Week of December 6, 2020 – 2nd Sunday of Advent

December 6 – December 13, 2020

COVID-19 Precautions: Following a November 25, 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Diocese of Buffalo has relaxed restrictions on capacity at worship services. See, Nov. 26 COVID-19 Update. It is no longer necessary to make a reservation to attend Mass at Blessed Trinity.

NEW: Sunday Mass is now being recorded and will be made available for viewing each Sunday afternoon on a Blessed Trinity YOU TUBE channel. Click HERE to view. If you click “Subscribe” on the YouTube site, you will receive automatic notification each time a Mass recording is posted.

Also, we are now providing personal copies of the Breaking Bread missal for each parishioner who would like one. You may claim yours this weekend and either take it home or place it in a zip-lock bag and reclaim it when you come again. Paper copies of the bulletin are once again available. Look for them at the middle crossing of the church.

Keep in mind, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on other Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect in our diocese.

Please pray for the health and safety of all in our community.

Weekly Activities

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

Wednesday, December 9, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Dec 9, 23, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

Tuesday, December 15 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Bible Study

Solemnity of the
Immaculate Conception
December 8
Photo credit: Margaret Dick

Mass Intentions

The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, and the NEW schedule for daily Mass, as of Monday, November 9, 2020 is: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

Sunday, December 6 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Catherine Gress (Requested by the Ladies Sodality) and In Memory of Bob Lukasik (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Monday, November 7 ~ St. Ambrose ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Praying for All Souls (Req. by St. Theresa Parish)

Tuesday, December 8 ~ The Immaculate Conception ~ Mass at 7:00 p.m. – Blessings for Mary Nelson (Req. by John E. Curtin)

Wednesday, December 9 ~ St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Praying for intentions of our parishioners (Req. by Blessed Trinity Church)

Thursday, December 10 ~  No Mass Scheduled

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

Saturday, December 12 ~ Out Lady of Guadalupe ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Praying for All Souls (Req. by St. Theresa Parish)

Sunday, December 13 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – In Memory of Carl and Evelyn Schmelzer (Req. by Mary Karlis) and  Blessings on Veronica Iwuchukwu (Req. by Fidelia Ejimadu)

Lector Schedule ~ Dec 13: Bob Heicklen

News from our Parish Community

Lectors ~ Please pick up your workbooks for the new liturgical year. They are on the first bench on the Baptismal Font side of the church.

Tuesday, December 8, is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a Holy Day of Obligation. Tuesday’s Mass will be celebrated at 7pm; there will be no 11am morning Mass. This is also the Patronal Feastday of the United States. Please pray for Mary’s intercession in ending the pandemic and bringing a renewed sense of unity and common purpose among our our citizens.

Zoom Bible Study ~ Because of the evening Mass on the Holy Day, our previously scheduled ZOOM Bible Study has been rescheduled for TUESDAY, December 15, at 7pm. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 15 and 16. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Collection for Retirement Fund for Religious ~ The second collection on December 12/13 benefits the Retirement Fund for Religious. Your contributions to this collection provide for the health care and daily living expenses of the members of religious congregations who taught in your elementary school or staffed your high school. They do not receive financial support or retirement benefits from the Diocese of Buffalo, Upon This Rock or the Diocesan Priests Retirement Fund. As a tribute to the many nuns and order priests who have served our diocese for decades, please be generous.

Collection for Homebound Wraps Up Next Weekend ~ If you were planning to contribute toward the grocery store gift cards for our homebound parishioners, please bring your contribution by next weekend (Dec. 12/13). Monies will also be used for Mass stipends, with a Mass being offered for the intentions of each of our parishioners living in a senior care facility. You may place your monetary donation in an envelope marked “Sodality Project” and drop it in the collection basket or give it to Mickey Dick. Checks payable to: Ladies Sodality of Blessed Trinity may also be mailed to Mickey at 2549 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214. The Ladies Sodality thanks you for your continued support.

Please be sure to take an envelope from the Blessed Trinity “Giving Tree.” Donations will benefit The Little Portion Friary.

The Giving Tree ~ This year our annual Giving Tree will benefit Little Portion Friary, a resource for homeless men in need of temporary shelter and a meal, as well as counseling and other necessary services. Select an envelope from the tree located near the ramp door. Instead of purchasing the suggested gift item, we ask that you offer the cash value (or a check made out to Blessed Trinity Parish with “Giving Tree” on the subject line) in the envelope. Return the envelope in the collection basket before December 25. Our parish donations are another way we can live out our Mission Statement as a loving community that reaches out to our brothers and sisters in need. Thank you for your participation.

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

Know Your Faith: Deck the Halls ~ A few years ago, the parish I was attending had a guest priest during Advent. He began his homily by telling us how much he hated Christmas, the whole Christmas season – all things Christmas from music to decorations to liturgies and gifts. Initially, I expected that he was heading toward a view of the Advent theme of waiting and anticipation, but he hated Advent wreaths, Jesse Trees, and Advent music, too. So much for the music minister’s plans. All of this on Gaudete Sunday – a day of Joy. I can’t remember if he lit the Advent wreath at all, but it was a beautiful one. Needless to say, the parishioners never saw that priest again. As I contemplated the homily, I thought it was very sad as I love everything Christmas – the abundance, the joy, gifts, music, decorations and food. I sometimes listen to “Christmas” music in July. If you listen carefully, you will hear much more than Christmas in the lessons it teaches. All of these things are symbolic of our faith. As you decorate this year and celebrate this year, listen carefully and look closely and you too will see the message of the season. I know that he wanted us to realize that God’s gift to us is with us always – not just at Christmas, but the Christmas season is our opportunity to open our arms to others and to renew the Spirit in ourselves.

The Jesse Tree – The Jesse Tree reminds us of all that came before Jesus, the “roots” of faith in the Jewish people. Jesse Trees have not reached much popularity outside of Churches and parochial schools, but they are reflected in the scriptural readings during Advent and each symbol relates to a scripture reading. The Jesse Tree tradition began in medieval times. “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump* of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.” (Is 11:1-4) Give it a try this year and reconnect with your roots. (Get a Jesse Tree kit from me this weekend after Mass if you want to try this at home).

When I was growing up my parents always had an Advent wreath and ours, made by my father, always had real greens and those candles burned close to the dried out greenery by Christmas Eve because the candles were lit at dinner every night. My sister and I gauged how close we were to Christmas by the number of candles and their height. The Advent wreath also traces its origins to the middle ages. Like other wreaths it is round without beginning or end, symbolizing the eternity of God, and made from evergreens representing continuing life. My parents referred to the four weeks of Advent as representing a 4,000 year wait for the Messiah, but 4,000 years is likely a symbolic number. The purple color of the candles also represents a period of waiting in patience – prayer, sacrifice and penance. The first is Hope or the prophecy candle in remembrance of the prophets. Week two represents faith and remembers the trip of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The third week is pink for Joy at having reached the mid point of the wait for the birth of Jesus. The last candle is also purple and is called the Angel’s candle and symbolizes the angel’s declaration “Glory to God in the highest “and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Lk 2:14). More recent Advent wreaths also have a white center Christ candle for the long awaited Messiah and Light of the World. If your wreath has holly and ivy it symbolizes the crown of thorns and the blood Jesus spilled for the sake of our sins.

Las Posadas (Spanish for the inns) is the Latin American celebration that follows the last days before Christmas commemorating the travel of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and their difficulties in finding a spot to spend the night. People dress as Mary and Joseph and groups go from home to home trying to get a room for the night. This begins on December 16 and ends on December 24.

St. Lucy’s Wheat  “The tradition of planting wheat on Saint Lucy’s Day (December 13) comes from Hungary, Croatia, and other European nations. Plant wheat grains in a round dish or plate of soil, then water the seeds. Place the container in a warm spot. If the planting medium is kept moist (not sopping wet), the seeds will germinate and the shoots will be several inches high by Christmas.Then the new green shoots, reminding us of the new life born in Bethlehem, may be tied with a ribbon, if desired, and a candle may be placed near them as a symbol of the Light of Christ. Place the plate of sprouted wheat near the Nativity set where it will remind all that Christ, the Bread of Life, was born in Bethlehem, whose name means “House of Bread.” The wheat recalls the Eucharist which is made from wheat. It also brings to mind Christ’s parables about wheat: THE GRAIN OF WHEAT MUST DIE: Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains but a single grain, but, if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. (John 12:24). “Lord, may we die to self so that we will live for You. May we rejoice that those who, faithful to You, have left this world in death are alive with You forever. May we praise You for having died for us and bringing forth our faith as Your fruits.”SEED SOWN ON GOOD GROUND:The farmer went out to sow, and seed fell into various places, some springing up and then withering or being choked out and other seed falling on good ground and yielding a great harvest. (Mark 4:1-20, Matthew 13: 4-23). “Lord, may we be good ground to receive the seed of Your word, and may we put that word into practice.” The story of St Lucy’s Wheat tradition is quoted from the Franciscan Penance Library. Additional information can be found by clicking on this link.

Christmas Tree The tradition of using trees and evergreen boughs in our homes is an ancient one that predates Christianity. Like many other traditions this time of year, Christians latched onto these traditions as symbols of the birth of Jesus. The evergreens (see above) represent life everlasting and the candles and lights used represent the light of Christ coming into the world. Indeed, Christians reappropriated the whole solstice season to represent the coming of the Messiah – the Light of the World.  In the northern hemisphere from which most of our traditions come, the nights (darkness) grows longer until the solstice when the light begins to return. This (along with the readymade festivals) was a most symbolic time to represent the birth of Jesus whose actual birthdate is yet unknown. So, December 25 (for some orthodox Christians January 6) was chosen to represent the birth of the long-awaited Messiah.

In the next column we’ll take a look at more traditions including Santa Claus and African customs. Please join us in celebrating the season!

…Patricia Dyer, MAPM

Join Our Family Promise Ministry  ~ As a shelter for homeless families and recently certified by NYS, Family Promise of WNY is following new health and safety guidelines and cannot accept donations of home prepared meals. Instead, volunteers have become grocery donors in a food category assigned to the day of the week. Blessed Trinity volunteers did this on 9/15 and found it much easier than coordinating and cooking a full dinner. We signed up for a date on the meal schedule and delivered the requested foods during the day at our convenience. We hope more parishioners will be able to participate. Family Promise also needs volunteers in areas like tutoring and transportation. If you think you might want to help and need more information go to their web site at fpwny.org and click on “Get Involved” to find the grocery sign up schedule. Also, you may contact our parish coordinator, Amy Johnson, at 716-836-4694.

In Fond Memory: Randolph McGhee, 1932-2020 ~ Mentioned at previous weekend Masses, it has come to our attention that Randolph passed away in early November from complications following a stroke. Randolph donated his body to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.Thus, a Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.Formerly a faithful member of nearby St. James Parish, with the closure of St. James, and the merger of St. James, St. Gerard, and Blessed Trinity Parishes, Randolph became just as committed and supportive a member here. Randolph always sat near the front of the church for Mass, week after week, and was easily identified by his unique attire…. always wearing shorts to Mass (even in the middle of a winter snow storm!) and his treasured Veteran’s cap. Ever kind, pleasant and faithful, his life is an example to all of us! The Lord bless his soul and grant him eternal rest and peace.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 8 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented many from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone, mail or email took on increased importance. Because not everyone has computer access, really important information is sent in a letter. If you have not received written correspondence from the parish since September 2020, we don’t have your address. Even though we are now able to resume Mass attendance, this may be a good time to ask yourself: Does the church office have my correct mailing address and phone number? (Important, too, for contact tracing). Have I shared my email address? Make sure that we have been notified of any changes in your contact information by completing this form. This is also a chance to let us know if you: wish to receive the bulletin electronically via email, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm; sending an email to blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com; or using the contact feature below to submit the information. If you choose either of the last two, please use “Contact Update” as the subject of the email or message.

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

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

Photo by Steve Mangione

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

Request from Our Lady of Hope Parish ~ Immigrant family in desperate need of single (twin) beds for 5 children. If you or anyone you know has any to give away, please call Deacon Ron Thaler, 716-553-6203.

