April 14, 2024

February 4, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

My dear sisters and brothers,

Today’s gospel passage from Mark 1:29-39 reminds us of the importance of spiritual reinforcement in our lives. After working and serving the people in various capacities, Jesus went to a deserted place to recharge his spiritual battery. This Jesus’ move should also be our modus operandi as children of God. In a world filled with constant challenges, uncertainties, and demands, the need for spiritual strength and resilience has never been more crucial.

Spiritual reinforcement is the foundation upon which we build our inner strength, resilience, and sense of purpose. It provides us with the fortitude to weather life’s storms, the wisdom to navigate complex decisions, and the hope to embrace each day with courage and grace. Little wonder why Jesus did not joke with this exercise. Just as a building requires a solid foundation to withstand the forces of nature, our spirits need nurturing, guidance, and sustenance to thrive amidst the trials of life.

In times of joy, spiritual reinforcement allows us to celebrate and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives, fostering a deep sense of appreciation and interconnectedness with the world around us. It enables us to find meaning in our experiences, cherish the beauty of love and compassion, and cultivate a spirit of generosity and empathy. In moments of sorrow and adversity, spiritual reinforcement becomes our anchor, providing solace, healing, and strength in the face of pain and loss. It assures us that we are not alone, that our spirits are resilient, and that there is light and hope to guide us forward even in the darkest hours. Continue reading “February 4, 2024”

April 14, 2024

January 28, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners, 

Today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is one of my absolute favorite Pauline epistles. St. Paul mentions one of the most common human traits ever known, anxiety. I think it might be safe to say that each of us have experienced some sort of anxiety at one point or another in our lives. Some of us, myself included, might experience bouts of anxiety on a regular basis. Even during the time of Paul’s preaching and letters, he witnessed the anxiety people had. He reminds us today to not allow anxiety or worry to get the best of us. We tend to be anxious about so much, especially when it comes to work or family. We tend to worry about so much, which leads to anxiety. St. Paul reminds us that with the Lord by our side, we need not to worry or be anxious. In just about 2 weeks we will begin the solemn season of Lent. We pray that our hearts will continue to be filled with God’s abundant love and mercy, keeping ourselves fixated on Christ the Lord. May Christ continue to teach us, his children, with authority, allowing his presence to be with us. Continue reading “January 28, 2024”

April 14, 2024

January 21, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. As you can see all of the Christmas decorations, trees and poinsettia plants are gone. In just a few short weeks, we will begin the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. Our gospel passage for Mass today is one of my favorites. It is the call of Simon and Andrew. As these fishermen were tending to their work, their eyes gaze upon Jesus. It is from this initial gaze, Jesus invites them with these words, “come after me and I will make you fishers of men”. It is from that invitation, both Simon and Andrew drop and leave everything behind to follow the Lord Jesus. Jesus invites us to follow him. He calls us every day to be faithful, strong and holy witnesses of him. The question that arises is, are we ready to drop everything and follow the Lord Jesus? Knowing and trusting that the Lord provides for all our needs, are we ready to live that out by following and listening to the voice of the Lord. In a special way, we pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, that more young men and women will have the courage to say yes to the Lord Jesus. Let us pray today, that the Lord of the harvest will continue to call laborers in the vineyard. Continue reading “January 21, 2024”

April 14, 2024

January 14, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners,

As we begin this Ordinary Time of the new liturgical year, our scripture readings lead us to fulfilling the will of God in our lives. Today’s first reading from the book of Samuel is one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament. We hear Samuel say, “speak, for your servant is listening”. I think those are words that each of us can live by! We know that the Lord speaks to us every day, the key is allowing ourselves to truly listen to the voice of the Lord in our lives. Our responsorial psalm for Mass today is, “here I am Lord, I come to do your will”. Our lives are rooted in doing the will of our Father, but there is so much distraction that we would rather choose our own will than the will of God. In just a few short weeks, we will begin the solemn season of Lent. May these days leading up to the penitential season be moments of grace and prayer, for we can proclaim like Samuel, “speak Lord your servant is listening”. Continue reading “January 14, 2024”

April 14, 2024

January 7, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. We all know the story of the three wise men who come bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for baby Jesus. Traditionally, it is on this feast day that gifts are exchanged amongst family. The ultimate gift Jesus wants from us is our very selves. The Lord is calling us to give ourselves totally over to him. Our hearts must be rooted in Christ, who ultimately gives of himself for our salvation. With the way the calendar falls this year, tomorrow, January 8th is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which concludes the Christmas season. Next week we will enter the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. As we conclude this Christmas season, we pray that the light of the newborn King will shine brightly for all the world to see. May Christ, born in a stable in Bethlehem, continue to reign in our hearts, as we strive to bring the Good News to all our brothers and sisters. May the gifts we bring before the Lord be for the building up of the Kingdom of God here in Bedford Stuyvesant. Continue reading “January 7, 2024”

April 14, 2024

December 31, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners,

Once again I take this opportunity to wish you all of you a blessed and joyful Christmas season. As Catholics, we know that Christmas does not end on December 25th but continues to be celebrated until the Epiphany. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Families are a gift. We don’t get to choose our families; God does that for us! Families are meant to be a support for one another. Far too often I hear of strife and division among families. There are so many family members who no longer communicate with one another primarily over something small or menial. On this Holy Family Sunday, I invite you to say a special prayer for your family. In a deeper way, I would invite you to pray for that one family member that you have difficulty with or that you have not spoken with in a while. We pray that through the intercession of the Holy Family, we will continue to love and support one another as the family of Christ here at St. Martin de Porres parish. Continue reading “December 31, 2023”

April 14, 2024

December 24, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners,

Today, December 24, is Christmas Eve. It also happens to be the 4th and last Sunday of Advent. The way the calendar falls this year we unfortunately do not have 4 full weeks of Advent. This morning’s masses will be celebrated for the 4th Sunday of Advent. Our first Christmas mass will be celebrated at 5:00PM at St. Peter Claver Church with our Faith Formation students participating in the pageant. At 11:00PM our parish choir will have lessons and carols which will be followed by the blessing of the parish Nativity crib. Midnight Mass will be celebrated at Midnight. On Christmas Day, December 25, Mass will be celebrated at each of the three churches, 9:00AM at Holy Rosary Church, 10:00AM at Our Lady of Victory Church and 11:30AM at St. Peter Claver Church. As we prepare to enter the celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation, we pray that baby Jesus will continue to transform the hearts of all humankind. On behalf of the entire parish community here at St. Martin de Porres, I wish all of you a blessed and joyful Christmas filled with the Lord’s blessings and grace. Continue reading “December 24, 2023”

April 14, 2024

December 10, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners,  

Today we celebrate the second Sunday of Advent. As you know, the way the calendar falls this year, we don’t have four full weeks of Advent. It is even more important and essential that we use these days of Advent as prayerful preparation for the birth of the Lord Jesus. Today we are introduced to St. John the Baptist. John the Baptist foretells the coming of the Lord. We hear in today’s gospel how John the Baptist cries out in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight a highway for our God. We look to John as an example of proclaiming the Good News to all of God’s holy people. Let us pray that these days of Advent will be moments of prayer and reflection as we embrace the child who will set us free.

Reconciliation Monday

Next Monday, December 18th is Reconciliation Monday. There will be a priest available for the sacrament of confession in every Catholic church in the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York. Here at St. Martin de Porres, there will be a priest available for confession after each of the masses on Monday. In addition, confessions will be heard at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:00PM. What a wonderful way to prepare for Christmas as we celebrate the sacrament of confession.

Advent Vespers and Eucharistic Adoration

As is the custom here at St. Martin de Porres, we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers each Tuesday during Advent continuing this Tuesday, December 12th. Vespers will take place at Our Lady of Victory Church starting at 7:30PM. The service will be livestreamed, but all are welcomed to join us for prayer.

Christmas Flowers

In just a few short weeks, we will begin to decorate our three beautiful churches with Christmas poinsettia plants. We invite parishioners to have a plant donated in memory or in honor of a loved one. Christmas flowers are $20 each. There are Christmas flower envelopes located at the doors of each of the three churches.

Annual Catholic Appeal

I take this opportunity to thank all of you who generously contributed to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. It is with great joy that I announce that we have made our goal in pledges. As you know, our parish goal is $63,586. As of this week, we have in pledges, $68,448. We have received almost $60,000 thus far. Words cannot begin to express how truly grateful I am for your commitment and generosity. I thank our ACA team who worked so hard over these last few months in making sure that we get to our goal. Please be assured of my prayers for you as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Wishing you a blessed and peaceful Advent,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

 

April 14, 2024

December 3, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the 1st Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. Advent is one of the most beautiful and fruitful liturgical seasons within the Catholic Church, although it is brief, only 4 weeks. I invite all of us to use these next four weeks of Advent to spiritually prepare our minds, hearts and souls for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I challenge us, myself included, not to fall into the trap of the commercialization of Christmas. We need this time to prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ, who comes to us as a child. During this beautiful season, our scripture passage focuses on the prophet Isaiah. The prophet proclaims “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight a highway for our God.” May this season bring us the joy of welcoming Christ into the homes of our hearts. Continue reading “December 3, 2023”

April 14, 2024

November 26, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

Click here for prayer request

Dear Parishioners

Today we celebrate the great solemnity of Christ the King. It is one of my favorite solemnities. The scripture readings for Mass focus on the kingly presence of the Lord. We hear in today’s gospel that the Lord will come in glory on his throne with his scepter of power and justice. Jesus is the King that we want to follow! He is the King who will lead us to the kingdom of everlasting life. Jesus is our sovereign King, who is our savior and redeemer. Today also marks the last Sunday of this liturgical year. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent! It’s hard to believe that we have already approached a new liturgical season. We pray that the Lord will continue to bless the amazing and good work being done here at St. Martin de Porres parish. Long live Christ the King! Continue reading “November 26, 2023”