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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”

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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September 11, 2020

From The Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

This past Friday, we recalled the horrific acts of terrorism of September 11. In a very special way, we continue to pray for those innocent souls who lost their lives that day 19 years ago. We pray for those families who still grieve the loss of their loved one. Here in our neighborhood I had the opportunity to pray with the local firehouse who lost 5 firefighters that day. We must pray for peace in our world, now more than ever. Let us ask the Lord to bestow his peace upon our world. Through the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother, Queen of Peace, may we live in harmony with one another, bringing the light of Christ to this world in darkness. Our gospel passage today reminds us that we must be people of forgiveness. The Lord is challenging us to forgive our brother from the depths of our hearts. Forgiveness can be tough, especially when it comes to family. We are called to let go of the anger and resentment and be disciples of forgiveness.

Opening Mass for the 100th Anniversary of St. Peter Claver Church

Next Sunday, September 20, we will celebrate the Opening Mass commemorating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of St. Peter Claver Church. How blessed we are to be able to celebrate 100 years of this parish church proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Mass will be celebrated at the usual time of 11:30AM. We must keep to the 25% capacity of the Church. If we reach capacity, the overflow crowd will be sent downstairs to watch the Mass via livestream. After Mass I will formally bless the newly renovated lower hall which will be named after the late Monsignor William D. Rodgers. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be a reception following the Mass. The anniversary committee has a number of events planned for the year that will be presented to all of you within the next few weeks.

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.

Back to School Supplies

Our Catholic school students made their way back to school this past week. Our public school students will return next week. We continue to pray for them and their teachers for a successful academic year. We have collected school supplies for all the students of our parish. You may come to the parish office this week, Monday to Friday between 9:00AM and 5:00PM to pick them up. We did not collect as much as in previous years, so first come first served.

Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

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September 4, 2020

From The Pastor’s Desk

September 4, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

I cannot believe that we have arrived to Labor Day weekend. Under normal circumstances, many of us would be wrapping up that last visit to the beach or that last summer trip before the hustle and bustle of September begins. Students would be flocking to stores for back to school supplies and parents would be thrilled to send them off. The excitement of the Labor Day West Indian Day parade here in our neighborhood would be in the air. All of that of course is not the case this Labor Day weekend. Many of our students will begin this academic year remotely. Parents are still trying to find a way to juggle work responsibilities while their kids are learning from home. The West Indian Day parade this year being cancelled all encompasses the current state that we are living in. Even in the midst of disappointment, we continue to glory in the fact that Our Savior Jesus Christ journey’s with us today. Jesus reminds us in our gospel passage today that where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in your midst. In the midst of living in the “unknown”, we do know of God’s infinite love for all of his people. St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that each of us are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. As we begin a new Pastoral Year, may the love of Christ impel each of us here at St. Martin de Porres Parish.

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

Just this past Friday, all Pastors throughout the Diocese were informed that 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.  

St. Peter Claver Church Centennial Celebration

We will kick off the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of St. Peter Claver Church on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at the 11:30AM Mass. Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions we are unable to have a large celebration that was planned. There will not be a reception after the Mass. The anniversary committee has a number of events planned for throughout the year that you will know more about. The Mass on September 20 will be livestreamed from St. Peter Claver Church.

Labor Day and Resuming Tuesday Mass at Holy Rosary Church

This Monday, September 7 is Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. There will not be a 12:00Noon Mass at St. Peter Claver. One Mass will be celebrated at 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory. On Tuesday September 8, the 11:00AM Mass at Holy Rosary will resume.

Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox   

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August 28, 2020

From The Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

As we come to the end of this month of August, our hearts remain filled with gratitude for the immense love that God has for us and all his children. Of course, this was not the summer that anyone of us imagined it would be, but nevertheless we are grateful for the light of yet another day. God continues to shower upon all of us his graces and his abundant blessings. Although many of us did not get to take that vacation trip we wanted, our relationship with the Lord Jesus has been strengthened. Today’s gospel gives us a clear description of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The Lord tells us that if we want to follow him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. Each of us has crosses to bear. Whether it’s the cross of family division, employment, fiscal or spiritual, Jesus is asking us today to take those crosses and follow him. We know that Jesus does not give us anything that we can’t bear. We know that it is not easy being a Christian. There’s much sacrifice and self-giving involved with being a follower of Christ. These last few months have showed us that Christ is always with us, even in the midst of a global pandemic. May we have the strength and courage to pick up our crosses daily and follow the Lord to the Kingdom of Heaven.

