May 31 – June 7, 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, June 10, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURS ~ Catholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (June 10, June 24, July 8, 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 Pentecost Sunday 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 31. 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
A Greeting from Father Victor ~ Dear Parishioners: Happy Pentecost Sunday to you all! As we celebrate today the birth of the Church as the power of the Holy Spirit transforms the disciples and the early Christians to preach to the ends of the earth. Against the backdrop of the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel (Gen 11), the Holy Spirit rectifies this with the unity of tongue (Act 2). We might not be able to speak in different tongues but we are all invited to respond to the universal language of love, kindness, generosity, and peace. More so, we are invited to use our gift for the sake of the common good. May the Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on us. Happy Pentecost Sunday.
The Visitation ~ We usually celebrate The Feast of the Visitation on the May 31, but this year it was displaced from that date by the Pentecost Sunday and is commemorated on June 1 instead. Father Malcolm Guite had this introduction to his sonnet in honor of the feast: “The feast of the Visitation usually falls on the 31st of May, but this year it was displaced from that date by the great feast of Pentecost, and so we keep it on the 1st of June instead. It is … very fitting to remember the visitation on the day after Pentecost, for it is a perfect example of the vivifying and prophetic work of God the Holy Spirit. The feast of the Visitation celebrates the lovely moment in Luke’s Gospel (1:41-56) when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also, against all expectations, bearing a child, the child who would be John the Baptist. Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit came upon them, and that the babe in Elizabeth’s womb ‘leaped for joy’ when he heard Mary’s voice, and it is even as the older woman blesses the younger, that Mary gives voice to the Magnificat, the most beautiful and revolutionary hymn in the world. There is much for the modern world to ponder in this tale of God’s blessing and prophecy on and from the margins, and I have tried to tease a little of it out in this sonnet.”
Here is a meeting made of hidden joys
Of lightenings cloistered in a narrow place
From quiet hearts the sudden flame of praise
And in the womb the quickening kick of grace.
Two women on the very edge of things
Unnoticed and unknown to men of power
But in their flesh the hidden Spirit sings
And in their lives the buds of blessing flower.
And Mary stands with all we call ‘too young’,
Elizabeth with all called ‘past their prime’
They sing today for all the great unsung
Women who turned eternity to time
Favoured of heaven, outcast on the earth
Prophets who bring the best in us to birth.
Father Guite’s sonnet is drawn from his collection Sounding the Seasons, available from Amazon in the U.S. and also on Kindle.
A Tribute to victims of the Coronavirus ~ Father Malcom Guite, the Anglican poet-priest from Cambridge, England wrote this in his blog for May 29, 2020: “I am thinking of my American friends today as the tragic death-toll from the virus there passes 100,000. These are mind numbing numbers and only the exercise of compassionate imagination can give us even a glimpse of the harrowing personal stories behind each one. When I began to hear our statistics mount on our own evening radio news, I found myself again and again in prayer, knowing that even though I only heard the numbers, God knew and loved and died for the people behind those numbers.” The following poem is from the concluding section of his Quarantine Quatrains.
At close of day I hear the gentle rain
Whilst experts on the radio explain
Mind-numbing numbers, rising by the day,
Cyphers of unimaginable pain
Each evening they announce the deadly toll
And patient voices calmly call the roll
I hear the numbers, cannot know the names
Behind each number, mind and heart and soul
Behind each number one belovèd face
A light in life whom no-one can replace,
Leaves on this world a signature, a trace,
A gleaning and a memory of grace
All loved and loving, carried to the grave
The ones whom every effort could not save
Amongst them all those carers whose strong love
Bought life for others with the lives they gave.
The sun sets and I find myself in prayer
Lifting aloft the sorrow that we share
Feeling for words of hope amidst despair
I voice my vespers through the quiet air:
O Christ who suffers with us, hold us close,
Deep in the secret garden of the rose,
Raise over us the banner of your love
And raise us up beyond our last repose.
Reflection on the Readings for Pentecost Sunday of Easter: ACTS 2:1-11, 1 COR. 3b-7, 12-13 JOHN 20:19-23
Today’s feast is one of special significance for the Church in a number of ways. It is one of the few feasts that have a period of preparation set aside so that we take time to anticipate the mystery that we will celebrate. There are the 40 days of Lent, the 4 weeks of Advent and the novena preceding the feast of Pentecost.
It is also one of the feasts that irrevocably alters humanity’s relationship to the Divine. With the Incarnation we learn that God’s love for us leads Him to share our humanity. With the Resurrection we learn that God’s love for us leads Him to let us share His eternity. With the Descent of the Spirit we learn that God’s love for us leads Him to not only be with us, but to dwell within us, to give us the possibility of being His hands, His voice, His love for others.
The reading from Acts is so familiar to us that we might simply be taken with the long list of all the varied languages that were spoken that day, spoken so that everyone, regardless of the country of origin, would have equal opportunity to learn of the “mighty acts of God.” As this year’s At Home with the Word points out, only one verse of the reading focuses on the gift of tongues (as wonderful as it is), while seven verses focus on the gift of hearing and understanding what God has accomplished on our behalf.
This, of course, brings us to Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, where he points out so clearly that the gifts God gives His people are always for the benefit of the Body of Christ. I love teaching this passage to young people because they so deeply want to believe that they have a gift to one day share with the world. One year, I was very surprised by a student who obviously had no delusions of grandeur. When I asked, “What part of the Body of Christ do you think you might be at this point in your life?” She responded instantly, “I am the thumb on the right hand.” She was delighted with this! She was in charge of communications for the Student Council, and every day she had to post the day’s announcements on every bulletin board in the building. She was so excited to realize, on her own, that this could be more than a boring task. I still admire her faith, simplicity and enthusiasm. I still pray to share them.
And then we have the very brief Gospel from John, taking place on Easter itself. Time is so telescoped here that a multitude of mysteries occur within 4 verses. The disciples rejoice in Jesus, risen, but still bearing his wounds. Twice, Jesus assures them that He is leaving them the gift of peace. With that peace as their armor, he sends them into the world, as the Father had sent Him. Jesus breathes on them, and, filled with the Spirit, they are missioned.
It is still the same Pentecost gift that we will try to understand and embrace on Sunday.
Sister Elizabeth Buchala, SSMN
Rosary Video for All Ages ~ As we end the month of May dedicated to Our Lady, 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, now scheduled for New York’s Phase 4. 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.
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 until we can 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.
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.
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
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.