Welcome to St. Mark's Website!

We are located in San Marcos, California. We are a Roman Catholic faith community just north of San Diego. Please explore our website.  Here you'll find information about our parish, its History and its many activities offered to enrich the lives of people of all ages.  Be sure to check out our schedules for Mass, confessions, spiritual programs and social gatherings for young and old. You'll also find a directory of our Parish staff.  The staff will be happy to help you with your questions and /or arrange a time to meet with you. 
We encourage you to sign up for our E-Mail Newsletter (sign up at lower left of the page) so you can be notified of opportunities in our parish, receive updates and notices on upcoming events and more!

"Come and see"  John 1:39

Christmas Season Schedule Print
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Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses Print

The word Christmas derives from the combination of Christ and Mass; it is the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Second in the liturgical calendar only to Easter, Christmas is celebrated by many as if it were the most important of Christian feasts.

marymother.jpgHistory of Christmas

People are often surprised to find that Christmas was not celebrated by the earliest Christians. The custom was to celebrate a saint's birth into eternal life—in other words, his death. Thus Good Friday (Christ's death) and Easter Sunday (His Resurrection) took center stage.

To this day, the Church celebrates only three birthdays: Christmas; the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and the Birth of John the Baptist. The common thread in the celebrations is that all three were born without Original Sin: Christ, because He was the Son of God; Mary, because she was sanctified by God in the Immaculate Conception; and John the Baptist, because his leap in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, at the Visitation is seen as a type of Baptism (and thus, even though John was conceived with Original Sin, he was cleansed of that sin before birth).

It took a while, though, for the Church to develop the feast of Christmas. While it may have been celebrated in Egypt as early as the third century, it did not spread throughout the Christian world until the middle of the fourth century. It was first celebrated along with Epiphany, on January 6; but slowly Christmas was separated out into its own feast, on December 25. Many of the early Church Fathers regarded this as the actual date of Christ's birth, though it does coincide with the Roman festival of Natalis Invicti (the winter solstice, which the Romans celebrated on December 25), and the Catholic Encyclopedia does not reject the possibility that the date was chosen as "a deliberate and legitimate 'baptism' of a pagan feast."

By the middle of the sixth century, Christians had begun to observe Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas, with fasting; and the Twelve Days of Christmas, from Christmas Day to Epiphany, had become established.

Prayer for the Feast of Christmas

Ant. A light shall shine upon us this day: for our Lord is born to us; and He shall be called Wonderful, God, the Prince of peace, the Father of the world to come, of Whose kingdom there shall be no end. 

A child is born to us.    And to us a Son is given.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that we who rejoice in celebrating the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ may deserve by holiness of life to attain unto fellowship with Him. Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 
“Come, Lord Jesus, come in glory!” Print

 Come, Lord Jesus, come in glory!”  These ancient words reflect the yearning of the earliest Christians in New Testament times. (cf. Rev. 22:20; 1 Cor. 16:22)advent-banner-for-web.jpg

 

Christians around the world are about to enter the beautiful season of Advent.  Symbolized by the progressive lighting of the 4 candles on the Advent wreath. We are entering a season of preparation and anticipation. This time of the liturgical year has three focal points. Advent is time of preparing ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to ready ourselves for His future return in glory.  Christmas is the celebration of the Incarnation and how wondrous the birth of the Word of God is to each one of us!  During Epiphany,  we celebrate Christ becoming manifest—that is, made known—to all peoples, as portrayed by the three Wise Men symbolizing the many races for which Christ was born.  This is a season and the time to reflect on how God’s “Christmas gift” of His Incarnate Son is a gift for everyone! How important is it to open the gift and s

 

o we might discover as did the Apostle Paul when he said, “I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Phil. 3:8)  

Advent is a time of patient anticipation. No one likes to wait, whether we are at a red light,      at the check-out counter or in the doctor’s office. And yet, the Holy Spirit knows that patient waiting can be good for us ifimg_1072-web.jpg we make good spiritual use of these four weeks.  Then, when the celebration of Christmas truly begins, on Christmas Eve, we will be ready.

 

 

 
Begin 2015 with the Lord at one of our Mass celebrations: Print

Begin 2015 with the Lord at one of our Mass celebrations:

New Year's Day was formerly the feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord, then it changed to the Holy Name of Jesus, but now it is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Regardless of the feast, this is a day of hospitality for most people. Here are some ideas for an open house for family members and friends. Included is a blessing of beer, and a renewal of one's baptismal promises, to commemorate the day of baptism. Some of these ideas can be applied to January 3, the actual feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

The Church begins the New Year with the Holy Name of Jesus [Editor's Note: January 1 is now the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Pope John Paul II has restored the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus to January 3.] Liturgically this great feast commemorates the first shedding of His blood for our redemption. On the same day, along with celebrating the giving of His Name Jesus, which means Savior, we also honor Mary's divine Motherhood. Today's Epistle bids us to circumcise our hearts, as it were, "to live soberly, justly, and godly in this world."   

New Year's is a day of hospitality among many people, especially the French. In England it was a day set aside for godparents; and godcakes are still given to children on this day in many places. It should be easy to keep New Year's day as a feast on which we honor godparents and repay them for the responsibility they have assumed toward our children.

 

 
Baptism of the Lord Print

Christ's Baptism Foreshadows Our Own:

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At first glance, the Baptism of the Lord might seem an odd feast. Since the Catholic Church teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for the remission of sins, particularly Original Sin, why was Christ baptized? After all, He was born without Original Sin, and He lived His entire life without sinning. Therefore, He had no need of the sacrament, as we do.

In submitting Himself humbly to the baptism of St. John the Baptist, however, Christ provided the example for the rest of us. If even He should be baptized, though He had no need of it, how much more should the rest of us be thankful for this sacrament, which frees us from the darkness of sin and incorporates us into the Church, the life of Christ on earth! His Baptism, therefore, was necessary--not for Him, but for us.

 
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