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Some Things to Know

Salus Infirmorum   Father Brian Brennan, Father Harry Burke, Father Steven Clark, Father Patrick Curley, Father Richard Dillon, Monsignor John Farley, Monsignor Peter Finn, Father Hugh Grace, Father Bernard Heter, Father Jack Hunter, Monsignor George Kuhn, Father Richard LaMorte, Father Thomas Lynch, Father Joseph McAndrew, Monsignor Edward McCorry, Father Angelo J. (“AJ”) Micciulla, Monsignor Thomas Modugno, Father James O’Shaughnessy, Father Philip Quealy, Father John B. Sullivan, Monsignor Edward Weber.

Requiescat in Pace   Monsignor Robert Larkin, Father Robert Panek.

LiveOnNY   November has been designated as National Donor Sabbath by the organization LiveOnNY, the federally designated organ procurement organization for New York City, and is dedicated to elevating the power of faith-based communities to bring hope to those waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Here in New York, there are nearly 10,000 children and adults on the organ transplant waiting list. Being a registered organ donor gives us the opportunity to provide our vulnerable brothers and sisters with a second chance at life.  Some of them are our own brothers in the priesthood. Thanks to LiveOnNY, the organization that oversees organ donation in the greater-New York area, for reminding us about how precious life is and how we can help extend that preciousness to others.  More information is enclosed.

Days of Recollection for Priests   Since all of the priests are attending one of the three retreats at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, the Advent day of recollection will not be held this year.  The date for the Lenten day of recollection at Dunwoodie will be Thursday, March 24, 2022 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

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.

Flocknote   As you know, we are holding an archdiocese-wide Flocknote Sunday Sign Up on December 5.  Take a look at the flyer on how to get started.  We are hoping for full participation. If you have questions or need assistance, contact [email protected].

Synod of Bishops on Synodality   As you may have seen, our Holy Father has elongated the timeline for the synodal process. We are finalizing the overall plan for our archdiocese with the core committee. This extension of the deadline will allow for more time for prayer and listening, especially from those in our communities whom we may not always seek out or hear. The core committee is planning an initial orientation meeting on December 9 with deans, and more information will be forthcoming to you shortly after that. Our hope is that by January you will be communicating with your parishioners about this important process.   

Flowers for Holy Week   Although Palm Sunday is a full five months away, think now about your palm needs and order from ICS as soon as you can.  Whenever we band with ICS, the savings are great.  Collectively, the parishes of the archdiocese are a huge customer. Almost more important than the price is the guaranteed timely delivery. When the ICS order reaches one million palm strips, (a very reasonable number, actually) it qualifies for priority shipping from the producer in Alamo, Texas. This means that all the palm comes in a single dedicated refrigerated shipment. Fresh palms are delivered to our parishes. Don’t delay. See the ICS info in this mailing and order before Advent commands your attention. 

Guidelines for the Monthly Combined Mailing Packet   This is a monthly service of the office of the vicar general which provides a brief summary of relevant and timely information from various archdiocesan offices and is sent via Flocknote at midday on the third Monday.  Submission of material should be submitted to Dorothy Francke on the first Monday of each month by noon.  It has been used effectively for any years, first by USPS mail, and now, electronically.  Apart from exceptional circumstances, a notice cannot be placed in the mailing after the submission date because the marketing office needs time to put it together.  Keep your notices brief and to the point.  In some cases, bulletin entries may be edited or shortened.

Announcements Mailbox Twice a Week   Back in the fall of 2008, the archdiocese implemented an email system to share information more rapidly and efficiently with its priests.  For the past few years, these transmissions have been on Tuesday and Friday, except for emergencies.  Remember that we strictly monitor who has access so that you will not be deluged with mail from the various departments of the Catholic Center.  Their primary means of communication is the combined mailing mentioned above.  If a priest or deacon would like to receive this official email from the Announcements Mailbox to his personal address, he should contact the data center at [email protected] or call 646-794-3380.  This will ensure that you receive important information from the chancery without interruption.

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 prior to the beginning of the funeral Mass, before the collect 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.

Changes in the Office of Priest Personnel   Provide this information to all the priests in your rectory, including externs, along with the person responsible for administering payroll and benefits for the priests in your parish/institution.

  • Mary Collins has assumed new responsibilities in the benefits office and will continue to handle priests’ benefits [[email protected], 646-794-3066];
  • Evelyn Carrasquillo, who speaks English and Spanish will be responsible for ordinary priest personnel matters [[email protected], 646-794-2934];
  • Theresa Janson continues in the office of international priests and will handle all visa/immigration issues [[email protected], 914-367-8120];
  • Dawn Gonzalez works in both priest personnel and the office of the permanent diaconate and will also handle immigration issues, faculties and deacon matters [[email protected], 914-367-8270, 914-374-4958 (mobile)].

The Kenedy Official Catholic Directory (OCD)   Each pastor should have received correspondence from the OCD either by email or letter requesting revisions for the 2022 edition of The Official Catholic Directory.  The deadline for updates is 5:00 next Monday, November 22.  Once the portal is closed and locked, no more changes can be made.  Visit to review and update your organization’s information.  If you have not received this, contact Dorothy at [email protected] or (646) 794-2908.

National Collections for 2022   In case you missed this when it was sent in June, included with this mailing is another copy of the chart for next year’s national collections.  Communicate this to your secretary and enter the dates into the parish calendar.  We Share and envelope companies have already been notified.

