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Bulletin message for weekend of April 4-5: Today is Appeal Sunday. Haven’t donated yet to the 2020 Appeal? Now is a great time! The annual Appeal supports many of Catholic Charities programs and services, like basic needs assistance and counseling, and a number of ministries through the Fund for the Faith, including campus ministries, Apostolate for the Deaf and the Hospital Apostolate. If you’re ready to make a positive impact in Western New York, think of all those served by Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith and make a contribution today. No matter the amount, your gift makes a difference. Make a secure donation online at www.ccwny.org/donation or by calling 716-218-1400. Think of Me.

Pickle Jar Challenge. Shortly after Appeal 2020 began, we received a donation in the form of a pickle jar from a man named Bill. During his walks to and from work, Bill said he started paying attention to the loose change he found on the ground and also to the bottles and cans he would come across. He thought of times in his life when he could have been kinder and wasn’t, so to do some good he started picking up the loose change and recyclables. He then put the change and money from redeeming the recyclables into a jar for Catholic Charities. He added that when he noticed the jar wasn’t full, he had faith and suddenly he noticed more coins and cans. Bill’s pickle jar this year amounted to $173.41. Inspired by Bill’s great work of charity, we challenge YOU to start your own Pickle Jar Challenge by collecting coins and dollar bills in pickle jars in support of Appeal 2020. Interested in getting started and receiving a pickle jar for your challenge? Call Catholic Charities at 716-218-1400, ext. 2020. Think of Me.

ALL Catholic Cemeteries Grief Support Programs will be cancelled through April 19th due to the recent coronavirus news developments. We hope to resume with the April 20th lecture series at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish school hall with Laurie Menzies’ presentation at 4 pm on “Elder Law and Longevity.” Please note: The “Music and Memories” service for April 2nd at Mt. Olivet Cemetery and April 4 at Holy Cross Cemetery are postponed and will be rescheduled. The March 16 “Springtime Grief Relief” presentation with Laurie Johnston Stickney will be rescheduled for Monday, June 1 and the April 7 “Start with Sleep” presentation with Soda Kuczkowski will be rescheduled. Thank you for understanding. For more information on Grief Support or for questions, call Marianne at Mount Olivet Cemetery at 716-873-6500.

Solemn Vespers on Sunday, March 29 at 5 pm at Christ the King Seminary, St. John Vianney Main Chapel, 711 Knox Rd., East Aurora. Come and pray with us this unique form of Vespers, also called evening prayer. Vespers is part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the series of psalms, prayers and readings for different parts of the day. The Liturgy of the Hours is often said to be the heartbeat and universal prayer of the Church. Observed worldwide by religious communities, priests, deacons and lay members of the Body of Christ. When praying this liturgy in its solemn form, one joins the worldwide community entering into the psalms, passages from sacred scripture, ancient prayers, and hymns sung to God as an offering of praise and love. For more information, contact Fr. John Adams at 716-655-6406 or jadams@cks.edu.

“Spring Passion” Concert performed by the Ars Nova Musicians Chamber Orchestra on March 29 at 3 pm at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1029 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Under the direction of Donna Lorenzo, this Lenten concert features the works of Bach, Elgar and Hayden’s “The Seven Last Words of Christ.” Free parking available in the lot behind Catholic Academy of West Buffalo (1069 Delaware Ave.). Reserve your ticket at www.blessedsacramentbuffalo.org/upcoming-events. This event is part of the “Church on Fire: Stay with Us” lecture and concert series.

“St. Ignatius of Loyola – Then and Today: Ignatian Spirituality” on April 1 at 7 pm at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1029 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Fr. Thomas Slon, SJ, Rector of the Jesuit Community of Buffalo, will explain what is unique about Ignatian Spirituality and why it might be especially helpful to us in our time, as we face our own Church crises. St. Ignatius developed his classic Spiritual Exercises, based on his own conversion and experiences with prayer. In these Exercises, he distilled methods of prayer and a way of looking at life and the world, which we commonly refer to as Ignatian spirituality. The evening will offer opportunities to experience these methods of prayer and to engage in conversation around these topics. Free parking available in the lot behind Catholic Academy of West Buffalo (1069 Delaware Ave.). Reserve your ticket at www.blessedsacramentbuffalo.org/upcoming-events. This event is part of the “Church on Fire: Stay with Us” lecture and concert series.

“Contemporary Stations of the Cross” with live music and reflection from a contemporary perspective on Friday, April 3 at 7 pm at Holy Trinity Church, 1032 Central Ave., Dunkirk. This inspiring event, in a candlelit setting, combines the traditional stations with contemporary songs and a short reflection connecting Christ’s final journey to the cross with the challenges we face each day in our world. Contemporary songs by artists such as Billy Joel, Bryan Adams, Lauren Daigle, Eric Clapton and Josh Groban follow each station and reflection; songs performed live by Holy Trinity’s own musicians and vocalists. The music brings out the human emotion of each station in Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. All are welcome! For more information, call 716-366-2306, email allarewelcome@holytrinitydunkirk.com or visit www.holytrinitydunkirk.com.

Find Rest. Are you tired and worn out by life? Looking for peace in the midst of our chaotic world? “Come to me…and you will find rest.” All are welcome for an evening of prayer and music on Friday, April 3 at St. Benedict Church, 1317 Eggert Rd., Amherst. The evening begins at 7 pm with Stations of the Cross from Mary’s perspective, with reflections and music written by young adults. From 7:30-8:30 pm there will be Adoration, music and the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Take some time to rest in the loving presence of God and prepare your hearts for the joy of Easter. You are welcome to stop by for a few minutes or stay for the whole evening.

Be PUREly You Conference 2020. St. Gregory the Great is hosting a retreat designed for young ladies in Grades 8-12 on Saturday, April 4 from 8 am to 3 pm at St. Gregory the Great’s Ministry Center, 250 St. Gregory Ct., Williamsville. This is a day filled with prayer, music, Holy Hour, and fun activities. Learn ways to build Godly character, skills and “Be-Attitudes” to help live virtuously in today’s culture. Learn to love the word of God and live in the Spirit. Identify ways to discern truth versus lies. Registration includes lunch. For more information, visit http://www.stgregs.org/be-purely-you-conference-2020/.

Rosary Musical: Sorrowful Mysteries on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 pm at Queen of Martyrs Church, 180 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga. Quiet Waters Productions will perform the Sorrowful Mysteries in song, interspersed with everyone praying the rosary. This is a moving depiction and spiritual experience for all ages. The production lasts about 50 minutes and the performance will feature costumed participants accompanied with a sound system and special lighting. All are welcome; event is free.

Easter Egg-stravaganza Exhibit. The largest US collection of Polish Easter Eggs (pisanki): 3,000 total were created and gathered throughout North America and Europe by registered master artist Fr. Czeslaw Krysa. Palm Sunday, April 5 from 12-3 pm at St. Casimir Social Center, 1833 Clinton St., Buffalo. Symbolic Easter motifs on original ritual textiles, embroidery, earthenware and porcelain with traditional Easter food basket blessing information and items. Palm weaver demos. Free-will donation to exhibit. Bistro Café: specialty canapes and royalty cookies (mazurki), Paschal lamb cakes, beverages available. Local artists available to lead personal 30 minute trial tutorials. Register for tutorials only; call 716-824-9589. Limited seating.

Divine Mercy Novena from April 10-18 at St. Philip the Apostle Church, 950 Losson Rd., Cheektowaga. Deacon Robert Badaszewski will be leading the Benediction and Divine Praises (contact the parish at 716-668-8370 for times). On Sunday, April 19, Divine Mercy Sunday, there will be Rosary at 2:15 pm, Chaplet at 2:45 pm and Mass at 3:00 pm; celebrant – Fr. Luke Uebler.

Life in the Spirit Seminar. The Holy Spirit has given us gifts that bring us fully alive and able to live joyfully! Join us for seven consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 15-May 27 from 6:30-8:30 pm at St. Gabriel Parish Hall, 5271 Clinton St., Elma. People who have attended in the past have encountered the Spirit in a way that changed their lives. Come and see what they found. Each evening you will hear great speakers, talk with others and have questions answered, pray and, of course, enjoy snacks and fellowship. To register, call Sandy Swiech at 716-864-5583 or email sandys826@hotmail.com.

Spring Luncheon and Theme Basket Auction on Thursday, April 16 at Classics V, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda; doors open at 11:30 am, lunch served at 12:30 pm. Kick off spring with us at our annual spring luncheon, sponsored by St. Benedict Rosary Altar Society. Wear glittery garb and receive one complimentary split club ticket. Seating is assigned. For reservations, contact Mary Carroll at 716-836-0056; RSVP by April 9th. If you would like to donate theme baskets and prizes, contact Kathy Sieracki at 716-838-4792.

Chris Wilson Concert on Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 pm, followed by a reception, at the Church of the Annunciation, 7580 Clinton St., Elma. Chris Wilson has gained celebrity status for his vocally driven songwriting and passionate live performances. This event is open to the public. A free-will offering would be appreciated to help defray the cost of the concert. For more information on the Church of the Annunciation, call 716-683-5254 or visit www.annunciation.cc.

Divine Mercy Sunday – April 19. Christ the King Seminary is inviting all in the diocese to come and participate in the prayers and the sacred liturgy of the Mass for the Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19 at St. John Vianney Chapel, Christ the King Seminary, 711 Knox Rd., East Aurora. This feast day affords the faithful a beautiful opportunity to continue to experience the fullness of the Resurrection as the Paschal Mystery continues to unfold in us as the Lord promises to bring humanity to wholeness of life. St. Faustina described that the Lord revealed to her that He would pour forth His immeasurable amount of grace and mercy on this day. Included in this worship experience will be Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 pm and Mass for the Feast of the Divine Mercy at 4 pm. For more information, contact Fr. John Adams at 716-655-6406 or jadams@cks.edu.

Polka Mass and Dinner on Sunday, April 19 at Our Lady of Pompeii, 129 Laverack Ave., Lancaster. Polka Mass at 11:30 am, with dinner to follow. Menu will feature pork chops, Polish sausage, beverage and cheesecake. Pre-sale tickets only sold at the Parish Office or call 716-683-6522 for more information.

St. Teresa of Avila Ladies Guild A-Z Sale will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 9 am-2 pm at 5771 Buell St., Akron. Bag sale at 1 pm. Accepting clothing, household items, toys, raffles, and miscellaneous. Drop off at Church Hall on April 18 from 9 am-12 pm; Sunday, April 19 from 11:15 am-1:30 pm; or Monday-Thursday, April 20-23 from 10 am-5 pm. We cannot accept: TVs, computer monitors, furniture over 40 lbs., any item with hydraulics, light bulbs or batteries, playpens, car seats or dropdown cribs.

“Women in a Wounded Church” on April 26 at 3 pm at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1029 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Presenter: Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF. A practical program for the advancement of women into significant leadership roles in the Church is sorely needed – and now! Does such a program exist? Are there examples of efforts that have been successful in advancing women into new roles in Church institutions? Today, in the wake of the renewed sex abuse revelations rocking the local Church, this work has taken on new urgency. Sr. Carney will talk about how women are forming networks and linkages that will result in real change. She will also answer the question of where the spiritual energy and strength comes from when women face what appears to be insurmountable obstacles to equality in the life of the Church we love. No cost to attend; free-will offering will be taken. Free parking available in the lot behind Catholic Academy of West Buffalo (1069 Delaware Ave.). Reserve your ticket at www.blessedsacramentbuffalo.org/upcoming-events. This event is part of the “Church on Fire: Stay with Us” lecture and concert series.

Annual Luncheon and Basket Raffle – “Hello Sunshine” – to be held on Sunday, April 26 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Rd., Depew; hosted by St. Ann’s Sodality of SS. Peter & Paul Parish, Williamsville. Doors open at 10:30 am at which time all Chinese Auction and special prize items will be on display. Arrive in plenty of time to purchase and deposit your tickets as ticket sales will close at 12:15 pm. Cash bar available until 12:30 pm when lunch will be served. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Debbie Napierala at 716-631-9528.

The Strong Start Early Learning Academy at the Church of the Annunciation is currently accepting registrations for the 2020-21 school year. The Pre-K is located at 7580 Clinton St., Elma. New Pre-K4 afternoon class will run Monday-Friday from 12:15-2:45 pm; Pre-K3 class will run Monday & Wednesday from 9-11:30 am. Strong Start Learning Academy is a fun and Christ-centered learning community featuring programs such as Handwriting Without Tears and Building Blocks Math. The program follows NYS standards and ensures that all activities are challenging but maintain developmentally appropriate practices. For more information, contact Program Director, Carrie D’Attilio at 716-681-1327, email cdattilio.annunciation@gmail.com or follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Annunciation-Strong-Start-Pre-K-186615578614654/.

St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center – Niagara’s NEW LOCATION at Msgr. Carr Center, 620 Tronolone Pl., Niagara Falls. Temporary phone: 716-842-2229 (Buffalo Center). The center will be open Wednesdays 1-4 pm. We look forward to our new home in the Msgr. Carr Institute in Niagara Falls. We will continue to work for and with expectant moms, dads and families, especially those with unplanned or unsupported pregnancies. We are a 100% volunteer and nonprofit organization. Donations of your time and baby needs are always welcome. For more information, call the Buffalo Center at 716-842-2229. Donations for the Niagara St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center are to be payable to St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center, in memo line write “Niagara Area,” and mail to Office of Pro-Life Ministry, 795 Main St., Buffalo. Thank you for all your support to our centers.

Pilgrimage to the Oberammergau Passion Play – August 22-30, 2020. Hosted by Msgr. David LiPuma. Tour price includes preferred covered seating at the Oberammergau Passion Play, premium accommodations throughout the tour, daily breakfast, 8 dinners, deluxe motor coach transportation, professional English-speaking tour director, comprehensive sightseeing, porterage, entrance fees and more! For a brochure, more information or to RSVP to our September 30 tour presentation, contact Adam Stumpf at 716-862-7613 or astumpf@thetravelteam.com. A limited number of spaces remain!

Trip to Italy: Rome, Palermo and Sicily from September 14-23; hosted by Fr. Paul Bossi. Includes papal audience, flight to Sicily; leaving from Toronto, transportation included. For more information, call 716-461-9147 or email fprbss@aol.com.

Stay connected online. The Office of Communications manages and supports many of the online platforms and associated ministries of the Diocese of Buffalo with websites and social media handles. The diocesan website (www.buffalodiocese.org) features job and ministry opportunities, a listing of all diocesan parishes, upcoming events, and information on several of the diocesan departments that support parish work throughout Western New York. In addition, the Western New York Catholic (www.wnycatholic.org) website features ongoing and breaking news in the diocese.

The Young Church. The Western New York Catholic features articles for the young church in every issue. Look for “The Scene” which reports on young people’s faith in action, and the “Sound Board” where youths share their opinions on important topics and issues. Pick up the latest Western New York Catholic in your parish, at local Tops Markets, or visit www.wnycatholic.org. The Western New York Catholic is funded in part by your generous donations to the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).

Diocesan social media. You can follow the Diocese of Buffalo on social media so you’re up-to-date on what’s happening in your diocese. Follow the Diocese of Buffalo on Facebook, Twitter (@buffalodiocese), Instagram (@buffalodiocese) and You Tube (/bufdiocese). Follow the Western New York Catholic on Facebook (@wnycatholic) and Twitter (@WNYCatholic), and don’t forget to follow Bishop Richard Malone on Twitter (@bishoprjmalone).

Do you feel that you might be called to priesthood or know someone who is? If so, you might want to inquire about two discernment programs. The first is the St. Joseph Club, which is a program for high school boys who wish to take a closer look at the vocation of priesthood and consider the possibility that God is calling them to it. The second is the Response Program, which is for gentlemen of college age and older who believe that God is calling them to priesthood and wish to listen to God's voice more closely while benefitting from discernment resources and the support of fellow discerners. Both of these programs are free of cost. Brochures containing schedules and other details will be sent to parishes soon. Information can also be attained by visiting http://www.buffalovocations.org or calling 716-847-5535.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are in need of access to safety planning, spiritual care, legal assistance, limited medical assistance, counseling, law enforcement, the Family Justice Center of Erie County, Inc. “Where Families Come First” is for you. All services are free. All conversations strictly private. For more information, call 716-558-7233 or visit www.fjcsafe.org.

Pray for our Priests. The Marian Movement of Priests Prayer Cenacle meets every Monday morning from 10-11 am in the Parish Center at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 5337 Genesee St., Bowmansville. All are welcome. Please take some time out of your day to join us in praying for our priests. For more information, call the rectory at 716-683-2375.

If you been abused or victimized by a member of the Catholic clergy, please believe in the possibility for hope, help, and healing. We encourage you to come forward and speak out. Every diocese in the United States has a victim assistance coordinator who is available to obtain support for your needs, to help you make a formal complaint of abuse to a diocese, and to arrange a personal meeting with the bishop or his representative, if you desire. The victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese of Buffalo is Jacqueline Joy. The telephone number to contact Ms. Joy is (716) 895-3010. Written complaints can be sent to Ms. Joy at Catholic Charities, 425 Main Street, Dunkirk NY 14048. Her e-mail address is jacqueline.joy@ccwny.org.

Office of Pro-Life Activities - Telephone Hotline Numbers. Unplanned Pregnancy, Abortion Alternatives & Healing: 716-847-2205. St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Centers, helping mothers and fathers in need: 716-842-BABY (2229) Buffalo, 716-203-7593 Chautauqua County, 716-284-BABY (2229) Niagara County. Project Rachel, post-abortion reconciliation: 716-847-2211. 

Diocese of Buffalo Catholic Directory... The Catholic Directory is now available as a free download on the diocesan website. Published by the Office of Communications, it is the official guide to the offices, institutions, and organizations of the Diocese of Buffalo. It contains addresses and phone numbers for every parish, priest, deacon, and religious sister and brother in the diocese and is essential for anyone involved in parish ministry. Visit http://www.buffalodiocese.org/directory to download, view or print the official Catholic Directory of the Diocese of Buffalo, just one of the many projects funded in part by your generous donations to the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).

ProjecTruth is founded on the belief that as students develop virtues through character education, they build a strong internal commitment to making healthy life choices. ProjecTruth has reached over 50,000 teens across Western New York since its 2001 inception. Visit http://www.ProjecTruth.com or http://www.myspace.com/projectruth.

Make Your Voice Heard - The New York State Catholic Bishops have formed a statewide Catholic Advocacy Network of concerned Catholics who want to put their faith into action. Together, we can speak out in support of the poor and vulnerable, the sick and elderly, the unborn, children and families. Our parish encourages you to join this network. There is no cost. The easiest way to join is to go to http://www.nyscatholic.org to sign up. Or you can send your name, address, phone number and email address to Catholic Advocacy Network, New York State Catholic Conference, 465 State Street, Albany, NY 12203-1004. Be sure to mention you are a member of our parish in the Diocese of Buffalo.

PROJECT RACHEL is in the heart of the Church. Don't suffer alone; be set free from the pain. Many women and men suffer in silence from their abortion experience that is not easily erased. The Father of mercies is ready to give His forgiveness, hope and peace to all who grieve with this wound. The Project Rachel Program offers confidential, spiritual healing. Call 716-847-2211 and also see http://hopeafterabortion.com or http://www.menandabortion.info.

The Catholic Guild for the Blind is a volunteer organization under the auspices of Catholic Charities dedicated to providing spiritual and social opportunities for persons who are visually impaired. Volunteers transport and assist the visually impaired to participate in a variety of community activities. If you have the time to help out on a regular basis, or from time to time, please call 716-853-4424, ext 305. You'll be rendering a service to some very impressive people.

Crossroads is a Catholic community of single adults, forty years of age and older, seeking to share diversified spiritual and social needs and blessings. We welcome people of all faiths. Crossroads respects and upholds the spiritual, moral, and ethical teachings of the Catholic Church, including respect for life. Meetings are held once every other month. For more information, contact Barbara at 716-685-2818.

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