Dear Parishioners,

Today is December 24, Christmas Eve! But we also recognize the 4th and last Sunday of the Advent season. As I mentioned in my letter last week, all of the morning masses today are for the 4th Sunday of Advent, which fulfills every Catholic’s Sunday Mass obligation. This evening at 5:00PM at Holy Rosary Church, we will celebrate the first Mass for Christmas. The children from our parish will perform the Nativity during that Mass. They have worked very hard over these last few weeks to make their presentation one of prayer and beauty. I thank Michelle, Tamika and Joseph Murray for their work with our young boys and girls.

We will celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass at 12:00AM Midnight at Our Lady of Victory Church. Before the celebration of Mass, we will have a presentation of carols and music beginning at 10:45PM in church. Our choirs have worked so hard over these last few months to make our Christmas celebration prayerful and angelic. I thank them along with our Music Director, Mr. Rasaan Bourke and Associate, Mr. Joseph Murray for their dedication and love for the Lord and their ministry.

This weekend we will welcome many new people to our churches. As Pastor, I welcome you to this community of faith, as we are one in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I invite each of you to come back to worship with us, as we continue to give witness to the Lord here in Bedford Stuyvesant. We are a church of invitation! We invite one and all to have an encounter with Jesus Christ the Lord, the light of the world who is born for us today.

I am indeed blessed to be the Pastor of 3 beautiful churches! I thank each of the decorating teams at our churches for their beautiful work in decorating the sanctuaries for the season of Christmas. We are blessed to have so many talented parishioners with an eye for beauty and detail! I thank them for all they do within all three of our churches.

On behalf of the entire parish staff, I wish each of you a blessed and holy Christmas season. Allow me to end with the words of our Holy Father Pope Francis. In his homily for Christmas last year, he spoke of the season as one of hope, leading us to Christ. He said, “Christmas has above all a taste of hope because, for all the darkness in our lives, God’s light shines forth. His gentle light does not frighten us. God, who is in love with us, draws us to himself with his tenderness, by being born poor and frail in our midst, as one of us. He is born in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread”. In this way, he seems to tell us that he is born as bread for us; he enters our life to give us his life; he comes into our world to give us his love. He does not come to devour or to lord it over us, but instead to feed and serve us. There is a straight line between the manger and the cross where Jesus will become bread that is broken. It is the straight line of love that gives and saves, the love that brings light to our lives and peace to our hearts.”

Have a great week and a Blessed Christmas,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox