Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year!

We wish all of our wonderful parishioners a blessed and a happy New Year! Here is our parish schedule:

Monday, December 31, 2012 - New Year's Eve
Morning Mass at 9:00 a.m.
Parish Office Open 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Mass of Mary, Mother of God at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Masses at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon
Parish Offices Closed

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas and New Year Schedule

CHRISTMAS EVE – Monday, December 24

4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. & Midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY – Tuesday, December 25

8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon

OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS – December 26-31

Daily Mass at 9:00 a.m.

(December 26 – Parish Offices Closed)


7:30 p.m.


8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon

(Parish Offices Closed)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Prayers for Newtown

Please continue to offer prayers for the people of Newtown, Connecticult. They have suffered an unspeakable tragedy.

Reconciliation Monday

All churches in the Archdiocese of New York will open their doors for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Monday, December 17 from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Please take advantage of this opportunity to prepare for the birth of Our Lord this Christmas!

Your Pastor's Health

This week I had an incident involving my heart. It included irregular heartbeat and a fast pulse rate. I was hospitalized in order to get this under control. I am most grateful to Dr. Dennis and Anna Scharfenberger who immediately recognized the seriousness of the situation, as well as the superb care given by St. Anthony's Hospital, both in the Emergency Room and the ICU unit. At the moment, I am under the care of Dr. Scharfenberger, I am on medication and will consult this week with my dad's cardiologist to determine a course of treatment. I have been ordered to slow down and do only what is essential. I know you will understand. Thanks for your prayers and support!

Funeral Mass - Kim Emmerich Green

A Funeral Mass was offered for the repose of the soul of Kim Emmerich Green on Friday, December 14 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Kim and for her family.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday, December 8 is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Friday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m.

Memorial Mass - Kevin Cairns

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Kevin Cairns on Monday, December 10 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Kevin and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Eugene Maloney

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of the soul of Eugene Moloney on Wednesday, December 5 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Eugene and for his family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Funeral Mass - Jack McDonald

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Jack McDonald on Thursday, November 29 at 10:00 a.m. Jack served as our sacristan for the 7:00 a.m. daily Mass, and his sudden death has saddened all of us. Please pray for Jack and for his family.

Weather Update

Due to the snowy weather, Religious Education classes are cancelled on Tuesday, November 27.

Monday, November 26, 2012

School Reconfiguration Announcement

The Archdiocese released the following statement regarding Catholic Schools. Thankfully, it has been determined that St. Stephen - St. Edward School will be a Regional School of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties.

(New York, November 26, 2012) Local Boards for the three pilot regions and ad hoc Reconfiguration Committees for the six non-pilot regions, comprised of laity and clergy in parishes across the Archdiocese of New York, have completed their preliminary evaluations of the current status and long-term viability of the regionalized elementary schools in their respective regions.
The emphasis placed on this local decision-making process was outlined in Pathways to Excellence, the strategic plan for Catholic schools published in October 2010 and developed to assure a vibrant future for Catholic education. Under that plan, most parish elementary schools will align into geographic regions governed by Boards.
Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, Superintendent of Schools, said, “This regionalization initiative reflects the great progress we have made in the multi-year implementation of Pathways to Excellence, and aims to both stabilize and grow the number of Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of New York, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for future school closures.”
Dr. McNiff continued, “At its inception, Pathways to Excellence raised the standards of academic excellence in all areas while also working to secure additional funding through a variety of sources to help ensure a robust future for Catholic education across the archdiocese. Today’s regionalization process builds on the actions taken two years ago to improve the fiscal health of the Archdiocese of New York and will help ensure that all our schools will remain financially stable and, more importantly, open to all students.”
Local Regional Boards and Reconfiguration Committees in every county in the archdiocese began their careful analysis of each school region this fall. This review includes all relevant data, including enrollment, financial, academic and local demographics, and ensures their decisions will result in financially healthy schools. The long-term goal of regionalization is to maintain sustainable, excellent local school options for families wishing a Catholic education.
Based on this review, the Boards and Reconfiguration Committees have determined that 26 out of 159 regionalized, parish and archdiocesan elementary schools are at-risk of closure in June 2013. The number of students at these elementary schools is 5,053 out of 50,045 currently enrolled in Catholic elementary schools in the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, and Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Sullivan, Orange, Dutchess and Ulster counties. Enrollment data is as of October 1, 2012.
Holy Cross
Holy Name of Jesus
St. Gregory the Great
St. James-St. Joseph
St. Jude
Northwest and South Bronx:
Holy Spirit
Our Lady of Angels
Our Lady of Mercy
St. Jerome
East and Northeast Bronx:
Blessed Sacrament
St. Anthony
St. Mary
St. Mary Star of the Sea
Central Westchester:
Holy Name of Jesus, Valhalla
Our Lady of Fatima, Scarsdale
St. Casimir, Yonkers
Northern Westchester/Putnam:
Our Lady of the Assumption, Peekskill
St. Theresa, Briarcliff Manor
Dutchess:Regina Coeli, Hyde Park
St. Joseph, Millbrook
St. Augustine, New City
St. Peter, Haverstraw
Ulster, Orange, Sullivan:
Sacred Heart, Newburgh
St. Joseph, Kingston
St. Mary of the Snow, Saugerties
The catastrophic effects of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island have led the Regional Board of Trustees and the Office of the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York to engage local pastors, principals, administrators and elected officials in ongoing, in-depth discussions regarding how to best serve the needs of school families on Staten Island. These consultations are continuing as the impact of the storm on school communities is assessed, and no announcement about Catholic elementary schools on Staten Island will be made until after the New Year.
In addition to the elementary schools, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, after consultation with school leadership, has determined that St. Agnes Boys High School in Manhattan is also "at-risk" of closure in June 2013. The number of affected secondary school students affected is 217, out of 24,830 currently enrolled across the archdiocese.
In the next step of this process, pastors and principals of the at-risk elementary schools will be invited to meet with members of the local Board or Reconfiguration Committee in their region to discuss the combination of factors that led the school to be selected and review next steps. These pastors and principals will be given the opportunity to share insights that may be relevant in the review process. The final decisions by the local Boards and Reconfiguration Committees will be made in January 2013, in consultation with the Archdiocese of New York.
“I want to express my deep appreciation to the laity and clergy serving on the local Regional Boards and ad hoc Reconfiguration Committees,” said Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, Superintendent of Schools. “These are difficult, but necessary, decisions and, working together, we will ensure that our Catholic elementary schools are stronger than ever.”

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Funeral Mass - Jennifer Brune

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Jennifer Brune (age 27) on Monday, November 26 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Memorial Mass - Frank Ilardi

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frank Ilardi on Staurday, November 24 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Frank and for his family.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Father Micciulla and I extend to all of our parishioners our prayers for a Happy Thanksgiving! Here is our Thanksgiving schedule:

Wednesday, November 21
St. Stephen - St. Edward School Mass of Thanksgiving at 9:00 a.m.
Parish Office Closed at 4:00 p.m.
No Religious Ed Classes
Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving at Warwick United Methodist Church at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 22
Parish Mass of Thanksgiving at 9:00 a.m.
Parish Office Closed
Knights of Columbus Thanksgiving at Knights Hall, Florida at 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.

Friday, November 23
One Parish Mass at 9:00 a.m.
Parish Office Closed

Saturday, November 24
Office Open - Teen Staff - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
No Religious Ed Classes

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Funeral Mass - Patricia DeHaan

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Patricia DeHann on Saturday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Veteran's Day

We are grateful for the many sacrifices of our Veterans. Please thank a Veteran this weekend! On Monday, November 12, Veteran's Day, there will be one parish Mass at 9:00 a.m. All parish offices will be closed on Monday.

Wedding - Olsen & Rist

Daniel Olsen and Maegan Rist will receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, November 10 at 2:30 p.m. Please pray for the newly married couple.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Regular Mass Schedule Thursday & Friday

The Convocation of Priests has been postponed until the spring. Thus we will offer daily Mass at the regularly scheduled times on Thursday and Friday of this week: 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday Cancellations

Due to the expected snow, all after school activities are cancelled. Religious Ed classes are cancelled. The Baptism Class, scheduled for tonight, has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 10 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. The parish office is now closed for the rest of the day.

Storm Update

The Parish Center electrical work was finished on Tuesday. Special thanks to Boz Electric. Also, thanks to Tree Innovations and Tim Cooper, the hemlock has been cleared so that the children can use the playground. My dad and mys sister returned to their homes on Monday. All in my family now have power restored. This is not the case for many parishioners. I met a number at the community dinner. I urge our parishioners to keep looking out for your neighbors. You are always welcome to come and charge your electronics in the atrium.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Community Dinner Tuesday

Some parishioners are getting together to offer a Community Dinner for all who are still without heat and power. Come this Tuesday, November 6 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the school.

Storm Update

School opened today. It was a delight to see the little ones skipping down the hall. The power was reattached to the parish center on Sunday. Boz Electric hopes to complete the installation on Tuesday morning. If they are successful, we will have the parish center up and running for Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Funeral Mass - Joan M. Maietta

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Joan Maietta on Friday, November 2 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Joan and for her family.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Saints and All Souls

We are open and have power and heat!
Thursday is All Saints Day - a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Wednesday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m. and on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m.
Friday is All Souls Day. Please remember to bring your Intention envelopes. Additional envelopes are available in the atrium. Masses on All Souls Day will be at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m.

Storm Update - Wednesday Oct 31

The church and school have power. The parish center power is out. It was ripped out by a falling tree.
The parish office will be open today from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you need to charge your cell phones, there are numerous outlets in the church atrium. They are tucked inside the white poles. Please come and use them.
We had 23 trees down. They blocked the church lot entrance and exit, the school lot exit and numerous paths. One tree down in the cemetery. All trees that blocked access have been removed. We are fully open.
Trees hit the school gym roof, the roof over the new school kitchen and the roof of the parish center. Thankfully there is very little damage and no structural damage. One window was broken in a school classroom from flying objects. One light pole at the the school had the lights torn off. The major concern right now is the parish center. The electric was torn off so we must wait for Orange and Rockland. So, our school is ready to open, but pre-k is closed until further notice.
Thank you for all your prayers. Thanks especially to all parishioners who stopped by on Tuesday to lend a hand, especially Tim Cooper. Please be assured of my prayers in the days ahead.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Church Office Closed - Parish & School Closings

Our Parish Office is closed as of Monday, October 29 at 12 noon. The Office will re-open when possible after the storm. A reminder that our school and religious education programs are closed until further notice. All parish programs and activities are cancelled until further notice. In case of power outage, the 7am daily Mass is cancelled and we will offer Mass at 9am only. We do have an Emergency Cell Phone Number to call a priest - NOTE it should be used for emergencies only - 845-545-4064. Hopefully it will continue to work during and after the storm. If not, we suggest you call the Police and ask them to get in touch with us.
We pray for the safety of all!

Sandy Closures

Dear Parishioners,
Please note that our parish school and religious education programs are closed until further notice. The parish office will likely be open Monday morning, then close until it is safe again. If we have a power outage, the 7am Mass is cancelled and daily Mass will be at 9am.
We pray for the safety and well being of all.
Father Michael

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CYO Basketball Tryouts

Attention All Students in Religious Ed and our Parish School!

Because you are enrolled in Religious Ed Classes or attend our Parish School, you are eligible to try out for CYO Basketball at St. Stephen's!

Here is the Tryout Schedule:

All Tryouts are on Saturday, October 27

6th Grade Boys - 8am

5th Grade Girls - 9am

6th Grade Girls - 10am

5th Grade Boys - 11am

7th Grade Boys - 12 noon

8th Grade Girls - 1:00 pm

8th Grade Boys - 2pm

7th Grade Girls - 3pm

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wedding - Majewski & Bruno

A Nuptial Mass will be offered on Saturday, October 20 at 2:30 p.m. as we celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage for Taylor Majewski and Laura Bruno. Please pray for the newly married couple!


Sorry I have not been on line - internet troubles!

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Vernon Bonomi. His Funeral Mass was on Friday, October 19. He and his wife Patricia are long time parishioners. May he rest in peace.

Father Micciulla's sister Lisa and niece Leonora still are in the Burn Unit at Staten Island University Hospital, but are making progress. We are still trying to help them find an apartment. A benefit Pancake Breakfast will be held on Sunday, November 4, hosted by the Knights of Columbus and St. Stephen Sodality.

Carlos Supak is scheduled to be transferred soon to Helen Hayes Rehab in Rockland County. Please keep the prayers coming.

Looking forward to the Harvest Auction tonight - a great evening!

Enrollment of Confirmation Candidates will be held at all Masses this weekend. Please pray for our Confirmandi!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Homily - Respect Life

A parishioner asked me to post my homily - please understand it is more an outline then a finished product!

Walk through gate of Assisi , a hill town in Italy – come to Basilica of St. Clare

Small Chapel – Cross of San Damiano - Francis, go rebuild my church.

Thought – physically

Began to understand - rebuild my church!!

In beginning, they thought it was all a joke

Could this be our Francis? He is the life of the party - wanted to be a Knight

Isn’t he from a rich family?

In time – this was no joke

Began to realize, he was trying to imitate Jesus - the best - alter Christus - ever

Before Pope John Paul II used phrase “Gospel of Life” – Francis understood the sanctity of all life

- he would genuflect in front of pregnant women

- the first “live” nativity

- in the spring he would walk in bare feet so not to crush growing plants

- saw him embrace people with leprosy - he served Christ in the poor

- he understood the beauty of creation - brother sun & sister moon

- he even traveled to Egypt to meet with Sultan and negotiate peace

It is a different time and a different place – but Respect Life Sunday and the “Gospel of Life” never had more meaning.

It is now almost 40 years since Roe vs. Wade

Shocking thing that many still do not understand – permits death to children right to the very moment of birth - 53 million children gone

Many believe that this decision helped to create a growing acceptance of death as “solution” to personal and societal problems. 3 examples

- Euthanasia and assisted suicide are now promoted as answers to declining health and disability – it is on the ballot in Mass. Life for my dad is getting ever more difficult – but NEVER want him to feel he is a burden – his life is no less beautiful despite his age and health.

- We seek to find cures to diseases – a noble goal – but at what cost? Human embryonic stem cell research – week old embryos are sacrificed as a means to cure disease.

- To solve low fertility- human embryos are created in clinics – many discarded or placed in frozen limbo

Francis was a man who spoke the truth and transformed his age - who will do the same?

We will do well to imitate his example and spend time in front of a crucifix – the place where Jesus transformed death into life – “The Gospel of Life” Here is the prayer offered by St. Francis before the Cross of San Damiano:

Most High, glorious God,

enlighten the darkness of my heart

and give me true faith,

certain hope and perfect charity,

sense and knowledge, Lord,

that I may carry out

Your holy and true commands. Amen.

Columbus Day

Congratulations to our Italian American friends as we celebrate Columbus Day! We also offer prayers for the Knights of Columbus and all affiliated organizations.  A reminder that our parish offices are closed today.


Father Micciulla's sister - Lisa Roman, and his niece Leonora, are still in Staten Island University Hospital receiving treatment for injuries sustained when their home was struck by a car. The family is most grateful for your support and prayers.

Carlos Supak is still at Westchester Medical Center Trauma Unit recovering from injuries after being struck by a car. His family is most grateful for your continued support and prayers.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Prayers Needed for Father Micciulla's Family

On Friday, September 28 at 4:00 a.m. in Tottenville, Staten Island, a 22 year old driver under the influence ran a stop sign and crashed into a house. Asleep inside were Father Micciulla's sister and her three children. The crash pinned Lisa Roman and her five year old daughter Leonora under the car. They were transported to Staten Island University Hospital with numerous injuries. Please pray for this family and Father Micciulla during this difficult time.

Funeral Mass - Arthur J. Klingman

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Arthur Klingman on Monday, October 1 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Funeral Mass - Elizabeth Anne "Liz" Sanza

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Liz Sanza, age 26, on Friday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m. The celebrant will be Father Patrick Buckley, former parochial vicar. Please pray for Liz and for her parents, Al and Cheryl.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Prayer For Carlos Supak

Please join me in prayer for Carlos Supak, son of Susan and Daryl Supak and brother of Brandon. Carlos was a pedestrian hit by a car in Middletown on Friday, September 7. He is in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. Please surround this family with your love and prayers.

Update Tuesday, September 18 - Carlos is still in the Trauma Unit at Westchester Medical Center. Please keep the prayers coming - God Bless you!

Prayer For September 11, 2001

Here is the Prayer Offered by Pope Benedict at Ground Zero - 2008

O God of love, compassion, and healing,

look on us, people of many different faiths

and traditions,

who gather today at this site,

the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness

to give eternal light and peace

to all who died here—

the heroic first-responders:

our fire fighters, police officers,

emergency service workers, and

Port Authority personnel,

along with all the innocent men and women

who were victims of this tragedy

simply because their work or service

brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion

to bring healing to those

who, because of their presence here that day,

suffer from injuries and illness.

Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families

and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

Give them strength to continue their lives

with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well

of those who suffered death, injury, and loss

on the same day at the Pentagon and in

Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Our hearts are one with theirs

as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:

peace in the hearts of all men and women

and peace among the nations of the earth.

Turn to your way of love

those whose hearts and minds

are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,

overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,

we seek your light and guidance

as we confront such terrible events.

Grant that those whose lives were spared

may live so that the lives lost here

may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,

strengthen us in hope,

and give us the wisdom and courage

to work tirelessly for a world

where true peace and love reign

among nations and in the hearts of all.

Pope Benedict XI--Prayer at Ground Zero

New York, 20 April 2008

Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcome Bishop Dominick!

We are delighted that Bishop Dominick Lagonegro, Episcopal Vicar of Orange County, will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday, September 9 at 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. At the 12:15 p.m. Mass he will confirm Wendy Berlingieri. Please give Bishop Dominick a warm welcome!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Funeral Service - Lawrence P. Miller

A Funeral Service for Lawrence P. Miller will be held on Monday, August 13 at 10:00 a.m. at Lazer-Smith and Vander Plaat Memorial Home. Prayers will be offered by Deacon Arthur Cuccia. Please pray for Lawrence and for his family.

Wedding - Sullivan & Schlighting

A Nuptial Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, August 12 at 3:30 p.m. as Matthew Sullivan and Megan Schlighting exchange the vows of Holy Matrimony. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Wedding - McSherry & McMahon

A Nuptial Mass will be celebrated on August 11 at 2:30 p.m. as Brian McSherry and Meghan McMahon exchange the bonds of Holy Matrimony. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Funeral Mass - Kevin C. Mallon

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Kevin Mallon on Tuesday, August 7 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family. The celebrant will be Father Keenan, chaplain of FDNY. We welcome all firefighters who will be in attendance.

Father Micciulla's Dad

Father Micciulla's dad, Sall Micciulla, is undergoing major heart surgery today (Monday). Please keep him in your prayers.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Welcome Timothy Cardinal Dolan!

We are delighted and honored that Cardinal Dolan will offer the 12:15 p.m. Mass on Sunday, August 5. After Mass, the Cardinal will bless the "Pennings Field." The blessing will be followed by our annual Parish Picnic.

His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI on February 23, 2009. He was installed as Archbishop of New York on April 15, 2009.

He had served as Archbishop of Milwaukee since he was named by Pope John Paul II on June 25, 2002. He was installed as Milwaukee's 10th archbishop on August 28, 2002, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Papal Nuncio to the United States, installed Archbishop Dolan.

Born February 6, 1950, Cardinal Dolan was the first of five children born to Shirley Radcliffe Dolan and the late Robert Dolan. In 1964, he began his high school seminary education at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South in Shrewsbury, Mo. His seminary foundation continued at Cardinal Glennon College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. He then completed his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he earned a License in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas.

Cardinal Dolan was ordained to the priesthood on June 19, 1976. He then served as associate pastor at Immacolata Parish in Richmond Heights, Mo., until 1979 when he began studies for a doctorate in American Church History at the Catholic University of America. Before completing the doctorate, he spent a year researching the late Archbishop Edwin O'Hara, a founder of the Catholic Biblical Association. Archbishop O'Hara's life and ministry was the subject of the Archbishop's doctoral dissertation.

On his return to St. Louis, Cardinal Dolan served in parish ministry from 1983-87, during which time he was also liaison for the late Archbishop John L. May in the restructuring of the college and theology programs of the archdiocesan seminary system.

In 1987, Cardinal Dolan was appointed to a five-year term as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. When he returned to St. Louis in 1992, he was appointed vice rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, serving also as director of Spiritual Formation and professor of Church History. He was also an adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University.

In 1994, he was appointed rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he served until June 2001. While in Rome, he also served as a visiting professor of Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University and as a faculty member in the Department of Ecumenical Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. The work of the Cardinal in the area of seminary education has influenced the life and ministry of a great number of priests of the new millennium.

On June 19, 2001 – the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood – then Fr. Dolan was named the Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis by Pope John Paul II. The new Bishop Dolan chose for his Episcopal motto the profession of faith of St. Peter: Ad Quem Ibimus, "Lord To Whom Shall We Go?" (Jn 6:68).

Cardinal Dolan served as chairman of Catholic Relief Services from January 2009 – November 2010. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

On June 29, 2009, Cardinal Dolan received the pallium, a symbol of his office as an archbishop, from His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, at St. Peter's Basilica.

On November 16, 2010, Cardinal Dolan was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He succeeds Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

On January 6, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced that Cardinal Dolan was to be appointed to the College of Cardinals. He was elevated in the Consistory of February 18, 2012.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pray for the Deceased

I ask your prayers for my Aunt Minnie Morton, who died in England on the last day of our pilgrimage. My dad's sister was a devout soul who suffered greatly during her last three years on earth. Her husband Ken and her children were outstanding in caring for her. I also ask your prayers for Edward Kervorkian, the dad of Father George, pastor of St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Florida (the former St. Edward's). May the souls of our beloved departed rest in peace.

Back From Pilgrimage

We have returned after a wonderful Pilgrimage to France! I was accompanied by the following parishioners: Marge Berry, Ruthann DiMauro, Kathleen Henne, Austin and Gerianne Horan, Lucy Lybolt, Glenn and Miriam Muse. A number of people from the region and across the country also participated. It was a joy to offer Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Magdelene in Vezelay, at the Altar of St. John Vianney in Ars, at the Church in Paray-le-Moniel honoring St. Margaret Mary, at Chartres Cathedral, at the Basilica of St. Therese of Lisieux, at the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal - St. Catherine Laboure, and at Lourdes, both in the Basilica and at the Grotto. I had the opportunity to spend one hour at the Grotto and pray the many intentions that you gave me. You were in my prayers throughout!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Father Michael will be away from the parish July 15-29. From July 19-28 he will be leading our parish pilgrimage to France.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Funeral Mass - Edward J. Cassin

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Edward Cassin on Monday, July 16 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Eddie and for his family.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wedding - Kokosa and Nolan

Marc Kokosa and Megan Nolan will receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, July 14 at 2:30 p.m. The celebrant of the Nuptial Mass will be Father Flor. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Wedding - Lessard and Millette

Matthew Lessard and Megan Millette will receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, July 14 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph's Church in Florida. It will be witnessed by Father Michael. Please pray for the couple about to be married.

Funeral Mass - Jeanette F. Wright

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Jeanette Wright on Saturday, July 14 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Jeanette and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Frank L. Jordan

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frank Jordan on Friday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Frank and for his family.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Religious Freedom Update

From the USCCB Blog by Sister Mary Ann Walsh

Religious Freedom Campaign – It’s Only Just Begun

The bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom (, June 21-July 4, is over, but the concern for religious liberty has only begun to be heard. The two-week launch got people listening and praying. Now where do those who want to stand up for religious freedom go?

The answer is everywhere because religious freedom is a worldwide concern. Read the newspapers and you see massacres in churches in Nigeria and Iraq. Look to neighboring Cuba and you see how religious freedom has been severely under the Castro regime.

Look in the United States, where freedom of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment’s free exercise clause, and you see a sophisticated type of assault. It is unbloody, but far-reaching. Ironically, the assaults are not from some guerilla group or despot, but from the government. Foreign nations that look to the U.S. to protect their religious freedom have to shudder.

The assaults vary, but what they have in common is preventing religious bodies from operating according to their moral standards. For example, through the new Affordable Care Act most employers, including many religious ones, are compelled to provide free-of-charge to employees and their families contraception, female sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, even when they violate church teachings. Government in a miserly gesture says it will grant an exception to entities it defines as religious enough to merit protection of their religious liberty. That means the parish church is religious enough but not the church’s hospitals, schools, colleges, soup kitchens and other social services. You may think the latter obviously are religious works but the government says they are not if you serve needy people other than your co-religionists. Catholicism calls Catholics to help those in need.

Hard to live out the free exercise of your religion with this HHS mandate, the first of its kind in U.S. history. To add insult to injury, for centuries these church services have very effectively helped people who otherwise would have had to rely on government for such care. In fact, one out of six people in the U.S. who need hospital care get it at a Catholic hospital.

Catholic foster care and adoption services were forced to close in major metropolitan areas when Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the State of Illinois drove local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services. They did it by revoking their licenses, by ending their government contracts, or both because those Charities refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit. While the Catholic Church holds that a marriage is between a man and a woman and that children are best raised in a mother-father family unit, the government says if you hold that religious view, you have to give up a longstanding church ministry through which orphaned or otherwise needy children have been helped.

It’s not just Catholics who are afflicted. New York City adopted a policy that barred the Bronx Household of Faith and other churches from renting public school property on weekends for worship services, even though nonreligious groups could rent the same schools for many other uses. Is prayer more threatening than hoops? A few days ago a federal court finally ended this discriminatory policy, though appeals may continue.

In its entire history, The University of California Hastings College of Law has denied student organization status to only one group, the Christian Legal Society, because it required its leaders to be Christian and to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage. Does it threaten the public well-being to require a Christian organization to be led by a Christian?

A New Jersey judge recently found that a Methodist ministry violated state law when the ministry declined to allow two women to hold a “civil union” ceremony on its private property. Also recently, a civil rights complaint was filed against the Catholic Church in Hawaii by those wanting to use a chapel to hold a same-sex “marriage” ceremony. Is the country better for such in-your-face rejection of a church’s teaching?

The religious freedom campaign has an uphill battle before it, but it is hard to imagine our nation won’t be better for it. Not to mention those nations where people subjected to bloody religious battles barely have a prayer now.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wedding - Woloszczak & Carpino

A Nuptial Mass will be offered for John Woloszczak III and Amy Carpino on Saturday, July 7 at 2:30 p.m. by Father Patrick Buckley. Please pray for this couple as they begin to live the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony.

Funeral Mass - Anna Kellar

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Anna Kellar on Friday, July 6 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4 is Independence Day - a National Holiday. We will have one parish Mass at 9:00 a.m. All parish offices will be closed on Wednesday. Our church will be closed at 11:00 a.m.

Wedding - Baruffaldi & Monahan

Daniel Baruffaldi and Kelly Monahan will be joined in the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, June 30 at 2:30 p.m. Please pray for this newly married couple!

Welcome Father Flor!

Father Flor McCarthy is a Salesian Priest who lives and ministers in Dublin, Ireland. For over 30 years, Father Flor has spent his summer at St. Stephen's. Father Flor will return to St. Stephen's on Monday, July 2. Please give him a warm welcome!

Funeral Mass - Rosa M. Sariego

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Rosa Sariego on Monday, July 2 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From Cardinal Dolan - Fortnight of Prayer for Religious Freedom & New E-Book

Our First, Most Cherished Liberty

A favor: this year, on the Fourth of July, will you not only shoot off fireworks, but ring the bells at every church in the archdiocese at noon as we conclude our national Fortnight of Prayer for Religious Freedom?

This promising endeavor will begin this Thursday, June 21.

The cause is as old as the country we love, whose independence we’ll celebrate on July 4: religious freedom.

It’s not new at all: Our first bishop, John Carroll — whose cousin, Charles, signed the Declaration of Independence — constantly urged the tiny Catholic flock of his time to pray in thanksgiving for the freedom promised us to exercise our faith without harassment from anybody, government included, and to pray for its protection.

Nor is it uniquely American, for that matter. Just look at the saints whose feasts we’ll celebrate over the two-weeks of prayer:

St. John Fisher (June 22), who refused to render the king the allegiance that only belonged to God, and was murdered for it;

St. Thomas More (June 22), who would not violate his properly formed conscience to appease the crown, and lost his head;

St. John the Baptist (June 24), who would not disobey God’s law about marriage, and was beheaded by King Herod;

SS. Peter and Paul (June 29), who were martyred by Caesar for not worshipping him as a god.

The First Martyrs of Rome (June 30), slaughtered in the first generation of Christians for not genuflecting to the emperor, but only to the Lord.

St. Thomas the Apostle (July 3), whose defense of the basic freedom of faith led to his martyrdom in India.

What people of every faith longed for — the liberty to worship God and live out their religious convictions without oppression — finally came to be fulfilled in the country whose 236th birthday we will observe this July 4th.

I invite you to join this Fortnight of Prayer June 21 – July 4, thanking God for this first of our God-given rights — freedom of religion — and to ask the Lord to preserve it in the country we love as our earthly home.

Check the Archdiocese of New York website and the USCCB website for prayers and activities. I trust every parish will encourage this promising endeavor, as we will at the cathedral.

True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty

I am happy to share with you my new eBook, TrueFreedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty, which was released today! (Image Books, June 19, 2012.) The Archdiocese of New York issued the following press release to the media.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, today released an original eBook, TrueFreedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty (Image Books, June 19, 2012.)

His Eminence writes:

“In only the last few years we’ve experienced rampant disregard for religious beliefs in this country with the approval of embryonic stem cell research; legal justification for the torture of prisoners; the provision of tax dollars to abortion providers; the HHS mandates; and, most recently, a redefinition of marriage by many of our leading political figures. We can see that there is a loss of a sense of truth here, and objective moral norms—rules of conduct that apply always, to everyone, everywhere—and an “eclipse of a sense of God and of man.”

…To this culture of death the Church boldly and joyfully promotes the culture of life.

We recognize that we humans are at our best when we give ourselves away in selfless love and live no longer for ourselves, but for another. This is what Pope John Paul the Great calls the “law of the gift,” echoing the words of Jesus that, “No one has greater love than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

The eBook includes the introduction of A People of Hope (Image Books, Nov. 1, 2011), in which journalist John Allen Jr. interviews Cardinal Dolan on a number of topics.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day 2012

We wish all of our fathers, grandfather, godfathers and foster fathers a Happy Father's Day! We extend our prayers to all of our deceased fathers. May they rest in peace.

Staff Reflection Day - Offices Closed

Our Parish Staff will hold a Reflection Day on Thursday, June 21 from 9:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Our parish offices will be closed on Thursday. The teen staff will be available at the parish office from 4:00-9:00 p.m.

End of School Year

8th Grade Graduation - Friday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Pre-K Graduation - Monday, June 18 at 1:00 p.m.
K Graduation - Tuesday, June 19 at 1:00 p.m.
Home Run For Catholic Schools - Tuesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. - HV Renegades!
Closing School Mass - Wednesday, June 20 at 9:00 a.m.
Ecumenical Council - WVHS Baccalaureate - Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Funeral Mass - Barbara Klink

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Barbara Klink on Wednesday, June 20 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Funeral Mass - Anthony Costando

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Anthony Costando on Wednesday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Funeral Mass - Gertrude B. McGovern

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Gertrude McGovern on Monday, June 11 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wedding - Mentone and Matthews

Nicholas A. Mentone and Jessica B. Matthews will be joined in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony on Saturday, June 9 at 1:30 p.m. Please pray for them!

Funeral Mass - Alice Kenzik

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Alice Kenzik on Friday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Funeral Mass - Maureen A. Martin

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Maureen Martin on Tuesday, June 5 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Maureen and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Mary McAliney

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Mary McAliney on Monday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Mary and her family.

Wedding - Salisbury & Brager

A Marriage Ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. for Monique Salisbury and Steven Brager. Please pray for the newly married couple!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seminarian Returns

We welcome back Nicholas Fernandez to St. Stephen's. Nicholas will live at our parish for two months as part of his preparation for priesthood as a seminarian at St. Joseph's in Dunwoodie. Nicholas will continue to learn about life as a priest. Please pray for Nicholas.

Funeral Mass - Ethel A. Zanowick

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ethel Zanowick on Thursday, May 31 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day

Please join us for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Memorial Day at 9:00 a.m. It is a wonderful way to give thanks to God and to pray for those who made the Supreme Sacrifice on our behalf.
Please note that our parish offices will be closed on Monday.

Funeral Mass - John Graf

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of John Graf on Friday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for John and for his family.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taste Of The Town

We hope that all of our parishioners will join us at Taste of the Town this Sunday, May 20 from 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. A number of new establishments have signed on, so it should be a culinary delight! Remember that admission tickets are $4.00 in advance & $5.00 at the door, so stop by the parish office between 9:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Funeral Mass - Michael J. Benvengo

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Michael J. Benvengo on Friday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Seminarian To Return This Summer!

We are delighted to announce that St. Joseph’s Seminary has one again asked us to participate in the Pastoral Internship Program. Nicholas Fernandes will return to St. Stephen’s for a third summer on Tuesday, May 29 and work in our parish until Sunday, July 22. Nicholas is preparing to begin his fourth year of studies for the Priesthood. God willing, he will be ordained a Deacon this Fall and a Priest for the Archdiocese of New York in May of 2013. Please support him by your prayers!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Funeral Mass - Peter T. Rossell

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Peter T. Rossell on Monday, May 7 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Medical Update

After three weeks in the hospital, my dad went home today. Thanks for all your prayers!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Medical Update

My dad is still in Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco. Thank you for all of your prayers!

Funeral Mass - Helen Zombek

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Helen Zombek on Thursday, May 3 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wedding - Hilley and Sickles

A Nuptial Mass will be offered celebrating the Marriage of Matthew Hilley and Ileana Sickles on Saturday, April 21 at 2:30 p.m. Please pray for this couple as they receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cardinal Dolan to Visit St. Stephen's!

We are delighted that Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will visit St. Stephen's Parish on Sunday, August 5, 2012. He will celebrate the 12:15 p.m. Mass. After Mass, he will offer a Blessing at our Pennings Field. Please make the date on your calendar now and plan to join us!

Funeral Mass - James M. Curran

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of James M. Curran (USN), age 24, on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Funeral Mass - Joseph McLaughlin

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Joseph McLaughlin on Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Funeral Mass - Evan M. Kamback

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of five-year old Evan Kamback on Saturday, April 21 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Evan's parents and family at this most difficult time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Funeral Mass - Concetta C. Riccobono

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Concetta C. Riccobono on Friday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Medical Update

Thanks to all of you who are offering prayers for my dad. He is back at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco with pneumonia (3rd time in 4 months) and an infection. Please keep the prayers coming - God bless you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Funeral Mass - Linda L. Hoye

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Linda L. Hoye on Tuesday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Marie Jean Mallon

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Marie Jean Mallon on Monday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Priest Retreats

Your priests will be on retreat this month. It is an opportunity for rest and spiritual renewal.
Father Micciulla - April 15-20
Father Michael - April 22-27
Please pray for us as we will pray for you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Funeral Mass - Cecil T. Gamory

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Cecil T. Gamory on Saturday, April 14 at 10:00 a.m. Cecil and his late wife Mary were daily communicants at our parish. He has spent the last two years in the State of Florida. Please pray for him and for his family.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!

On behalf of the priests, deacons and staff of St. Stephen's, we wish all of our beloved parishioners a very Happy Easter!

Here's our Easter Mass Schedule:
Holy Saturday
Easter Vigil at 7:30 p.m. - No 5:00 p.m. Mass
Easter Sunday
7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. both in church and gym, 12:15 p.m.

Here's a Medical update:
- My dad is on the mend after a procedure to remove cancer from his bladder. He will begin weekly treatments on April 16. Thanks for your prayers.
- Father Micciulla had successful surgery to remove an infection from his leg. He hopes to be able to celebrate Mass on Easter Sunday!
- Deacon Tom continues to face challenges with an irregular heart beat. Please keep him in your prayers!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

United For Religious Freedom

United for Religious Freedom
A Statement of the Administrative Committee
of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

March 14, 2012

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gathered for its March 2012 meeting, is strongly unified and intensely focused in its opposition to the various threats to religious freedom in our day. In our role as Bishops, we approach this question prayerfully and as pastors—concerned not only with the protection of the Church’s own institutions, but with the care of the souls of the individual faithful, and with the common good.

To address the broader range of religious liberty issues, we look forward to the upcoming publication of “A Statement on Religious Liberty,” a document of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. This document reflects on the history of religious liberty in our great Nation; surveys the current range of threats to this foundational principle; and states clearly the resolve of the Bishops to act strongly, in concert with our fellow citizens, in its defense.

One particular religious freedom issue demands our immediate attention: the now- finalized rule of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would force virtually all private health plans nationwide to provide coverage of sterilization and contraception—including abortifacient drugs—subject to an exemption for “religious employers” that is arbitrarily narrow, and to an unspecified and dubious future “accommodation” for other religious organizations that are denied the exemption.

We begin, first, with thanks to all who have stood firmly with us in our vigorous opposition to this unjust and illegal mandate: to our brother bishops; to our clergy and religious; to our Catholic faithful; to the wonderful array of Catholic groups and institutions that enliven our civil society; to our ecumenical and interfaith allies; to women and men of all religions (or none at all); to legal scholars; and to civic leaders. It is your enthusiastic unity in defense of religious freedom that has made such a dramatic and positive impact in this historic public debate. With your continued help, we will not be divided, and we will continue forward as one.

Second, we wish to clarify what this debate is—and is not—about. This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church’s hand and with the Church’s funds. This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the Bishops’ somehow “banning contraception,” when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings. This is not a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops’ Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue.

So what is it about?

An unwarranted government definition of religion. The mandate includes an extremely narrow definition of what HHS deems a “religious employer” deserving exemption—employers who, among other things, must hire and serve primarily those of their own faith. We are deeply concerned about this new definition of who we are as people of faith and what constitutes our ministry. The introduction of this unprecedented defining of faith communities and their ministries has precipitated this struggle for religious freedom. Government has no place defining religion and religious ministry. HHS thus creates and enforces a new distinction—alien both to our Catholic tradition and to federal law—between our houses of worship and our great ministries of service to our neighbors, namely, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the students in our schools and universities, and others in need, of any faith community or none. Cf. Deus Caritas Est, Nos. 20-33. We are commanded both to love and to serve the Lord; laws that protect our freedom to comply with one of these commands but not the other are nothing to celebrate. Indeed, they must be rejected, for they create a “second class” of citizenship within our religious community. And if this definition is allowed to stand, it will spread throughout federal law, weakening its healthy tradition of generous respect for religious freedom and diversity. All—not just some—of our religious institutions share equally in the very same God-given, legally-recognized right not “to be forced to act in a manner contrary to [their] own beliefs.” Dignitatis Humanae, No. 2.

A mandate to act against our teachings. The exemption is not merely a government foray into internal Church governance, where government has no legal competence or authority—disturbing though that may be. This error in theory has grave consequences in principle and practice. Those deemed by HHS not to be “religious employers” will be forced by government to violate their own teachings within their very own institutions. This is not only an injustice in itself, but it also undermines the effective proclamation of those teachings to the faithful and to the world. For decades, the Bishops have led the fight against such government incursions on conscience, particularly in the area of health care. Far from making us waver in this longstanding commitment, the unprecedented magnitude of this latest threat has only strengthened our resolve to maintain that consistent view.

A violation of personal civil rights. The HHS mandate creates still a third class, those with no conscience protection at all: individuals who, in their daily lives, strive constantly to act in accordance with their faith and moral values. They, too, face a government mandate to aid in providing “services” contrary to those values—whether in their sponsoring of, and payment for, insurance as employers; their payment of insurance premiums as employees; or as insurers themselves—without even the semblance of an exemption. This, too, is unprecedented in federal law, which has long been generous in protecting the rights of individuals not to act against their religious beliefs or moral convictions. We have consistently supported these rights, particularly in the area of protecting the dignity of all human life, and we continue to do so.

Third, we want to indicate our next steps. We will continue our vigorous efforts at education and public advocacy on the principles of religious liberty and their application in this case (and others). We will continue to accept any invitation to dialogue with the Executive Branch to protect the religious freedom that is rightly ours. We will continue to pursue legislation to restore the same level of religious freedom we have enjoyed until just recently. And we will continue to explore our options for relief from the courts, under the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws that protect religious freedom. All of these efforts will proceed concurrently, and in a manner that is mutually reinforcing.

Most importantly of all, we call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the complete protection of our First Freedom—religious liberty—which is not only protected in the laws and customs of our great nation, but rooted in the teachings of our great Tradition. Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength—for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible.

St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day

I wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day and a Happy St. Joseph's Day. I plan to concelebrate Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and see Father Bob. I am undecided whether to march or enjoy the view from the front steps of the Cathedral! We'll see what the day brings. On St. Joseph's Day I will offer Mass at 9:00 a.m. and it will include the children from our parish school. Their music is exceptional - come and enjoy!

Funeral Mass - John H. Gerbehy

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the respose of the soul of John Gerbehy on Friday, March 16 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Funeral Mass - Raphaela R. Presutti

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Raphaela Presutti on Wednesday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Funeral Mass - Jacoba Pennings

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Jacoba Pennings on Monday, March 12 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Funeral Mass - Michael Slesinski

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Michael J. Slesinski on Wednesday, March 7 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Michael and for his wife Rosemarie and for their family.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

HHS Mandate - Cardinal Dolan

I Owe You an Update

March 1st, 2012 Over the last six months or so, the Catholic Church in the United States has found itself in some tension with the executive branch of the federal government over a very grave issue: religious freedom. Can a government bureau, in this case the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), define for us or any faith community what is ministry and how it can be exercised? Can government also coerce the church to violate its conscience?

I wanted to let you, the great people of the archdiocese, know how we’re doing in this fight. Thank you for your extraordinary unity, support, and encouragement. Throughout all the archdiocese, our people – both as patriotic citizens and committed Catholics — have been very effective in letting government know that we are not at peace at all with this attempt to curtail the freedom of religion and sanctity of conviction we cherish as both Catholics and Americans.

This has not been a fight of our choosing. We’d rather not be in it. We’d prefer to concentrate on the noble tasks of healing the sick, teaching our youth, and helping the poor, all now in jeopardy due to this bureaucratic intrusion into the internal life of the church. And we were doing all of those noble works rather well, I dare say, without these radical new mandates from the government. The Catholic Church in America has a long tradition of partnership with government and the wider community in the service of the sick, our children, our elders, and the poor at home and abroad. We’d sure rather be partnering than punching.

Nor is this a “Catholic” fight alone. As a nurse from Harrison emailed me, “Cardinal, I’m not so much mad about all this as a Catholic, but as an American.” It was a Baptist minister, Governor Mike Huckabee, who observed, “In this matter, we’re all Catholics.”

And it is not just about sterilization, abortifacients, and chemical contraception. Pure and simple, it’s about religious freedom, the sacred right, protected by our constitution, of any Church to define its own teaching and ministry.

When the President announced on January 20th that the choking mandates from HHS would remain — a shock to me, since he had personally assured me that he would do nothing to impede the good work of the Church in health care, education, and charity, and that he considered the protection of conscience a sacred duty — not only you, but men and women of every faith, or none at all, rallied in protest. The worry that we bishops had expressed — that such government control was contrary to our deepest political values — was eloquently articulated by constitutional scholars and leaders of every creed. Even newspaper editorials supported us!

On February 10th, the President announced that the insurance providers would have to pay the bill, not the Church’s schools, hospitals, clinics, or vast network of charitable outreach. He considered this “concession” adequate.

Did this help? We bishops wondered if it would, and announced at first that, while withholding final judgment, we would certainly give it close scrutiny.

Well, we have — and we’re still as worried as ever. For one, there was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom, or of modifying the HHS’ attempt to define the how and who of our ministry through the suffocating mandates.

Two, since a big part of our ministries are “self-insured,” how is this going to help us? We’ll still have to pay! And what about individual believers being coerced to pay?

Three, there was still no resolution about the handcuffs placed upon renowned Catholic charitable agencies, both national and international, and their exclusion from contracts just because they will not refer victims of human trafficking, immigrants and refugees, and the hungry of the world, for abortions, sterilization, or contraception.

So, we have given it careful study. Our conclusion: we’re still very worried. There seem far more questions than answers, more confusion than clarity.

Now what to do?

Well, for one, we’ll keep up advocacy and education on the issue. We continue to tap into your concern as citizens and count on your support. Regrettably, the unity of the Catholic community has been tempered a bit by those who think the President has listened to us and now we can quit worrying. You’re sure free to take their advice. But I hope you’ll listen to your pastors who are still very concerned.

Two, we’ll continue to seek a rescinding of the suffocating mandates that require us to violate our moral convictions — or at least a wider latitude to the exemptions so that churches can be free — and of the rigidly narrow definition of church, minister, and ministry that would prevent us from helping those in need, educating children, and healing the sick who are not Catholic.

The President invited us to “work out the wrinkles,” and we have been taking him seriously. Unfortunately, this seems to be going nowhere: the White House Press Secretary, for instance, informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli (and, embarrassingly for him, commented that we bishops have always opposed Health Care anyway, a charge that is simply scurrilous and insulting). The White House already notified Congress that the dreaded mandates are now published in the Federal Registry “without change.” The Secretary of HHS is widely quoted as saying, “Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets,” which doesn’t bode well for a truly acceptable “accommodation.” And a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff ended with the President’s people informing us that the broader concerns of religious freedom — that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent hardly-surprising but terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops are hopelessly out of touch with our people, and with those whom the White House now has nominated as official Catholic teachers.

So, I don’t know if we’ll get anywhere with the executive branch.

Congress offers more hope, with thoughtful elected officials proposing promising legislation to protect what should be so obvious: religious freedom. As is clear from the current debate in the senate, our opponents are marketing this as a “woman’s health issue.” Of course, it cannot be reduced to that. It’s about religious freedom. (By the way, the Church hardly needs to be lectured about health care for women. Thanks mostly to our Sisters, the Church is the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country. Here in New York State, Fidelis, the Medicare/Medicaid insurance provider, owned by the Church, consistently receives top ratings for its quality of service to women and children.)

And the courts offer the most light. In the recent Hosanna-Tabor ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously and enthusiastically defended the right of a Church to define its own ministry and services, a dramatic rebuff to the administration, but one apparently unheeded by the White House. Thus, our bishops’ conference and many individual religious entities are working with some top-notch law firms who have told us they feel so strongly about this that they will represent us pro-bono.

So, we have to be realistic and prepare for tough times. Some, like America magazine, want us to cave-in and stop fighting, saying this is simply a policy issue; some want us to close everything down rather than comply (In an excellent article, Cardinal Francis George wrote that the administration apparently wants us to “give up for Lent” our schools, hospitals, and charitable ministries); some want us to engage in civil disobedience and be fined; some worry that we’ll have to face a decision between two ethically repugnant choices: subsidizing immoral services or no longer offering insurance coverage, a road none of us wants to travel.

Sorry to go on at such length. You can see how passionately I feel about this. But, from what I sense, you do too. You all have been such an inspiration, and I owe it to you to keep you posted. We need you more than ever! We can’t give up hoping, praying, trying, and working hard.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Funeral Mass - Kayleigh Ann Belasco

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Kayleigh Ann Belasco, new born daughter of Nicholas and Julie Belasco, on Monday, March 5 at 10:00 a.m. We commend this beautiful child to the loving mercy of God, and we pray for her grieving family.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Funeral Mass - John A. Tinnirello

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of John A. Tinnirello on Thursday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Msgr. George Valastro

Msgr. Valastro was the Regional Vicar for Orange County for many years. He served here in our County as Pastor of Sacred Heart in Newburgh and Pastor of St. Joseph in Middletown. He was a superb priest, beloved by his people and by his brother priests. May he rest in peace.
Masses at St. Joseph, Middletown
Mass of the Eucharist - Wednesday, February 29 at 7:30 p.m. Celebrant is Bishop Dominick Lagonegro and Homilist is Father Jack Arlotta.
Mass of Christian Burial - Thursday, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Homilist is Msgr. Thomas Leonard.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thank You For Your Prayers

My father returned home on Monday. February 20 after a three week hospital stay. I thank all for your prayers and for your constant support.

Funeral Mass - Father Robert Hilfiker

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Father Robert Hilfiker, Pastor of St. Joseph's Parish in New Windsor on Tuesday, February 21 at 11:00 a.m. Father Bob was a superb priest and pastor who has had a long and difficult battle with cancer. He was only 63 years old. Please pray for him and for the people of his parish.

HHS Mandate - Forbes Magazine

The Audacity of Power - President Obama vs. the Catholic Church
by Charles Kadlec

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent.” Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

In one of the boldest, most audacious moves ever made by a President of the United States, President Barack Obama is on the brink of successfully rendering moot the very first clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (emphasis added). If he forces the Catholic Church to comply with the Health and Human Services ruling to provide its employees with insurance that covers activities the Church has long held sinful — abortion via the morning after pill, sterilization and contraceptives — then the precedent is clear: when religious beliefs conflict with government decrees, religion must yield.

The story line that President Obama miscalculated in picking this fight with the Catholic Church vastly underestimates the man’s political skill and ambition. His initial approval of the ruling requiring the Church pay for abortion drugs and sterilization was but the first step in a calculated strategy to further his goal of transforming America.

President Obama chose to pick this fight with the Catholic Church by choosing to release the regulations first, and then, as he explained in last Friday’s statement to the press, spend “the next year (before the new regulations take effect) to find an equitable solution that would protect religious liberty and insure that every woman has access to the care that she needs.” The alternative would have been to find the “equitable solution” before announcing the regulations. In other words, this entire political fire storm is a set-up by the Administration.

The original HHS ruling put the Catholic Church into the position of choosing one of these two options:

Option A: The Church complies with the law and violates its own teachings and principles of faith. Such a choice would strip the Church of its legitimacy and make it a de facto vassal of the state. In this case, the ability of the Church to challenge the government’s political power is vastly reduced, if not completely destroyed. Faith, charity and civil society are marginalized. Government wins.

Option B: The Church as a matter of conscience refuses to obey the law, and stops offering health insurance to its employees. In this case, the Church gets crushed by hundreds of millions of dollars in fines. As a consequence, its ability to fulfill its religious mission by funding hospitals, schools and charities is sharply reduced if not destroyed. As the Church is forced to withdraw from its active role in civil society, those who believe in government will rush to fill the void. Faith, charity and civil society are marginalized. Government wins.

The risk to President Obama was the Church would create “Option C” and engage in a broad political battle to force the full repeal of the ruling or, if that fails, the defeat of President Obama in the November election followed by the repeal of ObamaCare. Under Option C, government’s power is reduced. Faith, charity and civil society win.

President Obama’s political skill is demonstrated by his anticipation and preparation for just this outcome. First, he has used the issue to energize his political base by positioning his Administration as the defender of “women’s health” and attacking his opponents for taking him up on his implicit dare to make it an issue in the Presidential campaign.

Second, last Friday’s decision to “retreat,” as proclaimed by the weekend Wall Street Journal’s page 1 headline and find a way to “accommodate” religious freedom, was pure subterfuge. The notion of retreat or compromise is pure spin. The President’s operative statement reflected zero tolerance for those that would disagree with his policies.

He announced: (the imperial) “we’ve reached a decision on how to move forward. Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services -– no matter where they work. So that core principle remains (emphasis added). But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company -– not the hospital, not the charity -– will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles.

Got that? The insurance company will be required to offer the service, but will be forbidden from explicitly billing the Catholic organization for providing this benefit. Such a construct is a fraud. Of course the employer will have to pay for these benefits. And, even if they didn’t, the Church is still being forced to support what it believes are sinful acts. This “equitable solution” is simply an attempt to soften the blow of forcing the Catholic Church to accommodate the dictates of the now supreme federal government. It’s a face saving version of Option A.

Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. A government endowed right granted to women now trumps our unalienable right to act in accordance with our religious beliefs and conscience. Not only does this overturn the First Amendment, it also tramples the nation’s founding principles as announced in the Declaration of Independence. Such an achievement would be the true audacity of power.

The fundamental question is whether the Catholic Church, and by extension, individual Americans have to engage in activities according to the rulings of this and future Presidents, or are we free to live our lives as we choose as long as we do not harm another. Are we free to engage in long standing religious practices that have never before been deemed unlawful, or has the federal government established a de facto state “religion” that it is prepared to enforce through the full coercive power of its financial resources and the imposition of financial penalties.

If the Catholic Church and the American people choose the face saving “Option A” instead of “Option C,” then President Obama will have transformed America. We may be allowed the illusion of exercising our freedom, but in truth, we will be subjects in ObamaLand, required to do the bidding of this and future Presidents in the name of some higher, collective good.

However, the Catholic Church can turn the tables on the President by taking Option A off the table with a humble statement of principal that in the matters of religious practices and conscience, there is a higher authority than government Who it chooses to obey. If President Obama prevails and unleashes the full force of the federal government against the Church, the cost will be the closing of Catholic schools, hospitals and the loss of social services that play a vital part in communities across the nation. Such a stand would make clear to the American people that the alternative to religious freedom would be a mortal wound to our civil liberties and a complete disruption of civil society.

I am not a Catholic, nor do I believe in the Church’s opposition to contraception. But I pray that the leadership of the Catholic Church will have the faith and courage to stand for its core beliefs and use all of its moral power and political influence to defeat the President’s edict. I pray they will reach out across the political spectrum to people of all faiths, agnostics and atheists in the name of religious freedom and individual liberty. By so doing, they, and the institution of the Catholic Church, will have my love and respect for the rest of my life.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Unacceptable "Accomodation" HHS Mandate

The following letter was signed by former Vatican Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Princeton Prof. Robert George, Notre Dame Law Prof. Carter Snead, Catholic University of America President John Garvey, and EPPC Fellow Yuval Levin.

Today the Obama administration has offered what it has styled as an “accommodation” for religious institutions in the dispute over the HHS mandate for coverage (without cost sharing) of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. The administration will now require that all insurance plans cover (“cost free”) these same products and services. Once a religiously-affiliated (or believing individual) employer purchases insurance (as it must, by law), the insurance company will then contact the insured employees to advise them that the terms of the policy include coverage for these objectionable things.

