Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - September 16, 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 fellow parishioners,

We had a wonderful Sacrament of Confirmation last Saturday. Many thanks to all who prepared the two outdoor sessions especially our DRE, Mrs. Shirl Giacomi, and our wonderful team of catechists who prepared the teen candidates over two years, Katie Johns, Arcelia Diaz, Alice Galvin, Brittney Diaz and Vicky Sanc. To John McGlynn and the team who prepared our adults for Holy Eucharist and Confirmation, thank you. 


This coming Saturday we have two outdoor morning sessions for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. All the children from our school and religious education will receive their First Eucharist. A third First Communion will be celebrated October 3. Please pray for them and their parents in this very special moment in their lives. 

Many many thanks to Mary Ellen Faubert for her numerous years of service in preparing these children; she is stepping down as primary leader this year. Both her husband, the late Deacon Roger, and Mary Ellen prepared so many children for Holy Eucharist over their years here as a Deacon Couple. Let us give thanks for their exemplary service to Our Lady of Refuge and to the God of Jesus Christ. 

On Friday I celebrate my 2-year anniversary of arriving at OLR and what an experience it has been. I have
learned so much about your parish and I have witnessed unbelievable faith and growth. OLR is a faith-filled community with a long history and a great devotion to Our Lady. 

The first Sunday I celebrated Mass here, many of you parishioners were in a state of shock, but what I experienced was an unwavering faith and love of Jesus Christ. In those early months I was so impressed with the parishioners who came forward and wanted to help in building up their parish again. Many of these faith-filled parishioners are still by my side, striving forward to the new beginnings in our parish. Kudos to all of them.  You know who are; your selfless giving of your talents to the parish is extraordinary and I can admit I have never experienced such devotion in my 25 years as a priest, so thank you.

Today I would like to single out one selfless giver of time, talent,  and treasure to the parish, Mr. Jerry Mendoza. Jerry came into my life in the early months after I arrived. He told me when he was sick in hospital on one occasion Fr. Bill came to visit him and gave him the Holy Eucharist, that encounter with Jesus changed his life. I remember him telling me that story with his ultimate healing as a result and his vow to give back to the church. He told me he would do anything for Fr. Bill and me. I was so touched by his devotion to us priests and to OLR. Since that time Jerry has given so much time to the parish, all as a volunteer, he is willing to do anything.

Jerry covered the rectory office before Covid-19, 8 hours a day. He helps in maintenance constantly, prepares the church for adoration every month, helps with the recording of Mass during the lockdown and now is involved with the outdoor sound system at all Masses. He is selfless! Last weekend was so busy for him. He set up sound for both Confirmation liturgies and was present also; he returned later on Saturday to set up sound for 5:30 P.M. Mass plus he recorded the Mass for the website! A long day of Service to the Lord and his weekend didn’t end there. Up again early Sunday morning to unlock all the gates for Mass, set up sound again and attend two more Masses. This is our Angel Jerry. We are so blessed to have him in our midst. Let us pray for him and give thanks to God for his presence here. He told me the other day, “My mother taught me to give from my heart to the Lord.” We are all witnessing this silent giver to the Lord and we are blessed by his presence. Thank you so much, Jerry. Your Mom is proud of you in heaven as all of us here at OLR. May the Lord bless you and protect you. Amen.

Love and Blessings, 
Fr. Gerard


Elementary School Student Non-Discrimination Policy 2020-2021

The school, mindful of its mission to be a witness to the love of Christ for all, admits students regardless of race, color, national origin, and/or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, medical condition, sex, or national and/or ethnic origin in the administration of educational policies and practices, scholarship programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs, although certain athletic leagues and other programs may limit participation and some archdiocesan schools operate as single-sex schools.

While the school does not discriminate against students with special needs, a full range of services may not always be available to them. Decisions concerning the admission and continued enrollment of a student in the school are based upon the student’s emotional, academic, and physical abilities and the resources available to the school in meeting the student’s needs.


Archdiocese of Los Angeles Online Regional Education Congress 2.0September 19, 2020 -- Cost: $15 per person 

For more information about registration, session titles, full speaker bios in both English & Spanish, please visit our website: lacatholics.org/regional-congress 

THE MISSION CONTINUES: An experience that focuses on families, the “Domestic Church” and parents as primary teachers of the faith (3 parts) Pivoting Parenting Pandemic Practices: How to Shelter in Faith What does faith at home look like? Tim O’Malley and Suzette Somborger will offer a formative process of living faith at home with practical tools and resources to help guide parents and families along the way. Those attending these sessions will develop an enriched mission of sharing faith within the home, especially in the context of Covid-19. 


Blood Drive: The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a blood drive on Monday, September 21, 2-8 P.M. 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).


OLR Church Office (562) 498-6641    9:30 A.M. -- 2 P.M. (M-F)

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           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)