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February 28, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

On this second Sunday of Lent, we hear in today’s gospel the Transfiguration of our Lord. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up to the mountain and is transfigured before their very eyes! I can only imagine the fear and trepidation they were feeling as this was happening. But then they hear the voice of God speak, “this is my beloved son, listen to him.” During the season of Lent, each of us are asked to listen to the voice of God. We live in a world full of noise and distraction. These days of Lent are meant to be moments of prayer and reflection, not allowing the noise or distraction get in the way of hearing the voice of God. I love Peter’s response to Jesus, after his fears subside, he says, “it is good that we are here.” Each of us must keep those words alive in our hearts. It is good that we are here, in Church, to give honor, glory and praise to our God. It is good that we are able to receive the Eucharist. It is good that we are able to bow down in worship. May these days of penitence and reflection be a moment of grace as we hear the word of God and listen to his only begotten son, Christ the Lord. Continue reading “February 28, 2021”

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February 21, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

As we begin the season of Lent, we see in today’s gospel how Jesus is tempted by Satan. As our Lord is led by the spirit through the desert, Satan tempts Jesus. Jesus tells us to repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. These next few weeks of Lent are meant to be a time of spiritual renewal. Just as Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, he tempts us each day of our lives. The devil wants to sever our relationship with Jesus by showing us things that ultimately, we don’t need. We must not allow Satan and his empty promises to hinder or sever our relationship with the Lord. During this Lenten season, we look to the cross as the image of our salvation. Jesus shed his blood on the cross out of pure love for all of us. We must use these days of Lent as a moment to grow deeper in love with Jesus Christ. We must also use this time to look at our own habits, knowing that we are all poor sinners trying our best to get to heaven. This is a great time to exercise acts of charity and repentance, most especially through the sacrament of Reconciliation. May Christ continue to be at the center of our lives as we journey with him from the desert, to Calvary and ultimately to the Resurrection from the dead.

Continue reading “February 21, 2021”

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February 14, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

What a beautiful celebration we had last Sunday at St. Peter Claver! I want to thank all of you who came out last Sunday in the midst of the snow to celebrate as a parish community the beginning of Black History Month. We were able to welcome back Father Patrick West, the former pastor of St. Peter Claver Church. I would like to thank the Parish Black History Month Committee for their work and dedication in making last week’s celebration uplifting and prayerful. I also would like to thank our music ministry program for the beautiful music that uplifted us. I also thank the Holy Name society for their generosity in donating super bowl trinkets to everyone. As you know, each year the Holy Name Society sponsors our annual super bowl party. Because of the pandemic, we were unable to have the party but each parishioner was able to have a small token of this year’s football classic.

Continue reading “February 14, 2021”

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February 7, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

On this first Sunday of February, we begin our parish celebration of Black History Month. We are blessed here at St. Martin de Porres to celebrate a dynamic and rich history of not only Black American History but Black Catholic History. How appropriate it is that we begin Black History Month with our Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Peter Claver Church. We welcome back Father Patrick West, the former Pastor of St. Peter Claver Church who now serves as Pastor of St. Sebastian Parish in Woodside, Queens. I also want to thank our Parish Black History Month committee who worked tirelessly to make our celebration today and our upcoming events prayerful and enriching. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to plan a celebration as we have done in the past, but nonetheless, we have planned events and opportunities to commemorate this most important time within our society and our Church. Continue reading “February 7, 2021”

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January 31, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

We continue to thank the Lord for all of the many graces and blessings that he has bestowed upon us. Our second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us to be free from all anxieties and worries. There are times in our lives that we worry about so much. We can be filled with anxiety, which can lead us to despair or hopelessness. Paul tells to place our worries and anxieties in the hands of our loving savior, Jesus Christ. With the Lord at our side, there is nothing we need to worry about or have fear. We see Jesus teaching with authority in our gospel passage today. As he drives out demons the message of Christ comes about. Even the demons know who the Son of God is. Let us pray that Christ will continue to lay his healing hand upon us, freeing us from all worry and anxiety. Continue reading “January 31, 2021”

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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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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”