Christ the King - St. Stephen Parish
Christ the King - St. Stephen Parish
ST STEPHEN CATHOLIC CHURCH
(Christ the King - St. Stephen Parish)
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Weekend Masses at St. Stephen are Saturdays 5:00 pm and Sundays 9:30 am. Additional, you can attend our weekday Masses held in our Chapel (Room 1), Monday-Friday at 8:00 am.
Confessions are available on Saturdays at 4:30 pm.
For the health of our parishioners, we encourage everybody attending Mass to wear a mask. Masks are available on the bulletin boards by the church entrances.
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St. Stephen is a small, but vibrant, Catholic community located in the hills behind Palos Verdes Mall in Walnut Creek. On April 23, 2023, we merged with Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill and continue as one parish with two worship sites.
This weekend we will be celebrating the feast of Pentecost, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the day that commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. It concludes the Easter season and celebrates the beginning of the Church’s mission to the world. In the Gospel according to John (Jn 14:26) in which Jesus tells His disciples: “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said to you.” Remember, “The Spirit makes us see everything in a new way, with the eyes of Jesus.”
Speaking about Pentecost, Pope Francis reminds us: “Let us sit at the school of the Holy Spirit, so that he can teach us all things. Let us invoke him each day, so that he can remind us to make God’s gaze upon us our starting point, to make decisions by listening to his voice, and to journey together as Church, docile to him and open to the world.”
The Lord Jesus, whilst appearing as the Risen One to the disciples, gives them an invitation in the form of a clear directive: “do not depart from Jerusalem.” He also makes them a promise: “in a few days you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Today we must listen to the Lord’s invitation: “Do not go far from Jerusalem”: that is, do not distance yourselves from the Mystery that you contemplated and celebrated at Easter.
Fr. Luke Gregory states the importance of staying close to the mysteries of our faith: “Immersed in the lifestyle of the world, we seem always to be in a hurry and oftentimes in pursuit of deceptive novelties, hungry for things that immediately saturate the desire for fullness and perceived truths, and yet by that same lifestyle we risk trivializing the fundamental events of our life of faith, reducing them to fleeting emotional experiences.”
“Staying in Jerusalem” means choosing to dwell in the Heart of Jesus; allowing ourselves to be educated by His sweet and merciful presence, learning from His gestures and His living words, for in the Father we see the quality of His Love and the beauty of the salvation He has given us. “To remain” in Gospel language is not a static verb, but refers to a dynamic of ever growing and leading to a deeper communion between Jesus and His disciple, between Jesus and His Church.
As I reflected with you last Sunday, let us pray for one another especially the family that we intend to evangelize this year. We are the hands, the feet, the eyes of Jesus in the world. We have His work to do. Whatever we do, do not focus on guilt. Shame has no place for us who love Christ and His Bride, the Church. Reaching out to someone who you would like to see come back isn't an invitation to take them on a guilt trip. It's an opportunity to share the love of Christ with someone who needs it more than ever.
Simply let them know they are loved, missed, and valued. Far better that they be loved back into the church than guilted back into it. If you feel your heart aching over the rising number of sheep wandering from the fold especially your own loved ones, take comfort in knowing that Christ's heart aches all the more. You have a Savior that understands your pain and longs for the same thing you do.
May God bless our community of Christ the King – St. Stephen! To those of you who are graduating this year, hearty congratulations. To our 8th graders, I am so proud of you. Congratulations on graduating! Your hard work, determination, and perseverance have paid off.
Keeping you advised
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