From the Pastor’s Desk
Today is the fourth Sunday of Easter. It is also popularly known as Good Shepherd Sunday. We hear in today’s gospel that Jesus is the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep. The Lord reminds us that the sheep hear the voice of the shepherd calling out to them. We know that the Lord calls out to us every day. Jesus is that shepherd who guides and nourishes us as his flock. It is on this good shepherd Sunday that we also pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood. Today our Holy Father Pope Francis will ordain new priests at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. We must pray for more shepherds here on this earth to guide the flock of the Church. I thank the Lord each day that I am able to be a good and holy shepherd to all of you here at St. Martin de Porres Parish. May Christ continue to lead all of us to the eternal kingdom that awaits us. As I write this letter, we as a nation witnessed the verdict in the murder trial of George Floyd. We must continue to pray for peace and justice in our society, that we may all live in peace and harmony. Allow me to share with you the statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the guilty verdict: “Today, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. As we receive this result, we recall that God is the source of all justice, love, and mercy. The death of George Floyd highlighted and amplified the deep need to see the sacredness in all people, but especially those who have been historically oppressed. Whatever the stage of human life, it not only matters, it is sacred. Let us pray that through the revelation of so much pain and sadness, that God strengthens us to cleanse our land of the evil of racism which also manifests in ways that are hardly ever spoken, ways that never reach the headlines. Let us then join in the hard work of peacefully rebuilding what hatred and frustration have torn down. This is the true call of a disciple and the real work of restorative justice. Let us not lose the opportunity to pray that the Holy Spirit falls like a flood on our land again, as at Pentecost, providing us with spiritual, emotional, and physical healing, as well as new ways to teach, preach, and model the Gospel message in how we treat each other.”
St. Peter Claver Church Raffle Fundraiser
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have purchased a raffle ticket for the St. Peter Claver 100th anniversary fundraiser. It has been a great success so far! There is still plenty of time to purchase a raffle to win one of the five amazing prizes. Tickets are $10 each and they can be purchased after all of the masses from any anniversary committee member or by coming to the parish office during business hours.
2021 Diocese of Brooklyn Annual Catholic Appeal
I wish to thank all of you who have already contributed to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. Our goal here at St. Martin de Porres is $63,586. We have pledged thus far $14,500. The key to having a successful ACA is participation. We are asking everyone to participate in this year’s ACA that we will be able to achieve our goal. This weekend at all of the Masses both Father Franklin and I will be talking about the importance of the Appeal and conduct an in-pew pledge for those who have not yet done so. Any monies collected beyond the goal comes directly back to the parish. I thank each of you for your financial support here at St. Martin de Porres.
Have a great week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox