Dear friends,                            

The Spring 2021 edition of Archways, the quarterly magazine of the Archdiocese of New York, is now available online.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”  

– Matthew 24:35

It’s been a year since the word coronavirus first appeared in Archways. It’s a powerful word, but not all-powerful.

Coronavirus has killed millions and stopped economies in their tracks. It has forced us to wear masks, to stand apart, to restrict our lives in many ways. It continues to bring us daily news, mostly from overseas, of tragedy and suffering on a vast scale.

But the words of Jesus are more powerful. During the pandemic, they never faded. His message of mercy and hope only became more urgent and essential. Masses continued, ministers of mercy stepped up their good works, and prayers flew up from churches, hospitals, convents and homes in every corner of the archdiocese.

In this issue of Archways, we mark the beginning of the return to full participation in Church activities in the Archdiocese of New York. Our special lead feature, “Return of the Faithful,” describes the arc of Mass attendance from March 2020, when churches closed for in-person Mass, to the present. We hear from pastors and health experts on the efforts to regather all Catholics at services that are safe and welcoming, where all can experience the joy of community, the mystery of Christ’s Presence on the altar, and the receiving of the Eucharist.

Our cover story, “Saints of New York: Venerable Pierre Toussaint,” tells the story of the remarkable man, born a slave, who became one of the most prominent New York Catholics of the 19th century – and is now a candidate for sainthood. And our third feature, “Joyful Passages: The Words That Inspire Us,” presents favorite texts – biblical passages, poetry, saintly writings, songs – recommended by some of our priests, ordained religious, and music directors around the archdiocese. 

Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll read about: 

  • How parish religious education programs overcame the pandemic to teach the faith to our children (and their parents!)
  • Eucharist adoration – its historic origins and current flowering
  • The deep meaning of Paschal Time and its place in the liturgical year
  • Mental-health effects of social isolation on vulnerable young people
  • How the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal became a lifeline during Covid-19 

I hope you will find valuable information and inspiration in the Spring 2021 edition, and that you will look forward to our next issue, Summer 2021, due out at the beginning of July.

Archways Spring 2021 by Michael Cain

Yours in Christ, 

Michael S. Cain

Managing Editor, Archways

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