Christ the King Church
195A Brandon Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Parish Newsletter
December 30, 2020
Keeping Us Connected
The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord
Sunday, January 3rd
A Letter from our Pastor - Fr. Paulson
Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe, but we are almost into the New Year. There's no denying this was a difficult year for all of us. Yet, I am so glad that we remained steadfast in our support of our church communities, both St. Stephen and Christ the King. I am very happy to report that we had over 2500 in person mass attendance in both our churches as well as over 6000 online views. We are alive and healthy as a church community.
 
With our generous contributions, we were able to accomplish so much this year. In addition to our worship service outdoors and investment into technology, we have done some urgent capital improvements such as the trellis around the parish hall and Rooms A, B, C and D, minor ceiling repairs and lighting in the church. The concrete work in front of the church had to be postponed due to Covid outbreaks, but it will commence soon. Right now, we are working on a permanent set up of live-streaming technology in the church. Thank you. Both CTK and St. Stephen have done well financially, we have met all our diocesan obligations and we are so grateful.
 
The Year 2020 has been unprecedented in so many ways. Churches have had to take unprecedented measures in 2020 to just stay alive. We expect remnants of the virus to carry over into 2021. There is an old saying, “If you fail to plan – you plan to fail.” No words have ever had more meaning. Planning helps us stay focused on achieving our mission: “Hear the Gospel and Make a Difference.” I am grateful to our leadership councils who have stepped up as needed.
 
Christmas is also accompanied, whether we like it or not, by tears. The Evangelists did not disguise reality to make it more credible or attractive. They did not indulge in words that were comforting but unrelated to reality. On the contrary, they relate the birth of the Son of God as an event fraught with tragedy and grief. From the loneliness and rejection surrounding the manger where Jesus was born to the slaughter of the innocents, from the uncertainty and fear that surrounded the birth of Jesus to the flight to Egypt as a refugee, a land that had enslaved their ancestors in the Old Testament, Christmas is fraught with pain, suffering and tears. Quoting the prophet Jeremiah, Matthew presents it in the bluntest of terms: “A voice is heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children” (2:18). It is the sobbing of mothers bewailing the death of their children in the face of Herod’s tyranny and unbridled thirst for power.

To contemplate the manger also means to contemplate this cry of pain, to open our eyes and ears to what is going on around us, and to let our hearts be attentive and open to the pain of our neighbors, especially where children are involved. It also means realizing that that sad chapter in history is still being written today. To contemplate the manger in isolation from the world around us would make Christmas into a lovely story that inspires warm feelings but robs us of the creative power of the Good News that the Incarnate Word wants to give us. The temptation is real.

I am grateful that our government has acted, though late, to bring some comfort to so many families. I am sure many lives will be changed as they face eviction from their homes or apartments this New Year. I have decided to pay for one month of rent for one family, to keep them together. As I shared this with Fr. Brian and others, they have stepped up too. I invite you, especially those among us who feel blessed to step up and pay for one family to stay in their homes for one month this year. If we work together, donate whatever we can (including your stimulus checks, if you can manage without it), we can work a miracle in our area. Write your checks to St. Vincent de Paul with a memo for rental assistance, and we can take care of the poor. I will keep you updated on how much good we have been able to do in the New Year.

In the New Year, being right will be less important than doing right. Sure, that involves social justice and meeting physical needs, but it also involves treating people with kindness, compassion in everyday life and attending to their spiritual wellbeing. This is the kind of outward focus that drove the rapid expansion of the first century churchThank you. Happy New Year!

Fr. Paulson
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
New Year’s Eve - Thursday Dec. 31
4pm Outdoor Vigil Mass
(No 6pm Mass)
 
New Year’s Day - Friday January 1
10:30am Outdoor Mass

St. Stephen Outdoor Mass - 9:30am
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
This Friday, January 1st is our Monthly
First Friday Exposition of the
Blessed Sacrament

The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed from 6pm to 7:30pm in our Ministry Center Chapel on Facebook Live. This will be a time for prayer and meditation in the quiet of your own space at home.

We will have our First Friday Mass at 7:30pm
Live Streamed Only
30th Anniversary of Ordination
Congratulations, Fr. Paulson, on your 30 years of priesthood!
May your life as a priest continue to be filled with His grace and joy!
Fr. Paulson on his ordination day in India on January 1,1991.
Fr. Paulson with his brother, Fr. Santhosh in India celebrating their 25 year anniversary as priests in 2016.
They were both ordained just months apart in 1991.
From the Catholic Voice/on Fr. Paulson's 25 Year Anniversary-2016:

"My family and home parish instilled the critical seeds of faith and calling, as both nourished and cared for me as a child and teenager, until I left home at 12 years old to attend a Salesian apostolic school. At just 15, I carried that critical foundation with me, as I journeyed nearly 2,000 miles away to Northeastern India, where I studied and worked for 20 years with the Salesians, to whom I owe everything," he said.

Father Mundanmani moved to the United States in 1999, and became a citizen. His move "has helped me understand the challenges of immigrants. I believe in my heart that immigration and refugee problems are at the heart of the church. After all, Christ was a refugee himself." Fr. Paulson ministered in Bellflower in Los Angeles, then Watsonville, before transferring to the Bay Area.
Christmas ~ Thank You!
Thank you to the over 2,500 of you who attended Christmas Eve and Christmas Day masses. And special thanks to all our volunteers who helped make this such a special celebration for our community both in person and those who watched from home.

We especially thank our staff, clergy, musicians, sacristans, lectors, eucharistic ministers, environment committee, (Pam DeBernardi and Rosa Panelli), and our ushers. A special word of gratitude to a number of folks who stepped up to serve as ushers for the first time. We could not have held this beautiful Christmas celebration without you. You are all truly a blessing to us!
Parish Offices

Our parish office will be closed on
Thursday, December 31 and
Friday, January 1st
Weekly Church Bulletin
Weekly Reflection on Sunday Readings
Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord
Welcome to our weekly reflections on
the Sunday Scriptures.

The late Bishop Kenneth Untener in his Little Blue Book 2005, pointed out that the magi’s gifts marked one of the few times in the gospel stories of Jesus’ life that anyone did something just for him, with no expectation, no selfish hope of reward... Read More
Outdoor Mass Schedule
No Reservations or Sign Ups Required
Mass will take place on our lawn area
(Our Large Tent is also available to sit under)

Bring your own chairs
Face Masks are required
Or continue to stay in the comfort of your car - tune into FM 106.7
Or watch from your smart phone/tablet
Wifi ID:CTKstreaming Password:Outdoor1

Only the 4pm Saturday Mass and the 9am Sunday Mass will be livestreamed both on Facebook and YouTube

Weekday Mass:
Thursdays 6pm

Weekend Masses:
Saturday - 4pm (New Time)

Sunday - 7:30am, 9am,10:30am,
12noon (Spanish) & 4pm (New Time)

Song Sheet for Dec. 31/Jan. 1 Masses Here
Song Sheet for Jan. 2/3 Masses Here
Spanish Mass Worship Aide/Guía de Adoración Here
Readings for Sunday Mass Here
Drive-Thru Holy Communion
Every Sunday
11:30am to 12 noon
In front of the church
9am - Chapel Mass
Monday - Saturday
Streaming Live
on Facebook or YouTube
Thursdays, 6pm Outdoor Mass
Honoring Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Mass will not be livestreamed
Worship Aide Here
5:40pm - Holy Rosary
Livestreamed on Facebook

Mondays, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Fridays
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Private Confessions will continue every Saturday from
3pm to 3:30pm.
Please meet in front of the church.
St. Stephen Church - Outdoor Mass
St. Stephen Church
1101 Keaveny Ct.
Walnut Creek 94597

Sunday - Mass at 9:30am - Outdoors
Jan. 1 - Worship Aide Here
Jan. 3 - Worship Aide Here


Drive Thru Holy Communion - 10:10am
Thank You for Your Continued Financial Support to CTK and St. Stephen Church
Sunday Offering
On-Line Giving: (click button below)
Online giving for St. Stephen Parish is available.

We depend upon your contributions!
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
"To Hear the Gospel and Make a Difference"