From the Pastor's desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate a great milestone in the life of this parish. We gather here this morning to close out the 150th anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church. For the past 9 months, we have celebrated with great joy, the rich history of this beautiful church. We have looked back to the foundation left before us by the priests, consecrated religious, seminarians and lay faithful of Our Lady of Victory Church. We thank Almighty God for the generous benefactors who built this magnificent church, who by the way purchased this land in 1868 for only $25,000. I don’t think you could purchase a quarter of land here in Bedford Stuyvesant for that amount of money today! 150 years later, we continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of God’s people.

 

Over the last year, we have also looked to the future, and what a bright future we have! Although we have seen our neighborhood change over the years, our mission as a community of believers always and forever remains the same! We are a vibrant community, filled with God’s love and mercy. We are a community filled with love for the Lord Jesus and his most Holy Roman Catholic Church. We are blessed to have young families who keep Jesus at the center of their lives. We are immensely blessed to have the pillars of our church, whom we honored at our Gala Dinner last month, as continued support for this parish community. Since our canonical merger in 2007 with Holy Rosary and St. Peter Claver churches, we have become even stronger in the spreading of the faith. Every time I celebrate Sunday Mass at each of our beautiful churches, I am reminded of how blessed I truly am to be the shepherd of an amazing and wonderful flock.

 

Our theme for the Anniversary Year was “Coming Back Home to Our Lady of Victory”. I take this opportunity to welcome all of you back home today! Whether you were a parishioner who moved away from the parish, or an alumni of the grammar school, this church will always be home. In a very special way, we welcome His Excellency, Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn to our celebration this morning. We thank him for celebrating this Mass with and for us today. We also welcome the former priests of the parish who are here with us, most especially the former pastors. I thank them for their fraternal support, guidance and prayers.

 

In a very special way, I thank the anniversary committee, who worked so hard to make the events of this past year and the culmination to this day so beautiful. I thank them for their dedication and support, not just during this anniversary year, but each and every single day. I thank my staff, including Father Daniel Kingsley, who are my collaborators in guiding and shepherding this amazing flock closer to the heart of Christ Jesus. Although this Mass ends our anniversary year, we must continue the work of bringing Christ to all of God’s people here in Bedford Stuyvesant. Through the powerful intercession of St. Martin dePorres, Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, St. Peter Claver and Our Lady of Victory, may the Lord continue to bless us now and for ages to come.

 

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox

From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

We have arrived to Labor Day weekend, the un-official end of summer. Many of our college students have returned back to school already. Both public and catholic school students get back to the classrooms for another academic year. In a very special way, we pray for students and teachers who make their way back to the classroom for another exciting year of growth and learning. We pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the minds of all our students,that they will continue to grow and mature in God’s image and likeness.

Jesus tells us in today’s gospel, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do”. It is my prayer for our young people that they will not be lured by worldly things, but only that which comes from God. Satan wants to be an obstacle before us. He wants us to focus on worldly desires and possessions. It’s very easy to get caught up in the things of this world, but Jesus is challenging us to not fall into that trap. We must always keep our eyes on the Lord of heaven and earth, so that we will continue to be faithful and holy witnesses. Let us defeat Satan by bringing this light and love of Christ to our world that is in desperate need of him!

Opening Mass Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church

Next Sunday, September 10, we will celebrate the opening Mass for the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church. I want to thank our Anniversary committee for the hard work that each of them has done in planning the events throughout the anniversary year. Next week we will welcome some of the former priests of the parish, alumni of the school, and parishioners who have moved out of Brooklyn. It is with great joy that we welcome Most Reverend Neil Tiedemann, our newest Auxiliary Bishop as the main celebrant and homilist. This will be his first visit to Our Lady of Victory and he is very much looking forward to beginning this celebration with us. There will be only one Mass celebrated next Sunday, which will be at OLV at 10:30AM. There will be the Saturday night Vigil Mass at St. Peter Claver Church at 5:00PM.

2017-2018 School of Faith Formation Registration

Registration has begun for the new academic year 2017-2018 for our parish school of faith formation. All students preparing to receive the sacraments must be registered in our parish faith formation program. There is also ongoing catechesis for those who have completed the sacrament of Confirmation. The Diocese of Brooklyn has implemented a two-year period of catechesis before the reception of First Holy Communion. There are registration forms available at each of the three churches and on our website.

Labor Day

Tomorrow, Monday September 4 is Labor Day. The parish office will be closed. There will not be a 12:00Noon Mass at St. Peter Claver on Monday. There will be one Mass celebrated at 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory.

