Christ the King - St. Stephen Parish

Parish Newsletter

"Staying Connected"

February 7, 2024

Dear Friends,


The season of Lent is just a few days away. This year Valentine’s Day coincides with Ash Wednesday. Think of it this way, your greatest valentine is Jesus. What an excellent way to the beginning of the Lenten season! On Valentine’s Day, we give our loved ones a gift to show our love. Yet, the greatest expression of love is that God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to show us the greatness of His love for us. What greater act of love is possible than Jesus dying on the cross for our sins? He opened up the gates of Heaven for us so we may share in the eternal joy of the most Holy Trinity. Our Lord Jesus Christ also gave us the Eucharist so that His Real Presence would always be with us. Let us journey this Lent with Jesus, our valentine.


Growing up in a traditional family, I would attend all the programs offered at my church and practiced the traditional renderings during the season. We fasted on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, abstained from meat on Fridays while eating my favorite fish meal. I would argue I experienced my most spiritually fruitful Lent years ago, not when I gave up one thing for Lent, nor added all the prayers. Instead, I focused on giving up one thing different each day: I gave up my “heart’s desires” each day. Something small, every day—one day it was fasting from coffee, another day it was fasting from a second helping, and a third day, it was giving up music in the car to instead spend time praying the rosary. Yet, the key was to find something each morning that I was physically or emotionally craving, and offer that up during the day, whenever I felt tempted to give in to the craving. Waking up in the morning, I would tell the Lord what I planned to give up.

Practicing Lenten disciplines has always been one of those spiritual activities from which many have shied away. Too often, when hearing friends tell me what they’re “giving up for Lent,” their intended sacrifices sound to me more like New Year’s resolutions that we don’t care much about. They are not genuine vehicles for self-reflection, much less opportunities for building intimacy with the divine through prayer and meditation. Certainly, stubborn bad habits can block one’s spiritual development, so there is merit in any rigorous effort to free oneself of such debilitating patterns during the season of Lent.


But, for now, let us focus on the desert … Jesus spent forty days and nights in the desert practicing fasting and prayer. Prayer is an important aspect of the Lenten season. Our parish communities offer multiple communal prayer opportunities. Let me suggest a couple of them:


1. Attend daily mass or attend mass as often as you can and receive Jesus in the Eucharist with reverence and devotion. By far the most powerful and efficacious prayer that we can offer to God is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

2. We will have Stations of the Cross every Friday at 12.00 Noon at St. Stephen and 6.30pm at Christ the King campus. You can also go to St. Stephen parish for private outdoor stations on Fridays until 6.00pm.

3. Attend the Parish Retreat (Feb. 25-Feb. 29). In addition to our retreat, we will also be sharing retreats offered in our deanery.

4. One form of prayer, highly recommended by Saint Ignatius is that of contemplation. Therefore, during Lent, it’s good to spend at least some time in front of an image, painting, depiction of Jesus hanging on the cross for love of you and me.

5. Mark your calendar for March 1st First Friday when we expose the Blessed Sacrament for an hour from 5pm to 6pm. Join your parishioners in adoring the Eucharistic Lord.

6. If you are an avid Movie person, rent religious movies and after watching it, have a family conversation about what that movie meant to you.

These are some suggestions that I want to recommend for you. The duration of forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry. Many will go through the motions and celebrations of Lent and Easter. However, I invite you to take the 40 days the same way as Jesus did.

On a different topic, I took a survey last Sunday about the 4pm Mass on Superbowl Sunday, February 11th. Just a handful said they would attend mass if offered at 4pm. So in consultation with the group, we decided to cancel the 4pm Mass this Sunday. Thank you for your understanding. Go 49ers!

~ Fr. Paulson

Healing Mass

Healing Mass at St. Stephen

This Saturday February 10 at 10:30am


 "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord (James 5:14).

All are welcome to join us for a parish Mass and celebration of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Bring relatives and friends from local care facilities – those who are able to come. Questions? Sr. Dominic Marie 925-246-1122.

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 14


CTK Mass Times:

7am, 9:15am, 12:05pm & 7pm

CTK - RE Prayer Service:

4pm (Ashes distributed)

St. Stephen Mass Times:

8am & 6pm

As You Journey Through Lent

Resources for your Lenten Journey:

USCCB/What is Lent?

Dynamic Catholic

CRS Stations of the Cross

One Prayer a Day for Lent

Rice Bowls will be available this weekend in the back of the church at CTK and St. Stephen or you can pick one up at the CTK or SS parish office.

Your Lenten alms change lives globally and in our own community. More information can be found here.

See how CRS Rice Bowl makes a difference in our community here.

Little Black Lenten books will be available this weekend in the back of the church both at CTK and St. Stephen. These books have reflections and meditations for your Lenten journey.

Walk day-by-day through the Passion narrative according to Luke this Lenten season with the Little Black Book for Lent as your guide. Little Books are daily devotional booklets.

Donation of $1 is appreciated.

Stations of the Cross

Christ the King Church

Please join us on Fridays in Lent to pray

The Stations of the Cross

 6:30pm - Beginning Friday, Feb. 16

St. Stephen Church

Please join us on Fridays for 12pm

Stations of the Cross in the church.

We are also open for self-guided outdoor stations on

Fridays 12pm to 6pm and Mon. & Wed. 11am-2pm

Adult Faith Formation During Lent

Register for the Lenten Bible Study on King David here

Over The Weekend

Cub Scout Sunday was celebrated at St. Stephen Church.

Cub Scout Noah Burciaga was awarded the Light of Christ Religious Emblem.

The Tongan Choir sings at St. Stephen every first Sunday. (pictured)

Congratulations to our newly baptized.

Welcome to Christ the King-St. Stephen Family!

Parents: Airene & Jerry

Baby: Tristan Jeff

Young Families Ministries

The Catholic Parent Series - see flyer here.

St. Stephen Town Hall Meeting

St. Stephen

Town Hall Meeting


Please plan to attend a St. Stephen Town Hall Meeting next Sunday, February 18, in the St. Stephen Parish Hall after the 9:30 Mass. Topics will include the status of the CTK - St. Stephen merger, financial results for 2023, our facilities improvement program, and any other questions that you may have, Coffee and sweets will be provided.

Crab Feed

CTK-CYO Crab Feed

Saturday, March 2

CTK’s Gym


Don’t miss out on a CYO favorite! Secure your tickets today for our annual CTK CYO Crab Feed on Saturday, March 2! We will have delicious crab courtesy of Fuget About It Catering, dancing, raffle prizes and more! Registration is now open - secure your tickets today! Tickets and sponsorship information can be found here and any questions, please contact  

Weekly Reflections

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome to our weekly reflections on

the Sunday Scriptures.

Jesus left Capernaum to announce the Good News to the most isolated and ignored families in the whole country. There he found lepers. Recall that at the time Jews erroneously considered leprosy a culpable, self-inflicted punishment for a man or woman’s sins (though we only hear of men being healed in the gospels)Read More

Weekly Church Bulletin

40 Days For Life

To read the Bishop's letter on 40 Days of Life click here

Thank You For Your Financial Support

Give Now

To donate a one-time/on-line donation.

Or regular and/or second collections.

If you do not wish to give on-line,
you can continue to contribute using your offertory envelopes.

Offertory Envelopes and

Paper Checks

Can be sent directly to:

Christ the King Church

195A Brandon Rd.

Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Offertory Envelopes and

Paper Checks

Can be sent directly to:

St. Stephen Church

1101 Keaveny Ct.

Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Mass Schedule CTK & St. Stephen

CTK Weekday Masses

Monday - Friday

9am Mass

(9am Masses will be livestreamed)

CTK Weekend Masses


9am and 4pm Vigil

(Saturday 4pm Mass will be livestreamed)

CTK Sunday Masses

7:30am, 9am, 10:30am and 4pm

(10:30am Mass will be livestreamed).

St. Stephen Church

1101 Keaveny Ct.

Walnut Creek 94597

Saturday - Mass at 5pm

Sunday - Mass at 9:30am

St. Stephen Daily Mass:

Monday - Friday at 8am

Readings for Sunday Mass Here

Links to our services (livestreamed or archived) can be found at

or by clicking the Facebook or YouTube images below.

Ongoing Services at CTK & St. Stephen

Sacrament of Reconciliation - Private Confessions every Saturday from 3pm to 3:30pm at CTK and Saturday before the 5pm mass at St. Stephen.

CTK Thursday Morning Mass - 9am - Honoring our Mother of Perpetual Help, Worship Aide Here (Also livestreamed).

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

On February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubiroux in the hollow rock of Massabielle in southern France. That year Bernadette would report a total of 18 apparitions of a woman she described as “lovelier than I have ever seen.” The woman in the vision revealed herself as the “Immaculate Conception,” in confirmation of this dogma of the Catholic faith which was infallibly defined by the Holy Father just four years previous. Our Lady told Bernadette to drink from an unseen fountain at the grotto, and called for a chapel to be built there. When Bernadette scratched at the ground, a stream of pure spring water surged forth. This stream demonstrated healing properties, and it continues to draw pilgrims to the grotto from around the globe. A basilica was built upon the rock of the Massabielle in response to Our Lady's request, and in 1876 it was consecrated as the "Church of the Rosary.” Due to the multitudes of medically documented miraculous healings, the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world.

"To Hear the Gospel and Make a Difference"

“To Live and to Love in Christ”