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.

Weekly Activities

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.

Monday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m. ~ CCCB In-person Lenten Journey Mass at Ss. Columba-Brigid, 75 Hickory St.

Tuesday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m. ~ ZOOM Choir Rehearsal for Easter

Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Parish Council Meeting

Friday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m. ~ CCCB Virtual Stations of the Cross from St. Martin de Porres

Wednesday, March 3 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Mar 3, 17, 31 etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.


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 is no morning Mass on Thursdays.

Sunday, February 21 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. -Members of the Crib Donors Guild (Req. by Our Lady of Victory Parish)

Monday, February 22 ~ The Chair of St. Peter the Apostle ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – In Memory of Joyce Gist (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Tuesday, February 23 ~ St. Polycarp ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – In Memory of Paul Bohanna (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Wednesday, February 24 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Estate of Mary Reilly)

Thursday, February 25 ~ No Mass scheduled.

Friday, February 26 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – All Souls (Req. by Our Lady of Victory Parish)

Saturday, February 27 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. – In Memory of Legacy Alliance Members (Req. by Our Lady of Victory Parish)

Sunday, February 28 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – In Memory of Morris Heicklen (Req. by Robert Heicklen)

Lector Schedule ~ Feb 27: John Curtin; Feb 28: Mary Kresse

Black & Native Mission Collection
February 20 & 21

News from our Parish Community

Notes from Father Bob ~ We Journey not alone but together!….

“At the beginning of Lent, we receive ashes, the ancient sign of sorrow, and hear one of two calls to repentance: “Remember 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.”

Lent is a time, then, when we recall that “we are freed (from the impossible task of having to save ourselves, as we are justified in Christ alone) for the task of learning to live what God desires for us. In this sense, Lent is a time for stretching out, pushing forward, striving to follow Christ.” Though there is a personal and private dimension to our Lenten dispositions, at the same time we Journey Together. It is a community endeavor and one that should fill us with great joy!

Continue to watch the bulletin and visit our parish website (www.blessedtrinitybuffalo.org, see link on the homepage, top left, in the section entitled ‘Worship’) for a schedule of Lenten opportunities for prayer, worship, and reconciliation. Note that, in addition to the paper edition of the bulletin, it can also be found in its entirety on the parish website (See “Week of ….”; click on “Read more”).

Our Parish Financial Picture. In the spirit of Lent’s call to the charity of almsgiving, be anticipating a letter to all parishioners regarding our current parish financial picture. My gratitude to our parish Finance Committee that keeps a close eye on our “treasure” resources. Their efforts, on behalf of the parish mission, are to be commended.

A second collection for Black and Native Missions will be taken February 20/21, 2021. This collection exists to help local African American and Native American diocesan committees throughout the United States spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and respond to real and pressing needs on the ground.  Please give generously; support home missions.

From the Loft ~ Having not been able to journey to the cross together in 2020 makes this year’s Lent, which will surely also be unique, all the more important to me. Changing our musical tradition from time to time helps us to keep our Liturgy dynamic while building our faith, even during a pandemic. The Lenten Prose – or Attende Domine, as the original Mozarabic hymn was titled – is a wonderful and chilling reflection on the journey of Lent as we prepare for Easter. We will be using it as an opening antiphon each week, something which hasn’t been done in recent memory. The refrain will be sung in Latin and the verses in English, with a different verse each week throughout Lent. The entire text, with translation, is offered below:

Attende Domine, et miserere, Quia peccavimus tibi.
(Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.)

O great Redeemer, King of all creation,
As we are sinners, we deserve your judgment:
Jesus, be gracious; hear our prayer of sorrow.

(Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.)

Exalted Savior, Cornerstone of heaven,
Gate of salvation, Way to life immortal:
Send forth your Spirit; heal your humbled people.

(Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.) 

We beg you, Jesus, God immense in power:
Listen in kindness as we ask forgiveness:
Though sin condemns us, you are strong to save us!

(Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.) 

We stand convicted, owning our offenses;
Guilty before you, yet we seek your pardon:
O gentle Savior, great is your compassion!

(Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee). tr.by Melvin Farrell, SS

Remember, Jesus, you gave all to save us;
Dying for sinners, you endured the Passion:
Savior, immortal, grant your gift of freedom!

(Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.)

May our music reflect our companionship as we journey to the cross, together.

 – Elizabeth Clay

2021 Lenten Schedule ~ Click HERE to view our schedule of Lenten opportunities for prayer, worship, and reconciliation.

Thank You, Judy Casassa!  Whether you have been attending Mass in person or watching the livestreamed video, it is impossible to miss the recently erected scaffolding in the church transept and sanctuary.  Repairs to the ceiling and ongoing restoration of interior artwork are being paid for with insurance monies and is finally possible because of exterior repairs to the church roof made in 2019-20.

From the spring of 2019 through the summer of 2020, we all witnessed the various phases of construction work on the church plaza, front stairs and roof, made possible by a grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund’s Municipal Grant Program.  However, what you may not realize is that the restoration project actually began in 2009 with the first of five failed applications for grant funding.

The sixth time turned out to “be the charm,” with the parish receiving its notification of award in December 2014. Given that more than four years passed between the announcement of this success and the sound of the first jack hammer on Leroy, it is no wonder that the whole endeavor was easily forgotten – except by Judy Casassa.

Judy headed up our small grant writing team and as the final payments are issued and state reimbursement received, it is time to acknowledge our huge debt of gratitude to her and issue a long belated expression of thanks.

Only now can we begin to appreciate all the behind the scenes work that was involved in seeing this project through to completion. The ever-changing application process itself was frustrating and time consuming but – if truth be told – only a minor annoyance compared to the demands of grant administration.  And while the parish can claim Judy’s administrative efforts as a reimbursable expense, she contributed hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours as a form of stewardship for which she has not and will not receive any financial reward.

Although this acknowledgement is long overdue, Father Bob and the Parish Council wish to express our gratitude to Judy on behalf of the entire Blessed Trinity parish community for her efforts in obtaining and administering a $300,000 plus grant from the State of New York, enabling us to undertake needed restoration of exterior areas of our beautiful Landmark Church.

We hope that our parishioners will have achieved “herd immunity” from Covid-19 by the time the final project paperwork is completed, and that we will finally be able to gather and celebrate the work that has been done. It is our plan that Judy be personally recognized at that time.

Rev. Robert L. Gebhard, Jr. and the 2020-2021 Parish Council, Palma Zanghi, President

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!

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.

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!

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. In-person meetings are still on hold, but by now you should have received a letter update from President Vera Andrew via email or U.S. mail. If you have not, please let us know.

Catholic Charities Appeal 2021 When you are troubled, we are hope. Are you struggling with hybrid learning, trying to work remotely, having a hard time with the seemingly endless grey that is WNY in winter? If you are experiencing mental health, familial or marital problems, we can help. To find out more visit www.ccwny.org and click the “Counseling and Mental Health” tab under Services on the right hand side. To begin the referral process call 716-895-1033. Catholic Charities is HOPE for all seasons.

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.

Covid-19 vaccines ~  We are working to make COVID vaccinations available at neighborhood churches, including Blessed Trinity. 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.

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.

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

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.

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.