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Some Things to Know

Salus Infirmorum   Father Harry Burke, Monsignor Patrick Carney, Father Edwin Cipot, Monsignor Charles Coen, Father John Fanning, Monsignor John Farley, Monsignor William Foley, Monsignor Robert McCabe, Father Edward O’Neill, Monsignor John B. Sullivan, Father Philip Quealy, Monsignor Desmond Vella, Monsignor Edward Weber

Requiescant in Pace   Monsignor Walter J. Niebrzydowski, Monsignor Kenneth Smith, Monsignor Joseph J. Zammit

Required Announcement on the Protection of Children   The Archdiocese of New York is committed to doing all that it 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, have it correctly translated and send a copy of your bulletin with these translations to the office of the vicar general. Additionally, publish this announcement every May, September, and January.  It is included in the Initiatives section of this combined mailing.

Defined Contribution 403(b) Plan    Priests born after 1949 who are active participants in this retirement plan are invited to participate in one of two presentations given by Mutual of America Financial Group to offer clarification and answer questions.  This was conducted on August 16 at St. Joseph’s Seminary and will be repeated on Thursday, September 14 at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan.  An informational flier is included in the Initiatives section of this combined mailing.  Anyone interested in attending is asked to contact Dorene Conlon at 646-794-3062 or [email protected].  When replying by email, include name, session date and whether you will be attending in person or virtually.  Remember that on the third Wednesday of each month, a representative from MOA is at the Catholic Center.

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 Monday, September Eleventh, at 8:46 AM, ring your church bells for 30 seconds to remember the 22nd anniversary of this national tragedy.

xxxviii Annual Convention of Pastors 2023   Reserve four days during the week of October 2 for this popular gathering of priests who are serving as pastors of parishes.  It will be conducted again at the Breakers Hotel in Spring Lake, New Jersey.  The essentials of the program are still being prepared and will be sent in early September.

Pastores Dabo Vobis Video Conference XX with Cardinal Dolan   His Eminence is offering another opportunity for us to gather with him before he leaves for the synod in Rome.  The date is Thursday, September 21 at 1:00.  In anticipation, you may wish to email a question or topic for the cardinal to address.  Mail to [email protected].  On the day of the conference, you will be able to send a text message to 917.576.0930 in real time.  A replay recording link will be provided for those who are not able to participate.

Half Day Fridays at the Catholic Center   When contacting one of the departments for someone to help you with an important matter, be aware of the custom of closing early at 1:00 pm on the ten Fridays of the summer, from June 30 through September 1.  The general number at the Catholic Center is 212-371-1000; the phone at the vicar general’s office is 646-794-2900.  On Monday, September 4, the Catholic Center will be closed for the observance of Labor Day.  You may always leave your message in the voice mailbox, and it will be returned on the next business day.  To reach the chancellery after hours and on weekends, call Community Answering Service at 877-582-2996.  Add this number as “Chancellery Emergency” to the list of contacts in your mobile telephone.

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 these names from you by Friday, July 28.  In case you misplaced it, one is included in this monthly mailing; or you may call Dorothy (646-794-2908) for another copy.  Help us as we try to comply 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 the vicar general.  You may file it in the parish corporate minutes’ book.  A copy will be retained in the chancellery files.

Catechetical Sunday on XXIV Sunday per Annum   On September 17, parishes recognize and honor those called by God to serve as catechists. This year’s theme is: “Come to Me All You Who Labor and are Burdened Matthew 11:28.”  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.

Upcoming National Collections   The collection for St. Joseph’s Seminary will be September 24.

Priesthood Sunday USA   September 24 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 web site at  Also, visit the archdiocesan web site,

Blessings In Lieu of Holy Communion?   What exactly is the policy of the Church regarding the blessing of non-communicants at Mass?  The beginning of this custom is a bit hard to pin down.  Some priests encourage it, especially at the time of a wedding or funeral; and there are many good reasons why others do not follow this trend.  For more, read an opinion which is included in the Updates section of this combined mailing.

