From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Just this past week, the Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, called a meeting with all of his priests. This meeting was called by him to discuss the unfortunate and horrific events that have come to light within the Roman Catholic Church here in the United States. The meeting began with Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Vespers. As I knelt before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, an indescribable feeling came upon me. I truly felt the healing hand of Christ the Lord upon me. I must admit that over the last few weeks, with all that is happening within the Church, I have had this feeling of restlessness and anxiety. It seems as if every day there seems to be another story or another incident that “rocks” the Church that I love so much! I kept asking myself, will we ever get through this? It wasn’t until this Holy Hour with the Bishop and my brother priests, that I felt the healing hands of the Lord Jesus upon me, knowing that he will truly heal those affected by these egregious and horrific acts done by clergy, and he will heal this Church that we

all love so very much.


We are reminded in today’s gospel passage that each of us are servants in the vineyard of the Lord. As the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, Jesus places a child in their midst and says to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” It must never be about who is the “greatest” or most prominent, for all of us are children of God our Father, and we are precious in his eyes. We must never allow ourselves to fall into the trap of raising ourselves up to a level wanting to be seen or heard, but throwing ourselves before him in humility, knowing that we are poor sinners trying our best to get to heaven. We pray through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, that each of us will continue to keep her Son Jesus at the center of our lives, just as he is at the center of his most Holy Roman Catholic Church.


Diocesan Marian Pilgrimage to Washington DC National Shrine

The bi-annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will take place Saturday, October 27. The bus will depart from Our Lady of Victory Church at 6:00AM sharp. The day will consist of the recitation of the Rosary, an opportunity to take a tour of the Basilica, an opportunity for confession and the celebration of Mass with Bishop DiMarzio. Tickets are $60 per person. The Basilica is the largest Catholic church in the United States! If you have not had an opportunity to visit this majestic and holy place, please join us for this beautiful Marian pilgrimage.


Mustard Seed Parish Youth Group

Our parish youth group has begun to meet again for the Fall. The youth group has a number of events planned for the year and are always looking for new members to join. Any youth between the ages of 13-18 are welcomed to join our youth group. Our parish youth group meets each Friday night at 7:30PM at Our Lady of Victory McGuinness Hall. For more information, please contact Tamika Daniel or Michelle Joseph.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

 


 


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

This past Tuesday, we recalled with deep prayer and solemn remembrance, the tragic events of September 11. It’s hard to believe that these horrific terrorists attacks occurred 17 years ago. Each year as we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, we must never forget! I had the great honor and privilege to lead our local fire house, Engine 214 and Ladder 111 in prayer this past Tuesday for their annual memorial service. Our firehouse lost 5 firefighters on September 11. Each year their families come back to the firehouse to pray for the souls of their fallen loved ones and to thank our firefighters for the work they continue to do. I had the opportunity to meet with some family members of these fallen heroes, many of whom continue to grieve 17 years later. A wife of one of the fallen firefighters told me, “each year the grief gets worse, but my husband’s firefighter brothers gets me through every year”. That my sisters and brothers is what a strong community is built on. Love for one another, support for one another, charity towards one another, all in the name of Jesus Christ, savior and king.  


Tolton: From Slave to Priest Performance

Tolton: From Slave to Priest, is a powerful live production performed by actor Jim Coleman and directed by Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions, it will be presented at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Queens Village this Friday, September 21 at 7:30pm. There will be a bus leaving from Our Lady of Victory Church at 6:00PM. Tickets for the bus are $15. If you are interested in taking the bus, please call the parish office to purchase a ticket. Meet Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first African American priest, in this one-man multimedia performance. From his dramatic escape from slavery to his courageous struggle in the face of prejudice, Fr. Tolton’s inspiring life centers around his message reconciliation and hope. This riveting drama is filled with all the elements of professional theater, runs 75 minutes, and is suitable for ages 10 and up. Admission will be a free will offering. There are flyers available at each of the three churches.


Diocesan Marian Pilgrimage to Washington DC National Shrine

The bi-annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will take place Saturday, October 27. The bus will depart from Our Lady of Victory Church at 6:00AM sharp. The day will consist of the recitation of the Rosary, an opportunity to take a tour of the Basilica, an opportunity for confession and the celebration of Mass with Bishop DiMarzio. Tickets are $60 per person. The Basilica is the largest Catholic church in the United States! If you have not had an opportunity to visit this majestic and holy place, please join us for this beautiful Marian pilgrimage.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox




From the Pastor Desk

Dear Parishioners,

One of my most favorite passages from sacred scripture comes from today’s second reading from the letter of St. James. He tells us,Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?” God calls each of us to be heirs of the kingdom, no matter what our status in this world might be. Each of us strives every day to be faithful, holy and devout witnesses of Christ the Lord. We are all poor lonely sinners trying our very best to get to heaven! If we truly love God, if we truly trust in his will for us, it we give of ourselves totally and completely to him, he will lead us to that great kingdom that awaits us. All of the fame, fortune and prestige that we may have on this earth will mean absolutely nothing in the kingdom that God will bring us to. We pray today that the Lord Jesus will open our ears to hear his word, and our mouths to proclaim his mighty works.

 

Tolton: From Slave to Priest Performance

Tolton: From Slave to Priest, is a powerful live production performed by actor Jim Coleman and directed by Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions, it will be presented at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Queens Village on Friday, September 21 at 7:30pm. Meet Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first African American priest, in this one-man multimedia performance. From his dramatic escape from slavery to his courageous struggle in the face of prejudice, Fr. Tolton’s inspiring life centers around his message reconciliation and hope. This riveting drama is filled with all the elements of professional theater, runs 75 minutes, and is suitable for ages 10 and up. Admission will be a free will offering. There are flyers available at each of the three churches.

