News, Pastor's Note

Pastor’s Note 7/19/20

Our Parish is mentioned twice in the July 2020 issue of 
  the WNY Catholic, on pages 3-4, and 8.   The link to it is:
  https://www.wnycatholic.org/current-issue-of-wny-catholic.  
  The copies of these articles are reprinted below.

Fr. Matt

Pastors, parishioners full of joy as churches reopen By Patrick J. Buechi Staff Reporter

Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tonawanda returned to the traditional indoor Mass on Sunday, June 7 at 7:30 a.m., the day after the announcement. “Attendance was kind of low, partially because it was such a last-minute announcement,” said Father Matt Nycz, pastor. “Almost nobody knew about it. The announcement came out Saturday and, of course, there was no way to notify people easily.” The parish taped off two-thirds of its pews to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Father Nycz does not expect the church to exceed the 25 percent cap within the next few weeks. “People are afraid and still kind of uncertain,” he said. “To bring people back there’s going to be some readjustment. Perception of safety, I think that’s the key.” The parish has also been conducting Masses outdoors while the church itself was being prepared. “They loved it. We’re doing it again this Corpus Christi Sunday,” he said. One of the benefits of outdoor Masses is that there are no capacity limits. “People enjoy the outdoors. Plus, they’re going to get some vitamin D from the sun.”

Tonawanda parish celebrates Feast of Corpus Christi By Dan Cappellazzo Staff Photographer

While others carry their own crosses or the burdens of the past, Father Matt Nycz openly carried hope in the form of the Eucharist. On Corpus Christi Sunday, the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish walked the streets of his Tonawanda neighborhood in an individual Corpus Christi procession with Eucharist in the monstrance. “Although this was not an organized group event, over 30 people prayerfully followed – respecting proper physical distancing and face masks requirements,” Father Nycz said. “It is such a proof that God can draw good out of the COVID-19 evil. Perhaps this is the start of a new Corpus Christi parish custom.” The three-mile walk processed through the streets within the parish boundaries, beginning and ending at the church located about two blocks north of Kenmore Avenue on Claremont Avenue. Al-though this was not an organized event, parishioners and members of the community followed on the public sidewalks. Some participants gave a freewill donation for diocesan Catholic Charities Appeal on behalf of the parish to help the needy. “In these challenging times, we as Christians can help with the most powerful defenses we have at our disposal – prayer, forgiveness and love. Inspired by one of our parish families and by the Holy Spirit, we are starting a new prayer initiative, which we open to all parishioners and all Catholics from Western New York,” Father Nycz explained.