Our Lady of Sorrows
September 15
Ceramic “Pieta” over interior doorway of left side entrance of the church. Sculpted by P. Kuhnle.
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

September 13-20, 2020

Weekly Activities

Weekend and weekday Masses have resumed but all in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Monday, Sept 14 at 6:30 p.m. ~ #OneBody ZOOM conference call

Tuesday, Sept 15 at 7:00 p.m. ~ NEW ~ 50-minute Bible Study via ZOOM, featuring the Acts of the Apostles. Click HERE to sign-in!

Wednesday, September 16, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Sept 16, Sept 30, Oct 14, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Daily & Saturday Masses have resumed: Tuesday-Friday at 11 AM and Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Sunday, September 13 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessings for William Francis Pernick (Requested by Children)

Monday, September 14 ~ The Exaltation of the Holy Cross – No scheduled Mass

Tuesday, September 15 ~ Our Lady of Sorrows ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, September 16 ~ Ss. Cornelius and Cyprian ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Thursday, September 17 ~ St. Robert Bellarmine ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Friday, September 18 ~ Rosh Hashanah (at sundown) ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, September 19 ~ St. Januarius ~ Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Sunday, September 20 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Marie Coogan (Grace Schaefer)

Lector Schedule ~  Sept 13: Sr. Liz Savage; Sept 19: Greg Gaglione; Sept 20: Judy Casassa

Photos credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

News from our Parish Community

Saturday/Weekday Masses have now resumed. You are encouraged to once again request Mass intentions by mail, by leaving your request in the collection (marked “Mass Intention”), or simply calling the rectory office (716-833-0301). Office hours are Tues – Thurs, 10:30am – 2:30pm. The customary stipend is $15.00.

#OneBody ~ September’s #OneBody ZOOM conference call is Monday, September 14. If you would like to join the conversation with individuals from various parishes, including our own, please contact Althea Porter at 716-316-8395. #One Body: Racial healing one heart at a time, one mind at a time.

A New Night and Time for Zoom Bible Study ~ Beginning September 15, our ZOOM Bible Study will meet every other TUESDAY at 7pm. Participants requested a slightly later start time and changed the night to prevent conflicts with the #OneBody ZOOM discussions. It’s not too late to get a free account at zoom.com so you can be part of the conversation as we study The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. Use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). The next session is scheduled to last 50 minutes; we will be discussing Acts: 3-4. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information. 

Reflection on readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Times: Sir 27:30 – 28:7; Ps 103:1-4, 9-12;  Rom 14:7-9; and Mt 18:21-35

Each reading really strikes me this weekend. Sirach’s words are strong and wise: “Wrath and anger are hateful things yet the sinner hugs them tight.” We’ve all heard that holding onto our anger is not wise and not even healthy. Sirach asks me today that if I nourish anger against someone, how could I ever expect to find healing from the Lord? If within me,  I work hard at keeping my wrath “alive and well” and hang onto it, how could I ever expect mercy and the forgiveness of my sins  to come to me?

Today’s Psalm refrain is one to be absorbed, to let it seep deep within me, within you: 

“The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion.”

Our God has not only revealed  God’s very self as a God who is loving and forgiving, slow to anger, and full of kindness and mercy.  Jesus’ life, words, and self-gift reveal the very Face of God to us. Jesus is the very Face of Mercy.

In response to Peter’s asking Jesus just how often we must forgive,  Jesus says, “seventy-seven times” and then tells today’s parable. The story Jesus tells, speaks of a king/ master who wants to settle accounts with his servants and right away, the first one before him has accumulated a huge debt which he could never pay back. As was the custom, the master ordered that the servant, his wife and family and all his possessions will be sold to pay the debt. Then the servant, on his knees, begs for patience and promises to pay everything back.The master is full of compassion and freely lets the servant go, forgiving everything he owed, with no conditions. When that servant, finding another servant who owes him a wee bit, begins to throttle him, he forgives nothing.

This Sunday’s readings remind me of two very painful instances in my life when I was treated “very shabbily” and deeply pained. Perhaps they challenge each of us to live as people who know we are loved and forgiven by our merciful God.

“The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion.”

P.S.  You may wish to find Pope Francis’ document on mercy:  Misericordiae Vultus.

 Sr. Marian Baumler, SSNM

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

Know Your Faith: It’s over! As a young mother with five (yes, five) antsy children and later while raising two grandchildren the words I longed to hear at every Mass were these, “The Mass has ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another.” (You may hear one of the other, but similar pronouncements.)  Our response is, “Thanks be to God!” How many of you have felt this way, too? Our children do grow up though. They make us smile and we anticipate every milestone – many with mixed emotion. Most of us have experienced a graduation either for ourselves or for someone we love. Of course graduation is an end – an end of schooling, but also a beginning of (more) schooling or a career or marriage or religious life, or something else, but a beginning.

Rather than an ending to the Mass, this is only the beginning of what comes next for us as disciples. As recorded in scripture, Jesus commissioned his disciples. “Then Jesus approached and said to them, ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’ ” (Mt 28:18-20.)  The disciples “went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” (Mk 16:20). These commissioning statements are really quite brief and say little more except that the disciples were promised power from on high and that they were to wait in the city for the fulfillment of the promise. (Lk 24:48-49). The disciples of Jesus – the ones who walked by his side and ate and drank with him were afraid of the Jews. They were Jews, too, so what made them so afraid? They had radical ideas and were followers of one who had been crucified. The disciples stayed in the upper room in Jerusalem and became just about the first “prayer group.” (Acts 1:14). Of course, we know that their prayers were answered with the coming of the holy Spirit to strengthen them. (Acts 2:4 and Acts 2:14-47). The priest during Mass calls for the holy Spirit too (you may hear bells ring at this point during some Masses.) That is the part that makes going to Mass so important. It brings us again the strength of the holy Spirit for our Mission in the world. “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.” (Jn 21:24). What did this mean for the first disciples? And – what does this mean for you and for me? As Matthew Kelly says in Rediscovering Jesus, we are a people of possibility.

Non-biblical reference:  A Commentary on the Order of the Mass of the Roman Missal.  2011.  Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.

Patricia Dyer, MAPM

Music Ministry ~ The search for a Music Minister has begun. If you know anyone who may be interested, detailed information may be found on the Buffalodiocese.org website. Select  the “Careers” tab on the Main page.

Family Promise of WNY  ~ Blessed Trinity has partnered with Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Hospital Network) as a support congregation since 1994 when the agency first established a presence in Western New York. Having just completed renovations to their facility on Hickory Street, Executive Director Luanne Firestone was happy to take parish team members Amy Johnson and Mickey Dick on a guided tour. The renovations are impressive, especially the addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, and individual family cupboards, all designed with COVID-19 protocols in mind. When they are able to resume intakes this month, 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 with the lifting of the current NYS eviction moratorium. New meal guidelines will make it easier for parish partners, like Blessed Trinity, to provide dinners for guest families. If you are in a position to assist us with dinner drop-offs, please contact Amy Johnson at 716-836-4694. Our first commitment is Tuesday, Sept. 15. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.

Upon This Rock ~ We are pleased to inform the Parish that the “Upon this Rock” office has deposited a $3,079.61 disbursement to the church’s bank account. Total disbursements to date are $45,932.44. Thank you for your contributions and all are encouraged to continue fulfilling your pledges.

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. If you have not yet returned the census form mailed to you in March, you may receive a home visit from a census worker who will be carrying official identification and census forms. Please cooperate as he/she is there to help make sure you and your family are counted. If you have internet access, go to 2020census.gov and complete the census online. If you do not have a computer, you can go to any branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and ask for assistance with the online census form.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at:https://www.ccwny.org/donation. Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

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

Detail of symbolic artwork on underside of choir loft.
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 4 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented us from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone or email took on increased importance. 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? 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 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 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.

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

National Elections ~ If you are nervous about voting in person on November 3, the Erie County Board of Elections wants you to know that the COVID-19 pandemic is an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot. Applications for an absentee ballot are already available. Click HERE to see what is involved. Early Voting will take place from Saturday, October 24 through Sunday, November 1 at 37 different locations and the offices of the Board of Elections at 134 West Eagle Street, Buffalo, NY. There will be at least one site in each ward in the City of Buffalo. Click HERE to find an early voting near you. If you have any questions, or to offer your services as a poll worker, call 716.858.8891.

Grief Sharing: a supportive group when you have lost someone dear. Begins Wednesday, October 21, 6:30-8pm, Our Lady of Pompeii Parish Ministry Center, 129 Laverack Avenue at Sheldon, Lancaster, NY. Meetings in person or by ZOOM, depending on coronavirus regulations in place at the time. For additional information and registration, call Sr. Joyce King, 716-683-6522, ext. 103.

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.