Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - Holy Week

Videos of Fr. Gerard and Msgr. Bill celebrating Triduum liturgies https://www.ourladyofrefuge.org/

Msgr. Bill praying the Rosary https://www.ourladyofrefuge.org/apps/video/watch.jsp?v=247072

 

Greetings My Good Friends in Christ,

We are on the threshold of celebrating the great Triduum, Latin meaning three, the three most holy days of the year for us Catholics. This Holy Week, like every Holy Week, we reflect on and contemplate our Lord Jesus Christ and his final days on earth.

Each day (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) teaches us about the unbelievable presence of God in our midst, a God who never abandons us, even to the point of death.

Holy Thursday emphasizes service and the need for all of us to serve one another with passion, like Jesus did. The institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood begin with Jesus’s command, “Do this in memory of Me.” 

Good Friday is “good” because Jesus died on the cross for us sinners, saved us all, by this one act of sacrificing himself. I am always in awe of this most solemn day, the stark altar stripped of all cloths as we listen to the Gospel and Jesus’s last breath.

I recall years ago in my former parish, as the people came forward to kiss the cross, I noticed a former priest in the procession.  He was moving along with head bowed and as he came to the cross, he lay prostrate on the ground in front of the cross. This act by him was so powerful; it touched my heart on the reality of life and death. Maybe this time was his time to acknowledge the broken body of Jesus with his. We all approach the Cross of Jesus in different ways.  We carry our burdens, our worries, fears, and doubts. Even though the cross represents death, it is truly the Cross of Life.

Even in this most unusual moment in our lives, I would encourage you all to place the Crucifix in your homes in a prominent place of worship and adoration during these days. The Cross gives us hope even when we might feel hopeless; it gives us strength and perseverance when we feel all is lost.

Holy Saturday is the high point of the three days, the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the journey of darkness into light. The Light of Christ is in the great Paschal Candle, blessed and lit in the darkness of despair, the light which leads us through the darkness of our lives, the light which lifts our hearts, the light which gives us hope. Let us all welcome the new Light of Christ. Let us embrace it with passion. Let us share it in our lives. Let us be Christ to one another.

Please follow all OLR liturgies on our website and FB page as all of us are in solidarity with one another. Please continue to pray for the parishioners of the parish especially our seniors, the sick, those who are alone, worried or depressed. Prayer for one another unites us in the Holy, the Sacred Presence of God.

On Holy Thursday we plan to post the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 P.M. on the website, Good Friday at 3 P.M., and Holy Saturday at 7 P.M.

On Easter Sunday we will have a prayer service and I have asked Fr. Bill to give the homily. Both of us will share Easter Blessings with you all at the conclusion of this service.

On a lighter note, I cooked for Fr. Bill today, another first for me, Shepherd’s Pie. It turned out delicious; you should have seen the big smile on his face after he scoffed his plate empty.

Let’s keep praying for normality. Let’s keep looking out for one another. Let’s keep being a family of Faith. Let’s keep the Spirit and Passion of Our Lady of Refuge alive in our hearts, souls and minds.

Love to you all,

Fr. Gerard and Fr. Bill

Pray for us as we pray for you.

 

During this difficult time, please remember in your prayers all those afflicted with Covid-19 and the sick in our parish. In addition, please pray for all first responders, medical personal, and essential workers.

 

Archbishop’s message of hope for Holy Week: “This Holy Week will be different. Our churches may be closed, but Christ is not quarantined and his Gospel is not in chains. Our Lord’s heart remains open to every man and woman. Even though we cannot worship together, each of us can seek him in the tabernacle of our own hearts. Because he loves us, and because his love can never change, we should not be afraid, even in this time of trial and testing. In these mysteries that we remember this week, let us renew our faith in his love.”

Spiritual Communion: “My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.” (from Word on Fire https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/)

From the Archdiocese:  Along with celebrating Mass online, Catholics can celebrate daily through the following ways and sharing photos and post with the hashtag #LACatholicsEnterIn during Holy Week and #LACatholicsBelieve on Easter:

Tuesday: (Holy) #GivingTuesday -- Make a donation to your parish
Wednesday: Make an act of perfect contrition

Holy Thursday: Set your family dinner table

Good Friday: Venerate a cross

Holy Saturday: (Holy) #SilentSaturday -- Light a candle and spend time in silence

Easter Sunday: Renew your baptismal promises

 

Below are Holy Week Services available on Catholic Television and live-streamed:

EWTN (Global Catholic television) http://www.ewtn.com

Charter Spectrum Channel 165, Direct TV Channel 370, Frontier Channel 285

4/9/20, Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper             

  9:00 A.M.     with Pope Francis in Rome

  2:30 P.M.     from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

  7:30 P.M.     from Christ Cathedral, Garden Grove

4/10/20, Celebration of the Passion of the Lord     

  9:00 A.M.     with Pope Francis (Vatican City) (9 P.M. encore)

11:30 A.M.     from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception    

  3:00 P.M.     from Christ Cathedral, Garden Grove

4/10/20, 5 P.M. -- Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis from Coliseum in Rome           

4/11/20, Easter Vigil Mass   

12:00 P.M.     with Pope Francis in Rome    

  5:00 P.M.     from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception    

  8:00 P.M.     from Christ Cathedral, Garden Grove

4/12/20, Solemn Mass of Easter Sunday     

  2:00 A.M.     with Pope Francis in Rome (4 P.M. encore)

  9:00 A.M.     from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

 

Archdiocese of Los Angeles (live-streamed with replay available)            www.lacathedral.org/live

  4/9/20     7 P.M.      Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper      

4/10/20     9 A.M.     Archbishop Gomez will lead national prayer on behalf                                  of U.S. bishops

                 12 P.M.   Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

4/11/20     8 P.M.      Easter Vigil Mass          

4/12/20   10 A.M.     Easter Sunday Mass     

 

To Our Senior Parishioners: As Father Bill and I say to each other every day, it's hard to cope with these strict stay-at-home and social-distancing guidelines, but we must.  With this in mind, if you need help with something, please do not hesitate to call and let us know.  We have a team of parishioners helping other parishioners with details like ordering groceries on line, getting prescriptions delivered, and getting short rides arranged with ride-share services. You can leave a message at the Church Office (562-498-6641) or call our Team Refuge Coordinator on (949) 874-6097.  Special Easter Blessings to our Seniors -- Father Gerard 

Your offertory contributions each week help us stay afloat as a parish. As we celebrate in a limited way Holy Week with the Holy Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) concluding with the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter, your donations matter. If you haven’t already, please consider enrolling in Faith Direct, a blessing that shows your continuous support of the parish. Please go to https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/CA966. Thank you to the 147 people using the convenience of Faith Direct for their contributions to our beautiful parish.

CRS Rice Bowls (Catholic Relief Services) – Because we are unable to collect your Rice Bowl donations this year, please make a check payable to Our Lady of Refuge and on the lower left write CRS. Checks may be mailed/delivered to Our Lady of Refuge Church Office, 5195 Stearns Street, Long Beach, CA 90815-2901. Thank you for your generosity.

OLR Church Office (562) 498-6641 -- voice messages only

5195 Stearns Street, Long Beach, CA 90815-2901

OLR websitehttps://www.ourladyofrefuge.org/

Betty Guevara, Parish Secretary --- betty@start.olrs.org

Team Refuge -- Tony McKeon, Coordinator (949) 874-6097

Faith Direct -- Enroll at https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/CA966 or contact Patti Strait for assistance at pattistrait00@gmail.com