May 3 – May 10, 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 13, 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 13, May 27, June 10, 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 Fourth 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 3. 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
This is “Good Shepard Sunday,” which occurs on the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The name is derived from the gospel reading for this Sunday (John 10:1-10) in which Christ is described as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. Today’s liturgy also includes the shepherd imagery of Psalm 23. Even though our ability to fully participate in Mass is limited this year, we can still take time to thoughtfully consider today’s readings and meditate on Christ’s presence in our lives with this Prayer to the Good Shepherd provided by Catholic Relief Services.
Lord of the 23rd Psalm,
I have known death, and you have refreshed my soul.
I have known fear, and you have comforted me.
I have known hunger, and you have set a feast before me.
In the darkest valley no calamity of humankind or nature has separated us.
Teach me to walk as you walk
Beside those in mourning so that they will know joy,
Beside those in fear that they will know comfort,
Beside those in hunger that they will feast until their cup overflows.
As your goodness and love follow me,
May mine follow my neighbor
That the threat of the worst terrors
May turn to the knowledge of the comforts of
the house of the Lord,
Where you have invited us to dwell forever.
And so let me strive to help build on earth what you have promised us in heaven.
In the face of all calamity, present and yet to come,
Let me lead my neighbor beside quiet waters,
The quiet waters of the Good Shepherd. Amen.
Saints in a time of pandemics ~ There seems to be a saint associated with every form of trial or tribulation, so what about pandemics? His name is St. Rock (Roch in the Church of England). A favorite of Italians who venerate him as “St. Rocco,” his image can be found in our church sanctuary. St. Rocco is depicted in terra cotta relief above the metal door of a cabinet located on the left side of the sanctuary. The cabinet is used for storage of reliquaries.
Rocco was born into nobility circa 1340, orphaned as a young child, and raised by his uncle, the Duke of Montpellier, France. Having distributed his wealth among the poor, Rocco took a vow of poverty. Dressed as a pilgrim, he traveled to Italy at a time when the country was being ravaged by disease. St. Rocco cured many of the plague, but contracted the disease himself and was banished from Rome. Legend has it that he took refuge in a cave, and survived by eating bread brought to him by a dog. St. Rocco eventually arrived back at his birthplace, but in such a weakened state he was unrecognizable by the townspeople and ended up being imprisoned for 5 years as a spy. His true identity was revealed on his prison deathbed, where a “voice from paradise” announced this his soul had merited immortal glory in Heaven. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death on August 16, 1378.
At this time when our own country is being “ravaged by disease,” let us pray all those who minister to the sick and dying, especially those who left the comfort of their own homes and risked contagion to assist caregivers in New York City.
Prayer to St. Rocco (Patron of contagion, epidemics, illness)
O great St. Rocco, deliver us, we beseech you, from contagious diseases, and the contagion of sin. Obtain, for us, a purity of heart which will assist us to make good use of health, and to bear sufferings with patience. Teach us to follow your example in the practice of penance and charity, so that we may, one day enjoy the happiness of being with Christ, Our Savior, in Heaven. Amen.
Next Sunday is Mother’s Day. For the first time in more than a half century, the men of our Holy Name Society will be unable to honor women of the parish by hosting the annual Mother’s Day Breakfast. However, as a parish family, we wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day and honor not only our mothers, but all the gentlemen who have made this such a special occasion over the years.
Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have have continued their weekly contributions. We realize that many of you may have experienced a loss of income during the economic shutdown. However, if you are in a position to continue supporting the parish financially, please consider your responsibilities as a “good steward” and help us to survive the difficult weeks ahead. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.
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 find an Easter Scavenger Hunt and — for the little ones — The Jelly Bean Prayer. This is also the place 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.
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.
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.
The Buffalo Diocese “has determined that it is in the best interests of victims of past clergy sexual abuse, as well as the ongoing and essential work of Faith in WNY to pursue reorganization through Chapter 11 [Bankruptcy].” Their Office of Communications has created a web page, “Reorganizing for the Future…together” to help explain this choice. Find it at buffalodiocese.org
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
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.