From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

On behalf of the entire parish staff here at St. Martin dePorres, I want to wish each of you a Blessed Easter. We gather at our churches today to give thanks and praise to God for the gift of his son, Jesus who reigns victorious over sin and death. As we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that our lives will be transformed by his love for us. We hear in today’s gospel of Mary Magdalene and the two other disciples running to the tomb of Christ. Upon finding the tomb empty and the burial cloths in a separate place, they saw and believed. On this Easter Sunday, we see the empty tomb and we believe that Jesus has be raised from the dead. We shout out Alleluia! Christ is alive and he is in our midst today. Alleluia!

In his Easter Sunday homily last year, our Holy Father Pope Francis spoke of how God surprises us on our journey to the eternal kingdom. The women who run to the tomb are surprised by God! Our Holy Father says, “There is an announcement: the Lord has risen; that announcement which traveled by word of mouth ever since the early days of Christianity: it was a greeting: The Lord has risen. And the women who went to anoint the Lord’s body were met by a surprise. The surprise.... God’s announcements always bring surprises because our God is the God of surprises. It has been like this from the beginning of salvation history; ever since our father Abraham. God surprises you: Just go, go, leave your land and go. And one surprise always follows another. God is not able to make an announcement without surprising us. And the surprise is what moves your heart, what touches you in the very place you do not expect. To use the language of young people: the surprise is a low blow; you do not expect it. And he goes and moves you”.

Divine Mercy Sunday

Next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Pope John Paul II designated the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, upon the canonization of St. Faustina. We will have Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration and the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet next Sunday at Holy Rosary Church beginning at 3:00PM. The sacrament of Reconciliation will be available beginning at 2:00PM. All are welcomed

Pilgrimage to Germany September 2-12 2020

As many of you know, I enjoy travelling abroad. I most especially enjoy pilgrimages abroad. I would like to invite each of you on a pilgrimage to Germany, specifically the city of Oberammergau. Every 10 years the entire city puts on the Passion Play. It only happens every 10 years! In addition we will be visiting the cities of Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Munich. There are flyers with the itinerary and hotel information at each of the three churches.

Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Alleluia. For He, whom thou was worthy to bear. Alleluia. Has risen as He said. Alleluia. Pray for us to God. Alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia. Because the Lord is truly risen, Alleluia.

Wishing each of you a Blessed Easter Sunday,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today we commemorate our Lord’s entry into the city of Jerusalem, that is Palm Sunday. As Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem, he is welcomed by people waving palms at his feet. Palm Sunday begins the most solemn and sacred days of Holy Week. Today’s gospel comes from the Passion narrative of St. Luke. It is in St. Luke’s gospel that we have the repentant thief. It is in this particular Passion narrative that we hear the repentant thief utter the words, Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom. During these weeks of Lent, we have uttered these same words. We pray that the Lord will continue to bestow his mercy upon us poor sinners and that he will remember us when he comes into his kingdom. As we enter into Holy Week, let us allow the Holy Spirit to be with us, now more than ever, so that we will reverently commemorate our Lord’s Last Supper, his death on the cross and his triumphant victory over death at the Resurrection.

Holy Week and Easter Sunday Schedule

There are prayer cards available at each of the three churches with the Holy Week Schedule printed on them. Please take home a few to invite friends and family to Mass this week. Next Sunday is Easter Sunday. Please note there will be a change in the time of Mass at Our Lady of Victory and St. Peter Claver. There will not be a 7:30AM Mass at Our Lady of Victory next Sunday. There will be one Mass celebrated at 10:30AM at Our Lady of Victory. Mass will be celebrated at 12:00Noon at St. Peter Claver next week.

Easter Egg Hunt and Party

Next week will be our parish Easter egg hunt and party. It will take place at Our Lady of Victory McGuinness Hall beginning at 1:00PM. All of the children from each of the three churches are invited.

Pilgrimage to Germany September 2-12 2020

As many of you know, I enjoy travelling abroad. I most especially enjoy pilgrimages abroad. I would like to invite each of you on a pilgrimage to Germany, specifically the city of Oberammergau. Every 10 years the entire city puts on the Passion Play. It only happens every 10 years! In addition we will be visiting the cities of Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Munich. There are flyers with the itinerary and hotel information at each of the three churches.

Reconciliation Monday

This Monday, April 15, every Catholic Church in the Dioceses of Brooklyn, Rockville Centre and the Archdiocese of New York will have a priest available for the sacrament of Confession. Reconciliation Monday has been an opportunity for all Catholics to go to confession before the celebration of Easter. Here at St. Martin dePorres, both Father Kingsley and I will be available for the sacrament beginning at 3:00PM at the parish office. There will be Eucharistic Adoration with Confessions beginning at 6:00PM at Our Lady of Victory Church.

A Blessed Holy Week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

We are already at the third Sunday of our Lenten observance. We continue to journey with the Lord on his way to Calvary. It is my hope that these last few weeks of Lent have been a time of spiritual fulfillment as we prepare to enter into the holiest of days as Christians, that is our Lord’s Last Supper, Death on the Cross and his Resurrection from the dead. We hear in today’s gospel passage proclaimed at Mass that we must repent for all the sins that we have committed. Each of us are poor sinners, trying our best each day to get to heaven. The Lord asks us today to first and foremost acknowledge the sins that we have committed and to repent for them. During the season of Lent, we are encouraged to take advantage of the sacrament of Confession, asking God to be merciful towards us. Here at St. Martin dePorres, both Father Kingsley and I avail ourselves for the sacrament every Saturday afternoon and Sunday mornings before Mass. If you have not gone to Confession in a while, that’s ok! The Lord invites you back to experience his love for you. May we continue to live out the words of Christ throughout the duration of Lent, repent and believe in the gospel.


Tuesday Evening Vespers & Stations of the Cross

We will have Eucharistic Adoration and Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) each Tuesday evening during the season of Lent. All are invited to join us this Tuesday, March 26 at St. Peter Claver Church for Vespers beginning at 7:30PM. Stations of the Cross are prayed throughout the Fridays of Lent at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. Praying the stations of the cross is a beautiful Lenten practice of walking with the Lord on his road to Calvary.


2019 Annual Catholic Appeal

We have begun the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal. As Pastor, I thank each of you who have participated with a gift to the 2018 Appeal and ask that everyone prayerfully consider making a gift to the 2019 Appeal. The work and services made possible through your donation to the Annual Catholic Appeal help people in Brooklyn and Queens in ways that no one parish can alone. As you know, each parish throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn is given a financial goal to raise throughout the year. Our goal for the Annual Catholic Appeal this year is $59,586. This goal can be reached if everyone participates in the Appeal. Please remain assured that your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal cannot be used in the settlement of abuse claims or for anything other than their intended purpose. In a few weeks, we as a parish community will be able to view this year’s Appeal video and conduct an in-pew pledge for those who have not yet made one. Thank you for your support and generosity.


Holy Thursday Feet Washing

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday will take place on Thursday, April 18 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:30PM. During that liturgy, we symbolically wash the feet of 12 parishioners, imitating Christ who washed the feet of his disciples. Anyone who may be interested in having their foot washed during the Holy Thursday Mass can place their name and contact information on the sign-up sheets at the three churches. The first 12 will be taken.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

As our Lenten journey with the Lord Jesus continues, we hear in today’s gospel passage the account of the Transfiguration. We see Jesus take Peter, James and John atop of Mount Tabor and all of a sudden Jesus is transfigured before their very eyes. What I love about the account of the Transfiguration is the reaction of Peter, James and John. They are in amazement at what they are seeing. It is evident that their lives have now become radically changed at seeing the Lord transfigured before their very eyes. It is Peter who says to the Lord, “It is good that we are here”. As we come to church this Sunday, to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament and to be filled with Sacred Scripture, each of us can say, it is good that we are here. It is good that we can be in the presence of Christ, word made flesh, who gives of himself for our salvation. Our lives continue to be radically changed and transformed by the presence of Christ. On this second Sunday of Lent, may we continue to keep Christ at the center of our lives, as we prepare to celebrate the joys of Easter!


Tuesday Evening Vespers & Stations of the Cross

We will have Eucharistic Adoration and Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) each Tuesday evening during the season of Lent. All are invited to join us this Tuesday, March 19 at Holy Rosary Church for Vespers beginning at 7:30PM. We will welcome Father Joseph Dutan, who serves as the parochial vicar of St. Brigid parish in Bushwick as the homilist. Stations of the Cross are prayed throughout the Fridays of Lent at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. Praying the stations of the cross is a beautiful Lenten practice of walking with the Lord on his road to Calvary.


2019 Annual Catholic Appeal

We have begun the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal. As Pastor, I thank each of you who have participated with a gift to the 2018 Appeal and ask that everyone prayerfully consider making a gift to the 2019 Appeal. The work and services made possible through your donation to the Annual Catholic Appeal help people in Brooklyn and Queens in ways that no one parish can alone. As you know, each parish throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn is given a financial goal to raise throughout the year. Our goal for the Annual Catholic Appeal this year is $59,586. This goal can be reached if everyone participates in the Appeal. Please remain assured that your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal cannot be used in the settlement of abuse claims or for anything other than their intended purpose. In a few weeks, we as a parish community will be able to view this year’s Appeal video and conduct an in-pew pledge for those who have not yet made one. Thank you for your support and generosity.


Lenten Devotional Books & Holy Week Schedule

This year’s Lenten devotional books are available at the doors of each of the three churches. The devotional reflections is entitled, “The Saving Passion”. All are invited to take one home with them. Inserted in the books is this year’s schedule for Holy Week. There are extra cards with the schedule on the back of them to give to friends and family.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

    


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. Each year on this particular Sunday, the gospel passage that is proclaimed at Mass depicts the temptation of Jesus by Satan. We hear how the devil tempts Jesus three times. The devil attempts to show Jesus the wealth, riches and power that he could have, as long as Jesus follows Satan. The Lord knows that the devil is a liar! We must never be lured by power, prestige or riches. The devil is always at work trying to tempt us. He manages to seep his way in through the most cunning of situations and circumstances. Like Jesus, we as his followers must deny Satan and all his works and empty promises. We must continue to keep our eyes fixated on Christ, the Son of the living God. As we journey with the Lord in the desert this Lenten season, let us pray that by the power and working of the Holy Spirit we will put on the armor of Christ to defeat Satan and his temptations.


Tuesday Evening Vespers and Eucharistic Adoration

During the Tuesday’s of Lent we will have Eucharistic Adoration with sung vespers. Our first Tuesday evening vespers service will take place this week March 12 beginning at 7:30PM at Our Lady of Victory Church. The theme will be “I am the Bread of Life”. We will welcome Father Jose Diaz, the Parochial Vicar of St. Leo Parish in Corona as the homilist. Please be sure to join us.


Stations of the Cross

We will pray the stations of the cross each Friday evening during the season of Lent. Stations of the Cross will be held at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. Praying the stations is a beautiful Lenten practice, as we walk with Jesus on the road to Calvary.


Passion Play

Each year, the youth of our parish dramatically depict the Passion of Christ. A lot of time and effort goes into the rehearsals for the Passion play that will take place Saturday, April 13 at St. Peter Claver Church. Any adult or child that would like to participate in the Passion play this year are most welcomed! Please see Father Kingsley, Jennifer Parkinson-Gilbert or Michelle Joseph for more information.


Co-Naming of Jefferson Avenue (Corner of Claver Place)

We are blessed at St. Martin dePorres Parish to have three churches that are filled with a rich history, one of them being St. Peter Claver Church. Just about a year ago, I was told of the story of Edwin Woodriffe. He was a parishioner of St. Peter Claver Church back in the 1940’s. He was an alumnus of the school and an altar server for the parish. He grew up to become an FBI agent. On January 8, 1969 he became the first African-American FBI agent killed in the line of duty. His funeral was held at St. Peter Claver Church. I was approached by both the Woodriffe family and members of St. Peter Claver that a petition had be presented to the New York City Transportation Council to co-name Jefferson Avenue after the fallen FBI agent. I am very happy to announce that the petition passed and the co-naming ceremony will take place on Friday, April 26, 2019. There will be much more details to come!


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox