Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Sunday, November 22, 2020
“The theme of the [church’s stained glass skylight] is Christ the King.… The central panel shows Christ reigning as Lord of the kingdom that we pray will come.” Rev. Walter Kern’s Guidebook
to Blessed Trinity R.C. Church, page 44.
Photo Credit: Derek Gee, Buffalo News

November 22 – November 29, 2020

Once again, new pandemic precautions are forcing a change in our worship services. While Father Gebhard intends to continue celebrating daily and weekend Masses, attendance is NOW LIMITED TO 25 (including Father). Beginning this weekend, we will be taking reservations for the following week. If you arrive after 25 have been seated at Mass this weekend, your name will go to the head of the reservation list for next Sat/Sun.

For those who have been missing the Breaking Bread missal, you may claim your own personal copy beginning this weekend.  Some of you may not realize that paper copies of the bulletin are once again available. Look for them at the middle crossing of the church.

There will be a 10AM Mass on Thanksgiving Day. If you would like to attend, remember to ask about a reservation this weekend.

Beginning NEXT SUNDAY, NOV. 29, a recording of Sunday Mass will be available for viewing on a Blessed Trinity YOU TUBE channel. Information on how to access it will be available on this site.

Keep in mind, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on other Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect in our diocese.

Please pray for the health and safety of all in our community.

Weekly Activities

All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Tuesday, November 24 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Bible Study

Wednesday, November 25, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Nov 11, Nov 25, Dec 9, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Thanksgiving Day Mass
November 26, 2020 at 10AM

Mass Intentions

The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, and the NEW schedule for daily Mass, as of Monday, November 9, 2020 is: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

Sunday, November 22 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Rest for Edward F. Schroeder (Req. by Sr. Ann Helene Koenig, OSF) and In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Monday, November 23 ~ St. Clement I; St. Columban ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Loved Ones (Req. by Blessed Trinity Parishioners)

Tuesday, November 24 ~ St. Andrew Dung-Lac & Companions ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for Sr. Flavia Dampf, SSS (Req. by Judy Casassa)

Wednesday, November 25 ~ St. Catherine of Alexandria ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for Regina Bigelow (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Thursday, November 26 ~ Thanksgiving Day ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Praying for deceased parishioners (Req. by Blessed Trinity Church

Friday, November 27 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, November 28 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Blessings for Bernadette Dorsheimer (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Sunday, November 29 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Birthday Remembrance for Elmer Hartzell (Req. by Madonna Hartzell)

Lector Schedule ~ Nov 28: John Curtiin; Nov 29: Mary Kresse

News from our Parish Community

Father Bob Gebhard

A Note From Father Bob ~ I thank all of you very much for the warm welcome I have received since my arrival here. As I acknowledged, in some of my comments to you, I know that your past few months have been strained and difficult. Still, you have made my early days and transition here a joy. It was so nice to be able to greet you at the doors of the church — even at “social distance.” I so look forward to the day when we will have no masks or distance between us. In the meantime, I am trying to dig in one day at a time and become familiar with the faith community here. I anticipate good things!!! Gratitude to all.

I want to make you aware that I met the other day with one of the diocesan officials from the department of Buildings & Properties regarding insurance work that needs to be done on the inside of the church. It seemed a very positive meeting and we should have a response from them, and a timeline on repairs, very soon (I hope!)

Finally, I simply bring to your attention the highlight that the Church Universal gives to honoring and remembering those people, and loved ones, who have gone before us in faith during the month of November. This is a time in our church year that helps us to recall the spiritual union of Christians, living and dead. This Communion of Saints includes all those people, great and small, who choose to live life – this life or afterlife – in Christ… or, as I mentioned in my homily two weekends ago, ordinary people who do ordinary things in extraordinary ways because of their faith in Jesus!

The Memory Table, near the Paschal Candle and the Baptismal Font of the church, is our place to bring forth the names and faces of our deceased loved ones and friends. You are invited to write their names on the slips of paper that are provided in the basket there (you must use your own pen due to Covid restrictions), and place them on the table, leave funeral cards and/or leave mementos as a way to express our faith that we, even in death, remain intimately united with them!

A Reflection on the Gospel for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Mt 25:31-46 by Rev. Malcolm Guite, an Anglican priest in Cambridge, England.

Christ the King

Our King is calling from the hungry furrows
Whilst we are cruising through the aisles of plenty,
Our hoardings screen us from the man of sorrows,
Our soundtracks drown his murmur: ‘I am thirsty’.
He stands in line to sign in as a stranger
And seek a welcome from the world he made,
We see him only as a threat, a danger,
He asks for clothes, we strip-search him instead.
And if he should fall sick then we take care
That he does not infect our private health,
We lock him in the prisons of our fear
Lest he unlock the prison of our wealth.
But still on Sunday we shall stand and sing
The praises of our hidden Lord and King.

The Second Collection on November 21/22 benefits the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Your gift supports programs that:

Bring people together to solve community problems;
Create affordable housing for low-income families;
Teach new skills and create jobs;
Help those in poverty achieve self-reliance and self-sufficiency;
Educate Catholics about poverty and Catholic social teaching.

 “Life at the Poverty Line. Every day is about hanging on.” Please be generous.

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be November 24. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 13 and 14. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Parish Memory Table

Our Communion of Saints ~ Throughout the month of November, we will be remembering our deceased family members and friends at Mass. Take a moment to add the name of a departed loved one at the Memory Table near the Paschal Candle.

Sunday, November 29, after Mass ~ Special Program for Children over age 7 Who Have Not Been Baptized. Parents who wish to register their children are asked to call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598 so that we will arrange a space that is big enough to have social distancing in place and adequate materials. We will have a combination of in-person, Zoom and at home studies for an anticipated reception into the Church with Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil 2021.

Remembering Our Homebound This Christmas ~ Our Ladies Sodality has had to rethink their annual outreach to our parishioners who are homebound or living in senior care facilities. Cautionary practices imposed by the coronavirus make it impossible to assemble and deliver gift bags as we have done in the past. Instead, we will be purchasing grocery store gift cards for those living in private residences. For anyone in a senior care facility, we will arrange to have a Mass offered for his/her special intentions. If you are in a position to support our Christmas 2020 Outreach, please place your monetary donation in an envelope marked “Sodality Project” and drop it in the collection basket between now and December 13. Checks payable to: Ladies Sodality of Blessed Trinity may also be mailed to the project co-ordinator, Mickey Dick, at 2549 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214.Thank you for your continued support.

Know Your Faith: Baptized to be King ~ This weekend marks the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King. It is very natural to see it appear at the start of Thanksgiving week in the United States. Some see Jesus in the realm of earthly king, surrounded by riches and power – one to whom we are subject; however, the Church teaches that all of us are Baptized to be Priest, Prophet and King. The readings focus on Jesus as King or Shepherd.

After God created man and woman, God goes on to give them authority over the whole of the earth, “…Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Gen 1:28.). The evangelist Luke warns us that “…Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Lk 12:48).

The very popular PBS/British drama Downton Abbey featured the Earl of Grantham and his family. Times were changing and large estates experienced challenges. When his daughter and son-in-law brought up the idea of selling off the bulk of the property and its farms and businesses, Lord Grantham asked, “What will happen to the people who reside and make their living on the estate?”

The concept of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) has been called the Church’s best kept secret. The foundational concern is one we talked about a few weeks ago – creation of the human person (all of us) in the image and likeness of God. Beyond that, we try to look at how to translate these things into our daily lives. It is often said that there are two feet to CST. Try standing on just one foot. Not so easy, is it? I will check back with you on that subject in a few days – now keep that one foot up! The Church’s Social Ministry teaches that we need BOTH Charity and Justice. The works of charity address the physical and spiritual needs of our neighbors – both at home and abroad. Some examples of formal Church sponsored charity that you may know are the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services as well as local projects like our food pantry. These organizations are also involved with social justice issues. Here is an easy way to understand the difference: I sprained my ankle on a loose stair tread. First, I will put a brace on the sprained ankle then I will repair the broken step that caused me to trip.

Consider the story of Joe and the people he met in the business district one afternoon: Joe had recently lost his job at a bank after a merger. He was a young man with a college degree in finance and everyone had expected him to do great things. Along came the pandemic, and Joe was unable to find another job with so many businesses closed. Once the unemployment ran out, Joe was unable to keep up with his bills and – well, you know the rest. As Joe was walking downtown near the business district at lunch time, he saw three people that he had known from the bank – wealthy business owners. They greeted Joe who was looking a little disheveled. After hearing his story, the first handed Joe a check for $20, which Joe politely acknowledged and put into his pocket. Joe would have to give $5 of that check to the bank to cash the check because he no longer had an account. Maybe he’d go to a check cashing store, because the banks in his neighborhood had closed.The second person handed Joe a flyer for the local Church food pantry. Joe noted that it was walking distance, but the holes in his old shoes would make carrying food home difficult. He also wondered if the food would require refrigeration or cooking as he had not paid the gas and electricity bills. The third person handed Joe a business card and invited him to come in for a job interview – it was just an entry level position, but there were opportunities for advancement. The second person also told Joe about a clothing closet at the Church that might have a pair of shoes and replacement clothes if he needed them. Perhaps, shampoo, soap and antiperspirant would be available there, too – or he could use some of his money to buy them, if he does not take the bus home after the pantry. He wants to save some money to take the bus later so that he will still look nice for his job interview. He will also have to walk part of the way to the job interview, because it is beyond the bus route and he does not have enough money for the taxi. All of this is charity, but do you see any issues here demanding justice? Not every justice issue is easy or obvious, but we are called to justice, too.

