Weekly Parish News & Update - Holy Week Edition

Welcome to Holy Week! Whether you have begun to get used to not being able to communally worship at church yet, this week will be especially tough as this is the time Catholics come together most to express and renew our faith as we enter into the deepest mysteries of it.

But, amidst our grief and fear in the present moment, we look for signs of hope to see us through. Among these is a sense of gratitude for the digital age in which we currently live. This has been a great avenue for keeping connected to each other and the practice of our faith. Its use has also given us the chance to bring our faith and evangelization initiatives into the 21st century while also allowing us to highlight the important role of the "domestic church," that is, the family, within the Universal Church.

Scroll down to see the many opportunities for a virtual Holy Week, or what some are calling "Holy Week at Home."

Also, even though our Parish Social Ministry is not able to run as usual right now, our director, Judy, has been hard at work remotely to make sure those who have need can find help in this difficult time. To that end, we announce that both Long Island Cares and United Way of Long Island both have COVID-19 relief responses. Scroll down to learn more about the specifics of these as well (and please share with anyone you know who may have need) .

On site, Judy has also directed willing volunteers to put together grocery bags and leave them in the PSM hallway for people in need to take. They are accessible during hours the building itself is open (approximately 8am-8pm daily, 6pm on weekends).

So, while were are very saddened to not be with you, especially during Holy Week, we are happy to be able to connect with you in other ways. To that end, we know that a number of parishioners are not on our parish email list or Facebook. Please share this information with those in the community who may otherwise not be receiving it. We are also posting these updates on our parish webpage in the form of general information and links to these emails.

And let us continue to join in prayer . God certainly hears us and we must ever more hope in His Goodness and Providence. This upcoming week was a trying one for or Lord Jesus, who knew what would befall him. He endured to the end. As faithful followers, we do the same, knowing that, in the end, there is not death and defeat, but Resurrection and triumph.

In Christ,

The Clergy and Staff of Blessed Sacrament
The bulletin contains Fr. Lawrence's parish letter for Holy Week and a number of resources to help with Holy Week (including information about the Bishop's Pastoral Letter ). It does not have the updated outreach information as that was received after the publication due date.
His letter offers encouragement, outreach information from Catholic Charities, general diocesan-wide COVID-19 updates (including the response by Catholic Health Services and hospitals), how to engage remotely in Holy Week and more. It is not the same as the one referred to in the bulletin
The most recent update comes from yesterday (April 3) and includes a dispensation from abstaining from meat on Good Friday (although the fasting rules of lessening the amount of food eaten still apply). It also includes a reminder on the delay of palm distribution.
Holy Week livestreams 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 ).

More on watching mass and making an Act of Spiritual Communion in previous emails and the bulletin .
Holy Week at Home
St. Bernard's in Levittown has a guide for each major day with tips and activities on how to prepare and pray in the home. Great for everyone, especially families.
In addition to the videos and audio-talks on FORMED, suggested in the bulletin, FORMED will also be featuring LIVE events and featured viewing for each day of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday.
 Need something a little simpler? This graphic will take you through some lower-key ways of keeping this week prayerful and special.
Community Outreach during COVID-19
United Together : A Response Fund to COVID-19

United Way has established a fund to assist low income wage earners who were either​
1) laid off or
2) furloughed from their jobs specifically due to the​ COVID-19 situation.​

The program began on April 3rd, 2020​ and will stay open until funds are exhausted. Assistance will be in the form of a Gift Card.

Applications are submitted online ONLY. All applications are done remotely so please be patient. Apply at: https://www.unitedwayli.org/covid19help/

For more information about this initiative by United Way or to help contribute to the fund, go here: https://www.unitedwayli.org/unitedtogetherfund
Long Island Cares​

Long Island Cares will be distributing food in Valley Stream on Saturday, April 11, 2020 from 10:00am - 2:00pm.​

The distribution site​ will be located at​ 130 Central Avenue.

For more information about Long Island Cares COVID-19 response go HERE .

For specific information about this distribution site and possible future dates for it, email LIValleyStream@licares.org
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.