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January 23, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Over these last few weeks, our scripture passages have given us the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. We see the many miracles and healings that he has done. Everyone, including his own disciples are amazed at what Jesus has done and have come to believe in him as the eternal Son of God. In today’s gospel, we see Jesus as he makes his way back to Nazareth from Galilee and how he is filled with the Spirit. As Jesus makes his way into the synagogue, he reads from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, the Spirit of the Lord God is upon him. Jesus is driven by the Spirit to continue the work of the Father here on earth. We as his disciples, are commissioned to do just that. All of us are called by the Spirit, to continue the work of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians tells us that although the body has many parts, there is only one Spirit. The Church here on earth has many parts, but we all share of the one Spirit in which all of us are baptized. On this third Sunday of Ordinary Time, let us pray that the Spirit of which we are all baptized into here at St. Martin dePorres Parish will continue to strengthen and empower the Body of Christ. Continue reading “January 23, 2022”

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January 16, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

We have now moved into the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. Our scripture readings will focus on the beginning of Jesus public ministry. Our gospel passage for Mass today is one of my favorites, the wedding feast at Cana. It is here that Jesus conducts his first public miracle, as he changes water into wine. But, before he even does that, our Blessed Mother Mary gives us a mandate for how to proceed, “do whatever he tells you”. These next few weeks of Ordinary Time will lead us to the solemn 40 days of Lent. We are invited to use these weeks as moments of spiritual preparation for the days of Lent. May the Holy Spirit continue to strengthen and empower this community of faith here in Bedford Stuyvesant, as we proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “January 16, 2022”

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January 9, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This feast day marks the final Sunday within the Christmas season. Next week you will notice all the Christmas poinsettia plants will be gone along with the Christmas trees and Nativity scene. In the city of Rome, Christmas decorations remain in place until February 2, which is the Presentation of the Lord, but here in the U.S. most decorations have begun to be put away. I hope that these weeks of Christmas have been moments of grace and blessings. Jesus comes to us as a child in Bethlehem, to grow in wisdom and strength, which will lead him to the cross on Calvary. As we see in today’s gospel, after John baptizes Jesus, the heavens are opened and the voice of God speaks to us, “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” We pray that the grace of the Holy Spirit will continue to flow in abundance here at St. Martin de Porres parish. Continue reading “January 9, 2022”

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January 2, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

I take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy and blessed New Year 2022. We pray that this year will bring us the blessings and the graces needed to continue the mission of preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. On the liturgical calendar, we celebrate today the Feast of the Epiphany. We recall how the Magi was sent by Herod to find the child Jesus to bring him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These were gifts that were fit for a king, as the Magi knew that they were in the presence of the baby Jesus, king of kings and lord of lords. On this feast day, we are invited to bring to Jesus the gift of ourselves. The Lord is asking us to give ourselves totally to him, because it is from that self-gift that we encounter the presence of God the Father. The Magi were led to the manger by the light of a star. May that light continue to lead us closer to the heart of Christ, our savior and king. Continue reading “January 2, 2022”

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December 26, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

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. Continue reading “December 26, 2021”

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December 19, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

We have reached the 4th and last Sunday of the Advent season. This week the Church will celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I do hope that these last weeks of Advent have been a time of spiritual renewal and preparation, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord. Our scripture readings for Mass today point us spiritually to the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. The gospel passage depicts the visit our Blessed Mother Mary makes to her cousin Elizabeth. John the Baptist, already in the womb of his mother Elizabeth, leaps for joy when he hears the voice of Mary. He knows the voice of the mother of the Savior. On this last Sunday of Advent, we continue to pray that through the powerful intercession of Mary, our hearts will leap for joy at the coming of the Lord Jesus. Continue reading “December 19, 2021”

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December 12, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

Today we light the third candle of our Advent wreath. You will notice that it is a different color candle. It is a rose-colored candle, reflecting the purple of Advent and the white of Christmas. Today is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. The Latin word Gaudete means rejoice. We rejoice today that soon we will celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Our second reading at Mass today, which comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians tells us to rejoice always in the Lord! During this season of Advent, we are called to wait in joyful anticipation for the Lord’s coming. John the Baptist once again reminds us in today’s gospel that one mightier than he is coming. He tells us that when the Lord comes, he will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. As we approach the midpoint of our Advent journey the question, we must ask ourselves is, “are we ready to welcome the Lord wholeheartedly this Christmas?” We must continue to keep Christ at the very center of our lives, not allowing the hustle and bustle of Christmas to hinder our minds from losing sight of the reason for the season. May we truly rejoice this Gaudete Sunday, knowing that the Lord is near. Come, Lord Jesus, come! Continue reading “December 12, 2021”

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December 5, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Just this past Tuesday, we formally welcomed the 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Robert Brennan. It was a beautiful celebration filled with pomp and circumstance along with the ancient and traditional elements of the installation of a Bishop. As many of you know, I serve as Diocesan Liturgical Master of Ceremonies so much of my responsibilities was behind the scenes making sure the liturgy flows well. The installation of a Bishop is a historic moment for a diocese, most especially for a diocese like ours here in Brooklyn. Tuesday’s installation reflected the great diversity of the Catholic community of Brooklyn and Queens. Each Sunday, Masses are celebrated in 33 different languages. We are blessed to be called the “Diocese of Immigrants”. I ask all of us to pray for our new Bishop, that the Lord will continue to bestow his blessings upon him and the grace he needs to shepherd the 1.5 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens. Today is the second Sunday of Advent. You will notice that the second purple candle on our Advent wreath is lit. Our gospel passage today introduces us to John the Baptist. John foretells the coming of Christ, announcing to the people, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight a path for our God. We look to John the Baptist as an example of faith, as we are called to go out and announce the coming of the Lord. These weeks of Advent should prepare us to make straight a highway for our God. Let us pray that through the intercession of St. John the Baptist, we can be heralds and proclaimers of the Good News that Jesus is coming! Continue reading “December 5, 2021”

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November 28, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is my favorite liturgical season, although it is the shortest, lasting only 4 weeks. The scripture passages that we hear at Mass during this season is filled with beauty. Today we hear from the prophet Jeremiah that the Lord will fulfill the promises made to the house of Israel. The prophet foretells the coming of Jesus, as we prepare to celebrate his birth in just 4 weeks. These next few weeks are meant to be moments of deep spiritual preparation for the coming of the Christ child. It can be very easy to jump right in to the hustle and bustle of Christmas, but we are asked to take these 4 weeks of Advent in preparing ourselves to welcome Christ the Lord. Advent is also filled with beautiful hymns and poetry that comes from the prophet Isaiah. May these weeks of Advent be a time of spiritual rejuvenation as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Continue reading “November 28, 2021”

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November 21, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

We had such a beautiful celebration last week! Almost 250 people joined us in person for our Mass commemorating our patron, St. Martin de Porres. We also had several parishioners tune in to our livestream via Facebook and our parish website. I want to thank Father Frank Black, who serves as Pastor of St. Matthew’s parish and the Dean of our deanery for serving as the main celebrant and homilist for our Mass. I also want to thank our liturgical ministers from each of our three churches for their dedication and love for this parish community. In a special way, I want to thank our parish choir under the direction of Joan Delahunt and Joseph Murray. They worked tirelessly with rehearsal both in person and via ZOOM to make last week’s celebration so beautiful. I have said on numerous occasions, I am blessed to be the Pastor of such a wonderful community that continues to keep the image of Christ the King alive in mind, heart and soul.

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ King of the Universe. It is also the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Next week we will celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. Our Lord speaks to us about a kingdom that is not of this earth. Our gospel passage depicts the encounter Jesus has with Pilate before his death on the cross. Pilate says to Jesus, “are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus, knowing what Pilate means, begins this dialogue by proclaiming a kingdom that is to come. As we prepare to begin a new liturgical year in the Church, let us pray that we will proclaim with courage a kingdom that is to come, with Christ as King of heaven and earth.  Continue reading “November 21, 2021”