This so-called “accommodation” changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy. It is certainly no compromise. The reason for the original bipartisan uproar was the administration’s insistence that religious employers, be they institutions or individuals, provide insurance that covered services they regard as gravely immoral and unjust. Under the new rule, the government still coerces religious institutions and individuals to purchase insurance policies that include the very same services.

It is no answer to respond that the religious employers are not “paying” for this aspect of the insurance coverage. For one thing, it is unrealistic to suggest that insurance companies will not pass the costs of these additional services on to the purchasers. More importantly, abortion-drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives are a necessary feature of the policy purchased by the religious institution or believing individual. They will only be made available to those who are insured under such policy, by virtue of the terms of the policy.

It is morally obtuse for the administration to suggest (as it does) that this is a meaningful accommodation of religious liberty because the insurance company will be the one to inform the employee that she is entitled to the embryo-destroying “five day after pill” pursuant to the insurance contract purchased by the religious employer. It does not matter who explains the terms of the policy purchased by the religiously affiliated or observant employer. What matters is what services the policy covers.

The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization. This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand. It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other people of faith and conscience to imagine that they will accept as assault on their religious liberty if only it is covered up by a cheap accounting trick.

Finally, it bears noting that by sustaining the original narrow exemptions for churches, auxiliaries, and religious orders, the administration has effectively admitted that the new policy (like the old one) amounts to a grave infringement on religious liberty. The administration still fails to understand that institutions that employ and serve others of different or no faith are still engaged in a religious mission and, as such, enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.

John Garvey
President, The Catholic University of America

Mary Ann Glendon
Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University

Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

O. Carter Snead
Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame

Yuval Levin
Hertog Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Statement of US Catholic Bishops Regarding Healthcare

WASHINGTON – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have issued the following statement:

The Catholic bishops have long supported access to life-affirming healthcare for all, and the conscience rights of everyone involved in the complex process of providing that healthcare. That is why we raised two serious objections to the "preventive services" regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in August 2011.

First, we objected to the rule forcing private health plans — nationwide, by the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen—to cover sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion. All the other mandated "preventive services" prevent disease, and pregnancy is not a disease. Moreover, forcing plans to cover abortifacients violates existing federal conscience laws. Therefore, we called for the rescission of the mandate altogether.

Second, we explained that the mandate would impose a burden of unprecedented reach and severity on the consciences of those who consider such "services" immoral: insurers forced to write policies including this coverage; employers and schools forced to sponsor and subsidize the coverage; and individual employees and students forced to pay premiums for the coverage. We therefore urged HHS, if it insisted on keeping the mandate, to provide a conscience exemption for all of these stakeholders—not just the extremely small subset of "religious employers" that HHS proposed to exempt initially.

Today, the President has done two things.

First, he has decided to retain HHS's nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients. This is both unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern. We cannot fail to reiterate this, even as so many would focus exclusively on the question of religious liberty.

Second, the President has announced some changes in how that mandate will be administered, which is still unclear in its details. As far as we can tell at this point, the change appears to have the following basic contours:

·It would still mandate that all insurers must include coverage for the objectionable services in all the policies they would write. At this point, it would appear that self-insuring religious employers, and religious insurance companies, are not exempt from this mandate.

·It would allow non-profit, religious employers to declare that they do not offer such coverage. But the employee and insurer may separately agree to add that coverage. The employee would not have to pay any additional amount to obtain this coverage, and the coverage would be provided as a part of the employer's policy, not as a separate rider.

·Finally, we are told that the one-year extension on the effective date (from August 1, 2012 to August 1, 2013) is available to any non-profit religious employer who desires it, without any government application or approval process.

These changes require careful moral analysis, and moreover, appear subject to some measure of change. But we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders—for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals—is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer's plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.

We just received information about this proposal for the first time this morning; we were not consulted in advance. Some information we have is in writing and some is oral. We will, of course, continue to press for the greatest conscience protection we can secure from the Executive Branch. But stepping away from the particulars, we note that today's proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.

We will therefore continue—with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency—our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Funeral Mass - Paul F. Sassano

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Paul F. Sassano on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for the repose of his soul and for his family.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Prayers For Evan Kamback

Young Evan Kamback is battling cancer. As he continues his chemotherapy treatments, we as a parish want to lift him and his family up in prayer. We will offer the prayers of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Evan on Tuesday evening, January 31 at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to join us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

K of C Free Throw Contest - UPDATE!

The Free Throw Contest will be held on Saturday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. - note the time change. See the post below for the ages and requirements.
Immediately after the Warwick Contest ends, they will hold the District Championship for the winners!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

K of C Free Throw Contest

The Free Throw Contest has been re-scheduled for Saturday, January 28 at 3:00 p.m. in St. Stephen's Gym. After the winners are chosen, they will compete in the District Championship - to be held immediately after the Warwick Contest.

Girls & Boys, ages 10-14  (proof of age and permission of parent/guardian needed)
More info - call Mike Aiello 973-853-6847

Snow Cancellations - Update

Saturday, January 21, 2012
All parish activities and programs, including the K of C Free Throw Contest, are cancelled for today.
The only scheduled liturgies are:
Confessions 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Mass 5:00 p.m.
Please use good judgment before deciding to drive!!!

Snow Cancellations

Saturday, January 21
Religious Education classes are cancelled
No information as yet regarding the K of C Free Throw Contest

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Priest Assigned To St. Stephen's

We are delighted to inform you that Cardinal-Elect Dolan has assigned Father Angelo Micciulla as Parochial Vicar to St. Stephen’s Parish. He is scheduled to begin his ministry on Wednesday, January 25.

Father Micciulla is a native of Staten Island. He studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph’s Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York in 2005.

His first assignment was at Our Lady of Sorrows in White Plains. Most recently he has served at Sacred Heart in Suffern. Please give Father Micciulla a warm welcome to our parish!

Additional Statement From Bishop Lagonegro

Dear Father McLoughlin,

Last Sunday when I spoke to the parishioners of St. Stephen about Father Casmir Mung’aho, Archbishop Dolan and I truly believed from our discussions with Father Casmir that the child he fathered was born before he entered St. Joseph’s Seminary here in the Archdiocese of New York. On further investigation, we now know that the child was born during his first year as a student at St. Joseph’s Seminary. We are letting you know this so that you know that we are being honest and straightforward with you. You and all the people of St. Stephen are in my prayers. God bless.

Bishop Dominick Lagonegro

2012 Consistory of Cardinals - Pilgrimage to Rome

The Archdiocese of New York is happy to announce the elevation of Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan to the College of Cardinals. Join The Most Rev. Timothy M. Dolan and the Archdiocese of New York on this pilgrimage to Rome, with highlights being the Consistory ceremony on February 18, and Solemn Papal Mass of Thanksgiving on February 19. Due to time sensitivity (deadline January 20), contact Peter¹s Way Tours today for detailed information. For enrollment brochure, Email: or call: 800-225-7662.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Statement Regarding Father Casmir

This is the message given by Bishop Lagonegro at all Masses at our parish on January 7/8.

It has recently come to the attention of archdiocesan officials that while he was a seminarian, before he moved to New York and was admitted to St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, Father Casmir Mungaho fathered a child, in a consensual relationship with an adult woman.

As an applicant for our seminary and as a candidate for Holy Orders, Father never revealed this to our bishops or seminary authorities, which he certainly should have done. The fact that he is the father of a child was not known to us at the time of his ordination nine months ago.

Given the need for Father Casmir to address this matter and reflect on his responsibilities in a very serious way, his assignment to St. Stephen’s is now ended. Please pray for him, as well as for the mother and the child whose lives are so precious.

While we regret having to bring such sensitive matters to your attention, Archbishop Dolan and I believe that it is better to be forthright with you. We are sure that when there is sobering news like this about leaders in the church, our faithful people should hear it first from their pastors rather than from someone else.

Please know that your parish is very dear to us. We have great respect for your pastor Fr.
McLoughlin, and are working to get you and Father McLoughlin another priest as soon as we can.

(From Father Michael) - I ask all of our parishioners to please keep Father Casmir, the mother and the child in your prayers.