Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - August 26, 2020

Confessions are Saturday 4-5:00 P.M. in Garden of School of Religious Education
Weekend Masses: SA 5:30 P.M., SU 8:00 A.M., SU 10 A.M.
Daily Mass: 8 A.M. (M, Tu, W)
Greetings Parishioners,
I hope you are all coping with the high temperatures and humidity; please stay hydrated.
The painting is on-going in the rectory. The offices will be finished today and tomorrow. Then we need to get the offices reorganized. Many thanks to Betty’s leadership and Ray’s help with this endeavor. Painting of the rectory kitchen and utility rooms starts tomorrow, and, after that, the two-room suite off the kitchen will be painted. Slowly we are getting the rectory up to standard. Future plans include the replacement of the rotting windows and a new heating/ac system for the ground floor. It’s through your generosity and strict stewardship that we will achieve all these projects. Thank you so much.
I asked our Principal, Mr. Green, to share with you an update of the Parish school’s progress on reopening. Please read his message after mine. I have been so impressed with his leadership in these extraordinary times, and blessings upon our faculty and staff for their professionalism and determination. Thank you on behalf of OLR.
Please continue to pray for all those who are sick with Covid-19, those who have tested positive, and especially our healthcare workers on the front lines.
May God Bless you all, and may Our Lady of Refuge protect us.
Fr. Gerard
P.S. I took this photo of the Colorado Lagoon early this morning walking the dogs.
A Message from Donnie Green, Interim OLRS Principal:
Dear OLR Community,
As our school community looks to start the 2020-2021 school year, we are eager and nervous for what this year will bring. As I reflect on the last month, I am reminded of the Gospel when Jesus calms the storm in front of the frightened apostles (Mark 4:35-41).  During these unique times, it is easy for any of us to get caught up in the storm just as the apostles did. However, both our school and parish community are blessed to have each other as beacons of faith and hope.
Starting the year digitally is not the ideal way any of us wanted to start the school year, but we are more than ready to continue to provide a valued Catholic education to all of our students. Our faculty and staff have been preparing to meet the challenges that come with a digital start to the year. I am so proud and impressed by their collaborative spirit and persistence.
This past week, we had the opportunity to welcome our families back to campus for supply pick-up. The teachers met with the students and their families to create that special first connection. We all are ready to get back to learning! Our goal is providing a normal learning structure for our students. We even have loaned out over 15 desks for students to create a school environment at their home! I look forward to seeing our students on Zoom for morning announcements this Monday, August 31st.
Our school continues to work closely with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and public health officials. Currently, Los Angeles is not accepting waivers to reopen. We are working to prepare our campus to be approved to receive a waiver when that process begins. This will allow us to start to bring students back to campus. We will continue to involve our school community throughout this entire process.
Finally, I want to thank the entire Our Lady of Refuge Community. I am grateful for all of the love, support, and trust from the entire community. I ask that you please continue to support us through prayer. Please continue to pray for our school, the faculty and staff, our students and their families. Also, please be assured of our prayers and support. Thank you for your continued commitment to our community and the faith.
Mr. Green
Mass Intentions: Requests may be made for weekend and daily Masses. Please contact the church office directly. You may request Masses by mail and enclose a stipend; you may call with your request and then make your stipend through Faith Direct as a one-time donation with the notation that it is for a Mass intention.
OLR Gardening Angels:  Saturday, August 29, 9 A.M. to noon for parish gardens trimming and clean up. Bring gloves, hats, clippers, if you have them, and masks. Many hands make light work. We will practice distance trimming.   Call Steve Lang to confirm (714-600-0817 cell)
RCIA: Do you know people who are searching for meaning in their life?  How about inviting them to come take a look at the Our Lady of Refuge Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, a process known as RCIA.  The first step is the inquiry stage, where one can check out the Catholic Church -- what she does and doesn't teach. For more information, call Shirl Giacomi, DRE, at 562 597-3102. 
School of Religious Education: It’s not too late to sign up for Jr. High Religious Education (Grades 6-8) and Confirmation. We meet twice a month on Tuesdays. Register at https://forms.gle/cARY5qSA2cFb74X97

Called to Be a Prophet: In a world desperate for authentic leadership and vision, wisdom and hope, Called to Be a Prophet will focus on prophetic voices that can both challenge and shepherd us through these complicated times of work for reform and transformation. The specific voices we will hear include Joan Chittister, from her book, The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage, and Brother Mickey McGrath, whose artwork is a cry for justice. In the midst of a tragic pandemic, racial and political turmoil, violence toward one another and the earth, we will discover together the courage we need to let our own voices ring with truth and the determination to call forth leadership that can, indeed, build a better world, a new creation. Brother Mickey McGrath and Sister Mary Ellen Plumb will co-facilitate this e-Course, weaving prophetic wisdom, art and stories with prayer, reflection, discussion and questions. New material will be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; you will receive an email alert when the new content is posted. Joan Chittister’s book, The Time is Now, is the basis for the e-Course. When you register you will receive a $2.00 off coupon good when you purchase The Time is Now at Benetvision. This three-week e-Course runs September 21-October 9. You will have access to this e-Course for six months after the course concludes. ($20.00) Contact Shirl Giacomi, DRE, at 562-597-3102 for registration information.


Blood Drive: The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a blood drive on Monday, September 21, 2-8 P.M., at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 9847 Artesia Blvd., Bellflower. To make an appointment, sign up online at www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: BellflowerKofC or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). NEW! All blood donations are now tested for COVID-19 antibodies. redcrossblood.org/antibodytesting. Streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment.
OLR Church Office (562) 498-6641 CLOSED voice messages and email checked regularly
5195 Stearns Street, Long Beach, CA 90815-2901
Betty Guevara, Parish Secretary -- betty@start.olrs.org
Shirl Giacomi, Director of Religious Education -- dre@start.olrs.org
(562) 597-3102           9 A.M. -- 3 P.M. (M-F)
Donnie Green, OLRS Interim Principal -- principal@start.olrs.org
OLR Catholic School -- (562) 597-0819          7:30 A.M. -- 3 P.M. (M-F)
5210 E. Los Coyotes Diagonal, Long Beach, CA  90815
Team Refuge -- Tony McKeon, Coordinator (949) 874-6097
Faith Direct -- https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/CA966  or the app Faith Direct – eGiving for Churches
Realm -- https://onrealm.org (to access to your account) or the app Connect – our Church Community, ACS Technology Group (Realm Connect)