Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - May 27, 2020

Greetings my good friends,

During the week I received a Fathers’ Day card from an elder parishioner for Fr. Bill and me with her parish donation. It was such a joy to hear from Mary who often attended the 9:30 A.M. in the past. When I arrived here in September 2018, she introduced herself to me and I realized immediately she was from Ireland, a kindred spirit.

 Since that encounter, twice monthly Mary baked Irish bread for the two Irish Priests and also gifted us Seville orange marmalade which is also very popular in Ireland. I always enjoyed receiving these gifts from her, knowing that after Mass delicious fresh bread and coffee were waiting for me.

 In her card Mary wished us well with prayers and mentioned she had no computer, emails or a cell phone so she missed Church a lot. When her neighbor found out that Mary was missing Mass, she invited her into her home to watch on her computer. Mary added her neighbor is not Catholic!

 I was struck by this act of neighborly love for one in need, a true act of kindness. This is definitely Good News in action and often it takes a non-Catholic to show us the Way of The Lord.

 Let us all be open to doing acts of kindness to our neighbor. Mary’s act of kindness to Fr. Bill and me in turn initiated an act of kindness upon her from her neighbor. Know that the Lord is always looking out for us, guiding us, blessing us, and loving us. God wants us to do the same to others

 Next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost and it’s amazing we celebrated all the Easter Season virtually.

 I would like all our parishioners to put a red decoration on the front door of your home, signifying the tongues of fire of the Spirit which was gifted upon the Apostles on that first Pentecost.  This Spirit is gifted upon us as well -- wear red. If you can send pictures into the OLR Facebook page or our website, please do so.

 I attended a zoom meeting on Tuesday night with the catechists and Confirmation candidates and shared a little about the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I was so impressed with all our young people present at that meeting. Their faith in Jesus Christ was so important. Good News again in action!

 We received the Archdiocesan guidelines on re-opening churches. I have a committee looking into how we plan on re-opening OLR. The Regional Bishop must approve our plan before we can open the church for prayers and Masses. Please be patient as we move forward.

Thanks to all of you who support your parish financially; please continue.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement.

We will get through all this.


 Fr. Gerard

 Please remember in your prayers all those afflicted with COVID-19 and the sick, Msgr. Jim Gehl and Melchiades Pangilinan Nabong; all first responders, medical personnel, and essential workers.  

 Team Refuge -- Putting our faith into practice, a group of parishioners (Team Refuge) is continuing to stay in touch with well over 100 of our seniors during these difficult times.  If anyone reading this needs help with something (like getting meals or prescriptions delivered, or a quick ride somewhere), please contact our Team Refuge coordinator at (949) 874-6097.

 Federal Census -- While you’re staying home to save lives, please complete the census to fund our future. An accurate and complete count will help Long Beach recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Respond TODAY at www.my2020census.gov or call toll free at (844) 330-2020. Be counted, Long Beach!

 Parish Support: As we plan to reopen our church, we still need your continued financial support. Please send/deliver your donations to the church office mailbox or join Faith Direct for automatic giving through your bank or credit card. To date, 188 have registered. Thank you so much. Our goal is 250 enrollees. Can you join the challenge to meet our goal? https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/CA966

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

5195 Stearns Street, Long Beach, CA 90815-2901

OLR website -- https://www.ourladyofrefuge.org/

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

Shirl Giacomi, Director of Religious Education -- dre@start.olrs.org

(562) 597-3102 -- voice messages only

Tricia Holmquist, School Principal -- principal@start.olrs.org

(562) 597-0819 -- voice messages only

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

Faith Direct -- Enroll at https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/CA966

 Some free apps to keep you connected:

Remind: School Communication – connects to School of Religious Education classes

New Missal – Daily Mass with readings and reflections

Laudate (has everything – Mass, rosary, Bible, Stations of the Cross and much more)

Faith Direct – eGiving for Churches

Connect – our Church Community, ACS Technology Group (Realm Connect)