Monday, November 30, 2009

Fiesta in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Guadalupanan Association invites the St. Bernard Community to their fiesta to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 12 in the volleyball courts.

Come and enjoy delicious Mexican food, live music and much more!

Priest of the Day: Week of Nov. 30

Please join us each day in praying for the priest of the day:

Monday: Rev. Ariel Durian, C.S.
Tuesday: Rev. Juan Ayala, O.M.I.
Wednesday: Rev. Benedict Anthony, M.S.F.X.
Thursday: Rev. Emmanuel Shaleta;
Friday: Rev. Francis Benedict, O.S.B.;
Saturday: Rev. James Riley, O.M.I.;
Sunday: Rev. Paul Hruby.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Reading God's Word'

The 2010 book which has the daily scripture Mass readings is now available for purchase in the church office.

The cost is $14. This is an excellent book for prayer and meditation. It begins Nov. 29, the first Sunday of Advent.

The Sunday Homilies

Homily for 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, November 29, 2009
(First Sunday of Advent)

Father McSorley talks about the first Sunday of Advent, the presence of Christ, his power as it continues to flow into our lives and the importance of giving in this time of need.


Active waiting

As this new liturgical year unfolds, today’s readings are most appropriate, for they root us in what it means to live authentically as Christians.

The Gospel, with its frightening predictions of the end times, invites the hearer to “be vigilant at all times” (Luke 21:36). This kind of vigilance is not at all passive for the Christian. Instead, it is a kind of active waiting. And what should we be doing while we are waiting for the coming of the Lord?

The second reading gives us the answer: “abound in love for one another and for all” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). Today is all about promises made and fulfilled.

May this Advent season root us all firmly in a stance of active waiting for the Lord, who brings justice and peace.

Advent

By Father Gerald McSorley

It was the last season to be added to the liturgical calendar year of the church.

Now it is the season with which we begin our liturgical year. Christmas in France and Spain observed Advent as early as the fourth century, as a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer in preparation for Christmas.

The church in Rome adopted it in the sixth century, and Pope Gregory the Great at that time reduced it to four Sundays. It is a season of hope and joyful anticipation of Christmas and also the final coming of Christ in glory.

The advent message of St. Ambrose was “Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord”.

John Baptist and Mary are Biblical figures who help us prepare the way of the Lord during Advent.

Father Gerald McSorley is pastor of St. Bernard's Church.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Mass

Please join us for the bilingual Thanksgiving Day Mass at 9 a.m. Nov. 26.

You are invited to bring with you some of the bread your family will share later in the day. The bread will be blessed during the Mass. There will be no other Mass on that day.

The collection at Mass will go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society which assists the needy of our community throughout the year.

Waiting to see the promise fulfilled

By Cardinal Roger Mahony

"Advent" speaks of coming, of fulfilling a promise, a time of renewal and joy.

As I write, I have just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Seeing the land, and walking on the earth where Jesus walked, preached, healed, suffered and died, has stirred up in me a deeper appreciation of the gift of sight, the power of image, the riches of the imagination. As we enter the season of anticipation of a promise fulfilled, of renewal and joy, I invite you to ponder the beauty of the images of the coming of Love Incarnate found in the scripture readings of the Advent season.

Imagine the first Sunday of Advent as an occasion to look at a large blank canvas which has not yet received any paint or image. The canvas is a blank, open space on which we will see in vivid colors and quiet tones the unfolding of God's promise to send to the human family a messiah, a savior — to redeem us from our sinfulness and to reestablish our life in and with God. Each day of Advent we add a little more to our canvas. By Christmas Day, we have before us a shimmering canvas on which we behold the fulfillment of those promises in the person of Jesus Christ.

Let's begin with the Old Testament scripture for the first Sunday of Advent: The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: "The LORD our justice" (Jeremiah 33:14-16).

This scripture becomes the first application of paint to our blank canvas — the promise of God to his people — and sets us on course to continue adding more paint and clearer images of the fulfillment of God's promises. Each day something new will be added to the painting: the name of the Messiah, his being born of a virgin mother, the name of his town of birth, his many titles such as prince of peace, and his ministry of reestablishing those bonds of life and friendship with his Father. Some Scriptures will portray the light of God's love and mercy beginning to emerge through the darkness and hopelessness of sin and alienation. On Christmas Day, we behold the dazzling image of the fulfillment of all our hopes — in a manger.

During this Advent season I invite each of you to give a little time each day to reading and reflecting on the first scripture of the day, the one from the Old Testament. During Advent 2009 the daily readings will include selections from the prophet Isaiah — 10 times! — as well as from the prophet Zephaniah, the Book of Genesis, the prophet Jeremiah, the prophet Baruch, the prophet Zechariah, the Book of Numbers, the Book of Judges, the prophet Micah, 1 Samuel, and Malachi.

Fortunately, there are many excellent daily Scripture aides available to us. One can find the Advent Scriptures for each day on-line at these sites: www.usccb.org, www.la-archdiocese.org or www.olacathedral.org. Each of these sites provides the scriptures for the day, with links to a live podcast to listen to the scriptures being read.

The scriptures are also available on most iPhones, Blackberrys, and similar phones. In addition, publications such as Magnificat and other small convenient booklets are handy for pocket or purse during Advent. They provide the scriptures, a reflection, and a prayer for each day.

As we begin to fill in our salvation history canvas throughout Advent, we gain a deeper appreciation of the ups and downs of the Jewish people — how they move back and forth from fidelity to God and then to infidelity. But God remains faithful.

Their daily journeys surely reflect our own ups and downs. Some days we are keenly aware of God's presence and nearness, while on other days we tend to wander. The entire Advent Season can be a mini-retreat, an occasion to focus, and to deepen our anticipation of the coming of Jesus the Christ, who is God's promise fulfilled in human flesh.

Cardinal Roger Mahony is archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

True gratitude

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.

— Theodore Roosevelt

St. Bernard School News

While doing your Thanksgiving shopping at Fresh and Easy, don’t forget your receipts for St. Bernard.

For every $20 you spend at a Fresh and Easy store through Dec. 15, $1 will come back to our school. Just bring your receipts, or your friends and family's receipts to the office! This is a simple way to raise money for our school.

You can drop your receipts off at the school office, or send in with your family envelope.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Notice of public hearing

The office of Zoning Administration will hold a public hearing on Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m. at Ramona Hall Community Center, at 4580 N. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles, regarding the denial to T-Mobile to erect a cell phone tower on the property of Verdugo Road, opposite St. Bernard School.

We encourage St. Bernard School parents, residents of this area and others to attend the hearing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Annual November Mass for the decased

At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 a Mass for the deceased of the last 12 months will be celebrated.

Family members are invited to participate in the liturgy and must be in the church by 7:15 p.m. to receive instructions.

Please note that only the names of those who have died since last November will be read at Mass.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

These days it’s not hard to imagine having to chose between rent or health care, food or transportation, household bills or clothing. For many Americans, these choices are forced by a recent layoff, pay freeze, or retirement fund decrease. For 37 million Americans who live below the poverty line, the options are only diminishing. The CCHD makes a difference in lowincome communities by funding programs that address the root causes of poverty. More than ever, CCHD needs your support in this weekend's collection.

Thank you for your generosity.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christ the King

On the final Sunday of the liturgical year we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. It’s easy to understand today’s scriptures as events that happened long ago and far away, or predictions that will come true somewhere, some day. But they invite us to claim Christ as our King here and now. Jesus’ words to Pilate in the Gospel remind us that his kingdom transcends time and place. And the prophecies from Daniel and Revelation give us reason to be faithful to Christ our King right here and right now.

By concluding the year with this feast we are proclaiming our faith that Jesus Christ is the one and only King over all seasons, all peoples, and all of creation. No matter what nation we belong to or what language we speak, he “has made us into a kingdom.” (Revelation 1:6) — one people united in love and peace for all eternity.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Register with St. Bernard's

Please register you and your family as members of our parish.

Registration forms are available at the exits of the church and also at the church office.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

For nearly 40 years, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has embodied Catholic social teaching thorough pursuing justice and upholding the dignity of the human person. CCHD funds community projects led by low-income individuals. As more Americans feel the weight of the economic crisis, CCHD needs your support in next week’s collection more than ever.

Thank you for your generosity.

Special envelopes are in the pews.

Annual November Mass for the deceased

On Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. a Mass for the deceased of the last 12 months will be celebrated. Family members are invited to participate in the liturgy and must be in the church by 7:15 p.m. to receive instructions. You may give at the church office ,before that the date, the names of the deceased.

Please note that only the names of those who have died since last November will be read at Mass.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Angel Tree Project

Please join us in the collective purchasing of gifts for children who have one or more parents currently in prison.

Angel Tree Project is a national program connecting parents in prison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts. When the gifts are given to the children, a Gospel presentation is shared.

Starting Nov. 15, after all the Masses, there will be a table set up for Angel Tree Project. You may pick up an “Angel Tag” to purchase gifts. Volunteers are needed in the help of wrapping and distributing the gifts and Gospel to these children.

Please contact Mary Trujillo through the church office at (323) 255-6142 for more information.

St. Bernard's food drive

Our food drive to help the needy at Christmas starts this weekend and will continue next weekend Nov. 21 and 22.

Donations of rice beans, cooking oil, canned goods, etc., are most welcome and can be left at the entrance of the church when you come to Mass.

Thank you.

Toys for children

If you would like to make a needy child happy this Christmas you can do so by donating a new, unwrapped toy or submitting a cash donation for our Christmas drive.

You may bring it to the church office on or before Dec. 7.

For more information, call the church office at (323) 255-6142.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Encouragement

This Sunday’s Gospel is our final selection from Mark for this liturgical year. It is taken from the end of Jesus’ teaching in Jerusalem immediately preceding the account of his arrest and passion. In it Jesus gives his disciples hope to sustain them through his passion and death and any persecution or suffering that they would encounter after his resurrection.

The words from the book of Daniel also provided hope and encouragement to the people of Daniel’s time. The encouragement in these scriptures is meant for us as well, for none of us will escape tribulation in our lives. Followers of Jesus will be able to endure suffering with joyful hope, knowing that Christ’s love will lead us along the way of discipleship and give us eternal life with God.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Treasures from our tradition

By Rev. James Field

Veterans Day began with the signing of a symbolic treaty between the Allies and Germany ending World War I (then called the “Great War”) on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The auspicious date was actually a wellestablished religious holiday, the feast of Saint Martin of Tours, a beloved soldier saint of the army of Rome. After World War II, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Britain, but of course the feast of Saint Martin endures.

Martin was named after Mars, the god of war, and against the advice of his parents he went on his own to church. He became a catechumen at the age of 10. By 15 he was enlisted in the cavalry in France. Coming across a poor man, Martin had an impulse to divide his bright red soldier’s cape and clothe him. He later had the insight that he had served Christ, and the other half of his cape became a lifelong sign to him of his duty to serve the poor. Housed in a tiny church capella or “chapel,” the cape became a great object of pilgrimage on the way to Compostella, and a favored place for the prayers of soldiers. Martin was not so eager to serve as bishop as he had been as a soldier, and legend says that he hid in a barn filled with geese to avoid Episcopal election. To this day, the customary meal for Nov. 11 is goose! Traditionally, this is the last feast day before winter closes in, and begins a period of fasting once known as “Saint Martin’s Lent” or “Martinmas,” that later developed into the season of Advent.

The call to discipleship

The core vocation in the Gospel of Mark is the vocation, or call, to discipleship. Today’s Gospel passage provides us with one last example of what the vocation to discipleship means, and one example of what it doesn’t mean. A destitute widow shows us that discipleship means following Jesus’ way of service, even if it requires giving one’s livelihood (or life). The scribes show us by their bad example that discipleship should entail a vocation to extend God’s care to those who are most in need.

In our reading from the book of Kings another widow and her son are close to death. They, too, give what little they have, but they are rewarded by Elijah with food enough for a year. And the reading from the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus sacrificed his life “to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him” (Hebrews 9:28).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We long to see God's face

“Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.” This antiphon for today’s responsorial psalm offers the focus for today’s readings. As we on earth celebrate the triumph of all the saints — the ones officially canonized by the Church, and the countless others who have also reached heaven — we add nothing to their glory. But we give ourselves reason to hope. We, too, long to see the face of God and believe that we can one day be counted among those whose robes, as John tells us in the book of Revelation, are washed “white in the blood of the Lamb.”

The passage from John’s first letter offers further assurance: we are God’s children who will one day see God. But today’s Gospel pulls us past longing and reassurance into action. Jesus clearly tells us what we must do to be counted among the saints. We must be poor in spirit, hungry for holiness, merciful, single-hearted, and peacemakers! Then we, too, will see the face of God.

Commemoration of All Souls

Nov. 2, is the commemoration of All Souls.

The church dedicates this day to prayer and sacrifice for the souls of the deceased. It is the teaching of the church that we can help them as they experience the purification that they may need before being welcomed into heaven. The doctrine of Purgatory has been a consistent teaching of the church throughout the centuries.