From Father Kingsley

Dear Parishioners,

The unofficial kickoff to Black History Month began with the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on Monday, January 21st. Our pastor, Fr. Alonzo Cox, presided the diocesan service at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Queens Village. Nearly a hundred souls braved the cold weather to commemorate MLK’s life and legacy. Fr. Peter Damian Harris, OP, delivered a powerful reflection on Galatians 3: 28. He urged us all as “Christians, as brothers, as one in Christ; be energized by God’s indiscriminate love for one another.” His insights touched us all, reminding us that there’s more work to be done. Our very own choir under the direction of Messrs. Rasaan Bourke and Joseph Murray lifted our hearts, minds, and souls in song, breathing life anew in the time-honored anthems of the black church.

Closer to home, our parochial Black History Month Committee has been meeting since last summer to plan for this February. The committee, under the leadership of Mrs. Estella White-McDuffy, has been hard at work. They selected the theme for this year’s celebration, “Let Our Praise Arise.”  Accordingly, they have planned a number of things. To begin this month at this weekend’s Masses, we will recite together the Prayer for African American and African Family penned by the legendary Fr. James Goode, OFM. Throughout the month, parish youth have been invited to read excerpts from the lives of notable Black figures. In addition, we invite all parishioners, including liturgical ministers, to dress in their finest African attire. On the Saturdays of this month, beginning on February 9th, after the 5 PM Mass, we will show inspirational, uplifting films, the first being Remember the Titans starring Denzel Washington.

We will have our parish Black History Month Mass, on Sunday, February 10th, 12 Noon, at Holy Rosary Church. The committee is pleased to announce that Fr. Anthony Bozeman, SSJ, will be this year’s guest celebrant and homilist. He is renowned in Black Catholic circles as being a gifted laborer in the Lord’s vineyard. A light reception will follow in the lower church; if you wish to contribute please call the rectory office this week. Please note on the weekend of the 10th, the Mass schedule is as follows: 5 PM Saturday Vigil Mass at SPC, 7: 30 AM Mass at OLV, 12 Noon Mass at HR. We will NOT have the scheduled 9 AM, 10: 15 AM, or 11: 30 AM Masses that day.   

To close, I am looking forward to all the activities planned for Black History Month, and on behalf of the all parish, I thank the committee for all their hard work and dedication.


In Christ,

Fr. Daniel O. Kingsley


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today’s second reading comes from one of my favorite Pauline passages. Paul is writing this letter to the Corinthians and he speaks to them about the Church as a body with many parts. It is a beautiful and precise image of what the Church truly is. Although the body has many parts, it all contributes to the working of the body as a whole. We are members of the mystical Body of Christ, that is the Church Universal. There are many different parts to the mystical Body of Christ. We can say today that there are many cultures and ethnicities that make the Church what it is and for that we give thanks and praise to God. Here at St. Martin dePorres we are blessed to have a diverse community that forms and shapes who we are as the Body of Christ here in Bedford Stuyvesant. There are many parts, but each of them strengthen the Body, that is Christ our Savior and King. Let us pray today that we will continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, as we invite God’s holy people to encounter Jesus himself.

Parish Black History Month Celebration

During the month of February, we commemorate Black History Month. We give thanks and praise to God for the gifts and talents of African-Americans throughout the world and within our Church. We also recall our ancestors who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. Here at St. Martin de Porres, we will have a number of activities planned for Black History month. We will continue to custom of showing a film on Saturday evenings at St. Peter Claver following the 5:00PM Mass. Each film depicts a theme related to Black History. Our Mass of Thanksgiving for Black History Month will take place on Sunday, February 10 at Holy Rosary Church beginning at 12:00Noon. We will welcome Father Anthony Bozeman, SSJ as the celebrant and homilist. There are flyers available at each of the three churches for more information.

Diocese of Brooklyn Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving

As you all know, in addition to being the Pastor here at St. Martin dePorres, I also serve as diocesan director of ministry to African-American Catholics and the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns. Each year we sponsor our diocesan celebration for Black History Month with a Mass of Thanksgiving. This year’s Mass will take place on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston beginning at 4:00PM. This year’s homilist will be Father Tony Ricard, a priest from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is gifted and talented preacher! There will be a reception to follow the Mass. All are invited.

St. Lucia Independence Day

Our St. Lucian community will celebrate their Independence Day with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, February 17 at Our Lady of Victory. It will take place at the 10:15AM Mass. This year we are blessed to welcome His Excellency Most Reverend Gabriel Malzaire. Bishop Malzaire serves as the Bishop of Roseau in Dominica. He is a native St. Lucian. All are invited.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today we have moved to the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. In just about 7 weeks we will begin the solemn season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. These next few weeks are meant to be a time of spiritual renewal as we prepare to journey with the Lord in the desert. We are invited to deepen our relationship with the Lord as we celebrate his paschal mystery. We pray that by the power and working of the Holy Spirit, God will continue to give us the strength and the courage to see the workings of the Lord in our lives.Today’s gospel is a scene that many of us are familiar with, the miracle at Cana. We see Jesus at a wedding feast in Cana and the unthinkable occurs! They run out of wine. We see how the servers are frantic and they go to Jesus. The most powerful exchange in this gospel passage is what Mary tells the servers. Mary tells them, do whatever he tells you. We must not be afraid to do whatever Jesus tells us. We must place our trust in him, knowing that he is going to provide for all of our needs, as he miraculously did at the wedding feast turning water into wine. Let us pray for the grace to let go of our wants and desires and to do whatever Jesus asks of us.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service

Each year, the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns sponsors a prayer service commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, that prayer service will take place tomorrow, Monday, January 21, 2019 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church located in Queens Village. There will be a bus leaving from St. Gregory the Great Church in Crown Heights that day. The cost per person for the bus will be $10. The homilist will be Father Peter Damian Harris, O.P. He is a Dominican priest located in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas. There will be a reception following the prayer service. Our parish choir will provide the music for this Diocesan celebration. All are invited.


Parish Black History Month Celebration

During the month of February, we commemorate Black History Month. We give thanks and praise to God for the gifts and talents of African-Americans throughout the world and within our Church. We also recall our ancestors who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. Here at St. Martin de Porres, we will have a number of activities planned for Black History month. We will continue to custom of showing a film on Saturday evenings at St. Peter Claver following the 5:00PM Mass. Each film depicts a theme related to Black History. Our Mass of Thanksgiving for Black History Month will take place on Sunday, February 10 at Holy Rosary Church beginning at 12:00Noon. We will welcome Father Anthony Bozeman, SSJ as the celebrant and homilist. There are flyers available at each of the three churches for more information.


Tomorrow our nation will commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The parish office will be closed. There will be one mass celebrated at 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory. There will not be a 12:00Noon Mass at St. Peter Claver.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of our Lord. This feast day brings the Christmas season to a close. When you come back to church next week, all of the Christmas trees, decorations and poinsettias will be gone. We will return to the liturgical ordinary time of the year. What a beautiful way though to end the Christmas season by recalling the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. We hear in today’s gospel that John the Baptist proclaims that one mightier than he is coming. Everyone thought that John was the messiah, when he adamantly says to the people it is not I, but Jesus. As Jesus is baptized, the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends upon him as the voice of God proclaims, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”.


Baptisms are moments of great joy and grace. We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of our own Baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit, we are reborn in Christ Jesus. In a very real sense, we are a new creation in Jesus Christ. As we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, we recall the promises made at our own Baptism, to profess our faith in Jesus and his most holy Catholic Church. May we continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as we preach and teach in the name of Christ our Savior and King.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service

Each year, the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns sponsors a prayer service commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, that prayer service will take place on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church located in Queens Village. There will be a bus leaving from St. Gregory the Great Church in Crown Heights that day. The cost per person for the bus will be $10. The homilist will be Father Peter Damian Harris, O.P. He is a Dominican priest located in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas. There will be a reception following the prayer service. Our parish choir will provide the music for this Diocesan celebration. All are invited.


Parish Black History Month Celebration

During the month of February, we commemorate Black History Month. We give thanks and praise to God for the gifts and talents of African-Americans throughout the world and within our Church. We also recall our ancestors who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. Here at St. Martin de Porres, we will have a number of activities planned for Black History month. We will continue to custom of showing a film on Saturday evenings at St. Peter Claver following the 5:00PM Mass. Each film depicts a theme related to Black History. Our Mass of Thanksgiving for Black History Month will take place on Sunday, February 10 at Holy Rosary Church beginning at 12:00Noon. We will welcome Father Anthony Bozeman, SSJ as the celebrant and homilist. There is a flyer in this week’s bulletin for more information.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Our gospel passage today depicts the visit of the three Magi, who come to pay homage to the newborn King, Jesus Christ. They do not come empty handed though. They come to Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These three gifts reflect the kingly status of the baby Jesus. The three Magi know who they are in the presence of! They know that Jesus is the true and eternal King, who will grow in grace and favor before God and man. The Magi know that this little child will grow to free humankind from their sins, by his sacrifice on the cross for our salvation. On this Epiphany Sunday, we give the gift ourselves to Jesus. He wants our whole selves, not just a mere part.


Traditionally in many Latin American countries, Epiphany Sunday is the actual day that gifts are exchanged amongst loved ones. Just as the Magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus, we bring gifts to our families and friends. As I mentioned in my homily on Christmas Eve, the one gift that I long for is peace! Peace in our world, peace amongst our families and yes, peace within our parish. We pray that the Lord will continue to bestow his peace to us, as we strive to do the will of our Heavenly Father.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service

Each year, the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns sponsors a prayer service commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, that prayer service will take place on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church located in Queens Village. There will be a bus leaving from St. Gregory the Great Church in Crown Heights that day. The cost per person for the bus will be $10. The homilist will be Father Peter Damian Harris, O.P. He is a Dominican priest located in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas. There will be a reception following the prayer service. All are invited.


Prayers for the Bishops of the United States of America

This week, all of the Bishops of the United States will gather for a retreat at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. This retreat was called for by Pope Francis himself. It was at his request that all of the Bishops come together for prayer and reflection, most especially as we pray for victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The retreat master is Father Raniero Cantalamesa,OFM. He is the preacher to the Papal Household. In your kindness I ask all of you to say a special prayer for our Bishops on retreat this week. We pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to hover over them as they shepherd our Holy Roman Catholic Church. May the Lord grant them the strength and the courage to be good and holy shepherds.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox