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Some Things to Know

Holy Days of Obligation 2020  On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, Catholics are obliged to participate in the Mass and to refrain from unnecessary work and all spiritually-distracting activities in conformity with the code of canon law. “Obligation” means “ya gotta do it!” It’s the Church’s way of stressing the importance of the mystery, person or event being celebrated. During 2020, the following days will be observed:

Wednesday, January 1 (Mary, Mother of God); Thursday, May 21 (Ascension of the Lord); *Saturday, August 15 (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary); Sunday, November 1 (All Saints); Tuesday, December 8 (Immaculate Conception); Friday, December 25 (Nativity of the Lord). 

*By special indult from the Holy See in 1994, Catholics are not obligated to attend Mass when either Mary, the Mother of God, the Assumption or All Saints fall on a Saturday or a Monday. Pastors, however are encouraged to offer a convenient Mass schedule for those who wish to attend.

Catholic Center Holiday Schedule The Catholic Center is here to serve you. During 2020, we will observe the following holiday schedule: 

January 1, January 20, February 17, March 17, April 9 (1:00), April 10, April 13, May 21, May 25, July 3, September 7, October 12, November 11, November 25 (1:00), November 26, November 27, December 8, December 24 (1:00), December 25, and December 31 (1:00). 

We will also close at 1:00 on the ten summer Fridays (June 26, July 10, 17, 24, 31, August 7, 14, 21, 28 and September 4. 

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

Share the Word   Please give access to all your priests and staff members to that material which is pertinent to them, enclosed in the monthly mailing from the office of the vicar general. For it to succeed, we recommend that this Some Things to Know be posted in the public area of the general office.

Evening for Vocations will be held on Thursday, March 19 at St. Joseph’s Seminary and will include tours of the seminary, solemn evening prayer with Cardinal Dolan and a buffet dinner. The evening will run from 5:00 to 8:00 PM.  Young men ages 15-25 are invited to attend with their parish priests. Visit for more information.

Physician Assisted Suicide   Legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide in the state of New York is expected to be voted on in the coming session. The governor has publicly expressed his wish to sign assisted suicide into law, allowing doctors to legally prescribe a lethal dose of pills at the request of a dying patient. With all of the positive efforts to decrease the staggering suicide rates in our country, this legislation contradicts the truth that suicide—in every circumstance—is a tragedy. 

Share the truth about this dangerous legislation with your parishioners. In this month’s combined mailing we are sending a package of educational and pastoral resources for your use which can also be found on the Respect Life Office website: These are based on the feedback we have received at various deanery meetings.

Required Announcement on the Protection of Children   The Archdiocese of New York is committed to doing all that is can to protect children and young people from sexual abuse. As part of that effort, we periodically write to the Catholic community to advise them whom they may contact and what steps they can take if they have suffered abuse by someone representing the Catholic church.

Please include this announcement in both English and Spanish in your Sunday bulletin.  Its wording was approved by the presbyteral council. If your parish uses another language, i.e., Chinese, French, German, Italian or others, I am asking that you have it correctly translated and send a copy of your bulletin with these translations to my office. Additionally, publish this announcement every May, September and January.

“To report an alleged incident of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, deacon, religious or lay person serving in the Archdiocese of New York may contact the victims assistance coordinator at 646-794-2949 or [email protected].  Information can also be found on the archdiocesan website  In keeping with archdiocesan policy regarding sexual abuse of minors, this is provided to ensure that our children remain safe and secure.”

“Cualquier persona que necesite repórter algún incidente de abuso sexual de un menor por un sacerdote, diacono, religioso/a, o lacio sirviendo en la Arquidiócesis de Nueva York, se le pide que por favor contacte el coordinador de asistencia a las víctimas al 646-794-2949.  Ella también pueden ser contactada vía correo electrónica: [email protected].  Para más información pueden visitar la página en la red del la arquidiócesis:  De acuerdo con las normas de la arquidiócesis respeto al abuso sexual de menores, esta información se provee para asegurar que nuestros niños permanezcan seguros.”

Reconciliation Monday   Bishop Dominick Lagonegro has been coordinating Reconciliation Monday since it began in 2011. He has recommended and the cardinal has approved the following dates:

+Lenten Reconciliation Monday: April 6, 2020, March 29, 2021, April 11, 2022 with the dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre are from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

+Advent Reconciliation Monday: December 21, 2020, December 20, 2021, December 19, 2022 with the diocese of Brooklyn are from 4:00 to 8:00 PM.

Remember the value of honoring these hours in every parish.

2020 Dates for Your Calendar

  • Ash Wednesday, February 26
  • RCIA Rite of Election, Sunday, March 1
  • Lenten Day of Recollection for Priests, March 4
  • St. Patrick’s Day Mass and Parade, Tuesday, March 17
  • Vocation Vespers, Thursday, March 19
  • Lenten Reconciliation Monday, April 6
  • Mass of the Chrism, Tuesday, April 7
  • Jubilee Mass and Brunch for Religious, Sunday, May 2
  • Ordination to the Priesthood, Saturday, May 23
  • Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass, Sunday, June 7
  • Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate, Saturday, June 13
  • Columbus Day Mass and Parade, Monday, October 12
  • Advent Day of Recollection for Priests, Wednesday, December 9
  • Advent Reconciliation Monday, December 21

Seminary Administration   Congratulations and thanks to Monsignor Peter Vaccari for the seven years he has served as president and rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary, and for the outstanding work he has done in integrating the faculty and seminarians from New York, Brooklyn, and Rockville Centre, along with the sending dioceses and religious communities who also have their seminarians at Dunwoodie. This month, he has moved to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Father William Cleary of the seminary faculty will serve as interim rector and Father Michael Bruno will become interim dean of seminarians.

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