I take this opportunity to welcome all of you back to Church! It’s hard to believe that we have not been able to gather to celebrate Mass as a community for over 4 months! The Lord has truly given us the grace to endure and persevere these months of social distancing, isolation and quarantine. As you enter the halls of our three beautiful churches you have noticed that pews have been sectioned off for everyone to be at least six feet apart from each other. As I have mentioned in the guidelines printed in the bulletin, everyone who enters the church must wear a face mask. If you do not have one, the ushers will provide you with one. If you choose not to wear a face mask, you will not be allowed to enter the church. Those are the strict guidelines of New York State. We also ask that you follow the directions of the ushers when it is time for the distribution of Holy Communion. I am strongly urging everyone to receive Holy Communion on the hand, not on the tongue. These guidelines are meant to ensure the safety and health of everyone who walks through the doors of our churches. At the end of Mass, all are asked to depart without gathering as a large group.
Jesus gives to us another parable in today’s gospel. The Lord says that the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a mustard seed. A mustard seed is the smallest of seeds, but when is cultivated becomes the largest of plants. Today the Lord is asking us to build up the Kingdom of God right here and now, in Bedford Stuyvesant. We are called to cultivate the good work that continues to be done here in our parish. Seeds of evangelization and worship continue to grow and multiply each day. We must never allow ourselves to get entangled with the weeds of division or strife. As we make our way back to worshipping as a community, let us keep the image of Christ alive in our minds, hearts and souls.
Parish Financial Support & 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal
As your Pastor, I take this opportunity to thank each of you for your continued financial support here at St. Martin de Porres. As I mentioned to you at the beginning of the lockdown, the financial contributions that were coming in was used and continues to be used for the ordinary expenses for the parish (utilities and maintenance). We have also had great success with our online electronic giving application called Give Central. As we make our way back to church, both aspects of financial contribution will be available for you to use. I also thank all of you who have contributed to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. As you know, funds from the ACA go to help the various programs and outreach that the Diocese of Brooklyn provides. Our parish goal for the ACA is $65,024. We have pledged so far, $15,554. I am very much aware of the current financial times we are living in and I am extremely thankful and grateful for all that you do for this parish community. May the Lord continue to bless each one of you.
Masses will continue to be livestreamed each Sunday from Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 10:15AM. It will be streamed from our parish Facebook page then uploaded to our parish YouTube page.
Wishing each of you a joyful and peaceful week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox