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Some Things to Know

Salus Infirmorum   Father Harry Burke, Father Edwin Cipot, Monsignor Charles Coen, Father John Fanning, Monsignor John Farley, Monsignor William Foley, Father Joseph LaMorte, Monsignor Robert McCabe, Monsignor Walter Niebrzydowski, Father Edward O’Neill, Father Philip Quealy, Monsignor Desmond Vella, Monsignor Edward Weber, Monsignor Joseph Zammit

Requiescat in Pace   Monsignor Guy S. Vinci

Required Announcement on Financial Integrity Hotline   The Archdiocese of New York is committed to safeguarding the stewardship of its people.  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 suspicion of financial impropriety.

Please find an announcement in English and Spanish to be included 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, we are asking that you have it correctly translated and send a copy of your bulletin with these translations to the vicar general’s office. Additionally, publish this announcement every February and August.

Half Day Fridays at the Catholic Center   When contacting one of the departments for someone to help you with an important matter, we want you to 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 Tuesday, Augst 15, the Catholic Center will be closed for the feast of the Assumption, a holy day of obligation.  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.

Archived Library   There is a new feature in the monthly combined mailing which may be of help to many.  Recurring publications and forms will be retained in one place each edition for you to access as you need them.  Visit this folder from time to time.

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.

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. 

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 the cardinal in offering the gift of God’s mercy to these men? If so, please let our adult faith formation office know?  Call 646-794-2581 or email [email protected].

Collective Mass Intentions   For years, it has been the practice to have only one intention per Mass.  In recent times, many bishops have appealed to the Holy See for clarification about the celebration of Masses for what are called collective intentions.  In such cases, the faithful are free to combine their intentions and offerings for the celebration of a single Mass for these intentions.  In 1991, the Congregation for Clergy in Rome permitted priests to accept several offerings for a “collective intention” for one Mass. Since 1997, within the archdiocese, it was stipulated that:

  • Donors must be informed of and consent to the combining of offering before the Mass for the collective intention is celebrated;
  • The place and time must be announced;
  • The practice may not be observed more than twice in a weekday.
  • The announced Mass offering of $15, established by the archdiocese, may be accepted for each of the two intentions.

Scallywags and Scoundrels I   It has come to our attention that an Irish woman and self-proclaimed visionary named Christina Gallagher has bought a closed down Jewish synagogue in Brewster and has opened a “House of Prayer” as she has already done in Achille, County Mayo, Leander, TX, Sauk Center, MN, and Lake Placid, FL as well as another location in Mexico.   She claims to have had visions of Our Lady since 1988 and many healings through her “houses of prayer”.  Her website is filled with what she says are revelations of the Blessed Mother.  They tend to be rather extreme.  One major theme is that those who are close to one of the houses of prayer will escape a coming chastisement.

This former synagogue has now been renovated with 16 bedrooms, chapel, and conference rooms.  There is an Irish priest involved as her “spiritual director” named Father McGinnity who apparently vouches for her.  From what we can tell from her website, the local diocese in Ireland disapproves of her but she invokes the authority of the Blessed Mother over the local bishop.

They appear to be misguided people who follow a false visionary.  This has led to confusion among the faithful.  This is not an approved Catholic site, and there are no faculties granted to any priests to minister at this location or to reserve the Blessed Sacrament.  The purported apparitions and messages are unapproved by Church authority.  Therefore, we do not recommend the faithful participate in any way. 

The main activity at the site seems to be the rosary several times a day.  They never requested permission to celebrate the sacraments there and were never granted any.   There is no permission to perform sacraments at that site. 

Apart from having no approval nor even seeking any, the House of Prayer is promoting teaching such as three days of darkness and chastisement, which are not part of Catholic doctrine, and seems to promote aggressive fundraising and sales of images to its followers on the false belief those items provide protection.  Beware of this house of prayer.

Scallywags and Scoundrels II   You are advised that Jean Pierre Kosanga claims to be a priest of the Archdiocese of Kananga, Congo. He is 61 years old, and his most recent stable address is at the Passionist Monastery in Jamaica Queens, where he lived while engaged in CPE classes on Long Island. Before this, he may have been working in a parish in Seattle, though this has not been verified. He may be in the Bronx and may contact you for assistance. He has recently presented himself as a priest at rectories in both the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre and has been referred for social services.  Mr. Kosanga does not have faculties as a priest in the Archdiocese of New York and is not to be given residence in any ecclesiastica1 building the archdiocese. We cannot assume that a priest or deacon 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.  Should he contact you, notify the office of the vicar for clergy immediately at 646-794-3363 or [email protected].

Pastoral Handbook   This handy manual is gathering dust on many a parish bookshelf.  Last revised in 1996 and in need of updating, it may be of use to some pastors and priests.  It contains information on the administration of the sacraments, and other aspects of parish life.  If you are looking for yours and can’t find it, a copy is included.

Time Away from the Parish this Summer   Priests engaged in a full-time assignment in the archdiocese are entitled to four weeks of vacation (either continuous or interrupted) which, generally, are taken during the summer months.  Those days which are spent once a year in spiritual retreat are not computed in the vacation.  Time away from the parish ought not interfere with the priest’s pastoral ministry and/or the spiritual needs of the parish, office, institution, or agency to which he has been assigned.  To be absent from the parish for more than seven days, however, the local ordinary is to be informed.  For our purposes, local ordinaries include the vicar general or the priest’s regional bishop/episcopal vicar.

Priest Alumni Evening   On Thursday, November 9 at Dunwoodie.  More information will follow soon.  Be sure to join us.

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). View the minutes here.

Executive Health Exams   Preventive health matters now more than ever. Protecting your future begins with understanding your health today. The first step is visiting EHE Health for your comprehensive exam, which is covered by our United Health Care insurance benefits. Book your exam today at or 844-947-0638.  Interested in improving your health, but having trouble on your own? If so, you’re ready to get started with Mentoring.  EHE’s Personal Health Mentorship Program has helped thousands of patients lose weight, start exercising, improve cholesterol, manage stress, lower blood pressure, and quit smoking.  Your EHE Health Mentor will provide you with ongoing personalized health mentoring at a pace that is comfortable for you. During your one-on-one telephone appointments, our nutrition, physical activity, stress management and smoking cessation experts will help you address your specific risks for disease, as identified during your EHE physical exam.  Make the decision. Call now at 866.657.5697 or email [email protected] to schedule your first appointment.

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.

Upcoming National Collections   The collection for Pastoral Solidarity for the Church in Africa will be on August 6 and for St. Joseph’s Seminary will be September 24.

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.

Consider a Change in Mass Schedule   Some pastors have reported that they don’t need as many Masses as they have because participation no longer warrants it.  This may be a good opportunity to consider an adjustment to your schedule.  Perhaps you were thinking of reducing your Sunday or weekday Masses but were waiting for the right time.  In these summer months, with limited or no help coming from international priests, and the inevitable transfer of a parochial vicar with no one to replace him, you may need to make modifications.  Our parishioners are so happy to return to Mass.  We hope they will also understand the necessary changes at this time.  Always discuss any proposed alteration with your trustees and pastoral and finance councils by phone or email. Explain your particular need and get their input. This way when you announce it to your people you can also tell them that you consulted with your advisors and they concur.  Maybe you might also canvas some of the faithful worshipers.  Cluster parishes are encouraged to work together in creating a convenient Mass schedule for a particular area, with an early Mass in one church and a later one in the other.  We can use this time prudently and wisely as we plan for the future. 

Archdiocesan Vestments   In preparation for the 1995 pilgrimage of Pope St. John Paul II, 1,000 vestments with the archdiocesan coat of arms were commissioned by the late Monsignor Ferdinando Berardi and manufactured by Slabbinck under the name “Stadelmaier Collection” and were worn by nearly 300 concelebrants at the Mass at the 50-acre Great Lawn in the middle of Central Park.  Initially, each priest purchased his own set; and later these were given to each ordination class as a gift.  They are usually worn at archdiocesan functions, like concelebrated Masses and funerals.  We recently learned that there are some classes who never received vestments.  If you would like to order a set [sizes small, medium, large, or extra-large], contact Dorothy in the office of the vicar general and include your ordination class. [646-794-2908 or [email protected].]  We are planning to have these available for pick up at Dunwoodie.

World Youth Day Documentation   All priests participating in World Youth Day in Lisbon need to complete the required paperwork within the next week. This includes a regular letter of good standing and the authorization form which may be obtained on the World Youth Day registration site. Please be sure to email both requests to office of priest personnel within the next week. If you do not have this paperwork, they will not admit you into the event.  From all the information that is sent to us on this, they are understandably going to be very strict, so you do not want to be without the documentation in the format they require.  Contact the office of priest personnel today by calling (646) 794-3360.

On Live Streaming Mass   Although streaming Mass predated COVID-19, it caught on during the pandemic.  With parishioners unable to attend Mass in person, it provided a way to stay connected to the parish and our faith. But now that we are pretty much back to normal, parishioners are asking if it is still okay to reverently attend Mass online.  And priests are weighing the benefits of continuing to live stream their daily or weekly Masses.  Read more about this in the updates section of this combined mailing.

Mutual of America 403(b) Investments   There has been some interest about the defined contribution 403(b) retirement plan for priests born after the year 1949.  We are preparing two presentations to offer clarification with an opportunity to have questions answered.  At the moment, they are intended to be held at Dunwoodie and the Catholic Center in mid-August and mid-September, in person and via zoom communications.  Stay tuned.  Remember that on the third Wednesday of each month, a representative from MOA is at the Catholic Center.

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   What do you get when you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac, and an agnostic?  Someone who lies awake at night wondering if there’s a dog.