Mid-Week Message from Fr. Gerard - February 24, 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)

Lenten Abstinence: Those who are 14 years of age and older are to abstain from meat on all the Fridays of Lent.


Greetings parishioners,


What a beautiful day today is! I was up early at 6:15 A.M., watching the sunrise at the Marina; it was so beautiful to witness.


Living now in Long Beach for over two years, I have realized that the city has so many amenities which often people take for granted. I love the fact we are so close to the ocean. I often walk to Rosie’s Beach from the parish with the dogs. I have cycled on the beach path and  along the San Gabriel River. I have enjoyed many walks at the Marina and El Dorado Park. I must admit, of all the parishes I have ministered, Long Beach is the best!


It was a joy this week to see our parish school  coming back to life with children playing in the parking lot. Our school is gradually reopening, and what a great feeling for Fr. Bill and me with activity taking place once again in the parish.


I want to personally thank our interim Principal Mr. Donnie Green for his amazing leadership skills throughout this pandemic. His energy, positive spirit, collaboration, and wisdom has steered the school with confidence. I applaud him and give thanks to God he is here at OLR.


Many thanks to all who volunteered last Sunday to help with the reopening of the church. The committee has been hard at work, ordering new sanitization equipment and supplies, and preparing the interior of the church. Let us pray for this transition that all goes well and all are safe.


On Tuesday we had a Financial Council zoom meeting, discussing both the school and parish financials. Soon we will share the joint financials here in an attachment to keep you updated. Thank you once again for your generous giving to this amazing parish community.


Let us continue to pray for one another, especially healing for Janis Krantz and Ray Martinez, two beautiful parishioners in our midst.



Fr. Gerard


Please remember in your prayers Patty Lothman, Samuel Newman, and Jim Sablan; the deceased, including Fr. Bob Stein and Joan McCormick.


Welcome to Our Parish Community: The Rite of Election begins the period of purification and enlightenment for catechumens approaching the Easter Vigil where they will be baptized. Doug Alfordparticipated in this rite last Sunday and is completing months of formation; he is already an integral part of the community at the 8 A.M. Mass! Our newly baptized are Gwendolyn Marie Field and Ella Faith Provence who were baptized last Saturday .


Unsung Angels: During our many months outside, these parishioners have worked to provide a safe environment for you. Sanitizers arrive 45 minutes before Mass to clean and disinfect the chairs -- Merlita Eyssallenne, Rosiemarie Cruz, Doug Alford, Gerry Boyarski, Sandy Kobayashi, and Petra Ablaza. Our ushers arrive early and stay late to help maintain social distancing, mask wearing, and traffic flow -- Ron Hoover, Robert Bourguet, Carlos Pallares, Eris Lopez, Phil Sheridan, Doug Urewiez, Cleo Jacildo, Roger Otis, Ryan Otis, and Paul Czerwinski. Videographers arrive early to set up equipment for each Mass and then dismantle the system -- Danny Domingo and Jerry Mendoza. When you see them, please thank them for their service to OLR during the pandemic.


Call to Action: Last weekend Fr. Gerard invited parishioners to volunteer as we make plans to re-enter the church facility. If you wish to assist, please leave your contact information (name, phone, email) with the church office (562-498-6641) or contact Patti Strait (pattistrait00@gmail.com).


Catholic Relief Services: Are you using your CRS Rice Bowl? They are still available at Mass on the side tables. HUNGER IN OUR WORLD -- Jesus told us that whatever we did for one of these least brothers of his we did for him. Reflect on the challenge of global hunger -- it is a reality for millions of our sisters and brothers. What will you do to support the hungry in our community and around the world? Visit http://www.crsricebowl.org to learn more.


Stations of the Cross: Resources for your private reflections.


Weekly Lenten Fish Fry: The Knights of Columbus sponsor a Friday fish fry (4:30 – 7 P.M.) during Lent at the Bellflower office. Dinners are packaged to-go; pre-order no later than 1 P.M. each Friday by calling 562-866-9105. Location: 9847 Artesia Blvd., Bellflower CA 90706.


Red Cross Blood Drive: The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a blood drive on Sunday, February 28, 10 A..M. – 4 P.M. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 9847 Beverly Street, Bellflower. To make an appointment, sign up at www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter the sponsor code BellflowerKofC or call 1-800-733-2767.


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!

  • Los Angeles County has a web portal that is managed by the state and books appointments for both first and second vaccinations. 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.



Virtual Retreat: 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? February 26-28 ($20); March 5-7 ($20); March 26-28 ($50) ; March 30  – May 1 ($50). The link below directs you to descriptions of the events and you can register there. https://sacredheartretreathouse.com/


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)