REQUIRED ANNOUNCEMENT ON FINANCIAL INTEGRITY HOTLINE The Archdiocese of New York is committed to safeguarding the stewardship of its people. 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 suspicion of financial impropriety.
Please find an announcement in English and Spanish to be included 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 February and August.
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“The Archdiocese of New York takes stewardship of your donations seriously. If you have knowledge of or reason to suspect misconduct, please report your concerns via a toll-free hotline at 877-820-0541 or on the internet at http://www.reportlineweb.com/ADNY. Both are available 24 hours per day.”
“La Arquidiócesis de Nueva York toma la administración de sus donaciones seriamente. Si usted tiene conocimiento o una razón sospechosa del mal manejo financiero, por favor reporte sus inquietudes a través de la línea gratuita de atención telefónica al 877-820-0541 o en la Internet, en http://www.reportlineweb.com/ADNY. Ambos están disponibles las 24 horas del dia.”
STATUS ANIMARUM (the state of souls). This is an annual report on the sacramental participation in your parish. Every year, we collect Mass attendance numbers, sacramental figures, religious education and regional or parish school enrollment, staffing and volunteer personnel data for each parish church and worship site. This accurate reporting is very helpful to us in our culture of parish planning. This October, for efficiency and ease, we would like to gather the data electronically. When we all return in September, more information will be available.
LAY TRUSTEE NOMINATION FORM Every year in June, we seek your help with the annual election of two lay trustees to serve your church. We are hoping to receive them from you by Friday, July 31. It is six weeks away. In case you misplaced it, another copy is included. Help me as I try to be in compliance with the New York State Religious Corporation Law. Once we receive your nomination, the original will be returned to you with the authorized signatures of His Eminence and myself. You may file it in the parish corporate minutes’ book. A copy will be retained in the chancery files.
COLUMBUS DAY MASS will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday, October 12 at 9:30 AM and reflects the millions of men, women and children who came to America in pursuit of freedom and opportunity, and the faith that helped them endure hardship and adversity. Seating capacity will be limited due to the restrictions of the pandemic. Tickets are required to enter the cathedral until 9:15, at which point it becomes general admission. As we await details of the NYC reopening, the Columbus Citizens Foundation is proceeding with planning and will have final word shortly.
PRESBYTERAL COUNCIL SELECTIONS It is time again to think about choosing priests to fill vacancies on the presbyteral council. Terms are for three years. His Eminence has underscored the importance of this council in his administration. He expressed his hope that priests would make themselves available to serve on this senate and he urges the widest possible engagement in the selection process. He wants to be assured that the make-up of the council is truly representative. Your active participation is clearly desired. Deans and area conference chairs are encouraged to discuss these vacancies with their constituencies. Areas open for election or reelection are Bronx Northwest, Dutchess Manhattan East and West (one year), Orange, Putnam/Northern Westchester, and Rockland.
FAMILY DAY: MAKING EVERY DAY SPECIAL® is a National Center on Addiction Substance Abuses initiative to promote simple, everyday things parents can do to build a strong, healthy relationship with their kids that prevents future drug use. Family Day will be celebrated nationwide on Monday, September 28, 2020. To learn more or to join parents all across America in taking the Family Day STAR pledge, visit www.casafamilyday.org. You may also find family day on Facebook and Twitter.
HOLY OILS If you haven’t done so already, be sure to pick up new holy oils from your local dean. Additional oils will be made available later in the year at the seminary and the cathedral. In the tradition of thanking the seminarians who prepared and distributed the oils, expressions of gratitude and support may be sent to the seminary, c/o the class of 2021.
CONSIDER A CHANGE IN MASS SCHEDULE With people very gradually returning to church after the three-month quarantine has been lifted, some pastors have reported that they don’t need as many Masses that they had back in March because our attendance numbers have dropped. This may be a good opportunity to consider an adjustment to your schedule. Perhaps you were thinking of reducing your Sunday or weekday Masses but were waiting for the right time. In these summer months, with limited or no help coming from international priests, and the inevitable transfer of a parochial vicar with no one to replace him, you may need to make modifications. Our parishioners will be so happy to return to Mass. We hope they will also understand the necessary changes at this time. Always discuss any proposed alteration with your trustees and pastoral and finance councils by phone or email. Explain your particular need and get their input. This way when you announce it to your people you can also tell them that you consulted with your advisors and they concur. Maybe you might also canvas some of the faithful worshipers. Cluster parishes are encouraged to work together in creating a convenient Mass schedule for a particular area, with an early Mass in one church and a later one in the other. We can use this time prudently and wisely as we plan for the future.
RECOVERY SUNDAY As you know, Recovery Sunday is a national day of prayer during the month of September for those troubled with and in recovery from addictive illnesses. It was inaugurated in 1999 by Cardinal O’Connor, continued by Cardinal Egan and reintroduced in 2016 by Cardinal Dolan. Statistics tell us that more than 20 million Americans are struggling; nine million children live in homes with one parent who has an addiction commonly associated with alcohol and illicit drug use, and increasingly with gambling, sex, social media, food, shopping, and pornography. It is a reminder of the plight of those dealing daily with addiction and recovery issues, and those who love and support them on the difficult journey to healing. It is an opportunity to recall the true meaning of freedom, as material abundance and spiritual emptiness too often lead to addictive behaviors. Most importantly, the observance is a powerful vehicle for prayer for families and communities in need. Consider designating a weekend in September as Recovery Sunday in your parish, perhaps on September 13 (while avoiding Catechetical Sunday and the collection for St Joseph’s Seminary). Resource material is available from the Family Life office.
PARISH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION We priests have a sacred duty to form our parishioners in the faith. This involves much more than preparation for first penance, communion and confirmation. You are encouraged to continue to provide full religious education and youth ministry to your communities. More than ever, our young people and their families need to feel a strong connection to the Church and their parish communities. Religious education and youth ministry not only form young people in the knowledge of the faith but play a strong role in fostering the affiliative faith that roots them in a strong Catholic identity. The Department of Youth Faith Formation will work tirelessly with your parishes to help you determine the best structure, tools, and ideas to ensure effective catechetical and youth ministries. Download the attachments included with this mailing.
NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER Since mid-March due to the COVID crisis, blood centers have paused mobile drives, and regulated donations only at our NYBC donor centers to ensure for parameters of safety and distancing. They are currently taking careful steps to schedule specific large square foot sites that can accommodate area donor groups/donors for these safety measures. They are seeking large venues in the Bronx and the Hudson Valley so they can abide by social distancing guidelines, to collect life-saving blood donations to furnish to area hospitals and help many reliant on this resource. If your parish would be a likely site, contact Debra Kleinman at 914-760-3176 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SCHEDULING AA MEETINGS IN YOUR PARISH Before the quarantine, many of our parishes have been hosting twelve-step programs in their church halls. Since the gradual reopening of state facilities, it is important to know that AA meetings and the like are permitted, even as early as Phase I. They are considered necessary community services. As long a pastor has a good safety plan in place, these meetings may resume. Look for NYS Safety Plan Template with this mailing.
NEW JUDICIAL VICAR His Eminence wishes to announce the appointment of Father Robert J. Hospodar as the new judicial vicar for the archdiocese. He is replacing Redemptorist Father Richard Welch who worked in the metropolitan tribunal for 19 years, eight as judicial vicar. Father Welch was named an official with the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and will be living and working in Rome. Father Hospodar first served the tribunal as defender of the bond dating back to the early 1990s. He is a priest of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersey.
EXECUTIVE HEALTH EXAMS Each of us has been touched by COVID-19 in one way or another. Scientific evidence tells us that this virus more seriously affects individuals who have existing health factors known as COVID-19 co-morbidities (weight, blood pressure, diabetes, lung disease, and kidney disease) and that simple routine prevention can potentially alter the course of COVID-19 should a person have the misfortune of contracting the virus. The evidence is clear – there is a much greater chance of hospitalization and death when these co-morbidities are present. Recently, EHE examined close to 40,000 patient visits in 2019 and were struck by how many fewer co-morbidities were present in repeat EHE Health patients vs. new patients. Preventive health matters now more than ever. Protecting your future begins with understanding your health today. The first step is visiting EHE Health for your comprehensive exam, which is covered by our insurance benefits. Book your exam today at WWW.EHE.HEALTH/PREVENTION or 844- 947-0638.
ANNUAL CONVENTION OF PASTORS Reserve three days during the week of October 19 for this popular gathering of priests who are serving as pastors of parishes. The essentials of the program are still being prepared and will be sent next month.
THE CATHOLIC CENTER After six weeks of remote work from home, the Catholic Center reopened on Monday, July 6, with strict population limitations. A maximum of 250 workers have returned, with only two people per office in staggered teams A and B. Some continue to work from home, especially those at high risk or who need child care. Shifts begin at 7:00, 8:00 and 10:00 AM and the building will close at 6:00 PM. The traditional “half-day Fridays” will run from July 10 through September 4. Call us at 212-371-1000 if you have a need for assistance. The phone in my office is 646-794-2900.
CALIFORNIA PRIEST APOLOGIZES FOR NOT FOLLOWING GUIDELINES A Catholic priest who tested positive for the coronavirus after failing to follow physical distancing guidelines implemented by the Diocese of Sacramento has apologized in letters written to both the parishioners and the community. The church had recently reopened for in-person services, and the pastor and other deacons did not wear masks during Communion, which was required by the diocese. Public Masses at St. Peter Church were suspended shortly thereafter as the church moved to online services. Our people worry about us very much and want us to be safe and healthy. That is probably why so many have been writing and calling to tell us that their priests are not always wearing masks. Remember that although we are enjoying gradual reopening, new cases of the coronavirus are reported every morning. We have been cautioned to always wear a face covering whenever we are within two meters of another person, whether in church, at the office, on the street, at a meeting, in an elevator, at the supermarket, or celebrating the sacraments, including distributing communion and hearing confession. It will help to stop the spread of this virus. The Lone Ranger was never seen without his mask, and neither should we. So, trusty scouts, mask up, wash your hands, keep your distance, get tested and stay healthy.
NYC PROJECT CUPID Since March 20, all offices of the City Clerk NYC Marriage Bureau were closed until further notice. However, couples can now apply for a marriage license online. Executive Order No. 202.20 authorizes the use of videoconferencing technology to enable couples to apply for a marriage license. If you are preparing a couple for marriage in NYC, once it enters Phase II, direct them to visit nyc.gov/cupid to begin the virtual marriage license process.
PHASE IV Today, the five boroughs of New York City, along with the rest of the areas of the state, enter Phase IV. For the first time since the beginning of the reopening plan, all parishes of the archdiocese are together again.
SUMMERTIME Enjoy the summer months and take some well-earned vacation. Whatever it is, enjoy it. The work ethic at the Catholic Center goes on as usual with an occasional lapse for sleep and recreation. Phones will be answered and mail attended to, but the pace will be slower as some continue to work from home and the rest of us appreciate half-day Fridays. We will all be in shape for our usual hectic pace come September.