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Cox

 

From the Pastor's Desk

  

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the last weekend of August. As difficult as it is to believe, summer is almost over. I do hope that each of you were able to take some time of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation over these last few weeks. Our parish will be filled with excitement over the next few months as we have planned a number of events and activities throughout each of our three churches. The highlight being the 150th Anniversary of the establishment of Our Lady of Victory Church. As we prepare to begin this new pastoral year here at St. Martin dePorres, I invite each of us to pray for one another. It’s really easy to fall into the habit of gossip and the spreading of “fake news” within the parish. All of that can be extremely toxic, most especially towards the growth of a parish community like ours. Amazing and wonderful things are happening here! Once we are able to work together, for the building of the Kingdom of God, we will see the fruits of the Holy Spirit come alive.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had the great joy of attending the National Black Catholic Congress in Orlando, Florida back in July. It was an incredible experience for me! I would like to share with you a portion of the preamble to the pastoral plan of action which came from delegates of the congress, which was then sent to the Bishops of the Unites States. It states, “we commit ourselves to act justly by living in proximity with those who are suffering and neglected. Specifically, we seek to promote the dignity and life of everyone person from the unborn to natural death. We commit ourselves to dismantle racism in all forms, which is an obstacle to justice and evangelization. We also commit ourselves to address the challenges of mental illness, mass incarceration, domestic violence and others. We commit ourselves to love goodness by sharing our Faith with others using creative ways, especially social media, as we evangelize in our community. We commit ourselves to support our Catholic Schools in our community”. No matter what our ethnic background may be, all of us can commit ourselves to these principles as disciples and witnesses of the Risen Lord.

Novena to St. Teresa of Calcutta

This year will be the one-year celebration of the newest saint of the Catholic Church, St. Teresa of Calcutta, popularly known as Mother Teresa. We are blessed to have her nuns, the Missionaries of Charity living and working in our convent at OLV. They will begin a novena to St. Teresa beginning today, August 27 at 5:30PM in the convent chapel. All are invited.

150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church

Next month we will kick off the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church. The solemn opening Mass will take place Sunday, September 10 at 10:30AM. We will welcome Bishop Neil Tiedemann as the main celebrant and homilist. There will be one Mass celebrated that Sunday. There will be a 5:00PM Mass on Saturday, September 9.

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Cox

  



 

 

 

From the Pastor's Desk

  

Dear Parishioners,

It’s so good to be back home! I want to thank all of you for your prayers as I went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel. It was truly a great blessing for me to celebrate Mass at the major places, depicting our salvation history. Two major highlights of my pilgrimage was celebrating Mass on Calvary, where our Lord died on the cross. The other of course was celebrating Mass on the tomb of which our Lord was raised from the dead. I brought each of your prayer petitions and intentions with me. Please be assured that all of you were in my thoughts and prayers as I journeyed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. Jesus brought his disciples, Peter, James and John to Mount Tabor, and all of a sudden Jesus is transfigured before their very eyes. It was at the moment of the Transfiguration that Jesus showed his divinity to his disciples, and ultimately to us. I love the response that Peter, James and John give to the Lord before he is transfigured. They say, “Lord it is good that we are here”. Each and every Sunday when we gather for Mass, we must utter those same words, Lord it is good that we are here. It is good that we are able to worship as a community of believers. It is good that we are able to profess our faith, without the fear of persecution or strife.

As we celebrate this beautiful feast today, let us pray that we will continue to preach the good news of Jesus, in all that we say and do. Let us not allow fear to get in the way of bringing people closer to the heart of Christ the Lord.

2017-2018 School of Faith Formation Registration

Registration has begun for the new academic year 2017-2018 for our parish school of faith formation. All students preparing to receive the sacraments must be registered in our parish faith formation program. There is also ongoing catechesis for those who have completed the sacrament of Confirmation. The Diocese of Brooklyn has implemented a two year period of catechesis before the reception of First Holy Communion. The registration form is now available for download on our website.  There are registration forms available at each of the three churches as well.

150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church

Next month we will kick off the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Church. The solemn opening Mass will take place Sunday, September 10 at 10:30AM. There will be one Mass celebrated that Sunday. There will be a 5:00PM Mass on Saturday, September 9 which is the feast of St. Peter Claver.

Holy Spirit Revival

All are invited to the Holy Spirit revival that will take place at Our Lady of Victory Church Friday August 11 at 7:00PM, Saturday August 12 at 7:00PM and concluding with the 10:15AM Mass on Sunday August 13. Father Anthony Ozele will be the preacher. Please join us and bring a friend.

Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Cox