3rdLessons-and-Carols

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”

3rdLessons-and-Carols

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”

3rdLessons-and-Carols

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”

3rdLessons-and-Carols

November 15, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

We had such a beautiful celebration last Sunday commemorating the Feast of our patron, St. Martin de Porres. I want to thank all of you for your support and prayers for a great Sunday. Bishop Witold was very much impressed with the zeal of our parish community. I thank our altar servers, ushers, liturgical ministers and our choir for such a prayerful and uplifting Mass. Both Father Franklin and I are blessed to be your shepherds here at this parish. I also want to thank the volunteers who donated all of the breakfast items that you received in your “to go” bags. We are blessed to have such generous parishioners who love their parish. May God continue to pour out his abundant blessings upon all of us here at St. Martin de Porres Parish. Continue reading “November 15, 2020”

3rdLessons-and-Carols

November 8, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate as a parish community the Feast of our patron, St. Martin de Porres. Happy feast day to all of you! Although we are living in a different moment than we have in past years, we still give thanks and praise to God for the gift of this parish community. Since 2007, our three churches were merged to create the community of St. Martin de Porres Parish, which to this very day continues to grow and flourish most particularly through his powerful intercession. I am blessed to serve this community as Pastor. I thank all of you for your continued support and prayers, most especially as we journey together though this pandemic. We are blessed to have His Excellency, Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski as the main celebrant and homilist for our Mass this morning. This is Bishop Witold’s first visit with us here at St. Martin de Porres. I thank him for allowing his schedule to permit being with us today. I also want to thank the parishioners who donated breakfast food for the “to go” bags that everyone will receive after Mass today. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to have a reception as we usually would today. A group of parishioners decided that they themselves would donate food to give out for everyone! Let us continue to pray for one another, that through the intercession of St. Martin de Porres, each of us will continue to grow as disciples of Christ the Lord. Continue reading “November 8, 2020”

3rdLessons-and-Carols

November 1, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today, November 1st, we commemorate All Saint’s Day. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, which make it even more special that it falls on a Sunday this year! We thank Almighty God for the gift of the saints in heaven. As Catholics, we believe that the saints intercede for us. We never look at them as God. The saints themselves acknowledged the fact that they are not God. Ultimately, saints are just like us. Many of them walked this earth, trying their very best to be good and holy disciples of the Risen Lord. On the day of our Confirmation, we are asked to choose a saints name to be confirmed with. It is with hope that saint will watch after us from the halls of the heavenly kingdom. On this All Saint’s Day, let us ask and beg for their powerful intercession that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, they will lead all of us to the eternal kingdom of heaven.

 

All Soul’s Day and Remembrance of the Faithful Departed

Tomorrow, November 2nd is All Soul’s Day. We remember the souls of the faithful departed. We continue to pray for the consolation of their family and friends. In a special way, we pray for those who died of the coronavirus over these last few months. All Soul’s Day masses will be celebrated at the usual time, 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory Church and 12:00Noon at St. Peter Claver Church. Throughout the month of November we will remember in a special way all of the faithful departed. Their names will be placed on the altar and remain there for the entire month. If you wish to have a loved one remembered, please use the special All Soul’s envelopes at the doors of the churches, write their names on the back of the envelope and place the offering in it. You may put it in the collection basket at Mass or drop it off at the parish office. May their soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

 

 Feast of St. Martin de Porres

We will celebrate as a parish community the Feast Day of St. Martin de Porres. It will take place next Sunday, November 8 beginning at 10:30AM at Our Lady of Victory Church. As is the custom, only one Mass will be celebrated that day. Masses will not be celebrated at Holy Rosary or St. Peter Claver churches. The capacity seating for the church will be 175. Once we reach that number, the overflow will be directed to McGuinness Hall where a big screen will be set up for those to participate via livestream. There will be the Saturday night vigil Mass at 5:00PM next Saturday November 7 at St. Peter Claver Church. This year we will welcome His Excellency Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski as the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Bishop Witold is one of the Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, there will not be a reception after Mass. Through the generosity of a few parishioners, everyone will be given a “to go” bag with breakfast items after Mass.

 

Parish Stewardship Program

I want to thank all of you who have responded so generously to our parish stewardship program. You will continue to hear more updates from me on how we are doing with the program.

 

Wishing you a peaceful and blessed week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

3rdLessons-and-Carols

October 25, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

As we rapidly move through the month of October, we continue to give thanks and praise to God for the many blessings and graces that he has bestowed upon us and his Church. A parishioner told me after Mass last Sunday that days just seem to blend in with one another. It may seem that the effects of the coronavirus has made us think that way. We continue to ask ourselves what the new “normal” looks like? Ultimately, Christ remains the same yesterday, today and forever. We must never forget that. We hear so beautifully in today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, that we must endure in hope. St. Paul tells us that the Gospel did not come in word alone but in power and in the Holy Spirit with conviction. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to move us, not focusing on what the new “normal” will look like, but allowing our minds, hearts and souls to be rooted in Christ Jesus.

 

Annual Catholic Appeal 2020 & Parish Stewardship Program

Over these last two weekends, I had the opportunity to speak at the Masses about this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. I thank each of you again for your continued generosity in contributing the ACA each year. Our parish goal is $65,024. To this date we have pledged $19,524 from 69 parishioners. Since returning back to Mass after the lockdown, we have been averaging about 300 people in attendance total from each of our three churches. The key to having a successful ACA is participation. If each family from our parish participated, contributing any gift that they can, we will be able to make our goal by January 2021. We as a parish have also been asked to participate in the Parish Stewardship Program. It is a completely separate entity from the ACA. The objective of the Parish Stewardship Program is to get better at connecting with parishioners, making it easier for you to connect with our faith community and help sustain our parish financially. You will be seeing much more in the bulletin and hearing from me and other parishioners about our Parish Stewardship Program.

 

Feast of St. Martin de Porres

We will celebrate as a parish community the Feast Day of St. Martin de Porres. It will take place on Sunday, November 8 beginning at 10:30AM at Our Lady of Victory Church. As is the custom, only one Mass will be celebrated that day. Masses will not be celebrated at Holy Rosary or St. Peter Claver churches. There will be the Saturday night vigil Mass at 5:00PM on Saturday November 7 at St. Peter Claver Church. This year we will welcome His Excellency Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski as the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Bishop Witold is one of the Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and serves as Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Maspeth. We look forward to welcoming him to our parish.

 

Covid19 Restrictions

I want to remind you that we are still following the restrictions and guidelines set forth for places of worship in New York State. Please continue to wear your face masks while in church. Be sure to practice social distancing and to sanitize your hands when you come into church and when you leave.

 

Wishing you a peaceful and blessed week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

3rdLessons-and-Carols

October 18, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

As we rapidly move through the month of October, we continue to give thanks and praise to God for the many blessings and graces that he has bestowed upon us and his Church. A parishioner told me after Mass last Sunday that days just seem to blend in with one another. It may seem that the effects of the coronavirus has made us think that way. We continue to ask ourselves what the new “normal” looks like? Ultimately, Christ remains the same yesterday, today and forever. We must never forget that. We hear so beautifully in today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, that we must endure in hope. St. Paul tells us that the Gospel did not come in word alone but in power and in the Holy Spirit with conviction. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to move us, not focusing on what the new “normal” will look like, but allowing our minds, hearts and souls to be rooted in Christ Jesus.

 

Annual Catholic Appeal 2020 & Parish Stewardship Program

Over these last two weekends, I had the opportunity to speak at the Masses about this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. I thank each of you again for your continued generosity in contributing the ACA each year. Our parish goal is $65,024. To this date we have pledged $19,524 from 69 parishioners. Since returning back to Mass after the lockdown, we have been averaging about 300 people in attendance total from each of our three churches. The key to having a successful ACA is participation. If each family from our parish participated, contributing any gift that they can, we will be able to make our goal by January 2021. We as a parish have also been asked to participate in the Parish Stewardship Program. It is a completely separate entity from the ACA. The objective of the Parish Stewardship Program is to get better at connecting with parishioners, making it easier for you to connect with our faith community and help sustain our parish financially. You will be seeing much more in the bulletin and hearing from me and other parishioners about our Parish Stewardship Program.

 

Feast of St. Martin de Porres

We will celebrate as a parish community the Feast Day of St. Martin de Porres. It will take place on Sunday, November 8 beginning at 10:30AM at Our Lady of Victory Church. As is the custom, only one Mass will be celebrated that day. Masses will not be celebrated at Holy Rosary or St. Peter Claver churches. There will be the Saturday night vigil Mass at 5:00PM on Saturday November 7 at St. Peter Claver Church. This year we will welcome His Excellency Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski as the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Bishop Witold is one of the Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and serves as Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Maspeth. We look forward to welcoming him to our parish.

 

Covid19 Restrictions

I want to remind you that we are still following the restrictions and guidelines set forth for places of worship in New York State. Please continue to wear your face masks while in church. Be sure to practice social distancing and to sanitize your hands when you come into church and when you leave.

 

Wishing you a peaceful and blessed week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

3rdLessons-and-Carols

October 11, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate as a parish community the Memorial of the Most Holy Rosary. We are blessed to have one of our three beautiful churches dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The rosary is truly one of the most popular and powerful devotions in the Catholic Church. We see in the mysteries of the rosary of how the Blessed Mother leads us all to Christ, her son. During the month of October, we are asked to pray the rosary, particularly for peace and well-being. Let us pray that through the powerful intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace, that this world will experience the peace that can only come from the savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

 

St. Martin de Porres Parish School of Faith Formation and RCIA Program

Our parish Faith Formation classes will be held remotely from September 2020 to January 1, 2021. This policy is meant to ensure the safety and health of both students and catechists. Our parish program will be conducted virtually with our catechists using modern technology. Students will be given materials for them to use for online courses. Registration for all grades, including sacramental preparation has now begun. The fee this year is $55 per student. You may register your child via our parish website, www.smdpp.org, or through our parish Give Central portal. We are in need of more catechists! Most especially catechists who are familiar with the modern technology that is available to us. If you should have any questions please feel free to contact myself or Ms. Michelle Joseph.

 

Livestream Masses

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we began the practice of livestreaming Sunday Masses from Our Lady of Victory Church. Each of our three churches will have livestream cameras set up. We will rotate the masses that will be livestreamed every weekend. We were able to fix the audio problems with the Our Lady of Victory livestream. Thank you for your patience and support.

 

Annual Catholic Appeal 2020

Last weekend I spoke about the Diocese of Brooklyn Annual Catholic Appeal. As you know, each year the appeal is taken up throughout the Diocese supporting the works and programs that it carries out. Each parish is given a goal to raise for the year. Our goal here at St. Martin de Porres is $65,024. We have pledged to this date $19,249 with 67 parishioners participating. If you have not yet made a pledge for this year’s appeal, please consider making one. No matter what the amount, every gift helps to achieve our goal.

 

Columbus Day Holiday

This Monday October 12 is Columbus Day. It is a federal holiday. The parish office will be closed and there will not be a 12:00 Noon Mass at St. Peter Claver Church. Only one Mass will be celebrated at 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory Church.

 

Wishing you a peaceful and blessed week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

 

3rdLessons-and-Carols

October 4, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the first Sunday of October! Where is the time going? As many of you know, this is my favorite time of the year. I love the season of Fall/Autumn. The changing of the leaves, the crisp in the air and smell of fireplaces gearing up are just small snippets of the beauty this time of the year brings. Notwithstanding the clear fact that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, we must step back to thank God for the gift of creation. We are blessed to see the light of another day, to give God all the praises that is due to his most Holy Name. During this month of October, we thank God for the gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary. October is known as the month of the Rosary. It is through the Blessed Virgin Mary that the savior of the world comes to us, Christ the Lord. As Catholics, when we pray the rosary, we focus on the mysteries of our salvation, all of which focuses us on Jesus. We are invited during this month of October to pray the rosary, most especially now for the peace and health of our society. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

Feast of the Most Holy Rosary

This Wednesday, October 7 is the Feast of the Holy Rosary. We are blessed to have one of the three churches of our parish dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. We as a parish community will commemorate the Feast of the Holy Rosary, next Sunday, October 11 at the 9:00AM Mass at Holy Rosary Church. The Sunday Mass schedule will remain the same. All are invited to Holy Rosary Church next Sunday to give thanks and praise to God for the gift of Mary and our faithful devotion to the Rosary.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Today, October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. He is the patron saint of animals. As has been our custom, all of you are invited to bring your pets to be blessed today at a special prayer service that will take place at 2:30PM at St. Peter Claver Church. The prayer service will take place outside the church in a tent that will be set up on Jefferson Avenue. All are welcomed.

Livestream Masses

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we began the practice of livestreaming Sunday Masses from Our Lady of Victory Church. Realizing that livestream masses will become a part of the new “normal”, we were able to install professional livestream cameras at each of our three churches. These cameras were given to us through a generous grant from Sprint and Desales Media. I know that there have been some technical issues, especially with audio. I am happy to announce that the audio issues have been fixed and Mass from Our Lady of Victory will resume livestreaming this weekend.

Annual Catholic Appeal 2020

This weekend you will hear both Father Franklin and I talk to you about the Annual Catholic Appeal for this year. As you know, each parish is given a goal to raise for the ACA, which supports the works of the Diocese of Brooklyn. More details are available in the bulletin.

Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox