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Some Things to Know

Updates from the Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia

Ordination of New Auxiliary Bishops   Monsignor Gerardo J. Colacicco and Monsignor Edmund J. Whalen will receive their Episcopal consecration on Tuesday, December 10 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 2:00 PM. Congratulations, and ad multos annos. Information about vesting and the schedule will be sent next week.
Bishops for Confirmation   As you prepare for the upcoming confirmation season, know that each bishop maintains his own schedule and wishes to be responsible for his particular area.  A master schedule is maintained at the office of the vicar general.

  • Bishop-elect Whalen will be in Episcopal Region I (Manhattan) with residence at St. Stephen the Martyr Rectory.
  • Bishop Byrne will be living at Holy Cross, Bronx.  His area will be Episcopal Region II (Bronx, Westchester Sound Shore and Yonkers).
  • Bishop O’Hara will reside at St. Agnes, Manhattan and St. Charles, Staten Island and will concentrate on Episcopal Region III (Staten Island).
  • Bishop-emeritus Walsh lives at St. Joseph’s Seminary and will have Episcopal Region IV (Central and Northern Westchester, Putnam and Rockland).
  • Bishop-elect Colacicco will reside at St. Mary, Wappingers Falls and will cover Episcopal Region V in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Orange).
  • Bishop-emeritus Dominick living in Newburgh and Bishop-emeritus Iriondo residing at Our Lady of Esperanza in upper Manhattan will also be available to confirm.  Bishop-emeritus Jenik is fully retired and living at the Egan Pavilion of the St. John Vianney Residence in Riverdale.

If you are intending to invite a bishop from outside the archdiocese, make note that you need to request permission beforehand from the vicar general.  When listing this confirmation in your parish registry, kindly include the words ” cum licentia Ordinarii” together with the date of the letter of consent.

In 2019, there were 314 confirmations, most of them during the Easter season.  You may wish to consider a ceremony at another time of the liturgical year.

Whenever there is a death of a permanent deacon or his wife, or the parent of a priest, think about asking one of the auxiliary bishop’s to officiate at the funeral.

Status Animarum   This means the state of souls and is the annual report on sacramental participation.  The information that you provide is helpful for parish planning and for responding to the reports that are required by the Holy See and the USCCB.  Report your Mass attendance numbers for Sunday, October 20, including the anticipated Masses on Saturday evening.   For the sacramental and other data, report for the time period requested.  We would like to receive your report by Monday, November 18.

Reconciliation Monday Dates   Advent Reconciliation Monday will be held on December 16, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM in all the parishes of the archdiocese and the Diocese of Brooklyn.  Lenten Reconciliation Monday will be observed on April 6, 2020 from 3:00 to 9:00 PM in the archdiocese and the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre.  Promotional material will be available as we get closer to the date.

No One to Answered the Parish Telephone?   With modern technology today, an urgent contact with a priest should be easily facilitated, especially whenever there is no secretary at the parish office.  Different churches use different systems, such as commercial answering services, a dedicated “duty priest” mobile phone, call forwarding, etc.  What should be avoided is any parish system where no priest can be contacted for several hours for a crucial matter.  

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception   This year, December 8 falls on the Second Sunday of Advent.  Therefore, in accordance with the general principles of the Roman Calendar (no.5), the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in the United States will be transferred to the following day, namely, December 9.  It should be noted, however, that even though the liturgical celebration is moved, according to sound canonical principles, the obligation to attend Mass on that day is not transferred.

Advent Day of Recollection for Priests along with individual confessions will be held on Wednesday, December 4 from 10:30 to 2:30 at Dunwoodie.  Leading us in our reflection will be Monsignor Charles Fink of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, who is currently the president/rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington.

Talking Points for Pastors and Bulletins   As you make your requests for Christmas contributions and for next year’s Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal, you may see a value in saying to your people that none of their donations to the appeal or to the parish will be used for settlements from sexual abuse complaints about our priests.  As many families do when they are faced with large unexpected expenses, the archdiocese has borrowed for purposes of justice and healing up to $100 million, which we will pay back from non-parish originated funds. It may help your people to know that no funds received in collections or appeals will be used to settle complaints.

Eulogies at Funeral Masses   November, the traditional month of the faithful departed is a good month for us to be reminded about the use of eulogies at funeral liturgies.

  • Eulogies, stories and favorite songs are most appropriately shared during the visitation at the wake service or at the reception following the funeral.
  • Experience shows that sharing personal remarks at the Funeral Mass can be inopportune for a number of reasons:
    • It can create hard feelings if hurtful things of the past are raised or create discomfort in ill-advised attempts at humor.
    • There are also concerns in view of past experiences that eulogies can overshadow in length and attention the Funeral Mass itself, especially if those offering words turn the Church’s rites into a celebration of life that focuses only on the accomplishments of the deceased’s past, with scant attention to our faith in the resurrection.
  • With that said, in a desire to be pastorally sensitive to the family of the deceased, the following norms have been established after consultation with the presbyteral council and the approval of the Cardinal:
    • The pastor of the parish may allow a reflection by one individual. This can be nicely done before the collect of the Mass or after the communion prayer.
    • The personal reflections should be limited to three minutes and be presented to the pastor or presiding priest in writing in advance of the service.
    • The next point is essential:  the eulogy stresses the faith of the deceased.

In all things, pastoral kindness is required.

To reach the chancery after hours and on weekends,
call Community Answering Service at 877-582-2996.
Add this number to the list of contacts in your mobile telephone (Chancery Emergency).