September 19, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

What a beautiful celebration we had last weekend in honor of St. Peter Claver! It began with Mass at the co-cathedral of St. Joseph with Bishop DiMarzio and the unveiling of the new Brooklyn Chapter of the Knights and Ladies Auxiliary of St. Peter Claver. Last Sunday we gathered at St. Peter Claver Church for a liturgy filled with joy commemorating the centennial anniversary of the founding of St. Peter Claver Church. We continue to celebrate as a parish family this great milestone of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ for over 100 years now. I take this opportunity to thank the anniversary committee, who has worked so hard in planning and organizing events to highlight this important moment in the life of St. Peter Claver Church. I want to thank our parish choir, under the direction of Ms. Joan Delahunt and Mr. Joseph Murray. They have worked tirelessly over these last few weeks to make our liturgies prayerful and beautiful.

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 $44,860. 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. 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.

St. Martin de Porres Parish School of Faith Formation & RCIA

We will begin in-person classes for our school of faith formation this Fall. All students who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation must be registered in our school of faith formation. Registration forms can be filled out on our parish website at Adults who are looking to join the Catholic Church or who need sacraments of initiation may begin the RCIA process this Fall. For inquires or questions, please contact me or Ms. Michelle Joseph our Director of Faith Formation.

COVID-19 Vaccination Letters of Exemption

Over the last few weeks, I have received several phone calls asking if any priest from our parish can write a letter of “religious exemption” from the COVID-19 vaccine. Many of these calls have come from Catholics within the neighborhood who do not necessarily attend our parish. The last phone call was a bit disparaging, as the person on the phone called me “unsympathetic” to his situation. The Catholic Church does not and will not offer a “religious exemption” to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The Church is encouraging everyone to take the vaccine, which has been deemed morally acceptable by the Holy See (the Vatican). In addition, the Holy Father himself has asked everyone to get vaccinated, out of love for our brothers and sisters. Of course, anyone can make a moral decision to get vaccinated or not. We continue to encourage social distancing and masks in church. I just want to be clear that no Catholic priest will or should be writing letters of “religious exemption”.

Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox