February 14 – February 21, 2021
COVID-19 Precautions: The Diocese of Buffalo has relaxed restrictions on capacity at worship services. See, Nov. 26 COVID-19 Update. It is NOT necessary to make a reservation to attend Mass at Blessed Trinity.
NEW: In addition to in-person worship, weekend Masses are now being livestreamed on our Facebook page: Blessed Trinity R. C. Church. Click HERE to view. (If you “Like” and “Follow Us” on Facebook, you should receive notification when future Masses are posted). Later in the day, a recording of the Mass is available on YOU TUBE.
Personal copies of the Breaking Bread missal are available for each parishioner who would like one. You may claim yours at church 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 also 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.
NEW: Our office is now open Monday – Wednesday from 10:30am – 2:30pm; closed Thursday and Friday.
All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.
Wednesday, February 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURS ~ Catholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Feb 17, Mar 3, 17, 31 etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.
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 is no morning Mass on Thursdays.
Sunday, February 14 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Catherine Ball (Req. by Family)
Monday, February 15 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Repose of Souls of Arthur & Lillian Hildman (Req. by Our Lady of Victory Parish)
Tuesday, February 16 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – All Souls (Req. by St. Theresa Parish)
Wednesday, February 17 ~ Ash Wednesday ~ Word Service at 12:15 p.m.
Mass at 7:00 p.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Estate of Mary Reilly)
Thursday, February 18 ~ No Mass scheduled.
Friday, February 19 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – In Memory of Rita E. Curtin (Req. by Family)
Saturday, February 20 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. – Repose of Soul of Daisy Neves (Req. by Our Lady of Victory Parish)
Sunday, February 21 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. -Members of the Crib Donors Guild (Req. by Our Lady of Victory Parish)
Lector Schedule ~ Feb 20: Lorna Cameron; Feb 21: Judy Casassa
News from our Parish Community
Notes from Father Bob ~ Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust!
Our Lenten Season begins this coming week with traditional Ash Wednesday scripture readings and the distribution of ashes. Immersed in the purple-reds signifying repentance, we embark on this journey of 40 days and nights together. “At the beginning of Lent, we receive ashes, the ancient sign of sorrow, and hear one of two calls to repentance: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” This call to self-knowledge, repentance, and belief is the axis around which Lent revolves. We prepare to celebrate the Lord’s Paschal Mystery by preparing to receive it as the entirely unearned gift that it is… When we come to new honesty about ourselves and repent, we are freed to trust in God’s mercy. No longer having to justify ourselves, we are freed for the task of learning to live what God desires for us. In this sense, Lent is the time for stretching out, pushing forward, striving to follow Christ.” (Sourcebook for Sundays, Seasons, and Weekdays 2021, Liturgy Training Publications, p. 100)
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust… Light to Light, Life to Life!
2021 Lenten Schedule ~ Click HERE to view our schedule of Lenten opportunities for prayer, worship, and reconciliation.
Staffing Update ~ Our staff grows! In addition to the newest members of our parish staff that I announced to you recently (Barbara Sercu, Administrative Assistant; Peter Anaka, Maintenance), I am happy to share that Bob Zielinski joins us also to help us with the maintenance and repair needs of the parish. Like Pete, Bob currently works full-time for another parish and helps us, after leaving his full-time job, arriving here a couple days a week in the evenings. Currently, he is working on preparing another room in the rectory to be used as an office for people who come for appointments, etc. We are blessed to have such a staff of all fine individuals!
Parish Finances ~ Your financial support of our parish mission is greatly appreciated! Financially frail, due to pandemic restrictions and needed health safety measures, I simply call upon your stewardship to keep our parish alive. We depend on your generosity, especially during this time when many people opt not to attend weekend worship for very good reasons. As our weekend collections have suffered because of reduced attendance, I simply ask that we all do our best to continue to send in our offertory gifts to the rectory. Your generosity makes a big difference!
New “Scripture Study” begins March 9 at 7 PM ~ We are finishing up Acts and will begin the teaching on parishes from last summer called Pastoral Conversion of the Parish Community. Join us in hearing about our pope’s vision of the parish of the future. Read the document HERE; join the discussion on March 9 by Clicking HERE.
Please pray for the repose of Marian Bleyle, a long-time parishioner and supporter of Blessed Trinity Church.
Ash Wednesday and the COVID Protocol for Distribution of Ashes: Ash Wednesday will be celebrated on February 17, 2021. On Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which is observed everywhere as a fast day, ashes are distributed.
As stated on January 10, 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ashes should not be imposed on the person’s forehead in the usual manner. Instead, the European custom of sprinkling ashes on the crown of a person’s head should be employed.
As of January 12, 2021, this was further clarified and affirmed by a note published by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
- The priest says the prayer for blessing the ashes.
- He sprinkles the ashes with holy water, without saying anything.
- Then he addresses all those present and only once says the formula as it appears in the Roman Missal, applying it to all in general.
- The priest then puts on a face mask, cleanses his hands, and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places.
- The priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each one without saying anything.
The Season of Lent ~ “Lent is ordered to preparing for the celebration of Easter, since the Lenten liturgy prepares for celebration of the Paschal Mystery both catechumens, by the various stages of Christian Initiation, and the faithful, who recall their own Baptism and do penance.” (Universal Norms of the Liturgical Year [“UNLY”] #27).
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday [February 17, 2021] and ends before the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday [April 1, 2021] (UNLY #28). From the beginning of Lent until the Paschal Vigil [April 3, 2021], the Alleluia is not said.
Abstinence: All Catholics who have reached their 14th birthday are bound to abstain totally from meat on the following days: Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent and Good Friday.
Fasting: All Catholics between their 18th and 59th birthdays are also bound to observe the Law of Fast on the following days: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This practice involves limiting oneself to a single full meal and avoiding food between meals. Light sustenance may be taken on two other occasions in the course of the day.
Easter Duty: After they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, all the faithful are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once a year. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season, unless for a good reason it is fulfilled at another time during the year. This obligation may be fulfilled between February 21, 2021 (First Sunday of Lent) and May 30, 2021 (Trinity Sunday).
Special reflection materials for Lent may be found at the Welcome Space near the wheelchair ramp side entrance. Two different reflection booklets are available. Pick up a copy of the Catholic Relief Services [“CRS”] Lenten Reflections calendar.
Meatless Days – Consider an extra meatless meal every week and put the savings into the CRS rice bowl. Pick yours up at church beginning this Sunday.
Know Your Faith: “If you want peace…”
Then President Donald Trump recently pardoned over 100 individuals. Though there were a few friends and loyal associates among them, most were people previously unknown to Mr. Trump, legally convicted and sentenced but for whom there were extenuating circumstances. If you have ever seen the musical Les Miserables, you are familiar with harsh punishments for what seems to us today to be petty crime. The main character, Jean, is sentenced to prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his hungry family. Remember how Joseph took Mary and the infant Jesus to Egypt? Was there a law that prohibited them from entering the country? Was Joseph legally able to work? Were those he met compassionate? If he broke a law, was the magistrate merciful?
In his writings, Pope St. John Paul II put many social issues into a new context describing mercy as a transforming virtue that reveals people to themselves thus permitting a “personal healing” that is not necessarily effected by strict justice. (O’Brien, 2010, #371).
The words mercy and compassion are frequently used interchangeably, but they have very different meanings. Before we can discuss foundational themes of Catholic Social Teaching (CST,) we need to have a working understanding of the difference. One can feel compassion for the circumstances of another without having the ability to be merciful. To be merciful one must feel compassion toward someone and have the power to do something to help that person (“Throw yourself on the mercy of the court”). Since God has both the ability to be compassionate AND the ability to be merciful, we sometimes see these words used as if they had identical meaning.
Another important element of compassion and mercy is justice as the pope pointed out. We often describe this as saying that the punishment “fits” the crime. Few today would say that prison was the appropriate punishment for stealing bread to feed children. And this issue of justice is why the pardon power of the presidency was envisioned. This is articulated by the teaching office of the Church (known as the Magisterium) and founded upon the ways of God.
We’ve already talked about one foundational theme of CST – Dignity of People. Another is Solidarity. Very simply put, we must stick together as sisters and brothers, sons and daughters of God. We are not here for ourselves but for each other. This is what the US Catholic Bishops have to say about solidarity, “We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that ‘if you want peace, work for justice.’ The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.” (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2021). There are several excellent scriptural references available with the link below.
In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in need around the world, we are supporting the Rice Bowl project of Catholic Relief Services. Pick up your rice bowl and a calendar of Lenten reflections at the Welcome Space. Have a blessed Lent.
Bibliography: O’Brien, D. J. (Ed.). (2010). Catholic Social Thought: The Documentary Heritage (Expanded ed.). Orbis.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (2021). Catholic Social Teaching. USCCB. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/solidarity
Covid19 vaccines will be available at Blessed Trinity and other neighboring churches. If you would like to register to be vaccinated, please complete the online form available at this LINK.
If weather or COVID or illness is preventing you from joining us in person, you can watch our weekend Masses LIVE on Facebook at 4:30 PM on Saturdays and 10:00 AM on Sundays as well as all Holyday Masses. If you miss us LIVE, you can check out the recording later on YouTube.
Interior restoration ~ Now that repairs to the tile roof of the church – part of our grant project – have been completed, restoration of interior artwork and repairs to the ceiling of the church have begun. Master plasterer Josh of Mader Construction Co., Inc. helped parishioners to appreciate the process by setting up a display in church. In this photo, you can see the molds he makes to recreate deteriorated ornamental pieces. For additional photos, visit our Facebook page. The work is expected to continue through March 2021.
Job Opportunities at Blessed Trinity ~ Are you or someone you know looking for work? We have a part-time general housekeeping position now available. It involves general parish rectory housekeeping, cleaning responsibilities, and occasional laundry. 10-16 hours/month. Send applications to Blessed Trinity RC Church, 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214 (716-833-0301) or email blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com.
The Ladies Sodality membership chair, Mickey Dick, thanks all who have paid their 2021 dues – still only $5. Mickey will be happy to accept your dues in person after Sunday Mass, or they can be mailed to her at 2549 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214 with checks payable to: “Ladies Sodality of Blessed Trinity.” Membership is open to all women of the parish, and new members are always welcome. Although in-person meetings are still on hold, please watch your email or U.S. mail for a letter update from President Vera Andrew.
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 twice during December, 2020 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 take advantage of this simplified protocol and become part of our Family Promise team. 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 and join forces with another member of the team.
Catholic Charities Appeal 2021 ~ When you are lonely, we are hope. What we do with the 24 hours in a day can affect countless hours and days ahead. Our volunteers at Catholic Charities know this to be true. Through our programs volunteers have the opportunity to serve the community through our multiple food pantries, lend a friendly ear through Friendly Phones and the Telephone Assurance Program, and much more. Help continue to move hands and hearts through Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith by giving to Appeal 2021. Call our Helpline at 716-218-1419 if you need assistance or want to donate, or visit www.ccwny.org/donation. Catholic Charities is HOPE for all seasons.
The Giving Tree ~ THANK YOU!! Our many contributions to Blessed Trinity’s Giving Tree during Advent and beyond yielded beautiful fruit. A check for $736.81 has gone to Little Portion Friary, 1305 Main Street. Like all of us, this shelter for homeless (at this time) men has regular bills to pay in order to stay afloat. Thank you to everyone who donated to this important ministry.
Important information for those having a claim against the Diocese of Buffalo:
United States Bankruptcy Court
for the Western District of New York
in re The Diocese of Buffalo NY
Case No. 20-10322
Please take notice that, on February 28, 2020, The Diocese of Buffalo NY, (“Diocese”) filed for protection under chapter 11 of title 11 of the United States Code (the “Bankruptcy Code”). The Bankruptcy Court has established August 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm (prevailing Eastern time) as the deadline to file proofs of claim, against the Diocese (the “Bar Date”). If you have a claim against the Diocese, including, without limitation, a claim related to sexual abuse committed by any person connected with the Diocese, you must file a claim on or before the Bar Date.
Please visit https://case.stretto.com/dioceseofbuffalo or call 855-292-7696 for more information on how to file your proof of claim.
IF YOU DO NOT TIMELY FILE A PROOF OF CLAIM, YOU MAY FORFEIT YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE ON ANY PLAN OF REORGANIZATION AND TO SHARE IN ANY DISTRIBUTIONS TO CREDITORS IN CONNECTION WITH THE DIOCESE’S CHAPTER 11 CASE.
Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 9 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. 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
News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community
Take-out Valentine’s Day Dinner on February 14 from 1-3 pm at St. Gregory the Great, Williamsville. Menu: salad, beef tenderloin, twice-baked potato, vegetable and dessert. Dinners will be packaged and tenderloin will be ready to cook, the remaining meal will be fully cooked with reheat instructions. Pick-up at St. Gregory the Great Parish Ministry Center, 100 St. Gregory Ct., Williamsville. Pre-sale tickets only; call 716-688-5678 or order online at https://givebutter.com/bvAdi2.
Tuition Assistance for Private Grammar Schools. The BISON Children’s Scholarship Fund’s pre-application is now available for NEW families in the 8 counties of Western New York for the 2021-22 school year. The BISON Fund provides tuition assistance to economically eligible children entering kindergarten – 8th grade. If selected, the scholarships can be used at any private grammar school in WNY. The deadline to apply is February 28. You can apply online at www.bisonfund.com. The average scholarship is $1,480 and the maximum award is $2,500. For more information, call 716-854-0869, ext.1.
Love Yourself this Valentine’s Day ~ Valentine’s Day Depression is real. It is one of those holidays that can trigger unwanted emotions and upset your mental health. Whether you are single or in a relationship, all is not lost. Click HERE for some simple tips from Mental Health Advocates of WNY, and have a great Valentine’s Day for your mental health.
Live-Streamed Daily Mass from Christ the King Church ~ Until further notice, all Masses from Christ the King Church in Snyder will be Live-Streamed at ctksnyder.org/camera-live-stream. Mass times are as follows: Saturday Vigil Mass at 4:30 pm, Sunday at 8 & 10 am, Monday-Friday at 8 am, Monday & Wednesday at 5 pm.
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.