May 28, 2023
Dear Parishioners of Saint Polycarp,
Happy Pentecost! May this special Feast Day of the coming of the Holy Spirit, which marks the birth of the Church, bestow on you and your family special graces and blessings.
The Readings for Pentecost present us with various reflections. The First Reading from Acts of the Apostles helps us to see the uniqueness of the Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Acts of the Apostles proclaims that “[The disciples] were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” (Acts 2:4). The Church is diverse, but She is one. She consists of many cultures, languages, customs, and ethnicities, but She is always “One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic”.
Our family of Saint Polycarp consists of many cultures, languages, and customs, but it is always one family under the patronage of Saint Polycarp. Each week we celebrate Masses in three different languages: English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For example, at all the English Masses, we have so many cultures forming the one Body of Christ: We have Hispanics, Filipinos, Persians, Easter Europeans, Vietnamese, and many others attending the English Masses. This is the beauty of the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit—that is, diversity in unity.
From a theological and liturgical view, Pentecost concludes the Easter Season. Like Easter Sunday, before the Gospel, a Sequence is proclaimed. At the end of Mass, you will hear either the priest or the deacon chanting the triple Alleluia: “Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia”.
As the Season of Easter concludes, the Faith Formation Program (First Communion and Confirmation, OCIA/RCIA) also concludes its formation year of 2022-2023. For the First Communion Program (English, Spanish and Vietnamese), we had 167 students who received Jesus for the first time. The Confirmation Program had 134 students who were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. At the Easter Vigil Mass, we had 26 neophytes from the English, Spanish and Vietnamese OCIA (formerly known as RCIA); 13 members were received into Full Communion with the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass; and 6 members received First Communion. At Pentecost, we have 22 adults for confirmation. We pray for these members, who are receiving the sacraments of the Church, that they continue to be strong in and to live out their faith.
As the parish wraps up its fiscal year, I wish to recapture for you some of the major renovations that we have done throughout the fiscal year 2022-2023. Beginning July 2022, we resurfaced our parish parking lot, tiled our sacristy floor, and replaced LED lights in all meeting and classrooms. In September, we replaced some lights in the church, especially the Holy Family and the Sacred Heart areas. At the end of January 2023, we relocated our parish office to the old school administrative buildings. In March, we purchased extra chairs for the music ministry. In April, we repaired three broken planters in the school yard. All these renovations were made possible because they came from the surplus of the PSA and your generous donations.
As the parish moves forward with another fiscal year (2023-2024), we will proceed to replace all school windows, to continue to rekey vulnerable areas, to replace the automatic monitor for the three gates. In addition, through the recommendations of the Finance Council, the Parish Pastoral Council, and other members of the parish, we have been in consultation with a company for installation of a solar-power electrical system. I pray that, where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be there to guide us to be good stewards of God and your gifts (Mt 18:20).
Another important pastoral item, which I wish to share with you, concerns the pastoral care for and guidance of our young people. This item, which is dear to my heart, comes from the recommendations of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Faith Formation Program. That is, this summer the Faith Formation Program (First Communion and Confirmation) and Youth Ministry will offer many activities for our young people. I ask that parents sign their children up for these summer programs. Do not let your children sit at home to play video games or to hang out with the wrong crowds. Bring them to church. The three Sisters (Teresa, Jessica, and MaryAnne) and Joseph will assist them in their faith, through spiritual learnings, healthy games, practical classes, and camping. For more information about the summer programs for young people, please consult the Faith Formation Office, the Parish Office, or the Parish website.
Moreover, as many of you have heard, Father Luis Segura, our Parochial Vicar, will leave us at the end of June to be Administrator of Saint Joseph Parish in Santa Ana. A farewell reception will be held for him on Sunday, June 18. We invite you to come to thank him and to bid him farewell on this day. He will be missed greatly.
Finally, Bishop Vann has called Cole Buzon, our seminarian intern (2021-2022), and Mike Betancourt to the Diaconate. Their diaconate ordination will be June 24, 2023, at Christ Cathedral.
May God, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, safeguard you always. With my brother priests, Fathers Luis and Nicolas, I wish you a joyful and blessed Pentecost.
Father Viet Peter Ho