Weekly Parish News & Update - Holy Week Edition

Continued Easter blessings! Hopefully you were able to enjoy some festiveness even though we could not gather as a parish community or even with our own extended families and friends.

Yet, while this may feel like the longest and loneliest few weeks, it was not long ago that our community was together. We pray each day that it will not be long until we are reunited with one another and the Eucharist.

And, while we may be getting used to social distancing, we should make sure to recall well what is was like to not have to do this. To this end, we offer a little excercise:
  1. Look at the most recent pictures you may have from a recent gathering.
  2. Pray for the people in those pictures, and reflect on the joy of that time of social vibrance instead of distancing.

It may be a bit painful to do this reflection at present, but this is suffering we can offer up and use to increase the joy of togetherness when we are able to come together again. Let us not forget the joy of community and the support we receive from being a part of it!

Until then, in the spirit of virtual togetherness, we continue to look for more innovative ways to connect. Hopefully, we will be reaching out soon with some of those ideas, since it looks like it may still be a little while.
Switching gears for a moment, this weekend closes the Octave of Easter, finishing what is supposed to be the most joyful and celebratory week on our Church calendar. However, if it does not feel like a time for celebrating, we still have the whole Easter season ahead of us.

But, as with everything else these days, let's take it one day (or one feast day) at a time. This Sunday, among other things, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Information about this relatively recent devotion is a key theme for this weekend's bulletin . So, rather than make this email more lengthy than it already is and will be, let us direct you there instead.

But, we would like to include here the following here:

  • An invitation to our Divine Mercy Prayer Service on livestream.

  • Bishops Barres' pastoral letter about the Divine Mercy (in English and Spanish).

  • FORMED content for the Easter Season and Divine Mercy (supplemental to what is in the bulletin).

  • Additional community outreach resources from our Parish Social Ministry Department (also in the bulletin).

  • A reminder of our current handling of funerals.

As always, please be assured of our prayers. We remember especially the several parishioners that have succumbed to the coronavirus in the last week as well as all others from around the world. We mourn and pray with their loved ones. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. By the mercy of God, may they rest in peace. Amen.

In Christ,

The Clergy and Staff of Blessed Sacrament
Join us this Sunday on all of our livestream channels, including YouTube . We will have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and other prayers.
Alternate Formats:
FORMED Content
Easter & Easter Season


Audio Talks:
Divine Mercy Sunday 


Audio Talks:
Additional Social Services during COVID-19
For previously mentioned outreach, see this past email and this past email .
The content below is also included in the 4/19 bulletin.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) From NYS:
  • An additional $200 million in emergency food assistance will be available for more than 700,000 low-income households enrolled in SNAP.
  • Those enrolled in SNAP who are not yet receiving the maximum benefit will receive an additional payment to bring them up to this amount in March and April.
  • The supplemental benefits will be issued in April and delivered directly to recipients' existing EBT accounts.
  • Island Harvest provides free assistance for SNAP over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Call them at 631-873-4775.

Health Coverage:
  • New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through NY State of Health through May 15, 2020
  • Must apply within 60 days of losing coverage.

  • New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.

Public charge:
  • The federal government announced that testing, prevention or treatment for Coronavirus, no matter how it is paid for, will NOT be used against immigrants in a public charge test.
  • Additionally, neither unemployment benefits nor the stimulus cash payments will be taken into consideration in a person's public charge test.

Great resources available at these two links:
For Small Business Owners Affected by COVID-19
  • Track your expenses and losses in this period
  • SBA disaster assistance programs are working to offer loans to affected businesses. You can reach them at DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or call 1-800-659-2955.
  • For more info about the assistance available, go HERE
Funeral Guidelines under Social Distancing
As per the directives of the diocese, parish churches cannot hold funeral masses at this time. We understand that this is an extremely trying situation as the reason we cannot host funerals is also the reason why many funerals are occurring.

We can, however, do the following to assist families in bidding farewell to loved ones:
  • With coordination from funeral directors, funeral processions en route to the cemetery can stop at the front of the the church, remaining in cars. The priest will pray a blessing over the deceased and perform a sprinkling rite over the casket.
  • When public liturgies resume, parish staff will assist in coordinating memorial masses in lieu of not being able to have had funeral masses. Anyone interested should contact the parish offices when we reopen.
Livestreamed masses at Blessed Sacrament
These streams can be viewed either live or afterwards on our parish webpage and Facebook page. The live-stream is also compatible with Roku devices (info HERE ).


NEW: We will also be streaming our Sunday 11am masses live to YouTube. Visit our channel HERE .
More on watching mass and making an Act of Spiritual Communion in previous emails and the bulletin .
Keep your parish strong with e-giving and other donation options, including our new Text-to-Give feature !
Take advantage of our Online Giving Platform .

Learn more about Text-to-Give HERE (pdf) or HERE (video).
To get started, text the "give" to the number 516-588-7800 .

Download the app for iOS or Android .

If you prefer to use your envelope or loose cash/check, you may drop the offering in the parish poor boxes in the church (or send by mail)
  • Email blsrcc@bsvs.us.
  • Text "@bsvs-up" to "81010" to text us and receive updates that way.
  • Find and message us via Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or through our listing on Google.
  • Voicemails to the main office will be checked periodically, but calls may not be returned as swiftly.
  • Our emergency line for the priests is available via the main office phone prompts.