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Some Things to Know

Salus Infirmorum   Father Brian Brennan, Monsignor John Brinn, Father Harry Burke, Father Steven Clark, Father Patrick Curley, Father Thomas Curley, Father Richard Dillon, Father Patrick Dunne, Monsignor John Farley, Monsignor Peter Finn, Monsignor William Foley, Father Hugh Grace, Father Bernard Heter, Father Jack Hunter, Father John Kostek, Father Angelo J. (“AJ”) Micciulla, Father Thomas Lynch, Father Joseph McAndrew, Monsignor Robert McCabe, Monsignor Edward McCorry, Monsignor John Meehan, Father Joachim Olendzki, Father James O’Shaughnessy, Father Philip Quealy, Monsignor Edward Weber.

Requiescat in Pace   Father Arthur Welton.

Consecration of the New Auxiliary Bishops   Fathers John Bonnici and Joseph Espaillat will receive their Episcopal consecration on Tuesday, March 1 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 2:00 pm.  Congratulations, and ad multos annos.  Information about vesting and the schedule was sent all last week.  Use the link on the invitation to confirm your attendance.

Who May Receive Ashes   We have long understood that baptized individuals who have reached the age of reason, and catechumens may receive ashes.  Babies and young children who have not yet made their first confession need not be presented to receive ashes which are intended for those who are capable of personal sin.  However, we have all encountered parents who often bring up small children, from babies in arms, to toddlers, to five-year olds, and want them to receive ashes.  Is it appropriate, given that the children might have no understanding of what is involved?  The rules regarding imposition of ashes do not seem to put any particular limitation as to who may receive them.  Although it is clear that young children have no need to repent nor to do penance, there is no reason to refuse to impose ashes if their parents present them.  It can serve as a means of forming them in Catholic traditions just as they will teach them to make the sign of the cross and will bring them to Mass several years before their first Holy Communion.  Numerous irregularly practicing Catholics request the imposition of ashes.  There is no good reason to refuse anyone, and indeed, this gesture might light a spark of repentance.  The best practice:  simply trust the good faith of those requesting the imposition of ashes and do not worry about their motivation.

Lenten Guidelines 2022   Earlier this month, these guidelines were sent to each priest for distribution among the people.  Be sure to include them in the parish bulletin.  All other Lenten events may be scheduled as usual.  These would include the rite of election, stations of the cross, passion plays, fish fries and soup suppers, as long as the indoor capacity levels of no more than 250 people are met.

Forty Days for Life   This life-saving prayer campaign will take place again throughout the archdiocese from March 2 through April 10.  It consists of forty days of prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil at abortion facilities.  It is proven to work.  When prolife people show up outside clinics, the ‘no-show’ rate goes up to almost 75%.  Many abortion-minded women have left facilities and chosen life during Forty Days for Life thanks to parishioners witnessing outside the clinics and services provided by the Sisters of Life and our pregnancy centers.  For more information, visit

St. Patrick’s Day Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, March 17 at 8:30 and reflects the pride we have and the glory we give to the patron saint of the Archdiocese of New York. You may wish to promote this Mass with your parishioners in your upcoming parish bulletins.  The viewing of the parade will begin at 11:00 am.  The Catholic Center offices will be closed for the holy day.

Lenten Reconciliation Monday   Observed on the Monday of Holy Week each year since 2011 with the dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, mark your calendar for April 11.  After the experimentation of splitting up the times during Advent, the times for Lent will be 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 6:00 to 9:00 pm in all the parishes from the east end of Long Island to the Catskills.  Promotional material will be available as we get closer to the date.

Mass of the Chrism   Our eyes these days before Ash Wednesday are already on Holy Week.  An important event is our Mass of the Chrism, this year on Tuesday, April 12 at the cathedral at 4:00 pm.  At the conclusion of Mass and at the direction of the rectors of the seminary and the cathedral, six-ounce bottles of the holy oils prepared by the seminarians will be distributed.  Holy oils from previous years will not be accepted for disposal; these may be buried in a dedicated place at the parish or burned in the new fire at the Easter Vigil.  Recalling an earlier tradition, following the Mass, His Eminence would like to invite the priests to his residence for an open house reception before going out to dinner with class or priest friends with cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres and a buffet station from 5:30 to 7:00.  You may consider inviting a first time attendee or International priest to go out to dinner with you.

Lenten Day of Recollection for Priests will be held on Thursday, March 31 at 1:00 pm at Dunwoodie led by Auxiliary Bishops John Bonnici and Joseph Espaillat.  Before the quarantine, we introduced this format in response to suggestions that a morning start often conflicts with funerals in parishes.  The day will begin with exposition, reflections, confession and benediction.  Lunch will be available for those who request it beforehand.  More information will be forthcoming.

Faculty to Confirm   The Code of Canon Law gives priests the faculty to confirm when they baptize an adult or child of catechetical age (seven or older) and when they receive a validly baptized adult or child of catechetical age into full communion with the Church (c. 833). However, by law, a priest does not possess the faculty to confirm baptized Catholics who were never catechized or practicing Catholics who have not yet been confirmed.  Nevertheless, for the spiritual good of God’s people, the cardinal archbishop grants the faculty to confirm such baptized Catholics to pastors, administrators and any priest specifically subdelegated by a pastor or administrator in individual cases (c. 137 §3) as long as these conditions are met:  only baptized Catholics who have fully participated in the process and catechesis of the 1988 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or its equivalent may be confirmed; confirmation of baptized Catholics may only be celebrated within a Eucharistic liturgy which takes place from the Easter Vigil through and including Pentecost Sunday; if either of these conditions is not met, then the faculty to confirm must be specifically requested from the vicar general.  Since questions of validity may arise when the sacrament of Confirmation is administered by a priest (c. 882), a notation should be made in the confirmation registry of the parish that the faculty to confirm under the above-listed conditions is expressly delegated, i.e., “delegatus.

Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal   Like income tax time, the $21 million CASA comes around quickly.  Each year, all of the 288 parishes join together as one family to support the many spiritual, educational, pastoral and charitable services which are offered to the sick, the needy, disabled, aged and homeless.  The primary ingredient for success with the appeal is when the pastor and priests stand behind it.  It boils down to your leadership and enthusiasm.  Although it is an additional duty for you, most of the work is done by the development office with the preparation of scripts, bulletin articles, altar announcements and petitions for the universal prayer.  The pastor just needs to be a partner and deliver the message.  When your campaign manager calls upon you, please welcome him or her warmly.  Remember that when a parish reaches goal, it is a great victory to the parishioners.  And there is a financial incentive to all who go over goal.  So, let’s all team up and work for a successful appeal.  Additional material is available at this excellent parish resources page.  You may also access it at  Here is where you may get bulletin inserts, supporting material, messaging, a form to request supplies and promotional material and to update contact information.

National Eucharistic Revival: My Flesh for the life of the World   The USCCB committee on evangelization and catechesis has proposed a Eucharistic revival, which is a three-year grassroots focus and celebration of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  The revival begins on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 19, 2022 with a Eucharistic procession in all the cathedrals throughout the United States and in our parishes. The first year of the revival will take place at the diocesan level; the second year at the parish level; and the third year will culminate with a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis on July 17-21, 2024.  After the congress, we will continue to focus on this through outreach and preaching about the Eucharist. Be sure to review the resources on the National Eucharistic Revival website Specifically, there is a video-based course created by Bishop Andrew Cozzens, The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church, that is educational and helpful to view as we prepare for the catechesis related to the revival. More resources will be added to that website as they become available.

Neo-Catechumenate Visitors   Some of our prudently cautious priests have written in for direction as to a proper response when young men identifying themselves as “seminarians for the Neocatechumenal Way” show up unexpectedly at their door asking for lodging.  It is their custom to send out these seminarians for a missionary experience – like the early disciples.  They bring nothing with them and depend on the kindness of strangers.  Our response has been that, while we have appreciation for the work of the Way, we can no longer, sadly, house young men in our rectories unless we have proper notification and documentation from legitimate superiors.  The inability of the priest to welcome these men is not to be interpreted as a lack of the biblical virtue of hospitality, but as a necessary adherence to safe environment guidelines.

Cyber and IT Security Protection Survey and Requirements   Since the archdiocese has been informed that our insurance coverage will be terminated if our locations do not implement greater cyber security measures, a survey of the existing cyber controls is being conducted to determine which, if any, enhanced security measures need to be implemented.  Click here to complete the cyber security survey for your parish and parish school, if applicable, by Monday, March 15, 2022.  Contact your associate director of finance if you need assistance in completing the survey or with any questions you may have.

Office Holidays   On Monday, February 21, the Catholic Center will be closed in observance of Presidents’ Day.  On St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17, it will be closed to honor the patron of this archdiocese.  On Holy Thursday, April 15, it will close at 1:00 pm; and on Good Friday, April 16 and Easter Monday, April 18, it will also be closed.  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.

2021 Income Taxes for Priests Only   Institutional Commodity Services (ICS) is again offering at a discount the latest version of Scott Hoselton’s familiar manual, 2021 Income Taxes for Priests Only.  Again this year, there are several new changes in tax law.  This manual will continue to help you or your accountant sort out how to report federal stimulus payments, paycheck protection program loans, COVID-19 sick leave and above-the-line charitable deductions for those who do not itemize.  As you know, priests are subject to special income tax rules.  Information on how to order is included in this mailing.  You can order online here or call the ICS customer care team at 646-794-2600.

Dynamic Catholic   Invite your parishioners to sign up for Best Lent Ever.  This is a service from Matthew Kelly and it features daily video reflections on the season.  He explains how Lent is not about what you give up; it is about who you become.  For more information, contact 859.980.7900 or [email protected].

Synod 21-23   Several deaneries have already scheduled their listening sessions during Lent. You are encouraged to learn about the synodal plan and the work that needs to be done so that we may enjoy a successful process. We do need full support and participation from all of our priests.  Refer again to the memo from the vicar general sent on February 8 which also included a flier and social media graphics.  Use these communications to get the word out to your parishioners. We recently finalized several pages on our Synod 2021 – 2023 website. Click on the Resources tab to find our comprehensive Guide for Listening Sessions booklet which outlines what is needed from the main facilitator, the small group facilitators, and the overall suggested schedule for the listening sessions. In addition, the questions that we will be discussing at the listening sessions are also posted online. We will also post the individual day, time, and location for each listening session very soon on this page.

501(c)3 Group Tax Exemption Ruling   At the beginning of each fiscal year in the fall, each pastor received a copy of the 2020 group ruling letter issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirming that organizations listed in the 2021 edition of The Official Catholic Directory are recognized as exempt under section 501(c) of the tax code.  Kindly share the memo and documents with your parish bookkeeper and accountant.

Spring Priest Retreat Opportunity at Immaculate Conception Retreat Center, Huntington   With COVID-19 cases going down, we have decided to move ahead with our spring priest retreat which is open to all three dioceses.  It will be held from April 25-29.  The retreat master will be Monsignor Charles Fink.  Registration cost is $400.  To register, visit the link at  For information contact Rosemary Sullivan at 631-423-0483, ext. 184 or

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 parish office.

Are Churches Exempt from Copyright Laws?   Parishes are reminded to respect all copyrights when reproducing Mass texts, scripture readings and music.  A guide to copyrights and licensing may be found here.

NYPD Police Officer Exam Good morning, my name is Lt. Tiffany Reid of the Recruitment Section in the NYPD. I wanted to remind you of the upcoming NYPD Police Officer Exam. The filing period will take place February 3rd– March 11th. Please help us spread the word. I have attached our flyer that we are distributing. If you need hard copies, I can have a member of my team deliver them to you for your congregation. Also, if you have any upcoming events you would like us to attend, you can either email me at [email protected]  or call me at 718-312-6097. Thank you so much for everything. Be safe and God bless. 

Flocknote Communications   As you know, we held an archdiocese-wide Flocknote Sign Up Sunday in December. We provide Flocknote to parishes at no charge so that you may communicate with your communities through email and text. It is important to be able to quickly communicate when there may be timely and urgent information to share (weather related or any unpredictable continuation of the pandemic).  If you were not able to participate in our Sunday Sign Up, you can activate your network at any time throughout the year. See the below flyers about Flocknote for more information. If you need help or if you would like information about a graphic to include in your parish bulletin, feel free to email [email protected].  There are times when His Eminence will communicate with those who have elected to receive our emails about the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal campaign through “Luminate.” We at the archdiocese do not communicate directly to your communities for fundraising purposes through Flocknote.  However, you can elect to use Flocknote if you wish to communicate with your parishioners about the work that is supported by the Appeal. Contact your campaign manager to learn more about how Flocknote can be tailored to the message you would like to send. We will soon have a library of optional templates for your use that will be automatically uploaded into Flocknote and available to all parishes.

Just One More Thing   A cab driver reaches the Pearly Gates and announces his presence to St. Peter, who looks him up in the big book.  Upon reading the entry, he invites him to grab a silk robe and a golden staff and to proceed into heaven.  A preacher is next in line and has been watching with great interest.  He announces himself to St. Peter.  Upon scanning the preacher’s entry in the big book, St. Peter furrows his brow and says, “Okay, we will let you in, but you will have only a cotton robe and a wooden staff.”  The preacher replies, “I am a man of the cloth.  You gave that driver a gold staff and a silk robe.  Surely, I rate higher than he.”  Matter-of-factly, St. Peter responded, “Up here, we are interested in results.  When you preached, people slept.  When the cabby drove, people prayed!