Sunday, December 29, 2013

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

We wish all of our parishioners a very Happy New Year! As we begin a New Year, the church asks us to pray and reflect. Join us for Mass on New Year's Eve at 5:30 p.m. or on New Year's Day at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. 
Note - Church Office Hours
Monday, Dec 30 - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec 31 - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan 1 - Closed

Funeral Mass - Vincent M. Brown, Jr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Vincent Brown on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Masses of Christmas

Holy Mass will be offered on Christmas Eve at 4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and at Midnight.
Masses on Christmas Day are at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and at 12:00 noon.
We wish you a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Church Office schedule
Monday - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - Closed (Feast of St. Stephen)

Funeral Mass - Grace Marie Arkenbout

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Grace Arkenbout (age 2) on Monday, December 23 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her mom and dad, her grandparents, and her relatives.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reconciliation Monday

On Monday, December 16, all parishes in the Archdiocese of New York will open their doors for a continuous offering of the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Come and prepare the way of the Lord in your heart! Come and experience the mercy of God!

Advent Third Sunday - Christmas Tree

Strange thing – you cut down a tree – bring it inside the house – hang stuff on it – put lights on it.

Jesus life connected to trees – carpenter – manger – boat – cross

Evergreen – stays green all winter – sign of life in death

Martin Luther – walking through woods – starlight through trees – put candles on tree – not popular with fire department – Thomas Edison took care of that.

Angel or star on top

Angel – Glory to God in the highest

Star – Star of Bethlehem

JPII first to bring tree to Vatican – with beautiful Nativity in St. Peter’s Square.

 Few years back, Pope Benedict invited to Gubbio to bless a huge Christmas tree.

Made three wishes:

1)    Many look at the bottom of the tree where the presents are – what did I get for Christmas? His 1st wish – look up – toward heaven – toward God.  Baptist said: he must increase, I must decrease – I am not worthy to untie his sandals.

2)    Trees give off light – the light was shining upon the shepherds – we too need that light to show us the path when it is dark, when we are afraid or worried. 2nd wish – see that the baby, born in Bethlehem, is the Light of the World.  Baptist said: Look, the Lamb of God!

3)    Tree is made of many lights, not just one light. 3rd wish that we would not be selfish but would become lights for others – just as JB was a light.  Words written on Newtown bus : Be nice to each other. It’s really all that matters word s by Principal who gave her life.

 Blessing of the Christmas Tree

 God of all creation, we praise you for our Christmas trees which bring beauty and memories and the promise of life to our homes.

May your blessings be upon all who gather around our trees, all who keep the Christmas festival by its lights.

We wait for the coming of Christ, the days of everlasting justice and peace. You are our God, living and reigning, forever and ever, Amen.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Cancellations

On Saturday, December 14, due to the storm, all parish programs and activities are cancelled. First Penance is cancelled. Religious Ed Classes are cancelled. Basketball is cancelled. The church office is closed.
Only church liturgies will be held as scheduled: 9:00 a.m. Mass, the 9:45 am Funeral Mass for Christine Black, Confessions at 3:30 pm and Mass for the 3rd Sunday of Advent at 5:00 p.m. However, we urge you to take precautions and suggest that you consider coming to Mass on Sunday instead.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Funeral Mass - Eugene E. Cattani

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Eugene Cattani on Monday, December 16 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Christine J. Black

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Christine Black on Saturday, December 14 at 9:45 a.m. Please pray for her and particularly for her children: Elizabeth and Christopher. (Note Mass time - due to First Penance at 11am & 1pm).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Funeral Mass - Ruth E. Lucas

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ruth Lucas on Friday, December 13 at 10:00 a.m. Ruth was a volunteer in our school cafeteria. Please pray for her and for her family.


Tuesday, December 10 - Due to expected snow, all programs and activities are cancelled.
The parish office is closed.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Found this article by Cardinal Dolan published in the NY Daily News:

Do Courage and EnCourage teach virtue or intolerance?

