Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - February 3, 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,


This week our parish school is celebrating Catholic Schools Week and, of course, with the pandemic, it is totally different than any other year.


Today was dedicated to the clergy, and Fr. Bill and I concelebrated 8 A.M. Mass this morning with our 6th graders and parents present. What a joy it was to see them, and I complimented them for making the sacrifice of attending Mass outdoors from their cozy homes. We also had a first grader and a fourth grader present, so the school was well represented. I know many other students, parents, teachers, and staff watched the Mass on Zoom as we gave thanks to God for the many blessings we have in our school.


Later with the help of Mr. Green, our interim principal, and Mr. To, our technology teacher, I went on Zoom and visited each of the classrooms. Another joy to experience, interacting with all the students from the high grades to the low grades, all so happy to see me and my two dogs, Bones and Elly, their first zoom experience.


Many, many thanks to all our teachers and aides and staff for your wonderful dedication to the students in our school. May God Bless You All.


Talking about schools and learning, my grandfather Tom Crean had little schooling in the late 1800s in West Kerry, but, despite that, with determination, perseverance, and endurance he achieved a lot in his lifetime. During the past week it was announced in Ireland that he would finally receive recognition for his contributions in the early expeditions to Antarctica. A new research vessel will be named after him, the RV Tom Crean. Please see the article below for more information. I know my late mother and her sister (my aunt) would be so happy with this announcement. My family and I are overjoyed. From a small farm to Antarctica and back again to marry and start a family -- a wonderful achievement.


Each one of us have unbelievable potential. All we’ve got to do is to discover it and let it grow.


Lots of prayers your way. Fr. Bill and I are keeping well and healthy.


Let us pray for all those who are mourning, especially Erin Shipman (our 2nd grade teacher) whose father, James Levins, passed and Meg Morrow, on the passing of her father, Dr. William Eddy. May they both Rest in Peace.


Peace ,

Fr. Gerard


A new state-of-the art research vessel is to be named after the Irish polar explorer Tom Crean. Tom Crean is Fr. Gerard’s grandfather, and Father and his family are very grateful for this recognition of a great man. The article announcing the honor is below. The web site is included so you can see photos. https://www.rte.ie/news/munster/2021/0201/1194408-tom-crean/


A new state-of-the art research vessel is to be named after the Irish polar explorer Tom Crean. The €25m vessel has been commissioned by the Marine Institute and will replace the current research vessel, the Celtic Voyager. RV Tom Crean has been designed by a Norwegian firm and is currently under construction in northern Spain. The new 52.8 metre ship will be based in Galway and will engage in important fisheries and oceanographic and environmental research. Capital funding for the project has been provided by the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.


The new vessel will honour the celebrated Kerry seaman and polar explorer. Crean was a central figure in the golden age of polar exploration in the early 20th century. He was involved in three expeditions to Antarctica between 1901 and 1917. Crean was awarded the Albert Medal for Lifesaving for his extraordinary feats of courage during the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition.


The design of RV Tom Crean incorporates the latest technologies allowing for greater fuel efficiency and reducing the vessel's environmental impact and carbon footprint. Project manager at the Marine Institute, Aodhán Fitzgerald said RV Tom Crean will greatly enhance research capabilities. "It will bring a whole new level of marine science to the nation. It's a bigger and more capable vessel than the smaller Celtic Voyager that it's replacing, so it will be able to handle bigger seas and operate year-round of the west coast. This vessel will be able to accommodate more scientists as well as newer and more specialised equipment and technology," said Mr Fitzgerald. 


RV Tom Crean will continue with the work currently being undertaken by the Celtic Voyager, including the Infomar project, which is engaged in mapping the seabed. Using underwater vision technology the ship will also conduct important surveys of fish stocks in the Celtic Sea, the Irish Sea and on the Porcupine Banks. The vessel will also be utilised in servicing the Irish weather buoy network and will provide very important training for third-level students of marine science and other disciplines.


Construction of the ship is under way in Vigo in northern Spain, with a completion date set for August of this year. The Marine Institute hopes to have the vessel fully-fitted and operational by summer 2022. 


A member of the project's oversight committee, Lorcán Ó Cinnéide, said the decision to name the new vessel after Kerry's polar hero is an apt one. He said: "It's a state-of the art vessel that is going to be conducting extraordinary, cutting-edge research of international importance in Irish seas. It's named after a man who explored in the most distant, difficult and unreachable places in the early part of the 20th century. I think there is a fantastic meeting of values in the selected name. It is a fitting tribute to the man and I think it's highly appropriate as an inspiration for the scientists who will be using that vessel."


News of the naming of the new vessel received a warm welcome in Crean's native village of Annascaul today. Local man John Hanafin said it was "high time" Crean received the "official recognition he deserves." "We're absolutely delighted. Tom Crean is finally being given official, national recognition for his brave deeds. Tom Crean is a legendary figure. We feel it's very appropriate that the new vessel will carry his name, considering the hardship he had to endure on the southern oceans over a hundred years ago. We're extremely proud in Annascaul," he said.


Please remember in your prayers the sick: Erin Fatur (niece of Courtney Barrett, OLR Kindergarten teacher), Mrs. Levins (mother of Erin Shipman, 2nd grade teacher), Fr. Bob Vidal (retired pastor at St. Anne’s), Neil Mancineeli, Brianna and Kiley Holloway (granddaughters of Sydne and George Newberry), Joan Feser and her three special children (Michael, Julia Anna, and Johnny), Ray Martinez, and Janis Krantz. Pray for the repose of the souls of James Levins and Dr. William Eddy.


Experience the Our Lady of Refuge School Difference: Enrollment for the 2021-2022 School Year is quickly approaching! Please contact the school office with any inquiries (562) 597-0819. Hear what current families and teachers have to say about Our Lady of Refuge School. Experience the Our Lady of Refuge School Difference today!

Why OLR: https://bit.ly/whyolr

OLR Faith: https://bit.ly/olrfaith

What makes OLR stand out?: https://bit.ly/olrstand


CRS Rice Bowl for 40 years has been Catholic Relief Services' Lenten program for families and faith communities in the United States who want to put their faith into action. Through CRS Rice Bowl, participants are invited to hear stories about their brothers and sisters in need around the world and devote their Lenten prayers, fasting and alms to change the lives of those who suffer in poverty. Visit crsricebowl.org for stories, videos, recipes and other resources to grow in your faith and in solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the world. OLR will have cardboard rice bowls available at all of our Masses beginning February 6. Prominently placing the rice bowl in your home so you contribute to it financially is a very effective way to donate and keep others less fortunate in your hearts and prayers as a part of your Lenten practice.


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


LA Religious Education Congress is fast approaching (February 18-21). It will be very different this year --all  virtual-- online. If you have never been, maybe this is an opportunity to go for the first time. I can tell you the speakers are tops. And if you have gone, you know that to be true. Of course, we will miss the excitement of an arena full of Catholics wanting to enrich their faith and inform their ministry. So, take a chance. Change isn't easy but with this pandemic, it is what it is. Just click on the link to see the schedule, the keynote presenters and the speakers. Bless you for all you do to carry on during this very strange time. BUT we are almost there -- back to the new normal when we are vaccinated and able to spread our wings once again. WE LIVE IN HOPE! https://recongress.org/ -- Shirl Giacomi


Covid-19 Vaccinations: The Pope and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have released a statement encouraging American Catholics to take a Covid vaccine, when it becomes available, as “an act of charity toward the other members of our community.”

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, those 65 and older. Appointments are required!


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