Sunday, September 14, 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, September 14, 2014 
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
By Father Perry D. Leiker

"If you want to get through life and deal with our crosses, we gotta empty ourselves," Father Perry tells us in his homily for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. "Only in the emptying of ourselves will we be filled up with God's grace and love in a way that will empower us."

Sunday, September 7, 2014
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

"Things can become routine," Father Perry tells us in his homily for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. "Even the most sacred and powerful and beautiful things can become routine — unless we intentionally decide we want to open to God and open one another and let God's love and grace and power and spirit come among us and truly form a community of faith."

Saturday, September 6, 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, September 7, 2014

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First reading

Whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, they lived. (Numbers 21:4b-9)


Do not forget the works of the Lord! (Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9)

Second reading

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. (Philippians 2:6-11)

Gospel reading 

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that those who believe might have eternal life (John 3:13-17).

Sunday’s liturgical color: GREEN

Daily readings:

(Week of September 1 to September 6)
     • (Week of September 8 to September 13)


What has been your own attitude toward migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking? 

How is the Lord calling you to act according to his law of love?

Scripture to be illustrated

"Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10).

— Catholic News Service

Sunday, August 31, 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 September 1 to September 7, 2014

September 1 | Monday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Marino Rosario rest in peace

September 2 | Tuesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Ureil Navarro rest in peace
7 p.m.: Divine Mercy Mass

September 3 | Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the church

8 a.m.: Helen Jew rest in peace
7 p.m. (Weekly Mother of Perpetual Help Mass): Khomiene Abah, and Marjolan Macandog rest in peace

September 4 | Thursday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Anastacia Pelayo rest in peace

September 5 | Friday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Pepe Baldomero rest in peace
7:30 p.m. (Mass of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary): Juan Carlos Alquicira Jr. rest in peace 

September 6 | Saturday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
8 a.m.: Emilio Severino
rest in peace
5 p.m. (Saturday vigil Mass):  Teofilo Gonzalez rest in peace

September 7 | 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

8 a.m.: Domingo De La Mesa and Lucy De La Mesa rest in peace
9:30 a.m.: Carlene B. Apin happy birthday
11 a.m.: Eduardo Tellez  rest in peace
12:30 p.m.: Josefina Bracamontes rest in peace

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

“Paschal Mystery” is today’s word of God in two words.

It is expressed in several different ways. Jeremiah the prophet declares: “you duped me, O Lord; you triumphed; all the day I am an object of laughter; ... has brought me derision and reproach; I will speak his name no more ... but then it becomes like fire burning in my bones.”

The psalm eloquently describes the yearning of the spirit for God and the emptiness without him: “my soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God; my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.”

The letter to the Romans pointedly challenges: “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”

Then Jesus foretells his journey and the journey of every disciple: “whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me; whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

The Paschal Mystery involves dying, emptying, losing, finding, struggling, enduring, thirsting, longing, waiting, being rejected, and the cross. All of this is really about discovering how to love, hope, give, and live more.

It would be foolish to think we can make it through this life with the cross. There is physical and emotional suffering, failure, the dashing of our hopes and dreams, betrayal and rejection, misunderstanding, loss of esteem and, in the end, death itself.

Are these the crosses we all must bear? Or is the cross even more, bearing these struggles like Jesus did, without losing faith or hope in God, and looking into the face of hatred and injustice with love and forgiveness, always discovering more within his spirit that which could help him to “find himself by loosing himself”?

Jesus models for us a limitless ability to trust and love and find life — even in dying.

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me; whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Are we ready to follow and to live the life of the disciple?

Are we ready to embrace the Paschal Mystery?

Are we ready?

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

Friday, August 29, 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.

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

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