From the Pastor’s Desk
Our gospel passage for Mass today must be one of the most difficult passages for me to reflect upon as a human being. Today, the Lord is challenging us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek and to do good to those who persecute us. Each time I proclaim this gospel, I think of those who have been persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I think of those who have caused harm to others, whether it be physical or spiritual harm. I think of those who continue to bear the marks of pain and sorrow in their lives. Yet, the Lord wants us to love our enemies, to not judge others and ultimately to pray for those who mistreat us. To be a disciple of the Lord, we must not combat violence with more violence. We are called to love one another, in the same way that God loves us. We must continue to pray for one another, not allowing hatred or violence to get in the way of bringing the light and love of Christ to all our brothers and sisters. The Lord speaks to us about forgiveness. We must be able to forgive those who have hurt us, not forgetting, but allowing Christ to heal us from it. May our hearts be conformed to the heart of Christ our Savior, who himself said from the wood of the cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do”.
Diocese of Brooklyn Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving
As you all know, I serve as the Vicar for the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Each year, the Diocese of Brooklyn sponsors a special Mass in Thanksgiving for Black History Month. This year’s Mass will take place today, Sunday, February 20 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Jamaica, Queens beginning at 4:00PM. His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC will be the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Cardinal Gregory is the first African American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. All of you are welcomed to join us for this most historic Mass and celebration.
Bishop Robert Brennan Official Parish Visit
It is with great joy that we will welcome Bishop Robert Brennan, the new Bishop of Brooklyn to our parish community. Bishop Brennan will celebrate the 11:30AM Mass at St. Peter Claver Church next Sunday, February 27. At that Mass, Bishop Brennan will bless the new organ console, the newly renovated shrine to St. Therese of Lisieux and the newly refurbished choir pews. There will be a reception to follow in Msgr. Rodgers Hall.
Parish Fish Fry Fundraiser
It is hard to believe that we are just one week away from the beginning of the season of Lent. We will hold our annual fish fry fundraiser next Friday, March 5. Fish dinners include potato salad, coleslaw and a beverage. Pre-Orders are $15, and orders placed on March 5 are $20.
President’s Day Holiday
This Monday, February 21 is President’s Day. It is a national holiday. The parish office will be closed. There will not be a 12:00Noon Mass at St. Peter Claver Church. Only one Mass will be celebrated at 8:00AM taking place at Our Lady of Victory Church.
Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox