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February 4, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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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”

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December 17, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,  

Today we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Advent, which this year happens to be the last full calendar week of the Advent season. As you might have noticed on our Advent wreath in the sanctuary, today we light the rose-colored candle. Traditionally, the 3rd Sunday of Advent is known as “Gaudete” Sunday. The word Gaudete is Latin meaning rejoice. We rejoice that in just a few short days, the Savior of the world will be born. We rejoice that the king of kings will make his dwelling among us. Our scripture readings for Mass talk to us about the spirit of the Lord. We hear from the prophet Isaiah that the spirit of the Lord is upon us and that he has anointed us. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we pray the words of the Magnificat, my soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

Christmas Mass Schedule

You have noticed that there are banners outside each of the three churches highlighting the Mass schedule for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Next Sunday, December 24, we will have a regular Sunday Mass schedule for the 4th Sunday of Advent. Our Christmas Eve Masses will begin at 5:00PM with a Family Mass at St. Peter Claver Church, which will include the Christmas pageant with our parish youth children. At 11:00PM Christmas Carols will be sung by our parish choir which will take place at Our Lady of Victory Church to be followed by Solemn Midnight Mass at 12:00AM. On Christmas Day, Masses will be celebrated at each of the three churches, 9:00AM at Holy Rosary, 10:00AM at Our Lady of Victory and 11:30AM at St. Peter Claver. On Sunday, December 31st we will have Eucharistic Adoration with the recitation of Night Prayer to begin at 11:00PM at Our Lady of Victory. Following Holy Hour, Mass will be celebrated at Midnight. We are happy this year to welcome the Bishop of Brooklyn, His Excellency Bishop Robert Brennan as the Main Celebrant and Homilist. All are welcomed to join us in prayer over these next few days.

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 19th. 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.

Reconciliation Monday

Tomorrow, 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.

Wishing you a blessed and joyful Gaudete Sunday and week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

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July 2, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners

God rewards all generous people (givers). According to one spiritual author, John Rose, “Human generosity will always be rewarded with the divine superabundance.” That notwithstanding, God loves more a selfless giver than someone who is charitable with the intent to receive a reward from God. In today’s first reading from the Second Book of Kings, the influential woman helping Elisha was not looking to receive anything from Elisha; she was only helping a man of God (cf. 2 Kings 4:8-16). Interestingly, every act of generosity is just like sowing a seed. When someone plants a seed, it grows and yields abundant fruits. It may take time, but if one has the patience, one will undoubtedly reap abundant blessings. An act of generosity will never go unrewarded.

Again, giving is equivalent to sacrifice because, in generosity, one relinquishes what is essential for the good of another; no one has ever performed a sacrifice without getting its reward. Speaking of sacrifice, carrying our crosses in life is an act of sacrifice. Jesus said, “Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10: 38). There is always this transaction of give and take in generosity. St Francis of Assisi summed it up in the following words: ‘It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in giving that we do receive, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” To this extent, true discipleship has its costs and gains.

Finally, giving facilitates the answering of our prayers. Even when we have not prayed but are charitable, God finds a way of rewarding us with something we need. Today’s first reading gives us the mindset of the prophet of God, and today’s gospel provides us with the mindset of God. While the woman was charitable to Elisha, she was expecting nothing. However, Elisha was receiving favor from the woman and was looking for something to do for her. The Lord blesses us in the same way whenever we have done something for Him. Besides, we do something for God when we do something for our fellow human beings. After all, Christ was emphatic when he said, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it for me” (Matthew 25:40). Jesus also said in today’s gospel, “Whoever receives you, receives me. And whoever receives me receives the one who sent me”(Matthew 10: 38). May God continue to bless us as we strive to be charitable and generous toward one another. Have a generous week! Continue reading “July 2, 2023”

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May 28, 2023

From the Pastor’s Desk

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Dear Parishioners

Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost. We gather on this Pentecost Sunday to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. Today officially concludes the Easter season. It is my hope that all of us was able to develop a deeper relationship with the Risen Lord, as we encounter him in both word and sacrament. Today, the Lord gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, in which we are empowered to “go out” and proclaim the Good News by the example of our lives. We hear in today’s gospel of Jesus bestowing his peace upon the disciples who were gathered. The Lord breathes on them and at that moment invokes the Holy Spirit upon them. Today’s solemnity is also traditionally known as the birthday of the Church. It is on Pentecost that the Lord sends his apostles out to spread the faith, by the power and working of the Holy Spirit. We pray that this Pentecost will be a day filled with the love of the Spirit, allowing us to share the fruits of that same Spirit with all our brothers and sisters. Continue reading “May 28, 2023”

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May 21, 2023

From the Pastor’s Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is the 7th and last Sunday of Easter. Next Sunday we will celebrate the great Solemnity of Pentecost. Today’s gospel is the beautiful prayer that Jesus proclaims before taking his seat at the right hand of the Father. The Lord offers himself to the Father not for his own glory, but for that of the one who sent him. He prays for us, that we might know that he is in the Father and the Father is in him. As we come to the end of this Easter season with Pentecost next week, we are reminded of the importance and power of prayer. We must continue to listen to the voice of the Lord, who calls us to greater and deeper discipleship. May these days leading up to Pentecost be filled with God’s love and mercy as we prepare to welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading “May 21, 2023”

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April 9, 2023

From the Pastor’s Desk.

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is Easter Sunday. I take this opportunity on behalf of the entire parish staff here at St. Martin de Porres to wish you a blessed and peaceful Easter Sunday. Over these last 40 days, we have been preparing ourselves to enter the sacred mysteries of our salvation, that is, our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection. We acknowledge our sins, knowing that we are not perfect, but that the Lord’s merciful love allows us to journey with him to the kingdom of heaven. These days of the Triduum have been prayerful and moving. I thank all of our liturgical ministers for their dedication in enhancing our liturgical celebrations this week. We rejoice that the Lord has been raised from the dead! May this Easter Sunday be a day filled with God’s immense love as we bask in the glory of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Continue reading “April 9, 2023”

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December 25, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is Christmas Day! I take this opportunity on behalf of the entire parish staff to wish all of you a very happy and blessed Christmas. It is my prayer that this Christmas Day will be filled with the joy of the birth of the savior of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. As Catholics, we believe that Christmas doesn’t end on December 25th but continues until the celebration of the Epiphany of our Lord. These days of Christmas are meant to be filled with tremendous joy, knowing that the Lord is here with us. We hear in our scripture readings for Mass that Jesus is the light that has been born into this world of darkness. We must always allow the light of Christ to shine for all the world to see. Our gospel passage from the St. John gives us this most important reality, that the Word was made flesh and that he made his dwelling among us. Jesus is that Word, that continues to make his dwelling among us, leading his people to the eternal kingdom of heaven.

Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

Next week, December 31st is New Year’s Eve. It is also the solemnity of Mary Mother of God. As is the custom here at St. Martin de Porres, we will have a Holy Hour at 11:00PM followed by Midnight Mass at Our Lady of Victory Church. The following day, January 1st, we will have a regular Sunday Mass schedule.

Parish Office Closed & No 12:00 Noon Mass

Please be aware that the parish office will be closed on Monday, December 26 and Monday January 2. Also, please note that there will not be a 12:00 Noon Mass at St. Peter Claver Church on Monday December 26 and Monday January 2. Only one Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Victory Church at 8:00AM.

Wishing all of you a joyful and blessed Christmas

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

 

 

 

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December 11, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. It is traditionally known as “Gaudete” Sunday. The word Gaudete is Latin, which means rejoice! We rejoice that the Lord is coming soon. We rejoice that the light of the world, Jesus will come to dispel the darkness. On this third Sunday of Advent, we light the rose-colored candle on our Advent wreath. Your will also notice the priests and deacons wearing rose colored vestments. The rose color is a mixture of the Advent purple and the Christmas white, symbolizing that we are soon approaching the celebration of the Nativity. Today’s second reading from the letter of St. James speaks to us about patience. As we approach the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we need to pray for patience now more than ever! We must be patient with one another, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our words and actions. The letter goes on to say that we must not complain either! It is human nature to call out or complain about someone or something that did not line up with what we wanted or envisioned. During this Advent season, we are asked to look at the human traits that hinder us from truly embracing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. May these last few weeks of Advent prepare our minds, hearts and souls to welcome baby Jesus this Christmas. Continue reading “December 11, 2022”

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September 12, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Many of our young students have made their way back to school this week. I have always enjoyed seeing the mixed emotions of students as they are dropped off to school for the beginning of a new school year. Some are eager to begin a new year, while others are not so eager. With all of that aside, I take this opportunity to wish all our students and teachers a blessed new school year. We will bestow a special blessing upon all our students and teachers at all the masses this weekend. Today we commemorate as a parish family the feast of St. Peter Claver. Just a little over 100 years ago, Servant of God, Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn founded St. Peter Claver parish. This newly formed parish would serve the growing Black community within the Diocese of Brooklyn. This community was not welcomed any where else, which drove Msgr. Quinn to establish this parish. One Hundred Years later, this community continues to flourish and thrive as a place of love, welcome and hope. I am honored as the Pastor of this parish to be a part of the rich history and bright future of St. Peter Claver. We pray that through his powerful intercession, that all of God’s holy people will be looked at as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Continue reading “September 12, 2021”