From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

As our Lenten journey with the Lord Jesus continues, we hear in today’s gospel passage the account of the Transfiguration. We see Jesus take Peter, James and John atop of Mount Tabor and all of a sudden Jesus is transfigured before their very eyes. What I love about the account of the Transfiguration is the reaction of Peter, James and John. They are in amazement at what they are seeing. It is evident that their lives have now become radically changed at seeing the Lord transfigured before their very eyes. It is Peter who says to the Lord, “It is good that we are here”. As we come to church this Sunday, to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament and to be filled with Sacred Scripture, each of us can say, it is good that we are here. It is good that we can be in the presence of Christ, word made flesh, who gives of himself for our salvation. Our lives continue to be radically changed and transformed by the presence of Christ. On this second Sunday of Lent, may we continue to keep Christ at the center of our lives, as we prepare to celebrate the joys of Easter!


Tuesday Evening Vespers & Stations of the Cross

We will have Eucharistic Adoration and Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) each Tuesday evening during the season of Lent. All are invited to join us this Tuesday, March 19 at Holy Rosary Church for Vespers beginning at 7:30PM. We will welcome Father Joseph Dutan, who serves as the parochial vicar of St. Brigid parish in Bushwick as the homilist. Stations of the Cross are prayed throughout the Fridays of Lent at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. Praying the stations of the cross is a beautiful Lenten practice of walking with the Lord on his road to Calvary.


2019 Annual Catholic Appeal

We have begun the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal. As Pastor, I thank each of you who have participated with a gift to the 2018 Appeal and ask that everyone prayerfully consider making a gift to the 2019 Appeal. The work and services made possible through your donation to the Annual Catholic Appeal help people in Brooklyn and Queens in ways that no one parish can alone. As you know, each parish throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn is given a financial goal to raise throughout the year. Our goal for the Annual Catholic Appeal this year is $59,586. This goal can be reached if everyone participates in the Appeal. Please remain assured that your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal cannot be used in the settlement of abuse claims or for anything other than their intended purpose. In a few weeks, we as a parish community will be able to view this year’s Appeal video and conduct an in-pew pledge for those who have not yet made one. Thank you for your support and generosity.


Lenten Devotional Books & Holy Week Schedule

This year’s Lenten devotional books are available at the doors of each of the three churches. The devotional reflections is entitled, “The Saving Passion”. All are invited to take one home with them. Inserted in the books is this year’s schedule for Holy Week. There are extra cards with the schedule on the back of them to give to friends and family.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

    


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. Each year on this particular Sunday, the gospel passage that is proclaimed at Mass depicts the temptation of Jesus by Satan. We hear how the devil tempts Jesus three times. The devil attempts to show Jesus the wealth, riches and power that he could have, as long as Jesus follows Satan. The Lord knows that the devil is a liar! We must never be lured by power, prestige or riches. The devil is always at work trying to tempt us. He manages to seep his way in through the most cunning of situations and circumstances. Like Jesus, we as his followers must deny Satan and all his works and empty promises. We must continue to keep our eyes fixated on Christ, the Son of the living God. As we journey with the Lord in the desert this Lenten season, let us pray that by the power and working of the Holy Spirit we will put on the armor of Christ to defeat Satan and his temptations.


Tuesday Evening Vespers and Eucharistic Adoration

During the Tuesday’s of Lent we will have Eucharistic Adoration with sung vespers. Our first Tuesday evening vespers service will take place this week March 12 beginning at 7:30PM at Our Lady of Victory Church. The theme will be “I am the Bread of Life”. We will welcome Father Jose Diaz, the Parochial Vicar of St. Leo Parish in Corona as the homilist. Please be sure to join us.


Stations of the Cross

We will pray the stations of the cross each Friday evening during the season of Lent. Stations of the Cross will be held at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. Praying the stations is a beautiful Lenten practice, as we walk with Jesus on the road to Calvary.


Passion Play

Each year, the youth of our parish dramatically depict the Passion of Christ. A lot of time and effort goes into the rehearsals for the Passion play that will take place Saturday, April 13 at St. Peter Claver Church. Any adult or child that would like to participate in the Passion play this year are most welcomed! Please see Father Kingsley, Jennifer Parkinson-Gilbert or Michelle Joseph for more information.


Co-Naming of Jefferson Avenue (Corner of Claver Place)

We are blessed at St. Martin dePorres Parish to have three churches that are filled with a rich history, one of them being St. Peter Claver Church. Just about a year ago, I was told of the story of Edwin Woodriffe. He was a parishioner of St. Peter Claver Church back in the 1940’s. He was an alumnus of the school and an altar server for the parish. He grew up to become an FBI agent. On January 8, 1969 he became the first African-American FBI agent killed in the line of duty. His funeral was held at St. Peter Claver Church. I was approached by both the Woodriffe family and members of St. Peter Claver that a petition had be presented to the New York City Transportation Council to co-name Jefferson Avenue after the fallen FBI agent. I am very happy to announce that the petition passed and the co-naming ceremony will take place on Friday, April 26, 2019. There will be much more details to come!


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

As the month of February comes to a close, I take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support over these last few weeks as we celebrated Black History Month. Between our parish celebration two weeks ago, and the Diocesan Mass of Thanksgiving last week, we have joyfully commemorated the memory of our ancestors and have given witness to the bright future we have as a community of believers. How fitting it is to conclude Black History month with the gospel passage that we hear at Mass today. The Lord challenges us to love our enemies. It’s one of the most difficult aspects to Christianity, to love those who persecute us, to love those who have hurt us either physically or spiritually. The Lord also gives us what is popularly known as the “golden rule”, which is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We must never forget or suppress the wrong or mistreatment that was done to the Black community in the past, but Christ the Lord calls us to embrace and love those who we find it difficult to love. Each of us are invited to truly take to heart the words of Christ today, to love our enemies and do good to them.


St. Martin de Porres Parish Art/Photo Exhibit

Our annual parish art/photo exhibit will take place the weekend of March 2nd/3rd at the Waldorf School at St. Peter Claver. Those of you who wish to have your artwork or photos to be placed on display, please see the flyers that are available at each of the three churches. Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 are invited to submit their work to be entered into a contest. It can be art, photography or written (poetry or short story). The theme must reflect the legacy of St. Josephine Bakhita, an African slave who became a saint of the church. For more information please consult the flyers at each of the churches.


Lent 2019

We will begin the solemn season of Lent in just two short weeks beginning with Ash Wednesday on March 6. Please see the bulletin for the Ash Wednesday schedule of Masses and Liturgy of the Word Prayer Services. During the Friday’s of Lent we will also pray the stations of the cross at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. In addition, we will pray solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) on the Tuesday’s of Lent with a guest preacher. All are invited to pray with our parish community as we prepare to celebrate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Passion Play

Each year, the youth of our parish dramatically depict the Passion of Christ. A lot of time and effort goes into the rehearsals for the Passion play that will take place Saturday, April 13 at St. Peter Claver Church. Any adult or child that would like to participate in the Passion play this year are most welcomed! Please see Father Kingsley, Jennifer Parkinson-Gilbert or Michelle Joseph for more information.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

What a beautiful celebration we had last week commemorating Black History Month! Almost 200 people gathered at Holy Rosary Church to first and foremost give honor, glory and praise to God and then to joyfully celebrate Black History. It was truly a joyful and prayerful celebration! Father Anthony Bozeman, who served as the celebrant and homilist for the Mass was absolutely phenomenal! He was very happy to spend the weekend with us here in Brooklyn and he promises to come back. I once again thank the Black History Month Committee for all of their hard work and dedication into making last Sunday’s celebration as beautiful as it was. We have much to be grateful for here at St. Martin dePorres, it is my prayer that the Lord will continue to bestow his abundant blessings upon our parish community as we bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of God’s people.


Diocese of Brooklyn Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving

As you all know, in addition to being the Pastor here at St. Martin dePorres, I also serve as diocesan director of ministry to African-American Catholics and the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns. Each year we sponsor our diocesan celebration for Black History Month with a Mass of Thanksgiving. This year’s Mass will take place today Sunday, February 17, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston beginning at 4:00PM. This year’s homilist will be Father Tony Ricard, a priest from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is gifted and talented preacher! There will be a reception to follow the Mass. All are invited.


St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy

You will find in this week’s bulletin an insert regarding our regional Catholic school, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy. St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy has begun the process of registering new students for the upcoming academic year 2019. Scholarships are available for families who wish to place their child into a Catholic school. Tours of the school and information about tuition and academics can be arranged with the principal and faculty. Please see the insert for more information and you may visit the school website.


Diocese of Brooklyn Releases Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse

This past Friday the Diocese of Brooklyn released the names of 107 priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. These allegations date back as far as 1934. The majority of these priests are deceased. Those who are living have either been laicized or permanently removed from active ministry. The names have been published to offer greater transparency and accountability to the Church at large as well as to the general public. In this way, we hope to promote healing and justice. Let us continue to pray for victims and those affected by abuse of a member of the clergy.


President’s Day Holiday

This Monday, February 18 is President’s Day. It is a national holiday. The parish office will be closed and only the 8:00AM Mass at OLV will be celebrated. There will be no Noon Mass at SPC.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

During the month of February, we as a community celebrate Black History Month. We give thanks and praise to God for our ancestors who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith. It is from their example and sacrifice that we are able to give witness to the great accomplishments and achievements of Black civil rights leaders. Black History month is a time to give thanks, for the past and most especially for the bright future that is ahead of us. Today, Sunday February 10, we celebrate with joy our Parish Mass of Thanksgiving commemorating Black History Month. We welcome as our celebrant and homilist, Father Anthony Bozeman. Father Bozeman is a priest of the Josephite religious order and is currently serving as a Pastor in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. We welcome Father Bozeman to St. Martin DePorres parish with great joy and we look forward to his dynamic message of hope and perseverance.


I also take this opportunity to thank our Black History Month committee, who has worked hard to make our celebration beautiful and prayerful. As I have said on numerous occasions, we are blessed to have such dedicated parishioners who go above and beyond for their community. I thank them for their love and dedication.


Diocese of Brooklyn Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving

As you all know, in addition to being the Pastor here at St. Martin dePorres, I also serve as diocesan director of ministry to African-American Catholics and the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns. Each year we sponsor our diocesan celebration for Black History Month with a Mass of Thanksgiving. This year’s Mass will take place next Sunday, February 17, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston beginning at 4:00PM. This year’s homilist will be Father Tony Ricard, a priest from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is a gifted and talented preacher! There will be a reception to follow the Mass. All are invited.


St. Lucia Independence Day

Our St. Lucian community will celebrate their Independence Day with a Mass of Thanksgiving next Sunday, February 17 at Our Lady of Victory. It will take place at the 10:15AM Mass. This year we are blessed to welcome His Excellency Most Reverend Gabriel Malzaire. Bishop Malzaire serves as the Bishop of Roseau in Dominica. He is a native St. Lucian. All are invited.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


P.S. In your kindness, I ask you to pray for the repose of the soul of Rev. Msgr. Vincent Keane. Msgr. Keane was a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who spent much of his priesthood teaching at the High School and College Seminary. Msgr. Keane died this past week at the age of 86. He was truly one of the most gentle, holy and devout priest I have encountered. He was my spiritual director for the first two years of my college seminary formation. In the years that I have known Msgr. Keane and most especially in these last few months of his illness, he never raised his voice or uttered any ill will towards anyone. He placed his trust in God and his heart to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was the priest that I wanted to be! May his soul rest in the peace of Christ the great High Priest.