make those who take care of the sick be generous and lovingly dedicated.
Help me to understand the mystery of suffering as a means of redemption and the way to God.
May your protection comfort the sick and their families and encourage them to live together in love.
Bless those who dedicate themselves to the infirm.
And may the good God grant peace and hope to all. Amen
Until the current COVID-19 restrictions on services and activities are lifted, we will not be preparing a weekly bulletin. However, there may well be announcements that Father Victor would like to share with our parish family. The most efficient way to do this is to utilize email messaging, but our secretary has email addresses for only about 40 parishioners. Please share your current email address with Pat so that you will be able to receive such announcements in a timely fashion. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Wednesdays between 10:30am and 2:30pm.
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 here’s something even better. 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.
Our Faith Formation Program now has its own page on our web site. Click HERE to look for complete information on the resumption of programs, classes and volunteer opportunities as they become available.
New Office Hours ~ The parish has temporarily reduced office hours to one day each week. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Wednesday from 10:30am-2:30pm.
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!
Faith Formation Program Provides On-line Opportunities ~ Buffalo’s Department of Lifelong Faith Formation’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry has officially partnered with “ProjectYM Live” a program designed especially for youth and young adults. In this time of “Social Distancing,” try Church in a way our parents could never have imagined. And, everyone in the parish is invited to join our Confirmation students as they prepare for receipt of the Sacrament. Here is a link to Lesson 2: Catholic Social Teaching: A Brief Overview.
Call to Stewardship ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join our committee. Please see Father Victor if you are able to serve in this capacity.
Is it time to update your contact information? During this period when the COVID-19 Protocols prevent us from attending church services, there will surely be occasions when the parish has important information to convey to the faithful. Does the church office have your correct mailing address and phone number? Have you shared your 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 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
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.