New York Life Foundation   During the month of November, when we remember our beloved dead and the effect that loss has on the living, we share with you this link to New York Life Foundation’s Bereavement Resources which is at the heart of its mission. The foundation offers free, dedicated online grief material with articles, expert tips, personal stories and local resources for families, educators and community members.  See how their outreach is impacting people across the country.

Office Holidays   The Catholic Center will be closed at 1:00 on Wednesday, November 24 and all day on November 25 and 26 in commemoration of Thanksgiving; and on Wednesday, December 8 for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.  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.

Eucharistic Forum Video Link   Last week’s forum on Eucharistic Revitalization at Dunwoodie, sponsored by the presbyteral council was recorded and is available to all priests who may wish to watch it again or see it for the first time.  The excellent presenters were Father Joseph Lienhard, SJ; Father Herald Brock, CFR; and Charles Camosy, PhD.  To access it, click here.

The 49th Annual March for Life is scheduled for Friday, January 21, 2022 on the National Mall in Washington, DC between the Washington Monument and 12th Street. The pre-rally concert will begin at 11:00 followed by the rally at noon. The march begins immediately following the rally at approximately 1:00 and ends in front of the US Supreme Court.  As he has done in the past, His Eminence will offer Mass at St. Patrick Church on Tenth Street at 10:30 am before the opening rally.

Reconciliation Monday Dates   This year for Advent Reconciliation Monday, which will be held on December 20, 2021, it was suggested that it might be effective to offer a daytime option for confession.  After consultation, all parishes will make the sacrament available from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and 6:00 to 8:00 pm in all the parishes of the archdiocese and the Diocese of Brooklyn.  Lenten Reconciliation Monday will be observed on April 11, 2022 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.

Status Animarum   We will be grateful to receive your statistics by next Monday, November 22, 2021. For assistance,  contact Fred Scialabba at 646-794-3405 (office) or 347-387-2638 (mobile); or email [email protected].

Building Maintenance and Winter Preparation   With the cold weather soon approaching, it is always helpful to ensure that all necessary and preparatory steps have been taken to protect parish buildings and property from the elements.  In the past, the archdiocese experienced over $12 million in property losses, a significant amount of which was the result of weather-related damages.  Now is the time to work closely with your maintenance manager before winter sets in to get your property and buildings in shape to avoid an emergency situation.

Bishops for Confirmation   As you prepare for the 2022 confirmation season, know that each auxiliary 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 Edmund Whalen is in Episcopal Region I (Manhattan) with residence at St. Stephen the Martyr Rectory.
  • Bishop Peter Byrne is pastor of St. Anselm, Bronx.  His area is Episcopal Region II (Bronx, Lower Westchester).
  • Bishop-emeritus John O’Hara is in residence at St. Agnes, Manhattan and St. Charles, Staten Island and concentrates on Episcopal Region III (Staten Island).
  • Bishop-emeritus Gerald Walsh lives at the O’Connor Pavilion of the St. John Vianney Clergy Residence and has Episcopal Region IV (Rockland and Upper Westchester).
  • Bishop Gerardo Colacicco lives at Holy Cross in South Centerville and is covering Episcopal Region V in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Orange, Putnam).
  • Bishop-emeritus Dominick Lagonegro is living in Newburgh and Bishop-emeritus Josu Iriondo resides at Our Lady of Esperanza in North Manhattan and are also available to confirm.  Bishop-emeritus Jenik is fully retired and living at the Egan Pavilion at the St. John Vianney Clergy 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.

Transitional Deacons Ordained   Two students at St. Joseph’s Seminary were ordained to the transitional diaconate November 6 by Bishop John Barres. They are expected to be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rockville Centre in the spring:  the Reverend Messrs. Christopher Heller and Stephen Rooney.  May Christ the Good Shepherd continue to accompany, bless guide and shape their hearts after His Sacred Heart with great pastoral zeal in the service of the Church.

Four Essential Estate Planning Documents   You do not have to be an expert to create a successful estate plan.  The department of development can help priests to use their estate plans to further the work of the Church.

  • Last Will and Testament and/or Trust:  controls how your assets, such as money and property are distributed after your lifetime.  Without a will, the state of New York decides what happens to your assets.  Trusts allow you to make special arrangements for the management of your assets for yourself and others, such as sheltering assets, benefiting heirs or your favorite non-profits.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances:  names a person who will have the legal right to handle financial matters on your behalf if you ae unable to do so.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for health Care: also known as a health care proxy, this document addresses all medical treatment.  It names one or more individuals you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
  • Advanced Directives document your wishes regarding life-sustaining care.

Contact the planned giving team at [email protected] or call 646-794-3317.

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.

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.

Pray for Dobbs   We continue to invite you to pray and fast for the upcoming Supreme Court case Dobbs v Jackson on the 22nd of each month for the next nine months as part of a nationwide campaign.  For information about how your parish can get involved, click here.

Just One More Thing   One day a pastor and his associate took a visitor fishing on a boat.  Once in the middle of the lake, the pastor said, “I seem to have forgotten my fishing pole; I’ll be right back.”  To the visitor’s amazement, he stepped out of the boat and walked on top of the water towards the shore.  When he had returned, the associate said, “I need to use the restroom; I’ll be right back.”  Again, the visitor watched in amazement. Once the associate returned, not wanting to be outdone, the visitor said, “I need to use the restroom, too.”  As soon as he stepped out of the boat, he sank.  The pastor nudged his associate and said, “We should have told him where the rocks were.”