May 9, 2021

May 9, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the 6th Sunday of Easter. This Easter season just seems to be flying right by! We continue to give thanks and praise to God for the gift of his son Jesus who has been raised from the dead! Our scripture readings for Mass today speak to us of the commandment of love. We must love one another because God is love. The Lord is very clear in today’s gospel that we must love one another. We know that love is one of those words that can be easily said, but we are called to live the love that Christ is asking us to do. We are called to love one another in the same way that God loves us. It is difficult to love the person who has hurt us, its human to feel that way. The Lord though wants us to go deeper, to let go of the anger or animosity we may have for someone and to embrace them with love and mercy. May these last days of the Easter season be moments of encounter with the Risen Lord as we continue to truly love one another. Continue reading “May 9, 2021”

May 9, 2021

May 2, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

We are quickly moving through the great Easter season. As you know, during this season our first scripture reading at Mass will come from the Acts of the Apostles. The Apostles were the first witnesses of Jesus after his resurrection. They depict the stories of how they were sent out to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. We hear how they converted thousands of people to Christianity. Our first reading at Mass today gives us the moment when Paul is welcomed to the fold as a disciple. His life was radically changed by his own conversion. We see how the Holy Spirit is at work in bringing people closer to the heart of Christ the Lord. As we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost in a few weeks, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to transform our lives to become stronger and faithful witnesses of Christ.

Continue reading “May 2, 2021”

May 9, 2021

April 25, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

Today is the fourth Sunday of Easter. It is also popularly known as Good Shepherd Sunday. We hear in today’s gospel that Jesus is the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep. The Lord reminds us that the sheep hear the voice of the shepherd calling out to them. We know that the Lord calls out to us every day. Jesus is that shepherd who guides and nourishes us as his flock. It is on this good shepherd Sunday that we also pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood. Today our Holy Father Pope Francis will ordain new priests at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. We must pray for more shepherds here on this earth to guide the flock of the Church. I thank the Lord each day that I am able to be a good and holy shepherd to all of you here at St. Martin de Porres Parish. May Christ continue to lead all of us to the eternal kingdom that awaits us. As I write this letter, we as a nation witnessed the verdict in the murder trial of George Floyd. We must continue to pray for peace and justice in our society, that we may all live in peace and harmony. Allow me to share with you the statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the guilty verdict: “Today, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. As we receive this result, we recall that God is the source of all justice, love, and mercy. The death of George Floyd highlighted and amplified the deep need to see the sacredness in all people, but especially those who have been historically oppressed. Whatever the stage of human life, it not only matters, it is sacred. Let us pray that through the revelation of so much pain and sadness, that God strengthens us to cleanse our land of the evil of racism which also manifests in ways that are hardly ever spoken, ways that never reach the headlines. Let us then join in the hard work of peacefully rebuilding what hatred and frustration have torn down. This is the true call of a disciple and the real work of restorative justice. Let us not lose the opportunity to pray that the Holy Spirit falls like a flood on our land again, as at Pentecost, providing us with spiritual, emotional, and physical healing, as well as new ways to teach, preach, and model the Gospel message in how we treat each other.” Continue reading “April 25, 2021”

May 9, 2021

April 18, 2021

FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK

 

Dear Parishioners,

On this third Sunday of Easter, we continue to bask in the joy of the resurrection. Our scripture passages allow us to enter spiritually into the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection. Our gospel passage today shows Jesus in the midst of his disciples and he says to them, “peace be with you.” His disciples are afraid and terrified because they think it’s a ghost! The Lord invites them to touch him and all of a sudden, their hearts are no longer filled with terror or fear but with the peace of Christ. During these next few weeks of Easter, we are invited to pray for peace. We pray that the peace of Christ will resonate throughout our community and throughout the world. Our second reading from the letter of St. John reminds us to keep the word of God alive in our hearts. It is the word of God, that is Christ himself that is perfected in us. Let us pray that Christ, the risen Lord will bestow His love, mercy, and peace upon all of us his children.

