Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - October 28, 2020

Cancelled for today - Confessions are Saturday 3 – 3:45 P.M. in the Garden of the School of Religious Education

Weekend Masses: SA 4:00 P.M., SU 8:00 A.M., SU 10 A.M.

Daily Mass: 8 A.M. (M, Tu, W)

Adoration: Monday, November 2 at 7 P.M.


Greetings my friends,


On Sunday we had rain for the 8 A.M. outdoor Mass, Monday we had strong winds, and Tuesday we had smoky air from the OC fires. Still we  celebrated Holy Mass and all participated in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, a joy to witness.


Last Sunday at the 10 A.M. Mass I was sharing with the First Communicants the beauty of receiving the Eucharist, how it has the power to change our lives for the good. This change only happens when we take the initiative, when we live that Amen in our lives by sharing the good news with passion. It is so easy to condemn, gossip, share untruths, and call people vile names while at the same time receiving the Holy Eucharist and convincing ourselves this is good news. What would Jesus say to us in these circumstances? One word I think – hypocrites! Whom are we trying to fool? The Good News of Jesus Christ is good, not bad. Let us have the courage to share it joyfully with whomever.


Halloween is just around the corner. November is practically upon us. 2020 is flying by, an unforgettable year. Halloween has its origins in the Celtic Festival of Samhain which was a celebration of the harvest and the changing of the light of summer to the darkness of winter. The Celts believed that the spirits of the dead were free to roam on the eve of Samhain. The people lit bonfires and the embers were brought home to their own fires to protect themselves and their livestock. Hazel nuts and apples were seen as fruits of the after-world and were part of the festival. When St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, all the Celtic festivals and places of worship were Christianized. For example, in Ireland today, throughout the country there are holy wells; these springs in the Celtic era had medicinal and supernatural powers. When they were blessed, they became holy wells, all dedicated to Irish Saints and the Virgin Mary. So, the Festival of Samhain (Gaelic for November ) became All Hallows’ or All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.


Halloween for us as kids in Ireland was known as Snap Apple Night. I can’t recall trick and treat. We played different games: bobbing for apples in a big basin of water or hanging apples from the ceiling and being blindfolded and trying to bite the apple. We always ate a fruit cake on that night called a barnbrack and different varieties of nuts. I have very happy memories of all those special nights of my childhood with my siblings and cousins; so beautiful to remember.


With Covid this year our Halloween will be different, but we can all give thanks to the faith we profess and remember all our loved ones in Heaven watching over us.  We don’t need any bonfires to protect us; we have Jesus Who is always by our side. Amen.


Happy Halloween! 

Love and Blessings,

Fr. Gerard


Mass Procedures: If you are a Minister to the Sick, you may bring your pyx to share Eucharist with a loved one; please give it to a Minister of Communion before Mass. If you wish us to deliver Communion to an auto, please let a Minister or usher know before Mass. Please remember to observe social distancing as you approach to receive the Eucharist. Also, please keep your mask in place over your nose until you receive the Eucharist.


Opportunity Drawing: Join the OLR School on Friday! Everyone is welcome to our school raffle drawing on Friday, October 30th on Zoom at 12:00 P.M. (noon). Winners will be contacted shortly after the tickets have been drawn. The event will be recorded and shared with the community. Zoom ID: 961 7242 6122


Daylight Savings ends this weekend. Please set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.


All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day

November 1: All Saints’ Day is the day that our Church honors all who have died and now live with God as Saints in heaven. These saints include all whose who have been declared saints by the Church and many others known only to God.

November 2:  All Souls’ Day is the day in which our Church remembers all who have died as friends of God. We pray that our family members and friends may rest in peace.


Prayer Ribbon Wall: Often the parish has had a book to write down the names of our deceased. This year Our Lady of Refuge will have a prayer ribbon wall.  On October 31 and November 1 at all Masses, we will have tables with ribbons for you to print the name of your beloved dead and then you can hang the prayer ribbon on the wall (fence to the right of the outdoor altar). Members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Ministry will be there to assist you. The Filipino-American Ministry also helped with this effort. The ribbons will hang on the fence to remind us of our family and friends who have died and remind us to pray for them in a special way during this time.


Envelopes for the All Souls’ Masses are available. Masses during November commemorate all the faithful departed we have lost. Remember your beloved deceased. Check the small tables or ask an usher to provide an envelope. Return the envelopes in the collection. You may also make a one-time donation with your Faith Direct account or securely make a one-time gift to Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church by texting a dollar amount to (562) 414-6831; in Notes section, please add All Souls and names of deceased.


Register for Online Regional Congress 2.0 – REJOICE! On Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14, 2020, the San Pedro Regional Office of Religious Education will host a virtual conference. https://lacatholics.org/2020/06/18/rc-rejoice/


Free Document Shredding Event on Saturday, November 7, 9 A.M. - 11:45 A.M. Get to organizing as next month OLR School has a drive-thru event in Our Lady of Refuge Church/School parking lot (sponsored by Michele K, Broadmoor Realty Inc.). 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!


Mark your calendars:

Friday, October 30                  noon                OLRS Opportunity Drawing on Zoom

Sunday, November 1              2 A.M.             turn clocks back 1 hour (end of Daylight Savings)

Monday, November 2             7 P.M.              Adoration to pray for peace in USA

Saturday, November 7            9-11:45 A.M.   Document shredding

Wednesday, November 11                             Veterans’ Day -- School, Church, Rel Ed Offices closed

F & SA, November 13-14                                Regional Religious Ed Conference 2.0 (virtual)

Thursday, November 26         9:30 A.M.        Thanksgiving Mass


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)