November 29 – December 6, 2020

COVID-19 Precautions: Following a November 25, 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Diocese of Buffalo has relaxed restrictions on capacity at worship services. See, Nov. 26 COVID-19 Update. It is no longer necessary to make a reservation to attend Mass at Blessed Trinity.

NEW: Sunday Mass is now being recorded and will be made available for viewing each Sunday afternoon on a Blessed Trinity YOU TUBE channel. Click HERE to view. If you click “Subscribe” on the YouTube site, you will receive automatic notification each time a Mass recording is posted.

Also, we are now providing personal copies of the Breaking Bread missal for each parishioner who would like one. You may claim yours this weekend and either take it home or place it in a zip-lock bag and reclaim it when you come again. Paper copies of the bulletin are once again available. Look for them at the middle crossing of the church.

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, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Bible Study

Wednesday, December 9, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Dec 9, 23, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

St. Francis Xavier
December 3
Joseph Mazur’s painting of St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), missionary to the Far East, is located on the left side of the transept.
Photo credit: Derek Gee, Buffalo News

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

Monday, November 30 ~ St. Andrew, Apostle ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Loved Ones (Req. by Blessed Trinity Parishioners)

Tuesday, December 1 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, December 2 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Praying for deceased parishioners (Req. by Blessed Trinity Church)

Thursday, December 3 ~  St. Francis Xavier ~ No Mass Scheduled

Friday, December 4 ~ St. John Damascene ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, December 5 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Blessings for deceased members of the Then, Venezia and Feralla families (Req. by Family)

Sunday, December 6 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Catherine Gress (Requested by the Ladies Sodality) and In Memory of Bob Lukasik (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Lector Schedule ~ Dec 5: Michael Ogoh; Dec 6: Palma Zanghi

News from our Parish Community

Father Bob Gebhard

A Note From Father Bob ~ As we have even further restraints on us, limiting our mass attendance to a maximum of 25 parishioners (maybe to10 by the time this bulletin meets your hands/eyes), it becomes an opportunity to find the presence of God, yet in the midst of this pandemic-world, in new and surprising ways.

Usually a gang around my parents harvest table, this year we were only 6 for the turkey feast. However, I think I became even more conscious than ever of those who were not at the table as usual, remembering especially the gift they are to me. To see things, do things, and experience things in a changed way sometimes brings our hearts to a much greater sensitivity to what/who most deeply feeds our lives, faith and capacity to love. God is good….  All the time! Thanks-giving is a must!!

As we now begin a new liturgical year and season, Advent takes up November’s great refrain – to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Christ our King with patient waiting and preparation for his promised return at the end of time. 

So, once again, we are reminded of the daily dance, of not knowing the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, with step of patient waiting to celebrate the birth of our savior and his coming again in glory with absolute confidence….  Living in the in-between times calls upon our creativity and committed faith to live The Gospel Way with repentance, hope, healing, vitality and a renewed spirit in taking our parts in bringing about the kingdom here and now.

Other news….  We have a couple of leads on individuals to help with our parish maintenance and cleaning needs. Keep your fingers crossed and your prayers coming! We will have a rectory technology assessment next week. Our parish audit, by diocesan auditors, will hopefully be completed soon. Significant progress has been made on initiating the interior and exterior repairs needed for our church. Interior repair work could begin very soon.

Again, keep those prayers coming! The Parish Council and Liturgy Committee have met with eager persistence to lead us. Finally, I don’t think I need to remind everyone much as to how financially fragile we are as a parish. Though we are not able to worship together in usual numbers, I have to ask you, in a spirit of good stewardship, to remember to send in your donations during these very challenging days. This can be done by mailing in your envelopes/checks, having your support electronically transferred to the parish (317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo NY 14214) directly from your bank, asking a trusted fellow parishioner to bring it to the parish, or dropping it off as you are able. My very special thanks, on behalf of us all, to everyone who continues their financial stewardship, those who have stepped up their treasure-commitment even in these trying times, and those who keep our parish family in their regular prayers! 

Onward and upward!!

Lectors ~ Please pick up your workbooks for the new liturgical year. They are on the first bench on the Baptismal Font side of the church.

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be December 8. 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 15 and 16. 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.

Sunday, November 29, after Mass ~ Special Program for Children over age 7 Who Have Not Been Baptized. 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. Check out our Faith Formation page for much more about upcoming classes and discussion groups.

I love Advent — it is so different from the rest of the liturgical calendar and has a musical richness that I believe to be unparalleled. Many, many advent texts have been competing for the top spot in my heart during this pandemic, but none more than a simple carol written in 1977 by Marianne Misetich, SNJM. Sister Marianne died during the first week of Advent in 2017 at the age of 89. She was a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names for 70 years and was a music minister as well as a teacher and composer. Her Advent carol, The Whole World is Waiting for Love, can be found in your new Breaking Bread hymnal, #68.

We’re waiting for Jesus like Mary,
We’re waiting for Jesus the Lord.
Come down, Lord Jesus! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
The whole world is waiting for Love,
The whole world is waiting for Love.

We’re laying a manger for Mary,
A manger for Jesus the Lord.
Come down, Lord Jesus! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
The whole world is waiting for Love,
The whole world is waiting for Love.


Please be sure to take an envelope from the Blessed Trinity “Giving Tree.” Donations will benefit The Little Portion Friary.

The Giving Tree ~ As we begin our journey toward Christmas, we’re invited to assist others. For several years, our parish has been doing this a bit indirectly by helping a neighboring charitable organization pay its bills (heat, water, etc) as it directly serves the needy. This year our annual Giving Tree will benefit Little Portion Friary, located at 1305 Main Street, Buffalo. Little Portion currently provides homeless men with temporary shelter and a meal, as well as counseling and other necessary services. “Shopping” with the Giving Tree is easy! Simply take an envelope from the tree located near the ramp door. You will see a suggested gift item on it (e.g., man’s winter scarf). Don’t buy the item—Instead, we ask that you offer the cash value (or a check made out to Blessed Trinity Parish with “Giving Tree” on the subject line) in the envelope. Return the envelope in the collection basket before December 25. Our parish donations are another way we can live out our Mission Statement, being a loving community that reaches out to our brothers and sisters in need. Thank you for your participation.

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.

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.

In Fond Memory: Randolph McGhee, 1932-2020 ~ Mentioned at our masses last weekend, it has come to our attention that Randolph passed away in early November from complications following a stroke. Randolph donated his body to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.Thus, a Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.

Formerly a faithful member of nearby St. James Parish, with the closure of St. James, and the merger of St. James, St. Gerard, and Blessed Trinity Parishes, Randolph became just as committed and supportive a member here.

Randolph always sat near the front of the church for Mass, week after week, and was easily identified by his unique attire…. always wearing shorts to Mass (even in the middle of a winter snow storm!) and his treasured Veteran’s cap. Ever kind, pleasant and faithful, his life is an example to all of us! The Lord bless his soul and grant him eternal rest and peace.

Behind the Scenes! Many Thanks! Think back to March 15. Little did we know that the church would not reopen for Sunday Mass until June 21st! We were in the midst of a pandemic. What an unusual time it was and continues to be! Daily Mass did not begin again until September 1. And then, on Sunday, November 22 we were in a quasi shutdown and limited to only 25 people per Mass!

Yet, in spite of a shutdown, there has continued to be ongoing necessities in the parish that require attention. On this Thanksgiving weekend, as we approach the end of the calendar year, much gratitude is extended to all those who have worked behind the scenes sharing their time and talent to keep things going. Here are some highlights…

To establish some level of connection with parishioners during this challenging time, Mickey Dick formed a Phone Tree for Sodality for members to call others and make sure they were doing okay, especially those who may be homebound.

Luis Clay formed what he referred to as the “Ole Boys Club.” He, along with Rafael Rondon phoned all the men in the parish to check in and to see how they were doing and if there were any needs they could help with. Throughout this entire time Dan Korchowsky has continued to serve the community through managing and operating the Food Pantry. Thank you to Dan who devotes much time and effort to this valuable operation.

To prepare for an eventual reopening, a committee was formed. Their first of several meetings was held on May 18. They were required to address and implement all the necessary requirements set out by the Diocese in keeping with New York State guidelines. Many thanks to Roseanne and Gary Johnson, Bob Heicklen, Jack Curtin, Pam Zanghi, David Folmar and Pastoral Associate, Pat Dyer, along with Fr. Victor who called the group together.

After each Mass the church continues to be sanitized. Many thanks to Jack Curtain, Bob Heicklen and David Folmar who have done this weekly. We also thank Pure Green Cleaning who occasionally will donate their services. They welcome newcomers!

The grounds and maintenance have had to be cared for throughout this whole time, however, we have been without a maintenance person! Many thanks to Bud Dick for continuing to assist with several church needs. He, along with Mickey Dick and Judy Casassa have taken care of planting and gardening needs that surround the lovely church grounds. Bob Heicklen and Gary Johnson were also instrumental in securing someone to cut the lawn. Luis Clay has assisted with necessary trimming of greenery. Thank you to all!

Operation of the church continues, many thanks to trustees, Bud Dick and Madonna Hartzell. Thank you to Bob Heicklen, Elsieta Chapman, Kathy Press, Cathy Cummings and Lorraine Riles who count the collection.

We have a beautiful website at Blessed Trinity. It has been maintained through the efforts of Mickey Dick who diligently continues to update information, place photos and include items of interest to inform our congregation.

Bible Study has been meeting every two weeks via zoom led by our Pastoral Associate, Pat Dyer. This has been a great way to learn more about the Word of God. All are welcome!

To prepare for the arrival of Fr. Bob, a number of parishioners spent some days helping to clean and tidy up the Rectory–Bud and Mickey Dick, Judy Casassa, Sr. Liz Savage,  Pam Zanghi, Colleen Schroeder, Nick & Drew Brodfuehrer.

Heartfelt gratitude to Jack Curtin who lends his services each day as he prepares for daily and Sunday Masses. He has been a great asset to Fr. Victor and now is of help to Fr. Bob. Sacristan Dan Korchowsky also devotes time assisting at Sunday Mass along with Lorna Cameron on Saturdays. Lorna also launders all the purificators that are used at Liturgies.

Many thanks to Mary Kresse who coordinates the Lector and Eucharistic Minister schedule. Thank you to all those who continue to proclaim the Word of God at each Mass and serve Communion. 

Someone has to wash all those robes and that would be Maggie Gatson. Thank you, Maggie!

Thank you to Lawler Brown and all the ushers who welcome and assist at the distribution of Communion and who lead in the exiting from the church. Thank you also to Pat Dyer, Pastoral Associate, who has been actively maintaining a valuable level of connection with parishioners, Roy Laciura who dutifully manages all the bookkeeping so critical to parish operation and  Secretary, Pat  Pendleton,  responsible for weekly office duties to keep our communication flowing. 

We are also grateful to once again hear music from the loft with Elizabeth and Luis Clay.

The Parish Council has primarily remained active from afar depending on email to communicate and inform. An in-person gathering took place on October 28 in St. Charles Hall and our November meeting was held via zoom on November 18. Our next is scheduled for December 16.

So here we are, at the end of November, with masks on faces and sanitizer in hands, practicing social distance as we come to worship God and be in the company of at least some of our fellow parishioners! Our Holiday Season is different this year, but we can still celebrate its traditional meaning and give thanks for all we have been blessed with. Let us give particular thanks for all the churches around our country, big and small who help in numerous ways to connect with others in the community to bring the love of God. We are all part of the Body of Christ.

We give special thanks for our Blessed Trinity Parish, for all the care that is shown and for all the talents that are so graciously shared. The Lord’s peace be with us.

Palma Zanghi
Blessed Trinity Parish Council President

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 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.

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

Ceramic holy water font and terra cotta columns.
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

Request from Our Lady of Hope Parish ~ Immigrant family in desperate need of single (twin) beds for 5 children. If you or anyone you know has any to give away, please call Deacon Ron Thaler, 716-553-6203.

The dated announcements below were all received before the “yellow zone” 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.