Week of September 20, 2020 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
September 21
St. Matthew is depicted in this pendentive supporting Blessed Trinity’s great dome. “Since Christ sent the Apostles out to preach the Good News of how much God loves us, this church rightly places the missionary emphasis of the Church in a prominent position.” Rev. Walter Kern’s “Guidebook to Blessed Trinity R. C. Church,” page 21. Photo Credit: Gary Kelley.

September 20-27, 2020

Weekly Activities

Weekend and weekday Masses have resumed but all in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Tuesday, Sept 29 at 7:00 p.m. ~ NEW ~ 50-minute Bible Study via ZOOM, featuring the Acts of the Apostles. Click HERE to sign-in!

Wednesday, September 30, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Sept 30, Oct 14,Oct 28, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Daily & Saturday Masses have resumed: Tuesday-Friday at 11 AM and Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Sunday, September 20 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Marie Coogan (Requested by Grace Schaefer) and Blessings for Frances Pernick (Requested by Children)

Monday, September 21 ~ St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist – No scheduled Mass

Tuesday, September 22 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, September 23 ~ St. Pius of Pietrelcina ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Thursday, September 24 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Friday, September 25 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – John f. Curtin (John E. Curtin)

Saturday, September 26 ~ Ss. Cosmas and Damian ~ Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Sunday, September 27 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Margaret Schimpf (Family) and Eternal Joy for Alexis Farrar (Family) and Thanksgiving for Blessings Received (Fr. Victor Ibhawa)

Lector Schedule ~  Sept 19: Greg Gaglione; Sept 20: Judy Casassa; Sept 26: Michael Ogoh; Sept 27: Bob Heicklen

Ceramic holy water font and terra cotta columns.
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

News from our Parish Community

Saturday/Weekday Masses have now resumed. You are encouraged to once again request Mass intentions by mail, by leaving your request in the collection (marked “Mass Intention”), or simply calling the rectory office (716-833-0301). Office hours are Tues – Thurs, 10:30am – 2:30pm. The customary stipend is $15.00.

A New Night and Time for Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be September 29. Participants requested a slightly later start time and changed the night to prevent conflicts with the #OneBody ZOOM discussions. It’s not too late to get a free account at zoom.com so you can be part of the conversation as we study The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). The next session is scheduled to last 50 minutes; we will be discussing Acts: 5-6. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information. 

The second collection on September 26/27 benefits Christ the King Seminary. Monies collected will be used for the diocesan Formation operating budget, which covers tuition expenses for seminarians and diaconate candidates. With the closing of our local seminary, those studying for the priesthood are pursuing  their studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. Final year seminarians with a May 2021 ordination date will complete the academic year at Christ the King in E. Aurora. Diaconate candidates are being accommodated through our new collaboration with St. Bernard’s School of Theology in Rochester, utilizing a combination of in-person classes and remote learning. Your generosity will assist them in transitioning.

Reflection on readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Times: Is 55:6-9; Mt 20:1-16a

Isaiah reminds us, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call to him while he is near.” At the center of each of our hearts is a desire: what do we really seek, whom do we seek? God asks us to ponder this question deeply. We are promised all the graces we will need to grow closer to God. We must believe that God walks with us on our journey, giving us what we need, knowing what we need most.

In the Gospel, the parable of the landowner emphasizes our dilemma as we try to understand the way God is acting – what does it mean to be “fair?” Surely the landowner is not fair to his workers. 

One thing we can never ever begin to understand is the heart of God. God is generous in unfathomable ways. Nothing is earned, all is freely given. Yet, perhaps this story is about more than the landowner’s being generous. Is Jesus also emphasizing the value of work, even a “small amount” – that the value is in working conscientiously, and not in the amount accomplished?  There are so many among us who are sick or infirm, or for some reason are unable to compete as far as the quantity of work done. Jesus does not compare them, but simply values each one.

When our God acts towards us, we’re given what we have never earned (not even begun to earn, not even come close to earning). Can we learn to appreciate the labor of others, even when theirs is “less” – and be happy that the landowner is generous to them?

All of this calls for humility and gentleness. The “strong” one pushes his/her weight around, demanding what is due, but the one who has understood the teachings of Jesus has an appreciation hidden from “the wise and the learned” – given to the little ones, to the humble, the meek, the gentle. It takes a deeper vision to see that we are due nothing, that all is gift, pure gift.

We need to “Let God be God.” God’s “rules” are so different from ours, with kindness, blessing and generosity far outweighing anything we can ever find in our own hearts. We must pray to understand God’s heart.

At mass the other morning Father Tuan spoke about being “equal.” The workers complained, “These last ones worked only one hour and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and heat.” Often we do not want to be equal, but to be better than another. This is never the way of Jesus. Jesus was content to wash the feet of the apostles, to make himself the servant. The worker is asking essentially, “How dare you make us equals?” Is it so humiliating to be equal, so demeaning? What lofty ideas do we carry about ourselves?

Which brings us back to the beginning, to the deepest desire of our hearts. Let us learn to seek these attributes of the heart of God. May we trust that God will do this for us, and help us to be the children he desires us to be.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways… As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”

Sr. Corinne Yarborough, SSNM

Religious education materials are available now. If you were not contacted please call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598.

Music Ministry ~ The search for a Music Minister has begun. If you know anyone who may be interested, detailed information may be found on the Buffalodiocese.org website. Select  the “Careers” tab on the Main page.

Family Promise of WNY  ~ Blessed Trinity has partnered with Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Hospital Network) as a support congregation since 1994 when the agency first established a presence in Western New York. Having just completed renovations to their facility on Hickory Street, Executive Director Luanne Firestone was happy to take parish team members Amy Johnson and Mickey Dick on a guided tour. The renovations are impressive, especially the addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, and individual family cupboards, all designed with COVID-19 protocols in mind. They now have doubled their capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Staff and volunteer anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that is sure to follow the lifting of the current NYS eviction moratorium. New meal guidelines will make it easier for parish partners, like Blessed Trinity, to provide dinners for guest families. If you are in a position to assist us with dinner drop-offs, please contact Amy Johnson at 716-836-4694. Thank you Judy Casassa, Mickey Dick, and Palma Zanghi for assisting Amy with shopping for the Sept. 15 dinner. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.

Have your responded to the 2020 Census? It is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated for critical public services. The current corona virus pandemic should certainly enforce in our minds how crucial such funding can be. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will also have an impact on planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance, and so much more. The Diocese of Buffalo has joined other faith communities and civic organizations in encouraging all people in our community to participate. If you have not yet returned the census form mailed to you in March, you may receive a home visit from a census worker who will be carrying official identification and census forms. Please cooperate as he/she is there to help make sure you and your family are counted. If you have internet access, go to 2020census.gov and complete the census online. If you do not have a computer, you can go to any branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and ask for assistance with the online census form.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at:https://www.ccwny.org/donation. Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

Do you miss being at church? Of course long-time parishioners can probably close their eyes and picture the view from a favorite pew. But if you are not yet able to be physically present, it is possible to make a virtual visit. Buffalo Rising and Explore Buffalo teamed up to give their online followers a “tour” of Blessed Trinity. You can join them, by Clicking HERE. You will be treated to both exterior and interior photos and more than a little history. Take the “tour” and test your knowledge about your house of worship

Detail, terra cotta baptismal font
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 4 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented us from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone or email took on increased importance. Even though we are now able to resume Mass attendance, this may be a good time to ask yourself: Does the church office have my correct mailing address and phone number? Have I shared my email address? Make sure that we have been notified of any changes in your contact information by completing this form. This is also a chance to let us know if you: wish to be included in our online email list, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm; sending an email to blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com; or using the contact feature below to submit the information. If you choose either of the last two, please use “Contact Update” as the subject of the email or message.

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

National Elections ~ If you are nervous about voting in person on November 3, the Erie County Board of Elections wants you to know that the COVID-19 pandemic is an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot. Applications for an absentee ballot are already available. Click HERE to see what is involved. Early Voting will take place from Saturday, October 24 through Sunday, November 1 at 37 different locations and the offices of the Board of Elections at 134 West Eagle Street, Buffalo, NY. There will be at least one site in each ward in the City of Buffalo. Click HERE to find an early voting near you. If you have any questions, or to offer your services as a poll worker, call 716.858.8891.

Grief Sharing: a supportive group when you have lost someone dear. Begins Wednesday, October 21, 6:30-8pm, Our Lady of Pompeii Parish Ministry Center, 129 Laverack Avenue at Sheldon, Lancaster, NY. Meetings in person or by ZOOM, depending on coronavirus regulations in place at the time. For additional information and registration, call Sr. Joyce King, 716-683-6522, ext. 103.

Help for Victims of Domestic Violence ~ Because of COVID-19, the Family Justice Center (“FJC”) is not accepting walk-in appointments or in-person meetings. In case of emergency, call 911. For help with safety planning or other services you may need during this time, call or text the FJC Safeline, 716-558-SAFE (7233).

Food Assistance for Seniors ~ The County of Erie advises anyone over the age of 60 who is in need of food assistance to call 716-858-8526.

Week of September 13, 2020 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our Lady of Sorrows
September 15
Ceramic “Pieta” over interior doorway of left side entrance of the church. Sculpted by P. Kuhnle.
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

September 13-20, 2020

Weekly Activities

Weekend and weekday Masses have resumed but all in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Monday, Sept 14 at 6:30 p.m. ~ #OneBody ZOOM conference call

Tuesday, Sept 15 at 7:00 p.m. ~ NEW ~ 50-minute Bible Study via ZOOM, featuring the Acts of the Apostles. Click HERE to sign-in!

Wednesday, September 16, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Sept 16, Sept 30, Oct 14, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Daily & Saturday Masses have resumed: Tuesday-Friday at 11 AM and Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Sunday, September 13 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessings for William Francis Pernick (Requested by Children)

Monday, September 14 ~ The Exaltation of the Holy Cross – No scheduled Mass

Tuesday, September 15 ~ Our Lady of Sorrows ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, September 16 ~ Ss. Cornelius and Cyprian ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Thursday, September 17 ~ St. Robert Bellarmine ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Friday, September 18 ~ Rosh Hashanah (at sundown) ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, September 19 ~ St. Januarius ~ Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Sunday, September 20 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Marie Coogan (Grace Schaefer)

Lector Schedule ~  Sept 13: Sr. Liz Savage; Sept 19: Greg Gaglione; Sept 20: Judy Casassa

Photos credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

News from our Parish Community

Saturday/Weekday Masses have now resumed. You are encouraged to once again request Mass intentions by mail, by leaving your request in the collection (marked “Mass Intention”), or simply calling the rectory office (716-833-0301). Office hours are Tues – Thurs, 10:30am – 2:30pm. The customary stipend is $15.00.

#OneBody ~ September’s #OneBody ZOOM conference call is Monday, September 14. If you would like to join the conversation with individuals from various parishes, including our own, please contact Althea Porter at 716-316-8395. #One Body: Racial healing one heart at a time, one mind at a time.

A New Night and Time for Zoom Bible Study ~ Beginning September 15, our ZOOM Bible Study will meet every other TUESDAY at 7pm. Participants requested a slightly later start time and changed the night to prevent conflicts with the #OneBody ZOOM discussions. It’s not too late to get a free account at zoom.com so you can be part of the conversation as we study The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. Use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). The next session is scheduled to last 50 minutes; we will be discussing Acts: 3-4. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information. 

Reflection on readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Times: Sir 27:30 – 28:7; Ps 103:1-4, 9-12;  Rom 14:7-9; and Mt 18:21-35

Each reading really strikes me this weekend. Sirach’s words are strong and wise: “Wrath and anger are hateful things yet the sinner hugs them tight.” We’ve all heard that holding onto our anger is not wise and not even healthy. Sirach asks me today that if I nourish anger against someone, how could I ever expect to find healing from the Lord? If within me,  I work hard at keeping my wrath “alive and well” and hang onto it, how could I ever expect mercy and the forgiveness of my sins  to come to me?

Today’s Psalm refrain is one to be absorbed, to let it seep deep within me, within you: 

“The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion.”

Our God has not only revealed  God’s very self as a God who is loving and forgiving, slow to anger, and full of kindness and mercy.  Jesus’ life, words, and self-gift reveal the very Face of God to us. Jesus is the very Face of Mercy.

In response to Peter’s asking Jesus just how often we must forgive,  Jesus says, “seventy-seven times” and then tells today’s parable. The story Jesus tells, speaks of a king/ master who wants to settle accounts with his servants and right away, the first one before him has accumulated a huge debt which he could never pay back. As was the custom, the master ordered that the servant, his wife and family and all his possessions will be sold to pay the debt. Then the servant, on his knees, begs for patience and promises to pay everything back.The master is full of compassion and freely lets the servant go, forgiving everything he owed, with no conditions. When that servant, finding another servant who owes him a wee bit, begins to throttle him, he forgives nothing.

This Sunday’s readings remind me of two very painful instances in my life when I was treated “very shabbily” and deeply pained. Perhaps they challenge each of us to live as people who know we are loved and forgiven by our merciful God.

“The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion.”

P.S.  You may wish to find Pope Francis’ document on mercy:  Misericordiae Vultus.

 Sr. Marian Baumler, SSNM

Religious education materials are available now. If you were not contacted please call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598.

Know Your Faith: It’s over! As a young mother with five (yes, five) antsy children and later while raising two grandchildren the words I longed to hear at every Mass were these, “The Mass has ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another.” (You may hear one of the other, but similar pronouncements.)  Our response is, “Thanks be to God!” How many of you have felt this way, too? Our children do grow up though. They make us smile and we anticipate every milestone – many with mixed emotion. Most of us have experienced a graduation either for ourselves or for someone we love. Of course graduation is an end – an end of schooling, but also a beginning of (more) schooling or a career or marriage or religious life, or something else, but a beginning.

Rather than an ending to the Mass, this is only the beginning of what comes next for us as disciples. As recorded in scripture, Jesus commissioned his disciples. “Then Jesus approached and said to them, ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’ ” (Mt 28:18-20.)  The disciples “went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” (Mk 16:20). These commissioning statements are really quite brief and say little more except that the disciples were promised power from on high and that they were to wait in the city for the fulfillment of the promise. (Lk 24:48-49). The disciples of Jesus – the ones who walked by his side and ate and drank with him were afraid of the Jews. They were Jews, too, so what made them so afraid? They had radical ideas and were followers of one who had been crucified. The disciples stayed in the upper room in Jerusalem and became just about the first “prayer group.” (Acts 1:14). Of course, we know that their prayers were answered with the coming of the holy Spirit to strengthen them. (Acts 2:4 and Acts 2:14-47). The priest during Mass calls for the holy Spirit too (you may hear bells ring at this point during some Masses.) That is the part that makes going to Mass so important. It brings us again the strength of the holy Spirit for our Mission in the world. “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.” (Jn 21:24). What did this mean for the first disciples? And – what does this mean for you and for me? As Matthew Kelly says in Rediscovering Jesus, we are a people of possibility.

Non-biblical reference:  A Commentary on the Order of the Mass of the Roman Missal.  2011.  Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.

Patricia Dyer, MAPM

Music Ministry ~ The search for a Music Minister has begun. If you know anyone who may be interested, detailed information may be found on the Buffalodiocese.org website. Select  the “Careers” tab on the Main page.

Family Promise of WNY  ~ Blessed Trinity has partnered with Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Hospital Network) as a support congregation since 1994 when the agency first established a presence in Western New York. Having just completed renovations to their facility on Hickory Street, Executive Director Luanne Firestone was happy to take parish team members Amy Johnson and Mickey Dick on a guided tour. The renovations are impressive, especially the addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, and individual family cupboards, all designed with COVID-19 protocols in mind. When they are able to resume intakes this month, they will do so with double the capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Their anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that they know is coming with the lifting of the current NYS eviction moratorium. New meal guidelines will make it easier for parish partners, like Blessed Trinity, to provide dinners for guest families. If you are in a position to assist us with dinner drop-offs, please contact Amy Johnson at 716-836-4694. Our first commitment is Tuesday, Sept. 15. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.

Upon This Rock ~ We are pleased to inform the Parish that the “Upon this Rock” office has deposited a $3,079.61 disbursement to the church’s bank account. Total disbursements to date are $45,932.44. Thank you for your contributions and all are encouraged to continue fulfilling your pledges.

Have your responded to the 2020 Census? It is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated for critical public services. The current corona virus pandemic should certainly enforce in our minds how crucial such funding can be. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will also have an impact on planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance, and so much more. The Diocese of Buffalo has joined other faith communities and civic organizations in encouraging all people in our community to participate. If you have not yet returned the census form mailed to you in March, you may receive a home visit from a census worker who will be carrying official identification and census forms. Please cooperate as he/she is there to help make sure you and your family are counted. If you have internet access, go to 2020census.gov and complete the census online. If you do not have a computer, you can go to any branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and ask for assistance with the online census form.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at:https://www.ccwny.org/donation. Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

Do you miss being at church? Of course long-time parishioners can probably close their eyes and picture the view from a favorite pew. But if you are not yet able to be physically present, it is possible to make a virtual visit. Buffalo Rising and Explore Buffalo teamed up to give their online followers a “tour” of Blessed Trinity. You can join them, by Clicking HERE. You will be treated to both exterior and interior photos and more than a little history. Take the “tour” and test your knowledge about your house of worship

Detail of symbolic artwork on underside of choir loft.
Photo credit: Char Szabo-Perricelli

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 4 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented us from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone or email took on increased importance. Even though we are now able to resume Mass attendance, this may be a good time to ask yourself: Does the church office have my correct mailing address and phone number? Have I shared my email address? Make sure that we have been notified of any changes in your contact information by completing this form. This is also a chance to let us know if you: wish to be included in our online email list, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm; sending an email to blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com; or using the contact feature below to submit the information. If you choose either of the last two, please use “Contact Update” as the subject of the email or message.

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

National Elections ~ If you are nervous about voting in person on November 3, the Erie County Board of Elections wants you to know that the COVID-19 pandemic is an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot. Applications for an absentee ballot are already available. Click HERE to see what is involved. Early Voting will take place from Saturday, October 24 through Sunday, November 1 at 37 different locations and the offices of the Board of Elections at 134 West Eagle Street, Buffalo, NY. There will be at least one site in each ward in the City of Buffalo. Click HERE to find an early voting near you. If you have any questions, or to offer your services as a poll worker, call 716.858.8891.

Grief Sharing: a supportive group when you have lost someone dear. Begins Wednesday, October 21, 6:30-8pm, Our Lady of Pompeii Parish Ministry Center, 129 Laverack Avenue at Sheldon, Lancaster, NY. Meetings in person or by ZOOM, depending on coronavirus regulations in place at the time. For additional information and registration, call Sr. Joyce King, 716-683-6522, ext. 103.

Help for Victims of Domestic Violence ~ Because of COVID-19, the Family Justice Center (“FJC”) is not accepting walk-in appointments or in-person meetings. In case of emergency, call 911. For help with safety planning or other services you may need during this time, call or text the FJC Safeline, 716-558-SAFE (7233).

Food Assistance for Seniors ~ The County of Erie advises anyone over the age of 60 who is in need of food assistance to call 716-858-8526.

Week of September 6, 2020 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Labor Day
September 7, 2020
Symbols on the doors of the usher’s office pay tribute to laborers and the trades: scissors (tailor & seamstress), square (carpenter), anvil (blacksmith & iron worker), awl (shoemaker), spinning wheel (weaver). The carvings represent the woodworking skills of brothers Richard and Albert Lippich.
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

September 6 – 13, 2020

Weekly Activities

Weekend and weekday Masses have resumed but all in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Monday, Sept 14 at 6:30 p.m. ~ #OneBody ZOOM conference call

Tuesday, Sept 15 at 7:00 p.m. ~ NEW ~ 50-minute Bible Study via ZOOM, featuring the Acts of the Apostles. Click HERE to sign-in!

Wednesday, September 16, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Sept 16, Sept 30, Oct 14, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Daily & Saturday Masses have resumed: Tuesday-Friday at 11 AM and Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Sunday, September 6 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessing for Eugene and Anna Koenig (Requested by Ss. Ann Helene, OSF) and Blessings for Mary Hartmann (Husband, Anthony, and Children

Monday, September 7 ~ Labor Day Holiday – No scheduled Mass

Tuesday, September 8 ~ Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, September 9 ~ St. Peter Claver ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Thursday, September 10 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Blessings for John and Rita Curtin (John E. Curtin)

Friday, September 11 ~ Patriot Day ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, September 12 ~ The Most Holy Name of Mary ~ Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Sunday, September 13 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessings for William Francis Pernick (Requested by Children)

Lector Schedule ~   Sept 6: Mary Kresse; Sept 12: Jack Curtin; Sept 13: Sr. Liz Savage

St. Joseph
Patron saint of workers

News from our Parish Community

Saturday/Weekday Masses have now resumed. You are encouraged to once again request Mass intentions by mail, by leaving your request in the collection (marked “Mass Intention”), or simply calling the rectory office (716-833-0301). Office hours are Tues – Thurs, 10:30am – 2:30pm. The customary stipend is $15.00.

Friday is the nineteenth anniversary of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Please remember the thousands of lives lost on that day and include prayers for world peace in your commemoration.

#OneBody ~ September’s #OneBody ZOOM conference call is Monday, September 14. If you would like to join the conversation with individuals from various parishes, including our own, please contact Althea Porter at 716-316-8395. #One Body: Racial healing one heart at a time, one mind at a time.

A New Night and Time for Zoom Bible Study ~ Beginning September 15, our ZOOM Bible Study will meet every other TUESDAY at 7pm. Participants requested a slightly later start time and changed the night to prevent conflicts with the #OneBody ZOOM discussions. It’s not too late to get a free account at zoom.com so you can be part of the conversation as we study The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. Use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). The next session is scheduled to last 50 minutes; we will be discussing Acts: 3-4. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information. 

Reflection on readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Times: Ez 33:7-9 (127A); Ps 95; Rom 13:8-10; Mt 18:15-30

The readings for this Sunday’s liturgy seemed a bit puzzling to me. First of all, I wasn’t ready to tell ‘my brother his fault’ (Romans 13: 8) and then gather someone else to join me if he didn’t ‘get it.’ I also wasn’t drawn to the idea of ‘warning the wicked about their sin’ (Ezekiel 33:7). Granted, we all have our bad days, but I sure stay far away from wicked.

