From the Pastor's Desk

 Dear Parishioners,

We have reached the midpoint of Lent. On this 4th Sunday of Lent, you will notice a different liturgical color of the vestments that Father Kingsley, Deacon Balfour and I are wearing. Today is traditionally known as Laetare Sunday, in Latin, which means rejoice. The blend of Lenten purple and Easter white produces a rose color, hence you see the priests and deacons vested in rose colored vestments. This is a clear sign that Easter is quickly approaching us. During these next few weeks, our scripture readings will lead us to the culmination of the commemoration of the Paschal Mystery. In just 2 weeks will journey with the Lord as he makes his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We will then enter into the holiest days of the Christian calendar, that is the Sacred Triduum.

 

These next few weeks of Lent are meant to be a time of deep spiritual preparation for this most sacred time. Since the beginning of Lent, I have been praying and meditating on the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis. In his homily on Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father spoke of the temptations that we have in our lives and the grace to unmask those temptations. Allow me to share some of his thoughts with you. He said, “We are subject to numerous temptations.  Each of us knows the difficulties we have to face.  And it is sad to note that, when faced with the ever-varying circumstances of our daily lives, there are voices raised that take advantage of pain and uncertainty; the only thing they aim to do is sow distrust.  If the fruit of faith is charity as Mother Teresa often used to say, then the fruit of distrust is apathy and resignation. Distrust, apathy and resignation: these are demons that deaden and paralyze the soul of a believing people. Lent is the ideal time to unmask these and other temptations, to allow our hearts to beat once more in tune with the vibrant heart of Jesus.  The whole of the Lenten season is imbued with this conviction, which we could say is echoed by three words offered to us in order to rekindle the heart of the believer: pause, see and return”. Let us use these next few weeks to defeat these temptations and to place our trust in the Lord.

 

Stations of the Cross, Tuesday Evening Vespers & Seven Last Words

Each Friday during the season of Lent we will pray the stations of the cross at each of the three churches. Stations of the cross will begin at 7:00PM. On the Tuesdays of Lent, we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers. The theme will be “In unity with one another.” The next Holy Hour will take place this Tuesday March 13 at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:00PM. The guest preacher will be Msgr. Thomas Petrillo, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Msgr. Petrillo serves as Pastor of the parish of St. John and Paul in Larchmont. We are asking all who serve in ministries to be in attendance especially Ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Choir, Altar Servers and Catechists. As is the custom, we will pray the Seven Last Words of Christ before his death on Good Friday morning at St. Peter Claver Church. Parishioners are invited to give a reflection on one of the last words at the prayer service. Any parishioner who is interested can see Mr. Stanley Davis, Mrs. Estella White-McDuffy or call the parish office.

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 beautiful season of Lent is quickly moving along! These last three weeks of Lent have been a time of spiritual renewal and rejuvenation, as we prepare ourselves to bask in the glory of Easter. Our scripture readings have shown us of God’s great love, for it is through his Son Jesus Christ that our salvation lies! We hear in today’s first reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel of the commandments that God has bestowed upon us. None of us are perfect, but we try our best to live our lives in accord with the commandments.

 

Over the years, many people have said to me that they have been able to live out 8 out of the 10 commandments. Living as a disciple of Christ is not a life of shortcuts or compromises. We must give of ourselves totally and completely to Christ Jesus. Jesus gave of himself, totally and completely to the cross. During this Lenten season we must surrender ourselves to the Lord Jesus, as we strive each and every single day to do the will of our Heavenly Father.

 

Stations of the Cross and Tuesday Evening Vespers

Each Friday during the season of Lent we will pray the stations of the cross at each of the three churches. Stations of the cross will begin at 7:00PM. On the Tuesdays of Lent, we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers. The theme will be “In unity with one another.” The next Holy Hour will take place this Tuesday March 6 at Holy Rosary Church beginning at 7:00PM. The guest preacher will be His Excellency, Most Reverend Neil Tiedemann, CP. Bishop Tiedemann is one of the Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Bishop Tiedemann has never been to Holy Rosary Church, hence is very much looking forward to praying with us this Tuesday evening.

 

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! The Solemn Closing Mass for the Anniversary will take place on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 10:30AM at Our Lady of Victory Church. We will welcome His Excellency, Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn as the Main Celebrant and Homilist.

 

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,

Today is the second Sunday of Lent. As we journey with our Lord through the desert, these next few weeks of Lent are meant to be a time of renewal and repentance. Today’s gospel gives us the story of the Transfiguration. As Jesus brings Peter, James and John up to Mount Tabor, we see how their lives were radically transformed by Christ. We hear in the gospel of how the three disciples went through the emotion of amazement, fear, then ultimately joy! I love Peter’s response to the Lord as basks in the Transfiguration, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! It is a response that each of us must utter from our lips, it is good that we are here! It is good that we are able to come to church to worship, when many of our brothers and sisters cannot go to church to worship because of religious persecution. It is good that we are able to encounter the Lord through the sacraments and prayer. It is good that we are able to be with our parish family, to support and comfort one another. We are truly blessed here at St. Martin dePorres and it is good that we are here!

It has been my hope and prayer that this Lent will be a time to truly thank God for all the many blessings that he has bestowed upon as, most especially for the gift of his Son Jesus Christ. Christ suffered and died for us so that we might be reconciled to God.

Last week we had a phenomenal Lenten Parish Mission! I thank all of you who came out this past Monday and Tuesday for our evening of prayer and thanksgiving. I thank Father Gerard Jordan for his dynamic preaching and witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and his priesthood. It was truly two evenings of faith renewal and repentance.

Stations of the Cross and Tuesday Evening Eucharistic Adoration

Each Friday during the season of Lent we will pray the stations of the cross at each of the three churches. Stations of the cross will begin at 7:00PM. On the Tuesdays of Lent, we will have Eucharistic Adoration with Vespers. The theme will be “In unity with one another.” The first Holy Hour will take place this Tuesday February 27 at St. Peter Claver Church beginning at 7:00PM. The guest preacher will be Father Ronald Newland, a retired priest from the Military Archdiocese.

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