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Blessed Sacrament Presents “Church on Fire” Lecture & Concert Series

Blessed Sacrament Church, located at 1029 Delaware Avenue in the Elmwood Village is returning to the scene with the re-announcement of the previously planned 2020 lecture series known as “Church on Fire: Stay With Us!” featuring an expanded format of lectures, concerts, events and services that will provide ten months of programming, appealing to a variety of ages, genders, ethnicities, and spiritualities. The parish is opening its doors to all: long-time parishioners, new parishioners, curious non-parishioners, and community friends and neighbors.

Through parallels made between the literal burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris in April of 2019 and the metaphorical burning of the Catholic Church amidst sexual abuse scandals since the crisis’ beginning in 2002, event organizers hope that this event will emphasize the Church’s duty of running into the fire as opposed to standing aside as mindless bystanders.

“Church on Fire” by Michael Pitek, Watercolor

In recognizing their responsibility to those who have suffered through this crisis, and giving their community a place to speak their thoughts, Blessed Sacrament Church began this series pre-pandemic but were forced to cancel the entirety of this event just two weeks in. After over a year, the Church is finally ready to re-kick off this event starting Sunday, September 19, for a Community Welcome Picnic and Bills Tailgate Party! The Parish is inviting parishioners, friends, neighbors and the community to this FREE event at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1029 Delaware Avenue and at 1069 Delaware Avenue, the parking lot of Catholic Academy of West Buffalo.

The celebrations will begin with a specially scheduled 11:00 am Mass followed by the Community Welcome Picnic which will be held in front of the church, on the lawns of the Parish and School at 12:00 pm. Picnic games and activities will be held for children. Free hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers and snack bags will be available. Come 1:00 pm, the Bills vs Dolphins game will stream on a 13’ LED video wall (weather proof). This is a BYOB event: you’re welcome to bring your own beverages, cooler/basket, food and chairs! Good-will donations appreciated. Reservations are required for this FREE event. To make reservations:

  1. Scan the QR code used for this event
  2. Go to the Parish’s website

Throughout the following months, the lecture series will feature five speakers concluding with Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Sr. Helen Prejean on May 9 (location TBD). Sr. Helen wrote the book Dead Man Walking for which she received the Pulitzer Prize. The book was later made into a film and was nominated for several Oscars. Susan Sarandon won Best Actress for her portrayal of Prejean. Known world-wide for her advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty, Sr. Helen will talk about her newest book, her memoir, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey.

In concurrence with the lecture series, there will also be a concert series that is seeking to provide faith encouraging performances which will begin December 12th featuring Frank Scinta and Friends for the Advent Candlelight Recital.

The full schedule of lectures and concerts is listed below.

The Catherine M. and Paul W. Beltz Lecture Series

The Laity and Vatican II: “Go Forth and Announce the Gospel of the Lord”
Eileen T. Warner, Director of Parish Engagement and Member Renewal Team
Member: Diocese of Buffalo. Deacon William J. Hynes, Deacon for Blessed Sacrament Church
Sunday, September 26: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Blessed Sacrament Church

St. Francis of Assisi – Then and Today: Rebuild My Church
Rev. Ross Chamberland, O.F.M., Ed.D, Associate VP for Student Affair St. Bonaventure University
Thursday, January 20, 2022: 7:00 p.m.
Blessed Sacrament Church

St. Ignatius of Loyola – Then and Today: Ignatian Spirituality
Rev. Thomas Slon, S.J. Rector of the Jesuit Community of Buffalo
Thursday, February 24, 2022: 7:00 p.m.
Blessed Sacrament Church

Women in a Wounded Church
Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., STD President Emeritus of St. Bonaventure University
Sunday, March 20, 2022: 3:00 p.m.
Blessed Sacrament Church

River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey
Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J. Member of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph, Author and Social Advocate, Nobel Peace Prize nominee
Monday, May 9, 2022: 7:00 p.m.
Location To be Announced


The Deborah A. and Louis J. Cercone CONCERT SERIES

Advent Candlelight Recital
Frank Scinta and Friends
Sunday, December 12, 2021: 7:00 pm
Blessed Sacrament Church

The Seven Last Words of Christ
Ars Nova Musicians, Chamber Orchestra, Donna Lorenzo, Director
Sunday, April 3, 2022: 3:00 pm
Blessed Sacrament Church

Contemporary Voices : A Benefit Concert for Blessed Sacrament Church
Vocális Chamber Choir, James Burritt, Director
Sunday, June 12, 2022: 4:00 pm
Blessed Sacrament Church

*In addition, the church is also offering a number of education programs, spiritual services and service opportunities. To stay up-to-date, visit their website*

Written by Liberty Darr

Liberty Darr

I am a Buffalo State student studying journalism. I love writing, art, and meeting new people. When I’m not at school or work I enjoy reading/writing poetry and watching documentaries. My favorite dynamic duo is investigative journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I’ve been a resident of Buffalo for quite some time and I still fall in love with something new about this city everyday.

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