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Some Things to Know

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

Committee on Pro-Life Activities   The USCCB has announced several major pro-life events happening in Washington, DC in January.  [Updates: Pro-Life Activities]

Looking Ahead to St. Patrick’s Day and the Annunciation of the Lord   Due to the placement of the Solemnity of St. Patrick, the patron of our cathedral and the archdiocese on the V Sunday of Lent in 2024, the liturgical observance will be moved to Monday, March 18, even though the annual Fifth Avenue parade, which is not church sponsored, will be held on Saturday, March 16.  On March 25, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Since it falls on Monday during Holy Week, its observance is transferred to April 8, Monday of the II Week of Easter.  Further information will be contained in the 2024 Ordo Missae and in a future combined mailing.

Archived Library   A feature in the monthly combined mailing was added in May which could be of help to many.  Recurring publications and forms are retained in one place each edition for you to access as you need them.  Visit this folder from time to time.

Priest Retreat at Huntington   This retreat for priests serving in the archdiocese will be held at the seminary of the Immaculate Conception from October 23 through October 27.  [Events: Priest Retreat].

Office Holidays   On Monday, October 9, the Catholic Center will be closed in commemoration of Columbus Day.  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 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.

Committee on Divine Worship Newsletter for July/August is included in this month’s combined mailing.  [Updates: CDW Newsletter]

Upcoming National Collections   The collection for St. Joseph’s Seminary will be September 24.  World Mission Sunday will be on October 22.

Presbyteral Council Selection    Vicars Forane have been reminded of the need to select a new member of the presbyteral council or reselect the incumbent for a new three-year term beginning with the November 2 meeting.  Open areas are Bronx West [Father George Stewart], Dutchess/Putnam Counties [Father Hartley Bancroft], Orange County [Father Fernando Hernandez], and Rockland County [Father Bill Cosgrove].

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,

Columbus Day Mass XLVI will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday, October 9 at 9:30 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.

Reconciliation Monday Dates   Observed since 2011, Advent Reconciliation Monday will be held on December 18, 2023 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 marketing office will be available as we get closer to the date.

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.

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.

Line of Duty Death   In the unfortunate event of the death of a parishioner who is serving in the United States military or those in uniform on the police or fire departments who die in the line of duty, pastors are asked to notify the office of the vicar general with funeral arrangements.

Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees   All parishes are required annually by New York State Religious Corporation Law and the Archdiocese of New York Uniform By-Laws to hold an annual meeting of the trustees by the second Wednesday of November (this year, it is November 8) at the parish corporation’s principal office.  At this meeting, the pastor, as corporate secretary and treasurer and the two lay trustees shall review and accept the annual financial report.  Following the meeting, kindly send the year-end financial report to the finance office.  The minutes of the annual meeting must be kept on file at the parish office.  This is not necessary to send to the chancellery.  [Updates: Trustee Minutes].

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.  Invitations and information were sent earlier this month.  Another copy is included in this combined mailing.  You are asked to send your reply this week.

Donations to Convents for Altar Bread   Many parishes are purchasing altar bread from large distribution companies rather than from communities of sisters who care for themselves from this service to churches.  By ordering from a religious community, pastors have the added graces and blessings that come from supporting their contemplative life and knowing they are remembered in their daily prayers and sacrifices.  If you are no longer using their services, consider sending a donation to cloistered nuns like the Dominicans and Carmelites who would be grateful to be remembered.

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.

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.

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

Ordination to the Priesthood   The date for priesthood ordination for next year will be Saturday, May 25, 2024.  Mark your calendars now and plan to participate to welcome the class of 2024.

Celebret and Testimony of Suitability:  Which is which?   Across the country, in just about every diocese, letters of suitability have become more important than ever when planning to perform temporary ministry outside the archdiocese.  Two documents are available.  Which is which?

  1. Testimony of Suitability   This is sometimes referred to as a letter of good standing.  Its use began after the implementation of the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002.  It is required in every diocese within the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico prior to an event.  It is sent from the office of priest personnel to the diocese where the event is located.  The way these are processed has changed and takes a longer period of time to respond to them.  You may email your request to [email protected] in a timely manner, usually two weeks to allow for preparation of the proper documentation.  With your application, include the event, time, date, location, diocese, email and address of the Ordinary.  Without it, a priest may be met with an embarrassing refusal.
  2. Celebret   This word comes from the Latin and means let him celebrate.  Prior to the Dallas charter, it was used within the USA and abroad.  But now, it is required when traveling outside the country.  The universal law of the Church (canon 903) stipulates that a priest is to be permitted to celebrate the Eucharist, even if he is not known to the rector of the church, if he presents commendatory letters, not more than a year old, from his own Ordinary, stating that he is in good standing and requests that appropriate hospitality be extended to him.  You may email your request to [email protected] in a timely manner, usually two weeks to allow for preparation of the proper documentation.  With your application, include the event, time, date, location, diocese, and when you will depart and return.  Without it, a priest may be met with an embarrassing refusal.

So, to summarize, if traveling within the country, be sure you have a testimony of suitability from the office of priest personnel (646-794-2930).  Whenever you leave the country, secure a celebret from the office of canonical services (646-794-2929).  Don’t leave home without them.

Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxy, Funeral Mass Arrangements   Each time we call attention to the need for a Last Will and Testament, priests do have one drawn and a copy deposited on file with the office of the vicar for clergy.  When doing so, you might consider naming a brother priest as executor.  One can only imagine the pain that survivors endure when there is a death without a Will.  A Last Will and Testament is required of all pastors.  But it is desirable for all of us.  Included in this month’s combined mailing are forms for health care proxies and plans for the funeral Mass and burial.  [Updates: Health Care and Funerals]

World Day of Migrants and Refugees   This day of prayer is observed annually on the last Sunday in September [24th] when Catholics worldwide are called upon to remember those displaced by conflict and persecution. This year, Pope Francis has asked the world to pray for a greater recognition of the “freedom to migrate and the freedom to stay.” More information and resources may be found on the Vatican website [].

Influenza Vaccinations   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated to help reduce the risk of serious illnesses or hospitalization.  For most of us who need only one dose of vaccine for the season, September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against influenza.  It is also important to consider getting vaccinated against the most recent variants of the coronavirus.  The virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing, and protection from vaccines declines over time.  Receiving an updated vaccination can restore protection against variants currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations.  Flu shots also help protect the people around us, especially important for those who are vulnerable to serious complications. Think of babies, young children, older people, and those with certain chronic conditions.  If you are using our United Health Care plan and live in the New York region, you may present your insurance card at the pharmacy departments at Costco, Duane Reade, Rite Aid or Walgreens.  Those living in other parts of the country may also visit the pharmacy departments of Albertson, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and Safeway.  You may also check in with your primary care physician or at a nearby EHE health clinic.  Flu vaccines will not be available at this year’s convention of pastors but will be given at the Catholic Center and Dunwoodie.  These dates have not yet been determined.  We are aware of the need to practice good hygiene.  For it to be effective, it involves washing hands with warm water and soap for at least the time it takes to pray the Lord’s Prayer [20 seconds] before offering Mass and when visiting parishioners in their homes, institutions, hospitals, and nursing facilities.  It is also wise that this be done prior to and after other sacraments and religious and social functions. It is also wise that this be done prior to and after other sacraments and religious and social functions.  Alcohol-based antibacterial hand sanitizer should be available in every sacristy and near the credence table.  Stay safe and healthy.  Get vaccinated today.

Communion Under Both Species   A few pastors have inquired about resuming the practice of distributing Holy Communion to the faithful from the chalice.  If you are among them, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Communion under both species is permitted in parishes of the Archdiocese of New York at the discretion of the pastor.
  • When distributing the Precious Blood, Communion from the chalice is generally the preferred form in the Latin Church (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America 42).
  • The distribution of Holy Communion via intinction is allowed (GIRM 245). However, self-intinction by the communicant is forbidden (Redemptionis Sacramentum 104).  It is only permitted for bishops and priests.
  • The GIRM describes intinction as involving another minister (a deacon or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion), who holds the chalice for the priest (GIRM 191; 287). There is no provision made for the use of “intinction sets,” despite their availability from liturgical goods stores.
  • In the case of intinction, the GIRM mandates the use of a Communion plate, which is held by the communicant (GIRM 287).
  • When distributing Holy Communion via intinction, a separate Communion station should be provided for those who wish to receive the host only.