 

Diocesan Marian Pilgrimage to Washington DC National Shrine

The bi-annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will take place Saturday, October 27. The bus will depart from Our Lady of Victory Church at 6:00AM sharp. The day will consist of the recitation of the Rosary, an opportunity to take a tour of the Basilica, an opportunity for confession and the celebration of Mass with Bishop DiMarzio. Tickets are $60 per person. The Basilica is the largest Catholic church in the United States! If you have not had an opportunity to visit this majestic and holy place, please join us for this beautiful Marian pilgrimage.  

 

Memorial of St. Peter Claver

Today, September 9 the Church recalls the memorial of St. Peter Claver. Because this day falls on a Sunday this year, liturgically we must celebrate the Mass for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. I take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy feast day. St. Peter Claver was a Jesuit who cared for African slaves. He converted many of them to the Catholic faith. We pray that through his powerful intercession, all of us will continue to grow in the image and likeness of Christ. We will celebrate the feast day as a parish family next Sunday, September 16 at Family Sunday.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Cox

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Labor Day! We have come to the un-official end of summer! One of my favorite commercials on television comes out particularly at this time of the year. It’s a commercial from Staples, the office supplies store. The commercial depicts a dad going school supply shopping with his kids, with the song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” in the background. I’m sure it reflects the sentiments of many parents during this time of the year as they send their children back to school. We continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen our young people and their teachers to grow in the image and likeness of Christ. The second reading that we hear at Mass today from the letter of St. James reminds us that we must live out the words of sacred scripture. We are asked to be “doers of the word, not just hearers. We must live out the word that we hear in the scriptures. Being doers of the word means living our lives in accord with the gospel message of Christ and his Church. We continue to pray for the Roman Catholic Church today. We must storm heaven with our prayers for unity, peace and most of all healing. We must pray that the Lord will continue to be at the very core of what the Catholic Church truly is. We must never allow evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance or folly to make its way within the Church that we love so much. This Saturday, September 8, the Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We pray that through the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, that she will lead and guide us to the most Sacred Heart of her son, Jesus Christ.

 

2018 Annual Catholic Appeal

Last weekend we welcomed Father Patrick Burns to our parish. Father Burns preached at all of the masses on the Annual Catholic Appeal. I thank each of you for your support and generosity towards the Annual Catholic Appeal. There was a tremendous response from you! As I have mentioned to you and as Father Burns mentioned last week, anything that we receive over our $59,519 goal will come directly back here to the parish. I thank you for your prayers first and foremost, as we continue to grow as a community of faith, rooted in love for the Lord and his people.

 

First Friday Devotions

This Friday, September 7 is the First Friday of the month. First Friday devotions will return to its normal schedule this month. There will be a Holy Hour after the 8:00AM Mass at Our Lady of Victory Church with Benediction. There will be a Holy Hour at 11:00AM at St. Peter Claver Church followed by 12:00Noon Mass. There will be a 7:00PM Holy Hour at Holy Rosary Church with the celebration of Vespers. Please be sure to join us for First Friday devotions.

 

Farewell Father James Yaro

Father Yaro has been with us for the last month as our summer priest. He will be flying back home to Nigeria this week. We wish him well and we look forward to welcoming him back to the parish next summer!

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend is the last weekend in August! I cannot believe that next weekend is Labor Day weekend! As our young people get ready for another academic year and regular schedules of work resume, we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide and strengthen each of us as disciples of the Lord Jesus. We must allow the spirit of the Lord to be at work within our daily lives. Jesus reminds us in today’s gospel passage that his words are spirit and life. It is the spirit that gives life. By virtue of our Baptism, each of us are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord is calling us to be spirit-filled, not to be filled with jealousy, envy, pride or malice. As we prepare for another Pastoral Year here at St. Martin dePorres, it is my prayer that each of us will continue to be faithful and holy witnesses of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit. We must continue to place all of our trust in the Lord, for he knows all of our needs. Let us continue to pray for one another. Prayer is the greatest gift that we can bestow upon one another. With Jesus at the core and center of our parish community, we can continue the mandate that Christ gave to his disciples, to go out and teach all nations!

 

Annual Catholic Appeal 2018

I take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support and generosity towards this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. Our goal for the year is $59,519. As I mentioned, if each of us can participate in some way, we will be able to achieve our goal. As of now we have pledged $21,400 with 70 families participating. Anything that we make over the goal comes directly back to the parish. Today we will have a special in-pew pledge for those who have not yet given a gift to the ACA. We welcome Father Patrick Burns today, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn and field director for the Annual Catholic Appeal as the presider and homilist for the masses. Father Burns will speak about the importance of the Annual Catholic Appeal and how we can have a successful campaign. We welcome him to our parish community this weekend.

 

Summer Outdoor Concert

The music ministry of St. Martin dePorres parish will be sponsoring an outdoor concert entitled, “sure on this shining night”. The concert will take place this Wednesday, August 29 beginning at 7:30PM. It will be held in the courtyard between the church and the rectory. It will feature the internationally acclaimed group Eschoir, a Welsh male choir. Admission is free. Please come and join us for a concert under the stars.

 

St. Martin dePorres Parish School of Faith Formation

As students begin another academic year, our parish school of faith formation begins another as well. All children in our parish are asked to register for our parish school of faith formation. Students must be enrolled in Sunday school to receive the sacraments of initiation particularly First Holy Communion and Confirmation. There are registration forms available at each of the three churches. Any adult who would like to become a Catholic or needs to receive any of the sacraments should be registered for our RCIA program. Please see Father Kingsley, Michelle Joseph or myself for more information.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox