August 14, 2022

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

August 14, 2022

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

 

 

August 14, 2022

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”

August 14, 2022

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”

August 14, 2022

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”

August 14, 2022

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”

August 14, 2022

January 30. 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

In today’s first reading, God calls the prophet Jeremiah and equips him for the opposition and rejection ahead of him. Please make no mistake about it; nobody is immune to rejection and adverse reactions, not the prophets like Jeremiah and certainly not Jesus, as seen in today’s gospel passage. During February, we as a nation celebrate Black History by highlighting the achievements of African Americans and recognizing their central roles in the history of the United States. These achievements were realized amidst struggles, challenges, and difficulties associated with systemic oppression of Black people, racism, slavery, and social segregation. Like the others in our past, we still contend with the challenges of discrimination, police brutality, incarceration of our youth, and flagrant violation of our fundamental rights. In the face of all these challenges, God reminds us of His omniscience the way he reminded Jeremiah in today’s first reading and encourages us to remain resilient as He would make sure that we are victorious. Against this backdrop, we are called to face the future with prophetic courage and optimism. 

St Paul advises us in the second reading to embrace our prophetic calling and fight rejection with one simple spiritual instrument, love. As prophets and Christians, let us continue to speak out against injustice despite the situation we are subjected to; and let us show an excellent example by embracing love. After all, Martin Luther King Jr. advised us to use love as an antidote for maltreatment, hatred, and rejection. Let us end with the beautiful words of MLK in his Christmas sermon for peace in December 1967, “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we will still love you… But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in this process, and our victory will be a double victory.” Continue reading “January 30. 2022”

August 14, 2022

January 23, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Over these last few weeks, our scripture passages have given us the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. We see the many miracles and healings that he has done. Everyone, including his own disciples are amazed at what Jesus has done and have come to believe in him as the eternal Son of God. In today’s gospel, we see Jesus as he makes his way back to Nazareth from Galilee and how he is filled with the Spirit. As Jesus makes his way into the synagogue, he reads from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, the Spirit of the Lord God is upon him. Jesus is driven by the Spirit to continue the work of the Father here on earth. We as his disciples, are commissioned to do just that. All of us are called by the Spirit, to continue the work of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians tells us that although the body has many parts, there is only one Spirit. The Church here on earth has many parts, but we all share of the one Spirit in which all of us are baptized. On this third Sunday of Ordinary Time, let us pray that the Spirit of which we are all baptized into here at St. Martin dePorres Parish will continue to strengthen and empower the Body of Christ. Continue reading “January 23, 2022”

August 14, 2022

January 16, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

We have now moved into the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. Our scripture readings will focus on the beginning of Jesus public ministry. Our gospel passage for Mass today is one of my favorites, the wedding feast at Cana. It is here that Jesus conducts his first public miracle, as he changes water into wine. But, before he even does that, our Blessed Mother Mary gives us a mandate for how to proceed, “do whatever he tells you”. These next few weeks of Ordinary Time will lead us to the solemn 40 days of Lent. We are invited to use these weeks as moments of spiritual preparation for the days of Lent. May the Holy Spirit continue to strengthen and empower this community of faith here in Bedford Stuyvesant, as we proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “January 16, 2022”

August 14, 2022

January 9, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This feast day marks the final Sunday within the Christmas season. Next week you will notice all the Christmas poinsettia plants will be gone along with the Christmas trees and Nativity scene. In the city of Rome, Christmas decorations remain in place until February 2, which is the Presentation of the Lord, but here in the U.S. most decorations have begun to be put away. I hope that these weeks of Christmas have been moments of grace and blessings. Jesus comes to us as a child in Bethlehem, to grow in wisdom and strength, which will lead him to the cross on Calvary. As we see in today’s gospel, after John baptizes Jesus, the heavens are opened and the voice of God speaks to us, “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” We pray that the grace of the Holy Spirit will continue to flow in abundance here at St. Martin de Porres parish. Continue reading “January 9, 2022”