Salus Infirmorum Monsignor Thomas Bergin, Father Brian Brennan, Monsignor John Brinn, Father Patrick Curley, Monsignor Michael Curran, Father John Figueroa, Father Hugh Grace, Father Bernard Heter, Father Jack Hunter, Father John Kostek, Monsignor George Kuhn, Father Richard LaMorte, Father Thomas Lynch, Father Angelo J. (“AJ”) Micciulla, Monsignor Hugh McManus, Monsignor Thomas Modugno, Father Philip Quealy, Father Richard Seagraves, Monsignor Edward Weber.
Requiescat in Pace Father Joseph Koterski, SJ
XXXVII Convention of Pastors The dates for this annual gathering of pastors and administrators have been announced for October 18-21 at the Breakers’ Hotel in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Two letters of announcement are included. You may reply directly to Monsignor Leslie Ivers at [email protected].
Catechetical Sunday on September 19 On this day, parishes recognize and honor those called by God to serve as catechists. This year’s theme is: “Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed.” Whether in religious education, youth ministry, or adult faith formation, catechists accompany members of our parish community as they encounter Christ and grow in their Catholic faith. Arrange a special liturgy and invite your catechists and staff to join prayer as we honor these generous women and men, who give so much of their time and talent to hand on to others the treasure which they, and we, have received from the Lord. A commissioning of catechists may be found here on the USCCB’s website.
Annual Collection for St. Joseph’s Seminary Please continue, through your prayers and generosity, to support the important work of priestly formation. This year, the annual collection for Saint Joseph’s Seminary will be received on September 26. This collection provides critical funding to support the formation of future priests for the archdiocese. The cost of housing and educating seminarians is an investment for tomorrow, and the participation of the parishes is an invaluable aspect of this endeavor. In order to give a face to this annual collection, the rector is happy to send seminarians to visit parishes to make a personal appeal to the generosity of the parishioners in advance of the collection. If you are available to host a seminarian to speak at your Masses, contact Father Richard Veras at [email protected]. This is the seminary’s 125th year.
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, Mrs. Eileen Mulcahy at 646-794-2949 or [email protected]. Information can also be found on the archdiocesan website www.archny.org. 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 reportar algún incidente de abuso sexual de un menor por un sacerdote, diacono, religioso/a, o laico sirviendo en la Arquidiócesis de Nueva York, se le pide que por favor contacte al coordinador de asistencia a las víctimas, Seňora Eileen Mulcahy al 646-794-2949. Ella también pueden ser contactada vía correo electrónica: [email protected]. Para más información pueden visitar la página en la red de la arquidiócesis: www.archny.org. De acuerdo con las normas de la arquidiócesis sobre el respeto al abuso sexual de menores, esta información se provee para asegurar que nuestros niños permanezcan seguros.”
Parish Restricted School Renovation Account Program (PRSRAP) This program was established in 2017 and created a parish assistance corporation (PAC) account in the name of the parish that is recorded on its financials. It provides for the deposit of a minimum of $40,000 per year into a 4% interest bearing PAC account which is restricted for school capital repairs. Over time, these deposits and interest will provide a reserve fund that will significantly help maintain school buildings. Be aware that these deposits are made near the end of the fiscal year (August 31). Look for it on your next PAC statement. To date, your parish should have received at least $200,000 plus accumulated interest.
Ringing of the Church Bells for September Eleventh Each year since the historic attack upon our country on September 11, 2001, religious leaders have been asked to toll their church bells for approximately 30 seconds to commemorate the time the north tower of the World Trade Center was struck. On Saturday, September Eleventh, at 8:46 AM, please ring your church bells for 30 seconds to remember the 20th anniversary of this national tragedy.
Who Belongs in the Catechumenate (RCIA)? Unbaptized children ages seven through 12 and unbaptized teenagers ages 13 through 17. These children are to be enrolled in the catechumenate process and are to be fully initiated at the Easter Vigil receiving all three sacraments of Christian initiation from a priest. Unbaptized adults ages 18+. These adults are to be enrolled in the catechumenate process and are to be fully initiated at the Easter Vigil receiving all three sacraments of Christian initiation from a priest. Baptized Catholic teenagers and adults who seek preparation for their first holy communion and confirmation. These Catholic teenagers and adults may participate in the catechumenate process and may receive their confirmation and first holy communion during the Easter season from a priest. Baptized Protestant teenagers and adults who seek to become Catholic. These Protestant teenagers and adults may participate in the catechumenate process and are to make their profession of faith, and receive their confirmation and first holy communion anytime of the year from a priest.
Who Does Not Belong in the Catechumenate (RCIA)? Baptized Catholic children ages seven through 12 who seek preparation for first holy communion. They are to prepare through a sacramental program offered by a Catholic school or parish religious education program. Baptized Catholic teenagers and adults who already received their first holy communion and are now seeking the sacrament of confirmation. They are to prepare through a sacramental program offered by a parish or the archdiocese. They are to be confirmed by a bishop.
Bishops and Confirmation The ordinary minister of confirmation is the bishop. Be sure to contact one of the auxiliaries now to reserve a date for 2022. There are more than 200 confirmations scheduled in the archdiocese between Easter and late June. It is very difficult for our bishops to cover this number, even under ideal conditions. Pastors might consider several approaches for scheduling confirmation next year: move the date outside this season; combine with another parish, especially if you have fewer than ten in your class; schedule every other year for a joint class; invite a missionary bishop whose diocese would appreciate the stipend, etc. When scheduling more than one ceremony on a given day, note that the bishop has the option of a ceremony instead of a Mass. If you are intending to invite a bishop from outside the archdiocese to preside at the sacrament of confirmation in your parish, please note that you need to request permission 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.
Desfile Mariano de New York and affiliated associations are once again distributing information inaccurately suggesting that they are affiliated with the archdiocese. Since they are not connected with us, they are not permitted to use our name or trademark or symbols to advertise or announce any activity or ministry. Effective immediately, any parish happenings purportedly associated with these organizations are suspended. We can no longer allow their activities to be held at any parish, school or institution.
Office Holidays On Monday, September 6, the Catholic Center will be closed in commemoration of Labor Day. You may always leave your message in the department’s voice mailbox and it will be returned on the next business day. 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.
Half Day Fridays at the Catholic Center When calling for someone to assist you, we want you to be aware of the custom of closing early at 1:00 PM on the ten Fridays of the summer, from July 2 through September 3. There is always the opportunity to leave a voice mail message which will be returned on the next business day.
Last Will and Testament Each time we call attention to the need for a Last Will and Testament, priests do have one drawn and a copy deposited on file with the office of the vicar for clergy. When doing so, you might consider naming a brother priest as executor. One can only imagine the pain that survivors endure when one of us dies without a Will. A Last Will and Testament is required of all pastors. But it is desirable for all priests.
Have You Applied Unnecessarily for Medicare Part B? It seems that some priests over the age of 65 who are still working have done this and are personally paying for extra coverage but getting no benefit from it. You may know that Part A of Medicare provides subscribers with hospital coverage. Everyone in Medicare has it. Part B of Medicare is optional; it covers office visits to doctors and outpatient care. It is not necessary for our priests who are working and getting paid. Medicare is only the secondary health provider. The government requires that primary providers be billed first. That is our archdiocesan plan, administered by United Healthcare. And experience shows that it pays so much of the bills that nothing is left for Medicare B to make up. Our health care program is like a Cadillac. We should be proud of it. Medicare, by comparison, is like a Chevy. Contact your local social security office and tell them that you do not need Part B coverage at this time. When you stop working and do want Part B, contact them again, about three months in advance.
Priesthood Sunday USA September 26 is the national observance of Priesthood Sunday USA which was inaugurated in 2002. This is the time each year to express appreciation and gratitude to all the priests who have served God’s people. It is a way to allow Catholics to recognize good priests who, day in and day out, do an outstanding job in serving them in parishes across America. The focus is on the place of the priesthood as a central reality in the life of the Church. The shortage of vocations makes priests less visible and, consequently, less prominent. Ask your people to remember their priests and to thank them for what they do to bring the Lord to the faithful through the sacraments. Visit the Serra International website at https://serraus.org/priesthood-sunday/. Also, visit the archdiocesan website, www.nypriest.com.
Columbus Day Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday, October 11 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. You may wish to promote this Mass with your parishioners in your upcoming bulletins. The parade celebrating Italian-American heritage will begin at 11:30.
Prepare/Enrich and Catholic Couple Checkup Premarital/Relationship Assessments The research about the usefulness of premarital relationship inventories (assessments) is unmistakable, and studies continue to be published every year that underscore the value of them for couples in terms of communication, conflict management, intimacy, and so on.
Prepare/Enrich is the inventory/assessment that the archdiocese supports and trains priests and deacons to administer and interpret results. Catholic Couple Checkup is the corresponding inventory tool that parallels P/E. For more about these two inventories, or to register for the next facilitator training, call or email Suzanne Hammill in the family life office at (646) 794-3183 or [email protected]. Information is in this newsletter. Ask Suzanne for a free copy of Helping Couples: Proven Strategies for Coaches, Counselors & Clergy, a 2021 book co-written by the founder of Prepare/Enrich, that includes practical and proven methods, data-driven techniques, and immediately usable strategies to help the couples you prepare for marriage.
Break Fast Father Brian Graebe, pastor of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral is also host of the Break Fast podcast which explores our Catholic faith in a light-hearted, creative, joyful and positive way through the theme of food and drink. There are eight podcasts in total lasting on average 20 minutes each. You can find them at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/break-fast/id1542661316
Opening of Our Catholic Schools On behalf of Michael Deegan, we provide an advance copy of Catholic Schools Are Open: We Continue to Soar! Shortly, this will be sent to parents and external partners via constant contact. For the release of the opening video and plan document, you may visit https://catholicschoolsny.org/opening2021.
Just One More Thing A man went into a confessional booth and discovered a fully equipped bar with beer on tap and a stock of the finest Cuban cigars. When the priest walked in, the man said, “Father, forgive me, it has been a long time since I’ve been to confession, but I must say the confessional box is much more inviting than I remember.” The priest responded, “Get out, you’re on my side.”