***See Announcements added 3/26/2020 below...***
SCROLL DOWN FOR WEEKEND MASS SCHEDULE AND SCROLL MORE TO SEE PALM SUNDAY AND HOLY WEEK ANNOUNCEMENT [NOT IN BULLETIN] AND SPECIAL PRESS PRESS RELEASE (MARCH 30, 2020).
For Masses, Services, and Livestream announcements:
*Be aware... There are TWO YouTube channels set up as OUR LADY OF MERCY - LEROY... Once was set up a few years ago by someone no longer assigned to the parish. None of us can access it. So please... CLICK ON THE LINK HERE TO GET TO THE RIGHT ONE!!! Also... a difference:
The "good" channel has a "R" in LeRoy! The unusable channel does not! If you watch the recording of the Mass, be aware that there is about 10 minutes on the video before Mass begins. The livestream goes out about 10 minutes before the Mass with a white screen and the Mercedarian Shield. A few minutes before Mass, we transition to a black screen with a "stand-by" graphic. Watch the clock on the screen. You can watch the onscreen clock to set the Mass to the beginning. We try to start at the exact time of the scheduled Mass.
Mass and Stations of the Cross Recordings [****Note**** All Masses and archived videos are recordings of the livestream. The clock inset is there for you benefit so you can forward to the beginning of the Mass or service.]
Note: Forgive any typos, I'm working feverishly get info to you on the website.
This will not be the most convenient layout, however it is the fast way to get things to you. I shall place old messages at the bottom of the page. I am also inserting page breaks between messages for printing purposes...
Thank you for all of you help at this time. Please be patient, this is difficult for all of us. This content will change as needed. If necessary, print up this page. Continue to pray for those who are hurting spiritually, physically, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, and financially. Let us also keep track of one another, especially those who live alone.
Fr. Matthew H. Phelan, O. de M.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE FOR OUR LADY OF MERCY & ST. BRIGID - Live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube
Wednesday of Holy Week - Mass - 7:30am
Holy Thursday Morning - Office of Readings and Morning Prayer - 9:00am
Holy Thursday Evening - Mass of the Lord's Supper - 7:00pm
Good Friday Morning - Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Contemporary Tenebrae) - 9:00am
Good Friday Afternoon - Service of the Lord's Passion - 3:00pm
Holy Saturday Morning - Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Contemporary Tenebrae) - 9:00am
EASTER VIGIL MASS - 8:30pm
EASTER SUNDAY - 7:15am, 9:00am, 10:45am
****THE LATEST COMMUNICATION****ALSO REGARDING EASTER BASKETS****
April 4, 2020
Dear Priests, Permanent Deacons, Pastoral Administrators,
Thank you for your attentiveness to Bishop Scharfenberger’s MEMO of 3/31/20 advising us of the non-distribution of Palms this weekend in an effort to curtail the spread of the highly contagious Coronavirus.
Our Church and Diocese will do all that we can to cooperate with directives from authorities in safeguarding lives. I remind you of previous guidelines to be observed in Parishes:
It was asked whether Parishes could consider a “Drive-thru” or “Drive-by” Blessing of Food / Easter Baskets. This practice would be absolutely forbidden. We are not to encourage people in any way to leave the safety of their homes in this time of high alert emergency.
Fr Walter Szczesny
******REGARDING PALM SUNDAY AND HOLY WEEK******
March 31, 2020
The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo Office of the Apostolic Administrator
“Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread...because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
March 31, 2020
My Dear Brother Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Administrators and Associates,
These unprecedented days that require us to remain apart are, I realize, a difficult burden for our Faithful and for each of us as sacred ministers, particularly during this holy season of Lent. We are understandably “out of sorts” - deprived of the personal connections and the spiritual nourishment that the shared celebration of our sacramental life provides. Still, we have an obligation as ministers of souls - and with the care and concern of those we serve first and foremost - to observe the social distancing requirements that our public health officials have mandated during the ongoing coronavirus threat.
Recognizing that many of our parish communities are especially vulnerable given advanced age and underlying health issues, we must do everything that we can to prevent their exposure to the virus - even though it deprives them and us of the spiritual communion we crave. Particularly at this time, we would do well to reference and assert the passage from the Book of Lamentations: “‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.”
It is a source of great personal sadness for me that we will not be able to celebrate our Chrism Mass next week given the restrictions on public gatherings. I realize that this is a much anticipated opportunity for all priests to gather together in fraternal love and support for the blessing of holy oils and the enjoyment of the camaraderie that is so vital to our priestly ministry. We will most definitely identify an opportunity at the earliest possible moment to celebrate the Chrism Mass, when it is deemed safe for all and when the threat of the virus has subsided.
This also means, of course, that we will not gather together or celebrate publicly the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter. Similar to dioceses all over the country and world, we will implore the Faithful to unite together in prayer and in a spirit of true Christian solidarity during these most sacred days and to celebrate the Triduum and Easter Mass with us through the benefit of live-streaming technology. I will be presiding at Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil) from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Albany. I realize that many of our parishes also offer live-streaming capability and I ask you to promote this regularly among your parish families. We have posted a resource page on the Diocesan website at: https://www.buffalodiocese.org/livestreams
The live-streamed liturgies of Holy Week and Easter that I will celebrate will be available on the Diocese of Albany website:
and on the Diocese of Albany Facebook Page during the following times, with the exception of Easter Sunday:
A number of you have asked about the distribution of blessed palms, beginning this coming Palm Sunday. Again, we must make every effort to discourage people from congregating - even in small numbers at parishes. There are also risks in making palms available on tables in church vestibules, given the likelihood that they would be handled by many individuals coming and going. As such, I ask your cooperation to prevent any risk of this kind and to refrain from distributing palms at this time. Leaving the distribution of palms to varying discretion is simply not prudent in light of the difficulty of knowing how great the demand will be and how to effectively control the handling and distribution safely.
As we continue our Lenten journey toward the joy of His resurrection, let us unite constantly in prayerful support for one another with the sure knowledge that the Lord in His faithfulness will lead us through these days of uncertainty, calm our every fear and gather us together once again in His abiding love.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
The Most Reverend Edward B. Scharfenberger Apostolic Administrator
We have sent out the following press release:
March 30, 2020
*****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*****
CHURCH BELLS TO CALL TO MIND CURRENT CRISIS
On Sunday, December 8th, 2019, 10:30am the bells at Our Lady of Mercy rang out for the first time since spring of 2017, after extensive work to replace the mechanisms that ring the bells, including the motors, the striker, and controller. The ceremonial ringing included a blessing of the new system by Fr. Matthew H. Phelan, O. de M., pastor.
Since that time, each day, from 8am to 8pm, the bells have tolled in clock tower fashion at the top of the hour with a single toll at the bottom of the hour. In addition, the Angelus bell—a call to prayer for Catholics—has rung at noon and 6 p.m. [The traditional 6am ring is bypassed out of respect for local codes.] On weekends, a call to prayer rings 5 minutes before each Sunday Mass.
This past weekend, a request was made by some neighbors to alter the ringing schedule out of consideration for health care professionals who were working overnight hours due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pastor decided to temporarily silence the bells in order to consult with the pastoral council and weigh the opinions of parishioners and the citizens of LeRoy. After a weekend of consultation, lively discussion through social media, silence, and prayerful consideration, it has been determined that bells shall be programmed according to the following parameters:
While the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) social distancing guidelines are in place for the State of New York:
The first day social distancing guidelines are lifted:
Following this day of both celebration and prayer, the bells will return to the previous ringing pattern that followed the repairs.
March 26, 2020
PHISH PHEAST ON HOLD
Unfortunately, there will be no Phather Phelan's Phriday Phish Pheast this week, Marcy 27, 2020. Our Phish Pheast operation will be operating as an emergency meal provider for the Village of Bergen this Friday. In cooperation with Bergen Mayor Anna Marie Barklay, and the Village of Bergen, Chef Don Antinore, Deacon Dave, Fr. Matthew, Fr. Ken, and a skeleton crew of volunteers from St. Brigid will be offering a simplified meal to those who depend on programs such as "Meals on Wheels."
If possible, we will resurrect the Phish Pheast drive through for April 3rd. Stay tuned, and thank you for your understanding.
SUNDAY ONLINE MASSES
Saturday, 4:30pm (Vigil Mass [Simulcast to the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Love, Online Catholic Conference]) +Duke Merica
7:15am - +Members of the Lumley Family [LIVE]
9:00am - (Fr. Sasso will celebrate the intention for +Gilbert Andrade privately) Pro Populo [LIVE]
10:45am - +Mary Gattie [LIVE]
5:30pm - [Replay of the 9am Mass]
*********ST. BRIGID PARISHIONERS*********
March 21, 2020 - Afternoon/Evening
Earlier today I met online with those members of the pastoral council (and trustees) who were available. In our discussion, we decided that since there we have the physical distance between the friars (Fr. Matthew, Fr. Ken, and Br. Martin) and Bergen, I have asked the trustees and pastoral council in Bergen to assist in helping me to assist our parishioners in Bergen.
IF ANY PARISHIONER, or any member of the Bergen community, IS IN NEED OF NON-EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE (i.e. groceries, pharmacy pickups, etc.) TO ARRANGE ASSISTANCE DURING THIS TIME, PLEASE CONTACT (call or text):
Bob Bausch (797-9357)
Ted Darocha (737-6245)
In addition, we are in contact with Mayor Anne Barkley as we strive to coordinate with the local civic and faith community.
Also we have determined that it is prudent that St. Brigid Church remain locked for the time being (until restrictions are lifted that permit us to open the church). In addition to the updates here, please call 585-730-9452 or 585-330-6510 if you have questions regarding the church building.
*******LATEST FROM THE DIOCESE OF BUFFALO******* Fr. Matthew's comments in italics.
March 21, 2020 - Morning
[Due to the newest restrictions from the governor] if it is not possible or practical, [we] are not required to keep [our] parish church unlocked and open.
Our Lady of Mercy, for the time being will be opened at about 6am and locked about 7pm. The front doors on Lake Street will be locked, and the two doors on the parking lot side of the church will be unlocked.
After an emergency meeting with available members of the Pastoral Council of St. Brigid, we have determined that it is prudent that St. Brigid remain locked for the time being. One consecrated host will be left in the tabernacle, so Jesus wholly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity will remain present in Bergen. May he have mercy on us all. The thermostat in the church will be set at a temperature to prevent any freezing but keep costs at a minimum.
... directives for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter will be forthcoming.
This being the case... For RECONCILIATION... If you find yourself in a grave moral situation... call Fr. Ken 1(727) 403-1388 to inquire what you may do.
*******REGARDING ELECTRONIC GIVING*******
We are rapidly working to put our own options in place... That being said...
[This if from Richard Suchan from the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo]
Hopefully you are able to electronically communicate with many if not most of your parishioners, providing them comfort and support during these extremely challenging times. It is likely that many are dealing with high anxiety and uncertainty, including but not limited to financial set-back as 401(k) balances nose-dive and employers curtail hours and payroll as their businesses become financially constrained as well.
As you reach out to provide spiritual comfort and link them to various on-line resources and reference materials, I encourage you to incorporate a gentle reminder that they are not alone in their financial struggles as the parish grapples to make payroll and cover utility costs during this pandemic. If you have a means to facilitate electronic giving, this would be a good time to encourage its use. Let them know that the US Mail service is still operating so they can also send their weekend offertory to your business office. If your parish has not established electronic giving, on-line gifts can be made under the “GIVE TODAY” tab at www.frcdb.org. In completing their gift, donors should indicate their parish by name so 100% of the proceeds are then sent back to you from the Foundation.
Finally, if you do receive gifts as a result of this outreach, I suggest you immediate acknowledge them via the same method they were received, electronically or through the Mail.
With prayers for your health and safety,
Richard C. Suchan, CEBS & CWS®
The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo
*********Message from March 19**********
On Tuesday (March 17) , we received updated directives from the diocese. I shall share some of the "highlights" and discuss the impact on us at this time. The text from the Diocese of Buffalo will be in blue, my comments in black italics.
All efforts must be taken to reduce gatherings in order to present the spread of the coronavirus. Adults over 60 years old with underlying medical conditions are most at risk but in Western New York, a 5 year-old child and adults in their 20’s & 30’s have been tested positive for the virus. Each individual must do his or her part and be responsible by following the directives given to prevent, as much as possible, the spread of the virus. We all have a social responsibility.
The Centers for Disease Control have now instructed that people do not gather in groups larger than ten (10) individuals and to follow social distancing instructions. The places where people gather – restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms are now closed. Preventing gatherings is the best approach for successful prevention.
Directives and suggestions for Palm Sunday and Holy Week will be forthcoming as soon as possible. This is an indication that this could last past Easter!
The principles underlying the instructions for each sacrament or liturgy as detailed below:
It is for the reason of preventing the spread of the coronavirus that Masses and other gatherings across the Diocese have been cancelled. While priests are to celebrate Mass daily, those Masses MUST be celebrated WITHOUT a congregation.
Parish Churches should be open for the faithful to pray – again following social distancing instructions. Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, and other devotions should not be communal.
