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Some Things to Know

Salus Infirmorum   Father Harry Burke, Father Edwin Cipot, Monsignor Charles Coen, Father Dennis Donovan SDB, Father Robert Dunn, Father John Fanning, Monsignor John Farley, Bishop John Jenik, Father Tom Madden, Monsignor John Meehan, Father Damian O’Connell SJ, Father Philip Quealy, Monsignor Desmond Vella, Monsignor Edward Weber

Requiescat in Pace   Father Fred Kempfirl

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. 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.

Society for the Propagation of the Faith   In 1853, with the opening of the New York office, the church has been seeking to foster an ever-deeper spirit of universal mission, to inform Catholics of the life and needs of the missions and to encourage prayer and financial help.  The word ‘propagation’ refers to the obligation of every baptized person to share and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that more and more people will know about Jesus and how much God loves us.  Each year, every parish in the archdiocese, at the direction of the Archbishop of New York participates in the Mission Cooperative Plan.  Many mission dioceses and religious and lay organizations can personally appeal for prayer and financial support.  This helps to increase mission awareness and to learn about mission life today.  When the visiting missionary calls to arrange a date, welcome him or her warmly.

How to Record Bonuses for Parish Employees   If your parish recently participated in an internal audit, it was probably recommended that bonuses at the time of Christmas, Easter, or other occasions be issued through the payroll system with proper withholding and employer taxes rather than using cash or the Mass stipend account.  Refer to the archdiocesan financial policies and procedures manual for a fuller explanation.  [Library:  Financial Policy and Procedures Manual 2013]

2024 Ordo

  • January 1: World Day of Peace
  • January 18-25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • Third Sunday of the Church Year: Sunday of the Word of God
  • January 22: Legal Protection of Unborn Babies
  • 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
  • February 14:  Ash Wednesday
  • February 18:  RCIA Rite of Election
  • February 28:  Lenten Day of Recollection for Priests
  • March 16:  St. Patrick’s Day Mass and Parade
  • March 18:  Solemnity of St. Patrick
  • March 25:  Lenten Reconciliation Monday
  • March 26:  Mass of the Chrism
  • March 31:  Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
  • April 8:  Annunciation of the Lord
  • Fourth Sunday of Easter: World Day of Prayer for Vocations
  • Seventh Sunday of Easter: World Communications Day
  • May 24: World Day of Prayer for the Church in China
  • May 25:  Ordination to the Priesthood
  • June 2:  Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass
  • June 5:  Jubilee Mass and Brunch for Priests
  • Solemnity of the Sacred Heart: World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests
  • June 8:  Jubilee Mass and Brunch for Religious
  • June 15:  Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate
  • 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
  • October 14:  Columbus Day Mass and Parade
  • 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
  • December 16:  Advent Reconciliation Monday

Reproduction of Mass Readings   We have heard from the president of the USCCB that it appears numerous parishes may be reproducing the daily and Sunday readings in their worship aids or bulletins without a license from the USCCB. Such occurrences risk undermining the ability of the Conference (on behalf of the Confraternity for Christian Doctrine) to enforce its rights against commercial endeavors that use these Scripture translations in for-profit manners.  We have been asked to encourage parishes to become licensees. The current rate is from $200 per year for up to 250 copies per Sunday to $1,500 per year for 1,500 copies or more per week. (Fees are assessed separately for English and Spanish.)  To license the readings properly, a parish can simply contact Mary Elizabeth Sperry at [email protected].

Who’s in your Rectory?   This goes without saying, but a pastor should never accept an unknown priest for residence in or consistent service at his parish without checking with the office of the vicar for clergy. We can never receive a priest without a certificate of suitability from his home diocese or religious order. Remember how often we heard of the vagi in canon law class? For a good reason.

Restoring Places of Worship   At the inception of any change to the sanctuary of the church, the pastor should notify the office of liturgy of his intent to modify a worship space during the concept stage of the project to review the liturgical aspects.  Some pastors have been inquiring about reinstalling an altar rail.  According to the current directives, there is no need for it.  The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) specifies that the normal posture for the reception of Communion is standing.  To install a rail would suggest a posture other than the GIRM’s stated norm.  No one is sure where the impetus for this is originating, but it seems to be picking up a bit of steam.  [Library: On Receiving Holy Communion]

Holy Days of Obligation 2024  On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, Catholics are obliged to participate in the Mass and to refrain from unnecessary work and all spiritually-distracting activities in conformity with the code of canon law.  “Obligation” means “ya gotta do it!”  It’s the Church’s way of stressing the importance of the mystery, person or event being celebrated. During 2024, the following days will be observed: Monday, January 1 (Mary, the Holy Mother of God); Thursday, May 9 (Ascension of the Lord); Thursday, August 15 (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary); Friday, November 1 (All Saints); Sunday, December 8 (Immaculate Conception)*; Wednesday, December 25 (Nativity of the Lord).  By special indult from the Holy See in 1994, Catholics are not obligated to attend Mass when either Mary, the Holy Mother of God, the Assumption or All Saints fall on a Saturday or a Monday.  Pastors, however, are encouraged to offer a convenient Mass schedule for those who wish to attend.  *When December 8 falls on a Sunday, the Immaculate Conception is transferred to Monday, December 9, and the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated.

Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist   On December 3, we began the new year of grace 2024 with the Sunday cycle B from St. Mark and the weekday cycle II.  Among the many useful features in the Ordo, the necrology helps us to remember in prayer the deceased bishops, priests and deacons who have lived or served in the archdiocese.  What a noble practice it is to commend these loyal men to the mercy of God on the anniversary of their death as we consult the Ordo each day.

National Eucharistic Congress Indianapolis, Indiana   Make plans for the National Eucharistic Congress on July 17-21, 2024.  It is anticipated that 80,000 people from throughout the United States will be in attendance.  To learn more, visit

Upcoming National Collections   The combined collection for the Catholic Communications Campaign and the Catholic University of America will be on January 7, 2024.  The Peter’s Pence collection will be on February 11, 2024.  War Relief in Israel is at the discretion of the pastor.

Debts to the Archdiocese   Most parishes will have some additional revenue at this time of the year with a generous Christmas collection.  If pastors have steep bills in pension, insurance, assessments, and cathedraticum, this may be a good time to pay some of these off.  It is sound management to pay bills on time and it relieves the burden on other parishes who may be picking up the slack caused by delinquent parishes.  For instance, when we don’t pay our pension for lay employees, the fund shrinks, is endangered, and all face higher rates.  Thank you for considering the payment of bills this December.

Office Holidays   The Catholic Center will be closed on Monday, December 25, Tuesday, December 26, Monday, January 1, and Monday, January 15.  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.  [Library: Office Holiday Calendar]

Liturgical Calendar Advisories   During the 2024 liturgical year, according to the Roman Missal, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God falls on a Monday and is not a Holy Day of Obligation. Evening Masses on Sunday, December 31, should use the Mass formulary for the Feast of the Holy Family. January 7 will be the Solemnity of the Epiphany and the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord will follow on Monday, January 8 with only one reading before the Gospel. The First Week of the Church Year begins on the following day, Tuesday, January 9. The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25 is impeded by Monday of Holy Week. According to the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 60, the Annunciation is therefore transferred to Monday of the II Week of Easter, in this case, April 8, 2024.  Since December 8, 2024 is the II Sunday of Advent, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is transferred to Monday, December 9; the obligation to attend Mass, however, does not transfer.

Mutual of America Representative for Priests 403(b)   Rainiel F. Lopez is our new representative from MOA, replacing David Lynch who has retired.  With questions about your retirement package, Click Here To Schedule an Appointment.  Similar to last summer, Mutual of America will be holding retirement presentations in 2024 for archdiocesan priests in this plan from 1:00 to 3:00 on Thursday, February 1 at Dunwoodie and on  Wednesday, February 7 at the Catholic Center.  If you do not receive the invitation, or would like a particular email address to be used for such communication, contact the pension office e-mailbox at [email protected] or contact Dorene Conlon, director of retirement benefits and actuary at 646-794-3062.

Sunday of the Word of God    This takes place on the Third Sunday of the Church Year on January 21.  It is to be devoted to the celebration, study, and dissemination of the Word of God.  Pope Francis issued this directive to set aside a Sunday given over entirely to the word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people.  Visit the USCCB web site for more information.

Building the Kingdom   In mid-November, a copy of Building the Kingdom:  The History of the Archdiocese of New York was sent to each parish.  In the popular graphic novel format, this is an accurate description of the rich history of the Church in New York.  Books are being delivered to the parishes through ICS.  Over 8,000 have already been sold.  More information is in the Initiatives section of this combined mailing.

Monthly Compensation Plan for Priests   Cardinal Dolan has announced the good news that he has approved a two percent cost of living adjustment for the coming calendar year, effective January 1, 2024.  This is understood not to be a raise, but rather an attempt to reach parity with the priests of neighboring dioceses.  See the chart included with this mailing and share with your secretaries and bookkeepers.  [Update: Priest Compensation]

Scallywags and Scoundrels   Be advised that Father Clement Umoenoh, a priest of the Diocese of Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria, has ministered in several assignments in the Archdiocese of New York since 2008, most recently as a chaplain at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Washington Heights. Effective immediately, Father no longer has faculties to serve in the Archdiocese of New York and is not to function or present himself as a priest, nor is he allowed to live in an archdiocesan facility.  These unfortunate notifications are disconcerting for us all and should move us to pray for the faithful who may become discouraged and scandalized in these difficult times. Please keep your brother priests and deacons in your prayers each day so that we may encourage one another to remain faithful to our commitment to serve the God’s people in fidelity and selflessness.  Should you have contact with him, notify the office of the vicar for clergy immediately at 646-794-3360 or [email protected].

The Fifty-First Annual March for Life, the second post-Roe march will be held as planned on Friday, January 19, 2024.  Refer to the letter for more information.  [Events: Respect Life Activities].

Spiritual Directors   If any priest is interested in confession or spiritual direction, Father Joe Kelly and Father Damian O’Connell SJ have been invited by Cardinal Dolan to make themselves available to us.  Father Joe lives at the O’Connor Pavilion.  He may be reached by calling (718) 757-2545 or sending an email to [email protected].  Father Damian lives at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  He may be reached by calling (917) 945-9342 or sending an email to [email protected].  Each will make an appointment that is mutually convenient.

Letters of Good Standing   Please submit your requests for Letters of Good Standing through the office of priest personnel at least two weeks before traveling to a diocese or event. Enter all the required information on the request form which is located in the Library of this combined mailing.  Incomplete information delays your request.  If the diocese in which you will minister uses a proprietary form for Letters of Good Standing, send that form to the office at [email protected].  Most importantly, permission can never be presumed. Confirm that permission or delegation has been granted, especially for sacramental ministry.

Visa Rule Change Upends Placements for Foreign-Born Priests   To better understand that the R1 Visa problem is real, you may be interested to read this report which recently appeared in National Catholic Register.  We have a number of priests who will have to return to their home country in 2024.  After reading this, you may wish to direct your attention to local congressmen which might help.  The article is here.

Status Animarum   We are grateful to those pastors who have submitted their statistics by the November closing date.  For further assistance, contact Fred Scialabba at 646-794-3405 (office) or 347-387-2638 (mobile); or email [email protected].  Remember to save your new password since you will be needing it for your financial reports and budgets.

Reconciliation Monday Dates   Observed since 2011, Advent Reconciliation Monday is being held today from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the archdiocese and the Diocese of Brooklyn.  Lenten Reconciliation Monday will be observed on March 25, 2024 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 9:00 pm in the archdiocese and the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, in every parish from the east end of Long Island to the Catskills.  Promotional material from the office of communications will be available as we get closer to the date.

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

Just One More Thing   Shoutout to everyone who can still remember their childhood phone number but can’t remember the password they created yesterday.  You are my people.