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 22, 2018

My Dear Friends in Christ,

In today’s Gospel St. Mark says: "When ... Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things." Teaching has always been an essential element of the Church, from Jesus to Pope Francis.

50 years ago this week (July 25, 1968), Pope Paul VI exercised his teaching ministry when he issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae, subtitled “On the Regulation of Birth. From the very first line, the document provides clear and beautiful teaching about God's plan for married love and the transmission of life: “The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships” (HV, 1).

This controversial document was issued during a time of vast change in the Church and in the world and there was tremendous pressure on the Church, from the inside and outside, to downplay its teaching on the importance of the “procreative good” that is a part of married love and even to argue that it could be sacrificed to achieve the “more human goods” of marriage. Humanae Vitae responded that the unitive (lifelong faithful marriage) and procreative (raising children) goods of marriage are inseparable: failing to honor one is a failure to honor the other.

Humanae Vitae articulates the Church’s prohibition against the use of artificial contraception, but the Church recognizes that for “just reasons” a couple may limit their family size to better meet the obligations of life. The Church advocates methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) which help married couples plan the size of their families and empowers them to take charge of their lives. Today’s natural family planning methods are accurate, precise, and safe, without the harmful side effects of artificial contraceptives. The U.S. Bishops have designated July 22-28 as Natural Family Planning Week. For more about Natural Family Planning please refer to the color flap of today’s bulletin.

Humanae Vitae remains prophetic. In a world that prizes expediency and consumerism (what Pope Francis calls our "throw-away culture") Blessed Paul VI challenges us to cherish the gift of human life. In a world that tries to reject God and religion, Blessed Paul VI reminds us that the core of a truly fulfilled human life is the act of opening our minds and hearts to God, who created the world and all that is in it, and who knows and loves us more than we can imagine. In a culture where the human body and human life itself are exploited for entertainment, profit, and self-gratification, Blessed Paul VI reminds us that the human body is a beautiful gift from God. In a world that dismisses any form of Christian shepherding, Blessed Paul VI stands as a prophet who proclaims God's blessed way that leads to peace, hope, holiness, and justice for all.

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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