XLVI Columbus Day Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday, October 9 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. Admission is free, but tickets are required to enter the cathedral until 9:15 at which point it becomes general admission.

Man Up New York   The office of adult faith formation will be hosting its biennial men’s conference, Man Up New York on October 7 at Iona University in New Rochelle. Now is the time to get involved.   Spread the word and encourage men at your parish to attend.  The sacrament of reconciliation will be made available to the attendees from noon to 2:00. Would you join us in offering the gift of God’s mercy to these men? If so, please let our adult faith formation office know?  If you can help, and we hope you can, call 646-794-2581 or email [email protected].

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 are encouraged to discuss these vacancies with their constituencies.  Areas open for election or reelection are Bronx West, Dutchess/Putnam, Orange, Rockland, and the Executive Officers (two years).

Family Day:  Making Everyday 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 25, 2023.  To learn more or to join parents all across America in taking the Family Day STAR pledge, visit  You may also find family day on Facebook and Twitter.  A Parent Toolkit is included.

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 24.  Resource material is available from the family life office.

Parish Restricted School Renovation Account Program (PRSRA)   This program was established by Cardinal Dolan in 2017 to assist parishes who host a regional school to fund repairs and maintenance of their buildings and has provided significant financial help to parishes that are not in a strong financial position to help fund the cost of substantial capital repairs to their school buildings. It created a parish assistance corporation (PAC) account in the name of the parish that is recorded on its financials and allows them to use the collateral of the deposit balance to borrow from the PAC at an interest rate of 5%.  The deposit account funds are used to make the quarterly payments towards the loan, while the remaining account balance continues to receive interest income of 4%.  The 1% difference covers the cost of administering the program.  It is funded using rental income received from Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) classrooms and provides for the deposit of a minimum of $40,000 per year 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 $280,000 plus accumulated interest.

Financial Report on the Services of the Archdiocese of New York FY 2022   Every year since 2010, Cardinal Dolan presents a comprehensive financial analysis of the central services of our Church which provides insight into the variety and depth of our efforts to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of our people.  It is included in the Updates section of this combined mailing.

Who Belongs in the Catechumenate (RCIA)?   Things to know as the initiation season begins:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)?

  • They are to prepare through a sacramental program offered by a Catholic school or parish religious education program.
  • They are to prepare through a sacramental program offered by a parish or the archdiocese. They are to be confirmed by a bishop.

Marian Parade | Desfile Mariano de New York    Pastors are again being solicited and it has become necessary to inform the people of our parishes about these misleading organizations.  See the current advisory in the Updates section of the combined mailing. 

Annual Collection for St. Joseph’s Seminary   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 24. 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.  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.  Your welcome of a seminarian whom you have permitted to speak at the Masses on behalf of this appeal has always been appreciated. It is also good pastoral formation for them.  If you would be willing to host a seminarian on the weekend September 24, email Father Rich Veras at [email protected] or call him at 914-367-8232.

Bishops for Confirmation   As we prepare for the 2024 confirmation season, know that each auxiliary bishop maintains his own schedule and wishes to be responsible for his regional area.  A master list is maintained at the office of the vicar general.  Bishops are the ordinary ministers of confirmation for previously baptized and catechized Catholics, whether children or adults.

If you are intending to invite a bishop from outside the archdiocese, 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.

Forty Days for Life   This life-saving prayer campaign will take place again throughout the archdiocese from September 27 through November 5.  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.  Since 2007, at least 23,525 unborn children have been saved from abortion during these campaigns, 251 abortion workers have quit, and 142 facilities have closed.  For more information, visit

Share the Word   Give access to all your priests and staff members to the material which is pertinent to them, enclosed in this monthly combined mailing.  For it to succeed, we recommend that this Some Things to Know be posted in the public area of the parish office.

Just One More Thing   I didn’t realize how bad of a driver I was until my navigation device said, “In 400 feet, make a slight right, stop, and let me out.”