From the Pastor’s Desk
A blessed and joyful Christmas to each of you! We rejoice at the celebration of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. This beautiful season reminds us of the great gift God the Father has bestowed upon us, his children. That is the gift of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, who made his dwelling among us. As Catholics, we know that Christmas doesn’t end on December 25, but the celebration continues until the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord, which this year takes place on January 9th. Today, we commemorate the Feast of the Holy Family. We look to Jesus, Mary and Joseph as that primary example of family life. Our scripture readings for Mass today speak to us of the qualities of family life. I love today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Colossians where he talks about us having patience, gentleness, humility, kindness and compassion. I don’t know about you, but it’s difficult to practice those traits in a large family! We don’t get to choose our families; God does that for us! On this Holy Family feast day, let us lift our family members up in prayer, asking that God will continue to bestow his love, mercy and peace upon all our families.
For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, our Holy Father Pope Francis has called the entire Catholic Church to participate in the upcoming Synod of Bishops. The word “synod” simply means gathering. The Holy Father has called all Catholics to journey together with their bishops. This Synod is a process of journeying together by listening, dialoging, praying, discerning and making decisions together for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here in the Diocese of Brooklyn, each parish has been asked to hold a listening session based on questions that have presented by the Bishops of the Church. These questions will be published in next week’s bulletin. We will hold a listening session the first week in January. From that listening session, our responses will then be compiled and given to Bishop Brennan, who will then report back to the Bishops of the United States. You will hear more information about the Synod as we get closer to the listening session date.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Mass Schedule
This Friday, December 31st is New Year’s Eve. We will have a Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration beginning at 11:00PM concluding with Night Prayer and Benediction which will take place at Our Lady of Victory Church. Mass will be celebrated at Midnight at Our Lady of Victory Church. On Saturday, January 1st, the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, Masses will be celebrated at 10:00AM at Our Lady of Victory Church and 11:00AM at St. Peter Claver Church. Please note there will not be a 5:00PM Vigil Mass at St. Peter Claver Church on New Year’s Day.
On behalf of Father Franklin, Deacon Rachid and our seminarian Tobe, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your thoughtful and generous Christmas gifts that arrived at the rectory. As you know, we have a private chapel in the rectory, where we pray for each of you every single day. May God continue to bless you and this parish community.
Wishing all of you a blessed and joyful Christmas,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox