From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

As the month of February comes to a close, I take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support over these last few weeks as we celebrated Black History Month. Between our parish celebration two weeks ago, and the Diocesan Mass of Thanksgiving last week, we have joyfully commemorated the memory of our ancestors and have given witness to the bright future we have as a community of believers. How fitting it is to conclude Black History month with the gospel passage that we hear at Mass today. The Lord challenges us to love our enemies. It’s one of the most difficult aspects to Christianity, to love those who persecute us, to love those who have hurt us either physically or spiritually. The Lord also gives us what is popularly known as the “golden rule”, which is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We must never forget or suppress the wrong or mistreatment that was done to the Black community in the past, but Christ the Lord calls us to embrace and love those who we find it difficult to love. Each of us are invited to truly take to heart the words of Christ today, to love our enemies and do good to them.


St. Martin de Porres Parish Art/Photo Exhibit

Our annual parish art/photo exhibit will take place the weekend of March 2nd/3rd at the Waldorf School at St. Peter Claver. Those of you who wish to have your artwork or photos to be placed on display, please see the flyers that are available at each of the three churches. Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 are invited to submit their work to be entered into a contest. It can be art, photography or written (poetry or short story). The theme must reflect the legacy of St. Josephine Bakhita, an African slave who became a saint of the church. For more information please consult the flyers at each of the churches.


Lent 2019

We will begin the solemn season of Lent in just two short weeks beginning with Ash Wednesday on March 6. Please see the bulletin for the Ash Wednesday schedule of Masses and Liturgy of the Word Prayer Services. During the Friday’s of Lent we will also pray the stations of the cross at each of the three churches beginning at 7:00PM. In addition, we will pray solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) on the Tuesday’s of Lent with a guest preacher. All are invited to pray with our parish community as we prepare to celebrate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

What a beautiful celebration we had last week commemorating Black History Month! Almost 200 people gathered at Holy Rosary Church to first and foremost give honor, glory and praise to God and then to joyfully celebrate Black History. It was truly a joyful and prayerful celebration! Father Anthony Bozeman, who served as the celebrant and homilist for the Mass was absolutely phenomenal! He was very happy to spend the weekend with us here in Brooklyn and he promises to come back. I once again thank the Black History Month Committee for all of their hard work and dedication into making last Sunday’s celebration as beautiful as it was. We have much to be grateful for here at St. Martin dePorres, it is my prayer that the Lord will continue to bestow his abundant blessings upon our parish community as we bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of God’s people.


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 today 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. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy

You will find in this week’s bulletin an insert regarding our regional Catholic school, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy. St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy has begun the process of registering new students for the upcoming academic year 2019. Scholarships are available for families who wish to place their child into a Catholic school. Tours of the school and information about tuition and academics can be arranged with the principal and faculty. Please see the insert for more information and you may visit the school website.


Diocese of Brooklyn Releases Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse

This past Friday the Diocese of Brooklyn released the names of 107 priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. These allegations date back as far as 1934. The majority of these priests are deceased. Those who are living have either been laicized or permanently removed from active ministry. The names have been published to offer greater transparency and accountability to the Church at large as well as to the general public. In this way, we hope to promote healing and justice. Let us continue to pray for victims and those affected by abuse of a member of the clergy.


President’s Day Holiday

This Monday, February 18 is President’s Day. It is a national holiday. The parish office will be closed and only the 8:00AM Mass at OLV will be celebrated. There will be no Noon Mass at SPC.


Have a great week,

Father Alonzo Q. Cox


From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Parishioners,

During the month of February, we as a community celebrate Black History Month. We give thanks and praise to God for our ancestors who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith. It is from their example and sacrifice that we are able to give witness to the great accomplishments and achievements of Black civil rights leaders. Black History month is a time to give thanks, for the past and most especially for the bright future that is ahead of us. Today, Sunday February 10, we celebrate with joy our Parish Mass of Thanksgiving commemorating Black History Month. We welcome as our celebrant and homilist, Father Anthony Bozeman. Father Bozeman is a priest of the Josephite religious order and is currently serving as a Pastor in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. We welcome Father Bozeman to St. Martin DePorres parish with great joy and we look forward to his dynamic message of hope and perseverance.


I also take this opportunity to thank our Black History Month committee, who has worked hard to make our celebration beautiful and prayerful. As I have said on numerous occasions, we are blessed to have such dedicated parishioners who go above and beyond for their community. I thank them for their love and dedication.


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 next 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 a 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 next 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


P.S. In your kindness, I ask you to pray for the repose of the soul of Rev. Msgr. Vincent Keane. Msgr. Keane was a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who spent much of his priesthood teaching at the High School and College Seminary. Msgr. Keane died this past week at the age of 86. He was truly one of the most gentle, holy and devout priest I have encountered. He was my spiritual director for the first two years of my college seminary formation. In the years that I have known Msgr. Keane and most especially in these last few months of his illness, he never raised his voice or uttered any ill will towards anyone. He placed his trust in God and his heart to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was the priest that I wanted to be! May his soul rest in the peace of Christ the great High Priest.  


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