OUR LADY OF GRACE AND THE DIVINE MERCY—The two statues in the plaza of the church were restored by a local artist, Lisa Kelly. Lisa and her crew restored and painted the statues with masonry paint from January 12 to the 17th. The sharp colors and detailed designs added a distinct beauty to these statues of devotion.
SINULOG, SANTO NINO—The annual celebration of the Infant Jesus on January 19, which has its roots in the island of Cebu, Philippines, began at 12 PM with a Mass, then a social gathering and singing/dancing with the Infant Jesus, with traditional Filipino foods served. A Novena to the Santo Nino preceded the festive Sinulog celebration.
PILGRIMS PROGRESS—A group of faithful pilgrims from Mary Star traveled to the Shrines of Italy from March 14th – 28th accompanied by their Spiritual Director, Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR. The Spirit led them to Venice, Padua, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Ancona, Loreto, Lanciano, San Giovanni Rotondo and Rome. They also visited the hills of Medjugorje, Bosnia and the seaport town of Split, Croatia. The pilgrims celebrated with a thanksgiving prayer in Oxnard.
Father Eric Crelencia, OAR, visiting the friars at the OAR General Curia in Rome, last March.
Pilgrims from Mary Star of the Sea Parish led by Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR, at the Vatican grounds, last March.
CARRY THY CROSS—On Good Friday, the faithful of Mary Star prayerfully reenacted Jesus’ walk to Calvary. The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem was the church parking lot, marked with the sturdy concrete crosses—the 12 Stations of the Cross—and the presence of Jesus among the faithful, especially the men, women and children who carried a heavy wooden cross throughout the Via, were solemnly enacted and prayerfully meditated under the scorching sun. The carrying of our life’s own crosses, the silence and desolation of Christ’s death on Holy Saturday were overwhelmed by the victorious triumph of Christ’s resurrection, celebrated on Easter Sunday.
CHAPLET OF MERCY—The priests, deacons and parishioners sang the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in adoration of our Lord before an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Chaplet was sung in both English and Spanish alternately. A short bilingual talk was presented by Fr. Frank highlighting the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Refreshments followed in the Parish Hall.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION—The Saturdays of the month of May were filled with the celebrations of First Holy Communion. Two English and three Spanish Masses were devoted to the celebrations of this important Sacrament. More than 30 young students of catechism received our Lord in Holy Communion in each of the five masses. The masses were celebrated in a festive atmosphere with all the parents, godparents, relatives and friends.
ST. RITA’S TRIDUUM—A triduum prayer in veneration of St. Rita of Cascia began on May 20th after the 8 AM weekday Mass. In this triduum, the priests and the faithful venerated an image of St. Rita, offered their prayers and flowers to her, and pleaded for her intercession.
SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION—Msgr. Michael Jennett presided over the Mass of Confirmation and anointed the confirmandi on May 23. The Mass was joyfully celebrated with more than 70 students, the majority in their teens, with their sponsors, families and friends. There were also about 30 adults who received Confirmation. Msgr. Jennet reminded the faithful that the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit are made manifest in our daily lives, even in the most ordinary of situations. Thus, we are to be keen to the presence of the Holy Spirit and be always thankful to God for the Spirit of Light and Guidance.
PROMOTING FAMILY—On Sunday May 18, the parish MADRES CRISTIANAS SANTA MONICA celebrated their first anniversary at the 8:45 AM Mass presided by Fr. Eric. This Spanish language women’s group prays for their families, deepens their Catholic faith, and offers each other spiritual support. After Mass they staffed a literature table where they offered prayer material for the women of the parish.
The day before, parishioners Porfirio and Belén Garcia renewed their wedding vows before Fr. Frank at a Mass celebrating 75 years of marriage. A highlight of this very special anniversary Mass attended by their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was the choir formed by several of their children and grandchildren
PENTECOST VIGIL—On Saturday June 7 following the 7 PM Mass, over two hundred parishioners attended the bilingual Pentecost Vigil lasting from 8:30 PM – 10:45 PM. Held in the parish church, the vigil featured Scripture, short talks, songs, music, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and intercessory prayer. Four choirs, two English and two Spanish, accompanied the faithful in their preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR