Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - January 28, 2021

Video of Fr. Gerard celebrating Mass https://www.ourladyofrefuge.org From the homepage, select the Video icon

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)


Greetings my good friends,


Over the last few days, I had two falls unexpectedly. The first was Sunday night in my rooms when I was startled, while dosing on the couch, by a loud noise. I jumped up in fright, slipped, and fell on my left side bruising my shoulder, hip, and knee. On Tuesday morning I decided to clean out the rectory garage and, when stomping on a hard cardboard box for trash, I fell again, this time bruising my wrist and elbow all on the same side as my first fall.


Reflecting on these falls it reminded me of my mother when she was in her 60s. She constantly fell as well, and at 20 I advised her to slow down and watch her steps. She told me in return, “Gerard, wait ‘til YOU are in your 60’s!” Last Tuesday after the second fall, I had to acknowledge my mother in heaven was right.


Right now, the buzz around is the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine. I asked Team Refuge leadership to do outreach to all our seniors to see if we can help them in any way. I have met some of our seniors, including Fr. Bill, who have received their first shot. Let us pray that all will receive theirs as soon as possible.


We cancelled weekday Masses this week due to the inclement weather. Also, all the tent tarps were removed last Sunday after the 10 A.M. Mass. Our plan is to put the tents up again next Saturday. Thanks to the volunteers who helped in this task last Sunday and those who will help next Saturday.


We are hoping that our school will open for in-person classes very soon. Presently we are waiting for a directive from the City of Long Beach.


My friends in Pasadena, Joan Feser and her three special children Michael, Julia Anna, and Johnny, are in the throes of Covid. Both Joan and Michael tested positive, and Julia Anna and Johnny are awaiting test results. Children with Downs Syndrome who test positive for Covid experience unbelievable suffering and pain. Joan texted me yesterday that her son Michael suffered so much this past week, with cramps, unbelievable pain, and no appetite for food or drink. I called them earlier today and prayed over Michael to drink and eat. Let us pray for this special family in the midst of Covid 19. Let us pray for Joan, a living Saint in our midst, for adopting these three beautiful young people as little babies and providing for them all these years with overflowing love. Over the summer they visited here for Mass many times, and on my birthday weekend in November they arrived with a freshly baked Birthday Cake for me. How special and loving is that?


As we journey to the month of February, let us give thanks to the God of Love, Who is always by our side in the good days and not so good. May our Faith keep us strong and focused on the one who gives life to all, Jesus Christ.


Lots of love and prayers to everyone.

Fr. Gerard


Please remember in your prayers the sick: Erin Fatur (niece of Courtney Barrett, OLR Kindergarten teacher), Mr. & Mrs. Levins (parents of Erin Shipman, 2nd grade teacher), Fr. Bob Vidal (retired pastor at St. Anne’s), Neil Mancineeli, Brianna Holloway (granddaughter of Sydne and George Newberry), Joan Feser and her three special children Michael, Julia Anna, and Johnny, and Janis Krantz; pray for the repose of the soul of Marcos Cordero.


Ash Wednesday, February 17: Masses and distribution of ashes are scheduled for 8 A.M. and 4 P.M.


Covid-19 Vaccinations: Here are some ways to register for a vaccine if you qualify for the current phase: healthcare workers, staff and residents at both skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, residents 65 and older.

  • Los Angeles County has a web portal that is managed by the state and books appointments online. A questionnaire guides you through the process. The Public Health Mega-PODs are large scale vaccination sites. They are drive-through only with appointment and are held daily. These sites offer the Pfizer vaccine. Use PUBLIC HEALTH LOCATION to see available sites. (When asked about insurance, Medicare is not listed; reply NO since insurance is not required) http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/vaccine/index.htm Individuals who do not have internet access or who have a disability can call 1-833-540-0473 between 8 A.M. - 8:30 P.M. 7 days a week for assistance making an appointment. 
  • The City of Long Beach has launched VaxLB, a web portal that notifies you when it is your turn to get your COVID-19 vaccine and when appointments are available. Go to http://www.longbeach.gov/health/diseases-and-condition/information-on/coronavirus/vaxlb/ to get more information and register. You must show proof that you are in an eligible group AND that you work in or live in Long Beach in order to be vaccinated. Those who cannot prove that they meet criteria will be turned away at the site. Work ID, pay stub, or letter of employment on official letterhead are acceptable as proof of employment. Mail with your full name and address, a utility bill, or driver's license are acceptable as proof of residency. Food or agricultural workers must show proof of employment (such as a pay stub) within the past 30 days. If you have additional questions, please email [email protected] or call 562.570.INFO.
  • Long Beach Memorial has a clinic on Bellflower at Stearns for those 74+ and LB Memorial system’s past patients. Appointments are available this Saturday and Sunday. You must set up an account as you book your appointment. https://mymemorialcarecovid.memorialcare.org/MyChart/covid19#
  • Orange County also has a portal for residents and employees. https://www.othena.com/
  • All Southern California Kaiser locations are vaccinating non-members 75+ Make appointments through Kaiser. Call 833-kp4-care or 866-454-8855. https://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine


Bereavement Support Series: St. Bartholomew’s is offering a weekly Bereavement Support Series beginning Thursday, February 4 at 6 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. on Zoom. The 10-week series is free and includes support materials. To register, contact Sr. Paulynne at 562-438-3826 or [email protected] by February 1.


Virtual Retreat: Have you participated in any virtual retreats over the last 10 months? It is surprising the value, even virtually! The Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra is offering virtual retreats until they are able to open for on-site events. Will you please support them and your own spiritual life by registering for either of these virtual retreats? January 1 – May 1 ($50) has 5 video sessions and February 5 - 7 ($20) has 3 Zoom events. The link below directs you to descriptions of the events and you can sign up from there. Please help support our Sisters at the retreat house. Sacred Heart Retreat House | Promoting a deeper spiritual life among God's people or https://sacredheartretreathouse.com/


All Souls Catholic Cemetery is looking to fill available positions:

  • Phone Receptionist -- answer phones and transfer to appropriate departments; obtain "first calls" from family when arrangers not available.
  • Front Door Screener/Greeter -- screen patrons before entering building; ensure they have an appointment & ask screening questions; radio departments regarding patron needs & appointment arrival. 
  • Service Director Assistant -- assist Funeral Director on services; greet/screen families, transport flowers to visitation rooms, chapel, and cemetery.

Empathy, compassion and strong customer service skills are a must.

Contact MaryAnn McAdams, Manager, All Souls Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, 4400 Cherry Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807   562-330-2973   


Diaconate Information Day: The ADLA Diaconate Formation Office will host a Diaconate Virtual Information Day on Sunday, January 31, 2021 (2 P.M. – 4 P.M.) For more information or to register, contact [email protected]


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 -- [email protected]

Shirl Giacomi, Director of Religious Education -- [email protected]

(562) 597-3102           9 A.M. -- 3 P.M. (M-F)

Donnie Green, OLRS Interim Principal -- [email protected]

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 your account) or the app Connect – our Church Community, ACS Technology Group (Realm Connect)