St. Peter Claver Church Raffle Fundraiser

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have purchased a raffle ticket for the St. Peter Claver 100th anniversary fundraiser. It has been a great success so far! There is still plenty of time to purchase a raffle to win one of the five amazing prizes. Tickets are $10 each and they can be purchased after all of the masses from any anniversary committee member or by coming to the parish office during business hours.

Continue reading “April 18, 2021”

May 9, 2021

April 11, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

Today is the second Sunday of the Easter season. This Sunday has popularly become known as Divine Mercy Sunday. On the Second Sunday of Easter of the Jubilee Year 2000, at the Mass for the Canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, Pope Saint John Paul II declared the Sunday after Easter be called “Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Faustina was a Polish nun who received visions from Jesus, including one of Jesus wearing a white garment with beams of red and white coming from His heart, which came to be known as the image of Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy Sunday focuses on the gift of mercy and love given through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. As Pope Saint John Paul II stated, “Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified.” We pray that God’s mercy will come upon our world so that we may grow as faithful and holy witnesses of Christ Jesus. Today’s gospel passage is one of my favorites. It is the story of doubting Thomas. Thomas must place his hands into the wounds of Christ to believe that he is alive. Once Thomas is able to do that he makes a profound statement of faith, “My Lord and My God.” On this Divine Mercy Sunday, may those words resonate in our hearts as we continue to bask in the joy of Easter.

Continue reading “April 11, 2021”

May 9, 2021

April 4, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

On behalf of the entire parish staff here at St. Martin de Porres, I want to wish all of you a happy and blessed Easter Sunday. Over these last weeks of Lent, we have been in spiritual preparation for the celebration of Easter. We come to this day with the joy of the risen Lord. As we gather on this Easter Sunday, we hear in today’s gospel of how the disciples find the empty tomb. They find the burial cloths rolled up and the stone rolled away. Jesus has broken the chains of death and has been raised from the dead. On this Easter Sunday, we thank Almighty God for the gift of his son Jesus, our risen Savior who continues to reveal himself to us.

I also take this opportunity to thank all of those who made our Holy Week liturgies to prayerful and beautiful. I thank our altar servers, lectors, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion for their ministry. I also want to thank our ushers who welcomed and greeted all of you and our visitors to our three beautiful churches. I also want to thank our parish choir under the direction of Ms. Joan Delahunt and Mr. Joseph Murray for lifting our voices to the heavens over these last days. Each of our three churches are decorated so beautifully. I thank the volunteers from each of our churches who worked so hard to exquisitely decorate our churches. Continue reading “April 4, 2021”

May 9, 2021

March 28, 2021

 

Dear Parishioners,

Today the Church celebrates Palm Sunday. It is on this day that we commemorate our Lord’s entry into the city of Jerusalem. Palm Sunday begins the celebration of Holy Week, in which we recall the Lord’s Last Supper on Holy Thursday, his crucifixion on Good Friday and his Resurrection on Holy Saturday. I invite you to solemnly enter into these days. I know that there is much on our minds with Easter Sunday next week, but we must enter into these days with solemn reverence. As we take strips of palm home with us today and as we recall the Passion of Jesus at Mass, we must never take our eyes off the cross. It is on the cross that Jesus died for our sins and broke the chains of death by virtue of his resurrection. We pray that this Holy Week will be a moment of prayerful renewal, as we gaze upon the great love God has for us through his son, Jesus Christ. As I have mentioned in the previous bulletins, because of the ongoing COVID-19 regulations, we will not have the usual Palm Sunday procession. Masses today will begin in the usual way, without the blessing of palms. Priests were asked to bless the palms prior to the Palm Sunday Masses, which I have done. Blessed palms can be picked up after all the Masses today. Please follow the instructions of the ushers.

Continue reading “March 28, 2021”

May 9, 2021

March 21, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk.