But I was drawn to two powerful sentences in this Sunday’s readings that seemed to me to be direct messages from God. The first one is Romans 13:10; “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” The second is from the gospel of Matthew 18:20 – “love does no wrong to a neighbor – therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”    

Do you often wonder where God is?  With so much conflict, confusion, upheaval going on around us, do you find yourself asking God – where are you God?  I do. These readings  however, seem to make clear that God is where love is – where two or three are gathered in God’s name – there is God. We don’t have to look far to find God because God  is right in front of us – maybe so close that we don’t even pay attention. Which reminds me of the following story:

“There was a Sufi called Mullah Nasrudin who smuggled treasure across the border and masterfully eluded the guards. Every day for four years he would parade back and forth, and with every crossing the guards knew he was hiding expensive goods that he would sell for outrageous amounts of money on the other side. But despite their thorough searches, and despite the fact that they could see that he was prospering, they could find nothing in the saddle of the donkey he rode. Finally, years later, after Mullah Nasrudin had moved to another country, the frontier guard said, “Okay, you can tell me now. What were you smuggling?” The mullah smiled broadly and said, “My dear friend, I was smuggling donkeys.” 

This story, of course, led me to ask myself the following question – like- how many times have I missed the face of God because I was too busy looking someplace else to realize that the face of God was right in front of me? The face of God is in my neighbor – the face of God is where two or three are gathered in God’s name. Are we sometimes too busy looking far, far away and yet God is right there in front of our very eyes? And, of course, in the end, I began to realize as well, that if I can’t find God, it doesn’t really matter. Because God has already found me. Amen, Alleluia.

 Sr. Sandra Makowski, SSNM

Religious education materials are available now. If you were not contacted please call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598.

Know Your Faith: It’s over! As a young mother with five (yes, five) antsy children and later while raising two grandchildren the words I longed to hear at every Mass were these, “The Mass has ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another.” (You may hear one of the other, but similar pronouncements.)  Our response is, “Thanks be to God!” How many of you have felt this way, too? Our children do grow up though. They make us smile and we anticipate every milestone – many with mixed emotion. Most of us have experienced a graduation either for ourselves or for someone we love. Of course graduation is an end – an end of schooling, but also a beginning of (more) schooling or a career or marriage or religious life, or something else, but a beginning.

Rather than an ending to the Mass, this is only the beginning of what comes next for us as disciples. As recorded in scripture, Jesus commissioned his disciples. “Then Jesus approached and said to them, ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’ ” (Mt 28:18-20.)  The disciples “went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” (Mk 16:20). These commissioning statements are really quite brief and say little more except that the disciples were promised power from on high and that they were to wait in the city for the fulfillment of the promise. (Lk 24:48-49). The disciples of Jesus – the ones who walked by his side and ate and drank with him were afraid of the Jews. They were Jews, too, so what made them so afraid? They had radical ideas and were followers of one who had been crucified. The disciples stayed in the upper room in Jerusalem and became just about the first “prayer group.” (Acts 1:14). Of course, we know that their prayers were answered with the coming of the holy Spirit to strengthen them. (Acts 2:4 and Acts 2:14-47). The priest during Mass calls for the holy Spirit too (you may hear bells ring at this point during some Masses.) That is the part that makes going to Mass so important. It brings us again the strength of the holy Spirit for our Mission in the world. “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.” (Jn 21:24). What did this mean for the first disciples? And – what does this mean for you and for me? As Matthew Kelly says in Rediscovering Jesus, we are a people of possibility.

Non-biblical reference:  A Commentary on the Order of the Mass of the Roman Missal.  2011.  Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.

Patricia Dyer, MAPM

Music Ministry ~ The search for a Music Minister has begun. If you know anyone who may be interested, detailed information may be found on the Buffalodiocese.org website. Select  the “Careers” tab on the Main page.

Family Promise of WNY  ~ Blessed Trinity has partnered with Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Hospital Network) as a support congregation since 1994 when the agency first established a presence in Western New York. Having just completed renovations to their facility on Hickory Street, Executive Director Luanne Firestone was happy to take parish team members Amy Johnson and Mickey Dick on a guided tour. The renovations are impressive, especially the addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, and individual family cupboards, all designed with COVID-19 protocols in mind. When they are able to resume intakes this month, they will do so with double the capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Their anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that they know is coming with the lifting of the current NYS eviction moratorium. New meal guidelines will make it easier for parish partners, like Blessed Trinity, to provide dinners for guest families. If you are in a position to assist us with dinner drop-offs, please contact Amy Johnson at 716-836-4694. Our first commitment is next Tuesday, Sept. 15. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.

Upon This Rock ~ We are pleased to inform the Parish that the “Upon this Rock” office has deposited a $3,079.61 disbursement to the church’s bank account. Total disbursements to date are $45,932.44. Thank you for your contributions and all are encouraged to continue fulfilling your pledges.

Have your responded to the 2020 Census? It is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated for critical public services. The current corona virus pandemic should certainly enforce in our minds how crucial such funding can be. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will also have an impact on planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance, and so much more. The Diocese of Buffalo has joined other faith communities and civic organizations in encouraging all people in our community to participate. If you have not yet returned the census form mailed to you in March, you may receive a home visit from a census worker who will be carrying official identification and census forms. Please cooperate as he/she is there to help make sure you and your family are counted. If you have internet access, go to 2020census.gov and complete the census online. If you do not have a computer, you can go to any branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and ask for assistance with the online census form.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at:https://www.ccwny.org/donation. Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

Do you miss being at church? Of course long-time parishioners can probably close their eyes and picture the view from a favorite pew. But if you are not yet able to be physically present, it is possible to make a virtual visit. Buffalo Rising and Explore Buffalo teamed up to give their online followers a “tour” of Blessed Trinity. You can join them, by Clicking HERE. You will be treated to both exterior and interior photos and more than a little history. Take the “tour” and test your knowledge about your house of worship.

St. Peter Claver
September 9
Servant and missionary to Africans
enslaved in S. America.

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

Open House, St. Mary’s High School, Lancaster, for students in grades 6-8, Friday, September 11. Details and registration information at smhlancers.org.

National Elections ~ If you are nervous about voting in person on November 3, the Erie County Board of Elections wants you to know that the COVID-19 pandemic is an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot. Applications for an absentee ballot are already available. Click HERE to see what is involved. Early Voting will take place from Saturday, October 24 through Sunday, November 1 at 37 different locations and the offices of the Board of Elections at 134 West Eagle Street, Buffalo, NY. There will be at least one site in each ward in the City of Buffalo. If you have any questions, or to offer your services as a poll worker, call 716.858.8891.

Grief Sharing: a supportive group when you have lost someone dear. Begins Wednesday, October 21, 6:30-8pm, Our Lady of Pompeii Parish Ministry Center, 129 Laverack Avenue at Sheldon, Lancaster, NY. Meetings in person or by ZOOM, depending on coronavirus regulations in place at the time. For additional information and registration, call Sr. Joyce King, 716-683-6522, ext. 103.

Help for Victims of Domestic Violence ~ Because of COVID-19, the Family Justice Center (“FJC”) is not accepting walk-in appointments or in-person meetings. In case of emergency, call 911. For help with safety planning or other services you may need during this time, call or text the FJC Safeline, 716-558-SAFE (7233).

Food Assistance for Seniors ~ The County of Erie advises anyone over the age of 60 who is in need of food assistance to call 716-858-8526.

Week of August 30, 2020 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday’s Gospel (Mt 16:21-27) again features St. Peter. This woodcarving of St. Peter by the Lippich Brothers of Bowmansville, NY appears on the left confessional in the right transept.
Photo credit: Derek Gee, Buffalo News

August 30 – September 6, 2020

Weekly Activities

Weekend and weekday Masses have resumed but all in-person meetings and activities remain cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Monday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m. ~ NEW ~ 50-minute Bible Study via ZOOM, featuring the Acts of the Apostles. Visit our Faith Formation page for sign-in link!

Wednesday, September 2, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Sept 2, Sept 16, Sept 30, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Daily & Saturday Masses resume this week on Tuesday, September 1 at 11 AM and Saturday, September 5 at 4:30 PM.

Sunday, August 30 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessing for Sylvia Heicklen (Requested by Son, Robert)

Monday, August 31 ~ No scheduled Mass

Tuesday, September 1 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, September 2 – Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Thursday, September 3 ~ St. Gregory the Great ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Friday, September 4 – Intentions of our Blessed Trinity Parishioners (Blessed Trinity Parish)

Saturday, September 5 – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Estate of Mary Reilly)

Sunday, September 6 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessing for Eugene and Anna Koenig (Requested by Ss. Ann Helene, OSF)

Lector Schedule ~  August 30: Elaine Rehouf; Sept 5: Lorna Cameron; Sept 6: Mary Kresse

“We thank you, then, Creator, for all things bright and good, the seed time and the harvest, our life our health, our food.”
Photo credit: Bridget Blesnuk

News from our Parish Community

Zoom Bible Study continues Monday, August 31 at 6:30pm ~ Study The Acts of the Apostles as we explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. The group meets every other week. The session is scheduled to last 50 minutes; we will be discussing Acts: 1-3. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information. Beginning September 15, our ZOOM Bible Study will meet on a different day and time. To prevent conflicts with the #OneBody ZOOM discussions, we will be moving Bible Study to every other TUESDAY and starting one half-hour later, at 7pm. Get a free account at zoom.com and use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg).

Saturday/Weekday Masses to Resume in September ~ As we gradually reopen after the impact of the pandemic, weekday Masses will resume on Tuesday, September 1, and Saturday evening Mass resumes September 5. You are encouraged to once again request Mass intentions by mail, by leaving your request in the collection (marked “Mass Intention”), or simply calling the rectory office (716-833-0301). Office hours are Tues – Thurs, 10:30am – 2:30pm. The customary stipend is $15.00.

Religious education materials are available now. If you were not contacted please call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2598.

Congratulations, Father Victor ~ August 28 marked 10 years that Fr. Victor Ibhawa has been in the Priesthood. It’s not too late to wish him a Happy Anniversary, and please remember to pray for him.

Know Your Faith: Why do I cut the ham in half? One Easter, a man was in the kitchen working with his wife as they prepared the family celebration. She got the big roasting pan out and placed a huge ham in the pan. Next, she cut the ham in half. Her husband, looking puzzled, asked her why she cut the ham in half. Her answer, like ours to many questions, was simple – because her mother always did it that way.

Later in the afternoon, when her mother came, the wife asked her the same question. Mother’s answer was like the wife’s – her mother always did it that way. Grandma arrived just in time for dinner. The same question was asked of her, “Why do you cut the ham in half?” “Well,” Grandma replied, “because my pan was too small to put the entire ham in it. We have a big family.”

The lesson here is a simple one–there is always a reason for what we do, even if we do not know the reason.

We have a big family, too, and we often do things just because our parents did them that way. After the homilist finishes opening scripture for us, we make a “Profession of Faith.” The usual form taken is the Nicene Creed. This creed dates to the First Council of Nicea in the year 325. The better-known Apostle’s Creed is used at Masses with groups of children, around Easter and at other appropriate times, as well as before we begin decades of the Rosary. The Apostle’s Creed was in use as early as the third or fourth century, but was not in its final form until around the sixth or seventh century.

We stand and begin, “I believe” – not – “We believe,” for a reason. God calls us each by name (Is 43:1) and I am responsible for my own answer. That “I” is very important. It emphasizes not just personal faith, but personal responsibility for what I will do with that faith.

All of the essentials of our catholic faith are included in this beautiful prayer. It begins with our Creator God – the origin of all that is, acknowledges Jesus and the manner of his birth, life and death, the holy Spirit and the unity of the three. It describes how Jesus is both Divine and human. At the Council of Nicea, the truth of each statement was acknowledged by a gathering of the bishops.

At the Council of Nicea, the truth of each statement was acknowledged by a gathering of the bishops. This is the same manner in which all councils have proceeded for two thousand years. When I rise each Sunday to repeat the words used by my mother and her mother before her for the last 17 centuries, I will try to hear every word that I say and its meaning. Faith is a gift from God alone (Lk 17:5.) As I say those words, I will concentrate on what each and every word means.

These days when we are asked to make this profession without written copies in front of us, I hope that each of us will concentrate on the words that we are saying, listen to the priest as he leads us in prayer…. “I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth of all things visible and invisible (Gen 1.)

I believe in one Lord (one having power and authority) Jesus Christ (Mk 1:1,) the Only Begotten Son of God (one brought into existence by God), born of the Father before all ages (always existed.) God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial (of the same substance as) with the Father; through him all things were made (Jn 1:1-5). For us men (the original English uses male pronouns when one either does not know the gender or when it could be either men or women) and for our salvation (we are all sinners) he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate (made flesh) of the Virgin Mary, and became (hu)man (Mt 1:1-23.)

For our sake (forgiveness of our sins) he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day (Paschal Feast means feast of passing over from death into life but also follows the Jewish Feast of Passover) in accordance with the Scriptures (frequently the Hebrew scriptures are connected to the New Testament) (Lk 22-24). He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:10-11). He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2, Acts 2:14), the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified (the catholic Church is trinitarian three persons in One), who has spoken through the prophets (Rom 1:2, Lk 24:26, Is 7:14, Is 52:13-53:12, Eph 5:14, et al).

I believe in one, holy, catholic (small “c” indicates universal) and apostolic Church (of the apostles.) I confess (declare) one Baptism (we never re-Baptize anyone who is Baptized) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come Acts 24:15). Amen (so be it). ”

Fun Fact: Any one Baptized in any faith tradition which professes the Nicene Creed is considered Baptized when he or she becomes a Catholic.

Upon This Rock ~ We are pleased to inform the Parish that the “Upon this Rock” office has deposited a $3,079.61 disbursement to the church’s bank account. Total disbursements to date are $45,932.44. Thank you for your contributions and all are encouraged to continue fulfilling your pledges.

Music Ministry ~ The search for a Music Minister has begun. If you know anyone who may be interested, detailed information may be found on the Buffalodiocese.org website. Select  the “Careers” tab on the Main page.

Family Promise of WNY  ~ Blessed Trinity has partnered with Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Hospital Network) as a support congregation since 1994 when the agency first established a presence in Western New York. Having just completed renovations to their facility on Hickory Street, Executive Director Luanne Firestone was happy to take parish team members Amy Johnson and Mickey Dick on a guided tour. The renovations are impressive, especially the addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, and individual family cupboards, all designed with COVID-19 protocols in mind. When they are able to resume intakes this month, they will do so with double the capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Their anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that they know is coming with the lifting of the current NYS eviction moratorium. New meal guidelines will make it easier for parish partners, like Blessed Trinity, to provide dinners for guest families. If you are in a position to assist us with dinner drop-offs, please contact Amy Johnson at 716-836-4694. Our first commitment is Tuesday, Sept. 15. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.

Have your responded to the 2020 Census? It is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated for critical public services. The current corona virus pandemic should certainly enforce in our minds how crucial such funding can be. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will also have an impact on planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance, and so much more. The Diocese of Buffalo has joined other faith communities and civic organizations in encouraging all people in our community to participate. If you have not yet returned the census form mailed to you in March, you may receive a home visit from a census worker who will be carrying official identification and census forms. Please cooperate as he/she is there to help make sure you and your family are counted. If you have internet access, go to 2020census.gov and complete the census online. If you do not have a computer, you can go to any branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and ask for assistance with the online census form.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at:https://www.ccwny.org/donation. Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

A group of “travelers” on New York’s “Path Through History” appreciated Sr. Liz Savage’s
commentary on Sanctuary artwork during an Oct 7, 2017 Open House.

Do you miss being at church? Of course long-time parishioners can probably close their eyes and picture the view from a favorite pew. But if you are not yet able to be physically present, it is possible to make a virtual visit. Buffalo Rising and Explore Buffalo teamed up to give their online followers a “tour” of Blessed Trinity. You can join them, by Clicking HERE. You will be treated to both exterior and interior photos and more than a little history. Take the “tour” and test your knowledge about your house of worship.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 4 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented us from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone or email took on increased importance. Even though we are now able to resume Mass attendance, this may be a good time to ask yourself: Does the church office have my correct mailing address and phone number? Have I shared my email address? Make sure that we have been notified of any changes in your contact information by completing this form. This is also a chance to let us know if you: wish to be included in our online email list, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm; sending an email to blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com; or using the contact feature below to submit the information. If you choose either of the last two, please use “Contact Update” as the subject of the email or message.

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

National Elections ~ If you are nervous about voting in person on November 3, the Erie County Board of Elections wants you to know that the COVID-19 pandemic is an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot. Applications for an absentee ballot are already available. Click HERE to see what is involved. Early Voting will take place from Saturday, October 24 through Sunday, November 1 at 37 different locations and the offices of the Board of Elections at 134 West Eagle Street, Buffalo, NY. There will be at least one site in each ward in the City of Buffalo. If you have any questions, or to offer your services as a poll worker, call 716.858.8891.

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 August 23, 2020 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

“[Y]ou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 16:18-19
St. Peter appears at the far right in Joseph Mazur’s painting of evangelists and apostles in the great dome. St. Bartholomew, whose feast we celebrate on Aug. 24, is depicted at far left (holding sword).
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

August 23 – August 30, 2020

Weekly Activities

The Celebration of 10 A. M. Mass on Sunday has resumed.

Sunday services resumed on June 21, 2020; daily and Saturday Masses, meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Monday, August 24 at 6:30 p.m. ~ #OneBody ZOOM conference call. “Racial healing … One heart at a time, one mind at a time.” Please email althea [dot] porter50 [at] gmail [dot] com for instructions on how to join.

Monday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m. ~ NEW ~ 50-minute Bible Study via ZOOM, featuring the Acts of the Apostles. Visit our Faith Formation page for sign-in link!

Wednesday, September 2, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Sept 2, Sept 16, Sept 30, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Sunday, August 23 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Birthday Remembrance of Marion Hartzell (Requested by Madonna Hartzell) and Birthday Remembrance for Liz Dick (Requested by Bud & Mickey Dick)

The celebration of Daily and Saturday Masses for the public will resume at Blessed Trinity on Tuesday, September 1 and Saturday, September 5. Daily Mass readings for the week of August 23 are available on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by Clicking HERE. Select the desired day on their Roman Liturgical Calendar, and the text of the readings for that day will appear.

Sunday, August 30 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Blessing for Sylvia Heicklen (Requested by Son, Robert)

Lector Schedule ~  August 23: Greg Gaglione; August 30: Elaine Rehouf

St. Augustine of Hippo (c. 354-430)
August 28
St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, is recognized as one of the greatest Doctors of the Western Church. The unceasing prayers of his mother, St. Monica (whose feast we celebrate on August 27), and the powerful preaching of St. Ambrose are credited with Augustine’s conversion from the dissolute lifestyle of his youth. His image appears in Joseph Mazur’s painting of “Confessors, Bishops, and Missionaries” in the dome of our church. Augustine is depicted at the far right in this photo, standing, wearing a bishop’s mitre and holding a crosier.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

News from our Parish Community

#One Body ~ On Monday, August 24, 2020 from 6:30 to 8pm, you are invited to join in the next gathering of #OneBody via Zoom conference call.

#OneBody began during the racially intense aftermath of the death of Trevon Martin, the summer of 2016. Three predominantly racially homogeneous parishes, under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Ron Sajdak, originally participated: St. Martin de Porres, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Lawrence.

The purpose of #OneBody is to heal racism, one heart and one mind at a time. The healing process consists of prayer and candid conversations about racism in our Church and society, and conversations about conversion/the eradication of racism or anti-racism.

The call-in time is 6:15pm. For additional information and to obtain the Zoom conference call link please contact Althea Porter at althea [dot] porter50 [at] gmail [dot] com or call  716-316-8395.

Happy Anniversary Father Victor ~ August 28 marks 10 years that Fr. Victor Ibhawa has been in the Priesthood. Due to the pandemic restrictions, there will be no celebratory gathering, but please remember to pray for him.

Zoom Bible Study continues Monday, August 31 at 6:30pm ~ Study The Acts of the Apostles as we explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. The group meets every other Monday. Get a free account at zoom.com and use Meeting ID:772 2468 2835 (Pass Code: 8jZY0h). The session is scheduled to last 50 minutes; we will be discussing Acts: 1-3. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information.

Saturday/Weekday Masses to Resume in September ~ As we gradually reopen after the impact of the pandemic, weekday Masses will resume on September 1st and Saturday evening Mass resumes September 5th. Please be encouraged to request mass intentions by mail, by leaving your request in the collection (marked “Mass Intention”), or simply calling the rectory office (716-833-0301). Office hours are Tues – Thurs, 10:30am – 2:30pm. The customary stipend is $15.00.

A Reflection on Sunday’s Readings: Is 22:9-23; Ps 138: 1-2. 2-3, 6, 8; Rom 11:33-36; Mt 16:13-20

One of Anthony DeMello’s stories is about an unconventional shepherd. Instead of gathering his sheep in an enclosure with one gate, across which he would lay at night, the shepherd created a pen with two gates. When asked why, the shepherd responded that he wanted the sheep to remain with him because they wanted to, not because they were forced to. This story sheds some light on today’s First Reading and the Gospel which for many years have been interpreted as showing us that there is a hierarchy of leadership which ultimately goes back to God. 

Respecting that leadership unquestioningly for some was the indication of a true disciple. Following the rules was the way of life. Western Europeans and the cultures influenced by them emphasized the Roman ideal of the leader—the one who is the ultimate decision-maker over life and death. The leader is the one who is omniscient, omnipotent and infallible.

The life example and teachings of Jesus witness to a different model, a servant model of leadership, one in which, as Pope Francis says, we “smell like the sheep.” Our current American political and social cultures cry out for this kind of leadership–one that is not hierarchical but ordered to serve and to serve especially those who are most in need and most powerless. The Corona virus, the economic instability and the political upheaval in so many nations are signs of this shift from power to powerlessness. Surely this is one of the gifts of the tumultuous times in which we live.

The powerlessness of self-giving love, of mutual listening, of seeing beyond one’s own needs, of feeling the pain of the other person, these are invitations to enter into the “depths and riches and wisdom and knowledge of God” in St. Paul’s words. Who in our times are the people who are making change happen? Are they the rule keepers? Are they the “nones”? Are they the one who put their lives on the line daily so that others may have life to the fullest? What calls to conversion are we hearing from them? What support and encouragement are they hearing from us? How will we allow God to convert us? This is the daily choice for each of us.

The real Christian option for us is to not be afraid to risk, to trust, to be like Christ the Good Shepherd who was not afraid to smell like the sheep, who time and again sees us leave the sheepfold…  

Sister Mary Laura Lesniak, SSMN

Upon This Rock ~ We are pleased to inform the Parish that the “Upon this Rock” office has deposited a $3,079.61 disbursement to the church’s bank account. Total disbursements to date are $45,932.44. Thank you for your contributions and all are encouraged to continue fulfilling your pledges.