The readings today focus on God, provider, the charity aspect of the two feet. It is the shepherd that goes out to find lost sheep, who tends them and provides for them and protects them. Jesus also tells us that God will look at OUR lives. He does not say, “You wrote a big check, you amassed great power, you ruled many men – enter my kingdom.” No. God will say, ”For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (Mt 25:35-36). As Pope Francis has said, pastors (another word for shepherd/king) should be infused “with the smell of the sheep.”

Like the eunuch whom Philip taught (Acts 8:31,) we need guidance, and the Church, through the teaching authority of its bishops, offers guidance that we use to make decisions. We will begin to look at those foundational issues soon, but will first take a look at Advent and Christmas practices, traditions and symbols. Because we have been baptized as “kings” in the tradition of Jesus, we too need to tend to the sheep – all of God’s people.

…Patricia Dyer, MAPM

Prisoner Gift Bags for 2021 ~ As reported last month, the Prisoner Gift Project for 2020 is canceled. Yet we can remember our prisoners and get a jump on the 2021 project by decorating gift bags this Christmas Season. Covid-19 restrictions have closed us inside so consider using some of your home time decorating next years’ bags. Bags and directions are available for pick up in the back pew. Please plan to return your bags by the end of January 2020.

Join Our Family Promise Ministry  ~ As a shelter for homeless families and recently certified by NYS, Family Promise of WNY is following new health and safety guidelines and cannot accept donations of home prepared meals. Instead, volunteers have become grocery donors in a food category assigned to the day of the week. Blessed Trinity volunteers did this on 9/15 and found it much easier than coordinating and cooking a full dinner. We signed up for a date on the meal schedule and delivered the requested foods during the day at our convenience. We hope more parishioners will be able to participate. Family Promise also needs volunteers in areas like tutoring and transportation. If you think you might want to help and need more information go to their web site at fpwny.org and click on “Get Involved” to find the grocery sign up schedule. Also, you may contact our parish coordinator, Amy Johnson, at 716-836-4694.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 8 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented many from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone, mail or email took on increased importance. Because not everyone has computer access, really important information is sent in a letter. If you have not received written correspondence from the parish since September 2020, we don’t have your address. 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? (Important, too, for contact tracing). 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 receive the bulletin electronically via email, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday 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.

Religious education materials are available now. If you were not contacted please call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598.

Introducing Father Bob ~ Rev. Robert L. Gebhard, Jr., appointed as temporary administrator of Blessed Trinity Parish in October 2020, celebrated Masses with his new congregation for the first time on All Saints weekend. “Father Bob” was introduced and officially welcomed at the October 31st and November 1st liturgies by Parish Council President Palma Zanghi. Click HERE to read Ms. Zanghi’s address in its entirety. A receiving line took place after Masses on Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8, allowing parishioners the opportunity to introduce themselves to Fr. Bob. A guest book was also provided so that everyone could write him notes of welcome and encouragement.

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

Symbols representing phrases from the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart appear above the side altar dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Top, left-right: throne (Infinite Majesty), temple (Sacred Temple of God), tabernacle (tent) in the desert (Tabernacle of the Most High); Bottom, l-r: open gates (House of God and Gate of Heaven), flaming furnace (Furnace of Charity)
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

 

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

The dated announcements below were all received before this week’s changes to pandemic guidelines. It is suggested that you check with the hosting entity if planning to attend.

Fridays and Saturdays November 21 –  January 3, 5-9pm ~ Nativity Sets on Display. Fr. Roy Herberger will have 300 (of his 650) nativity sets from 58 countries on display at the Fatima Shrine, Lewiston during their Festival of Lights. Contact Fr. Roy at 716-852-2076 (roy [at] aol [dot] com) with questions.

Thursday December 3, 6-7pm ~ Evening/Advent Eucharistic Adoration & Holy Hour for Peace on at St. Andrew, (1525 Sheridan Drive in Kenmore). All invited to come (for any length of time) and experience the restorative and transformative power of prayer while in the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We begin with recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer and adoration, and ending with Procession & Benediction. Immediately following, we will pray the Patriotic Rosary for our nation. Deacon Mike Ficorilli presiding.

Alumni of St. Martin of Tours, St. Ambrose, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa, St. Agatha, Holy Family, St. John the Evangelist, Trinity, St. Bonaventure or Notre Dame Academy are invited to share your story with our current students and families via social media. Help us build on the traditions you loved so much while attending Catholic school. Drop us a note at GoodNews [at] NotreDameBuffalo [dot] org.

Saturday, December 5, 1- 4pm ~ Annual Family Christmas Basket Fest on at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish Hall, (157 Cleveland Drive in Cheektowaga). Preview night on Friday, December 4 from 5-8 pm. The Christmas Basket Fest includes a Grand Prize Drawing, our famous Humongous Theme Baskets, and some delightful side raffles. A take-out Spaghetti Dinner (compliments of the Knights of Columbus) will be available, as well as Mike’s Homemade Chili. For more information, call the rectory at 716-833-1715.

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.