Week of July 5, 2020 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Happy Fourth of July!

July 5 – July 12, 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.

Wednesday, July 8, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (July 8, July 22, August 5, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Sunday, July 5 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m.– Eternal Rest for Edward F. Schroeder (Requested by Rolly and Mary LaLoux)

The celebration of Daily Mass for the public has not yet resumed at Blessed Trinity. Daily Mass readings for the week of July 5 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, July 12 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – For the intentions of our parishioners, both living and deceased (Requested by Blessed Trinity Parish)

Lector Schedule ~ July 12: Palma Zanghi

St. Benedict (c. 480-547)
July 11
St. Benedict, whose feast day the Church celebrates this week, is depicted as the kneeling figure at the far right in a group of twelve figures identified as “Monks, Hermits, and Religious” in this dome painting by Buffalo-born artist Joseph Mazur.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

News from our Parish Community

Saturday, July 4, is Independence Day. This weekend, the celebration of our country’s “birthday” is tempered by a national pandemic and the recognition of social inequities that have existed for centuries. Please pray for divine inspiration, forgiveness, and a new dedication to bring about social healing among all our citizenry.

Commentary on Sunday’s Gospel by Sister Patricia Brady, SSMN: Matthew 11: 25-30 

When I was rereading the Gospel and thinking about it, I began to see why Jesus talks about the “little ones” who have things revealed to them and not those of us who are adults and feel we are so “wise.” How are the little ones to understand the business about the yoke, which is normally a little heavy, and the fact that it will be light when it is Jesus’ burden and yoke.

All of us labor to some extent and many times we feel burdened. This can mean many things, depending on what burdens are in one’s life. However, the key or clue to figuring out how the burden can feel easier or lighter is to hone in on one of the last words in the gospel. The part where Jesus says:  “For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” When Jesus is connected to whatever the pain, burden, hardship, misery is, then the lightness can somehow happen because we know that we are not alone in the struggle. We aren’t alone in bearing the yoke. The image of the yoke usually refers to animals because it connects them to whatever it is they are pulling and often it is two animals doing the pulling. Usually,  they are oxen. But they walk together pulling the burden behind them together. They pull it equally, in step so as to manage the load.

It is little ones, those who know they need help, those who know they don’t have all the answers, those who know that their strength must come from someone stronger, who know the secret of how to take a yoke upon themselves. They call upon Jesus to pull with them. The burden is shared. The burden is lighter. Most of us have heard the famous story of the person walking along the seashore who asks Jesus why he wasn’t walking along side the one in need in his/her time of need because the person saw only one set of footprints. The famous response tells the person that there was only one set of footprints because Jesus was carrying the person. He was always there. The footprints belonged to Jesus.

So, in this moment of worldly turmoil and distress, when as an international community we are fighting an invisible enemy, the corona virus, we need to dig deep into our hearts and spirits and find the truth this gospel reveals to us. The one who is meek and humble of heart, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, he is the one who is in the midst of the pandemic with us. He is pulling the yoke with us and will not abandon us if we become little ones.

“Then in awe, I turned to the single-hearted: How does it feel to be pure in heart?  I asked.
With tenderness the single-hearted replied: It feels like a child exploring a new day.
It feels like having all your false images smashed with brand new eyes.
In fact it feels like having eyes that do nothing but see
And all things are possible for those who can see…
It is to have a heart with direction and purpose and love.
It is to seek the kingdom first believing that all else will be given besides.” (Origin unknown)

Visiting Musicians ~ We sincerely thank Pianist Luke Humphrey and cantor Catherine Humphrey who provided music at our re-opening Mass on June 21 and will join us again on July 12. On June 28 we welcomed Cory Gallagher, who will be with us again on July 5. Thank you to all for enhancing our worship service. We just wish we could sing with you.

“Vacation Bible School in a Bag” will be available for all children up to grade 7 (Fall 2020) through the end of July. Pick them up from Pat Dyer after Mass. If you would like them for a child not already registered, please call 716-256-2598 to get on the list. Our Faith Formation Page has so many more resources for children, and information about programs for adult parishioners as well. Click HERE to see what you’ve been missing.. 

Second Collection ~ There will be a second collection on Sunday, July 12, for the Mission Co-op. Normally, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith would have designated a visiting missionary to speak at our parish. This year, the Co-op collection will take the place of a visiting missionary’s personal appeal. Please be as generous as possible.

A Message from Father Victor ~ Welcome back dear parishioner! Our church resumed Sunday services on June 21. For now, there will only be a Sunday Mass. No weekday or Saturday Masses will be offered. We will be 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, and you are expected to bring your own mask or face covering. The church will provide hand sanitizer, and ushers will greet you at each entrance and dispense sanitizer as you enter. Please assist them by arriving early, and listen to their seating instructions.To maintain social distancing, some pews (marked with an “X”) will be “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. There is to be no congregational singing (except in our hearts). While I appreciate the fact that you are all anxious to see each other, “please do not make any physical contact with other parishioners [such as hand shakes or hugs} in order to protect everyone’s health.” And “please do not congregate in the church or 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. “I pray for good health and continued blessing in your life, and for our parish. Sincerely, Fr. Victor Ibhawa.”

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.

Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches. Click HERE to read the 10-page document. 

Adapting the Bulletin Under New Diocesan Guidelines ~ Under the new diocesan guidelines for our physical return to church, all paper resources (e.g., hymn books, missalettes, bulletins, etc.) must be removed and “[can]not be returned to the church until the [corona virus] outbreak has passed.”  As a result, no PRINTED bulletins will be available to those attending Mass. An electronic copy of the bulletin will be sent to all parishioners who have an email address on file with the church office, but that is only about 40 households. If you are not one of them, please update or share your current email address with Pat Pendleton so that you will be included. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Tuesday-Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm. The information from the bulletin will also be available on this web site. Always look for the “Week of …” post on the home page. If you do not have internet access but would still like access to information in the digital bulletin, please give Pat a call.

Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have continued their weekly offerings. While we have not been able to worship together since March 15, many expenses associated with running the parish continue. If you have underlying health conditions and are not yet comfortable with returning to worship services but are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider continuing your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

An Assist for the Finance Council ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join their committee. Could that be you? Please see Father Victor if you believe you are able to serve in this capacity.

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. You should have received a census form in the mail during the month of March. If you misplaced yours, go to 2020census.gov to find out how you obtain another or complete the census online. Then ask your friends and family as well as your neighbors and co-workers if THEY have completed the census, and — if not — encourage them to do the same.

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.

A Message from Catholic Charities Appeal 2020:

Catholic Charities is doing everything possible to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this time. We are operating every service we safely can and especially those most vital at this time such as basic emergency assistance, including our food pantries (all nine are up and running, assisted by CC staff from other departments) and counseling and mental health services. We are here to help! Many of our staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily.

For the Appeal, our office at 741 Delaware Ave. is closed to visitors. Parishes (and even individual parishioners) are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department. We also encourage online donations:https://www.ccwny.org/donation when possible. Appeal staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily. Please call Clara Moran, 716-713-4410, with questions or concerns. We are grateful for the returns that are being mailed already!

For a daily update about Catholic Charities, go to our home page at ccwny.org. Thank you!

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 3 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 or Wednesday 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

Open House ~The School of Two Hearts, a K-12 school in the Roman Catholic tradition, will open for the first time this September at 300 Wendel Avenue in Tonawanda. Their open house will take place from 6:30-8:30pm on Sunday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 15.

Our Friends at Family Promise of WNY are just finishing renovations to their facility on Hickory Street. When they are able to resume intakes in the coming weeks, 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 when the current NYS eviction moratorium is lifted. If you are in a position to lend financial support to this community asset for which Blessed Trinity is a support congregation, your contribution will be doubled by two generous donors. Click HERE to make a donation or learn more about Family Promise.

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 June 28, 2020 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles
June 29
“The portrait heads, which appear between the arches [of the church], give some historical proof of the Church’s faithfulness to her mission. These ‘portraits’ are of the great apostles, saints, and teachers of the faith.” (Rev. Walter Kern’s Guidebook to Blessed Trinity R. C. Church, page 22). The portrait heads of St. Peter and St. Paul are above the church narthex and best viewed from the choir loft.
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

June 28 – July 5, 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.

Wednesday, July 8, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (July 8, July 22, August 5, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Sunday, June 28 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Requested by the Estate of Mary Reilly) 

The celebration of Daily Mass for the public has not yet resumed at Blessed Trinity. Daily Mass readings for the week of June 28 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, July 5 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Rest for Edward F. Schroeder (Requested by Rolly and Mary LaLoux) 

One of the four statues on Blessed Trinity’s
Tabernacle represents the apostle, St. Paul,
whose feast day is celebrated on June 29.
Photo Credit: Margaret Dick

News from our Parish Community

A Message from Father Victor ~ Welcome back dear parishioner! Our church resumed Sunday services on June 21. For now, there will only be a Sunday Mass. No weekday or Saturday Masses will be offered. We will be 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, and you are expected to bring your own mask or face covering. The church will provide hand sanitizer, and ushers will greet you at each entrance and dispense sanitizer as you enter. Please assist them by arriving early, and listen to their seating instructions.To maintain social distancing, some pews (marked with an “X”) will be “off limits.” Families and couples may sit together; unrelated individuals must sit 6 ft. away from each other. I will explain the changes in the distribution of Communion at Mass. Copies of Breaking Bread have been removed, and there can be no music sheets or bulletins. There is to be no congregational singing (except in our hearts). While I appreciate the fact that you are all anxious to see each other, “please do not make any physical contact with other parishioners [such as hand shakes or hugs} in order to protect everyone’s health.” And “please do not congregate in the church or vestibules.” The church will be sanitized before we gather again next 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. “I pray for good health and continued blessing in your life, and for our parish. Sincerely, Fr. Victor Ibhawa.”

Visiting Musicians ~ We sincerely thank Pianist Luke Humphrey and cantor Catherine Humphrey who provided music at our re-opening Mass on June 21. Today we welcome Cory Gallagher, who will be with us again on July 5. Thank you to all for enhancing our worship service. We just wish we could sing with you.

Saturday, July 4, is Independence Day. This year the celebration of our country’s “birthday” is tempered by a national pandemic and the recognition of social inequities that have existed for centuries. Please pray for divine inspiration, healing and forgiveness for all our citizenry.

“Vacation Bible School in a Bag” will be available for all children up to grade 7 (Fall 2020) beginning Sunday, June 28. Pick them up from Pat Dyer after Mass. If you would like them for a child not already registered, please call 716-256-2598 to get on the list.

Class of 2020 ~ Congratulations to our usher, Drew Brodfuehrer, who graduated from Hutchinson Technical High School and Joshua Arnold upon his graduation from the Charter School of Applied Technologies. Best wishes for continued success to all the 2020 graduates.

New 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.

Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches. Click HERE to read the 10-page document. 

Adapting the Bulletin Under New Diocesan Guidelines ~ Under the new diocesan guidelines for our physical return to church, all paper resources (e.g., hymn books, missalettes, bulletins, etc.) must be removed and “[can]not be returned to the church until the [corona virus] outbreak has passed.”  As a result, no PRINTED bulletins will be available to those attending Mass. An electronic copy of the bulletin will be sent to all parishioners who have an email address on file with the church office, but that is only about 40 households. If you are not one of them, please update or share your current email address with Pat Pendleton so that you will be included. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Tuesday-Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm. The information from the bulletin will also be available on this web site. Always look for the “Week of …” post on the home page. If you do not have internet access but would still like access to information in the digital bulletin, please give Pat a call.

Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have continued their weekly offerings. While we have not been able to worship together since March 15, many expenses associated with running the parish continue. If you have underlying health conditions and are not yet comfortable with returning to worship services but are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider continuing your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

An Assist for the Finance Council ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join their committee. Could that be you? Please see Father Victor if you believe you are able to serve in this capacity.

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. You should have received a census form in the mail during the month of March. If you misplaced yours, go to 2020census.gov to find out how you obtain another or complete the census online. Then ask your friends and family as well as your neighbors and co-workers if THEY have completed the census, and — if not — encourage them to do the same.

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.

Our Faith Formation Program now has its own page on our web site. Click HERE to look for complete information on the resumption of programs, classes and volunteer opportunities as they become available. 

A Message from Catholic Charities Appeal 2020:

Catholic Charities is doing everything possible to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this time. We are operating every service we safely can and especially those most vital at this time such as basic emergency assistance, including our food pantries (all nine are up and running, assisted by CC staff from other departments) and counseling and mental health services. We are here to help! Many of our staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily.

For the Appeal, our office at 741 Delaware Ave. is closed to visitors. Parishes (and even individual parishioners) are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department. We also encourage online donations:https://www.ccwny.org/donation when possible. Appeal staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily. Please call Clara Moran, 716-713-4410, with questions or concerns. We are grateful for the returns that are being mailed already!

For a daily update about Catholic Charities, go to our home page at ccwny.org. Thank you!

Faith Formation Program Provides On-line Opportunities ~ Buffalo’s Department of Lifelong Faith Formation’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry has officially partnered with “ProjectYM Live” a program designed especially for youth and young adults. In this time of “Social Distancing,” try Church in a way our parents could never have imagined.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 3 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 or Wednesday 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

Open House ~The School of Two Hearts, a K-12 school in the Roman Catholic tradition, will open for the first time this September at 300 Wendel Avenue in Tonawanda. Their open house will take place from 1:30-3:30pm on Sunday, June 28; and again from 6:30-8:30pm on Tuesday, June 30, Sunday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 15.

Our Friends at Family Promise of WNY are just finishing renovations to their facility on Hickory Street. When they are able to resume intakes in the coming weeks, 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 when the current NYS eviction moratorium is lifted. If you are in a position to lend financial support to this community asset for which Blessed Trinity is a support congregation, your contribution will be doubled by two generous donors. Click HERE to make a donation or learn more about Family Promise.

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 June 21, 2020 – 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus, the child of Mary, to the care of Joseph, an earthly father. Bless all fathers as they care for their families. Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience; support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them, as we look to you for love and salvation, through Jesus Christ our rock and defender. Amen. (Author Unknown)
This depiction of the Christ Child in the arms of St. Joseph, appears in Joseph Mazur’s painting in our church’s great dome.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

June 21 – June 28, 2020

Weekly Activities

Services will resume with 10 A. M. Mass on Sunday, June 21, Father’s Day.

Services will resume on Sunday, June 21; meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

Wednesday, June 24, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (June 24, July 8, July 22, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions

Sunday, June 21 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Rest for Edward F. Schroeder (Requested by Rolly and Mary LaLoux

The celebration of Daily Mass for the public has not yet resumed at Blessed Trinity. Daily Mass readings for the week of June 21 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, June 28 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Deceased Members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds, and Pfeiffer Families (Requested by the Estate of Mary Reilly) 

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
June 24
St. John the Baptist ends the procession of prophets and saints
from the Jewish Bible in Joseph Mazur’s artistic rendering in the dome of our church.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

News from our Parish Community

A Message from Father Victor ~ Welcome back dear parishioner! Our church will reopen for 10 am Mass on Sunday, June 21, 2020. For now, there will only be a Sunday Mass. No weekday or Saturday Masses will be offered. We will be 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, and you are expected to bring your own mask or face covering. The church will provide hand sanitizer, and ushers will greet you at each entrance and dispense sanitizer as you enter. Please assist them by arriving early, and listen to their seating instructions.To maintain social distancing, some pews (marked with an “X”) will be “off limits.” Families and couples may sit together; unrelated individuals must sit 6 ft. away from each other. I will explain the changes in the distribution of Communion at Mass. Copies of Breaking Bread have been removed, and there can be no music sheets or bulletins. There is to be no congregational singing (except in our hearts). While I appreciate the fact that you are all anxious to see each other, “please do not make any physical contact with other parishioners [such as hand shakes or hugs} in order to protect everyone’s health.” And “please do not congregate in the church or vestibules.” The church will be sanitized before we gather again next 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. “I pray for good health and continued blessing in your life, and for our parish. Sincerely, Fr. Victor Ibhawa.”

In Praise of Fathers on this Father’s Day: Praise Those Fathers, prayer of Kirk Loadman adapted by Debra Mooney, PhD.

Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice.
Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a worthy and virtuous father.
Let us praise those fathers who, by their own account, were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. As well, let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by words and actions of their children.
Let us praise those fathers who, despite marital discord, have remained in their children’s lives.
Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has nurtured a thriving life.
Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their step children’s love and respect.
Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.
Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.
Let us praise those men who have “fathered” us in their role as mentors and guides.
Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.
And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

“Vacation Bible School in a Bag” will be available for all children up to grade 7 (Fall 2020) beginning Sunday, June 28. Pick them up from Pat Dyer after Mass. If you would like them for a child not already registered, please call 716-256-2598 to get on the list.

Class of 2020 ~ Congratulations to our usher, Drew Brodfuehrer, who graduated from Hutchinson Technical High School and Joshua Arnold upon his graduation from the Charter School of Applied Technologies. Best wishes to all the 2020 graduates.

New Office Hours ~ We are happy to report that the parish has been able to extend office hours to two days each week. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Tuesday and Wednesday 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.

Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches. If you would like to see what our return to the pews might look like on June 21, Click HERE to read the 10-page document. 

Adapting the Bulletin Under New Diocesan Guidelines ~ Under the new diocesan guidelines for our physical return to church, all paper resources (e.g., hymn books, missalettes, bulletins, etc.) must be removed and “[can]not be returned to the church until the [corona virus] outbreak has passed.”  As a result, no PRINTED bulletins will be available to those attending Mass. An electronic copy of the bulletin will be sent to all parishioners who have an email address on file with the church office, but that is only about 40 households. If you are not one of them, please update or share your current email address with Pat Pendleton so that you will be included. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Tuesday or Wednesday between 10:30am and 2:30pm. The information from the bulletin will also be available on this web site. Always look for the “Week of …” post on the home page. If you do not have internet access but would still like access to information in the digital bulletin, please give Pat a call.

Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have continued their weekly offerings. While we have not been able to worship together since March 15, many expenses associated with running the parish continue. If you have underlying health conditions and are not yet comfortable with returning to worship services but are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider continuing your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

An Assist for the Finance Council ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join their committee. Could that be you? Please see Father Victor if you believe you are able to serve in this capacity.

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. You should have received a census form in the mail during the month of March. If you misplaced yours, go to 2020census.gov to find out how you obtain another or complete the census online. Then ask your friends and family as well as your neighbors and co-workers if THEY have completed the census, and — if not — encourage them to do the same.

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.

Our Faith Formation Program now has its own page on our web site. Click HERE to look for complete information on the resumption of programs, classes and volunteer opportunities as they become available. 

A Message from Catholic Charities Appeal 2020:

Catholic Charities is doing everything possible to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this time. We are operating every service we safely can and especially those most vital at this time such as basic emergency assistance, including our food pantries (all nine are up and running, assisted by CC staff from other departments) and counseling and mental health services. We are here to help! Many of our staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily.

For the Appeal, our office at 741 Delaware Ave. is closed to visitors. Parishes (and even individual parishioners) are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department. We also encourage online donations:https://www.ccwny.org/donation when possible. Appeal staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily. Please call Clara Moran, 716-713-4410, with questions or concerns. We are grateful for the returns that are being mailed already!

For a daily update about Catholic Charities, go to our home page at ccwny.org. Thank you!

Faith Formation Program Provides On-line Opportunities ~ Buffalo’s Department of Lifelong Faith Formation’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry has officially partnered with “ProjectYM Live” a program designed especially for youth and young adults. In this time of “Social Distancing,” try Church in a way our parents could never have imagined.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 3 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 or Wednesday 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

Tuesday, June 23, is Primary Election Day. Remember to exercise your right to vote.

Open House ~The School of Two Hearts, a K-12 school in the Roman Catholic tradition, will open for the first time this September at 300 Wendel Avenue in Tonawanda. Their open house will take place from 1:30-3:30pm on Sunday, June 28; and again from 6:30-8:30pm on Tuesday, June 30, Sunday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 15.

Our Friends at Family Promise of WNY are just finishing renovations to their facility on Hickory Street. When they are able to resume intakes in the coming weeks, 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 when the current NYS eviction moratorium is lifted. If you are in a position to lend financial support to this community asset for which Blessed Trinity is a support congregation, your contribution will be doubled by two generous donors. Click HERE to make a donation or learn more about Family Promise.

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 June 14, 2020 – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Our altar rail includes Latin words from the Sequence written for the Mass of Corpus Christi, “Lauda, Sion, Salvetorem,” by St. Thomas Aquinas. The words on the left side, “Ecce panis angelorum factus cibus viatorum” mean “Behold, the Bread of Angels is made into food for pilgrims.”
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

June 14 – June 21, 2020

Weekly Activities

Services will resume with 10 A. M. Mass on Sunday, June 21.

Services will resume on Sunday, June 21; meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

 Wednesday, June 24, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (June 10, June 24, July 8, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions – Services are scheduled to resume on Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Mass for the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) celebrated at neighboring St. Joseph University Church is available on YouTube. You can watch it at any time by Clicking HERE.

We also invite you to follow the daily Mass readings for the week of June 14. They 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

Verses from “Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem,” the Sequence for the Mass of Corpus Christi.

News from our Parish Community

Father Victor Announces Resumption of Sunday Mass ~ My dear Parishioners, I will like to inform you all that we shall begin first public mass on June 21 following the directives of the bishop. The bishop cautioned that churches must meet all the requirements and guidelines for reopening before Masses can be celebrated. For those who can’t attend due to ill health should please stay at home as you still continue to enjoy the dispensation from Masses till you are strong to do so. The committee for reopening will meet to prepare the church for worship. I hope to see you all soon as we reunite again to continue to praise God as a family. I sincerely missed you all, no one knows the worth of a thing till one is deprived of that thing. After this time I think I should appreciate every seconds of each day. Stay safe, stay healthy, and be firm in Faith. Fr. Victor Ibhawa, Administrator BTC

New Office Hours ~ We are happy to report that the parish has been able to extend office hours to two days each week. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:30am-2:30pm.

Reflection on the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord: Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a; Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20; I Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6: 51-58

We are one body, one body in Christ…

The events of the last few months have been like a muted summons to live more deeply the mystery of the Triduum. What we have not been able to celebrate fully in timeless liturgical ritual, we have been experiencing in real-time events.

We are one body, one body in Christ and he came that we might have life.

Have we not deepened our experience and understanding of our ancestors’ journey for forty years in the desert by our struggle to live in quarantine virtually mourning the sickness and death of so many people?  Have we not seen and experienced the hunger for food and for Eucharist celebrated with Easter joy and festivity?  Would we not say that our God has brought us through the desert despite our weak faith?

We are one body, one body in Christ and he came that we might have life.

Have not the constant images of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests been a vivid recalling of our apparent failure to live as one body through many years? Are the peaceful marches and protests not the true response in our times to Pilate’s question of who is to be freed?  Is it only when we can participate fully in the true meaning of the breaking of the Body of Christ that we will finally become one with those whose body and spirit are constantly broken by our complicity of silence and our need for distraction from truth and change?

We are one body, one body in Christ and he came that we might have life.

Is it not amazing grace that we celebrate this feast just as many of our churches are able to open for Mass even in the shadows of the pandemic?  How will the festive joy of the small gatherings of brothers and sisters for Eucharist be not only the arrival of the “new normal” but also a reminder of all of our sisters and brothers who are not present because of quarantine, racism, xenophobia…

The procession of the Blessed Sacrament has taken place in ambulances and emergency procedures. As people of faith in action, we choose to go forward in the steps of Jesus who has given his life for the life of the world through our prayer, our donations of time and food, our phone calls. But most of all, this feast calls us to feed one another with life-giving food, with unity in diversity, with compassionate care, with the acknowledgment of our often silent complicity with death-dealing forces.

This feast calls us to life, blessed, broken and shared…

We are one body, one body in Christ and he came that we might have life.

Sr. Mary Laura Lesniak, ssmn

Sunday, June 14, is the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (in Latin, Corpus Christi) ~ Because there is so much symbolism in our house of worship, this weekly post often devotes space to describe its art and iconography as it relates to a particular article of faith, feast, or week on the church calendar. The Rev. Malcolm Guite, an Anglican priest and poet, has gone even further and written a sonnet linking the altar in his church with the Feast of Corpus Christi. Father Guite writes: “As we come toward the feast of Corpus Christi celebrating the wonderful sacrament of Holy Communion, here’s a sonnet about the sixteenth-century oak communion table that we have at my church, St. Edward’s, King & Martyr in Cambridge [England].” It is entitled, “This Table.”

The centuries have settled on this table
Deepened the grain beneath a clean white cloth
Which bears afresh our changing elements.
Year after year of prayer, in hope and trouble,
Were poured out here and blessed and broken, both
In aching absence and in absent presence.

This table too the earth herself has given
And human hands have made. Where candle-flame
At corners burns and turns the air to light
The oak once held its branches up to heaven,
Blessing the elements which it became,
Rooting the dew and rain, branching the light.

Because another tree can bear, unbearable,
For us, the weight of Love, so can this table.

Rosary Video for All Ages ~ As we end the month of May dedicated to Our Lady, 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.

Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches, which is now imminent. If you would like to see what our return to the pews might look like on June 21, Click HERE to read the 10-page document. 

Adapting the Bulletin Under New Diocesan Guidelines ~ Under the new diocesan guidelines for our physical return to church, all paper resources (e.g., hymn books, missalettes, bulletins, etc.) must be removed and “[can]not be returned to the church until the [corona virus] outbreak has passed.”  As a result, no PRINTED bulletins will be available to those attending Mass. An electronic copy of the bulletin will be sent to all parishioners who have an email address on file with the church office, but that is only about 40 households. If you are not one of them, please update or share your current email address with Pat Pendleton so that you will be included. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Tuesday or Wednesday between 10:30am and 2:30pm. The information from the bulletin will also be available on this web site. Always look for the “Week of …” post on the home page. If you do not have internet access but would still like access to information in the digital bulletin, please give Pat a call.

Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have continued their weekly offerings. While we have not been able to worship together since March 15, many expenses associated with running the parish continue. If you have underlying health conditions and are not yet comfortable with returning to worship services but are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider continuing your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

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. You should have received a census form in the mail during the month of March. If you misplaced yours, go to 2020census.gov to find out how you obtain another or complete the census online. Then ask your friends and family as well as your neighbors and co-workers if THEY have completed the census, and — if not — encourage them to do the same.

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 until next Sunday when we can 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.

Words from the Sequence continue on the right side of the Altar railing: “Vere panis filiorum non mittendus canibus,” meaning “”It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house dogs.” (Mk. 7:27)
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

Our Faith Formation Program now has its own page on our web site. Click HERE to look for complete information on the resumption of programs, classes and volunteer opportunities as they become available. 

A Message from Catholic Charities Appeal 2020:

Catholic Charities is doing everything possible to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this time. We are operating every service we safely can and especially those most vital at this time such as basic emergency assistance, including our food pantries (all nine are up and running, assisted by CC staff from other departments) and counseling and mental health services. We are here to help! Many of our staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily.

For the Appeal, our office at 741 Delaware Ave. is closed to visitors. Parishes (and even individual parishioners) are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department. We also encourage online donations:https://www.ccwny.org/donation when possible. Appeal staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily. Please call Clara Moran, 716-713-4410, with questions or concerns. We are grateful for the returns that are being mailed already!

For a daily update about Catholic Charities, go to our home page at ccwny.org. Thank you!

Faith Formation Program Provides On-line Opportunities ~ Buffalo’s Department of Lifelong Faith Formation’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry has officially partnered with “ProjectYM Live” a program designed especially for youth and young adults. In this time of “Social Distancing,” try Church in a way our parents could never have imagined.

Call to Stewardship ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join our committee. Please see Father Victor if you are able to serve in this capacity.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 3 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. As we await permission to resume activities, 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 or Wednesday 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

Our Friends at Family Promise of WNY are just finishing renovations to their facility on Hickory Street. When they are able to resume intakes in the coming weeks, 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 when the current NYS eviction moratorium is lifted. If you are in a position to lend financial support to this community asset for which Blessed Trinity is a support congregation, your contribution will be doubled by two generous donors. Click HERE to make a donation or learn more about Family Promise.

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 June 7, 2020 – The Most Holy Trinity, Our Parish Feastday

The Most Holy Trinity
June 7, 2020
God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but may have eternal life. John 3:16
(Iconographic depiction of God in three persons in tympanum
over main door of Blessed Trinity Church).
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

June 7 – June 14, 2020

Weekly Activities – Services will resume on Sunday, June 21.

Services will resume on Sunday, June 21; meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

 Wednesday, June 10, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (June 10, June 24, July 8, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions – Services are scheduled to resume on Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Mass for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity celebrated at neighboring St. Joseph University Church is available on YouTube. You can watch it at any time by Clicking HERE.

We also invite you to follow the daily Mass readings for the week of June 7. They 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

Symbol of the Trinity in the church’s Great Dome.
Photographic rendering by Todd Treat).

News from our Parish Community

Feastday Greeting from Father Victor ~ Happy Feast Day To You All.

Today we join the whole church as we celebrate the feast of Blessed Trinity, OUR FEAST DAY. The feast reminds us that there are three persons in one God – the Father (the creator), the Son (the redeemer), and the Holy Spirit (the comforter). As we celebrate this feast, we are all called to live and imitate the unity that exists in the Trinity. As the body of Christ-Christians, we are called everyday to model our lives after the unity and love of the Trinity. 

The second reading (2 Cor 13:11-13) calls us to: “Mend our ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with us. Greet one another with a holy kiss.”

Especially this time of unrest in our country when the long old sin of racial discrimination has reached its peak and causing anarchy. Today’s second reading tells us what we should or must do to be true children of God. And the reading concluded by blessing us with the blessing from the Trinity. While the Gospel tells us that out of love God sent his son to save us and whoever believe in him will be saved.To believe is to express what we believe in words and in actions. May we continue to be the true reflection of God’s love, unit, and peace always wherever we find ourselves. Amen.

Happy Holy Trinity Sunday!

Father Victor Announces Resumption of Sunday Mass ~ My dear Parishioners, I will like to inform you all that we shall begin first public mass on June 21 following the directives of the bishop. The bishop cautioned that churches must meet all the requirements and guidelines for reopening before Masses can be celebrated. For those who can’t attend due to ill health should please stay at home as you still continue to enjoy the dispensation from Masses till you are strong to do so. The committee for reopening will meet to prepare the church for worship. I hope to see you all soon as we reunite again to continue to praise God as a family. I sincerely missed you all, no one knows the worth of a thing till one is deprived of that thing. After this time I think I should appreciate every seconds of each day. Stay safe, stay healthy, and be firm in Faith. Fr. Victor Ibhawa, Administrator BTC

New Office Hours ~ We are happy to report that the parish has been able to extend office hours to two days each week. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:30am-2:30pm.

Trinity Sunday, a sonnet by Rev. Malcolm Guite

In the Beginning, not in time or space,
But in the quick before both space and time,
In Life, in Love, in co-inherent Grace,
In three in one and one in three, in rhyme,
In music, in the whole creation story,
In His own image, His imagination,
The Triune Poet makes us for His glory,
And makes us each the other’s inspiration.
He calls us out of darkness, chaos, chance,
To improvise a music of our own,
To sing the chord that calls us to the dance,
Three notes resounding from a single tone,
To sing the End in whom we all begin;
Our God beyond, beside us and within.

Reflection on Scripture Readings for Trinity Sunday ~ Ex 34:4-6, 8-9; 2 Cor 13:11-13; Jn 3:16-18 ~ Cardinal Bo prays that this Feast of the Holy Trinity will bring healing to a planet wounded by COVID & racial Injustice: “It is not the COVID which is destroying humanity. It is the anti-Trinitarian tendency that has infected the family, country and the world.”

Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, expressed this in his June 7, 2020 message provided to ZENIT English for the Feast of the Holy Trinity, which contains a profound analysis of the Trinity in a contemporary context. The President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) prayed that amid the difficulties facing humanity especially at this time, that we let the power of the Trinity touch us all.

Speaking on the Trinity, Cardinal Bo prayed the “blessings of the Trinity, the Father, Son and the  Holy Spirit fill every corner of your house and bring joy, peace and good health to all.” Recognizing that this blessing unites us with the past, present and future, he observed that we celebrate with joy, God the Father, the Creator; the Son, the savior and liberator; and the Holy Spirit, the counselor and consoler.”

“Let this feast of Trinity,” he hopes, come as a healing power of a planet wounded by COVID and racial injustice.” Today, he says, we gather to celebrate this Trinitarian experience. God is all this, at once: God for us: the Creator: the Father;  God with Us: (Emmanuel) the Son; God Within Us : (Temple of the Holy Spirit), the Holy Spirit.”

The Archbishop of Yangon reminded we are created by God the Father, we are saved by Christ the Son, and we are led into holiness through the Holy Spirit. “In short,” he says, “Trinity is God’s love in action.

“Trinitarian experience is not an exotic one. It is embedded in each one of us.  Life is a multi layered experience. But it does not destroy our uniqueness as a person with a clear identity. We, as individuals, are made of three distinct attributes: body, soul and mind.” These three, he noted, produce the unity of the person who I am.

To a world battling the coronavirus pandemic, he encourages faithful to not lose hope. On this feast day, he encourages all faithful to turn away from the theological and philosophical abstracts and turn towards how the exemplary life of Trinity can guide us in our lives. “As we look around seeing so many families lie wounded, our country remains wounded and the world is at war with itself. It is not the COVID which is destroying humanity,” he suggests, saying: “It is the anti -Trinitarian tendency that has infected the family, country and the world.”

Rosary Video for All Ages ~ As we end the month of May dedicated to Our Lady, 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.

Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches, which is now imminent. If you would like to see what our return to the pews might look like, Click HERE to read the 10-page document. 

Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have have continued their weekly offerings. While we have not been able to worship together since March 15, many expenses associated with running the parish continue. If you are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider resuming your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

Until the current COVID-19 restrictions on services and activities are lifted, we will not be preparing a weekly bulletin. However, there may well be announcements that Father Victor would like to share with our parish family. The most efficient way to do this is to utilize email messaging, but our secretary has email addresses for only about 40 parishioners. Please share your current email address with Pat so that you will be able to receive such announcements in a timely fashion. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Wednesdays between 10:30am and 2:30pm.

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. You should have received a census form in the mail during the month of March. If you misplaced yours, go to 2020census.gov to find out how you obtain another or complete the census online. Then ask your friends and family as well as your neighbors and co-workers if THEY have completed the census, and — if not — encourage them to do the same.

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 until we can 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.

Robert Hoffman’s
depiction of The Trinity in our church’s baldachino.
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

Our Faith Formation Program now has its own page on our web site. Click HERE to look for complete information on the resumption of programs, classes and volunteer opportunities as they become available. 

A Message from Catholic Charities Appeal 2020:

Catholic Charities is doing everything possible to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this time. We are operating every service we safely can and especially those most vital at this time such as basic emergency assistance, including our food pantries (all nine are up and running, assisted by CC staff from other departments) and counseling and mental health services. We are here to help! Many of our staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily.

For the Appeal, our office at 741 Delaware Ave. is closed to visitors. Parishes (and even individual parishioners) are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department. We also encourage online donations:https://www.ccwny.org/donation when possible. Appeal staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily. Please call Clara Moran, 716-713-4410, with questions or concerns. We are grateful for the returns that are being mailed already!

