Happy Easter, Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

Dear Parishioners,

 On behalf of the parish and school staff, I would like to wish you and your family a Happy Easter. Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar and it is a great joy for us to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord.  It is not just the end of our period of penance and sacrifice, but the beginning of a new life in Christ the risen Lord. Easter brings so many promises of God to us, life is stronger than death, love can overcome hate, goodness ultimately triumphs over evil and eternity and glory with God in Heaven are our destiny. 

 As the “Exsultet”, the great Easter song or the great Easter proclamation states clearly that the grace of this most wonderful event “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride…” may these things come true for all of us as we keep moving forward.

 Thank you for your care and support for St. Valentine Parish and the School. We are indeed blessed to have your selfless and loving dedication.

 I pray that the Risen Lord may continue to bless each one of you and keep you safe with His Peace and Courage and may the Easter Joy continue to fill your hearts and homes throughout this season.

 Happy Easter, Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

Fr. Socorro Fernandes

 Pallottine Collection 2021

     On Palm Sunday a Second Collection will be made that will go toward the works and missions of the Pallottines in India. I know there have been several 2nd collections during Lent, we are not asking for a big amount; whatever you give will go a long way for the good of the missions. And if you are not able to do that, then just offer a prayer for our missionary works and you will feel blessed.

      Since the last time I have written about the Pallottine Missions a lot has happened in our Province which is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province (ABVM). Until December 2019 we were Three Provinces in the whole of India. Since January of 2020 ABVM Province gave birth to Our Lady of Good Health Province and Gloria Dei Region. This has taken place in order to accommodate growth within the order. I have been appointed as the in-charge of the Mission Coordination work for ABVM Province.

 As I have mentioned before, our ministry here helps our Province in India to continue and to support our missionary works including the formation of seminarians. Besides that here is a glimpse of some of the activities we are now engaging ourselves in:

 · Home for the destitute and the aged. (A place for the destitute both men and women.) Presently we have 28 residents. Here we have two dormitories, for men and women. As the destitute are with varied psychological backgrounds, it’s difficult to keep them in one dormitory. The need of the place is to construct individual rooms for both men and women and also to make provision for the increasing number of residents and to accommodate them. Another requirement is the sustenance of the house. We are developing a dairy farm as one of the sources of income to achieve self-sustenance. We also help people with medical aid.

· Tuition Center’s in our missions: poor children are given tuition. Establishing the tuition centers is the need. There isn’t a structure to accommodate these students. Either we bring them to the church campus or any of the villages and impart education. Secondly, we support the teachers by paying their salaries from the Mission Secretariat.

· Educational scholarship to the students in mission areas (An annual program that has been carried out over the years now). Especially the poor who cannot afford to pay their school fees, financial help is given.

· Educational outreach: During this year of the pandemic, we have reached out to the students through our educational institutions: particularly distribution of smart phones and laptops as an aid to attend online classes to the needy who otherwise would have had to skip this academic year.

· House construction: Financial aid is given to the less privileged to have a better living facilityFinancial aid is also needed for the construction of places of worship and presbyteries in mission stations.

      Out of the 13 years since the Pallottines started ministering here, I have been blessed to serve you for 7 years. Your prayers, words of encouragement and your support helps me to keep serving you all the more. Let us keep up our good works. May our Founder St. Vincent Pallotti and our Patroness Mary Queen of the Apostles continue to guide me as I minister to you.

 

     Thank you everyone for all your beautiful birthday wishes.  It was truly over whelming!!  

 

   God Bless you.

 Fr. Socorro

 

5th Sunday of Lent

The history of the Jewish people tells of their relationship with God – a relationship that ebbed and flowed, grew hot and cold, went from a passionate, loving bond to infidelity.  Every time Israel turned their backs to the Lord, He came back with a new sign of His love, a new covenant by which He reaffirmed His love for His people.  This Lent we have been hearing the stories of what led up to three of the covenants, the promises God made to His people.

In today’s first reading, we hear about yet another new covenant.  This one will be different, though.  God saw that a rainbow in the sky, or promising a nation whose members numbered more than the sands on the seashore, or giving the people His words written on stone were not enough. All these signs of the covenants God made with His people were not enough for them to internalize His message.  With this new covenant, God wanted to show His desire to have a greater personal relationship with His people.

 

          “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new       covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

           I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. 

          And I will be their God, and they shall be my people; for they shall all know me.”   Jeremiah 31:31-33

 When Jeremiah wrote these words, the Jews were captured by the Babylonians and exiled from Jerusalem. The words were meant to console them, to remind them that they were not abandoned by God, even though they had turned from Him.  God wanted to assure His people that He was with them always.  He wanted to restore their broken relationship caused by the Jews’ infidelity. This new covenant was about God forgiving us of our sins, offering us mercy, salvation, and life. He opens His arms again to us, wrapping us up in His love.

 “God will make a new covenant within them and write it on their hearts!” (Jer 31:33-34).  “Create in me a clean heart,” we reply with Psalm 51.  Are we willing to live the words we pray?  How do we internalize the words of the covenant?  How are we keeping God’s promises?

Next week is Holy Week, are we living the promise? Living the covenant?

Confessions are heard in the Church on Friday from 6 p.m.—7 p.m. prior to Stations of the Cross.