The dated announcement below was received before the “yellow/orange zone” changes to pandemic guidelines. It is suggested that you check with the hosting entity if planning to attend.

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

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

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

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

Week of November 29, 2020 – 1st Sunday of Advent

November 29 – December 6, 2020

COVID-19 Precautions: Following a November 25, 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Diocese of Buffalo has relaxed restrictions on capacity at worship services. See, Nov. 26 COVID-19 Update. It is no longer necessary to make a reservation to attend Mass at Blessed Trinity.

NEW: Sunday Mass is now being recorded and will be made available for viewing each Sunday afternoon on a Blessed Trinity YOU TUBE channel. Click HERE to view. If you click “Subscribe” on the YouTube site, you will receive automatic notification each time a Mass recording is posted.

Also, we are now providing personal copies of the Breaking Bread missal for each parishioner who would like one. You may claim yours this weekend and either take it home or place it in a zip-lock bag and reclaim it when you come again. Paper copies of the bulletin are once again available. Look for them at the middle crossing of the church.

Keep in mind, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on other Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect in our diocese.

Please pray for the health and safety of all in our community.

Weekly Activities

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

Tuesday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. ~ ZOOM Bible Study

Wednesday, December 9, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ EXTENDED HOURSCatholic Central Food Pantry in St. Charles Hall
Now operating every other Wednesday (Dec 9, 23, etc.) but with extended hours. Volunteers will distribute pre-prepared bags of groceries.

St. Francis Xavier
December 3
Joseph Mazur’s painting of St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), missionary to the Far East, is located on the left side of the transept.
Photo credit: Derek Gee, Buffalo News

Mass Intentions

The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, and the NEW schedule for daily Mass, as of Monday, November 9, 2020 is: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

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

Monday, November 30 ~ St. Andrew, Apostle ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased Loved Ones (Req. by Blessed Trinity Parishioners)

Tuesday, December 1 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Wednesday, December 2 ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Praying for deceased parishioners (Req. by Blessed Trinity Church)

Thursday, December 3 ~  St. Francis Xavier ~ No Mass Scheduled

Friday, December 4 ~ St. John Damascene ~ Mass at 11:00 a.m. – Deceased members of the Ryan, Reilly, Reynolds and Pfeiffer Families (Req. by Est. of Mary Reilly)

Saturday, December 5 ~ Mass at 4:30 p.m. –  Blessings for deceased members of the Then, Venezia and Feralla families (Req. by Family)

Sunday, December 6 ~ Mass at 10:00 a.m. – Eternal Joy for Catherine Gress (Requested by the Ladies Sodality) and In Memory of Bob Lukasik (Req. by Mary Karlis)

Lector Schedule ~ Dec 5: Michael Ogoh; Dec 6: Palma Zanghi

News from our Parish Community

Father Bob Gebhard

A Note From Father Bob ~ As we have even further restraints on us, limiting our mass attendance to a maximum of 25 parishioners (maybe to10 by the time this bulletin meets your hands/eyes), it becomes an opportunity to find the presence of God, yet in the midst of this pandemic-world, in new and surprising ways.

Usually a gang around my parents harvest table, this year we were only 6 for the turkey feast. However, I think I became even more conscious than ever of those who were not at the table as usual, remembering especially the gift they are to me. To see things, do things, and experience things in a changed way sometimes brings our hearts to a much greater sensitivity to what/who most deeply feeds our lives, faith and capacity to love. God is good….  All the time! Thanks-giving is a must!!

As we now begin a new liturgical year and season, Advent takes up November’s great refrain – to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Christ our King with patient waiting and preparation for his promised return at the end of time. 

So, once again, we are reminded of the daily dance, of not knowing the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, with step of patient waiting to celebrate the birth of our savior and his coming again in glory with absolute confidence….  Living in the in-between times calls upon our creativity and committed faith to live The Gospel Way with repentance, hope, healing, vitality and a renewed spirit in taking our parts in bringing about the kingdom here and now.

