Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - October 7, 2020

Confessions are Saturday 4 -- 5:00 P.M. in the Garden of the 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 my good friends,


Last Sunday, October 4th, Pope Francis signed his new encyclical Fratelli Tutti at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi. As you know, the Pope has been inspired by St. Francis all these years of his pontificate, this humble but wise saint who had the courage to challenge in his time the importance of good relations between peoples and different faith traditions. St Francis of Assisi built bridges of communication and took unbelievable risks in that endeavor, always in love of neighbor. In a way we have experienced a similar witness from Pope Francis in his outreach to the poor, the marginalized, and the forgotten, a lone voice in our world today, just like Jesus Christ’s lone voice for the poor in his time.


This new encyclical which focuses on fraternal love of all peoples of our world is a wake-up call to a fragmented society which needs heartfelt healing. It is a challenge for us Catholics to love all our neighbors as ourselves; it is a challenge to leaders of nations to look out for those who are forgotten by society; it is a challenge to politicians to treat one another with respect and dignity; it is a challenge for all of us to cast out aggressive behavior against another who may look different than us; it is a challenge for the rich to share with the poor.


This encyclical is the Good News for our time; our fragile earth needs it.


One thing we have learned about Coronavirus is our failure in controlling it. Each nation tried to do it alone. Look at the devastating results. Here in USA over 200,000 dead, a major pro-life issue, even one death is a pro-life issue, and the virus is increasing in more than 30 states. Still people deny it!


If we are not willing to  connect with one another or reach out beyond the borders of nations, our world will never enjoy peace. Pope Francis is challenging all nations of the world to open their eyes and ears to the reality around us, to the strife and fear, to the divisive and hateful rhetoric, to the total lack of respect for one another, and to our abandonment of the poor in society.


Pope Francis’s lone voice to the world is a testament to Jesus Christ Who experienced persecution from the religious leaders and those who put the law over humanity any time He did a good act for humanity.


I urge you to prayerfully read a summary of this powerful encyclical from the Vatican News attached to this message and I pray you are all well and full of the Holy Spirit. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-10/fratelli-tutti-pope-fraternity-social-friendship-short-summary.html


Fr. Bill and I are keeping well and happy and full of life. We both thank God for all of you and our beautiful faith-filled parish on this Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.



Fr. Gerard


Fall Opportunity raffle tickets are still available!   Each ticket costs $5.  Proceeds will help the school purchase PPE equipment for the classrooms and provide financial aid to deserving families.  The top three winning tickets will be awarded $1,000, $500, and $250 respectively. Tickets will be available Sunday, October 11, following the 10 A.M. Mass.  Tickets can also be purchased in the school office or over the phone (562-597-0819) Monday to Thursday, 7:30 A.M. -- 3:00 P.M., or Friday from 7:30 A.M. -- 1 P.M. The last day to purchase tickets is Thursday, October 22nd.  The drawing will take place on Friday, October 30th, and the winners will be notified shortly thereafter.  GOOD LUCK!!   


Priest Retirement Fund: In 2020, as an Archdiocese, we are blessed with 936 working and active priests, but more than a third of them are past the retirement age of 65. Your gift is a meaningful and true blessing for the care and comfort of our spiritual fathers as they enter the later chapters in life. We have been unconditionally blessed by their wisdom, faith, guidance and love and now it is our opportunity to bless them. Thank you for your generosity.

Blessings, Dee Smith, Director of Annual Appeals To make your gift online: https://www.givecentral.org/appeals-form-registration/acp5c93ce7b02d9e/user/guest  To make your gift over the phone, call (213) 637-7672. To make your gift by mail: Priest Retirement Fund, Department of Annual Appeals, 3424 Wilshire Blvd | 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010


Free Document Shredding Event on Saturday, November 7, 9 -- 11:45 A.M. Tired of those old documents collecting dust and taking up space? Ready to get rid of them once and for all? But you want to do it safely and efficiently? Well, we have the answer to your problem. Get to organizing as next month OLR School has a drive-thru event in the Our Lady of Refuge parking lot (sponsored by Michele K, Broadmoor Realty Inc.). Enter on the Stearns side of the parking lot and exit on the Los Coyotes Diagonal side. You can dump your docs in the handy dandy shredding truck. (If you need some help, we will have a small crew of volunteers). And please don’t forget to wear your mask and keep some distance from the person in line in front of you. Thank you for your support! Please note: We are unable to take your bags and boxes, just your unwanted documents. We look forward to seeing you there! Donations are welcome and will go to the OLR Parish TK-8 School https://betterlivinginlongbeach.com/free-shred-e-waste-long-beach/


RCIA: Do you know people who are searching for meaning in their life?  How about inviting them to look at the Our Lady of Refuge Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults? RCIA begins with Inquiry held on Saturday evenings after 5:30 P.M. Mass. Inquiry is just like it sounds: a place to ask questions. Contact Shirl to set up an appointment (562-597-3102).


School of Religious Education: Textbooks for religious education can be picked up after Masses this weekend in the church parking lot. It’s not too late to sign up for Religious Education classes. We will begin the second week of October and meet the second and fourth weeks each month. Grades 1-5 meet on Mondays from 6:15 P.M. -- 7:30 P.M., and Jr High - Confirmation twice a month on Tuesdays from 7:00 P.M. -- 8:30 P.M. Sacrament Preparation for Reconciliation and Eucharist is a two-year program and meets 6 times per year on Mondays, 6:15 P.M. -- 7:30 P.M. Calendars will be sent when you register   https://forms.gle/cARY5qSA2cFb74X97. Follow the prompts. If you need assistance, call 562-597-3102. We will begin with Zoom classes at first but hope to meet in person soon! Our catechists are ready and looking forward to a new year.


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-TH), 7:30 A.M. -- 1 P.M. (F)

5210 E. Los Coyotes Diagonal, Long Beach, CA  90815

Team Refuge -- Holly Cavallaro, Coordinator (562) 822-9191

Faith Direct -- https://membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/CA966  or the app Faith Direct – eGiving for Churches. To securely make a one-time gift to Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church, text a dollar amount to (562) 414-6831.

Realm -- https://onrealm.org (to access to your account) or the app Connect – our Church Community, ACS Technology Group (Realm Connect)