EASTER DUTY consists of the faithful receiving Communion at least once a year fulfilled during the Easter season. This obligation may be fulfilled between March 1 (First Sunday of Lent) and June 7 (Trinity Sunday). Hopefully restrictions will be lifted and the faithful will have the opportunity to fulfill this obligation within the proscribed time.
Catholic are also bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year. Many utilize the season of Lent to fulfill this obligation. Once restrictions are lifted, it may possible to offer Reconciliation Services during the Easter Season. [See below]
The document then gives instructions to the priests and parish leaders. All Masses, Communion Services, and Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest celebrated in public are canceled. All priests are encouraged to celebrate Mass daily WITHOUT a congregation (i.e. not publicly). The also encourage us, if we are celebrating the Mass in the church, to do at different times (i.e. we are not to do it at the same time everyday or according to some recognizable pattern). However, we are celebrating and fulfilling ALL scheduled intentions. We have been encouraged to Livestream Masses online. FR. KEN AND I ARE CELEBRATING ALL OF THE DAILY MASSES AT THE REGULAR SCHEDULED TIMES FROM OUR HOUSE CHAPEL.
CURRENTLY MASSES ARE LIVESTREAMED ON
Once there, scroll and look for the live streaming video. This is a work in progress, and we are getting better at it day by day. I will ask our webmaster if we can somehow embed the YouTube livefeed.
We have been instructed:
Please stop in the church to get a bulletin this weekend. There is a spiritual communion prayer that you can cut out and place in your prayer books. Also, at the daily Mass, we will try to put this prayer on the screen right after the priest receives communion...
This is certainly disappointing, as we were looking forward to the Archbishop of the Military Services visiting us to confirm our candidates.
This also is extremely painful to all of us, especially in this penitential season of Lent. We are diligently brainstorming and proposing creative methods for hearing confessions. Some of you have forwarded me ideas from priest around the country, and although I love some of these solutions, not every diocese has the same directives and not every parish has the same physical layout. In the mean time, if you are concerned about any serious sin, we will be available at the regular confession times. Canon Law provides for situations such as these, so during the scheduled confession times, this is the process.
Anointing of The Sick
If you or loved ones are in need of anointing in a hospital or nursing home, let the nursing home staff know so they can assist us in keeping everyone safe.
Our next wedding is about 5 months or so away, so we pray that this will not still affect us at that time. For wedding preparation, we will have to work out an electronic solution.
Sacramentals & Devotions (Stations of the Cross, Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Communal Adoration, etc.)
We will be planning exposition times. Our parishioners on social media will be in regular contact with me. Please check back on this page for adoration times. This will involve the simple exposition and reposition of the Blessed Sacrament (No hymns, incense, or benediction). Church norms do allow me to permit EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament in this manner when a cleric is not available. So, if I permit this--especially at St. Brigid--please do not harass the EMHC that I have asked to do this.
It is important for parishes to retain contact with parishioners. Now is an appropriate time to create parish phone trees, collect email address, advertise and utilize parish websites and other social media platforms.
Consider the following communications as posts or videos (if possible)
Live-stream Mass web addresses
Stations of the Cross
Sharing Daily Readings & reflections
Stressing Health Best Practices
There are other issues regarding employees that don't need to be shared here. If any of our pastoral council or finance council has any questions or concerns, you may contact me, Fr. Matthew.
The lack of offertory obviously will have a serious impact on your financial situation.
This is a gross understatement. For those who are able to still make contributions to help us pay the electric, internet, and phone bills there are two "candle contribution" boxes. One is in the back of the church. As you face the altar from the back of the church, one box is to the far right of the handicap pews (across from the Holy Water tank. The other is to the left of the ramp by the confessionals by the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This week (Friday, March 20) we have adapted our PHATHER PHELAN'S PHRIDAY PHISH PHEAST to a drive through (i.e. extremely limited human contact) format. People have reserved their orders in 5 minute increments beginning at 4:30pm and ending at 7:00pm. Those who have order will enter, by vehicle preferably, the south lot (across from the former St. Joseph Church). Hopefully, within a minute or two of their reservation time, they will approach (by vehicle if that is how they arrived) the first set of doors toward the south end of the parish center. A volunteer will verify their order and receive the donation. They will then pull ahead to the next set of doors (by the parish office) to received their order. If you have ordered, please be on time. Your order will be prepared at the time reserved whether you are there or not. So if you are late, the food will get cold. As of Thursday, March 19th at 7:47 pm, we still have times available, especially between 6 pm and 7 pm. Please call or text 585-709-2764 (preferably before 2 pm, Friday, March 20) to order.