Pope Francis famously made headlines over the summer when he said in an interview, "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?" His words made me grateful for the church's ministry, called Courage, which assists and supports people with a same-sex attraction to live virtuous lives, and EnCourage, dedicated to the spiritual needs of parents and relatives of those with same sex attraction.
Here we have a loving, welcoming, community, dedicated to helping those who strive to live as Jesus calls us to live. This is what our gay Catholics have long sought: a home, a welcome, a sense of inclusion in the church they love.
Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I learned of the cancellation of a talk by a retired priest of the archdiocese (a remarkably gentle and holy man, by the way), active in Courage, that was to be given, at their request, to parents of Catholic high school students, intended to help and support those parents whose children may sense a same-sex attraction.
The reaction to the planned lecture at Cardinal Spellman High School is a shame — one that distorts the very meaning of “tolerance.”
It seems that no one can talk of virtue anymore without, at the very least, being labeled out of touch with reality, and in this case, accused of far worse — spreading hatred. But didn't Jesus promise, "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." (Mt 5:8) A pure heart is a chaste heart, a heart that loves others for who they are and not simply for what they can do or how they can satisfy me.
Is this not the way each of us wishes to be appreciated and desired by another? At the same time, however, we know our hearts are restless, unfulfilled, even in the best of love stories. Some of that restlessness is good — it attracts us to God and to Heaven — but some of it is dangerous, and can make us self-centered, promiscuous, irresponsible and inconsiderate of the good of others.
A pure heart leads to generosity, peace and fulfillment. We are all called to chastity — to keep God's gift of sexual love within marriage — and for married couples to live in faithful fidelity to one another, all in keeping with God's plan. Yes, sex is a beautiful gift from God, but we see the effects of the misuse of this gift all around us, don't we?
The epidemic of pornography, adultery, sky-high divorce rates, human trafficking, treating others as objects and not as people made in the image and likeness of God, all can be traced back to the lack of virtue and purity in our lives.
Which is part of what makes the intolerance of those who seek to drown out the church’s beautiful teaching so alarming. For individuals and groups to bully, to threaten, to protest, when a priest seeks to explain this timeless and timely message to parents who invited him to do so, is a scary precedent. We have gone from the days when the plea from some activists was “all we want is to live our lives in peace” to “you shall not have the right to present your teaching.”
Who is being intolerant here? I am reminded of the recent shameful episode when Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was unable to give a talk after being shouted down by students at a renowned "liberal and tolerant" Ivy League school. Have we really reached the point where only one point of view can be expressed?
One thing must be made clear. Courage is not against anyone or anything. Having been a supporter of Courage for many years, and now serving as chairman of its episcopal board, I know what it is unwaveringly for: for the person, for the faithful expression of God’s love and mercy, for helping people who are seeking Jesus to live full, happy, integrated lives. There is never an intention to impose on anyone, but always to extend an invitation to those who wish to respond.
"Who am I to judge?" Pope Francis asks. How sad that those who claim to be in favor of tolerance have pre-judged and blocked a message of love and acceptance from being delivered, tarnishing the reputation of a splendid group and a school which has as one of its goals to help our youth live out their faith.

Read more:

Monday, November 25, 2013


We wish all of you a very blessed Thanksgiving. For those of you with an "empty seat" at the table, I understand and my prayers are with you.
St. Stephen - St Edward School Mass of Thanksgiving - Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.
St. Stephen's Parish Mass of Thanksgiving - Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

Notes - Parish Office closes on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
The office will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.
School 1/2 day Wednesday. Religious Ed no classes on Wednesday & Saturday.

Pastor's Health

So many of you ask, so I thought I'd give an update!
In November, I had:
- A complete physical. All numbers are good!
- A colonoscopy. He said see you in five years!
- A heart check. EKG is perfect & see you in six months!
- My eyesight continues to slowly deteriorate, so I have gone back to the bookstand on the altar.
So, my health is as good as it can be! Thanks for your prayers!

Memorial Mass - Frances Batz

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frances Batz on Friday, November 29 at 10:000 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Gravity" Homily Nov. 9 & 10

Sometimes asked  -- what Bible should I buy?
Suggest a Catholic Bible -   aren’t all Bibles the same?
No – they are not - 
Most Protestants do not believe in Purgatory  -  the journey ends at death
Heaven or hell
Catholics believe the journey continues after death – a process of purification – growth –of preparing to see God face to face.
So, because certain books like Macabees speak of prayers for the dead, they are not in the Protestant Bible
Sad, because Macabees  -   is  also one of the first Jewish books to speak of resurrection!
Just saw absolutely frightening movie  -  Gravity -   my heart was pounding
Without giving away too much – let me say that
Dr Ryan Stone has experienced a catastrophe in space as she works on repairing the Hubble Space Telescope.
Already filled with deep sadness – her 4 year old daughter has died in an accident.
She is now on the edge of her own death – she says:
“No one will mourn for me
No one will pray for my soul.
I’ve never prayed  . . . nobody has taught me how.”
She is lost ,  helpless,  alone  -    truly experiencing the absence of God.
But then, we hear her offer the very first prayer of her life. She begins her journey of rebirth.  Interesting – camera focuses on  image left by the Russian astronauts of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child.
She prays for the intercession of a fellow astronaut who has died – to look after her 4 year old daughter – and that she plans to see her again.
Hope – Resurrection  -   and why? -  Jesus has  broken the power of death!
Christ has died   Christ is Risen   Christ will come again!
Things are during dark,  leaves mostly fallen.
But we know spring will come  -  new life
What will that new life be like?
Going through dad’s things – came across letter written by his mother to him in 1952.
After my ordination in 1981, I traveled to Ireland.
I felt as if I had been there before.
Growing up, I heard all the stories and saw the pictures of the farms that mom & dad grew up on.
When I finally got there – I said to myself    “My God, I know this place – I am home”
Somehow, I think crossing from this life into eternal life will be similar. I will be home.
And for this – I would say the final words of the movie  “Gravity” are most appropriate.
It certainly seemed like a prayer to me – she said  -  “Thank You”

Saturday, October 26, 2013

All Souls Day

Saturday, November 2 is All Souls Day. It is a special day to pray for our beloved departed.  Mass will be offered on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.A Novena of Masses will be offered for our beloved departed. Please write your intentions on the All Souls envelope and drop it in the collection or return it to the parish office.

All Saints Day

Friday, November 1 is All Saints Day. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Thursday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m. and on Friday, November 1 at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Bishop Lagonegro is scheduled to offer the Friday 7:30 p.m. Mass.


I will be preparing for a colonoscopy on Monday, October 28. You know what that means! The procedure is Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. So, I will be away from the parish on Monday and Tuesday. See you Wednesday!

