From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

I am so happy to be back home! As you know, I had the great joy of going on pilgrimage to Italy over the last 12 days. Our journey started in Milan and ended in Rome. I kept each and every single one of you in my prayers throughout my journey, most especially at the masses that I celebrated. Over these last few days I have reflected on the great gift of prayer and how important prayer must be in our lives. The greatest gift that we can bestow to our brothers and sisters is indeed prayer. It is through prayer that we grow closer to Christ the Lord. Our relationship with the Lord Jesus must always be rooted in prayer. Jesus himself taught his disciples how to pray and he teaches us to this very day what it means to be people of prayer. I invite each of you to pray for one another. As a parish community let us storm heaven, asking for God’s love and mercy to be upon us now and forever.


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 next Saturday, October 27. The bus will depart from Our Lady of Victory Church at 6:00AM sharp. There are still some seats available! 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!


Hunchback of Notre Dame Silent Film

There will be a showing of the silent film, Hunchback of Notre Dame. It will take place next Friday, October 26 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 8:00PM. The movie will be shown on a big screen in the church. The organ music accompanying the film will be performed live on our historic organ. Our music director, Rasaan Bourke will be behind the organ accompanied by clarinet and flute. Tickets are $10 per person and refreshments will be served. Please be sure to join us and bring friends and family with you.


Mustard Seed Youth Group Events

Mustard Seed Youth Group cordially invites you to take part in our “Meet the Saints” program to kick off Black Catholic History Month on Saturday November 3 2018 immediately following the 5:00pm mass. Come meet Saints, fellowship and purchase various religious items! All saint portrayals come from the youth and all proceeds raised will to support youth initiatives for this year.


All Saints Day & All Souls Day Mass Schedule

Thursday, November 1 is All Saints Day. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be celebrated at each of the three churches, 9:00AM at Holy Rosary, 12:00Noon at St. Peter Claver and 7:00PM at Our Lady of Victory. Please note the change in the morning masses. The next day, November 2, is All Souls Day. Masses will be celebrated at each of the three churches, 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory, 12:00Noon at St. Peter Claver and 7:00PM at Holy Rosary.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From Fr. Kingsley

Dear Parishioners,

Whenever one watches public television, they are bound to hear a program was made possible by “viewers like you.” It is a quaint sentiment, but one which carries meaning. The same can be said for St. Martin de Porres Parish. The clergy and staff can provide guidance and support for many initiatives, but everything we do here is made possible by “parishioners like you.” It is on that note that I thank those who made last Saturday’s excursion to Foxwoods Casino a success. To have not one, but two busloads of parishioners, as well as their friends and neighbors, go is not an easy feat. It required a lot of behind the scenes work, such as assembling gift bags, devising raffle prizes, preparing breakfast, among other activities. Those involved in the preparations would tell you joking of their fatigue, but also their sincere love for this parish. Once again, thank you.

Last Sunday, at the 9 AM Mass, we celebrated the patronal feast of Holy Rosary Church. It was a powerful, uplifting liturgy in honor of the Blessed Mother. The choir began with the ethereal Mary the Dawn and finished with the Sister Act version of Hail, Holy Queen. On the sanctuary, I was assisted by our liturgical ministers, but also the visiting Deacon George Waithe of Barbados who shared with us his vocation story. Members of the parish Rosary Society, resplendent in their blue suits and sashes, offered roses to the Virgin at the foot of the altar. After Mass, parishioners gathered in the lower hall of a light lunch reception. A lot of hard work went into making the feast day possible. The day prior, a few parishioners met up to clean and set up not only the church and the lower hall, but swept the yard as well. And on the day proper, HRC’s Worship Committee served the food that made our fellowship feel special. Once again, thank you.

As many of you have noticed, October is a busy month!  Last Wednesday, the SPC Credit Union sponsored a trip to Sight and Sound. By the time, you read this our annual Prayer Breakfast and Rosary Rally would have occurred. On October 20th, in McGuiness Hall, we will have our Breast Cancer Awareness Dinner Dance. For more information, please consult the bulletin. On October 26th, we will have our 2nd Annual Silent Film Event featuring the 1923 classic the Hunchback of Notre Dame, a great lead up to the Halloween festivities. And the next day, October 27th, we will travel to Washington, D.C., on pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a great way to end this month dedicated to our Lady.  This vicar is fatigued thinking of these events. Yet, they demonstrate that St. Martin de Porres is a lively community thanks largely to “parishioners like you.”   