Other news….  We have a couple of leads on individuals to help with our parish maintenance and cleaning needs. Keep your fingers crossed and your prayers coming! We will have a rectory technology assessment next week. Our parish audit, by diocesan auditors, will hopefully be completed soon. Significant progress has been made on initiating the interior and exterior repairs needed for our church. Interior repair work could begin very soon.

Again, keep those prayers coming! The Parish Council and Liturgy Committee have met with eager persistence to lead us. Finally, I don’t think I need to remind everyone much as to how financially fragile we are as a parish. Though we are not able to worship together in usual numbers, I have to ask you, in a spirit of good stewardship, to remember to send in your donations during these very challenging days. This can be done by mailing in your envelopes/checks, having your support electronically transferred to the parish (317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo NY 14214) directly from your bank, asking a trusted fellow parishioner to bring it to the parish, or dropping it off as you are able. My very special thanks, on behalf of us all, to everyone who continues their financial stewardship, those who have stepped up their treasure-commitment even in these trying times, and those who keep our parish family in their regular prayers! 

Onward and upward!!

Lectors ~ Please pick up your workbooks for the new liturgical year. They are on the first bench on the Baptismal Font side of the church.

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be December 8. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 15 and 16. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Sunday, November 29, after Mass ~ Special Program for Children over age 7 Who Have Not Been Baptized. We will have a combination of in-person, Zoom and at home studies for an anticipated reception into the Church with Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil 2021. Check out our Faith Formation page for much more about upcoming classes and discussion groups.

I love Advent — it is so different from the rest of the liturgical calendar and has a musical richness that I believe to be unparalleled. Many, many advent texts have been competing for the top spot in my heart during this pandemic, but none more than a simple carol written in 1977 by Marianne Misetich, SNJM. Sister Marianne died during the first week of Advent in 2017 at the age of 89. She was a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names for 70 years and was a music minister as well as a teacher and composer. Her Advent carol, The Whole World is Waiting for Love, can be found in your new Breaking Bread hymnal, #68.

We’re waiting for Jesus like Mary,
We’re waiting for Jesus the Lord.
Come down, Lord Jesus! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
The whole world is waiting for Love,
The whole world is waiting for Love.

We’re laying a manger for Mary,
A manger for Jesus the Lord.
Come down, Lord Jesus! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
The whole world is waiting for Love,
The whole world is waiting for Love.

Elizabeth

Please be sure to take an envelope from the Blessed Trinity “Giving Tree.” Donations will benefit The Little Portion Friary.

The Giving Tree ~ As we begin our journey toward Christmas, we’re invited to assist others. For several years, our parish has been doing this a bit indirectly by helping a neighboring charitable organization pay its bills (heat, water, etc) as it directly serves the needy. This year our annual Giving Tree will benefit Little Portion Friary, located at 1305 Main Street, Buffalo. Little Portion currently provides homeless men with temporary shelter and a meal, as well as counseling and other necessary services. “Shopping” with the Giving Tree is easy! Simply take an envelope from the tree located near the ramp door. You will see a suggested gift item on it (e.g., man’s winter scarf). Don’t buy the item—Instead, we ask that you offer the cash value (or a check made out to Blessed Trinity Parish with “Giving Tree” on the subject line) in the envelope. Return the envelope in the collection basket before December 25. Our parish donations are another way we can live out our Mission Statement, being a loving community that reaches out to our brothers and sisters in need. Thank you for your participation.

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

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

In Fond Memory: Randolph McGhee, 1932-2020 ~ Mentioned at our masses last weekend, it has come to our attention that Randolph passed away in early November from complications following a stroke. Randolph donated his body to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.Thus, a Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.

Formerly a faithful member of nearby St. James Parish, with the closure of St. James, and the merger of St. James, St. Gerard, and Blessed Trinity Parishes, Randolph became just as committed and supportive a member here.

Randolph always sat near the front of the church for Mass, week after week, and was easily identified by his unique attire…. always wearing shorts to Mass (even in the middle of a winter snow storm!) and his treasured Veteran’s cap. Ever kind, pleasant and faithful, his life is an example to all of us! The Lord bless his soul and grant him eternal rest and peace.

Behind the Scenes! Many Thanks! Think back to March 15. Little did we know that the church would not reopen for Sunday Mass until June 21st! We were in the midst of a pandemic. What an unusual time it was and continues to be! Daily Mass did not begin again until September 1. And then, on Sunday, November 22 we were in a quasi shutdown and limited to only 25 people per Mass!

Yet, in spite of a shutdown, there has continued to be ongoing necessities in the parish that require attention. On this Thanksgiving weekend, as we approach the end of the calendar year, much gratitude is extended to all those who have worked behind the scenes sharing their time and talent to keep things going. Here are some highlights…

To establish some level of connection with parishioners during this challenging time, Mickey Dick formed a Phone Tree for Sodality for members to call others and make sure they were doing okay, especially those who may be homebound.

Luis Clay formed what he referred to as the “Ole Boys Club.” He, along with Rafael Rondon phoned all the men in the parish to check in and to see how they were doing and if there were any needs they could help with. Throughout this entire time Dan Korchowsky has continued to serve the community through managing and operating the Food Pantry. Thank you to Dan who devotes much time and effort to this valuable operation.

To prepare for an eventual reopening, a committee was formed. Their first of several meetings was held on May 18. They were required to address and implement all the necessary requirements set out by the Diocese in keeping with New York State guidelines. Many thanks to Roseanne and Gary Johnson, Bob Heicklen, Jack Curtin, Pam Zanghi, David Folmar and Pastoral Associate, Pat Dyer, along with Fr. Victor who called the group together.

After each Mass the church continues to be sanitized. Many thanks to Jack Curtain, Bob Heicklen and David Folmar who have done this weekly. We also thank Pure Green Cleaning who occasionally will donate their services. They welcome newcomers!

The grounds and maintenance have had to be cared for throughout this whole time, however, we have been without a maintenance person! Many thanks to Bud Dick for continuing to assist with several church needs. He, along with Mickey Dick and Judy Casassa have taken care of planting and gardening needs that surround the lovely church grounds. Bob Heicklen and Gary Johnson were also instrumental in securing someone to cut the lawn. Luis Clay has assisted with necessary trimming of greenery. Thank you to all!

Operation of the church continues, many thanks to trustees, Bud Dick and Madonna Hartzell. Thank you to Bob Heicklen, Elsieta Chapman, Kathy Press, Cathy Cummings and Lorraine Riles who count the collection.

We have a beautiful website at Blessed Trinity. It has been maintained through the efforts of Mickey Dick who diligently continues to update information, place photos and include items of interest to inform our congregation.

Bible Study has been meeting every two weeks via zoom led by our Pastoral Associate, Pat Dyer. This has been a great way to learn more about the Word of God. All are welcome!

To prepare for the arrival of Fr. Bob, a number of parishioners spent some days helping to clean and tidy up the Rectory–Bud and Mickey Dick, Judy Casassa, Sr. Liz Savage,  Pam Zanghi, Colleen Schroeder, Nick & Drew Brodfuehrer.

Heartfelt gratitude to Jack Curtin who lends his services each day as he prepares for daily and Sunday Masses. He has been a great asset to Fr. Victor and now is of help to Fr. Bob. Sacristan Dan Korchowsky also devotes time assisting at Sunday Mass along with Lorna Cameron on Saturdays. Lorna also launders all the purificators that are used at Liturgies.

Many thanks to Mary Kresse who coordinates the Lector and Eucharistic Minister schedule. Thank you to all those who continue to proclaim the Word of God at each Mass and serve Communion. 

Someone has to wash all those robes and that would be Maggie Gatson. Thank you, Maggie!

Thank you to Lawler Brown and all the ushers who welcome and assist at the distribution of Communion and who lead in the exiting from the church. Thank you also to Pat Dyer, Pastoral Associate, who has been actively maintaining a valuable level of connection with parishioners, Roy Laciura who dutifully manages all the bookkeeping so critical to parish operation and  Secretary, Pat  Pendleton,  responsible for weekly office duties to keep our communication flowing. 

We are also grateful to once again hear music from the loft with Elizabeth and Luis Clay.

The Parish Council has primarily remained active from afar depending on email to communicate and inform. An in-person gathering took place on October 28 in St. Charles Hall and our November meeting was held via zoom on November 18. Our next is scheduled for December 16.

So here we are, at the end of November, with masks on faces and sanitizer in hands, practicing social distance as we come to worship God and be in the company of at least some of our fellow parishioners! Our Holiday Season is different this year, but we can still celebrate its traditional meaning and give thanks for all we have been blessed with. Let us give particular thanks for all the churches around our country, big and small who help in numerous ways to connect with others in the community to bring the love of God. We are all part of the Body of Christ.

We give special thanks for our Blessed Trinity Parish, for all the care that is shown and for all the talents that are so graciously shared. The Lord’s peace be with us.

Palma Zanghi
Blessed Trinity Parish Council President

Join Our Family Promise Ministry  ~ As a shelter for homeless families and recently certified by NYS, Family Promise of WNY is following new health and safety guidelines and cannot accept donations of home prepared meals. Instead, volunteers have become grocery donors in a food category assigned to the day of the week. Blessed Trinity volunteers did this on 9/15 and found it much easier than coordinating and cooking a full dinner. We signed up for a date on the meal schedule and delivered the requested foods during the day at our convenience. We hope more parishioners will be able to participate. Family Promise also needs volunteers in areas like tutoring and transportation. If you think you might want to help and need more information go to their web site at fpwny.org and click on “Get Involved” to find the grocery sign up schedule. Also, you may contact our parish coordinator, Amy Johnson, at 716-836-4694.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 8 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented many from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone, mail or email took on increased importance. Because not everyone has computer access, really important information is sent in a letter. If you have not received written correspondence from the parish since September 2020, we don’t have your address. Even though we are now able to resume Mass attendance, this may be a good time to ask yourself: Does the church office have my correct mailing address and phone number? (Important, too, for contact tracing). Have I shared my email address? Make sure that we have been notified of any changes in your contact information by completing this form. This is also a chance to let us know if you: wish to receive the bulletin electronically via email, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm; sending an email to blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com; or using the contact feature below to submit the information. If you choose either of the last two, please use “Contact Update” as the subject of the email or message.

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

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

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

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

Request from Our Lady of Hope Parish ~ Immigrant family in desperate need of single (twin) beds for 5 children. If you or anyone you know has any to give away, please call Deacon Ron Thaler, 716-553-6203.

The dated announcements below were all received before the “yellow zone” changes to pandemic guidelines. It is suggested that you check with the hosting entity if planning to attend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week of November 22, 2020 – Christ the King

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

November 22 – November 29, 2020

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

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

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

Beginning THIS SUNDAY, NOV. 22, a recording of Sunday Mass will be made available for viewing on a Blessed Trinity YOU TUBE channel. Click HERE to view.

Keep in mind, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on other Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect in our diocese.

Please pray for the health and safety of all in our community.

Weekly Activities

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

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

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

Thanksgiving Day Mass
November 26, 2020 at 10AM

Mass Intentions

The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, and the NEW schedule for daily Mass, as of Monday, November 9, 2020 is: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News from our Parish Community

Father Bob Gebhard

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

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

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

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

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

Christ the King

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

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

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

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

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be November 24. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 13 and 14. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Parish Memory Table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…Patricia Dyer, MAPM

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

Join Our Family Promise Ministry  ~ As a shelter for homeless families and recently certified by NYS, Family Promise of WNY is following new health and safety guidelines and cannot accept donations of home prepared meals. Instead, volunteers have become grocery donors in a food category assigned to the day of the week. Blessed Trinity volunteers did this on 9/15 and found it much easier than coordinating and cooking a full dinner. We signed up for a date on the meal schedule and delivered the requested foods during the day at our convenience. We hope more parishioners will be able to participate. Family Promise also needs volunteers in areas like tutoring and transportation. If you think you might want to help and need more information go to their web site at fpwny.org and click on “Get Involved” to find the grocery sign up schedule. Also, you may contact our parish coordinator, Amy Johnson, at 716-836-4694.

Is it time to update your contact information? During the past 8 months when the COVID-19 Protocols prevented many from attending church services, the ability to keep in touch by telephone, mail or email took on increased importance. Because not everyone has computer access, really important information is sent in a letter. If you have not received written correspondence from the parish since September 2020, we don’t have your address. Even though we are now able to resume Mass attendance, this may be a good time to ask yourself: Does the church office have my correct mailing address and phone number? (Important, too, for contact tracing). Have I shared my email address? Make sure that we have been notified of any changes in your contact information by completing this form. This is also a chance to let us know if you: wish to receive the bulletin electronically via email, register as a parishioner, or request envelopes. You can also submit the requested information by phoning our secretary at 716-833-0301 any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 10:30am and 2:30pm; sending an email to blessedtrinitychurch [at] gmail [dot] com; or using the contact feature below to submit the information. If you choose either of the last two, please use “Contact Update” as the subject of the email or message.

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

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

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

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

 

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to expect this weekend … Nov 21 & 22

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

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

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

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

Keep in mind, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on other Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect in our diocese.

Please pray for the health and safety of all in our community

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

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

November 15 – November 22, 2020

Weekly Activities

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

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

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

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

Mass Intentions

The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, and the NEW schedule for daily Mass, as of Monday, November 9, 2020 is: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 19 ~ No service scheduled

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

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

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

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

News from our Parish Community

Father Bob Gebhard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be November 24. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 13 and 14. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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

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

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

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

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

~ Elizabeth Clay

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sister Ann Marie Grasso, SSMN

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

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

Join Our Family Promise Ministry  ~ As a shelter for homeless families and recently certified by NYS, Family Promise of WNY is following new health and safety guidelines and cannot accept donations of home prepared meals. Instead, volunteers have become grocery donors in a food category assigned to the day of the week. Blessed Trinity volunteers did this on 9/15 and found it much easier than coordinating and cooking a full dinner. We signed up for a date on the meal schedule and delivered the requested foods during the day at our convenience. We hope more parishioners will be able to participate. Family Promise also needs volunteers in areas like tutoring and transportation. If you think you might want to help and need more information go to their web site at fpwny.org and click on “Get Involved” to find the grocery sign up schedule. Also, you may contact our parish coordinator, Amy Johnson, at 716-836-4694

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

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

Photo by Steve Mangione

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

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 8 – November 15, 2020

Weekly Activities

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

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

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

Mass Intentions

The regular schedule for weekend Masses is in effect, and the NEW schedule for daily Mass takes effect on Monday, November 9, 2020. The NEW schedule for daily Mass will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at 11 AM. There will be no Mass on Thursdays.

Veterans Day
November 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News from our Parish Community

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

Father Bob Gebhard

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

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

Zoom Bible Study ~ Our ZOOM Bible Study now meets every other TUESDAY at 7pm. The next session will be November 10. It’s not too late to join the conversation as we continue our study of The Acts of the Apostles and explore the beginnings of our Church and the Church of today. We are now reading Chapters 11 and 12. The same link will work for each meeting; click HERE to enter the discussion. If you encounter a problem with the link, use Meeting ID:762 8722 8149 (Pass Code: jLD8Gg). Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes. Those without computers might consider social distancing with a friend (wearing masks). Call Pat Dyer at 716-256-2586 for additional information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Patricia Dyer, MAPM

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Elizabeth Clay

Join Our Family Promise Ministry  ~ As a shelter for homeless families and recently certified by NYS, Family Promise of WNY is following new health and safety guidelines and cannot accept donations of home prepared meals. Instead, volunteers have become grocery donors in a food category assigned to the day of the week. Blessed Trinity volunteers did this on 9/15 and found it much easier than coordinating and cooking a full dinner. We signed up for a date on the meal schedule and delivered the requested foods during the day at our convenience. We hope more parishioners will be able to participate. Family Promise also needs volunteers in areas like tutoring and transportation. If you think you might want to help and need more information go to their web site at fpwny.org and click on “Get Involved” to find the grocery sign up schedule. Also, you may contact our parish coordinator, Amy Johnson, at 716-836-4694

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Duane Held

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

News from our Vicariate Cluster and the Wider Community

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

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

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

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