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January 24, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

I want to thank all of you who prayed with us at Our Lady of Victory Church last Monday to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Although it was not as large a celebration as we have had in previous years, it was a beautiful and uplifting liturgy. Just earlier that morning, Bishop Raymond Chappetto, who serves as Vicar General for the Diocese of Brooklyn asked if he could attend the prayer service. He was joined by retired Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq. I take this opportunity to thank our parish choir under the direction of Ms. Joan Delahunt and Mr. Joseph Murray. They have been working tirelessly to make our upcoming liturgies prayerful and beautiful. Our gospel passage today continues with the beginning of Jesus public ministry. Jesus proclaims that the kingdom of God is at hand, repent! As we prepare to enter into the season of Lent in just 4 weeks, we are called to repentance. Jesus is reminding us today that gospel must be at the center of our lives. May these next few weeks of ordinary time be a moment of grace as we carry out the words of Christ today, repent and believe in the gospel. Continue reading “January 24, 2021”

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January 17, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

As we walk into our three beautiful churches, you will notice that all of the Christmas flowers, wreathes and decorations are gone! It’s hard to believe that Christmas is over. Even in the midst of this global pandemic, these last weeks of Christmas were a time of great rejoicing and spiritual renewal. Jesus, the Word made flesh came to make his dwelling among us. Now as we enter into the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year, our scripture passages focus on the beginning of Jesus public ministry. We hear in today’s gospel Jesus referred to as the Lamb of God. As we proclaim at every Mass we participate at, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. As the Lord begins his public ministry, he calls his disciples to go out and to proclaim the Good News of salvation. Ultimately, the Lord is calling us to go out and do just that. Our first reading today tells of the call of Samuel. Samuel responds to God, “here I am Lord, I come to do your will”. Those should be our words to the Lord today. Each of us have been called by God to do his will here on earth. In just about 5 weeks, we will begin the season of Lent. May this in between time be moments of grace and renewal as we fulfill the will of our Heavenly Father.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service

The annual prayer service commemorating the birthday of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will take place this Monday, January 18 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 12:00 Noon. The prayer service will be Midday Prayer along with some of the excerpts of Dr. King’s speeches and letters. Our parish choir will lead us in song. All are invited to pray with us. The service will also be live-streamed through our parish website and Facebook page. Continue reading “January 17, 2021”

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January 10, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. This feast day will liturgically bring the Christmas season to an end. This week we move into Ordinary Time until the middle of February when we will begin the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. In other countries around the world, many churches continue to keep the nativity scene up until February 2, which is the Presentation of the Lord. That custom is not widely practiced here in the United States, but we are invited to keep the image of the nativity alive in our hearts. It is my hope that these last weeks of Christmas was a time of joyful celebration and thanksgiving, even though many of us were unable to celebrate with family and friends because of the pandemic. As we come to this feast day, we are reminded in today’s gospel that Jesus is the beloved Son of God. We hear John the Baptist tell us that Christ will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. We must allow the Holy Spirit to be at work in our lives so that we can live in the image and likeness of Christ. As baptized members of the mystical Body of Christ, we pray that Jesus will continue to be at the center of our lives, now and forever. Continue reading “January 10, 2021”

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January 3, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Happy New Year 2021! It is my hope that this year will be filled with love, grace and prosperity. As we begin this new calendar year together, today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. We hear in today’s gospel the account of the three wise men sent to pay homage to the newborn King, Jesus Christ. The three wise men were guided by the light of a star. That light symbolizes the light of Christ that illumines our world. As we enter into these days of 2021, let us allow the light of Christ to shine for all the world to see. Just as the three wise men bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, we as disciples of Christ being the gift of ourselves. All Jesus wants is our very selves.

Deacon Balfour Thompson

As we begin this new Year 2021, I would like to inform all of you of some clergy personnel changes here at St. Martin de Porres Parish. Deacon Balfour Thompson was ordained to the Diaconate in May 2009. He and his family are proud members of St. Peter Claver Church. Since his ordination, Deacon Balfour has exercised ministry within the three churches of our parish. He has been involved with the Holy Name Society and the St. Peter Claver Credit Union. Many of you have had the pleasure of attending Mass where he has given one his powerful Sunday homilies. In June of 2019, Deacon Balfour’s wife, Lorna Thompson, was called home to God after an extensive battle with cancer. We continue to pray for the repose of her soul and the consolation of her husband and son, Balfour Jr. Just a few months ago, Deacon Balfour came to me and expressed his desire to take a step back from active ministry so he could focus more on his family and personal life. After speaking with myself and our Diocesan Chancery, Deacon Balfour has begun the process of laicization; that is to say, he will no longer serve as a Deacon but will continue to serve the church as a lay parishioner. This decision was a result of Deacon Balfour’s personal reflection, prayer, family discussion and multiple conversations with our diocese. As a man committed to our faith, we take comfort in knowing that he will remain an active member of the St. Martin de Porres community particularly our church family at St. Peter Claver. If you have any questions about this process you are most welcome to contact our parish office or speak with me directly. In your kindness I ask you to pray for Deacon Balfour and his family.  

New Parish Deacon

Having said this I am very happy to announce that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has appointed a new permanent deacon here to St. Martin de Porres Parish. Rachid Murad was ordained to the diaconate just over a year ago for the Diocese of Brooklyn. He was born and raised in Queens Village and until his appointment here was serving as deacon at Incarnation Parish. Deacon Rachid is happily married with three beautiful children. He has also worked in collaboration with the Office of Black Ministry in the Archdiocese of New York. He and his family are very much looking forward to beginning ministry here at St. Martin de Porres. He will officially begin January 31, 2021. We look forward to welcoming Deacon Rachid to our parish family and we thank you for your prayers for him as well as his loved ones.

Wishing you a Blessed Week and a Happy New Year!

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

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December 27, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Merry Christmas to all of you! We gather on this Holy Family Sunday still celebrating the joys of Christmas. I hope that each of you was able to celebrate Christmas safely and healthy. Although this was a Christmas that none of us will ever forget, we must never forget the reason for the season, who is Christ the Lord. It is my prayer that this Christmas season will allow us to bask in the glory of our newborn King, Jesus Christ. As Pastor of this wonderful parish, I take this opportunity to thank all of you for your kindness and generosity. Since the beginning of this pandemic, each of you has been so generous with your time, talent and treasure. This Christmas I am so grateful for the kindness that each of you has shown to both me and Father Franklin most especially with the many cards and gifts that you have given to us. Please know of our prayers for you and your families this Christmas season. Continue reading “December 27, 2020”

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December 20, 2020

Dear Parishioners,
As we come to the last Sunday of Advent, it is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of our parish bookkeeper, Mrs. Alice Rosete. On Thursday, December 10 Alice had a heart attack and died at home on her way to work that morning. The Tuesday prior, December 8, she had celebrated her 60th birthday. The afternoon before her death, we had lunch for her in the rectory. She was as great as great could be. She was laughing and jovial and very much was enjoying the afternoon. On her way home for the day, I said to her the same thing I would say to her every day, “see you tomorrow”. I didn’t see her the next day. Her sudden and very much unexpected death showed me in reality the words, “you know neither the day nor the hour”. Our entire staff here is devastated and we are still numb over this. When you work with someone and see them every day and all of sudden they are no longer with us, it creates a void very much in our minds and hearts. In your kindness I ask all of you to pray for her soul and for the consolation of her husband, Fernando, her son King and her family and friends. Continue reading “December 20, 2020”

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December 13, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. We will light the third candle on our Advent wreath in church, which you will notice is a different color from the three other candles. Today we light the rose-colored candle. You will also notice that both Father Franklin and I will be wearing rose colored vestments. This Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word that literally means rejoice! We rejoice that soon we will celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We rejoice that soon Christ will come to us, the Word made flesh who makes his dwelling among us. Our scripture readings today speak to us about rejoicing. St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Thessalonians to rejoice always and to pray without ceasing. As we journey through this Advent season, we pray that our faith in the Lord will be strengthened and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Let us always continue to rejoice in the Lord, now and forever. Continue reading “December 13, 2020”

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December 6, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

On this second Sunday of Advent, we hear from the Prophet Isaiah to prepare the way of the Lord. Isaiah foretells the coming of the Messiah in which he tells us to make straight a highway for our God. These words allow us to enter much more deeply into Advent by preparation. We are invited to use these next few weeks of Advent as a time of preparation for the joys of Christmas. Isaiah gives us this beautiful image of a voice crying out in the wilderness. Our gospel today fast forwards that image to John the Baptist. John himself tells us that one mightier than him will be coming. He is of course talking about Jesus. John says that although he baptizes with water, Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit. For us to prepare the way of the Lord, we must pray that Christ will come to transform and change hearts. Advent is a time of renewal and rejuvenation both spiritually and emotionally. We hear in today’s second reading that the Lord does not delay, but that the day of his coming will arrive like a thief in the night. May these Advent days bring us peace as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Continue reading “December 6, 2020”

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November 29, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We also begin a new liturgical year of Grace. Advent is my favorite liturgical season, it is also the shortest (only 4 weeks long). The season of Advent is filled with beauty both in its liturgy and appearance. You will notice at each of our churches the Advent wreath placed in the sanctuary. Each of the 4 candles represents the weeks of the season. Throughout these next weeks, we will hear from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah tells of the coming of the Lord. Isaiah of course being a book within sacred scripture can also be looked at as poetry. We are also reminded to prepare and be on alert. Our gospel passage today tells us to be watchful and alert for we do not know the day nor the hour when the Lord will come again. We are invited to prepare our minds, hearts and souls for the coming of the Lord. Allow me to share with you one of my favorite Advent hymns. The words of this hymn beautifully depict this season: 

O come divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day when hope shall sing its triumph and sadness flee away. Dear Savior haste, come, come to earth. Dispel the night and show your face, and bid us hail the dawn of grace. O come divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day, when hope shall sing it triumph and sadness flee away. Continue reading “November 29, 2020”

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November 22, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. This feast day marks the end of the liturgical year. Next week we will celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. As I reflect upon the events of these last few months, it would be safe to say that this has been a unique and interesting year. More than half of it has been dealing with the coronavirus. Our lives have been radically impacted by this deadly virus, but we must not take our eyes off Christ the King. We hear in today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians that Christ is the first fruits of all creation. All sovereignty, power, and authority belong to him and him alone. As we end this liturgical year, let us continue to thank Almighty God for all of the blessings and the graces that he has bestowed upon us. Even in the midst of this pandemic, let us continue to rejoice for the Lord is King. Continue reading “November 22, 2020”