St. Stephen
Walnut Creek, CA

Mass Schedule

Saturday: 5 pm
Sunday: 9:30 am
Mon - Fri: 7:30 am ( Rm 1 Chapel)
Holy Days: 7:30 am, 7:00 pm
Reconciliation: Sat. 4:30 pm

A message from our parochial administrator, Fr. Paulson Mundanmani:

Dear Friends,

As I was leaving India for Pleasant Hill, trying to put behind the sorrows of the loss of my friends, I was dealing with yet another adversity. My oldest brother, Jose was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. At that time, we were not sure of the extent of his sickness or the treatment. I was informed over the weekend that he has stage 4 lymphoma which means that cancer has spread to an organ external to the lymphatic system. My nephew called me yesterday from Sunshine Coast in Australia to let me know that he will be flying to India to be with his father for two weeks. According to him, the cancer has spread to the lungs and the liver. My brother has been experiencing fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, fever and other symptoms. I have not known anyone in my family with cancer before except for an uncle who had stomach cancer recently in his eighties. More and more, I have come to recognize the frailty of human life.

On my return from India, after a completing a graveside service at Queen of Heaven cemetery, I decided to meet Donna Bradshaw, who is our parishioner and in charge of Grief Ministry at CTK who works at the cemetery accompanying families who have lost their loved ones. It was important for me to confront my own mortality, and what I wanted when that happens. Recognizing mortality will help you to take stock of your life and open your eyes to the opportunities ahead. More importantly, it will help you to take care of the multiple paperwork such as your will, advanced medical directive and funeral.

I have decided that when I die, I would like to have a vigil with rosary followed by a Mass of Christian burial in a borrowed casket. After that I would like to be cremated and placed in a simple urn in one of the niches in the chapel in Queen of Heaven. Donna Bradshaw is a very compassionate and loving parishioner and she told me she will get back to me at the earliest with more information. Queen of Heaven cemetery has evolved into a sacred space with wonderful staff who understand the pain people go through. I know I am sharing with you very personal information, and that is because you are my family. Fr. Mathew had great plans about the future, and where and how he wanted to retire. It is truly revealing that God had a different plan for my friend. Over the years I have grown very comfortable with who I am and my own human frailties.

I can’t begin to explain why your loved one passed away or why your child has cancer or why you or your loved one received such a dismal diagnosis. But I agree with you that it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t seem right, and it certainly doesn’t feel like God cares. But I know that when you believe in God, He can help you accept the adversity, and find comfort and meaning. In 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9, we are told, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” We are not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do. We are at times spiritually terrorized. But God hasn’t left our side. God is in control. The more we come to terms with this truth, the easier our struggle against serious or chronic illness will be. As Lynn Eib who had experienced the pain of cancer in her own family remarked, “You can relax knowing Someone else is in charge – Someone much more intelligent, powerful and vigilant that we are or could ever hope to be.” I want you to know that’s exactly how I feel in my pain and struggle with my brother’s diagnosis and the loss of my friends.

In this context, I would like to inform you that we will be launching a new ministry at CTK – ‘Faith-based support Group for cancer survivors or their loved ones.’ It is scheduled to commence in January 2020, and this ministry will be led by a cancer survivor himself. Jim Weber, recovered from cancer and wants to help others who are struggling with similar situations. He attended a support group for years, and has worked with many cancer patients. More information will be in our bulletin in the coming days.

Thank you for being my family and praying for me.

Fr. Paulson

Mission Statement: To Live and to Love in Christ
1101 Keaveny Court Walnut Creek, California 94597 USA
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