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Some Things to Know

Salus Infirmorum   Father Richard Adams, Father John Boehning, Father Harry Burke, Father Edwin Cipot, Monsignor Charles Coen, Father Patrick Curley, Father Patrick Dunne, Father John Fanning, Monsignor John Farley, Father Thomas Fenlon, Father Francis Gorman, Monsignor Leslie Ivers, Monsignor Robert McCabe, Monsignor J. Christopher Maloney, Monsignor Walter Niebrzydowski, Monsignor Edward O’Donnell, Father Edward O’Neill, Father Philip Quealy, Father Raymond Rafferty, Father Andrew Walsh, Monsignor Edward Weber

Requiescant in Pace   Father John J. Hunter, Sister Kevin John Shields, OP

Combined Mailing   Last month marked the completion of 34 years of the monthly combined mailing, meant to handle communications from the Catholic Center a little more efficiently and with less expense.  Since 2019, it has been sent electronically, saving about $50,000 a year.  This month, it has another new look.  It is transmitted via FlockNote usually on the third Monday of each month.  If you discover that you are not getting this in your inbox, notify the office of the vicar general.

Revised Order of Penance   Remember that the new rite may be used beginning on Ash Wednesday [February 22] and that it will be required beginning on Divine Mercy Sunday [April 16]. Numerous media reports have carried an incorrect translation of the revised prayer of absolution. The approved version does not include the words “among us”. The new text reads: God, the Father of mercies, through the Death and Resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and poured out the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace. AND I ABSOLVE YOU FROM YOUR SINS, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, + AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  Rituals may be ordered through ICS.

Priest Personnel Records Upgrade   The office of priest personnel is migrating its records into a digital format.  Although some information may repeat what you have provided to the department in the past, we are asking all priests to participate. If you have not yet completed the form, try to do so this week. The form can be found at If you have any questions about accessing or completing the form, or if you need assistance, contact Kate Feighery, director of archives and records management at [email protected] call 914-476-633, x8365.

Curia Report   The revised, streamlined and renamed curia report, with information about the activities of the archdiocesan pastoral and administrative offices that serve you is included in this mailing.  Refer any questions to the office of the vicar general. [Updates: Curia Report]

Office Holidays   On St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, it will be closed to honor the patron of this archdiocese.  On Holy Thursday, April 6, it will close at 1:00 pm; and on Good Friday, April 7 and Easter Monday, April 10, 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.

Lenten Reconciliation Monday   Observed on the Monday of Holy Week each year [April 3] since 2011 with the dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, the times are 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 9:00 pm 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.

Catholic Telephone Guide   For more than 80 years, 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 your parish’s information current and accurate by submitting your revisions by the required deadline using the form and the self-addressed envelope that will be sent to you shortly.

Flowers for Holy Week   Although Palm Sunday is more than a month 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.

Parish RCIA Coordinators   Kindly send the total number of RCIA candidates, both baptized and unbaptized, 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].

Mass at the Air National Guard in Newburgh   The 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart AB needs the services of a Catholic priest for its drill weekends, usually on the first Sunday of each month, to hear confessions at 7:15 and celebrate Mass at 7:45.  Compensation is provided.  Of course, a letter of good standing must be produced.  If you can help, contact Chaplain Bob Tilli, wing chaplain at 845-542-9877 or [email protected].

Forty Days for Life   This life-saving prayer campaign continues throughout the archdiocese through April 2.  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

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.

Seminary Gala   On Thursday, March 30, the second annual gala will take place at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson. You can learn more information in the Events section. To review the invitation and RSVP click here. You can also make a contribution to the seminary. Forms can be emailed to [email protected]

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 4 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.  Reintroduced last year, following the Mass, His Eminence would like to invite the priests to his residence for an open house reception with spirits, passed hors d’oeuvres and a buffet station from about 5:15.  Drop in before going out to dinner with classmates or priest friends.  You might consider inviting a first-time attendee or international priest to join you.

St. Patrick’s Day Mass will be celebrated on Friday morning, 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 are invited to concelebrate.  Admission to this Mass for the people will be by ticket only but will be live streamed at  The viewing of the parade will begin at 11:00 am.  The Catholic Center offices will be closed for the holy day.  Fasting and abstinence from meat on Fridays are important Lenten obligations for every Catholic bound by age and health.  As pastors, we need to strongly encourage our people to follow these directives.  This year, however, the Solemnity of St. Patrick falls on a Friday, and His Eminence has decided to dispense our people from abstaining from meat.

501(c)3 Group Tax Exemption Ruling   At the beginning of each fiscal year in September, each pastor received a copy of the 2021 group ruling letter issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirming that organizations listed in the 2022 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.

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.

When May a Priest Confirm?   The 1983 code of canon law states (c.882): “The ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop; a presbyter provided with this faculty in virtue of universal law, or the special grant of a competent authority also confers this sacrament validly.”  It is often asked, “Under what conditions now that the quarantine is over?”

  • Unbaptized children (age 7+) and adults enrolled in the catechumenal process who will be fully initiated at the Easter vigil.
  • Baptized Protestant teens and adults who seek to become Catholic, are enrolled in the catechumenal process and who make a profession of faith, may receive confirmation and first communion from a priest anytime of the year.
  • Baptized, uncatechized Catholic teens and adults who seek preparation for first communion and confirmation and are enrolled in the catechumenal process may, in individual cases and with delegation from the vicar general, be confirmed and receive first communion from a priest within the Eucharistic liturgy during the Easter season (c. 137 §3). 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 registry of the parish that the faculty to confirm under the above-listed conditions is expressly delegated, i.e., “delegatus.

