Christ the King - St. Stephen Parish

Parish Newsletter

"Staying Connected"

November 15, 2023

Dear Friends,

We are fast approaching Thanksgiving, one of the most meaningful celebrations in our nation, when you come together regardless of race, color, creed or gender. It is a time when families reunite, express gratitude for one another and feel closer to one another than any other time. Every family has their own unique traditions, but giving thanks while enjoying classic dishes like roast turkey and pumpkin pie makes it beautiful.

As I was visiting my family in Australia a few years ago, I picked up a book from Melbourne airport titled, "The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness Through Gratitude, Empathy & Mindfulness" by Hugh Van Cuylenburg. And I have followed his advice ever since. It is a book that delves into the concept of resilience and its connection to happiness. In the book, Hugh shares his experiences from visiting some of the world's most impoverished communities, where he encountered people facing significant challenges and hardships. Despite their circumstances, he noticed that many of these individuals displayed remarkable levels of resilience and happiness. Intrigued by this observation, Hugh embarked on a journey to understand the keys to resilience and happiness. Hugh identified three pillars of building resilience and finding happiness, the first of which is Gratitude.

Gratitude involves recognizing and appreciating the positive aspects of life, no matter how big or small. By practicing gratitude, individuals shift their focus from what they lack to what they have. This shift in perspective fosters a sense of contentment and happiness, even in the face of challenges or difficult circumstances.

Hugh recommends a daily gratitude journal as a way to build resilience and happiness. Giving thanks throughout the day is simply a way to show God how grateful we are for who He is. Regularly giving thanks to God not only helps us fully realize how He's working in our lives, it gives us a new perspective—our mind is renewed, our attitude is improved, and we are filled with joy.

One of the most powerful examples of giving thanks during difficult circumstances is found in the life of Job. Job was a faithful man who faced one tragedy after another. He was impacted emotionally, physically, and spiritually by the suffering he went through. Yet Job was able to express gratitude to the Lord – whether He was giving or taking. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).

Scripture teaches that in everything we should give thanks to the Lord and sing praises to Him. That may not always be our natural inclination when life gets tough or we feel overwhelmed, but by expressing gratitude and singing praises, our spirits will be lifted out of desperation as we put our minds on Jesus who has overcame, all the troubles of this world.

Let us practice gratitude daily with these five steps:

1. Write down or just think about at least three things that went well for you today. These can be single words, simple phrases, short descriptions, but you want to be specific. It is better to say you are grateful for a neighbor who prepared meals for you when you were going through a rough time than to say you are grateful for your neighbor.

2. Each day you need to develop three new things for which you are grateful. You cannot recycle old entries.

3. Briefly explain why each of these was positive.

4. Get personal with your description, meaning list the names of the people you are grateful for.

5. You can bring your time of reflection to a close with a prayer of gratitude to God.


~Fr. Paulson


Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration & Service

Thanksgiving Mass

Thursday, November 23

You are invited to attend our

Thanksgiving Mass Celebration


CTK at 9am

(Reception to follow on the patio.)

St. Stephen at 9:30am


Bring your bread and wine to be blessed at this year‘s Thanksgiving Mass!

This is a wonderful custom that unites our Eucharistic celebration at the altar with your family

celebration at home!

Holiday Food Box

Pick Up Your Boxes

this weekend - Nov. 18 & 19

at CTK

The boxes will have a list of food and directions for delivery.

This program offers families

the opportunity to enjoy the holidays without the worry of food insecurity.

See flyer here

Thank you for your generosity!

Scripture and Music For The Season

Feast Of Christ The King

The Feast of Christ the King

November 25-26

All Masses

Join us for mass next weekend

as we celebrate our

Parish Feast Day!

Feast Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Sunday, December 10

Mass Time: 4pm (bilingual)

Let's celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe with our Hispanic community. A bilingual English-Spanish Mass

complete with mariachi music. 

Join us for fellowship afterwards in the parish hall.

Christmas Concert - Save The Date

CTK Youth Music Ministry Christmas Concert

Tuesday, December 12 at 7pm in the Church at CTK

You are all invited to a Christmas Concert by CTK’s own youth music ministry from our Sunday 4pm mass and children of CTK. This concert is free and all are welcome. Let’s start our holiday with a festive night of music and songs.

If you are ages 5-12 years old and would like to sing with other CTK children for the Christmas concert, please attend the practices on Wednesday, Nov 29 and Tuesday December 5 from 6pm to 7pm in the church at CTK. We will be singing easy Christmas songs.

Pastoral Care To Care Facilities

On Sunday November 19 we have a gathering for brand new AND long-time experienced ministers to local care facilities. 

If you did not receive information on the meeting, please contact Sr. Dominic Marie at 925-246-1122.

Over The Weekend

Thank you to all who attended our Men's Retreat on Saturday.

Special thanks to the retreat leadership team for making this a wonderful day!

Our 9am CYO mass on Sunday was filled with children, parents and coaches.

Thank you to Leo Lopoz and Maddie Ostrander for

organizing this celebration.

We honored our veterans with a ceremony after the 10:30am mass on Sunday.

Thank you to Boy Scout Troop 221 for hosting this event.

Our Young Families Ministry hosted a fellowship and football watch party on Sunday.

A fun time was had by all.

Save The Date/Adult Education

Finding Treasure in the Waiting Time

Practical Preparation for the

Advent Season

 Monday, December 4

10am and again 7pm

St. Stephen Parish Hall

Speaker - Kathy Roberts


Advent is a time of waiting and preparation, and it can often be a time of uncomfortable stress. Join us for an unrushed hour in which we’ll explore real ways to find real treasure during the beautiful season of Advent. Treasure awaits… Register here

Christmas Wreaths

Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas

from Christ the King - St. Stephen Parish

Cub Scout Pack 401!

(At CTK & St. Stephen)


Our Cub Scouts are planning to sell Christmas Wreaths for our annual fundraiser after weekend Masses on

Sat.-Sun. Nov. 25-26, and Dec. 2-3.


The cost is $30 for a 22" Wreath. Please stop by and pick out a Wreath from your CTK - St. Stephen Cub Scouts! 

Weekly Reflections

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome to our weekly reflections on

the Sunday Scriptures.

A major theme in the first two readings this weekend is a call for marital harmony. For some of us today, that ideal may be timely. For others, that closeness may seem—or actually be—out of reach. Whatever our chosen relational choice and status, we can appreciate the first two readings.

Read More

Weekly Church Bulletin

Community News

The Community is Invited to a November 18

Unity Walk in Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill Stands United Against Hate


Participants of all ages are invited to join in the walk and are encouraged to bring friends and family. 

For more information 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

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 (live 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.

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

Feast Day Of St. Albert The Great

St. Albert the Great (1206-1280) was born in Bavaria, Germany, the eldest son of a powerful military count. As a youth he was sent to study at the University of Padua where he encountered and entered the newly-founded Dominican order as a mendicant friar, forsaking his inheritance against his family's wishes. He was the first Dominican to earn a Master of Theology degree and was sent as a lecturer to the University of Paris (which at that time was the intellectual center of Europe) before launching a Dominican house of studies in Cologne. He introduced the works of Aristotle to western thought which allowed his most brilliant student, St. Thomas Aquinas, to synthesize the Catholic faith with human reason, that is, the truths established through philosophy. St. Albert the Great was a renowned scholar and a pioneer in the field of natural science, keeping his own laboratory for scientific experiments. He is known as one of the greatest thinkers of his day, called by his contemporaries "the teacher of everything there is to know" for writing an encyclopedia of all human knowledge up to that point in history. St. Albert the Great was also one of the most famous preachers of his day and served as the papal theologian in Rome. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. St. Albert the Great is the patron saint of scientists and philosophers. His feast day is November 15th.

"To Hear the Gospel and Make a Difference"

“To Live and to Love in Christ”