From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. Over these next 5 weeks, we will prepare our hearts for the celebration of our Lord’s victory over sin and death, that is his resurrection. Lent is a time of repentance and reconciliation. We hear in today’s gospel how the Lord was tempted by Satan during his time in the desert. The devil is always looking to tempt us, and he does so in very clever ways. We must never allow ourselves to be lured by the devil or any of his empty promises! Lent is a season of opportunity, an opportunity to grow closer to the heart of Christ our Savior. Lent is meant to be a time of encounter, not focusing on what we are giving up for the next 40 days, but looking at the joys that awaits us, that is the kingdom of heaven. I invite you to use these days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as an opportunity to give yourselves completely and totally to Christ, who gave himself up on the cross for our salvation.

I want to thank all of you who participated at our parish Black History Month celebration last Sunday. It was truly an uplifting and prayerful Mass of Thanksgiving. I thank our Black History Month committee at St. Peter Claver Church, who did such a beautiful job in preparing for the Mass and fellowship afterwards. I thank our music ministry under the direction of Mr. Rasaan Bourke and Mr. Joseph Murray for lifting our voices to heaven. Today we have our Diocesan Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens beginning at 4:00PM. We will welcome Bishop Roy Campbell, the newest African-American Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington DC. All are invited to the Mass and fellowship afterwards.

Lenten Stations of the Cross & Parish Mission

During the Friday’s of Lent, we will pray the traditional stations of the cross at each of the three churches. Stations of the cross will begin at 7:00PM at all three of our churches. It is a tradition that every parish has a Lenten Mission. A mission is meant to be a time of spiritual renewal in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Our Lenten Mission will take place this Monday and Tuesday, February 19 & 20. The mission preacher will be Father Gerard Jordan, who is a priest of the Norbetine Order located at Daylesford Abbey in Pennsylvania. The Lenten Mission will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:00PM. Father Jordan will be preaching at all of the masses this weekend. Please invite friends and family!

Our Lady of Victory Church 150th Anniversary

Since the Opening Mass celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church, we have had many fundraisers commemorating this milestone. Our Jazz Café, Phantom of the Opera silent film with live organ music, and Paint and Sip night, were all a phenomenal success! Our major fundraiser will be our Anniversary Gala Dinner that will take place Saturday April 21 at Terrace on the Park, along with our anniversary journal. I hope that this will be just as successful with your support!

We adore you O Christ and we praise you, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world!

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

This Wednesday we begin the solemn season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. During these 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we are preparing our hearts for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery, that is the death and resurrection of Christ the Lord. Lent has been known as a time of penance, as we look at the times and instances that we have offended God and each other. One of the beautiful practices during Lent is celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation also known as Confession. I have learned over the last 8 years of my priesthood, that many people are afraid of Confession. I assure you that there is nothing to be afraid of! The sacrament of Reconciliation is a beautiful moment in which we literally tell God that we are sorry for all of the sins that we have committed. We ask for the merciful forgiveness of the Lord, then we continue the journey of growing closer to him. On Ash Wednesday, bother Father Kingsley and I will be available for the sacrament of Confession beginning at 6:00PM at Holy Rosary Church. I encourage all of us, myself included to take full advantage of this beautiful sacrament as we begin the season of Lent.

Lent 2018

This Wednesday, February 14 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Masses will be celebrated at each of the three churches, 8:00AM at OLV, 12:00Noon at SPC and 7:30PM at HR. There will be a special prayer service at 12:00Noon at OLV. Stations of the cross will be prayed every Friday night at the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. Our Parish Lenten Mission will take place on Monday February 19 and Tuesday February 20. We will welcome Father A. Gerard Jordan, a priest of the Norbetine Order in Pennsylvania as the mission preacher. More details will follow!

Parish and Diocesan Black History Month Celebration

Our parish Black History month Mass will take place today, Sunday, February 11 at St. Peter Claver Church. We welcome as our celebrant and homilist Father Michael Trail, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The theme this year is: We’ve Come this far by Faith. The Mass will take place at 12:00 Noon today, not 11:30AM. Our Diocesan celebration for Black History Month will take place next Sunday, February 18 with Mass beginning at 4:00PM at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. The Most Reverend Roy Campbell, the newest African-American Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington DC will be the homilist. Please be sure to join us.

Our Lady of Victory Church 150th Anniversary

Since the Opening Mass celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church, we have had many fundraisers commemorating this milestone. Our Jazz Café, Phantom of the Opera silent film with live organ music, and Paint and Sip night, were all a phenomenal success! Our major fundraiser will be our Anniversary Gala Dinner that will take place Saturday April 21 at Terrace on the Park, along with our anniversary journal. I hope that this will be just as successful with your support!

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Cox

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

As difficult as it is to believe, we are just about 10 days away from Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the season of Lent. As we prepare for these days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, our scripture readings shows us the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that we will be able to imitate his love and mercy to all whom we encounter. In today’s gospel, we see how Christ touches Simon’s mother in law, healing her from all her afflictions. Jesus continues to touch us by the hand every day of our lives, even in the midst of worry, fear, doubt and despair. May Christ continue to heal us from all our afflictions, whether they be physical or spiritual. With the Lord on our side, all things are possible.

Suspension of the Reception of the Precious Blood at Mass

As was announced a few weeks ago, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has suspended the reception of the Precious Blood at the celebration of Mass due to the massive flu epidemic. It is important to know that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is present, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharistic Host. Although the congregation will not receive the Precious Blood of Christ in the chalice, you are receiving Jesus in his fullness in the Host. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith as Catholics. Our lives are rooted in the Eucharist, as we encounter the living Lord. It is important and essential that we approach the Eucharist with the utmost respect and reverence. It came to my attention that a few weeks ago a consecrated host was found in a jar in the back of one of our churches. This deeply distressed me. Whenever we receive the Host we must immediately consume him. If you see anyone who still has the consecrated host in their hands in the pews, please tell them to consume our Lord. May the heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved, with grateful affection at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world even until the end of time, Amen.

Parish and Diocesan Black History Month Celebration

Our parish Black History month Mass will take place next Sunday, February 11 at St. Peter Claver Church. The celebrant and homilist will be Father Michael Trail, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The theme this year is: We’ve Come this far by Faith. The Mass will take place at 12:00 Noon on Sunday, not 11:30AM. Our Diocesan celebration for Black History Month will take place on Sunday, February 18 with Mass beginning at 4:00PM at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. The Most Reverend Roy Campbell, the newest African-American Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington DC will be the homilist. Please be sure to join us.

Lent 2018

Next Wednesday, February 14 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Masses will be celebrated at each of the three churches, 8:00AM at OLV, 12:00Noon at SPC and 7:30PM at HR. There will be a special prayer service at 12:00Noon at OLV. Father Kingsley and I will be hearing confessions at 6:00PM at HR. Stations of the cross will be prayed every Friday night at the three churches beginning at 7:00PM.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Cox

NEWS — St Martin de Porres Parish, Bed Stuy

Dear Parishioners,

Now he is gone to the ages.” Monsignor William J. Rodgers, aged 95, passed away on January 21st, 2018. A man of quiet grace and dignity, a man of great intellect, a man of unassuming holiness was in his own right a trailblazer. He was born on May 24th, 1922, in Charleston, South Carolina. The young William---affectionally called Buck by friends, after the great science fiction hero---and his family eventually settled in Brooklyn, where they worshipped at St. Peter Claver Church, then the only black Catholic parish in the borough. In time, he heard God’s call to serve at His altar. On June 11th, 1949, he became the first African American ordained to the priesthood in and for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Faithful to his call, Monsignor Rodgers served as parochial vicar at St. Peter Claver, 1949-1952, St. Benedict the Moor 1952-1956, and St. Patrick, 1956-1969.  He served as administrator of St. Patrick briefly in 1969, and pastor of St. Lucy-St. Patrick from 1973 to 1986. His last assignment was chaplain at Queen of Peace Residence, a nursing facility run by the Little Sisters of the Poor for the aged and infirmed. The nuns, and the elderly in their care, recounted how his ministry communicated to them the love of Jesus Christ. Sister Gabriel, one of the nuns there, called late Monday to say that it had been their dear priest’s last request to have gospel music played and sung at his Vigil Mass. Mr. Bourke and Mr. Murray, our parish musicians, happily obliged playing “We Have Come This Far By Faith,” “In That Great Gittin’ Up Morning,” and “Sweet Lamb of God.” I can say that Mass was one of the few times I saw priests and nuns, of all colors, tapping their feet and singing at full gusto.    

Msgr. Joseph A. Nugent, the former pastor of Our Lady of Victory, preached at the said Mass. He mentioned that Msgr. Rodgers, in spite of great adversity, inspired others to love, know, and serve God. 66 years of history separate my ordination from his. Msgr. Rodgers served during a time when many were unsure if a black man could or should be a Catholic priest. Yet, he opened the door for those that would come after him.  Fr. Mark Bristol, a priest of Afro-Guyanese descent, commented that seeing Msgr. Rodgers’ picture in the seminary gave him “a sense of peace knowing that I belonged here because of him.”  The sense of history is not lost of me either. It never crossed the minds of my immigrant parents that their son would one day become a priest. My late Nigerian father had misgivings as he had seen very few black and brown faces, in chasuble and stole, grace the sanctuary. Today, I believe that things are changing, but there is still a long way to go. My prayer is that our sons and daughters answer God’s call to the priesthood and religious life as Msgr. Rodgers did so many years ago.

Hear with favor our prayers, which we humbly offer, O Lord for the salvation of William, your servant and Priest, that he, who devoted a faithful ministry to your name, may rejoice in the perpetual company of Your saints. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Christ,

Fr. Daniel O. Kingsley

Source: https://stmartindeporres.squarespace.com/c...

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

We have now moved from the Christmas season to the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. Our scripture passages that will be proclaimed over the next few weeks will prepare us for the celebration of Lent. I have always used this “in between” time to really gear up spiritually for the graces of Lent. We continue to thank Almighty God for all of the blessings that he has bestowed upon us, most especially for Jesus his son, who shed his blood on the cross for our salvation. As a parish community we give witness to the great love that Christ has bestowed upon us. As St. Paul tells us, it is the love of Christ that impels us! May we continue to bask in the glory and love of Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Right before the Christmas season I asked everyone to make a personal invitation to someone inviting them to Mass for Christmas. I received many messages from people expressing to me that they were invited to Mass by a parishioner. Personal invitations are important, most especially when we invite others to have an encounter with Jesus the Lord. I thank you for making the invitation. Let us continue to invite all of our brothers and sisters to encounter the great love of Jesus in their lives. I truly believe that it is from this invitation that the Lord will continue to guide and strengthen all of the faithful here at St. Martin dePorres parish.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service

Each year, the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns holds a prayer service commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination. We continue to pray for unity and peace throughout our nation, most especially for racial equality and justice. This year’s prayer service will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church tomorrow, Monday January 15 at 12:00Noon. The preacher for the prayer service will be Brother Gregory McMullen. Brother Gregory is not a stranger to Our Lady of Victory, having preached many retreats here. He is a dynamic speaker! He currently lives in Atlanta, but is originally from Holy Rosary Church. Please be sure to join us for this very special prayer service honoring Dr. King.

 

Paint and Sip Night

Our next fundraiser for the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church will be a paint and sip night on Saturday, January 27 beginning at 6:00PM in McGuinness Hall. Professional art instructors will help you create your own masterpiece to hang in your homes! The instructors will bring canvas, paint, supplies along with music, wine and snacks! It promises to be a fun evening. Tickets are $50 for adults over the age of 21. Tickets can be purchased on our parish website, www.smdpp.org or at the parish office.

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

P.S. I will be away for the next two weeks enjoying some time with friends. Father Kingsley will be covering the Pastor’s bulletin letter!