Happy 4th of July! This will truly be a holiday none of us will ever forget! As we move into these summer months, we continue to thank God for the gift of creation. As the summer sun and heat makes its welcome, we praise Almighty God for the gift of sunlight. Summer has always been a time of rest, leisure and relaxation. Jesus himself tells us that we need to take time for rest. We hear the Lord say to us in today’s gospel, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.” Remember though that we must never rest from prayer or from deepening our relationship with the Lord Jesus. We are invited to use these months of summer as a time of spiritual refreshment and renewal, most especially as we begin to make our way back to “normalcy” after the horrific coronavirus. May the Holy Spirit continue to strengthen and guide us ever so closer to the heart of Christ the Risen Lord.
Reopening our ChurchesThis past week we began the celebration of Weekday Masses here at our parish. It was a tremendous joy to welcome all of you back to church after all these months. I know that some of you had been waiting for this day to come patiently. Thank you for following the guidelines that have been put in place for you to come back to church safely. It is important that everyone follow the guidelines while in church. Everyone must wear a face mask in church! That is a nonnegotiable. If you do not have a face mask, one will be given to you by an usher at the doors of the church. We also ask that you practice “social distancing”, keeping six feet apart from each other. We also ask that you not touch any of the statues or light any of the electronic candles in the church for the time being. We want to ensure everyone’s safety and health as we begin to come back to sacred worship. The celebration of Sunday Mass will begin the weekend of July 18/19 with the 5:00PM Saturday Vigil Mass at St. Peter Claver. The Sunday Mass schedule will remain the same: 7:30AM & 10:15AM at Our Lady of Victory, 9:00AM at Holy Rosary and 11:30AM at St. Peter Claver. We will continue to livestream Sunday Masses from Our Lady of Victory Church for those who are still unable to come to Mass. The Sunday Mass Obligation will remain lifted by the Bishops of the United States until the end of the pandemic
Father Franklin EzeorahLast week we announced that Father Daniel Kingsley, who served as Parochial Vicar here at St. Martin dePorres for the last five years has been transferred. Bishop DiMarzio has assigned him to serve as Administrator of St. Clare Parish in Rosedale, Queens. Last Sunday was his last Mass with us as Parochial Vicar. He will come back to the parish for a proper farewell and reception at date sometime in the Fall. This week we welcomed our new Parochial Vicar, Father Franklin Ezeorah. Father Franklin comes to us from the parish of Sacred Heart in Cambria Heights, Queens. He is a religious order priest belonging to the community called Jesus the Savior. Father Franklin is from Nigeria and has been here in the United States for a few years now. He is currently studying Clinical Psychology. Father Franklin is good friends with Father John-Paul Obiaeri, who spent his summer pastoral internship and celebrated his First Mass as a priest here at Our Lady of Victory. Please be sure to welcome him with open arms and loving hearts!
Wishing you a peaceful and joyful week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox