Thursday, August 27, 2015

Weekly and daily readings

Readings from scripture are part of every Mass. At least two readings, one always from the Gospels, (three on Sundays and solemnities) make up the Liturgy of the Word. In addition, a psalm or canticle is sung.

These readings are typically read from a lectionary, not a Bible, though the lectionary is taken from the Bible.

The 2014-2015 liturgical year Sunday readings are taken from Sunday cycle Year B. The daily readings are taken from weekday cycle Year I.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First reading

Moses directs the people to observe the commandments of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8)


The one who does justice will live in the presence of  the Lord. (Psalm 15:2-5)

Second reading

Welcome the word that you have received and become doers of the word, not hearers only. (James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27)

Gospel reading

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition. (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23)

Sunday’s liturgical color: GREEN

Daily readings:

     • (
Week of August 31 to September 5)
     • (Week of September 7 to September 12)

Sunday bulletins

On this page you will find our weekly Sunday parish bulletin in an electronic format, viewable on most computers and tablets.

Submissions of articles and events are always welcome, and they will appear on the bulletin at the discretion of the pastor and bulletin editor.

To publish an event or for more information about our Sunday bulletin, e-mail

Bulletins are archived in Adobe Acrobat format.

To properly view the electronic version of our Sunday bulletin, you must download Adobe’s Acrobat Reader which is available for free from Adobe’s website.

Full St. Bernard Church Sunday bulletin archive



     • January 4
     • January 11
     • January 18
     • January 25


     • February 1
     • February 8
     • February 15
     • February 22


     • March 1
     • March 8
     • March 15
     • March 22
     • March 29


     • April 5
     • April 12
     • April 19
     • April 26

     • May 3
     • May 10
     • May 17
     • May 24
     • May 31


     • June 7
     • June 14
     • June 21
     • June 28


     • July 5
     • July 12
     • July 19
     • July 26


     • August 2
     • August 9
     • August 16
     • August 23
     • August 30


     • September 6
     • September 13
     • September 20
     • September 27

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

We all have choices. We can choose to do the good, or to do the bad. We can even choose the attitudes we will have.

In today’s reading, Joshua tell the people: “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide whom you will serve.”

In the Gospel, Jesus’ words were too much, and many “returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”

Jesus finally asked his twelve: “Do you also want to leave?”

We all have choices. But our choice is not simply to believe in Jesus or be baptized as his disciples — a kind of once and for all choice.

We have choices every day and all throughout the day. We choose to follow with more commitment. We choose to listen more deeply. We choose to reflect Christ in our words and actions as real witnesses. We choose to imitate Christ and to live as he lived.

We choose to not simply come to church but to make our lives a pilgrimage of ongoing and continual conversion. We choose this year to be more of a disciple than we were last year, always choosing deeper, more and greater.

If we understand and actually discover our faith growing, we will find that in this moment, or quite spontaneously, we can speak the words of Peter: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

We will also discover that the words of Jesus, his actions, teachings and example of living — his everything, including Eucharistic presence — give real, deep, inner life that is more than mortal and material; it is an inner spiritual reality that extends beyond and permeates everything.

To find and to have this life is our choice, too.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

Thursday, August 20, 2015

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Man of the century! Woman of the century! You see such terms applied to so many today—“golfer of the century,” “composer of the century,” “right tackle of the century”—that the line no longer has any punch. But Western Europe's “man of the twelfth century,” without doubt or controversy, has to be Bernard of Clairvaux. Adviser of popes, preacher of the Second Crusade, defender of the faith, healer of a schism, reformer of a monastic Order, Scripture scholar, theologian and eloquent preacher: any one of these titles would distinguish an ordinary man. Yet Bernard was all of these—and he still retained a burning desire to return to the hidden monastic life of his younger days.

In the year 1111, at the age of 20, Bernard left his home to join the monastic community of Citeaux. His five brothers, two uncles and some 30 young friends followed him into the monastery. Within four years a dying community had recovered enough vitality to establish a new house in the nearby valley of Wormwoods, with Bernard as abbot. The zealous young man was quite demanding, though more on himself than others. A slight breakdown of health taught him to be more patient and understanding. The valley was soon renamed Clairvaux, the valley of light.

His ability as arbitrator and counselor became widely known. More and more he was lured away from the monastery to settle long-standing disputes. On several of these occasions he apparently stepped on some sensitive toes in Rome. Bernard was completely dedicated to the primacy of the Roman See. But to a letter of warning from Rome, he replied that the good fathers in Rome had enough to do to keep the Church in one piece. If any matters arose that warranted their interest, he would be the first to let them know.

Shortly thereafter it was Bernard who intervened in a full-blown schism and settled it in favor of the Roman pontiff against the antipope.

The Holy See prevailed on Bernard to preach the Second Crusade throughout Europe. His eloquence was so overwhelming that a great army was assembled and the success of the crusade seemed assured. The ideals of the men and their leaders, however, were not those of Abbot Bernard, and the project ended as a complete military and moral disaster.

Bernard felt responsible in some way for the degenerative effects of the crusade. This heavy burden possibly hastened his death, which came August 20, 1153.


Bernard’s life in the Church was more active than we can imagine possible today. His efforts produced far-reaching results. But he knew that they would have availed little without the many hours of prayer and contemplation that brought him strength and heavenly direction. His life was characterized by a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. His sermons and books about Mary are still the standard of Marian theology.


“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal” (St. Bernard).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

St. Bernard Sunday Homilies podcast

Our Sunday Homilies podcast features recordings of homilies given by our parish and visiting priests, alternating between the 8 and 9:30 a.m. Sunday Masses.

You can listen to each episode individually via our SoundCloud player found below each episode description. Or you can listen to episodes on our SoundCloud page.

Subscribe on our iTunes podcast page to listen to the podcast with your favorite MP3 player.


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, August 16, 2015
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

"It's not a surprise that he would use this kind of language: 'eat my flesh, drink my blood. Eat me. Drink me'," Father Perry tells us in his homily for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. "What Jesus is asking is something very total on our part: 'Let me in. Let me into you. I want to come into your soul, you spirit, your mind, your heart, your everyday thoughts, your everyday actions. I want to transform you from the inside out.'"

Video podcast

Audio podcast

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, August 9, 2015
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

"God is just as present in the word as he is in the Eucharist," Father Perry tells us in his homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. "In the liturgy of the word, we eat and drink the body and blood of Christ. We get that. But we were also asked in the liturgy of the word to see it in terms of the bread of life, that we eat the word of God. We consume it. We digest it. It gives nutrition and new life to us. Just as much as we eat the Eucharist, we eat the bread of the word that gives us life."

Video podcast

Audio podcast

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Once again our liturgy invites us to pray Psalm 34: “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

Within the context of this repeated refrain, the psalmist says even more specifically: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

In a beautiful liturgical song by Marty Haughen this truth is expressed thus: “Shepherd me O God beyond by wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.”

Put this way, we profess a faith in our God who leads and guides us all through life and even through death. Every fear, every want, every need, every doubt – in these he wishes to be present, leading and loving us.

Some, however, lament that they cried out to God and he obviously didn’t hear their prayers. The healing they sought never came. The job they needed never materialized. The solving of their problem went unresolved.

Why? How come? What did I do to deserve or not to deserve this?

In the short run, things don’t always work out as we want them to. But aren’t we in this for the long haul? Our race isn’t 100 meters; it is the marathon!

We seek what we seek and often find something else. Often, we find something more. We begin with one dream and often discover several others along the way that are so much more than we could have ever hoped for.

If we don’t let go of Plan A, we can’t be ready for or even notice Plan B. The point is, God does indeed stay with us, shepherding and guiding us along the way. He never leaves our side. He sees us through to the end; “beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

One of our very beautiful psalm responses with unusually beautiful musical renderings is today’s response which reads: “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

It is either an unusual mix of metaphors or an admission that the goodness of the Lord is so great that neither tasting nor seeing is enough – only both will do. It also calls forth a very Eucharistic image, since we do indeed eat (taste) and see (the host) when we receive.

In fact, the minister holds the host before our eyes saying, "Body of Christ" to which we respond, "Amen" – then we eat!
Elijah, on his long and tiring journey, was at the point of starvation and was ready to "give up his spirit" – that is, ready to die. God, however, in his goodness, gave the food he needed for his journey and Elijah clearly experienced the goodness of the Lord – "taste and see"!

Jesus, in the gospel, offers himself as food for the journey of life: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

The people knew Jesus as neighbor but did not know him as Lord. His words were a scandal to them rather than an invitation to faith.

We eat the host and drink from the cup believing that we have received the Lord. He is our bread of life and cup of salvation.

When we truly receive Christ and experience his presence within, it is no wonder we are able to sing out with faith and confidence and gratitude: "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord."

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Imagine being so hungry you would prefer to return to living in slavery where you could expect to eat at least once a day.

That seems better than starving. But imagine crying out to God, complaining to him; and he listens, responds and sends food daily.

At night, quail fill the camp. In the morning, bread rains down from heaven. All he asks is that they “follow my instructions.”

Now in Jesus’ time, the people come to him because they are hungry for food – for spiritual food. They want healing. They want hope. They want understanding and signs – yes, signs like their ancestors had.

But do they want to grow into a people who really know God and listen to the Word of God? Do they want to become God’s people in a way that God’s goodness, justice, peace and compassion live in their words and actions?

Hungering and thirsting for the living God means opening heart and soul and discovering the living word that transforms our way of living. Knowing God means beginning to live and look like God.

So they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."

The bread we seek is more than the host. It is in and through the host that we meet Christ, experience Christ and find our deepest hungers and thirsts satisfied.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

We need to listen carefully to God’s word today.

We need to believe that this word is truth and bears fruit.

We need to notice the detail and clear proclamation that God gives to us what we need in super abundance.

In both the reading from 2 Kings and the Gospel of John, a large number of people are fed with a small amount to food. In both cases, doubt is expressed that such a small amount of food could satisfy the needs of so many people let alone have any left over.

But that is exactly what happens. All are satisfied. Food is left over – an abundance of food! God does what he says he would do!

The psalm response sums up what people of faith have consistently believed and experienced: “the hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.”

The truth is, God always works at the deepest level of our existence – deep within our spirit. That is where God connects with us. That is where God works his miraculous wonders – deep within us. That is where we discover our strength, our courage, our hope, our faith, our abilities, our gifts. God does it for us there.

God "answers all our needs" there, in that place of spirit. If we don’t even believe in ourselves (in here), how can we really believe in God (our there)? If we don’t find God in the temple of our own spirit, how will we find him in the temple of stones or bricks out there?

It really isn’t a question of if, but rather a question of when, how and where.

And so with faith and hope and trust we proclaim: “the hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

Thursday, May 7, 2015

St. Mel's Phillip McCreary selected as new principal of St. Bernard Catholic School

Philip McCreary
Dear St. Bernard Parish community:

A new principal, Mr. Phillip McCreary, has been chosen to lead St. Bernard Catholic School with our outstanding staff and has signed his contract for the 2015/2016 school year.

A committee of seven members was comprised of two of our teachers, two parents in the school, a former parent, a former high school principal, and a person presently serving as a teacher in a Catholic High School. The committee followed a structured format provided by the Department of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. After interviews, each candidate was evaluated and a final recommendation was made and approved by me.

The consensus of the selection committee was that Mr. McCreary was the best candidate to move the school forward. We are grateful for all that Principal Margaret Samaniego and the present staff have done to revive, rebuild and guide our school into a new technological age. We believe that Mr. McCreary has the credentials to grow our numbers, solidify our financial security for the present and future, further develop the outstanding work already done in the area of technology, and strengthen the educational and spiritual formation of our children.

We look forward to providing an opportunity to meet Mr. McCreary and welcome him to our school and parish community.


Father Perry Leiker, pastor
St. Bernard Church