St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436



From the Desk of Father Mac

July 1, 2018

My Dear Friends in Christ,

This week, Americans will celebrate the “Fourth of July” by relaxing by the pool, heading to the beach, having backyard barbecues, shopping, and fireworks displays. Sadly, many folks have lost the meaning of the day. Few refer to the day by its actual name, “Independence Day,” and far too many have trouble identifying what events led to this holiday. That’s ironic, since people around the world envy Americans for the very freedoms we take for granted.

As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently stated after we gained independence from England, “How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” Indeed. Most Americans take Independence Day for granted, like they do most other holidays, and sadly, most Holy Days. It is just another date on a calendar. The importance of those historic events to us just doesn’t seem relevant. But it should.

Our Founding Fathers understood that the liberties preserved in our Constitution are from God Himself. Our system of government depends on the essential rights given by our Creator not just be upheld, but be forever enshrined in our Constitution. But they no longer seem to be. Everywhere we turn we see an erosion of liberties, including the rights to religious freedom and free speech. It seems Americans are no longer allowed to hold their own beliefs if those beliefs differ from those in power.

Pope Francis understands the issues well. In a White House address during his visit to the United States, on September 23, 2015, he stated what American Catholics stand for:

“American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty. That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.”

Friends, we mustn’t allow the sacrifices of our Founding Fathers, and so many others who paid the ultimate price for freedom, to be lost on us. Sure, we can continue to celebrate Independence Day with barbecues and fireworks, but let us also take time to acknowledge that Independence Day is far more than just a day off. Let us learn the history of our nation, and celebrate its significant dates with appropriate reverence. Perhaps then we will come to truly understand the sacrifices others made to ensure our liberties, and we will then endeavor to preserve them!

In Christ,


For Information, please contact the Parish Office at or phone 818.986.8234


St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234


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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website:

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