Music Ministry ~ The search for a Music Minister has begun. If you know anyone who may be interested, detailed information may be found on the Buffalodiocese.org website. Select  the “Careers” tab on the Main page.

Family Promise of WNY  ~ Blessed Trinity has partnered with Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Hospital Network) as a support congregation since 1994 when the agency first established a presence in Western New York. Having just completed renovations to their facility on Hickory Street, Executive Director Luanne Firestone was happy to take parish team members Amy Johnson and Mickey Dick on a guided tour. The renovations are impressive, especially the addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, and individual family cupboards, all designed with COVID-19 protocols in mind. When they are able to resume intakes this month, they will do so with double the capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Their anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that they know is coming with the lifting of the current NYS eviction moratorium. New meal guidelines will make it easier for parish partners, like Blessed Trinity, to provide dinners for guest families. If you are in a position to assist us with dinner drop-offs, please contact Amy Johnson at 716-836-4694. Our first commitment is Tuesday, Sept. 15. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.

Have your responded to the 2020 Census? It is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated for critical public services. The current corona virus pandemic should certainly enforce in our minds how crucial such funding can be. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will also have an impact on planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance, and so much more. The Diocese of Buffalo has joined other faith communities and civic organizations in encouraging all people in our community to participate. If you have not yet returned the census form mailed to you in March, you may receive a home visit from a census worker who will be carrying official identification and census forms. Please cooperate as he/she is there to help make sure you and your family are counted. If you have internet access, go to 2020census.gov and complete the census online. If you do not have a computer, you can go to any branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and ask for assistance with the online census form.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at:https://www.ccwny.org/donation. Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

Regular Office Hours ~ We are happy to report that the parish has been able to resume regular office hours. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30am-2:30pm.

Rosary Video for All Ages ~ Our pastoral associate and director of religious education, Pat Dyer, would like to share her YouTube video on The Rosary. The opening portion of her video was made with the children in mind, so be sure they join in.

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.

The Passion of St. John the Baptist
August 29
The right confessional in the left transept features symbols of St. John the Baptist who called people to repentance as a preparation for closeness to God. (Rev. Walter Kern’s Guidebook to Blessed Trinity R. C. Church, page 45).
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.

Home Visits ~ Because of the COVID-19 protocols, Father Victor has had to discontinue his “last Friday” visits to homebound parishioners. However, if someone is ill and in need of Last Rites, please call him at the rectory.

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

Orientation for Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life, Wednesday September 16 at 7pm. An 8-month program at St. Michael Rectory (651 Washington Street in Buffalo). Applications (visit SpirExlgnatius.org)  are due September 1. Find out more by calling Joseph Ritzert at 716-627-5530 or Fr. Len Kamiensky SJ at 716-854-6726.

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 August 16, 2020 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Words from Matthew’s account of Christ’s debate with the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:21-28) appear on the right side of the communion rail at Blessed Trinity: “Vere panis filiorum non mittendus canibus,” meaning
“It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

August 16 – August 23, 2020

Weekly Activities

The Celebration of 10 A. M. Mass on Sunday has resumed.

Sunday services resumed on June 21, 2020; daily and Saturday Masses, meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Monday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m. ~ NEW ~ 40-minute Bible Study via ZOOM, featuring the Acts of the Apostles. Visit our Faith Formation page for sign-in link!

Wednesday, August 19, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (August 19, Sept 2, Sept 16, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Sunday, August 16 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Thanksgiving for Blessings Received (Requested by Bud & Mickey Dick)

The celebration of Daily Mass for the public has not yet resumed at Blessed Trinity. Daily Mass readings for the week of August 16 are available on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by Clicking HERE. Select the desired day on their Roman Liturgical Calendar, and the text of the readings for that day will appear.

Sunday, August 23 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Birthday Remembrance of Marion Hartzell (Requested by Madonna Hartzell) and Birthday Remembrance for Liz Dick (Requested by Bud & Mickey Dick)

Lector Schedule ~  August 16: Mary Kresse; August 23: Greg Gaglione

When a saint’s feast day falls on a Sunday, it is superseded by the liturgy for that Sunday. Consequently, the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time took precedence over the feast of St. Rocco, usually observed on August 16. St. Rocco is recognized as the patron saint of those suffering from epidemics, and his likeness appears in relief on the metal door of the reliquary on the left side of our sanctuary.
Photo credit: Bud Dick

News from our Parish Community

Zoom Bible Study begins Monday, August 17 at 6:30pm ~ Study The Acts of the Apostles as we explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. The group meets every other Monday. Get a free account at zoom.com and use Meeting ID: 772 2468 2835 (Pass Code: 8jZY0h). The session is scheduled to last 40 minutes. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information.

A Reflection on Sunday’s Readings: Is 56:1, 6-7; Rom 11:13-15, 29-32; Mt 15:21-28

The prophet Isaiah describes the heart of God: it is filled with a desire to bring under his protective embrace everyone, even foreigners, who choose to “join themselves to the Lord” (v. 6). Isaiah recognizes that God invites everyone to his holy mountain – the place where God can always be found by those who seek him, by those who never stop longing for the joy of living in God’s presence. This surprising revelation is also what motivates Paul’s outreach to the Gentiles, as well as Jesus himself, as we see so clearly in his joy over the faith expressed by the Canaanite woman. She knew in her heart that God would heed her desperate call; she knew that God loves all of his children, and that it was impossible for anyone to ever be excluded from his mercy. Jesus therefore praised her for believing in such a God.

We too can, at times, find our beliefs about God exposed and tested. Too often we imagine that God’s heart is as small as our own: that God sees as we see, and values what we value… But God’s Heart is not defined by such limitations. God embraces all: the good and the bad, the worthy and the unworthy. God seems to almost rejoice when certain circumstances allow him to surprise us with his generosity and desire to forgive. The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart which we celebrated recently may offer us a deeper insight into this. The feast focuses us on coming to understand the Heart of God. The decision to love is costly, even for God – Good Friday taught us that. But Good Friday also revealed that God’s “Love on a Mission” cannot be defeated. Jesus was sent into our world as Emmanuel, God always with us, God always loving us…  The feast of the Sacred Heart probes that mystery.

From 1673-74, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, through a series of visions, came to understand, and brought the Church itself into a deeper understanding of God’s all-consuming love for us. The Incarnation had allowed God to do something new. In the God/man Jesus, God was able to experience human life – not from the outside, watching – but from the “inside”, living it. God, in Jesus, would experience human life just as we humans experience it, and thus also experience the full spectrum of those human emotions often attributed to the heart. Jesus was able to experience the joys of human relationships, but also those sorrows that relationships marred by human failures can bring. He experienced the very real pain of rejection and betrayal when those he had come to save turned away. The “human heart” of Jesus was vulnerable… What a mystery!

Jesus spent his life reaching out to those his Father loved: those who were broken, bleeding, and drowning in sin. And in the end, he endured the unimaginable in an effort to prove the genuineness of his love – yet he was still rejected! Margaret Mary understood that the Heart of Jesus was actually surrounded by a Crown of Thorns…  She understood that God’s heart had truly been pierced by sin. Pierced – but NOT shattered… Yes, sin had pierced and penetrated what we now understand to be the “tender” heart of God. Yet that reality only served to strengthen God’s resolve to heal and restore his wayward beloved children. God’s Heart is bound to us forever. (And God has never and will never regret his decision to bind himself to us). God will also never stop surprising us by offering yet another chance to experience and return love for Love. This is a mystery we can never fully grasp. We need to experience, as Margaret Mary did, God removing our hearts of stone, placing them into his own Heart, purifying them, and returning them to us ablaze. Then we need to become vessels which will bring that Love to a waiting, love-starved world.

Sister Patrice Yarborough, SSMN

Know Your Faith: One Bread, One Body – Some of you may already know that my husband Luke and I raised two of our grandchildren. One of them has both developmental and psychiatric disabilities. For a time, we were unable to bring him to Mass with us and also unable to leave him home alone. Most weekends, Luke went to Mass on Saturday evenings and I went on Sundays. This particular weekend, Luke had been unable to go on Saturday, so I went to an early morning Mass at another parish. I was feeling particularly discouraged. After Communion while kneeling in prayer, the tears came. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I heard a voice say, “It’s going to be okay.” There was no one around me yet that voice was very real. I knew that it would be okay.

I did not know how it would change or how long it would take, but I knew that it would be okay. Some years earlier a seminarian had come to talk about his vocation story. I was surprised to hear him say that though he was studying to be a priest he often doubted that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. He went on to say that it was in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament that he came to truly believe. With these experiences in mind I sat to talk with a group of teens on a mission trip. That morning we had gone to Mass and Adoration together. One young girl reminded me of the seminarian, “I so want to believe, but sometimes I just can’t.” In her I heard words recorded in Mark’s gospel: “I do believe, help my unbelief.” (Mk 9:24)

From the earliest days the Church has taught that Jesus is really truly present in the Holy Eucharist, that when we go to Communion we receive him in a special way. Recall that the Liturgy of the Word parallels the Jewish practice of scripture readings interpreted by learned men – bishops, priests and deacons (consecrated for that purpose.) This should make sense to you. Jesus was a Jew. The disciples of Jesus were Jews. The Liturgy of the Eucharist also parallels the Jewish sacrificial rite and the offering of bread and wine by Melchizedek (Gen 14:18.) This is later mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Hebrews (7:17.)

There are numerous scriptural references to the bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus himself makes that statement at the Last Supper and it is recorded in three of the gospels in very similar language: “… take … this is my body” (Lk 24:30-31, Mt 26:26, and Mk 14:22.) St. Paul admonishes the Church at Corinth when they seemed to have strayed from the meaning of the Eucharistic ritual, “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” (1 Cor 11:23-24.)

It seems that Jesus has indeed given us exactly what he promised, “… And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20). This is why we approach Communion without serious sin and with respect and reverence for the Presence of Jesus. It is why we fast from food and drink in the hour before Mass – so that we might experience a physical hunger as a reminder of our hunger for the Lord. God has called us each by name (Is 43:1). Waiting for the ushers, bowing before the Lord and holding our hands so as to receive the Host into them are all signs of reverence and respect.

…Patricia Dyer, MAPM
   Pastoral Associate and Religious Education Coordinator

L to R: Mickey Dick, Luanne Firestone & Amy Johnson on July 30, 2020

Family Promise of WNY  ~ Blessed Trinity has partnered with Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Hospital Network) as a support congregation since 1994 when the agency first established a presence in Western New York. Having just completed renovations to their facility on Hickory Street, Executive Director Luanne Firestone was happy to take parish team members Amy Johnson and Mickey Dick on a guided tour. The renovations are impressive, especially the addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, and individual family cupboards, all designed with COVID-19 protocols in mind. When they are able to resume intakes this month, they will do so with double the capacity as “a safer, more private and more comfortable shelter” for temporarily homeless families. Their anticipation is heightened as they brace for the housing crisis that they know is coming with the lifting of the current NYS eviction moratorium. New meal guidelines will make it easier for parish partners, like Blessed Trinity, to provide dinners for guest families. If you are in a position to assist us with dinner drop-offs, please contact Amy Johnson at 716-836-4694. To learn more about Family Promise of Western New York, Click HERE.

Have your responded to the 2020 Census? It is a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated for critical public services. The current corona virus pandemic should certainly enforce in our minds how crucial such funding can be. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will also have an impact on planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance, and so much more. The Diocese of Buffalo has joined other faith communities and civic organizations in encouraging all people in our community to participate. If you have not yet returned the census form mailed to you in March, you may receive a home visit from a census worker who will be carrying official identification and census forms. Please cooperate as he/she is there to help make sure you and your family are counted. If you have internet access, go to 2020census.gov and complete the census online. If you do not have a computer, you can go to any branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and ask for assistance with the online census form.

Sunday Mass Under Re-Opening Guidelines ~ Our church resumed Sunday services on June 21. We hope those of you who have been able to return are satisfied with our efforts to welcome both parishioners and visitors while keeping everyone safe. If you will be joining us for worship for the first time since March, please know that we are observing guidelines as required by the Diocese of Buffalo and/or the State of New York. When inside the church, everyone over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask. (You are expected to bring your own mask or face covering. If you forget, an usher will supply one). Hand sanitizer is available at each of the church entrances.To maintain social distancing, some pews are “off limits.” Families and couples may sit together; unrelated individuals must sit 6 ft. away from each other. Copies of Breaking Bread have been removed, and there can be no music sheets or bulletins. Congregational singing is discouraged (except in our hearts). Please follow the lead of our ushers when it is time for Communion and dismissal at the end of Mass. We appreciate the fact that you are all anxious to see each other, but to protect everyone’s health please refrain from shaking hands or hugging. If you wish to visit (from an acceptable distance), please wait until you are outside and do not congregate in the vestibules.The church will be sanitized before we gather again each Sunday. We hope that everyone joins in worshiping as community this Sunday, but please remember that — for now — there is no obligation to do so. If you are not feeling well or are just uncomfortable being in a group setting, please remain at home. Those of us who are lucky enough to attend will continue to pray for everyone who cannot be physically present.

The 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal concluded on June 30, falling $1.6 million short of its $10 mill goal. Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the agency however, chose to see the positive aspects of having reached 84% of the goal “given everything going on….” Although Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit, human services agency, its fund raising was impacted by reaction to the diocesan bankruptcy filing and the coronavirus pandemic which shut down parish life and church services during the height of the annual appeal effort. In an article published in The Buffalo News on July 9, Deacon Schumer admitted that Catholic Charities “was facing a ‘perfect storm’ in that the need for its services grew because of the pandemic, while revenues to fund those services were hampered by the pandemic and a continued erosion of the agency’s tradition donor base, Mass-going parishioners.” In the early days of the pandemic before federal government made additional food stamps available, the News reported that the “agency’s food pantries were inundated.” Now it is “trying to handle an uptick in requests for counseling and mental health services, and Deacon Schumer admits the agency “will have to ‘make some difficult decisions’ to address shortfalls….” It is never too late to make a contribution to Catholic Charities. You may mail a donation to their office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department, or make an online donation at:https://www.ccwny.org/donation. Bob Heicklen, the appeal chair for our parish, will be happy to accept a contribution in any amount. If your pledged during the early days of the drive, please remember to honor your pledge.

Regular Office Hours ~ We are happy to report that the parish has been able to resume regular office hours. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30am-2:30pm.

Rosary Video for All Ages ~ Our pastoral associate and director of religious education, Pat Dyer, would like to share her YouTube video on The Rosary. The opening portion of her video was made with the children in mind, so be sure they join in.

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.

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 22

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.

Home Visits ~ Because of the COVID-19 protocols, Father Victor has had to discontinue his “last Friday” visits to homebound parishioners. However, if someone is ill and in need of Last Rites, please call him at the rectory.

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

Orientation for Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life, Wednesday September 16 at 7pm. An 8-month program at St. Michael Rectory (651 Washington Street in Buffalo). Applications (visit SpirExlgnatius.org)  are due September 1. Find out more by calling Joseph Ritzert at 716-627-5530 or Fr. Len Kamiensky SJ at 716-854-6726.

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.