Lenten Guidelines 2023   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.  [Events: Lent and St. Patrick’s Day]

Rice Bowl Collection   Each Lent, Catholic families across the country unite to put their faith into action through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Through the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl, families learn about how our sisters and brothers across the globe overcome hardships like hunger and malnutrition, and how, through Lenten alms, we have the power to make the world a better place for all.  This is not a second collection, but a Lenten program run in schools and parishes to provide funding for Catholic Relief Services’ food security projects which support agriculture, nutrition, education, and self-sufficiency in communities around the world.  To participate, visit

Lenten Day of Recollection for Priests will be held on Wednesday, March 8 from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm at Dunwoodie.  It will be led by Father Robert Imbelli who will discuss the teachings of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  Note the earlier time schedule.  The day will begin with the first conference, followed by exposition, confession, and benediction.  An information letter is included in this monthly mailing. [Events: Day of Recollection]

Scofflaws and Culprits   Be advised that Father Mark Alagi, a priest of the Diocese of Kole, Congo does not have faculties to minister in the archdiocese. He is presently living with family in the Bronx. Father Alagi refers to himself as the Wounded Healer.  Father Jesus Hernan Orjuela Pardo, also known as Padre Chucho, has been invited to various parishes. He does not have and will not have faculties to function in the archdiocese. He is not to engage in any ministry of any kind in any of our parishes, institutions, or organizations. Should they or anyone claiming to represent them approach you about a possible visit to your parish, institution, or any group of parishioners, notify the office of the vicar for clergy.  We cannot assume that a priest has faculties for the celebration of the sacraments.  A letter of good standing from the proper ordinary or provincial is required for any activity associated with the parish.  With questions, call or write 646-794-3360 or [email protected].

Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal   Like income tax time, the $21 million CASA comes around quickly.  Each year, all 284 parishes join 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, 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.

The Sacraments for Those with Disabilities   Confirmation for those young people with disabilities will be celebrated by His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan on Sunday, April 16 at 10:15 Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. While the usual place for the reception of the sacrament is at one’s own parish, this is a very special opportunity for these young people to come together with the cardinal. If you are aware of any of young parishioners who have a disability and are presently preparing for confirmation or who have not been confirmed because of their disability, bring this celebration to the attention of their families.  If there is concern about suitable preparation or if the young person is severely impaired, the department of youth faith formation will work with you, your faith formation director, and his or her family.  [Events: Disabilities]

2022 Income Taxes for Priests Only   Institutional Commodity Services (ICS) is offering at a discount the latest version of Scott Hoselton’s familiar manual, 2022 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.  Order online at  or call the ICS customer care team at 646-794-2600.

Dynamic Catholic   Invite your parishioners to sign up for Best Lent Ever and other resources.  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, visit, call 859.980.7900 or you may email them at [email protected].

The Good Newsroom   As you may recall, we launched the new digital newsroom, The Good NewsroomTM at the beginning of Advent. We created this new entity to better communicate with the faithful of the archdiocese as well as the broader community through digital channels. The new website relies heavily on video storytelling and quick turnaround times for reporting on events and initiatives.  There is a new app (application) for The Good Newsroom. This mobile application will ensure easy access to all our high-quality content, stories and updates about the people, parishes, and ministries throughout the archdiocese, and is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.  Visit to see the daily news stories and go to the Apple App Store or Google Play to download the app today.  With questions or story ideas, email [email protected].

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.

Confession for Priests   The Franciscans of the Renewal are making themselves available to hear the confession of priests every Wednesday from 4:00 to 5:00 at their friary at 420 East, 156th Street, Bronx.  The friary is right next to the church.  Father Stan [917-251-6935] and Father John Anthony [347-854-2737] may be reached by phone to make alternate arrangements.

2023 Liturgical Calendar Advisories   This year, there are two occasions when a non-obligatory solemnity is followed by a Sunday: Annunciation of the Lord and the Fifth Sunday of Lent, and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and the Twelfth Sunday of the Year.

Thus, on Saturday evening, Evening Prayer I of the Fifth Sunday of Lent is used.  The Mass to be used on Saturday evening is determined by the parish schedule. At normally scheduled anticipated Masses, priests should anticipate the Mass of the Fifth Sunday of Lent since the faithful that attend that Mass are expecting to fulfill their Sunday obligation and experience the Sunday liturgy. Nevertheless, at Masses outside that usual schedule, the Mass of the Annunciation of the Lord may be used.  A Ritual Mass is not permitted on either day, and a Funeral Mass is permitted on March 25, since it is not a day of precept.  For the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and the Twelfth Sunday of the Church Year, the Nativity ranks higher than the Twelfth Sunday.  Thus, on Saturday evening, Evening Prayer II of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is used. Regarding the Mass to be celebrated, the situation is the same as that above.  Nevertheless, at Masses outside that usual schedule, the Mass of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist may be used. A Ritual Mass is permitted on the Twelfth Sunday, and a Funeral Mass is permitted on either day.

Christmas 2023 and New Year’s Day 2024   In 2023, Christmas day occurs on a Monday.  This will have a bearing on the Christmas Mass schedule.  Any Masses scheduled at 4:00 pm or later on Sunday, December 24 are Christmas vigil Masses, not Masses of the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  Some may raise the question if attending Mass on Christmas eve can fulfill both the Sunday and Christmas obligations simultaneously.  Of course, this is not possible.  January 1, 2024 will not be a held as day of obligation because it occurs on a Monday.  You may wish to take this into account when planning your Mass schedule.

Just One More Thing  I asked a supermarket worker where he kept the canned peaches.  He said, “I’ll see,” and walked away.  I asked another and she also said, “I’ll see,” and she walked away.  In the end, I gave up and found them myself – in Aisle C.