Week of November 22, 2020 – Christ the King

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Sunday, November 22, 2020
“The theme of the [church’s stained glass skylight] is Christ the King.… The central panel shows Christ reigning as Lord of the kingdom that we pray will come.” Rev. Walter Kern’s Guidebook
to Blessed Trinity R.C. Church, page 44.
Photo Credit: Derek Gee, Buffalo News

November 22 – November 29, 2020

Once again, new pandemic precautions are forcing a change in our worship services. While Father Gebhard intends to continue celebrating daily and weekend Masses, attendance is NOW LIMITED TO 25 (including Father). Beginning this weekend, we will be taking reservations for the following week. If you arrive after 25 have been seated at Mass this weekend, your name will go to the head of the reservation list for next Sat/Sun.

For those who have been missing the Breaking Bread missal, you may claim your own personal copy beginning this weekend.  Some of you may not realize that paper copies of the bulletin are once again available. Look for them at the middle crossing of the church.

There will be a 10AM Mass on Thanksgiving Day. If you would like to attend, remember to ask about a reservation this weekend.

Beginning NEXT SUNDAY, NOV. 29, a recording of Sunday Mass will be available for viewing on a Blessed Trinity YOU TUBE channel. Information on how to access it will be available on this site.

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

All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Tuesday, November 24 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Bible Study

Wednesday, November 25, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Nov 11, Nov 25, Dec 9, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Thanksgiving Day Mass
November 26, 2020 at 10AM

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 will be no Mass on Thursdays.

Sunday, November 22 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Rest for Edward F. Schroeder (Req. by Sr. Ann Helene Koenig, OSF) and In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Monday, November 23 ~ St. Clement I; St. Columban ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Loved Ones (Req. by Blessed Trinity Parishioners)

Tuesday, November 24 ~ St. Andrew Dung-Lac & Companions ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for Sr. Flavia Dampf, SSS (Req. by Judy Casassa)

Wednesday, November 25 ~ St. Catherine of Alexandria ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for Regina Bigelow (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Thursday, November 26 ~ Thanksgiving Day ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Praying for deceased parishioners (Req. by Blessed Trinity Church

Friday, November 27 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, November 28 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Blessings for Bernadette Dorsheimer (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Sunday, November 29 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Birthday Remembrance for Elmer Hartzell (Req. by Madonna Hartzell)

Lector Schedule ~ Nov 28: John Curtiin; Nov 29: Mary Kresse

News from our Parish Community

Father Bob Gebhard

A Note From Father Bob ~ I thank all of you very much for the warm welcome I have received since my arrival here. As I acknowledged, in some of my comments to you, I know that your past few months have been strained and difficult. Still, you have made my early days and transition here a joy. It was so nice to be able to greet you at the doors of the church — even at “social distance.” I so look forward to the day when we will have no masks or distance between us. In the meantime, I am trying to dig in one day at a time and become familiar with the faith community here. I anticipate good things!!! Gratitude to all.

I want to make you aware that I met the other day with one of the diocesan officials from the department of Buildings & Properties regarding insurance work that needs to be done on the inside of the church. It seemed a very positive meeting and we should have a response from them, and a timeline on repairs, very soon (I hope!)

Finally, I simply bring to your attention the highlight that the Church Universal gives to honoring and remembering those people, and loved ones, who have gone before us in faith during the month of November. This is a time in our church year that helps us to recall the spiritual union of Christians, living and dead. This Communion of Saints includes all those people, great and small, who choose to live life – this life or afterlife – in Christ… or, as I mentioned in my homily two weekends ago, ordinary people who do ordinary things in extraordinary ways because of their faith in Jesus!

The Memory Table, near the Paschal Candle and the Baptismal Font of the church, is our place to bring forth the names and faces of our deceased loved ones and friends. You are invited to write their names on the slips of paper that are provided in the basket there (you must use your own pen due to Covid restrictions), and place them on the table, leave funeral cards and/or leave mementos as a way to express our faith that we, even in death, remain intimately united with them!

A Reflection on the Gospel for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Mt 25:31-46 by Rev. Malcolm Guite, an Anglican priest in Cambridge, England.

Christ the King

Our King is calling from the hungry furrows
Whilst we are cruising through the aisles of plenty,
Our hoardings screen us from the man of sorrows,
Our soundtracks drown his murmur: ‘I am thirsty’.
He stands in line to sign in as a stranger
And seek a welcome from the world he made,
We see him only as a threat, a danger,
He asks for clothes, we strip-search him instead.
And if he should fall sick then we take care
That he does not infect our private health,
We lock him in the prisons of our fear
Lest he unlock the prison of our wealth.
But still on Sunday we shall stand and sing
The praises of our hidden Lord and King.

The Second Collection on November 21/22 benefits the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Your gift supports programs that:

Bring people together to solve community problems;
Create affordable housing for low-income families;
Teach new skills and create jobs;
Help those in poverty achieve self-reliance and self-sufficiency;
Educate Catholics about poverty and Catholic social teaching.

 “Life at the Poverty Line. Every day is about hanging on.” Please be generous.

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be November 24. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 13 and 14. 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). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Parish Memory Table

Our Communion of Saints ~ Throughout the month of November, we will be remembering our deceased family members and friends at Mass. Take a moment to add the name of a departed loved one at the Memory Table near the Paschal Candle.

Sunday, November 29, after Mass ~ Special Program for Children over age 7 Who Have Not Been Baptized. Parents who wish to register their children are asked to call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598 so that we will arrange a space that is big enough to have social distancing in place and adequate materials. We will have a combination of in-person, Zoom and at home studies for an anticipated reception into the Church with Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil 2021.

Remembering Our Homebound This Christmas ~ Our Ladies Sodality has had to rethink their annual outreach to our parishioners who are homebound or living in senior care facilities. Cautionary practices imposed by the coronavirus make it impossible to assemble and deliver gift bags as we have done in the past. Instead, we will be purchasing grocery store gift cards for those living in private residences. For anyone in a senior care facility, we will arrange to have a Mass offered for his/her special intentions. If you are in a position to support our Christmas 2020 Outreach, please place your monetary donation in an envelope marked “Sodality Project” and drop it in the collection basket between now and December 13. Checks payable to: Ladies Sodality of Blessed Trinity may also be mailed to the project co-ordinator, Mickey Dick, at 2549 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214.Thank you for your continued support.

Know Your Faith: Baptized to be King ~ This weekend marks the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King. It is very natural to see it appear at the start of Thanksgiving week in the United States. Some see Jesus in the realm of earthly king, surrounded by riches and power – one to whom we are subject; however, the Church teaches that all of us are Baptized to be Priest, Prophet and King. The readings focus on Jesus as King or Shepherd.

After God created man and woman, God goes on to give them authority over the whole of the earth, “…Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Gen 1:28.). The evangelist Luke warns us that “…Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Lk 12:48).

The very popular PBS/British drama Downton Abbey featured the Earl of Grantham and his family. Times were changing and large estates experienced challenges. When his daughter and son-in-law brought up the idea of selling off the bulk of the property and its farms and businesses, Lord Grantham asked, “What will happen to the people who reside and make their living on the estate?”

The concept of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) has been called the Church’s best kept secret. The foundational concern is one we talked about a few weeks ago – creation of the human person (all of us) in the image and likeness of God. Beyond that, we try to look at how to translate these things into our daily lives. It is often said that there are two feet to CST. Try standing on just one foot. Not so easy, is it? I will check back with you on that subject in a few days – now keep that one foot up! The Church’s Social Ministry teaches that we need BOTH Charity and Justice. The works of charity address the physical and spiritual needs of our neighbors – both at home and abroad. Some examples of formal Church sponsored charity that you may know are the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services as well as local projects like our food pantry. These organizations are also involved with social justice issues. Here is an easy way to understand the difference: I sprained my ankle on a loose stair tread. First, I will put a brace on the sprained ankle then I will repair the broken step that caused me to trip.

Consider the story of Joe and the people he met in the business district one afternoon: Joe had recently lost his job at a bank after a merger. He was a young man with a college degree in finance and everyone had expected him to do great things. Along came the pandemic, and Joe was unable to find another job with so many businesses closed. Once the unemployment ran out, Joe was unable to keep up with his bills and – well, you know the rest. As Joe was walking downtown near the business district at lunch time, he saw three people that he had known from the bank – wealthy business owners. They greeted Joe who was looking a little disheveled. After hearing his story, the first handed Joe a check for $20, which Joe politely acknowledged and put into his pocket. Joe would have to give $5 of that check to the bank to cash the check because he no longer had an account. Maybe he’d go to a check cashing store, because the banks in his neighborhood had closed.The second person handed Joe a flyer for the local Church food pantry. Joe noted that it was walking distance, but the holes in his old shoes would make carrying food home difficult. He also wondered if the food would require refrigeration or cooking as he had not paid the gas and electricity bills. The third person handed Joe a business card and invited him to come in for a job interview – it was just an entry level position, but there were opportunities for advancement. The second person also told Joe about a clothing closet at the Church that might have a pair of shoes and replacement clothes if he needed them. Perhaps, shampoo, soap and antiperspirant would be available there, too – or he could use some of his money to buy them, if he does not take the bus home after the pantry. He wants to save some money to take the bus later so that he will still look nice for his job interview. He will also have to walk part of the way to the job interview, because it is beyond the bus route and he does not have enough money for the taxi. All of this is charity, but do you see any issues here demanding justice? Not every justice issue is easy or obvious, but we are called to justice, too.

The readings today focus on God, provider, the charity aspect of the two feet. It is the shepherd that goes out to find lost sheep, who tends them and provides for them and protects them. Jesus also tells us that God will look at OUR lives. He does not say, “You wrote a big check, you amassed great power, you ruled many men – enter my kingdom.” No. God will say, ”For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (Mt 25:35-36). As Pope Francis has said, pastors (another word for shepherd/king) should be infused “with the smell of the sheep.”

Like the eunuch whom Philip taught (Acts 8:31,) we need guidance, and the Church, through the teaching authority of its bishops, offers guidance that we use to make decisions. We will begin to look at those foundational issues soon, but will first take a look at Advent and Christmas practices, traditions and symbols. Because we have been baptized as “kings” in the tradition of Jesus, we too need to tend to the sheep – all of God’s people.

…Patricia Dyer, MAPM

Prisoner Gift Bags for 2021 ~ As reported last month, the Prisoner Gift Project for 2020 is canceled. Yet we can remember our prisoners and get a jump on the 2021 project by decorating gift bags this Christmas Season. Covid-19 restrictions have closed us inside so consider using some of your home time decorating next years’ bags. Bags and directions are available for pick up in the back pew. Please plan to return your bags by the end of January 2020.

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 on 9/15 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 be able to participate. 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.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 8 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. If you have not received written correspondence from the parish since September 2020, we don’t have your address. 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.

Introducing Father Bob ~ Rev. Robert L. Gebhard, Jr., appointed as temporary administrator of Blessed Trinity Parish in October 2020, celebrated Masses with his new congregation for the first time on All Saints weekend. “Father Bob” was introduced and officially welcomed at the October 31st and November 1st liturgies by Parish Council President Palma Zanghi. Click HERE to read Ms. Zanghi’s address in its entirety. A receiving line took place after Masses on Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8, allowing parishioners the opportunity to introduce themselves to Fr. Bob. A guest book was also provided so that everyone could write him notes of welcome and encouragement.

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

Symbols representing phrases from the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart appear above the side altar dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Top, left-right: throne (Infinite Majesty), temple (Sacred Temple of God), tabernacle (tent) in the desert (Tabernacle of the Most High); Bottom, l-r: open gates (House of God and Gate of Heaven), flaming furnace (Furnace of Charity)
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

 

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

The dated announcements below were all received before this week’s changes to pandemic guidelines. It is suggested that you check with the hosting entity if planning to attend.

Fridays and Saturdays November 21 –  January 3, 5-9pm ~ Nativity Sets on Display. Fr. Roy Herberger will have 300 (of his 650) nativity sets from 58 countries on display at the Fatima Shrine, Lewiston during their Festival of Lights. Contact Fr. Roy at 716-852-2076 (roy [at] aol [dot] com) with questions.

Thursday December 3, 6-7pm ~ Evening/Advent Eucharistic Adoration & Holy Hour for Peace on at St. Andrew, (1525 Sheridan Drive in Kenmore). All invited to come (for any length of time) and experience the restorative and transformative power of prayer while in the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We begin with recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer and adoration, and ending with Procession & Benediction. Immediately following, we will pray the Patriotic Rosary for our nation. Deacon Mike Ficorilli presiding.

Alumni of St. Martin of Tours, St. Ambrose, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa, St. Agatha, Holy Family, St. John the Evangelist, Trinity, St. Bonaventure or Notre Dame Academy are invited to share your story with our current students and families via social media. Help us build on the traditions you loved so much while attending Catholic school. Drop us a note at GoodNews [at] NotreDameBuffalo [dot] org.

Saturday, December 5, 1- 4pm ~ Annual Family Christmas Basket Fest on at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish Hall, (157 Cleveland Drive in Cheektowaga). Preview night on Friday, December 4 from 5-8 pm. The Christmas Basket Fest includes a Grand Prize Drawing, our famous Humongous Theme Baskets, and some delightful side raffles. A take-out Spaghetti Dinner (compliments of the Knights of Columbus) will be available, as well as Mike’s Homemade Chili. For more information, call the rectory at 716-833-1715.

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.

What to expect this weekend … Nov 21 & 22

Once again, new pandemic precautions are forcing a change in our worship services. While Father Gebhard intends to continue celebrating daily and weekend Masses, attendance is NOW LIMITED TO 25 (including Father). Beginning this weekend, we will be taking reservations for the following week. If you arrive after 25 have been seated at Mass this weekend, your name will go to the head of the reservation list for next Sat/Sun.

For those who have been missing the Breaking Bread missal, you may claim your own personal copy beginning this weekend.  Some of you may not realize that paper copies of the bulletin are once again available. Look for them at the middle crossing of the church.

There will be a 10AM Mass on Thanksgiving Day. If you would like to attend, remember to ask about a reservation this weekend.

Beginning NEXT SUNDAY, NOV. 29, a recording of Sunday Mass will be available for viewing on a Blessed Trinity YOU TUBE channel. Information on how to access it will be available on this site.

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

Week of November 15, 2020 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, whose feast day we celebrate on November 17, is depicted in Joseph Mazur’s procession of saints in the church dome. The daughter of the King of Hungary, she wears a crown and appears as the second standing figure from the right. Photo credit: Gary Kelley

November 15 – November 22, 2020

Weekly Activities

All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Parish Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 24 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Bible Study

Wednesday, November 25, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Nov 11, Nov 25, Dec 9, 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 will be no Mass on Thursdays.

Sunday, November 15 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessings for Spencer Patrick Schroeder (Req. by Colleen Schroeder) and In Memory of Carol Schmelzer (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Monday, November 16 ~ St. Margaret of Scotland; St. Gertrude ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Loved Ones (Req. by Blessed Trinity Parishioners)

Tuesday, November 17 ~ St. Elizabeth of Hungary ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, November 18 ~ Dedication of the Basilicas of Ss. Peter & Paul; St. Rose Philippine Duchesne ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for Sr. Flavia Dampf (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Thursday, November 19 ~ No service scheduled

Friday, November 20 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, November 21 ~ The Presentation of the Bl. Virgin Mary ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Deceased Loved Ones (Req. by Blessed Trinity Parishioners)

Sunday, November 22 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Rest for Edward F. Schroeder (Req. by Sr. Ann Helene Koenig, OSF) and In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Lector Schedule ~ Nov 21: Lorna Cameron; Nov 22: Judy Casassa

News from our Parish Community

Father Bob Gebhard

Greeting Father Bob ~ Rev. Robert L. Gebhard, Jr., appointed as temporary administrator of Blessed Trinity Parish in October 2020, celebrated Masses with his new congregation on All Saints weekend. “Father Bob” was introduced and officially welcomed at the October 31st and November 1st liturgies by Parish Council President Palma Zanghi. Click HERE to read Ms. Zanghi’s address in its entirety. A receiving line took place after Masses on Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8, allowing parishioners the opportunity to introduce themselves to Fr. Bob. A guest book was also provided so that everyone could write him notes of welcome and encouragement.

A Note From Father Bob ~ I thank all of you very much for the warm welcome I have received since my arrival here. As I acknowledged, in some of my comments to you, I know that your past few months have been strained and difficult. Still, you have made my early days and transition here a joy. It was so nice to be able to greet you at the doors of the church last weekend even at “social distance.” I so look forward to the day when we will have no masks or distance between us. In the meantime, I am trying to dig in one day at a time and become familiar with the faith community here. I anticipate good things!!! Gratitude to all.

I want to make you aware that I met the other day with one of the diocesan officials from the department of Buildings & Properties regarding insurance work that needs to be done on the inside of the church. It seemed a very positive meeting and we should have a response from them, and a timeline on repairs, very soon (I hope!)

Finally, I simply bring to your attention the highlight that the Church Universal gives to honoring and remembering those people, and loved ones, who have gone before us in faith during the month of November. This is a time in our church year that helps us to recall the spiritual union of Christians, living and dead. This Communion of Saints includes all those people, great and small, who choose to live life – this life or afterlife – in Christ… or, as I mentioned in my homily two weekends ago, ordinary people who do ordinary things in extraordinary ways because of their faith in Jesus!

The Memory Table, near the Paschal Candle and the Baptismal Font of the church, is our place to bring forth the names and faces of our deceased loved ones and friends. You are invited to write their names on the slips of paper that are provided in the basket there (you must use your own pen due to Covid restrictions), and place them on the table, leave funeral cards and/or leave mementos as a way to express our faith that we, even in death, remain intimately united with them!

The Parish Council will hold a virtual meeting via ZOOM on Wednesday, November 18, beginning at 7 p.m.

The Second Collection on November 21/22 benefits the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Your gift supports programs that:

Bring people together to solve community problems;
Create affordable housing for low-income families;
Teach new skills and create jobs;
Help those in poverty achieve self-reliance and self-sufficiency;
Educate Catholics about poverty and Catholic social teaching.

 “Life at the Poverty Line. Every day is about hanging on.” Please be generous.

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be November 24. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 13 and 14. 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). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Our Communion of Saints ~ Throughout the month of November, we will be remembering our deceased family members and friends at Mass. Take a moment to add the name of a departed loved one at the Memory Table near the Paschal Candle.

For Children over age 7 Who Have Not Been Baptized, our first meeting will be on Sunday, November 29 immediately following the 10 am Mass. Parents who wish to register their children are asked to call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598 so that we will arrange a space that is big enough to have social distancing in place and adequate materials. We will have a combination of in-person, Zoom and at home studies for an anticipated reception into the Church with Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil 2021.

Remembering Our Homebound This Christmas ~ Our Ladies Sodality has had to rethink their annual outreach to our parishioners who are homebound or living in senior care facilities. Cautionary practices imposed by the coronavirus make it impossible to assemble and deliver gift bags as we have done in the past. Instead, we will be purchasing grocery store gift cards for those living in private residences. For anyone in a senior care facility, we will arrange to have a Mass offered for his/her special intentions. If you are in a position to support our Christmas 2020 Outreach, please place your monetary donation in an envelope marked “Sodality Project” and drop it in the collection basket between now and December 13. Checks should be made payable to: Ladies Sodality of Blessed Trinity. Thank you for your continued support.

Music Ministry: “From the Loft” ~ At Blessed Trinity, music has been integral to the structure of all of our liturgical rites and therefore integral to our worship of God. In a COVID world, the use of music and congregational singing has been challenging, to say the least. This is an opportunity to find new ways to unite our community as we join forces – and voices – to express our shared beliefs. Ideas for Advent and Christmas are just beginning to form, and we need your help. Please bring a pen and jot down your ideas and put them on the table at the bottom of the stairs to the choir loft. It would be wonderful to mold Blessed Trinity’s musical future using your ideas! Current and future musicians at BT, let’s continue to pray for God’s presence in our Music Ministry as we explore these unknown waters!

In Times of Trial
 
God our comfort and consolation, bless us with your presence today.
Remain with us in the struggles of life and continue to strengthen us to serve.
Let our song of rejoicing go on.
May our witness to the gospel never waver when we face trials or suffering.
Send your angels to watch over us, forever and ever.
Amen. 
From In Holy Harmony: Prayers for Parish Musician, by Alan J. Hommerding

~ Elizabeth Clay

Reflection on Gospel for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 25:14-30

It was only a few days that I had settled in at the mission assigned me in Chile, South America. The other two sisters were out and as I sat at my desk I heard a knock. New and still keenly aware of my limitations, I froze! My initial reaction was to ignore the knocking, fearing failure. But thanks be to God, His Spirit prevailed this time.

Fear can surely paralyze us and cause us to lose everything as did the servant in todays’ gospel. The fact that the master ‘entrusted his possessions’ to them should have been an obvious sign of the great confidence he was showing. Unfortunately, that third servant let fear get the upper hand.

As we know the word ‘talent’ not only refers to money but to our own personal abilities and gifts; the many qualities our families nurtured in us. God’s gifts are as countless as the stars! And it’s not for us to compare ours with others’ nor to allow ourselves to believe they are not important. The One who bestows them generously, expects us to use them generously.

Many years ago I read an allegory whose main character was called ‘Much Afraid’. Her many fears crippled her, body and soul, until one glorious day after a long journey, she finds her courage and becomes completely transformed.

Most likely all of us have ‘Much Afraid’ moments but hopefully unlike that servant in the gospel we trust that Our master not only lavishes upon us many beautiful gifts but also sends a special one, His Spirit to help us learn how to let them bear fruit.

Sister Ann Marie Grasso, SSMN

Vocation View ~ As children of the light, we realize that the gifts and talents that we have been given to share, especially with the poor and needy. How will you share yours?

Prisoner Gift Bags for 2021 ~ As reported last month, the Prisoner Gift Project for 2020 is canceled.  Yet we can remember our prisoners and get a jump on the 2021 project by decorating gift bags this Christmas Season. Covid-19 restrictions have closed us inside so consider using some of your home time decorating next years’ bags. Bags and directions are available for pick up in the back pew. Please plan to return your bags by the end of January 2020.

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 on 9/15 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 be able to participate. 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

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

Photo by Steve Mangione

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

Dreaming Without Sleeping, The Human Need for Leisure ~ Monday, November 16, 7-8pm, Our Lady of Pompeii Auditorium (129 Laverack Avenue in Lancaster). Father Peter Santandreu will explore what is meant by the concept of “leisure” and its value for the human person formed in God’s image. RSVP is required to accommodate social distancing planning. Call 716-683-6522.

Canisius High School ~ Entrance and Scholarship Examination will be given Saturday, November 21 at 8:30am ($20). If interested, call Office of Admission at 716-200-0208.

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.

Week of November 8, 2020 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Baldachino, coffered ceiling and skylight in the Sanctuary of Blessed Trinity Church.
Photo credit: Sean Brodfuehrer

November 8 – November 15, 2020

Weekly Activities

All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Tuesday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Bible Study

Wednesday, November 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Nov 11, Nov 25, Dec 9, 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 takes effect on Monday, November 9, 2020. The NEW schedule for daily Mass will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

Veterans Day
November 11

Sunday, November 8 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Birthday Remembrance for William Francis Pernick (Req. by Siblings) and Blessings for Doris Knapp (Req. by daughters Mary Lou Knapp King and Joanne Knapp McGuirk

Monday, November 9 ~ Dedication of the Lateran Basilica ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Tuesday, November 10 ~ St. Leo the Great ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Est. of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, November 11 ~ St. Martin of Tours ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for Marcus Porter (John E. Curtin)

Thursday, November 12  ~ St. Josaphat ~ No service scheduled

Friday, November 13 ~ St. Frances Xavier Cabrini ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Est. of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, November  14 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Eternal Joy for Lucille Venezia (Family)

Sunday, November 15 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessings for Spencer Patrick Schroeder (Colleen Schroeder) and In Memory of Carol Schmelzer (Mary Karlis)

Lector Schedule ~ Nov 14: Michael Ogoh; Nov 15: Greg Gaglione

News from our Parish Community

Veterans’ Day ~ Wednesday, November 11, is Veterans’ Day. Please pray for the safety of those serving in our armed forces and remember those who have died in the service of our country.

Father Bob Gebhard

Greeting Father Bob ~ On October 31 we welcomed Father Robert Gebhard, Jr., the newly assigned temporary administrator of our parish. We thank him for the meaningful All Souls Day service and look forward to getting to know him. Following Masses on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 11, Father Bob will attempt a “socially distanced” reception line. Please plan to stay after Mass and introduce yourself.

The Second Collection on November 7/8 benefits the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Please give generously in support of this institution whose Schools of Religious Studies and Philosophy are internationally recognized.

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be November 10. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 11 and 12. 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). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information.

Our Communion of Saints ~ Throughout the month of November, we will be remembering our deceased family members and friends at Mass. Take a moment to add the name of a departed loved one in the appointed basket in church.

For Children over age 7 Who Have Not Been Baptized, our first meeting will be on Sunday, November 29 immediately following the 10 am Mass. Parents who wish to register their children are asked to call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598 so that we will arrange a space that is big enough to have social distancing in place and adequate materials. We will have a combination of in-person, Zoom and at home studies for an anticipated reception into the Church with Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil 2021.

Reflection on Readings for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wisdom 6:12-16 (154A); Psalm 62:2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Thessalonians 4:13-18 or 4:13-14; Matthew 25:1-13

We use oil for many reasons – to protect our bodies, to cook food, to massage tired muscles. Jesus highlights oil in the lamp for the gospel today. Later in this chapter of the gospel he will speak of using wealth and talents well, and of care for the poor.

Prayer, no matter what its method, keeps our faith alive, and brings us into deeper relationship with the Divine in our lives. Every great faith (Christian or non-Christian) has its methods and way of praying. Like oil giving light to the lamp or protecting us from evil, prayer renews energy in the body and soul, and guides our steps in life on the way of Christ.

People pray in different ways. We pray with meditation, with the gospel, in silence. Alone or with others, in the Eucharis. Each of us find our own way of praying, and that is the best for us.

We need to refill at least daily the oil container of our lamp. We can do this particularly in the morning and evening. We can offer the day to God and thank God for it. This is the oil that will smooth our weariness and free us for our gospel way of life. 

I offer you Lord, this day with its joys and sorrows. I give thanks for what has been good in this day. Amen.

Know Your Faith: Adulting ~ If you use Facebook or Instagram you might have seen these decorating APPS that ask you if you can do a better job. What’s missing from this picture, they ask?

The apostles, having spent days and weeks huddled together in fear did not really yet understand what was missing even though Jesus had made them a promise (Jn 14:16 and 15:26). With the coming of the holy Spirit, they received the gifts of wisdom, fortitude, counsel, understanding, knowledge and fear of the Lord. (The foundations of this belief can be found in Is 11:1-2). In one of our recent Bible Study sessions we discovered that the apostles had developed a real understanding of just what the holy Spirit meant to them. They realized that the converts, though Baptized, had not yet received the holy Spirit and laid hands upon them (Acts 8:14-17).

In today’s Church, we call upon the holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Some families think of this as a sort of graduation because it typically comes near the end of high school. I like to think of Confirmation more in terms of accepting our role as Adult Catholic Christians and asking our Bishop (or his representative) to pray over us that the holy Spirit come to us with the strength we need as adults

Being an Adult Catholic Christian requires those gifts of the Spirit. It is not always an easy task to do what is right – even to know what is right. Let me tell you a short story. An older woman went to pay for her groceries and realized that she had left her wallet at home. She had ten dollars in cash in her pocket which was not quite enough money so she took a loaf of bread out of the order and told the clerk that she would just get bread later in the week. The clerk placed the bread in her bag without charging her. Was it right of the clerk? Should the woman accept it? Does it matter whether the clerk also owns the store or is an employee? Does the store have a policy on things like this? Such a simple act yet the answer is not so simple.

We encounter dozens of decisions every day – big and small – simple and complex. Call upon the holy Spirit given you in Confirmation. And pray for our Confirmation candidates who will receive the gifts of the holy Spirit next spring. Now, isn’t adulting a lot easier when you have an advocate?

~ Patricia Dyer, MAPM

We thankfully acknowledge the donation of services by Pure Green Cleaning Systems.They will be sanitizing the church in various times between masses to help us to keep safe during the ongoing Covid 19 Pandemic.

Music Ministry: “From the Loft” ~ I am delighted to be “back on the bench” at Blessed Trinity this week. As you may already know, the 1927 Tellers-Kent organ had a rough go of it during the COVID quarantine, but its repair in October means it is once again ready to enhance our liturgy – as it has for almost 100 years.

You will notice some changes as we all try to work through strategies to keep everyone safe every week. I will have to remain up in the loft for the foreseeable future. During the week, I am a pediatric physical therapist treating medically compromised children in their homes. In order to meet the requirements of my job, I have to avoid contact with anyone who has been around any infected individual. If I stay up in the loft during Mass, I can meet all of the necessary criteria to keep my job. As lonely as it can be up there, that’s where I will remain for now.

Music Ministers have a lot of challenges during these crazy times. How do we encourage congregational singing and participation with the established guidelines for safety? Over the next weeks, you will notice weekly congregational pages for you to use during Mass so you can read the texts aloud and participate more actively in the liturgy. We will be speaking the Gloria for now, but will be singing the other Mass parts, hopefully with you humming along inside your mask. I’ll be inviting one or two choir members up into the loft so you can hear some of Blessed Trinity’s beautiful voices – and will be providing preludes and postludes each week that may surprise you. If the music moves you, feel free to tap your toes, clap your hands, or speak the words – you won’t be putting anyone at risk by doing so!

I still hope to mold our liturgical music based on your concerns. There is now a notepad on the table at the bottom of the loft stairs. Please write me a note with your favorite hymn or any comments regarding our music program and I will do my best to make it happen. Let’s work together to think outside of the box and make Blessed Trinity’s music program better than ever.

“Over my head, I hear music in the air – there must be a God somewhere.”

~ Elizabeth Clay

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 on 9/15 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 be able to participate. 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

Prisoner Gift Project 2020 ~ Project Coordinator Janice Burns has regretfully canceled the Prisoner Christmas Package Project for 2020 due to Covid-19 cautions and rules. A drop-off of post card greetings to the prisoners was considered, but approval by the administrations of Wende and Albion has not been received in time to organize the event. We can get a jump on the 2021 project by starting to decorate gift bags which will be available here at Blessed Trinity. Watch for future announcements. 

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

Photo Credit: Duane Held

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

Dreaming Without Sleeping, The Human Need for Leisure ~ Monday, November 16, 7-8pm, Our Lady of Pompeii Auditorium (129 Laverack Avenue in Lancaster). Father Peter Santandreu will explore what is meant by the concept of “leisure” and its value for the human person formed in God’s image. RSVP is required to accommodate social distancing planning. Call 716-683-6522.

Canisius High School ~ Entrance and Scholarship Examination will be given Saturday, November 21 at 8:30am ($20). If interested, call Office of Admission at 716-200-0208.

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.

Week of November 1, 2020 – All Saints Day

All Saints Day
November 1
The lower ring of figures in Joseph Mazur’s painting in the church’s great dome depict saints of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament making their way to heaven.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley.

November 1 – November 8, 2020

Weekly Activities

All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Wednesday, November 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Oct 28, Nov 11, Nov 25, 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 takes effect this week. On Monday, November 2, there will be a special 7 PM Mass for All Souls Day. The daily 11 AM Mass will resume on Tuesday, with additional services on Wednesday & Friday. Going forward, the NEW schedule for daily Mass will be Monday-Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

St. Martin de Porres
November 3
Woodcarving of St. Martin de Porres
in the church’s left transept.
A gift of the Southtowns Woodcarvers.

Sunday, November 1 ~ All Saints Day ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Lucy Jackson (Req. by Ladies Sodality of Blessed Trinity) and In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Monday, November 2 ~ All Souls Day ~ Mass at 7:00 p.m. – Deceased Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Tuesday, November 3 ~ St. Martin de Porres ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Wednesday, November 4 ~ St. Charles Borromeo ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Thursday, November 5  ~ No service scheduled

Friday, November 6 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Saturday, November  7 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Eternal Joy for Fred Godert (Godert Siblings)

Sunday, November 8 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Birthday Remembrance for Frances Pernick (Siblings) and In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Mary Karlis)

Lector Schedule ~ Nov 7: John Curtin; Nov 8: Mary Kresse

News from our Parish Community

Rev. Robert Gebhard

Welcome Father Bob ~ This weekend we welcome Father Robert Gebhard, Jr., the newly assigned temporary administrator of our parish, and look forward to working with him. It marks Father Bob’s return to urban ministry, as he served as pastor of St. James parish for many years prior to our 2008 merger.

Music Ministry ~ This weekend also marks the return of Elizabeth Clay as our music minister. We hope you enjoy her greeting:

“From the Loft” ~ I am delighted to be “back on the bench” at Blessed Trinity this week. As you may already know, the 1927 Tellers Kent organ had a rough go of it during the COVID quarantine, but its repair in October means it is once again ready to enhance our liturgy – as it has for almost 100 years.

You will notice some changes as we all try to work through strategies to keep everyone safe every week. I will have to remain up in the loft for the foreseeable future. During the week, I am a pediatric physical therapist treating medically compromised children in their homes. In order to meet the requirements of my job, I have to avoid contact with anyone who has been around any infected individual. If I stay up in the loft during Mass, I can meet all of the necessary criteria to keep my job. As lonely as it can be up there, that’s where I will remain for now.

Music Ministers have a lot of challenges during these crazy times. How do we encourage congregational singing and participation with the established guidelines for safety? Over the next weeks, you will notice weekly congregational pages for you to use during Mass so you can read the texts aloud and participate more actively in the liturgy. We will be speaking the Gloria for now, but will be singing the other Mass parts, hopefully with you humming along inside your mask. I’ll be inviting one or two choir members up into the loft so you can hear some of Blessed Trinity’s beautiful voices – and will be providing preludes and postludes each week that may surprise you. If the music moves you, feel free to tap your toes, clap your hands, or speak the words – you won’t be putting anyone at risk by doing so!

I still hope to mold our liturgical music based on your concerns. There is now a notepad on the table at the bottom of the loft stairs. Please write me a note with your favorite hymn or any comments regarding our music program and I will do my best to make it happen. Let’s work together to think outside of the box and make Blessed Trinity’s music program better than ever.

“Over my head, I hear music in the air – there must be a God somewhere.”

~ Elizabeth

Monday, November 2, is All Souls Day.  It comes at the beginning of the month in our Liturgical Year when we remember our deceased loved ones. Our Catholic faith reminds us that we “look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” On All Souls Day there will be a special evening Mass at 7pm. It will include a remembrance ceremony for parishioners as well as two Life Members of our Ladies Sodality who have died during the past year. Because of this special liturgy, there will be no 11 a.m. Mass on Monday, November 2.

A Reflection for All Saints Day ~ Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. (Mt 5:11). We are all at different points on the path to holiness, on getting to Heaven and becoming a saint. Part of the journey is being mocked and ridiculed by others. When this happens, how do you respond? Do you become silent? Do you react in anger or do you react with love? Fortunately, as one Body of Christ, we are united with the saints already in Heaven.  Ask your favorite saint for guidance in defending the Faith.

The Second Collection on November 7/8 benefits the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Please give generously in support of this institution whose Schools of Religious Studies and Philosophy are internationally recognized.

Sister Flavia Dampf, S.S.S.
1924-2020

Sister Flavia Dampf, our former pastoral associate, was called home to God’s loving embrace on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at the age of 96 following years of dedicated service to the Lord. She passed away at the Clarence Residence of the Sisters of St. Joseph, where she has resided since October 24, 2011.

In June 2019 Sister Flavia celebrated her Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Jubilee as a Sister of Social Service. Having worked in various capacities in our parish for more than 30 years, Sr. Flavia is remembered with affection by many parishioners and former parishioners. She is probably best known for her food pantry ministry and close association with the Western New York indigenous community, and her attention to the children of the parish. Sister Flavia also introduced the Advent “Giving Tree,” which has become a parish tradition.

A Mass of Christian Burial and celebration of her life took place on October 28 at Blessed Sacrament Church on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Memorials may be made to the Cattauraugus Early Childhood Learning Center, c/o the Seneca Nation President’s Office, 90 Ohlyoh Way, P.O. Box 23, Salamanca, NY 14799.

Parishioners (L to R) Maggie Gatson, Bud Dick, Judy Casassa & Mickey Dick celebrated with Sr. Flavia Dampf on the occasion of her 75th Jubilee in June 2019.

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 on 9/15 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 be able to participate. 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

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 November 10. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 11 and 12. 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). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information.

Prisoner Gift Project 2020 ~ Project Coordinator Janice Burns has regretfully canceled the Prisoner Christmas Package Project for 2020 due to Covid-19 cautions and rules. A drop-off of post card greetings to the prisoners was considered, but approval by the administrations of Wende and Albion has not been received in time to organize the event. We can get a jump on the 2021 project by starting to decorate gift bags which will be available here at Blessed Trinity. Watch for future announcements. 

Diocese Embarks on “Road to Renewal” ~ The Catholic Faithful, priests, deacons, religious, parish administrators and school leaders of the Diocese of Buffalo have embarked on a journey to reinvigorate Catholic faith, more fully optimize parish and diocesan resources, and increase the impact of our varied ministries throughout Western New York. READ Bishop Scharfenberger’s September 19, 202 Letter to the Faithful about the Road to Renewal.

The Road to Renewal process is aimed at delivering recommendations to Bishop Scharfenberger regarding how parishes can better partner together to share resources, pull together capabilities and ensure greater impact.To that end, Bishop Scharfenberger has assembled a Diocesan Renewal Task Force (DRTF) to manage the process.Their scope is to review our current realities (mass attendance, parish financials, school attendance and financials, etc.) and collect input from people throughout the Diocese.

If you wish to contribute to the discussion, start by Clicking HERE and take an anonymous survey now available online.

We thank our parishioners who participated in the October 1, 2020 Vicariate ZOOM Session with other parishes* in our Northwest Central Buffalo Vicariate.

As indicated on the diocesan web site: “There are no pre-determined conclusions to this process and we seek broad input and candid discussion in order to define options that  will ensure a stronger, more sustainable model of Catholic life and ministry in Western New York.” The site also states that “[t]he task force is not a decision-making group, “ and that “[a]ll decisions are reserved to the Bishop is his canonical role.”

November 30, 2020 is the date for the delivery of recommendations from the Task Force to the Bishop, and no actions will be taken before that date. Bishop Scharfenberger will receive the recommendations and reserves the right to further consult with additional groups.

You can learn much more about The Road to Renewal at https://roadtorenewal.org/

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

“I believe in … the Communion of Saints….and life everlasting. Amen.”
The last of 12 symbols on our church façade depicting tenants of the Faith (belief in life everlasting) as recited in The Apostles Creed.
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

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 ~ Sunday, November 1 is the last day for early voting in NYS. Election Day is this Tuesday, November 3, and polls will be open from 6 AM to 9 PM.

Canisius High School ~ Entrance and Scholarship Examination will be given Saturday, November 21 at 8:30am ($20). If interested, call Office of Admission at 716-200-0208.

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.

Week of October 25, 2020 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles
October 28
Symbols representing the apostles appear in the capitals and the bases of the columns surrounding the angels on either side of The Main Portico. “The common way of representing [the apostles] is with the symbol of their martyrdom.” (Rev. Walter Kern’s Guidebook to Blessed Trinity R. C. Church, page 15). St. Simon is symbolized by this saw;
St. Jude is symbolized by a knotted club which appears on another column.

October 25 – November 1, 2020

Weekly Activities

All in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Tuesday, October 27 at 7:00 p..m. ~ ZOOM Bible Discussion

Wednesday, October 28, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Oct 28, Nov 11, Nov 25, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, but there is a temporary change in the daily Mass schedule. A communion service will take place at 11 AM on Tuesday-Friday, Oct 27-30. Daily Mass will resume on Monday, November 2, with a special 7 PM Mass for All Souls Day. Going forward, the NEW schedule for daily Mass will be Monday-Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

Sunday, October 25 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Catherine Harzynski (Req. by Bud and Mickey Dick) and Blessings for Lois Knapp Gillen (Req. by Sisters, Mary Lou Knapp King and Joanne Knapp McGuirk)

Monday, October 26 ~ No scheduled service

Tuesday, October 27 ~ Communion Service at 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday, October 28 ~ Mass of Christian Burial for Sr. Flavia Dampf at 10:00 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church

Wednesday, October 28 ~ Ss. Simon and Jude, Apostles ~ Communion Service at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 29 ~ Communion Service at 11:00 a.m.

Friday, October 30 ~ Communion Service at 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, October 31 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Sunday, November 1 ~ All Saints Day ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Lucy Jackson (Ladies Sodality of Blessed Trinity) and In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Mary Karlis)

Monday, November 2 ~ All Souls Day ~ Mass at 7:00 p.m. – Deceased Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Lector Schedule ~ Oct 31: Lorna Cameron; Nov 1: Sr. Liz Savage

Rev. Robert Gebhard

News from our Parish Community

A Message from Father Gebhard ~ Greetings Blessed Trinity Parish! 

I’m sure that this is an especially unsettling time for the parish. Know that I am eager to be with you and help the parish, in whatever way I can, during this time of transition. I am grateful for the priests from St. Mark/St. Rose of Lima Parishes – Fr. Joe Rogliano (a high school classmate!), Fr. Bob Contarin, and Fr. Butch Mazur – for filling in until I am able to be with you on a regular basis. 

Though last weekend’s bulletin indicated that I would begin celebrating masses this weekend, please be patient as I will unfortunately not be able to celebrate masses until next weekend, October 31 – November 1, the Feast of All Saints. As I mentioned in the letters that I sent to each parish family, the possibility of Covid virus restrictions made a start date questionable. I was away for a family wedding in Virginia, a state that had been removed from the NYS quarantine list. However, no sooner did I arrive there than Virginia was returned to that list. I now have to quarantine.

In the meantime, I will be praying for all of you and moving a few things into the rectory as I am able while maintaining health safety measures as required. I do look forward to finally worshiping and ministering with you!

I understand that Luke & Catherine Humphrey will end their interim music ministry commitment with the parish this weekend but have agreed to continue with us from time to time as needed. As I’m sure I join all of you, I offer deepest thanks to them for their willingness to fill in for the last months and share, what I have heard, has been their true gift of music.

Next weekend, I look forward to joining Elizabeth Clay as she returns from a leave as parish Music Director and I return to the area where I lived for many years as pastor of St. James. Until we meet in person, I ask you to keep me and the parish in your daily prayers!

 — Fr. Bob

Sister Flavia Dampf, S.S.S.
1924-2020

Sister Flavia Dampf, our former pastoral associate, was called home to God’s loving embrace on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at the age of 96 following years of dedicated service to the Lord. She passed away at the Clarence Residence of the Sisters of St. Joseph, where she has resided since October 24, 2011.

In June 2019 Sister Flavia celebrated her Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Jubilee as a Sister of Social Service. Having worked in various capacities in our parish for more than 30 years, Sr. Flavia is remembered with affection by many parishioners and former parishioners. She is probably best known for her food pantry ministry and close association with the Western New York indigenous community, and her attention to the children of the parish. Sister Flavia also introduced the Advent “Giving Tree,” which has become a parish tradition.

A Mass of Christian Burial and celebration of her life will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 28, at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1029 Delaware Avenue near Utica in Buffalo. Friends are also invited to join members of her congregation in praying the Rosary in the church beginning at 9:30 a.m. Memorials may be made to the Cattauraugus Early Childhood Learning Center, c/o the Seneca Nation President’s Office, 90 Ohlyoh Way, P.O. Box 23, Salamanca, NY 14799.

Parishioners (L to R) Maggie Gatson, Bud Dick, Judy Casassa & Mickey Dick celebrated with Sr. Flavia Dampf on the occasion of her 75th Jubilee in June 2019.

All Souls Day ~ There will be a special evening Mass at 7pm on All Souls Day, Monday, November 2, including a remembrance ceremony for parishioners who have died during the past year. If you are skilled in calligraphy or graphic arts, we could use your help in inscribing several glass vigil candles for the service. Please call Pat Pendleton at the rectory on Tuesday after 10:30 a.m. if you think you can help.

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 on 9/15 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 be able to participate. 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

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 October 27. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of 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 approximately one hour. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information.

Prisoner Gift Project 2020 ~ Project Coordinator Janice Burns has regretfully canceled the Prisoner Christmas Package Project for 2020 due to Covid-19 cautions and rules. A drop-off of post card greetings to the prisoners was considered, but approval by the administrations of Wende and Albion has not been received in time to organize the event. We can get a jump on the 2021 project by starting to decorate gift bags which will be available here at Blessed Trinity. Watch for future announcements. 

Know Your Faith: Rule of Law

We have heard an awful lot about the Rule of Law in this election season. So I thought that we might look at Law in the Church. In the 1983 Code of Canon Law there are 1,752 entries. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (my copy) has 904 pages. The Jewish mitzvot has 613 rules. There are 10 commandments. Jesus narrowed this down quite a bit: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.This is the greatest and the first commandment.The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Mt 22:36-40). There are other proclamations on the law, too.  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Mt 5:17). Oh no! Just when I thought that Jesus was going to make this simpler he ADDS to the law, “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ “But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.” (Mt 5:17-22).  “(B)ecause while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (Jn 1:17). There are literally hundreds – maybe millions – of documents from bishops, popes and councils over the last two millennia. But all of this, the millions of pages written, boils down to a few lines in Genesis, “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female* he created them.” (Gen 1:27).

When in 1969, Episcopal priest Fred Rogers, in his guise as Mr. Rogers, sat down with Officer Clemmons to cool their feet in a children’s pool, he was not breaking a social constraint nor was he breaking any ground. He was sitting face to face with the image and likeness of God.

Patricia Dyer, MAPM

Diocese Embarks on “Road to Renewal” ~ The Catholic Faithful, priests, deacons, religious, parish administrators and school leaders of the Diocese of Buffalo have embarked on a journey to reinvigorate Catholic faith, more fully optimize parish and diocesan resources, and increase the impact of our varied ministries throughout Western New York. READ Bishop Scharfenberger’s September 19, 202 Letter to the Faithful about the Road to Renewal.

The Road to Renewal process is aimed at delivering recommendations to Bishop Scharfenberger regarding how parishes can better partner together to share resources, pull together capabilities and ensure greater impact.To that end, Bishop Scharfenberger has assembled a Diocesan Renewal Task Force (DRTF) to manage the process.Their scope is to review our current realities (mass attendance, parish financials, school attendance and financials, etc.) and collect input from people throughout the Diocese.

If you wish to contribute to the discussion, start by Clicking HERE and take an anonymous survey now available online.

We thank our parishioners who participated in the October 1, 2020 Vicariate ZOOM Session with other parishes* in our Northwest Central Buffalo Vicariate.

As indicated on the diocesan web site: “There are no pre-determined conclusions to this process and we seek broad input and candid discussion in order to define options that  will ensure a stronger, more sustainable model of Catholic life and ministry in Western New York.” The site also states that “[t]he task force is not a decision-making group, “ and that “[a]ll decisions are reserved to the Bishop is his canonical role.”

November 30, 2020 is the date for the delivery of recommendations from the Task Force to the Bishop, and no actions will be taken before that date. Bishop Scharfenberger will receive the recommendations and reserves the right to further consult with additional groups.

You can learn much more about The Road to Renewal at https://roadtorenewal.org/

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

Photo Credit: Bridget Blesnuk

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 ~ Early Voting in NYS has begun and will continue 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 site near you.

Canisius High School ~ Entrance and Scholarship Examination will be given Saturday, November 21 at 8:30am ($20). If interested, call Office of Admission at 716-200-0208.

HOPE IN THE DARKNESS, a program about Depression & Suicide in a Pandemic. Wednesday, October 28, 6:30 – 8 pm. Are you or someone you know suffering from anxiety or depression in these Covid days? Don’t know where to turn for emotional or spiritual help? Help parishioners cope and manage their mental health with their Catholic faith. Join Catholic psychotherapist Dan Lawson Live and Livestreaming at St. Martin of Tours (1140 Abbott Road in Buffalo). Q & A will be offered. This event is FREE. Call 716-823-7077 or register and find Livestreaming on St. Martin of Tours Buffalo Facebook. For more info visit stmartinbuffalo.com or contact diacono [at] stmartinbuffalo [dot] com.

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.