September 20-27, 2020
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.
Tuesday, Sept 29 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 30, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURS ~ Catholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Sept 30, Oct 14,Oct 28, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.
Daily & Saturday Masses have resumed: Tuesday-Friday at 11 AM and Saturday at 4:30 PM.
Sunday, September 20 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Marie Coogan (Requested by Grace Schaefer) and Blessings for Frances Pernick (Requested by Children)
Monday, September 21 ~ St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist – No scheduled Mass
Tuesday, September 22 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)
Wednesday, September 23 ~ St. Pius of Pietrelcina ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)
Thursday, September 24 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)
Friday, September 25 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – John f. Curtin (John E. Curtin)
Saturday, September 26 ~ Ss. Cosmas and Damian ~ Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)
Sunday, September 27 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Margaret Schimpf (Family) and Eternal Joy for Alexis Farrar (Family) and Thanksgiving for Blessings Received (Fr. Victor Ibhawa)
Lector Schedule ~ Sept 19: Greg Gaglione; Sept 20: Judy Casassa; Sept 26: Michael Ogoh; Sept 27: Bob Heicklen
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.
A New Night and Time for Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be September 29. 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. 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). The next session is scheduled to last 50 minutes; we will be discussing Acts: 5-6. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information.
The second collection on September 26/27 benefits Christ the King Seminary. Monies collected will be used for the diocesan Formation operating budget, which covers tuition expenses for seminarians and diaconate candidates. With the closing of our local seminary, those studying for the priesthood are pursuing their studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. Final year seminarians with a May 2021 ordination date will complete the academic year at Christ the King in E. Aurora. Diaconate candidates are being accommodated through our new collaboration with St. Bernard’s School of Theology in Rochester, utilizing a combination of in-person classes and remote learning. Your generosity will assist them in transitioning.
Reflection on readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Times: Is 55:6-9; Mt 20:1-16a
Isaiah reminds us, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call to him while he is near.” At the center of each of our hearts is a desire: what do we really seek, whom do we seek? God asks us to ponder this question deeply. We are promised all the graces we will need to grow closer to God. We must believe that God walks with us on our journey, giving us what we need, knowing what we need most.
In the Gospel, the parable of the landowner emphasizes our dilemma as we try to understand the way God is acting – what does it mean to be “fair?” Surely the landowner is not fair to his workers.
One thing we can never ever begin to understand is the heart of God. God is generous in unfathomable ways. Nothing is earned, all is freely given. Yet, perhaps this story is about more than the landowner’s being generous. Is Jesus also emphasizing the value of work, even a “small amount” – that the value is in working conscientiously, and not in the amount accomplished? There are so many among us who are sick or infirm, or for some reason are unable to compete as far as the quantity of work done. Jesus does not compare them, but simply values each one.
When our God acts towards us, we’re given what we have never earned (not even begun to earn, not even come close to earning). Can we learn to appreciate the labor of others, even when theirs is “less” – and be happy that the landowner is generous to them?
All of this calls for humility and gentleness. The “strong” one pushes his/her weight around, demanding what is due, but the one who has understood the teachings of Jesus has an appreciation hidden from “the wise and the learned” – given to the little ones, to the humble, the meek, the gentle. It takes a deeper vision to see that we are due nothing, that all is gift, pure gift.
We need to “Let God be God.” God’s “rules” are so different from ours, with kindness, blessing and generosity far outweighing anything we can ever find in our own hearts. We must pray to understand God’s heart.
At mass the other morning Father Tuan spoke about being “equal.” The workers complained, “These last ones worked only one hour and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and heat.” Often we do not want to be equal, but to be better than another. This is never the way of Jesus. Jesus was content to wash the feet of the apostles, to make himself the servant. The worker is asking essentially, “How dare you make us equals?” Is it so humiliating to be equal, so demeaning? What lofty ideas do we carry about ourselves?
Which brings us back to the beginning, to the deepest desire of our hearts. Let us learn to seek these attributes of the heart of God. May we trust that God will do this for us, and help us to be the children he desires us to be.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways… As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
Sr. Corinne Yarborough, SSNM
Religious education materials are available now. If you were not contacted please call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598.
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. They now have doubled their capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Staff and volunteer anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that is sure to follow 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. Thank you Judy Casassa, Mickey Dick, and Palma Zanghi for assisting Amy with shopping for the Sept. 15 dinner. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.
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
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.