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

We have come to the 5th and last Sunday of Lent. Next Sunday we will celebrate the commemoration of our Lord’s entry into the city of Jerusalem with Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week. We also mark the one-year anniversary since the outbreak of the coronavirus. It would be safe to say that this has been a year that none of us will forget, even though many of us would want to forget it. Last year we were unable to gather for Holy Week and the weeks of Easter. This pandemic has shown us that we must not take for granted the opportunities that we can come to Church. We are blessed with three beautiful houses of worship here at St. Martin de Porres. Many people have asked, “when are we going to get back to normal?” The question I ask is, “what will the new normal look like?” As we enter into these last days of Lent and enter into the holiest days of the Christian calendar, let us pray that Christ will continue to lead us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Tuesday Evening Lenten Vespers and Stations of the Cross

We will have our last Tuesday Evening Vespers this week, Tuesday, March 23. It will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:00PM. Vespers from Our Lady of Victory Church will be live-streamed via our parish website and Facebook page. This Friday, March 26 we will celebrate solemn stations of the cross at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:00 PM. There will not be stations of the cross at Holy Rosary or St. Peter Claver churches this Friday night, March 26. We will gather as a community for one celebration of stations of the cross at Our Lady of Victory Church. We will welcome Father Ken Gavin, SJ as the presider and homilist. All are welcome to join us.

 

Holy Week Schedule Banners & Liturgical Changes

You may have noticed that we have placed banners with the Holy Week schedule printed on it. Please take notice of the time changes this year. Usually on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, we would have a special schedule with just one Mass at each of our three churches. This year because we are still in the midst of the pandemic, we will have a regular Sunday Mass schedule for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Due to the pandemic, we will not have a Palm Sunday procession at any of the three churches. Priests have been asked to bless palms privately the day before Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday Mass will begin as a usual Sunday Mass. Immediately after the Palm Sunday Mass, there will be a table with blessed palm outside the church that everyone can take on their way home. On Holy Thursday there will not be the traditional Washing of the Feet or procession to the place of Repository after Mass. On Good Friday, there will not be the veneration of the Cross during the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. On Holy Saturday there will be a simple blessing of the Easter fire with just the priests and deacon outside while the congregation will be seated in the pews. I ask all of you to be mindful of these changes this year for our Holy Week celebrations.

 

We adore you O Christ and we praise you, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

May 9, 2021

March 14, 2021

FROM THE PASTORS DESK

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

We have come to the midpoint of our Lenten journey. Traditionally the fourth Sunday of Lent is known as “laetare” Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word which means rejoice. We rejoice that very soon we will celebrate the joys of Easter Sunday. You will notice that the priest and deacon for Mass today will be wearing rose-colored vestments. The mixture of the purple of Lent and the white of Easter creates a rose color. It is a clear and visible sign that Easter is coming soon. We do have a few more days of Lent before us. We hear in today’s gospel for Mass the famous words of John 3:16, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life. These weeks of Lent have allowed us to reflect on the great gift God has given to us, that is Jesus himself. Jesus knew that he must endure the cross to gain everlasting life through the resurrection. As we approach the end of the Lenten season and enter into the holiest of days, let us pray that we will be lifted up in God’s mercy. Continue reading “March 14, 2021”

May 9, 2021

March 7, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

Our Lenten journey with the Lord is moving quickly. We are already at the third Sunday of Lent. Our scripture readings for Mass allow us to look to the centrality of our faith, the cross. It is on the cross that Jesus will shed his blood for our salvation. St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians that Jews and Greeks look for a sign, but we as disciples proclaim Christ crucified. It is from the cross that we proclaim our faith. Our Lord reminds us in today’s gospel that he will die but on the third day be raised. It is in the Paschal Mystery, that is his passion, death and resurrection, that we prepare ourselves to enter into. These next few weeks are meant to be a time of spiritual renewal, preparing ourselves for this most sacred of time. May we never take our eyes off the cross, the sign of our salvation in Christ.

Continue reading “March 7, 2021”