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,

I was in Fatima, when terrible things happened to two of my best friends - Archbishop Dominic Jala and Fr. Mathew Vellankal. With the grace and strength from our blessed Mother, I was able to receive the worst news in my life, and entrust back to God the two best he had entrusted to my life.

Archbishop Dominic and I share a friendship that goes back 30 plus years, when he was my Liturgy professor and friend. And then we worked together for many years in a technical School where he was the Director; and I served as General Manager or administrator. Those were years when we cemented our friendship and learned to love and respect each other even more. Archbishop Dominic never drove a car, and so always depended on others for driving him around. During those years, there wasn’t a single day when I did not drive him somewhere or another. His mother and siblings lived 5 miles away from the school, and we would visit his mom almost every 3-4 days, sit around the fire in the kitchen and eat and drink. I knew all his siblings and nephews and nieces. When I came to the United States, Archbishop made it a priority to visit me almost every year, and spend time with the community I was serving. In fact, from Fremont to Pleasant Hill, most communities of faith remember Archbishop Jala as a humble man who had no pretenses. Last year, while visiting Christ the King, Archbishop showed up at the sacristy and Fr. Vince asked him to preside, and his response was, “No, you do it. I will concelebrate.” There was no protocol. He was a priest among priests. In an age of clericalism, he was my hero because he lived servant leadership to its fullest. He has joined me in hiking, backpacking and many other leisurely activities here in the U.S.

Fr. Mathew was a colleague, who shared his life and ministry with me over the past 20 years here in the United States. We had no secrets, rather we built our relationship over our successes and hardships, our plans and strategies for the future. I have always been inspired by Mathew’s positive energy and unrestrained enthusiasm for ministry. In addition, I lost another friend in July whom we used to call Fr. T.O. (Tio, which in a number of languages would mean Uncle.) He was much older than me, very deep and spiritual. I looked up to him for leadership, wisdom and company. He took his life in an unusual way which was devastating.

I want you to know I have not lost hope. As a priest, I have accompanied so many of you in your own losses, and you have taught me in more ways than you know how to cope with death especially of a loved one. It brings up our own mortality. When someone close to you dies it is a reminder that we will die and, who knows, it could be soon or it could be later. I have always said to myself that God has blessed me with good health, success and friends for 55 years, and I consider every day as a gift.

Someone said, “Friends aren’t just icing on the cake of life — they’re the cake. They make life more fun, more fulfilling, and, well, just better all around.” This means we don’t have to be perfect with one another. Sometimes we are at our best, and other times we're at our worst. In a good friendship there is mutuality. Our friends are the people we let in. They’re the people who can get under our skin, for better or for worse, and they’re the ones in whom we choose to invest. I have invested everything in these two people over the years. I am grateful Fr. Joseph Parekkatt is alive, and I promised him that he can come to CTK to recuperate among fellow priests.

A co-worker of God is one who is bound together with God. When God works, he works. When God walks, he walks. When God stops, he stops. You may be a diligent person who wants to do more work for God, but God may say, “I do not want you to do more work for Me right now; I want you to rest with Me. I am resting, so you have to rest with Me.” And that is how, I would like to accept this loss, and I would like to thank you for your goodness to me.

Fr. Paulson

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