Welcome Home St. Helena ~ The first building constructed by Blessed Trinity parish was a combination church/school building completed in 1907 at 307 Leroy Avenue. Two years later, a bell manufactured by the McShane Bell Company in Baltimore, Maryland was installed in its steeple. It was customary for a church bell to be given a saint’s name, and Blessed Trinity’s bell – a gift of parishioner Helena Eckard — was named “St. Helena” after her patron saint. The 2017 sale of the former church/school building (visible on the right side of this photo) necessitated removal of the bell. This challenging task took place in October 2018 with the help of the building’s new owner, John Cozzarelli. Repair and restoration of the bell was entrusted to the Verdin Bell Company at its Cincinnati, Ohio facility, and on August 27, 2019 the refurbished bell was installed on a newly-built concrete pedestal located on the church lawn. The parish is grateful to alumni of Blessed Trinity School and two benefactors whose contributions preserved this important part of parish history, and to Mr. Cozzarelli who provided equipment and workers each time the 1,200 pound bell was moved. Decorative work on the pedestal having now been completed, the century-old bell is fully restored and ready to peal once more. Hidden from public view for 110 years, “St. Helena” is now a new Leroy Avenue destination, available for all to see. Please stop for a visit and photo-op.
On Sunday, July 21, the congregation of Blessed Trinity welcomed Peaceful Dove, the contemporary music ensemble from St. Anthony’s Parish in Lackawanna, NY. These dedicated musicians with beautifully blended voices enhanced our Sunday morning worship with song. Members of our own parish choir, who sing weekly from September through the Feast of Corpus Christi, supported our guests by singing “in place” from their pews and the Sanctuary. Thank you, Peaceful Dove.
WGRZ-TV’s Kevin O’Neill and his photographic assistant, Charles, visited Blessed Trinity very early Thursday morning April 25, for a “Daybreak” feature. They also did a much lengthier Facebook Live session with members of our docent team. [Click HERE to view this sneak peek]. We invite you to experience Blessed Trinity on Sunday, May 19, from 12 Noon-3pm when our docents will share even more information than we were able to give our friends from Channel 2. We will be participating in the NY Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Open House weekend, with Buffalo’s Blessed Trinity supplying the “medieval” in their 2019 theme, “Medieval to Modern: Celebrating New York Religious Art and Architecture.” Come be amazed at this WNY treasure trove of religious art and architecture. And it goes without saying that you are always welcome at our worship services (Saturdays at 4:30pm; Sundays at 10am).
This Thanksgiving, we give prayerful thanks for Canisius High School Associate Campus Minister Joe Van Volkenburg and students Patrick Crowe and Jack Manka, who chose Blessed Trinity as their Community Day volunteer project. On Saturday, November 17, the young men and their family members (Cortney, Pat, Thomas and Lauren Crowe and Jennifer, Mike, Madeline and Alex Manka) washed our pews, scrubbed our floors, and carried in hundreds of books donated for next month’s Christmas Prison Package Project. We are grateful to Mr. Van Volkenburg for his continued support of our parish and delighted to have benefitted from the youthful energy and enthusiasm of the Canisius team. At the same time, we acknowledge the dedication of parishioners Judy Casassa, Bud and Mickey Dick, Dan Korchowsky, Dorothy Manuppelli, Kathy Press, Sr. Liz Savage and Colleen Schroeder who worked along with them and provided direction.
On Thursday, October 4, 2018, Blessed Trinity’s 109-year-old church bell was removed from the bell tower of the former church and school building at 307 Leroy. She is now en route to the Verdin Bell Company’s facility in Cincinnati, OH where restoration work will take place. In the removal process, we discovered two errors in the parish’s recorded history of the bell. Engraving on the back side of the bell, not previously visible, revealed that the bell was donated by Helena Eckert (not Helen Eckard) and was named in honor of St. Helen (sorry, St. Cecelia). We are especially grateful to the building’s new owner, John Cozzarelli, and his employees for their assistance in removing the bell and very appreciative of everyone who has contributed funds for the project. The Blessed Trinity School Alumni solicited donations from their members as a gift to this parish this fall. When the restoration and repair work is completed, we hope to mount and display the bell on the parish grounds. Click HERE to see additional photos.
Celebrating Our Future Along With Our Past
On May 27, we combined an anniversary remembrance with Trinity Sunday’s celebration of our parish feast day. During the 10am Mass, we recognized those who have joined the parish in the last year and a half — so essential to our future — while also commemorating the 90th anniversary of the completion of our church building, dedicated by Bishop Turner on June 3, 1928. Click HERE to see more photos from the Mass, the blessing of the church cornerstone and our new sign, and the social which followed.