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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 Thomas Madden, Father Philip Quealy, Monsignor Charles Quinn, Monsignor Desmond Vella, Monsignor Edward Weber

Requiescant in Pace   Monsignor John T. Meehan, Father Armand Padula OFM

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. It is included in the Initiatives section of this combined mailing.

Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal   Although we have faced many difficulties over the past year, thank you for your commitment to the appeal, which surpassed the goal of $21 million in cash with 51,426 gifts.  This was largely due to the leadership of our pastors and committee members.  A successful appeal is directly affected by the involvement of the pastor.  Many showed great creativity in spreading the word about the appeal even during this time of uncertainty, through digital efforts, the use of QR codes for in-pew weekends and extensive personal outreach.  For most of our parishes, the 2024 appeal will be kicked off next Sunday.  Campaign managers are working hard to support our pastors, so rely on them as a resource.  As in 2023, they will encourage highly personalized outreach to your parishioners, especially those who are loyal supporters, those who may have not participated last year, and parishioners who have completed their Renew + Rebuild pledges.  The development team can also support online giving, digital communications, and parish-based planned giving.  Thanks for your leadership on the appeal which allows our Church to remain financially viable and supports the vast pastoral, charitable, and educational outreach efforts of the archdiocese.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity   Thursday begins the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25).  This year’s theme is, “You shall love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).  During the WPCU, special intentions for Christian unity may be included in the universal prayer.  The Mass “For the Unity of Christians” may be celebrated (Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, no. 17) in accordance with liturgical norms (cf. GIRM, 373-374).  A resource page is included in this combined mailing.

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].

Materials Needed During a Parish Audit   Over the years, the archdiocesan department of internal audit has made significant progress in enhancing the performance of audits conducted in our parishes. These efforts have not only improved operational controls but also safeguarded the valuable parish assets and improved the understanding of financial management of our priests. Moreover, the provision of detailed audit reports on parish operations has proven invaluable to both newly appointed and seasoned pastors.  To enhance the efficiency of the audit process, we have enclosed a copy of the “Audit Request List” which outlines the necessary materials needed at the commencement of an audit. To expedite this process, we request that each parish, in collaboration with its accountant, ensure that these documents are carefully maintained in an easily accessible location and storage format (such as binders). This proactive approach will facilitate prompt access to the required documentation, minimizing delays in the audit process.  [Initiatives: Audit Request List]

Mutual of America 403(b) Investments   There is continuing interest in 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.  They will be held on Thursday, February 1 at Dunwoodie and repeated on Wednesday, February 7 at the Catholic Center beginning at 1:00 pm.  Virtual meeting options will be available at both locations.  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.

Last Will and Testament   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 one of us dies without a Will.  A Last Will and Testament is required of all pastors.  But it is desirable for all of us, along with health care proxies and plans for the funeral Mass and burial.

Sunday Collection Procedures   During the quarantine, the usual process for counting the Sunday offering was altered in many parishes.  Now that restrictions have been lifted, each pastor should refer to the Financial Policies and Procedures Manual for the proper method to safeguard the charitable contributions from our parishioners.  All funds must be secured in a locked safe, or immediately counted and deposited.  Ushers must not sort or precount the collection.  It must be performed by at least two designated, unrelated persons.  Ideally, there should be multiple count teams which are rotated periodically. Collections must be counted on parish property as soon as possible, in all cases not more than one business day later.  A designated person is responsible for making the bank deposit.  The standard procedure for handling collection funds is based on the principle of dual control (i.e., a minimum of two people must be involved whenever cash and checks are being handled).

Catholic Center 2024 Holiday Schedule   During 2024, the Catholic Center will observe the following holiday schedule:  January 15, February 19, March 28 (1:00), March 29, April 1, May  9, May 27, June 19, July 4, August 15, September 2, October 14, November 1, November 11, November 27 (1:00), November 28, November 29, December 24, December 25, and December 26, and December 31 (1:00).  It will also close at 1:00 on the ten summer Fridays (June 28, July 5, 12 19, 26, August 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30.  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.

Reconciliation Monday Dates   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.  In Advent, it will be held on Monday, December 16, 2024 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 in the archdiocese and the Diocese of Brooklyn.  Promotional material from the office of communications will be available as we get closer to the Lenten date.

Forty Days for Life   This life-saving prayer campaign will take place again throughout the archdiocese from February 14 through March 24.  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

Unannounced Mass Intentions Available   Through the goodness of a number of our pastors, surplus Mass intentions are available for priests who might not have access to a stipend every day.  If you are willing to offer these unannounced Masses, contact Dorothy ([email protected]) at the office of the vicar general (646-794-2908).  These are to be offered ad intentiones dantium.

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.

Social Security Payments for Priests   The purpose of the “thirteenth month” social security payment to our priests is listed in the current Financial Policies and Procedures Manual.  306.12 Taxable Income to Archdiocesan Priests   For social security purposes, priests are considered to be self-employed.  The parish is not permitted to deduct FICA from a priest’s salary or to pay the employer’s portion; the thirteenth month payment is to cover the FICA for the priest.  Every priest who is residing and working in the United States, both incardinated or not has the obligation to pay FICA.

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 from The Catholic News Publishing Company.

Flowers for Holy Week   Although Palm Sunday is two months 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. 

Office Holidays   The Catholic Center will be closed on Monday, February 19 in observance of President’s 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 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.  [Events: Catholic Center Holidays]

Lenten Day of Recollection for Priests will be held on Wednesday, February 28 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Dunwoodie.  The day will offer exposition, reflections, confession, and benediction.  Lunch will be available for those who request it beforehand.  More information will be forthcoming.

Safeguard Your Sacramental Registers   In accordance with the code of canon law, each parish is to maintain registers for recording baptisms, marriages, and deaths.  Generally, registers for confirmation, first holy communion, RCIA and the anointing of the sick are also maintained.  In the baptism register are also to be noted confirmation and those things which pertain to the canonical status of the Christian faithful (marriage, adoption, reception of holy orders, perpetual profession in a religious institute, or change of rite). These notations are always to be included on the baptism certificate.  Each parish is to have its own seal. Documents regarding the canonical status of the Christian faithful and all acts which can have juridic importance are to be signed by the pastor or his delegate and impressed with the parochial seal.  As new registers need to be ordered, if at all possible, the pages should be made of acid-free paper.  As registers become worn, they are to be rebound by a professional binder. Sacramental registers are to be stored in a locked, secure place, preferably one which is fire-proof or fire-resistant. The registers may be removed only by authorized personnel.  The loss or destruction of any sacramental register should be reported immediately to the office of the vicar general.

Upcoming National Collections   The Peter’s Pence collection will be on February 11, 2024.  Catholic Relief Services will be collected on March 10.  War Relief in Israel is at the discretion of the pastor.

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.  With ways on how to celebrate this in our parish, refer to the December 2022 Liturgy Update Newsletter included in this combined mailing.  You may also visit the USCCB web site for more information.

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, 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.

Advisory for Blessing of Throats   With concerns about the coronavirus, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) still with us, the blessing of throats on Saturday, February 3 might simply be offered with hands extended over the entire assembly (cf. Book of Blessings, no. 1628).  If offered during Mass, it may be prayed after the universal prayer or may take the place of the final blessing (BB no. 1626).  And, of course, it may also be offered individually to the faithful with blessed, crossed candles.

Preserving the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal While Conducting a Capital Campaign   If a pastor plans to initiate a capital campaign within the archdiocese, he is required to submit a letter to the vicar general, outlining the campaign’s purpose and explaining the funding strategy for the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal. This should specify if the parish intends to use its reserves to meet the fully guaranteed goal, or if it will run its appeal in the usual way with assistance from the development office. Should the parish opt for an active appeal and fail to reach the fully paid goal, it will need to cover any deficit to fulfill the guaranteed goal. The goal of the appeal must be fully paid by December 31 of the appeal year. You may direct questions to the director of the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal or contact the vicar general.

All Souls Day 2024   It occurs on Saturday, November 2.  This is a day in the Church calendar when ritual Masses may not be celebrated.  Since weddings are often scheduled on Saturdays, it might be well to make a note in your calendar for this year that a wedding Mass may not be scheduled on this day.  The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 330, states: “Ritual Masses are prohibited on the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter season, on solemnities, on days within the octave of Easter, on All Souls, on Ash Wednesday, and during Holy Week.  In addition, the norms in the ritual books or in the Masses themselves also apply.”  Pastors should take care to respect the Church’s liturgical calendar and avoid scheduling wedding Masses on this day.  Note that the Order of Matrimony without Mass may be used with no restrictions on this day.  According to the Ordo Missae, funeral liturgies are permitted on All Souls Day, provided All Souls Day does not fall on a Sunday.

2023 Income Taxes for Priests Only   In the past, ICS offered a discount on the latest version of Scott Hoselton’s helpful and familiar manual, Income Taxes for Priests Only. Because of decreased interest in recent years, ICS is unable to order a large enough quantity to provide a discount.  If you would like to order a copy of this resource for yourself or your accountant, you may contact the publisher directly at

Share the Word Please give access to all your priests and staff members to the 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.

Just One More Thing   Three Jewish women got together for lunch. As they were being shown their seats in the restaurant, one took a deep breath and gave a long, slow “oy.”  The second took a deep breath as well and let out a long, slow “oy.” The third took a deep breath and said impatiently, “Girls, I thought we agreed that we weren’t going to talk about our children.”