In Christ,

Fr. Daniel O. Kingsley


From Fr. Kingsley

Dear Parishioners,

When October 7th does not fall on a Sunday, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, or in times past the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, is commemorated. Nevertheless, it testifies to what countless generations have known to be true: we can rely on Blessed Mary’s prayers for deliverance and protection. This feast’s significance is rooted both in piety and history.

St. Dominic, in the 12th century, was tasked with preaching against the Albigensian heresy. Its proponents asserted that the God of the Old and New Testaments were two distinct beings, one evil, the other good. St. Dominic had little success, until according to legend, the Blessed Mother appeared in a vision giving him the Rosary.* Centuries later, Pope St. Pius V dispatched a coalition of naval ships to Lepanto--now Nafpaktos--Greece to the halt an Ottoman Turk takeover of the Mediterranean Sea.  A lot was a stake. Not only was the European fleet at a disadvantage, but there was a real possibility that Rome, the seat of the Catholic Church, would fall into non-Christian hands. The Pope asked for all Christians to pray the Rosary; the Holy Father himself even lead a procession! The Battle of Lepanto, that October 7th, 1517, was won by Christian forces. Pius V attributed this victory to the Virgin’s intercession, hence the feast’s name. In 1868, it seems fitting that Irish Catholics, in a place called Bedford-Stuyvesant, would erect a Marian parish on Throop Avenue not long after the Union victory in the Civil War, then the nation’s bloodiest armed conflict.

One should not think of the Rosary as an earthly weapon, reserved for heresy trials and martial conflicts. It is a spiritual weapon, one of great import. The twenty Mysteries of the Rosary allow one to meditate on the whole of the Gospels, and its prayers are indulgenced by the Church. The Virgin Mother, in apparitions at Lourdes, Fatima, and elsewhere, implored those listening to not only pray the Rosary, but to do so with great frequency and fervor. The reason being? For an increase of faith, hope, and charity, for sincere repentance of sin, and most importantly, for the conversion of souls, others and our own!  A number of our separated brethren believe the Rosary to be a superstitious or idolatrous practice. This vicar points them to her words at the Feast of Cana, “Do whatever He tells you!” The Mother of God is never apart from her Divine Son, from her yes to the angel Gabriel to her sorrow beneath the Cross; she models for us Christian discipleship.

This October 7th, let us rattle those Rosary beads, not only in witness that no one who has asked for Our Lady’s assistance was ever left unaided, but for the grace of final perseverance, final victory over the forces of sin and death.  

Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

In Christ,

Fr. Daniel O. Kingsley


*Historical aside: The origins of the Rosary are said to go as far back as the 9th Century!   


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

First and foremost, I want to thank each of you for your kind words and prayers for both Father Kingsley and I during this most difficult time in the life of the Roman Catholic Church. Just a few days ago, I was out running some errands and was stopped by a parishioner. She told me that she was storming heaven for me and all good priests throughout the world. She also told me not to give up or lose hope! These are words that I repeat to each one of you. This may be a difficult time for the Church, but with Jesus as the source and summit of our faith, we can get through these times. We continue to thank Almighty God for the many blessings that he has bestowed upon us, most especially for the gift of his Son, Jesus, who nourishes us with his most precious Body and Blood. It is from the Eucharistic Lord that we are given the strength to persevere. The Lord reminds us in today’s gospel passage that we must rid ourselves of all of the things that causes us to sin. We must never allow distraction to get in the way of deepening our relationship with Christ. We must always keep our eyes fixated on Christ, who is the great and eternal High Priest.


First Friday Devotions

This Friday is the first Friday of the month. We will have First Friday devotions at each of the three churches. There will be a Holy Hour after the 8:00AM Mass at Our Lady of Victory, concluding with benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. There will be a Holy Hour at 11:00AM at St. Peter Claver followed by Mass at 12:00Noon. There will be a Holy Hour with vespers at 7:00PM at Holy Rosary Church followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Please be sure to join us for first Friday devotions here at St. Martin dePorres.


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


P.S. Please be assured of my prayers for each of you as I travel to Rome this week. Father Kingsley will be taking the “Pastors Letter” for the next two weeks!  


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