PastorsDesk

April 17, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

I take this opportunity to wish all of you a blessed and happy Easter! We have prepared our hearts to bask in Easter joy over these last 40 days. Now, we celebrate the great solemnity of our salvation, that is our Lord’s triumph over sin and death, by his glorious resurrection. I hope and pray that this Easter season will be a time of grace filled joy, as we thank God for the gift of his only Son, Jesus Christ. I thank all our liturgical ministers for making our liturgies so prayerful and beautiful. I thank our music ministry, who continues to help lift our voices to the heavens. I am blessed to have such a wonderful parish staff that continues to support and collaborate with me. May Christ our Risen King continue to lead us closer to the eternal kingdom of God. Continue reading “April 17, 2022”

PastorsDesk

April 10, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today we begin the solemn celebrations of Holy Week. On this Palm Sunday, we recall our Lord’s entry into the city of Jerusalem. We hear how palm branches were waved and thrown at him as he made his way into the city. Our gospel passage today comes from the passion narrative of St. Luke. We hear how Jesus was scourged, beaten, spat upon and ultimately nailed to the wood of the cross. All this Jesus did to fulfill the will of the Father. As we enter these most sacred days, we pray that our hearts will be conformed to the heart of Christ our Savior. As we receive our palm branches, let us reflect upon the immense love the Lord has for us, his children, as he walks the road leading to Calvary.

Holy Week Schedule

The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper will take place this Thursday, April 14 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:30PM. The service of seven last words will take place on Good Friday, April 15 at St. Peter Claver Church beginning at 10:00AM. The Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion will take place at 3:00PM at Our Lady of Victory Church followed by a procession to Holy Rosary Church for Stations of the Cross. On Holy Saturday, April 16 we will pray Tenebrae at 9:00AM. The Solemn Easter Vigil will take place at Holy Rosary Church at 8:00PM. We will have a regular Sunday Mass schedule on Easter Sunday.

Reconciliation Monday

This Monday, April 11 is Reconciliation Monday. Here at St. Martin de Porres, Father Franklin and I will be available for Confession beginning at 3:00PM. We will also hear confessions beginning at 7:00PM at Our Lady of Victory Church. Continue reading “April 10, 2022”

PastorsDesk

April 3, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the fifth and last Sunday of Lent. Our gospel passage today is particularly appropriate for us to reflect upon as we prepare to enter into the holiest of days on the liturgical calendar. Our Lord gives us the example of the woman caught in adultery. We see how everyone casts judgements upon her because of her actions, so much so that they are ready to kill her. Jesus gives us a profound statement when he says, “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. What a beautiful reflection for us today as we prepare for Holy Week. We are called to be less judgmental, and much more merciful and compassionate. We are called to lift one another up and not tear each other down. Each of us are sinners, praying that God will pour forth his merciful love upon us. As we commemorate Palm Sunday next week, let us pray that God our Father will give us the strength and courage to walk with Jesus to Jerusalem and ultimately to Calvary.

Holy Thursday Feet Washing

It has been the custom to imitate the Lord at the Holy Thursday liturgy with the washing of feet. We are asking for 12 volunteers from our parish community to have their feet washed. Please call the parish office to sign up. There will be a brief rehearsal on Wednesday April 13.

Holy Week Schedule

With Palm Sunday next week, we will begin the solemn celebrations of Holy Week. We will have a regular Sunday Mass schedule next week. Weather permitting, we will have an outdoor Palm Sunday procession at 9:00AM at Fulton Park (down the block from Holy Rosary Church), 10:15AM in front of the priest’s garage at Our Lady of Victory Church, and 11:30AM in the parking lot of St. Peter Claver Church. Palms will be distributed to everyone. The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper will take place on Thursday, April 14 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:30PM. The service of seven last words will take place on Good Friday, April 15 at St. Peter Claver Church beginning at 10:00AM. The Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion will take place at 3:00PM at Our Lady of Victory Church followed by a procession to Holy Rosary Church for Stations of the Cross. On Holy Saturday, April 16 we will pray Tenebrae at 9:00AM. The Solemn Easter Vigil will take place at Holy Rosary Church at 8:00PM. We will have a regular Sunday Mass schedule on Easter Sunday.

Reconciliation Monday

Next Monday, April 11 is Reconciliation Monday. Here at St. Martin de Porres, Father Franklin and I will be available for Confession beginning at 3:00PM. We will also hear confessions beginning at 7:00PM at Our Lady of Victory Church.

Solemn Stations of the Cross

We will pray the stations of the cross communally this Friday, April 8 beginning at 7:00PM at Our Lady of Victory Church. There will not be stations of the cross at St. Peter Claver or Holy Rosary.

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

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

PastorsDesk

March 27, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

We have come to the midpoint of our Lenten observance. Traditionally, the fourth Sunday of Lent is known as Laetare Sunday. The word Laetare means rejoice. You will notice that the priest and deacons for Mass are wearing rose colored vestments. The rose color is an outward sign that the celebration of Easter is close at hand. These last few weeks of Lent are meant to be a time of prayerful preparation as we enter the most sacred of days, that is the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Today’s gospel is the story of the prodigal son. This passage should remind us of the importance of forgiveness and mercy. All of us are called to be merciful, just as our Father is merciful to us. We must not allow anger, resentment or jealously to get in the way of truly being imitators of Christ here on earth. May these next few weeks of Lent be an opportunity for us to grow in love and mercy, as we continue to journey with Christ on the road to Calvary.

Lenten Evening Vespers & Stations of the Cross

As is the custom here at St. Martin de Porres, each Tuesday of Lent we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers. It will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church continuing this Tuesday, March 29 at 7:30PM. It will also be livestreamed. We will also continue the Lenten practice of praying the stations of the cross every Friday during the season of Lent at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. All are welcomed to join us for prayer. Continue reading “March 27, 2022”

PastorsDesk

March 20, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

Dear Parishioners,

Lent seems to be flying right by! We are already at the third Sunday of Lent. Our gospel passage for Mass speaks about the fig tree. The Lord speaks to us about a tree producing good fruit. As you have heard me say, the fruit we produce here at St. Martin de Porres will last for ages to come. I am so blessed to be the shepherd of a parish that produces such good fruit which is in sharing in time, talent and treasure. The Lord also calls us to repentance. We are all poor sinners, trying our best each day to get ourselves to heaven. We are called to repent for the sins we have committed, knowing that God is merciful and compassionate. I invite all of you to take advantage of the Sacrament of Penance, asking the Lord to forgive us of our sins, and to lead us to everlasting life. Lent is a great opportunity for us to look at the sins we have committed, asking for the Lord to heal us from our weaknesses and faults. As we continue to journey with the Lord this Lenten season, let us pray that Christ will continue to transform our hearts to live lives of holiness and love.

Lenten Evening Vespers & Stations of the Cross

As is the custom here at St. Martin de Porres, each Tuesday of Lent we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers. It will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church continuing this Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30PM. It will also be livestreamed. This Tuesday our seminarian, Tobe, will serve as the homilist. We will also continue the Lenten practice of praying the stations of the cross every Friday during the season of Lent at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. All are welcomed to join us for prayer.

Lenten Coin Cards

One of the three traditional practices of Lent is almsgiving. It is in that spirit, that we will continue with the custom of distributing Lenten coin cards. These cards are meant to serve as a practice of giving what we have for the poor and needy of our community. There will be coin cards available at the doors of each of our three churches. Please return these cards in the collection basket or to the parish office on Palm Sunday.

Contribution Letters

As we get closer to tax preparation time, letters are available for those of you who need them to prepare your taxes. It is important to use your envelopes when contributing to the parish in order that we can keep a record of your financial contribution to the parish. As your Pastor, I take this opportunity to thank all of you for the gift of your time, talent and treasure.

Bible Study Series

Many parishioners have been asking for a Bible Study series here at St. Martin de Porres. We will begin in the Spring with a series on the Acts of the Apostles. As you know, each Sunday during the Easter season we hear from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles as the first reading at Mass. We will be looking to do both an in-person and livestreamed platform for this Bible Study series. More information to come as we get closer to the season of Easter.

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

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

PastorsDesk

March 6, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

On this first Sunday of Lent, we hear in our gospel passage for Mass the account of the temptation. Jesus is tempted by Satan on three different occasions. It is customary to hear the story of the temptation each first Sunday of Lent. It gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the times we are tempted to give in to Satan and his empty promises. Lent is an opportunity for us to grow in holiness and truth. Every time I reflect upon this gospel passage, I recall the image of the devil and an angel perched up on a person’s shoulder. Who do we listen to in times of temptation, the angel or the devil? During this season of Lent, we are given an opportunity to listen attentively to Jesus and to journey with him in the desert. These weeks of Lent are meant to be moments of encounter, allowing Christ to lead us to the joys of the resurrection. All of us are poor sinners, trying our best each day to get to heaven. May this Lenten season be a time of transformation, as we follow Christ from the cross to the empty tomb.

What a beautiful celebration we had last week! I sincerely thank all of you who came to St. Peter Claver Church for the Mass closing the 100th anniversary. Bishop Brennan had a great time! He expressed his joy and gratitude to all of you. I thank each of you who made last week’s celebration so beautiful and prayerful. We are truly producing good fruit here in Bedford Stuyvesant!

Lenten Evening Vespers & Stations of the Cross

As is the custom here at St. Martin de Porres, each Tuesday of Lent we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers. It will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning this Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00PM. It will also be livestreamed. We will also continue the Lenten practice of praying the stations of the cross every Friday during the season of Lent at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. All are welcomed to join us for prayer.

Lenten Coin Cards

One of the three traditional practices of Lent is almsgiving. It is in that spirit, that we will continue with the custom of distributing Lenten coin cards. These cards are meant to serve as a practice of giving what we have for the poor and needy of our community. There will be coin cards available at the doors of each of our three churches. Please return these cards in the collection basket or to the parish office on Palm Sunday.

Contribution Letters

As we get closer to tax preparation time, letters are available for those of you who need them to prepare your taxes. It is important to use your envelopes when contributing to the parish in order that we can keep a record of your financial contribution to the parish. As your Pastor, I take this opportunity to thank all of you for the gift of your time, talent and treasure. I pray every day that the Lord will continue to bless all of us in his love, mercy and goodness.

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

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

 

 

PastorsDesk

February 27, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

I would like to thank all of you who came out for the Diocesan celebration for Black History Month with His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC. It was a beautiful celebration filled with the Holy Spirit. We had almost 900 people in attendance! As you know, we work in collaboration with the Diocese of Rockville Centre each year. I thank my counterpart in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Mrs. Darcel Whitten-Wilamowski for her close collaboration and most especially for her work as Director of the Sister Thea Bowman Gospel Choir. It was truly a momentous and historic moment for both Brooklyn and Rockville Centre to welcome the first African American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church for Black History Month.

This weekend we will have another momentous moment here at St. Martin de Porres Parish as we welcome the new Bishop of Brooklyn, Bishop Robert Brennan to St. Peter Claver Church. Almost two years ago, we began the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of St. Peter Claver Church. We had several events planned, but due to the pandemic, many of those plans had to be postponed. I am so happy that we can hold this special Mass, celebrating the tremendous history of St. Peter Claver Church and its bright future. Bishop Brennan will celebrate the 11:30AM Mass and will bless the newly renovated St. Therese of Lisieux shrine along with the new pipe organ console and choir pews. Immediately following Mass, there will be a reception in Monsignor Rodgers Hall. All are welcomed to join us and to formally meet our new Bishop as he is eager to meet all of you. Continue reading “February 27, 2022”

PastorsDesk

February 20. 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Our gospel passage for Mass today must be one of the most difficult passages for me to reflect upon as a human being. Today, the Lord is challenging us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek and to do good to those who persecute us. Each time I proclaim this gospel, I think of those who have been persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I think of those who have caused harm to others, whether it be physical or spiritual harm. I think of those who continue to bear the marks of pain and sorrow in their lives. Yet, the Lord wants us to love our enemies, to not judge others and ultimately to pray for those who mistreat us. To be a disciple of the Lord, we must not combat violence with more violence. We are called to love one another, in the same way that God loves us. We must continue to pray for one another, not allowing hatred or violence to get in the way of bringing the light and love of Christ to all our brothers and sisters. The Lord speaks to us about forgiveness. We must be able to forgive those who have hurt us, not forgetting, but allowing Christ to heal us from it. May our hearts be conformed to the heart of Christ our Savior, who himself said from the wood of the cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do”. 

Diocese of Brooklyn Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving

As you all know, I serve as the Vicar for the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Each year, the Diocese of Brooklyn sponsors a special Mass in Thanksgiving for Black History Month. This year’s Mass will take place today, Sunday, February 20 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Jamaica, Queens beginning at 4:00PM. His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC will be the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Cardinal Gregory is the first African American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. All of you are welcomed to join us for this most historic Mass and celebration. Continue reading “February 20. 2022”

PastorsDesk

February 13, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

What a beautiful celebration we had last week commemorating Black History Month! I take this opportunity to thank the Black History Month committee who worked so hard to make last week’s celebration so beautiful. I also want to thank our parish choir under the direction of Ms. Joan Delahunt and Mr. Joseph Murray. Our dedicated choir has worked so hard in making our liturgies prayerful and beautiful. Throughout the month of February, we continue to celebrate Black History Month, most especially in thanksgiving for our ancestors who shed their blood fighting for equality, peace and justice. As Father Mario Powell said so beautifully in his homily, Black History should be celebrated not just during the month of February, but every month of the year. May Christ our Savior continue to bestow his love and mercy upon us, his children as we grow in charity and peace.

Diocese of Brooklyn Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving

As you all know, I serve as the Vicar for the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Each year, the Diocese of Brooklyn sponsors a special Mass in Thanksgiving for Black History Month. This year’s Mass will take place next Sunday, February 20 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Jamaica, Queens beginning at 4:00PM. His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC will be the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Cardinal Gregory is the first African American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. All of you are welcomed to join us for this most historic Mass and celebration. Continue reading “February 13, 2022”

PastorsDesk

February 6, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,
Today we as a parish community commemorate Black History Month. Throughout the month of February, we as a nation celebrate Black History Month. It is an opportunity to reflect upon the tremendous impact that Black Americans have made and continue to make on our society. We look to a bright future filled with hope, love and perseverance in continuing the mission of living in peace and harmony. It is also an opportunity to look to the past, never forgetting that many of our Black brothers and sisters died, to the point of shedding their blood, fighting for peace and equality. Here at St. Martin de Porres parish we will celebrate with a special Mass that will take place today, Sunday February 6 at Holy Rosary Church at 11:00AM. Please note that there will not be a 10:15AM Mass at Our Lady of Victory Church or a 11:30AM Mass at St. Peter Claver Church. There will be a 7:30AM Mass at Our Lady of Victory. Please take note of the Mass time changes for this weekend only. We are happy to welcome Father Mario Powell S.J. as the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Father Powell is the President of Brooklyn Jesuit Prep Academy in Brooklyn. Immediately after Mass, all are welcomed for a reception in the lower hall of Holy Rosary Church.

Diocese of Brooklyn Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving

As you all know, I serve as the Vicar for the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Each year, the Diocese of Brooklyn sponsors a special Mass in Thanksgiving for Black History Month. This year’s Mass will take place on Sunday, February 20 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Jamaica, Queens beginning at 4:00PM. His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC will be the Main Celebrant and Homilist. Cardinal Gregory is the first African American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. All of you are welcomed to join us for this most historic Mass and celebration. Continue reading “February 6, 2022”