From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost. Just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, the third person of the Blessed Trinity comes upon us this day. We hear in today’s gospel of the Lord breathing on the Apostles telling them to receive the Holy Spirit. As members of the mystical body of Christ, that is the Holy Roman Catholic Church, we are guided by the Holy Spirit. On the day of our baptism, whether we were baptized as infants or adults, we were immersed in the Spirit though the saving waters. At our confirmation we receive the fullness of God’s Spirit allowing us to profess and proclaim his Son Jesus as Savior and King.

Pentecost also marks the end of the Easter season. This week we will enter into the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. We must continue to be people filled with the Holy Spirit. We must allow the Spirit of the Lord to work within us as we strive every day to be faithful and holy witnesses of Jesus Christ. May the Holy Catholic Church, its members and this world be set on fire with the Holy Spirit!

Seminarian Assigned to St. Martin dePorres Parish

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has assigned Seminarian Jean P. Jean Louis to serve summer ministry here at St. Martin dePorres Parish. He will be with us for the next six weeks living in the rectory with Father Kingsley and I. He will have an opportunity to give reflections at Mass, visit the sick and homebound and serve at the celebration of Holy Mass. Jean is originally from Haiti and is currently studying for the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers. Please be sure to welcome him to our parish community.

Closing Mass for the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church

The solemn closing Mass for the anniversary year will take place on Sunday June 10 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 10:30AM. Many of the former parishioners of Our Lady of Victory will be present along with alumni of the school. Many of the former priests of Our Lady of Victory will be on hand to con-celebrate as well. We will welcome His Excellency, Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn as the main celebrant and homilist. There will be just one Mass celebrated that day. There will be a Saturday 5:00PM evening Mass at St. Peter Claver Church on June 9.

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. Over the last few weeks, I have spoken to you in my homily about the importance of the ACA and its support of the various ministries within the Diocese of Brooklyn and our parish here at St. Martin dePorres. 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. Anything that we make over the goal comes directly back to the parish. There are extra pledge forms at each of the three churches.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox



 

From the Pastor's Desk

  

Dear Parishioners,

We had another successful and phenomenal fundraiser last Sunday afternoon! Our Shades of Color concerts was incredible. As I did publicly last week, I want to again thank all who came out to support this amazing parish and our phenomenal choir under the direction of Mr. Rasaan Bourke and Mr. Joseph Murray. The brass instrumentalists, the voices of our choir, our magnificent organ and our modern dancers were all a part of this afternoon of cultural diversity and fraternity. As all of our anniversary fundraising events have accomplished, many new people came out to see this concert. I had the great joy of meeting a new family who just moved into Bedford-Stuyvesant. They saw the post card advertising the concert and decided to come. After the concert, they told me that they will become registered parishioners of the parish. These events have truly been moments of evangelization and renewal. I thank the entire anniversary committee for their hard work, but most especially for their love and support of this great parish.

 

Closing Mass for the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church

The solemn closing Mass for the anniversary year will take place on Sunday June 10 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 10:30AM. Many of the former parishioners of Our Lady of Victory will be present along with alumni of the school. Many of the former priests of Our Lady of Victory will be on hand to con-celebrate as well. We will welcome His Excellency, Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn as the main celebrant and homilist. There will be just one Mass celebrated that day. There will be a Saturday 5:00PM evening Mass at St. Peter Claver Church on June 9.

 

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. Over the last two weeks, I have spoken to you in my homily about the importance of the ACA and its support of the various ministries within the Diocese of Brooklyn and our parish here at St. Martin dePorres. 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. Anything that we make over the goal comes directly back to the parish. There are extra pledge forms at each of the three churches.

 

Mother’s Day Remembrance

Today is Mother’s Day. I take this opportunity to wish all mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, step-mothers and mothers-to-be a very happy a blessed Mother’s Day. The month of May is traditionally devoted to our Blessed Mother Mary. During the month of May, we will remember all mothers both living and deceased. If you wish to have your mother remembered, there are Mother’s Day envelopes at the doors of the three churches. Please fill out the envelope, place your offering in it and place it in the collection basket or return it to the parish office. The envelopes will be placed by the tabernacle throughout the month of May.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

  

 

 

Father Daniel writes...

Dear Parishioners,

A parishioner recently asked me, “Father, what is First Friday? And why do we observe it?” Her question made me think. Our Catholic faith is steeped in Sacred Tradition and ecclesial tradition. The former being those practices and teachings we have received from Jesus Christ by way of the Apostles and their successors, the bishops. The latter concerns how the former is lived out in the Church’s theology, discipline, liturgy, and devotion. First Friday falls squarely under the second category, as it is the lived expression of how we Catholic Christians understand God’s mercy which is revealed to us in the first category.  

The First Friday tradition is tied to devotion of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a 17th century French nun, had intense visions of Jesus. She was permitted, in one mystical encounter, to lay her head upon His divine heart. Jesus spoke to the sainted nun about His immense love for mankind and His desire for her to spread this message. It was not easy for St. Margaret Mary as she met with initial resistance; some questioned the authenticity of her visions while others questioned her sanity. The sainted nun’s situation did not improve until her priest confessor said that her visions were true, and a new mother superior for the monastery was elected.  Yet, it was 70 years after her death that her vision and devotion was officially recognized by the whole Church.

Jesus, in the visions, promised 12 things to those who seek His Sacred Heart.  I will paraphrase them here, (1) is grace for one’s state of life, (2) peace in the home, (3) comfort in affliction, (4) secure refuge in life, (5) blessing in all of one’s undertakings, (6) the outpouring of mercy for sinners, (7) fervor in lukewarm souls, (8) fervent souls reaching holiness, (9) the blessing of places where the image of the Sacred Heart is exposed and venerated, (10) gifting priests the ability to touch the most hardened of hearts, and (11) those who promote this devotion will have their names written in His heart. To answer the parishioner’s question, I quote directly the 12th promise, “In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

For nearly 500 years, devotion to the Sacred Heart has borne tremendous spiritual fruit. In many parishes, the faithful gather to pray for the grace, mercy, and peace derived from that same Heart which beat and bled for our salvation. St. Martin de Porres observes First Friday in three ways. After the 8 AM Mass, at Our Lady of Victory, all the mysteries of the Rosary are prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. The Litany of the Sacred Heart is said before the noonday Mass. In the past year, a 7 PM Holy Hour Service was instituted at Holy Rosary where the Litany is prayed along with Vespers and Eucharistic Adoration. I invite all parishioners on First Fridays to pray, “Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto Thine. Amen.”  

In Christ,

Fr. Daniel O. Kingsley

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

I take this opportunity to thank all of you who came to the 150th Anniversary Gala dinner last Saturday night. It was an amazing evening filled with joy and fellowship. I met former parishioners of Our Lady of Victory who recalled stories of their time in the parish. I met new parishioners who just recently moved to the neighborhood and wanted to celebrate with us. I met alumni of Our Lady of Victory school who reminisced about their time with the nuns who ran the school. Over 250 people came to support the parish and to celebrate this milestone! I want to thank the anniversary committee who worked tirelessly to make last week’s dinner successful and memorable. Both Father Kingsley and I are blessed to be shepherds to a wonderful flock here at St. Martin dePorres.

 

Shades of Color Concert

Our next fundraiser for the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church will be a musical concert entitled, Shades of Color: Celebrating our Diversity Through Music. This concert will show case the incredible diversity of our parish along with our strong network of performers and creatives. It will take place on Sunday, May 6 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 4:00PM. Tickets available for purchased after Mass or at the parish office.

 

League of the Sacred Heart Tea Party

The St. Peter Claver League of the Sacred Heart will hold their annual tea party today, Sunday April 29 at St. Peter Claver Church. It will take place after the 11:30AM Mass in the lower hall. Father Patrick West will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children.

 

Annual Catholic Appeal 2018

It is that time for this year’s Diocese of Brooklyn Annual Catholic Appeal. As you all know, the Annual Catholic Appeal helps to support the many ministries throughout the Diocese. This year’s theme is Answer the Call. As members of the mystical body of Christ, each of us are called to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ by the example of our lives. The Annual Catholic Appeal also supports the initiatives of the 197 parishes that make up this incredible Diocese. Our parish goal for this year’s ACA is $59,519. This goal is very much attainable if each of us answers the call to participate in any way that we possibly can. We average about 800 people for Mass each weekend between our three churches. If each of us can participate in this year’s appeal not only can we make our goal, but we can go over it. Anything over the goal comes directly back to the parish. When I say “we” that includes myself. This year, as I do each year, I personally will contribute $1,000 to the 2018 ACA. Why do I say that? It’s important that you know that I would never ask you to do something that I myself would not do! This weekend we will see the ACA video and conduct the in-pew for those who have not already contributed. Thank you for your generosity.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

 

 

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the 4th Sunday of Easter, traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Our gospel passage today speaks of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Our Lord tells us that a shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Jesus is truly the Good Shepherd who nourishes, sustains and protects us. We are the flock that Jesus the shepherd laid his life on the cross for! On this Good Shepherd Sunday, let us continue to pray for our shepherds on earth today, that is our Holy Father, our bishops and priests. Today in Rome, Pope Francis will ordain men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rome. Today I reflect on my own priesthood, thanking God for calling me to serve the church as a shepherd. In his very first priesthood ordination as Pope, Francis spoke of the joys of priesthood. When speaking to the men he was about to ordain to the priesthood, he said, “You will gather others into the people of God through Baptism, and you will forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church in the sacrament of Penance.  Today I ask you in the name of Christ and the Church, never tire of being merciful.  You will comfort the sick and the elderly with holy oil: do not hesitate to show tenderness towards the elderly. Therefore, carry out the ministry of Christ the Priest with constant joy and genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of Jesus Christ.  You are pastors, not functionaries. Be mediators, not intermediaries. Finally, dear sons, exercising for your part the office of Christ, Head and Shepherd, while united with the Bishop and subject to him, strive to bring the faithful together into one family, so that you may lead them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save what was lost”. In your kindness, I ask all of you to pray for your two shepherds here at St. Martin dePorres, Father Kingsley and myself.

 

Shades of Color Concert

Our next fundraiser for the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church will be a musical concert entitled, Shades of Color: Celebrating our Diversity Through Music. This concert will show case the incredible diversity of our parish along with our strong network of performers and creatives. It will take place on Sunday, May 6 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 4:00PM. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased after Mass or at the parish office.

 

League of the Sacred Heart Tea Party

The St. Peter Claver League of the Sacred Heart will hold their annual tea party next Sunday April 28 at St. Peter Claver Church. It will take place after the 11:30AM Mass in the lower hall. Father Patrick West will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children.  

 

2018 Annual Catholic Appeal

We have begun our 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal. As you know, the ACA helps to support the various ministries of the Diocese and within the parish. Next week we will view the video and have an opportunity to take the in pew pledge for those who have not yet contributed. Thank you for your generosity.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox