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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, Monsignor Hugh Curran, Father Richard Dillon, Father Robert Dunn, Father Patrick Dunne, Father John Fanning, Monsignor John Farley, Monsignor William Foley, Father Hugh Grace, Father Bernard Heter, Father Jack Hunter, Father John Kostek, Father Paul LeBlanc, Father Thomas Lutz, Father Thomas Lynch, Father Joseph McAndrew, Monsignor Robert McCabe, Monsignor Edward McCorry, Monsignor John Meehan, Father Angelo J. (“AJ”) Micciulla, Father Joachim Olendzki, Father James O’Shaughnessy, Father Philip Quealy, Monsignor Edward Weber.

Requiescat in Pace   Monsignor Peter G. Finn, Father James E. Goode, OFM, Shirley Jean Dolan.

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, we announced that 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 to you from the communications office.

Mass of the Chrism   Each year during Holy Week, we have the privilege to gather with our archbishop to celebrate the Mass of the Chrism.  It will take place on Tuesday, April 12 at 4:00 St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  At this liturgy, His Eminence will bless the Holy Oils used in the celebration of the sacraments throughout the archdiocese and the priests will renew their commitment to clerical service.  The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration beginning at 1:30; there will be an opportunity for confessions from 2:30 to 3:30. At the conclusion of Mass and at the direction of the rector of the seminary and the rector of 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.

Distribution of Holy Oils   At St. Patrick’s Cathedral, six-ounce bottles of holy oils will be prepared and distributed by the seminarians to clergy at the conclusion of the Chrism Mass. Old oils will not be accepted at the cathedral; these may be buried at the parish or burned in the new fire at the Easter Vigil. For those parishes who will not be sending representatives to the Chrism Mass, holy oils will be available at the parishes of the area deans on Thursday, April 14. Pastors who wish to receive oils locally must reserve them ahead of time by contacting their dean. Oils will be available only for those parishes who have reserved them beforehand. Holy oils will not be distributed at Dunwoodie. Parishes who are in need of additional oils later in the year are asked to please contact the liturgy office.

Joint Perpetual Care Fund (JPCF) was established in 1979 to provide participating archdiocesan parish cemeteries the benefits of professional asset management, oversight by an outside investment consultant, lower management fees, and strong investment performance.  We now have 36 of the 68 archdiocesan parish cemeteries participating in the JPCF (which represents 90% of all parishes’ perpetual care funds).  Would you consider investing your cemetery perpetual care funds in the archdiocesan Joint Perpetual Care Fund (JPCF)?  It is recommended that you do, especially for the ease of administration, direct monthly distributions and superior investment returns.  You may wish to contact Scott Snyder, director of investment management at [email protected] or (646-794-3045) or speak with your parish associate director of finance.

Catholic Telephone Guide   For more than 80 years, the Catholic Telephone Guide has served the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut tristate area as the only complete and up to date directory of churches, schools, hospitals and thousands of other Catholic organizations.  Most of the listings change from year to year.  Be sure to keep the information current and accurate by submitting your revisions by the mid-June deadline using the form and the self-addressed envelope that churches and schools received during this month of March.

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.  Lunch will be available at noon for those who wish; let us know at the time of your registration. The day will begin with a welcome from His Eminence, exposition, reflections, confession and benediction.  Departure will be at 4:00. To reserve a place write to [email protected].

Patronal Feast of His Holiness, Pope Francis   Saturday, April 23 marks the optional memorial of St. George and the name day of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.  Prayers for the Holy Father may be offered at Mass and within the Liturgy of the Hours.

Days of Prayer in the Church   Add these dates to your parish calendar:

  • January 1: World Day of Peace
  • January 18-25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • January 22: Legal Protection of Unborn Babies
  • Third Sunday of the Church Year: Sunday of the Word of God
  • Sunday Following February 2: World Day for Consecrated Life
  • February 8: World Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking
  • February 11: World Day of the Sick
  • May 24: World Day of Prayer for the Church in China
  • Fourth Sunday of Easter: World Day of Prayer for Vocations
  • Seventh Sunday of Easter: World Communications Day
  • Solemnity of the Sacred Heart: World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests
  • September 1: World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
  • Third Sunday of September: Catechetical Sunday
  • Last Sunday of September: World Day of Migrants and Refugees
  • Penultimate Sunday of October: World Mission Sunday
  • Thirtieth Sunday of the Church Year: World Youth Day
  • Thirty-Third Sunday of the Church Year: World Day of the Poor

Office Holidays   On Holy Thursday, April 14, the Catholic Center will close at 1:00 pm; and on Good Friday, April 15 and Easter Monday, April 18, it will also be closed all day.  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.

Parish Counseling Network   Parishioners have access to short term professional counseling at convenient locations throughout the archdiocese through a Parish Counseling Network developed by Catholic Charities.  The network offers more than 100 licensed counseling professionals to help parishioners through issues and crises that can be successfully addressed by brief counseling support such as marital problems, raising children, eldercare, job loss or bereavement.  Working from private offices, counselors are experienced with an array of difficulties and a diverse clientele.  Many of the practitioners are bi-lingual in Spanish and English.  Referrals to network counseling services can be made by pastors by calling Laura, Debbie or Pat at 866.962.7487.  Parishioners are eligible for a maximum of six counseling sessions.  The fee for each session is a $10 co-pay.  The network will help pastors secure the most effective and appropriate care for their parishioners.  Contact Laura Brovich LMSW, Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan; 845.294.5124; [email protected].

Solemnity of the Annunciation   While Fridays in Lent are normally days of abstinence from meat for Catholics, canon law provides an exception for solemnities that fall on a Friday, as the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord does this year. Therefore, Catholics are not obligated to maintain the usual Lenten abstinence on Friday, March 25.  As canon 1251 notes, “Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.”  That being said, it is good to remember that abstinence on Fridays is not just a Lenten practice.  Back in the 1960s, the requirement of abstaining specifically from meat was lifted, except during Lent, when the penitential practice of abstaining specifically from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent remains to this day.  Those of proper age and circumstance are still obliged to abstain from something equivalent, or to do a specific act of charity as approved by our local bishops’ conference.  In order to maintain the solemn spirit of this holy season, it would be most appropriate to choose another day during the third week of Lent to abstain from meat as part of the Lenten observances; or to creatively make a gift to one of our food pantries or soup kitchens to be sure that the poor will eat; or to offer a decade of the rosary for some particular intention.

Parish RCIA Coordinators   Kindly send the total number of baptized RCIA candidates who will be completing their sacraments of initiation this Easter to Oscar Cruz, director of the catechumenate.  Obviously, this information is important to us as we review the current process of initiation.   His email is [email protected].

Compensation for Religious   Each year at this time we publish the new stipends for religious men and women working in the archdiocese.  This year, in consideration of the effects of the child victims act and the coronavirus pandemic upon the Church in New York, it will remain the same as the current benefit.  Although disappointing, we will visit this again next year.

Just One More Thing   A Christian guy named Bill saw an ad online for a Christian horse, so he went to check it out. The horse’s owner said, “It’s easy to ride him. Just say ‘Praise the Lord!’ to make him go and ‘Amen!’ to make him stop.” Bill got on the horse and said, “Praise the Lord!” Sure enough, the horse started to walk. “Praise the Lord!” he said again, and the horse began to trot. “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” he yelled, and the horse broke into a gallop. Bill was enjoying his ride so much that he almost didn’t notice the cliff he and the horse were about to go over. Bill shouted “AMEN!” at the top of his lungs, and the horse stopped right at the edge of the cliff. Relieved, Bill said, “Phew! Praise the Lord!”