News, Pastor's Note

Pastor’s Note 3/22/20

Catholic Charities Appeal continues. When mailing your donation cards and checks to the parish office, please remember to include in the check memo our parish number “0507.” Thank you for your support of this needed cause.

 Last week the Apostolic Administrator Bishop of Buffalo Scharfenberger cancelled all regularly scheduled Masses and most of other groups events at all parishes in the
diocese to adhere to the then latest guidelines of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-19 virus infection. 

  All parish meetings and events have been canceled until further notice. I strongly advise seniors and anyone with
serious medical conditions to self-isolate.  Priests celebrate Masses for intentions scheduled in a parish bulletin, but without congregation.  The Pastor always celebrates one Mass each week for the special intention of all living and deceased parishioners of Blessed Sacrament.  Masses can be requested by calling the parish office or simply by mailing the request with the sacrificial offering.  The Mass date will be scheduled and advised. 
  Our church remains open daily for individual prayers from 12- 4 pm, pending any future schedule updates.  For now, the Parish office hours have changed: 
             Monday –  Friday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

  For more timely announcements, which should be coming every few days or so in the weeks to come, please make sure to subscribe to the current parish emailing list of over 280 parishioners.  It can be done by sending a “Subscribe to BSC Parish email list” line to bsctonanwada@gmail.com

With congregational Sunday Masses being suspended for the next several weeks, the anticipated regular envelope offertory will be way below the level allowing us to pay all the current bills.  Suddenly, our parish financial situation became very dire.  We will likely have to further limit work hours of the parish staff.  I strongly encourage all parishioners who can to continue supporting their beloved church by mailing their offerings, dropping them off into the OUTSIDE mailbox of Father Cotter Hall, or sign up to the electronic automatic giving.  More on the latter is on the parish website https://bsacramentchurch.com.

Since we are celebrating the liturgical Season of Lent, much of our enhanced prayer life can continue at home and online.  I believe that we are given this coronavirus challenging opportunity to explore the real meaning of our personal relationship with the Risen Lord, apart from the usual liturgies, customs, sacraments and sacramentals at church.   We are being called now to close our eyes, ears and other external senses, and go deep into the inner room of our hearts to encounter Christ living there through personal prayer.  Then, when congregational Masses resume hopefully in a month or two, we will have a much deeper, more meaningful, and more personal participation in the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising at Mass. 

  We can subscribe to daily updates, prayers, homilies, and Lenten reflections from some great Catholic sites.  One of them is WORD ON FIRE at https://www.wordonfire.org/, which sends daily Lenten Gospel reflections by Bishop Robert Barron.   Another good one is FORMED at  https://formed.org/lent with daily Lenten reflections.  Finally, there is the well known EWTN. If you are inspired by other Catholic Spiritual sites, please send these to me to share.
  A good daily prayer from the heart is one of the best tools to lower the chronic stress, which in turn is arguably enemy number one of our immune system. Social distancing and a healthy immune system are the main lines of defense against the COVID-19.  More updated information of healthy natural ways to deal with the corona virus is in another post.

  We invite people to submit or resubmit the names of the seriously chronically sick or terminally ill or requiring general anesthesia for surgery to the bulletin’s “Praying for the Sick” list.  Please contact the Parish Office, by calling 834-4282 or by emailing bsctonawanda@gmail.com.
 
Fear not.  Christ is in charge.  Trust in Him and your God’s designed inner healer immune system will fight to win. 


Fr. Matt