St. Martin de Porres Parish School of Faith Formation

As we come to the end of August, it is time for our students to go back to school! But, as we are still in the midst of this pandemic, we don’t know what “back to school” looks like. Here at St. Martin de Porres we are beginning the registration and re-registration process for our Faith Formation students. The Diocese of Brooklyn has informed Pastors that at least from September 2020 to January 2021 all Faith Formation classes will be conducted remotely. There will be much more detail about what that looks like in the days ahead. For those adults who are called to join the Catholic Church and receive the sacraments of initiation or those adults who need to receive the sacrament of Confirmation, those classes will be conducted remotely. For more information you can contact myself or Ms. Michelle Joseph.

Robin Hood Emergency Task Force Food Pantry

Our Lady of Victory Church will host a food pantry distribution for the next 5 Wednesday’s continuing this Wednesday September 2nd at 12:00Noon until 2:00PM. There will be a food truck distributing healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables for free. The distribution is open to all parishioners and people in the community. There are flyers available at each of the three churches with more information. The distribution will take place in front of Our Lady of Victory School Hall entrance on Macon Street.

100th Anniversary of St. Peter Claver Church

This year we will begin the 100th anniversary celebration of the establishment of St. Peter Claver Church. The Opening Mass will take place on Sunday, September 20 at 11:30AM. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no reception following the Mass. The Anniversary committee has a number of events planned for the year. More information will be sent out to all of you.

Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

 

Click here to see and print the flyer for the Fish Fry

August 21, 2020

From The Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

I don’t know about you, but I love talking about my Catholic faith. As a lifelong Catholic, I thoroughly enjoy talking about the beauty and awe of the Roman Catholic Church. My faith has been engrained in me from birth and continues to evolve throughout my life as a priest of the Catholic Church. One of the unique aspects of the life of the Roman Catholic Church is its  hierarchy, particularly the role of the Pope. As Catholics, we believe that the Pope is the Successor to St. Peter. The Pope has many titles, in addition to his political one as Head of Vatican City, the smallest city-state in the world. The title that I believe sums up his role, is “servant of the servants of God”. I think of that title as we reflect upon today’s Gospel. Jesus is asking his disciples who people believe him to be. As they give Jesus answers to the question, Simon Peter makes a statement to Jesus that ultimately sums up who Jesus is. Simon Peter responds, “you are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. It was at that moment, Jesus gives him the keys to the Kingdom, with Peter becoming the first “Pope”. Peter makes that profound statement of faith that Jesus is the Son of God. We as Catholics continue to live that statement out. The sacraments are a reflection that Jesus is the living Son God, alive in our church to this very day. We hear in today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever”. May our worship give the Lord all glory, honor, praise and majesty now and for the ages to come.

St. Martin de Porres Parish School of Faith Formation

It is almost the end of August, which means it’s almost back to school time! But, as we are still in the midst of this pandemic, we don’t know what “back to school” looks like. As I write this letter, the Governor of the State of New York along with the Mayor, have given the green light for students to return back to school next month. There is still much discussion and planning on both parts to logistically see what that looks like. Here at St. Martin de Porres, our Sunday school of Faith Formation is in the same predicament. It would usually be at around this time of the year that we would begin registration for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year. Officials from the Diocese of Brooklyn will inform Pastors of what the plan for Faith Formation will be over the next few days. Both Michelle Joseph, our Director of Faith Formation and I will be in communication with parents who wish to register their child for Faith Formation classes, most especially for those students who need to receive the sacraments of initiation. Classes at this time will be conducted remotely.

Robin Hood Emergency Task Force Food Pantry

Our Lady of Victory Church will host a food pantry distribution for the next 4 Wednesday’s beginning this Wednesday August 26 starting at 12:00Noon until 2:00PM. There will be a food truck distributing healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables for free. The distribution is open to all parishioners and people in the community. There are flyers available at each of the three churches with more information. The distribution will take place in front of Our Lady of Victory School Hall entrance on Macon Street.

Wishing each of you a peaceful and blessed week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox