Last Thursday the Catholic Church in many East Coast dioceses celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Risen Lord into Heaven. Forty days after His resurrection Jesus left our temporary reality in his new glorified human body, albeit not entirely. He chose to remain with His Church in the Sacraments, especially in the Eucharist.
Jesus told his disciples that after His ascension he would send them another advocate, His Holy Spirit, to guide and remind them of all that He taught them.
Next Sunday is the liturgical Solemnity of the Pentecost, commemorating the powerful descending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles in the Upper Room in Jerusalem 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. It marked the Church’s birthday. Filled with the Spirit, the apostles boldly proclaimed the Good News, even if it cost most of them their earthly lives. The same Spirit guides and sanctifies the Church today, especially in these challenging and faith-testing times of the pandemic.
During this COVID-19 social distancing and isolation time, members of our parish’s Legion of Mary Society continue to call our senior parishioners inviting them to join in a simple short prayer and offering help if needed. The feedback from this needed outreach has been very positive; some people expressed an interest in being called again from time to time. The legionaries will be calling more people in the weeks to come.
Catholic Charities Appeal continues. This year’s needs are more significant than ever, but the drive donations have fallen behind due to sudden high unemployment and future uncertainties. As an encouragement to continue contributions to Catholic Charities, I will personally come with the Eucharistic Risen Christ in a monstrance to bless the donor and their home from the sidewalk the same week the donation is made. When mailing 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.
The start of Masses with a congregation in WNY has been suddenly moved up from phase 4 to phase 1, albeit with strict restrictions at this time. That is a great news as people of faith needed to be allowed again their congregational worship soon. Active church participation has been proven to help prevent many people from experiencing loneliness, depression and other challenges related to social isolation, which could also result in suicide. Our parish needs your help now, and we appreciate your ongoing financial support more than ever. It will help pay the essential operating expenses and make the necessary preparations to welcome you back safely.
Our church remains open for individual prayers seven days a week from 11 am – 6 pm. Eucharist is exposed on the altar from 3 pm – 4 pm each day for private adoration.
Special Masses continue to be celebrated for all those requesting “Mother’s Day Mass Remembrance” prayers. This Monday as we celebrate Memorial Day during a Mass with no congregation, Msgr. Leo and I will remember in prayers all those fallen in service of our country, defending our freedoms. Planning ahead, we will also celebrate special “Father’s Day” Masses starting June 21st, for all those who request these special Mass prayers.
Happy Memorial Day!