Status Animarum   From the Latin meaning state of souls, this accounting is a register of people living in a parish and events related to them.  It is also called the annual sacramental report. Every year, we collect Mass attendance numbers, sacramental figures, religious education and regional or parish school enrollment, staffing and volunteer personnel data for each parish church and worship site.  Be as accurate as you can with your report.  The Mass attendance numbers will be reported for Sunday, October 22, 2023, the xxix Sunday of the Church Year, including the anticipated Masses on Saturday evening.  Sacramental and other data are reported for 2022-2023.  The information that you provide is helpful for parish planning in the archdiocese and for responding to the reports that are required by the Holy See and the Episcopal conference.  We will be grateful to receive your statistics by Monday, November 20, 2023.  The information for the Kenedy Official Catholic Directory is always sent to you separately and will be coming shortly.

Year End Financial Statements   Now is the time to work with your accountant, bookkeeper and associate director of parish finance (AD) to complete and submit all financial statements.  Include a balance sheet and income statement for each parish entry (church, school, cemetery).  In addition to the financial statements, be sure to complete the trustee sign-off sheet.  Finally, fill in the board of trustees annual meeting minutes and keep these in your parish files.  If we can assist in any way, you may always call Marcus Ryan at (646) 357-0164.

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 the Hynes Athletic Center of 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].

Masses at Calvary and Allied Cemeteries   The annual All Souls’ Day Masses on Thursday, November 2 will be celebrated at our allied cemeteries.  Cardinal Dolan will preside at Gate of Heaven in Hawthorne at 10:30.  Masses at Ascension in Airmont, Calvary in Woodside, Resurrection in Staten Island will be at 11:00.  Masses are also celebrated at local parish cemeteries.  Please join us in remembering the souls of our family and friends laid to rest.

October is Respect Life Month   This year’s theme is Radical SolidarityReview the Respect Life Month action guide here for all the steps to get your parish ready.  It is the perfect time to begin USCCB Walking with Moms in Need initiative.  Here is a handy flyer (in English and Spanish) which you can use to introduce the initiative to those at your parish.  Contact Sister Ann Marie Elizabeth at [email protected] or Sister Hope at [email protected] for more assistance in getting this started.

How Early May My Christmas Vigil Mass Be Scheduled?   Observing the commonly held opinion that evening is defined as four o’clock or later, the first vigil Mass of Christmas may be celebrated on Sunday, December 24 no earlier than 4:00 pm.   The obligation for the Nativity may be fulfilled from the evening of Sunday, December 24 through Monday, December 25.  The obligations for Sunday and Christmas must be fulfilled with separate Masses – one for the IV Sunday of Advent on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, and one for Christmas.  A related question arises that priests are permitted to celebrate no more than three Masses on December 24 and three Masses on December 25.  In the United States, the obligation to attend Mass on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is abrogated when this celebration occurs on a Monday or a Saturday.

Lay Trustee Nomination Form   We were hoping to receive the names of two lay trustees for your parish by the end of July.  Help us as we comply with the New York State Religious Corporation Law by completing this today.  Since all parishes are required to hold an annual meeting of the trustees by the second Wednesday of November (this year, it is November 8), a template for minutes is included.  [Updates: Lay Trustee Form and Minutes].

Increased Offertory Program   Every September, in collaboration with the finance and development offices, the archdiocese extends to its parishes the opportunity to fortify their weekly offertory. This month, over 40 parishes will partake in an Increase Offertory Program (IOP) developed specifically for their parish. A recurring observation has been the decline in weekly offertory contributions, prompting us to introduce this straightforward concept: encouraging parishioners to enhance their regular giving to bolster their parish.  When pastors are invited to participate, we sincerely hope they will consider embracing it. It comes at no cost, and the advantages it offers are truly inspiring. For those who may not be participating in the program this year, the fall season presents an ideal opportunity to communicate the merits of sustained offertory contributions through the parish’s electronic giving platform.

Superintendent of Schools Spirituality Day   All pastors are invited to concelebrate with His Eminence at the spirituality day Mass at Iona University, New Rochelle on Monday, September 25 at 9:00 in the Hynes Athletic 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   I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me – they are cramming for their final exam.

Most Rev. Peter J. Byrne, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
Episcopal Vicar of Staten Island
Blessed Sacrament Church
30 Manor Road
Staten Island, New York 10310

Most Rev. John S. Bonnici, S.Th.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
Episcopal Vicar of Westchester and Rockland Counties
Ss. John and Paul & St. Augustine, Larchmont
280 Weaver St.
Larchmont, NY 10538

Dear Father,

Peace of Christ. As the auxiliary bishops charged with overseeing pro-life initiatives, We are writing to draw your attention to a life-saving prayer campaign that will take place again throughout our archdiocese this fall:

40 Days for Life
September 27, 2023 to November 5, 2023

40 Days for Life consists of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil at abortion facilities. Why participate? Because it works. According to Abby Johnson, “When [pro-life] people show up outside the clinic, the no-show rate goes up to almost 75%.” Many abortion-minded women in our Archdiocese have left abortion facilities and chosen life during 40 Days for Life thanks to parishioners witnessing outside the clinics and services provided by the Sisters of Life and our pregnancy centers.

We ask for your renewed effort in making 40 Days for Life and pro-life intentions a focus of your parish this October, when we celebrate Respect Life Month together as a Church. Please promote the fall campaign in your parish. Attached you will find a bulletin announcement with the listing of the campaign contacts – lay volunteers who welcome your inquiries. We also ask you to consider supporting the campaign in the following ways:

  1. Invite your local campaign leader to speak after Sunday Masses and to other parish groups.
  2. As a parish, commit to covering 2-3 vigil hours each week during the campaign.
  3. Consider hosting Holy Hours, rosary processions, and other events for the campaign at the parish. Campaign leaders would be happy to help organize these.

We are most grateful for your attention to this matter. May the Lord of life bless and multiply our efforts to protect the sacredness of human life and build a culture of life.

                                    Gratefully, in Christ,

                                    Most Rev. Peter J. Byrne

                                    Most Rev. John S. Bonnici

40 Days for Life: September 27, 2023 to November 5, 2023

40 Days for Life

40 Days for Life is a life-saving prayer campaign that will take place throughout our Archdiocese starting on September 27th and concluding November 5th. 40 Days for Life is a peaceful initiative consisting of 40 days of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil at abortion facilities, and educational outreach with the goal of protecting mothers and their children from abortion. Nearly 23,500 unborn children have been saved from abortion during 40 Days for Life campaigns.  To learn more about the 40 Days for Life campaign, visit:  

Opening Events:

Manhattan Campaigns Opening Mass

White Plains Kick-Off Rally (bilingual)

Saturday, September 23rd at 10:00 AM at vigil location, Planned Parenthood 175 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains

Newburgh Kickoff Rally

Sunday, September 24th at 3:00 PM in the Cardinal O’Connor Hall (located in the basement of St. Francis of Assisi Church) 145 Benkard Avenue, Newburgh

Goshen Kick-off Rally

Tuesday, September 26th at 7:00 PM at the vigil location, Goshen Planned Parenthood on the public right of way on Coates Drive, Goshen.

Spring Valley Kickoff Rally

Wednesday, September 27th at 3:00PM at the vigil location, Planned Parenthood, 25 Perlman Dr, Spring Valley

Staten Island Opening Mass

Sunday, October 8th at 9:30AM, Blessed Sacrament 30 Manor Rd, Staten Island, followed by refreshments with Sisters of Life