For a daily update about Catholic Charities, go to our home page at ccwny.org. Thank you!

Faith Formation Program Provides On-line Opportunities ~ Buffalo’s Department of Lifelong Faith Formation’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry has officially partnered with “ProjectYM Live” a program designed especially for youth and young adults. In this time of “Social Distancing,” try Church in a way our parents could never have imagined.

Call to Stewardship ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join our committee. Please see Father Victor if you are able to serve in this capacity.

Is it time to update your contact information? During this period when the COVID-19 Protocols prevent us from attending church services, there will surely be occasions when the parish has important information to convey to the faithful. Does the church office have your correct mailing address and phone number? Have you shared your 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 Wednesday 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.

Father Victor Ibhawa blessed and dedicated our new sign on Trinity Sunday 2018.
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

Our Friends at Family Promise of WNY are just finishing renovations to their facility on Hickory Street. When they are able to resume intakes in the coming weeks, 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 when the current NYS eviction moratorium is lifted. If you are in a position to lend financial support to this community asset for which Blessed Trinity is a support congregation, your contribution will be doubled by two generous donors. Click HERE to make a donation or learn more about Family Promise.

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 May 31, 2020 – Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday
May 31, 2020
P. Kuhnle’s ceramic bas relief depiction of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the apostles over doorway in left side vestibule

May 31 – June 7, 2020

Weekly Activities –

We are social distancing. All services, meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice, with the exception of the Food Pantry.

 Wednesday, June 10, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (June 10, June 24, July 8, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Mass Intentions – As of March 16, 2020, all services are cancelled until further notice.

Mass for the Pentecost Sunday celebrated at neighboring St. Joseph University Church is available on YouTube. You can watch it at any time by Clicking HERE.

We also invite you to follow the daily Mass readings for the week of May 31. They 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

As we end the month of May dedicated to our Blessed Lady, Ron Stofer’s photo of the church’s Mary Shrine appears to capture her all encompassing love and care for us.
Photo credit: Ron Storfer

News from our Parish Community

A Greeting from Father Victor ~ Dear Parishioners: Happy Pentecost Sunday to you all! As we celebrate today the birth of the Church as the power of the Holy Spirit transforms the disciples and the early Christians to preach to the ends of the earth. Against the backdrop of the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel (Gen 11), the Holy Spirit rectifies this with the unity of tongue (Act 2). We might not be able to speak in different tongues but we are all invited to respond to the universal language of love, kindness, generosity, and peace. More so, we are invited to use our gift for the sake of the common good. May the Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on us. Happy Pentecost Sunday.

The Visitation ~ We usually celebrate The Feast of the Visitation on the May 31, but this year it was displaced from that date by the  Pentecost Sunday and is commemorated on June 1 instead. Father Malcolm Guite had this introduction to his sonnet in honor of the feast: “The feast of the Visitation usually falls on the 31st of May, but this year it was displaced from that date by the great feast of Pentecost, and so we keep it on the 1st of June instead. It is … very fitting to remember the visitation on the day after Pentecost, for it is a perfect example of the vivifying and prophetic work of God the Holy Spirit. The feast of the Visitation celebrates the lovely moment in Luke’s Gospel (1:41-56) when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also, against all expectations, bearing a child, the child who would be John the Baptist. Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit came upon them, and that the babe in Elizabeth’s womb ‘leaped for joy’ when he heard Mary’s voice, and it is even as the older woman blesses the younger, that Mary gives voice to the Magnificat, the most beautiful and revolutionary hymn in the world. There is much for the modern world to ponder in this tale of God’s blessing and prophecy on and from the margins, and I have tried to tease a little of it out in this sonnet.”

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
June 1
One of six large terra cotta oval reliefs in the church narthex representing Luke’s account of Mary’s visit to help her cousin, Elizabeth,
prepare for the birth of John the Baptist (Lk. 1:39-56)
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

The Visitation

Here is a meeting made of hidden joys
Of lightenings cloistered in a narrow place
From quiet hearts the sudden flame of praise
And in the womb the quickening kick of grace.
Two women on the very edge of things
Unnoticed and unknown to men of power
But in their flesh the hidden Spirit sings
And in their lives the buds of blessing flower.
And Mary stands with all we call ‘too young’,
Elizabeth with all called ‘past their prime’
They sing today for all the great unsung
Women who turned eternity to time
Favoured of heaven, outcast on the earth
Prophets who bring the best in us to birth.

Father Guite’s sonnet is drawn from his collection Sounding the Seasons, available from Amazon in the U.S. and also on Kindle.

A Tribute to victims of the Coronavirus ~ Father Malcom Guite, the Anglican poet-priest  from Cambridge, England wrote this in his blog for May 29, 2020: “I am thinking of my American friends today as the tragic death-toll from the virus there passes 100,000. These are mind numbing numbers and only the exercise of compassionate imagination can give us even a glimpse of the harrowing personal stories behind each one. When I began to hear our statistics mount on our own evening radio news, I found myself again and again in prayer, knowing that even though I only heard the numbers, God knew and loved and died for the people behind those numbers.” The following poem is from the concluding section of his Quarantine Quatrains.

35
At close of day I hear the gentle rain
Whilst experts on the radio explain
Mind-numbing numbers, rising by the day,
Cyphers of unimaginable pain

36
Each evening they announce the deadly toll
And patient voices calmly call the roll
I hear the numbers, cannot know the names
Behind each number, mind and heart and soul

37
Behind each number one belovèd face
A light in life whom no-one can replace,
Leaves on this world a signature, a trace,
A gleaning and a memory of grace

38
All loved and loving, carried to the grave
The ones whom every effort could not save
Amongst them all those carers whose strong love
Bought life for others with the lives they gave.

39
The sun sets and I find myself in prayer
Lifting aloft the sorrow that we share
Feeling for words of hope amidst despair
I voice my vespers through the quiet air:

40
O Christ who suffers with us, hold us close,
Deep in the secret garden of the rose,
Raise over us the banner of your love
And raise us up beyond our last repose.

Reflection on the Readings for Pentecost Sunday of Easter: ACTS 2:1-11,   1 COR. 3b-7,   12-13    JOHN 20:19-23

Today’s feast is one of special significance for the Church in a number of ways. It is one of the few feasts that have a period of preparation set aside so that we take time to anticipate the mystery that we will celebrate. There are the 40 days of Lent, the 4 weeks of Advent and the novena preceding the feast of Pentecost.

It is also one of the feasts that irrevocably alters humanity’s relationship to the Divine. With the Incarnation we learn that God’s love for us leads Him to share our humanity. With the Resurrection we learn that God’s love for us leads Him to let us share His eternity. With the Descent of the Spirit we learn that God’s love for us leads Him to not only be with us, but to dwell within us, to give us the possibility of being His hands, His voice, His love for others.

The reading from Acts is so familiar to us that we might simply be taken with the long list of all the varied languages that were spoken that day, spoken so that everyone, regardless of the country of origin, would have equal opportunity to learn of the “mighty acts of God.” As this year’s At Home with the Word points out, only one verse of the reading focuses on the gift of tongues (as wonderful as it is), while seven verses  focus on the gift of hearing and understanding what God has accomplished on our behalf.

This, of course, brings us to Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, where he points out so clearly that the gifts God gives His people are always for the benefit of the Body of Christ.   I love teaching this passage to young people because they so deeply want to believe that they have a gift to one day share with the world. One year, I was very surprised by a student who obviously had no delusions of grandeur.  When I asked, “What part of the Body of Christ do you think you might be at this point in your life?” She responded instantly, “I am the thumb on the right hand.”  She was delighted with this! She was in charge of communications for the Student Council, and every day she had to post the day’s announcements on every bulletin board in the building. She was so excited to realize, on her own, that this could be more than a boring task. I still admire her faith, simplicity and enthusiasm. I still pray to share them.

And then we have the very brief Gospel from John, taking place on Easter itself. Time is so telescoped here that a multitude of mysteries occur within 4 verses. The disciples rejoice in Jesus, risen, but still bearing his wounds. Twice, Jesus assures them that He is leaving them the gift of peace. With that peace as their armor, he sends them into the world, as the Father had sent Him. Jesus breathes on them, and, filled with the Spirit, they are missioned.

It is still the same Pentecost gift that we will try to understand and embrace on Sunday.

Sister Elizabeth Buchala, SSMN

Rosary Video for All Ages ~ As we end the month of May dedicated to Our Lady, 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.

Diocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Worship Services ~ On May 20, The Diocese of Buffalo issued guidelines for the reopening of our churches, now scheduled for New York’s Phase 4. If you would like to see what our return to the pews might look like, Click HERE to read the 10-page document. 

Stewardship ~ On behalf of the parish, Father Victor would like to express his gratitude to all who have have continued their weekly offerings. While we have not been able to worship together since March 15, many expenses associated with running the parish continue. If you are blessed to be in a position to support the parish financially, please consider resuming your contributions. Checks payable to “Blessed Trinity Church” should be sent to the church at 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

Until the current COVID-19 restrictions on services and activities are lifted, we will not be preparing a weekly bulletin. However, there may well be announcements that Father Victor would like to share with our parish family. The most efficient way to do this is to utilize email messaging, but our secretary has email addresses for only about 40 parishioners. Please share your current email address with Pat so that you will be able to receive such announcements in a timely fashion. You may submit this information using the contact feature at the bottom of this page or by calling Pat at 716-833-0301 on Wednesdays between 10:30am and 2:30pm.

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. You should have received a census form in the mail during the month of March. If you misplaced yours, go to 2020census.gov to find out how you obtain another or complete the census online. Then ask your friends and family as well as your neighbors and co-workers if THEY have completed the census, and — if not — encourage them to do the same.

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 until we can 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.

Holy Spirit as depicted in iconography on church facade. Photo credit: Gary Kelley

Our Faith Formation Program now has its own page on our web site. Click HERE to look for complete information on the resumption of programs, classes and volunteer opportunities as they become available. 

New Office Hours ~ The parish has temporarily reduced office hours to one day each week. Our secretary, Pat Pendleton, will be in the office every Wednesday from 10:30am-2:30pm.

A Message from Catholic Charities Appeal 2020:

Catholic Charities is doing everything possible to continue to serve our neighbors in need at this time. We are operating every service we safely can and especially those most vital at this time such as basic emergency assistance, including our food pantries (all nine are up and running, assisted by CC staff from other departments) and counseling and mental health services. We are here to help! Many of our staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily.

For the Appeal, our office at 741 Delaware Ave. is closed to visitors. Parishes (and even individual parishioners) are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn: Appeal Department. We also encourage online donations:https://www.ccwny.org/donation when possible. Appeal staff are working remotely and returning office calls daily. Please call Clara Moran, 716-713-4410, with questions or concerns. We are grateful for the returns that are being mailed already!

For a daily update about Catholic Charities, go to our home page at ccwny.org. Thank you!

Faith Formation Program Provides On-line Opportunities ~ Buffalo’s Department of Lifelong Faith Formation’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry has officially partnered with “ProjectYM Live” a program designed especially for youth and young adults. In this time of “Social Distancing,” try Church in a way our parents could never have imagined.

Call to Stewardship ~ Our Parish Finance Council seeks a parishioner with accounting skills to join our committee. Please see Father Victor if you are able to serve in this capacity.

Is it time to update your contact information? During this period when the COVID-19 Protocols prevent us from attending church services, there will surely be occasions when the parish has important information to convey to the faithful. Does the church office have your correct mailing address and phone number? Have you shared your 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 Wednesday 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

Our Friends at Family Promise of WNY are just finishing renovations to their facility on Hickory Street. When they are able to resume intakes in the coming weeks, 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 when the current NYS eviction moratorium is lifted. If you are in a position to lend financial support to this community asset for which Blessed Trinity is a support congregation, your contribution will be doubled by two generous donors. Click HERE to make a donation or learn more about Family Promise.

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.