Sunday, August 24, 2014

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.


Sunday, August 24, 2014 
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Father Perry D. Leiker

"The question could be put differently: 'Who do YOU think that I am?'" Father Perry asks us in his homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time. "It's a deadly question, because if you answer it and get the answer right, everything in your life should change."

Sunday, August 17, 2014
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

"What is the condition and quality of our faith?" Father Perry asks us in his homily for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. "How do we pray? Do we expect God to be a part of everything? And even if we don't get what we seek at first — or even at all — my answer would be that sometimes the answer is much bigger than we ever asked for."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

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 5
     • January 12
     • January 19
     • January 26


     • February 2
     • February 9
     • February 16
     • February 23


     • March 2
     • March 9
     • March 16
     • March 23
     • March 30


     • April 6
     • April 13
     • April 20
     • April 27


     • May 4
     • May 11
     • May 18
     • May 25


     • June 1
     • June 8
     • June 15
     • June 22
     • June 29


     • July 6
     • July 13
     • July 20
     • July 27


     • August 3
     • August 10
     • August 17
     • August 24
     • August 31


     • September 7
     • September 14
     • September 21
     • September 28

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

'Man of the 12th century — there is no doubt or controversy, it has to be Bernard of Clairvaux'

By Father Perry D. Leiker

"So that we could, over the next 10 years, grow in an appreciation of our patron and come to appreciate who Bernard was and who he could be for us, and what kind of charism and gifts he might help to bestow in us and draw out of us so that, through him and through his life as a saint, this parish itself could become a more holy reflection of  God's word alive in us through the intersession of Bernard," Father Perry tells us in his homily for the Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the church.

Friday, August 8, 2014

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 Sunday readings are taken from Sunday cycle Year A. The daily readings are taken from weekday cycle Year II. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First reading

The Lord said to Elijah: “Stand on the mountain; the Lord will be passing by.” (1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a)


Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation. (Psalms 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14)

Second reading

To the Israelites belong the covenants, the law, and the patriarchs; and from them comes the Christ. (Romans 9:1-5)

Gospel reading 

As Jesus walked on the sea, the disciples were terrified. (Matthew 14:22-33)

Sunday’s liturgical color: GREEN

Daily readings:

(Week of August 4 to August 9)
     • (Week of August 11 to August 16)


How have you experienced God's presence in nature? What feelings of fear or peace did it evoke? How did you respond?

Scripture to be illustrated

"Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by" (1 Kings 19:11).

— Catholic News Service

Monday, August 4, 2014

Praying for the world

Archbishop José H. Gomez
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

As we look around the world during these summer months, we see that there is a lot for us to pray about.

Close to home, of course, we’ve been praying and working to address the humanitarian emergency caused by the thousands of undocumented children crossing our borders from Central America.

In fact, I’m writing from Mexico City, where I’ve come to take part in a meeting of religious and diplomatic leaders from Central America with [California] Gov. Jerry Brown.

Gov. Brown reached out to me several weeks ago and asked if I would help him to organize a meeting to discuss the present emergency and the broader issues of immigration and development in the region.

Recently, the Vatican and the Mexican government held a similar meeting. These conversations are a very good sign. Because it is essential that governments, business leaders, churches and religious people work together to find solutions to the challenges we face in our societies.

Through these conversations, we are coming to understand that the great migrations we are seeing in the Americas — and in countries all around the world — are part of the daily reality of “globalization.”

We can’t continue to treat immigration as if it is always an “emergency” or a “crisis.”

People are on the move everywhere, and this dynamic fact will only increase. So we need a long-term strategy to address this complicated reality of immigration — as our societies become more and more integrated into the global economy.

We need to examine whether the laws in our countries are fair and whether our borders are secure. But we also need to talk about issues of injustice and inequality in the region. We need to talk about education and economic development; the violence of the drug trade and arms trafficking and human trafficking. We need to find creative ways to promote safe and legal forms of migration.

Also — and I say this as a pastor — we need to examine our hearts. Because immigration, above all, involves issues of our common humanity.

It is more and more clear every day that we need a new commitment to promoting and protecting human dignity and the awareness that we are all brothers and sisters.

This is one of the hard truths that we are learning from our debates over immigration here in the United States.

But it is a hard truth that we also learn from the fighting and bloodshed and suffering that we have been seeing this summer — in Ukraine, in Israel and Palestine, in Syria, and throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa.

It is always the innocent who are suffering the most in these conflicts, especially families and children.

I am praying in a special way for the persecuted Christians of Iraq. Sadly, we are witnessing the violent eradication of Christianity in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Those are hard words. But they are true.

In Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, Christian homes are marked with an “N” for “Nazarenes.” And Christians were recently ordered to either convert to Islam or risk death and exile. Thousands fled, many with only the clothes on their backs. So many left, that authorities now say there may be no Christians left in Mosul.

So in our prayers this week, let us join Pope Francis and Christians around the world in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters. May God give them the strength and courage they need to endure!

As faithful citizens, we need to form a community of conscience — with other believers and with all people of good will.

We need to urge our leaders to do more to defend those in Iraq and everywhere who are being oppressed in the name of religion. And we need to urge our leaders to do more to provide humanitarian assistance and to promote dialogue and diplomacy in places where there is war and conflict.

This week, let’s pray with our Holy Father Pope Francis: “May the God of peace rouse in everyone an authentic desire for peace and reconciliation. … Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!”

And let us continue to ask Our Blessed Mother to help us to find solutions to the challenges we face in our society — most urgently the challenge of creating a culture that welcomes the immigrant and defends freedom of conscience and the dignity of the human person.

Archbishop José H. Gómez is the fifth archbishop of Los Angeles. His weekly column is provided by and appears in The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Reach Archbishop Gomez at (213) 637-7000, or on Facebook at

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

Does celebrating Eucharist, receiving the body and blood of Christ, satisfy our deepest hungers and thirsts?

What are our deepest hungers and thirsts? Do we long for justice? Is peace something we thirst for among nations, in our cities, on our streets, within our own hearts?

Over time, have our families fractured and disintegrated or simply drifted apart? Are we hungry for reconciliation, healing and a new unity?

Today, the scriptures speak about these hungers and thirsts being satisfied.

“Come to the water. Come, receive grain and eat. Delight in rich fare. Come to me; listen, that you may have life.” Paul proclaims the conviction that the love of God for us cannot be taken from us.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

But in the Gospel, Jesus hears the painful news that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been killed, and he goes off alone to a deserted place. But when he disembarks from the boat he finds the crowds who had followed him. He feels compassion, pity, and the need to teach and heal. He even feeds them — 5,000 men, not counting the women and children — multiplying the fish and the loaves. And there were 12 baskets of left-over food.

Why do we come to church? Are we being fed? Does our thirst get satisfied? Do we even know for what we hunger and thirst? Does being fed depend on the priest — somewhat, a lot, entirely?

Does the community touch us, too, with its faith, hope, love and prayerful praise? Does the beauty of the church or temple also touch our hunger for a sacred space that heals, touches, strengthens and brings peace?

We come free, too; there is no cost, yet we give generously because we know the cost of providing all of this?

Do we give generously? Do we love generously? Do we support our church financially, prayerfully and lovingly.

“The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs” (Psalm 14). The host and the cup are the experience that brings us together and opens the many, many, many ways in the liturgy that the Lord feeds us, gives us drink, satisfying our deepest hungers and thirsts.

So come, and eat, drink, listen, love and sing!

Give praise!

Be filled!

Find life!

Share hope!

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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

St. Bernard Mass intentions

Offering Mass for a special intention is a long standing tradition in the Catholic Church. It is usually considered that special graces are obtained for whom the Mass is celebrated.

Masses are offered for many reasons, for the souls in purgatory, in remembrance for someone who is deceased, or in honor of a birthday. 

If you would like to have a Mass celebrated for someone, visit the parish office. We will help you with the dates and times which are available. 

As a way to allow as many St. Bernard parishioners and friends as possible to schedule Masses, the following policies are put forth to help accomplish this goal: 

1. Requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis in the order in which they are received. 

2. A $10 stipend, as determined by archdiocesan policy, is to accompany each Mass intention. 

3. All intentions must be placed in person; no Mass request will be taken over the telephone.

4. Mass intentions will be granted as close to the requested date and time as possible. If it is not possible to comply with the primary request, the next closest date and time will be scheduled.

Week of August 11 to August 17, 2014

August 11 | Memorial of St. Clare, virgin

8 a.m.: Gino Pierotti rest in peace

August 12 | Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Belen Japlit in thanksgiving

August 13 | Wednesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Joaqcuin Gonzalez and Yolanda Gonzalez happy birthday
7 p.m. (Weekly Mother of Perpetual Help Mass): Iris Fagar, Pita Fagar and Leilani Fagar happy birthday

August 14 Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, priest and martyr

8 a.m.: Edgardo Ilario rest in peace

August 15 | Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

8 a.m.: No intention
7:30 p.m. (Mass of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary): Anita Jacobo, Ventura Jacobo and Rogeio Jacobo rest in peace 

August 16 | Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time
8 a.m.:
Felicisima Pablo rest in peace
5 p.m. (Saturday vigil Mass):  Ric Japlit and Luz Japlit rest in peace

August 17 | 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Richard Obregon, and Ruben Villa  rest in peace
9:30 a.m.: Anatalia Patino  rest in peace
11 a.m.: Jose Moran  rest in peace
12:30 p.m.: Armando Mena rest in peace

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

When Jesus speaks about the kingdom of heaven and God (clearly, a favorite topic for him) he uses incredibly simple, yet profound, images and examples to help us understand.

What is the kingdom of God? What is it like?  It doesn’t appear to be a specific place nor an easily defined reality. Rather, he speaks about our longings, our hopes, our deepest desires. He speaks about a willingness within us to sacrifice anything and everything for this kingdom.

God speaks to Solomon in the first reading and asks him: “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Solomon asks for “an understanding heart.” God delights in him for not asking for a long life, riches or power over his enemies, but for an understanding heart to help others distinguish what is right and wrong: wisdom!

What do we want from God? What is our answer to: “Ask something of me and I will give it to you”? 

Has the kingdom of God planted itself like a seed in our hearts? What is growing? It is good seed or weeds? Is anything rising up within us?

What is the kingdom of God? What is it like?

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

‘You gave your children good ground for hope’

Archbishop José H. Gomez
The following is adapted from the archbishop’s homily at the annual Mass in Recognition of Immigrants July 20, after which thousands lined up, inside and outside of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, to venerate the traveling relic of Santo Toribio Romo. 

By Archbishop José H. Gomez 

Santo Toribio Romo was a good brother and a good son. He was a holy priest and a martyr for Jesus. In heaven now, he is a friend and protector to the immigrant and the poor. 

So he is a beautiful symbol of what this annual celebration is all about.

In this holy Mass, we celebrate the immigrant spirit that gives life to our great country and our great city. We come together to pray and hope, as the theme of our gathering reminds us, from the first reading of today’s Mass: “You gave your children good ground for hope.”

As we all know, this land was built by the blood and sacrifice and the vision of missionaries and immigrants from every race and language and every nation.

So today we give thanks for all those men and women who left the places where they were born — to bring their faith and values, their talents and gifts — to create a new life and a new world here in America.

And we thank God also for the spirit of our new immigrants — those who are joining us every day to be our neighbors and friends and family members.

Yet, as we gather again this year, we also know that there are real troubles in our land. Many things are not right in our city and in our country.

Year after year, more of our fellow citizens seem to be losing faith in the spirit of America, losing their faith in the immigrant spirit that makes this country great.

In America, our hearts and hands have always been open to welcome the stranger and the refugee. But we are not being so welcoming anymore.

All of us today, I know, are thinking about the tens of thousands of children who have been coming across our borders, sent by their parents who are trying to save them from the poverty and violence in their home countries. I can’t imagine how sad and desperate it must be for those mothers and fathers to have to make that kind of decision!

Our Holy Father Pope Francis said this week that we are facing a real “humanitarian emergency” with these unaccompanied children. Pope Francis is right. And in the face of this emergency, our first duty must be to protect these children.

My brothers and sisters, what we are doing for these children as a church — it’s not about politics. We all know that. It’s about who we are as Catholics.

The church in Southern California has always opened its doors to receive the refugee and immigrant.

But we don’t do it because we are “social workers” or “nice people.” We do it because we are being faithful to our identity and duty as Catholics. We do it because Jesus calls us to do it.

In the reading from the Gospel that we just heard in this Holy Mass, Jesus tells us that God’s kingdom is a mystery, something that is small and hidden from our eyes.  He says the kingdom is like a seed that is under the ground. We can’t see it, but we know that it is living and growing.

And the message of this parable today is that God is in charge! 

God is in charge of our world and our lives! Jesus tells us that God is just. God is true to his promises and true to each one of us because God cares for each one of his children.

So we have to stay faithful to God. We have to stay true to his word and his calling in our lives.

No matter what stands in our way, we need to know and believe that his kingdom is coming. His kingdom is growing, little by little and day by day, even though we can’t see it and even though we face opposition and misunderstanding.

Jesus has given each of us a mission, my brothers and sisters. We have a mission to help God’s kingdom grow.

And God’s kingdom grows by every act of love — by every act of tenderness and kindness that we make to someone in need.

There is a beautiful line in that first reading that we heard this afternoon, from the Old Testament Book of Wisdom. I’m sure you noticed. It said:

Those who are just must be kind!

We need to remember that, my brothers and sisters. In our work for justice, in our work for human dignity — we need to be kind. We need to be merciful and have charity in our hearts and in our actions. Especially for those who don’t understand us and for those who oppose us.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis says that we need to help people change their hearts and attitudes towards immigrants. He says we need to help them overcome their indifference and fear, so that they will reach out their hands with tenderness and understanding.

So let’s pray for that today in this Eucharist.

Let’s pray for the courage to follow Jesus — just as Santo Toribio did — without counting the cost and with love for God and love for our brothers and sisters.

By our kindness, let us teach our neighbors how to be more kind. By our hospitality, let us teach our neighbors how to have compassion for others.

Let’s keep praying and working for immigration reform now.  Immigration reform is a life issue and it is a family issue. And, it is a question of our souls as Catholics and Americans.

We need immigration reform that keeps families together, that gives rights to workers, and that provides a generous path to citizenship.

Let us pray for one another and for our leaders. Let us pray to rediscover our capacity to care for one another and to be close to others in their sufferings. Let us pray for greater tenderness and understanding for our immigrant families and children, and especially for the young people who have come to our country in recent months.

And may Our Lady of Guadalupe and Santo Toribio help us to keep building God’s Kingdom, to keep working for a better world with more justice, more sharing, more mercy and love because God gave us, his children, good ground for hope.

¡Viva Santo Toribio Romo! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! ¡Viva Cristo Rey! Amen.

 Archbishop José H. Gómez is the fifth archbishop of Los Angeles. His weekly column is provided by and appears in The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Reach Archbishop Gomez at (213) 637-7000, or on Facebook at

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

Today, Jesus proposes three parables. These teaching stories attempt to describe the kingdom of heaven. Each one is about growth.

In one story, good seed is sown in a field, then weeds are secretly sown by an enemy. The question is: “do you want us to go and pull them (the weeds) up?” Jesus answers “No!” They will and must grow together, and at harvest time will be sorted.

Another story talks about planting the tiny, tiny mustard seed, which grows to become one of the largest trees.

Another is like a woman mixing yeast with dough and the whole batch was leavened (grows).

Seeds have power to become. Yeast makes everything grow and expand. In each of these stories there is an agent — man, a person, a woman — who does something which brings about growth and development.

Jesus teaches us that the kingdom of heaven is now. The kingdom of heaven is among us and within us. The kingdom of heaven is affected in our lives by us, me, you and others.

The potential for life and growth, and big expanding things, are the seeds that you and I work with in our lives. We should expect that in everything and everyone there is potential for the kingdom of heaven to be revealed and to bring forth growth and life.

When is that happening? Now!

Who will do it? Each one of us!

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