Parish Planning Survey

A parish planning survey has been included in this week's bulletin. Please take the time to fill it out and return it by next weekend. Your participation will help us to plan for the future of St. Stephen's.

Funeral Mass - Maureen T. Worhach

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Maureen Worhach on Saturday, October 26 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Funeral Mass - Richard Hefner

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Richard Hefner on Tuesday, October 22 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Richard and for his family.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pastor's Convention

The annual Convention of Pastor's will be held Monday afternoon, October 21 to Friday, October 25 at Spring Lake, New Jersey. We attend classes mornings and afternoons. We pray together at Mass and for Morning and Evening Prayer. There is time to socialize and walk. The Cardinal will spend a day with us. It is a good chance to regroup and learn new things. Please remember daily Mass this week is at 9:00 a.m. only. You will be in my prayers.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another Busy Weekend!

Wow! Another active weekend at your parish. All of our 7th Grade Confirmandi will participate in Enrollment Masses Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Please pray for them. There will be a Bake Sale after all Masses. We will also distribute a book (Growing In Age and Grace) from the Bellvale Community. Richard Kurtz will speak about the beauty of the aging process. Detective Stephen McDonald, brother of our own Dolores Murphy, will speak to our 7th & 8th Graders on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in the church. Stephen has a important message about non-violence and forgiveness to share. All parishioners are very welcome to come and hear him speak. In the evening, we will have our 1st Youth Group Meeting of the year. It is for Grades 7-8-9 and we meet on Sundays from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the school. High School students in Grades 10-11-12 are welcome to be on CORE Team.

Funeral Mass - Stephen A. Dunn

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Columbus Day

Monday, October 14 is Columbus Day, a National holiday. There will be one parish Mass at 9:00 a.m. All offices are closed on Monday. The church will be closed after Mass.

Blessing of the Animals

Our annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis will be held on Sunday, October 13 at 3:00 p.m. Please come to the area in front of the church. Each pet will receive an individual blessing. All pets are welcome!

Wedding - McGovern & Rowan

The Sacred Vows of Marriage will be exchanged during a Nuptial Mass for Scott P. McGovern and Megan Rowan on Friday, October 11 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Funeral Mass - Margaret M. Quinn

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Margaret M. Quinn on Friday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Margaret and for her family.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Big Weekend!

The weekend kicks off on Friday as our Holy Father goes on pilgrimage to Assisi and our Confirmandi go on pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Please pray for a safe journey. On Saturday, Father Andrew Apostoli CFR and of EWTN will lead a Women's Day of Recollection. Over 50 women have registered. Our catechists will attend the Catechetical Congress in Monroe. In the evening, we will have our great Harvest Festival. On Sunday, our community celebrates Applefest. Our parish will have a booth for the first time in a number of years. Look for me from 11-5. A big weekend!!!

Funeral Mass - Mary L. Goodman

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Mary Goodman on Saturday, October 5 at 10:00 a.m. Mary and her husband George were long time and outstanding parishioners. Please pray for Mary and for her family.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

Hi All,
Sorry I have not kept up with the blog. Now that my vacation days are over, I will try to do better!
- Thanks again for all your prayers. Over two months have gone by since my dad's death. Some days are still hard.
- Keep praying for our housekeeper - Nellie Fahy. Nellie took ill right before my dad died, and is still doing rehab. She hopes to be back soon. In the meantime, thanks to all who helped with the wash, the cleaning and the cooking. We are surviving!
- Thanks to all who assisted with the Ministry Fair. It looks great!
- Thanks also to all who prepared the "Welcome New Parishioner" Breakfast. The bagels were excellent.
- Thanks to Tony Majewski for not being defeated by our water problems. Tony laid a new water pipe in one day (Saturday). Great job Tony!
- Pray for Mike Derych who took ill at the beginning of the 9am Mass. Mike, you can't blame this one on my homily! Get better!
- Pray also for Mary Goodman, a dear parishioner who is critically ill.
- Looking forward to the Knights Outing on Monday!
- Mariano Day at the Stadium and Andy's last start. The DVR is set to go.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Assumption of Our Lady - Holy Day

Thursday, August 15 is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Wednesday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. and on Thursday at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m.

Funeral Mass - Thomas Burger

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Thomas Burger on Monday, August 12 at 11:30 p.m. Please pray for Thomas and for his family.

Memorial Mass - George Minton

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of George Minton on Monday, August 12 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for George and for his family.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Parish Picnic - September 8

Our annual Parish Picnic will be held on Sunday, September 8. We will begin with an outdoor Mass at 12:15 p.m. followed by our picnic. At the picnic, we will serve, free of charge: hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon and bottled water. You are very welcome to bring other items that you would like to have. Bring folding lawn chairs to picnic on the grounds. Bring softball and soccer equipment to play on our field. The bouncing room will return. In case of rain, Mass will be in church and the food will be served in the cafeteria with additional seating in the gym. Volunteers are needed:
-         Set Up on Saturday, September 7 at 10:00 a.m. (includes shucking corn!)
-         Serving the food after Mass until 3:00 p.m.
-         Organizers of softball game & soccer game on the field.
-         Clean up of kitchen and picnic area beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Volunteers are asked to call the church office and leave your name and phone number

Father Michael Appointed to Planning Group

Cardinal Dolan has appointed Father Michael to serve on the Archdiocesan Advisory Group for “Making All Things New,” the pastoral planning process now underway. The Group is made up of forty members, who are respected clergy, religious and lay leaders from diverse backgrounds and geographic areas within the Archdiocese. People with experience in Catholic schools, catechetical programs, liturgy and human concerns are also represented in the group.  Members will make recommendations to the Cardinal after:
-         Reviewing criteria for assessing parish viability concerning Mission, Demographics and Stewardship.
-         Studying available data about parishes and diminishing number of priests.
-         Reviewing suggestions from Parish CORE Teams and Cluster CORE Teams.
-         Working with the Pastoral Planning Working Group.
Father Michael will continue to serve on the Catholic Identity Committee of the Regional Board for Catholic Schools in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties, as well as on the Board for Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County.

CORE Team for Pastoral Planning

Cardinal Dolan has asked each parish to put together a CORE team for Pastoral Planning. These teams will be entrusted with the responsibility of bringing parishioners together, listening to their concerns, and evaluating the parish, top to bottom. Responsibilities will be spelled out in training sessions that will take place beginning in September. Sessions will be coordinated by the Reid Group, which has been hired by the Archdiocese for facilitate this process.
Father Michael has asked four former chairs of our Parish Council to serve as members of our CORE Team. All have generously accepted this responsibility. They are Stephen Mandracchia, Joan Rotar, Mary Ann Knight and Darrell Supak.
We look forward to learning more about this process in the Fall.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thank You

My Dear Parishioners,
During the most difficult days in my life, so many of you were there. You offered your prayers for us. You encouraged me as I made innumerable hospital visits while continuing to heal from my heart procedure. You came to support my family at the wake. You sent Mass cards. You helped with the Mass booklet. You took the time to be at the Funeral Mass. You ushered at the Mass. Some even came to the cemetery. I and my family will always be grateful. You are always in my prayers. See you the week of July 28.
Father Michael

Notes from Dad's Funeral Homily - July 17, 2013

Thanks to all for being here
Joan Ferroni, Msgr. Barry, Maryl SJB & Chuck
Brother priests – calls from Card Dolan, Bishop Dominick & Bishop Tim 2nd most favorite priest.
First? Dad would go to daily Mass after he retired – who has Mass – the Saint (Father O'Toole)
Little church has meant so much to so many of us – where Maureen, Susan & Thomas were baptized.
Last time we were together here – celebrated Dad’s 80th Birthday with a Mass.
Faith was always important to Dad & Mom.
For Dad, helped him face life’s many challenges.
We had dad for 87 years – his own father died when he was two.
Because of their poverty – he left home at 14 & went to work
Sally Gap, Coal mines, ships in Newry – lived with Aunt Roseann & Uncle Terry RIP
Their son, our cousin Sean is here from Vancouver  Thank you Sean!
His mother Alice worried – spoke to brother in America – Imagine faith needed to leave home and country - not to return for over 50 years?!    Uncle Mylie called him “Big Sheridan”
Sister Pat’s dad – put him to work at Sheridan’s Food Store in the village.
Spent time off in Bronx & Manhattan – would meet a girl from Drumahair, Co. Leitrim – and began a life together.
How can you sum up a life?  Chose 3 areas:
Hard work – both worked so hard – a man with 6th grade education put 4 children through college. We were not just his children but also his employees! We all worked with him and learned the value of good, honest work.
Family –after mom died, we all naturally began to look out for dad – to the point – my brother said – we all became his best friend and he ours.  Love divided is actually love multiplied!
Faith – Mass – Prayer – mom her rosary – dad on his knees.
Faith would be tested – mom’s illness – then his own. Once he questioned : is there something I did? The mystery of the cross!
Tommy Harris once visiting Tom – dad was at work, as usual, fixing or building something – carrying a large piece of wood – Tommy said: "pop-pop, you look like Jesus carrying the cross.  Little did we know. Evidence of cross all over house – walker, commode, wheelchairs, medicines, oxygen machine.
Day after he died – We moved it all out of the house – he is done with the cross!!!
He shares in the joy of the resurrection.
He suffers no more
He is with mom again
Thanks to all who cared for him – Ann Marie – special word to NWHC – Dr. Catanese
Thanks to my brother & sisters – you were amazing – no regrets
Final word to his grandchildren – John, Kev, Hayley & Alice – you know how much he loved you.
He was so proud of you -  keep in your hearts: hard work, family & faith.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord. . .

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Funeral for Father Michael's Dad

Michael McLoughlin of Chappaqua, New York died July 12, 2013
He was born in Gubaveeney, Co. Cavan, Ireland on May 21, 1926 to Michael McLoughlin and Alice Sheridan. On February 14, 1953 he married Mary T. Harrison at St. Francis deSales Church, NYC. Michael was a former employee of Sheridan’s Food Store, Chappaqua, NY and the former owner of the Peach Lake Market, North Salem, NY. In retirement, Michael was a woodcrafter and was known locally for his hand made crafts. Michael loved his family and his faith. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his children Rev. Michael P. McLoughlin of Warwick, NY, Maureen T. McLoughlin of Valhalla, NY, Susan A. and husband John Enright of Stratford, CT and Thomas F. and wife Kristin of Poughquaq, NY. his grandchildren John M. Enright, Kevin T. Enright, Hayley R. McLoughlin and Alice K. McLoughlin. He is also survived by his sister Roseann McManus of Lanes, England.
Michael is predeceased by his wife Mary, who passed away in 2001, his brother Myles McLoughlin and his sister Minnie Morton.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that Memorial Gifts be made to the St. Stephen’s Church Building Fund, Warwick or to Rosary Hill Home of Hawthorne.


Tuesday, July 16 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Beecher Funeral Home   418 Bedford Rd.  Pleasantville NY 10570   914-769-0001
Wednesday, July 17 at 10:30 a.m. Church of St. John & St. Mary, 15 St. John's Place, Chappaqua NY 10514

 Burial Arrangements

Burial immediately after Mass in the Family Plot at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 10 W. Stevens Avenue, Hawthorne, NY 10532.

Funeral Mass - Joseph Mandracchia

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Joseph Mandracchia on Monday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m. His wife Ann is a Eucharistic Minister at 9:00 a.m. Daily Mass and his son Stephen is a Parish Trustee. Please pray for Joseph and for his family.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Homily Notes - 13th C

A person in charge of a lighthouse along a dangerous coast was given enough oil for one month and told to keep the light burning every night. One day a woman asked for oil so that her children could stay warm. Then a farmer came. His son needed oil for a lamp so he could read. Another needed some for an engine. The guard saw each as a worthy request and gave some oil to satisfy all. By the end of the month, the tank in the lighthouse was dry. That night the beacon was dark and three ships crashed on the rocks. More than one hundred lives were lost. The lighthouse attendant explained what he had done and why. But the prosecutor replied, "You were given only one task: to keep the light burning. Every other thing was secondary. You have no excuse."

Hard decisions. Must you follow your feelings? – no: must not follow feelings: feelings must follow you!!! Eyes fixed on reign of God.

He approaches Jesus – “I will follow you wherever you go” – Foxes have dens, birds of the sky have nests, Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Rome has occupied Israel and they Lord it over them – be prepared to be powerless and rejected. Yes: you will pay for things you find immoral, like contraception. And, we will tell you what marriage is and is not – and if you don’t accept it – you are a bigot.

Jesus calls another “follow me” – Let me go and bury my father first. Who could be against burying father? Points to excuses Million reasons why not!!! Delay, put off following Jesus. Priorities – what is most important in life?!

I will follow, but (conditions) “first let me say farewell to those at home” If you take your hand or eye from the plow – plow can hit rock and break or go crooked. It can lead to disaster. Demands concentration. Pay attention to what is happening in your life!!!

It is not a simple thing to be a disciple!!!

Three varieties:
Raft – Not really followers at all. They just go with the flow. Just there. They are Christians just because someone took the time to baptism. Not given it too much thought.
Sailboat - follow in sunny weather. But when the weather gets stormy, they will not go against the wind. What is every else doing..
Tugboat – follow not just in sunny weather but stormy as well. They follow him not only when winds and waves serve them but also when they oppose them. They work at it, day and night.

A League of their Own “There’s no crying in baseball”
Dottie want to quit packing husband at war - tension with sister - grind on the road
It’s too hard - It’s supposed to be hard - that is what makes it great!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"A Tragic Day For Marriage"

Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage: 'Tragic Day for Marriage and our Nation,' State U.S. Bishops

June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
The statement follows.
“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.
“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father.
“Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.
“When Jesus taught about the meaning of marriage – the lifelong, exclusive union of husband and wife – he pointed back to “the beginning” of God’s creation of the human person as male and female (see Matthew 19). In the face of the customs and laws of his time, Jesus taught an unpopular truth that everyone could understand. The truth of marriage endures, and we will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and charity.
“Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.”

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Homily Notes - 12th Sunday in Ord Time

She was not happy.

Stopped at a red light – turned green – and he is not moving.
He’s talking on his cell phone!
Starts honking – yelling – even using bad words!
Finally – he wakes up and starts moving – just as the light turned yellow.
She finally begins to move forward when she sees red light – what did I do???
License & registration please. Comes back, “I just had to check.”
I saw you carrying on – then a saw your bumper stickers - I worship at St. Joseph’s & What would Jesus do? It didn’t add up & I thought: this must be a stolen car!

Who do people say that I am - like the gossip on all the entertainment channel – just keep repeating – costs me nothing & I look like I know something!

Who do YOU say that I am – different Q - personal
Everything we say and do is an answer to this question.
Every decision and choice tells others what we really believe.

Not an easy path – take up your cross
Jesus has many admirers but not as many followers.

We all have crosses: different ones at different stages of life - grass is not always greener - thank God for the life you do have!
- physical - illness, diseases
- spiritual – inner wounds 1/3 women domestic violence at some point
- psychological - that child that cannot seem to put it together.

Different reactions to crosses

1) I don’t want it: feel free to ask Jesus to take it away. Or get help-Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus to carry his. But understand, great mystery – not always taken away – let this cup pass, not my will but your will be done.

2) Avoid it - can’t deal with it – ignore it – let another member of the family deal with the sick parent or begin to self medicate: alcohol or drugs. Understand.

3) Carry it : it needs to be done and I am meant to do it. - Sometimes have good intention and try to do it out of own strength but this can end up “pity party” poor me! - Rather, seek the strength of God – look for God’s health – begin to surrender “let go and let God” Begin to move beyond own sufferings: moved to compassion for others.

Accept cross – not because it is good and not because I like it
But, my call at this time in my life - will allow me to draw closer to God and to one another

Msgr. Paul’s Cross
- “Why should you want anything else, I never did!”
- “This is where you learn everything!”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fortnight For Freedom - Cardinal Dolan

Fortnight For Freedom

June 20th, 2013 Standing in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is one of our most beloved landmarks, both as New Yorkers and as Americans. So many of our ancestors fondly recalled seeing Lady Liberty, their first vision of a new homeland. Many of them told the story of seeing her for the first time, and not a few of them had to pause in retelling it because of a lump in their throat or a tear in their eye.

Even those of us who were born in America cherish the Statue of Liberty, and, even more importantly, what it stands for. Who indeed can fail to be moved by the line from Emma Lazarus’ famous poem:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”

That atmosphere of liberty is so much a part of the American experience and heritage. Of course, most of us did not have to travel far and suffer hardship to glimpse the torch of the Statue, and to embrace her promise of freedom. Most newcomers today do not come by ship, and so never set eyes upon her. We New Yorkers, frequently in a rush to our next destination, don’t even look out into the Harbor very often.

So it would be easy for us to take the Statue of Liberty for granted, as just another landmark for tourists to visit. And it would be all too easy to forget how precious — and fragile — is that breath of freedom that our forerunners yearned for so ardently. This desire for freedom was written into the human heart by God, and exalted in God’s word in the Bible. It is expressed so powerfully in the founding documents of our nation, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It is the ideal to which all our national institutions aspire, and which they are bound to protect and respect. It is for freedom that so many of our brothers and sisters have been willing to sacrifice their lives to defend.

I don’t wish to push this analogy too far, but in recent years it has become a bit more difficult to “breathe free” as deeply as we would like. The atmosphere is not quite so clear and mild any more. Our liberty — like clean air — isn’t something we can take for granted.

This is the reason that the Bishops of the United States have called upon all Catholics, and all people of good will, to spend the days from June 21 through July 4 as a Fortnight for Freedom. These fourteen days are designed to raise awareness and to encourage action on a number of the current challenges to religious liberty. These include:

•» The HHS mandate, which presumes to intrude upon the very definition of faith and ministry, and could cause believers to violate their consciences.

•» Impending Supreme Court rulings that could redefine marriage, which will present a host of difficulties to institutions and people who stand on their faith-based understanding of authentic marriage as between one man and one woman

•» Proposed legislation at the national and state levels that would expand abortion rights, legalize assisted suicide, restrict immigrants from full participation in society, and limit the ability of Church agencies to provide humanitarian services.

•» Government intrusion into the rights and duties of parents regarding their children.

•» Overt persecution of believers in many countries of the world.

My brother bishops and I are encouraging people to offer prayers to God, the source of our freedom, that we may fully enjoy the liberty that was sought by those who came to our shores. We are also urging practical action to defend our freedom.

Our two weeks begin tomorrow, June 21, and include moving feasts, such as June 22, the feast of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher, both martyrs in England as they prophetically defended the rights of the Church against intrusion by the crown; June 24, the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, the one who defended God’s law to a tyrant and lost his head because of his courage; and, of course, Independence Day.

We must never forget the power of the American promise, which was passed on to us by our ancestors, and which we hold in trust for generations to come.

And, like Lady Liberty, may we always be proud to lift high the torch of freedom and hope to those who yearn for it today.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Funeral Mass - Anton Maydl

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Anton Maydl on Tuesday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Homily Thoughts - June 16

Noisy classroom – right near a hospital

Sirens going all day. Teacher would complain about the noise - how can I teach with this racket?
Until – one day - the teacher’s family had an emergency – wife taken by ambulance - they saved her life.
Told students – sorry I always complained about the sirens – I was listening to the noise instead of thinking about the people.

Nathan challenges David – she is married – how could you turn her into an object of your own pleasure? And, even have her husband put to death?!
Jesus asks Simon – do you see this woman? - no – he sees a category, a sinner – someone who is unclean – who has now made Jesus unclean
Do you see this woman? Do you see this child - who needs a dad!!!

Anyone can have a child – but it takes a special man to be a father!

Few days ago, Phil Mickelson left Philadelphia – flew to SD to be home for his daughter’s graduation. He left at 8pm - arrived 3:30 a.m. shot a 67 in US Open.
Woody Allen once said 80% of life is just showing up – and when dad is there, it is

Dad’s are so important – despite what society says!!! It is well documented what happens to many children who don’t live with a dad.

Key Roles of Dad - 5 P’s

1) Provider: a sense of security – everything was going to be OK because dad is here

2) Participator – How are you doing??? How was school, Need help with homework? A nurturer

3) Playmate - Sundays a day to play with dad – would play any sport – brother, sisters & dad: our time together.

4) A Principled Guide: Honesty: treat others with dignity and respect - Put God 1st!

5) Preparer – Getting ready for life’s challenges - want a car? Go to work! Value of money. Failure: Mickey Mantle is a star, yet he failed 3 out of 10 timesyou’re your best & keep trying. Life lessons.

I have been reminded from time to time that, as a spiritual father, I will be accountable to God for what I have done - and what I have failed to do.
Father of family – important spiritual role - God will hold them accountable for how they raise their children.

A father is respected because
He gives his children leadership . . .
Appreciated because he gives his children care . . .
Valued because he gives his children time . . .
Loved because he gives his children the one thing they treasure most – himself.
Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father's Day!

We ask God to bless all of our fathers on their special day! We also offer a prayer for all of our fathers who have gone before us in faith. We await the day when we will see them again.
My own father just finished up one month in Northern Westchester Hospital. He is now at Carbini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry. With some intense rehab, we hope that he will be able to return home soon. Thanks for all of your prayers.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Statement on the Death of Maj. Jaimie Leonard

On behalf of the parishioners of St. Stephen's Parish  and the students, faculty and staff of St. Stephen - St. Edward School, we are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Maj. Jaimie Leonard, a graduate of our parish school. We extend our sympathies and our prayers to her family and friends. Sadly, we have been reminded once again that freedom is not free. Maj. Leonard is a true American hero, and her sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Wake: Wednesday, June 19 at Hogan Funeral Home, Highland Falls, NY
Funeral: Thursday, June 20 at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Chapel, West Point, NY

Funeral Mass - Mary M. Lupino

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Mary Lupino on Wednesday, June 12 at 10:30 a.m. Plesae pray for her and for her family.

Homily Notes - June 9

The Widow of Nain

Christ said, ‘Weep Not,’ but still she went on weeping
The mother thus, how will the son obey?
‘Young Man, arise;’ lo! From the bier up-leaping,
The Dead proved quicker than the quick that day

Talked to dad Saturday. Third week in hospital.
Dream – back home in Ireland – up on the mountainside
Picking & eating blueberries.
Sad – will never go home again, never climb a mountain.
But has experienced a change in the last few weeks.
Finally let go.

Msgr. Desmond left gift in my room - Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And he wisdom to know the difference.

1) Accept the things I cannot change
Cannot deny reality – her son is dead
“Everything will be OK” no, it is not OK
Who can guarantee that anyway?
“Live in a world of broken hearts.”

2) Courage to change the things I can
What are the alternatives – what I can change – great fear to change.
Robbins Reef Lighthouse near entrance to NY Harbor
Capt John Walker & Kate Walker – their 1st lighthouse was on land.
This one on the reef – I’m not unpacking! But they did settle in.
After a few years, John took sick & died 1886 – buried on hillside across from lighthouse.
What was she to do now? “Katie - Tend the light!” stayed until 1919.
Saved dozens of lives – accepted and changed.

3) Wisdom to know difference.
Wisdom - not alone – amazed at compassion of Jesus
No one asked him for help - It all begins and ends with me!
God is for us, not against us.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Cardinal's Letter Read At Weekend Masses

June 6, 2013

My dear friends in Christ,

Can I ask your help and your prayers on two important issues.

Both concerns flow from our solid belief in the dignity of the human person and the promotion of a culture of life.

The first is about the reform of our nation’s immigration laws. As Catholics, we gratefully acknowledge that our parents and grandparents came here as immigrants, and were welcomed by this country we love. As Americans, we believe the United States is at her best when she remains true to her heritage of hospitality. All recognize that our current immigration laws are unfair and do not work. The current bill before congress, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act,” while not perfect, is sure promising, and, we bishops believe, deserves support, as it is consonant with our cherished beliefs as Christians and citizens.

The second is the “Woman’s Equality Act.” Of the ten proposals in this act, we’re supportive of nine. Not bad. Sadly, the tenth is, literally, “a killer,” as it increases access to abortion. In a state where 40% of babies are aborted – - and, in some areas, 60% of babies of Latino or African American blood – - we hardly need to further the abortion license. Can’t we work together to help pregnant women in trouble with more lifegiving alternatives? Would you support our courageous civic leaders in Albany who share our concern about this sad and unnecessary measure? (

Thanks for your prayers and support. I’ll keep you posted.

Faithfully in Christ,

Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan

Archbishop of New York

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wedding - Sidoti & Rauch

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony will be received by Michael Sidoti and Danielle Rauch on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for the couple about to be married.

Abortion Expansion Bill

Statement of the Bishops of New York State on abortion expansion bill

Following is a statement of Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops of New York State:

We are profoundly distressed by the introduction of a bill in New York State today that would ease restrictions in state law on late-term abortion and runs the serious risk of broadly expanding abortion access at all stages of gestation. This legislation would add a broad and undefined “health” exception for late-term abortion and would repeal the portion of the penal law that governs abortion policy, opening the door for non-doctors to perform abortions and potentially decriminalizing even forced or coerced abortions. In addition, we find the conscience protection in the bill to be vague and insufficient, and we are concerned about the religious liberty of our health facilities. While the bill’s proponents say it will simply “codify” federal law, it is selective in its codification. Nowhere does it address the portions of federal laws that limit abortion, such as the ban on taxpayer funding, the ban on partial birth abortion or protections for unborn victims of violence.

As the pastors of more than 7.2 million Catholic New Yorkers, we fully oppose this measure, and urge all our faithful people to do the same, vigorously and unapologetically. We invite all women and men of good will to join in this effort and defeat this serious attempt to expand abortion availability in our state and to codify the most radical abortion proposals of any state in the nation.

We support the first nine points in the Governor’s agenda that enhance the true dignity of women. We commit ourselves to examining those proposals and working with the legislature on any and all efforts that help guarantee real equity for all women and men. Our position on these issues will be consistent with all the efforts of the Catholic Church throughout the world to enhance the dignity of women. The direct taking of the life of a child in the womb in no way enhances a woman’s dignity.

Instead of expanding abortion and making abortions even more prevalent, we would like to protect both the woman and the child in the womb. In New York, where one in every three pregnancies ends in abortion (and upwards of 6 in 10 in certain communities), it is clear that we as a state have lost sight of that child’s dignity. We pledge all our efforts to defeat this proposal. We call on all pro-life New Yorkers to stand together with us and with all the leadership in Albany who share our conviction that we have no need for such a bill to become law. We need instead to enhance and promote the life and dignity of all human beings from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.

June 4, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Funeral Mass - Rita F. Kenny

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Rita Kenny on Thursday, May 30 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Rita and for her family.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember the many sacrifices offered on our behalf that our nation might be free. We particularly remember all who made the supreme sacrifice. Memorial Day Mass will be offered at 9:00 a.m. Then, we will participate in the Warwick Valley Parade by offering prayers at St. Stephen's cemetery. All of our parish offices will be closed on Monday.

Homily Reflections Trinity Sunday

Here are my - notes - from my homily this weekend:

Pope Francis front page of Times again

Really stirring things up
Benedict a brilliant teacher
Francis a long time pastor

Other day Pope spoke about – how Christians sometimes close doors

1) young couple comes to parish office – tells secretary – we want to get married.
Instead of saying – that’s great – take a seat – you know it will cost – or you are going to need documents instead of rejoicing – wonderful!

2) or single mother comes to parish – want my child baptized - told no – you are not married - and yet, she had great courage – did not end child’s life when it might have been easier to do so closing doors instead of opening doors.

Christian must find ways to open doors, not close doors.

Thinking that the other day – group of Warwick clergy having lunch – talking about common concerns -- realize that we have many differences - but there is also much that unites us - common belief in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and it challenges us to do good.

Meals on Wheels – Food Pantry – Emergency Fund

On Thursday, Francis suggested that each person has this commandment in their heart – do good and do not do evil.
He was asked – but what about atheists - yes – Christ has redeemed all of us – all are created in the image and likeness of God - we have a duty to do good
But I don’t believe – I am an atheist - but do good – we will meet one another there.

Raises the question – so none believers can go to heaven?
Well – if God wants them to go to heaven – they will go to heaven.
If so, why bother with faith at all??? Why bear the burden of living out our faith?
Why don’t I just follow this easier way of doing good?

Remember parable of the workers in the vineyard?
Took some it first hour – later another groups, and still later another group.
Time to get paid - last group 1 denarius - 1st group 1 denarius
Upset -- we worked hard all day and got the same?

Yet – is it really a burden?
Where would I be if I could not pray?
Sacraments have lifted me up time & again
Faith has been a light in darkness -- given meaning and hope.
And one of greatest – blessing of walking together on this journey
So many - little words – how are you doing? – I’m praying for you – make a difference.

My yoke is easy and my burden light.
Blessing of Trinity
Creating Father - Redeeming Son – and Sanctifying Spirit
Open the Doors!!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wedding - Woglom and Lopez

David T. Woglom and Diana M. Lopez will exchange the vows of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, May 25 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple as they begin to live the sacrament of Marriage.

Funeral Mass - Elizabeth Slattery

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Elizabeth Slattery on Friday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Jack Filingeri

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Jack Filingeri on Wednesday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Jack and for his family.

Welcome To Our Seminarian!

We welcome to our parish Anthony Giacona. Anthony has completed one year of studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers. He has been assigned to our parish to "put into practice" what he has learned. He will spend the next two months getting involved in the many aspects of parish life. We are delighted that he is here in Warwick with us. Please pray for him and for all the young men who are studying for the priesthood.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Funeral Mass - Mary Herbert

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Mary Herbert on Friday, May 10 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Mary and for her family.

Ascension Thursday

Ascension Thursday is a Holyday of Obligation. Masses will be offered at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m.

Thanks For Your Prayers!

My "ablation" at NYU Langone went very well. It will take a few more months to determine if I am "cured" of atrial fibulation. Thank you for your support and for all your prayers! I returned to the parish on Monday, May 6. I am still suffering from the effects of the procedure, including reduced energy and "gastro issues" caused by the medicine, but this should all get better in time. Thanks for your patience as I get back up to speed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Convocation of Priests - No Priests available

Cardinal Dolan has asked all priests of the Archdiocese to attend a Convocation on April 22-24. This means that there will be no priest at St. Stephen's from Monday, April 22 at noon to Wednesday, April 24 at 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Office open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday - Communion Service led by Deacons at 9:00 a.m., Office open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No funerals can be scheduled.
Wednesday - Communion Service led by Deacons at 9:00 a.m. No funerals can be scheduled.

From Father Michael

After spending over one month in the hospital (with a two day break), my dad has been transferred to the Hebrew Hospital Home, 61 Grasslands Road, Valhalla NY 10595. It is about five minutes away from my sister, Maureen. We hope that after physical therapy he may be able to return home. Thanks for your support and prayers.

I will enter Northern Westchester Hospital on Tuesday, April 23 for a Tee procedure to make sure there are no blood clots in my heart. Then, on Wednesday, April 24, I will be admitted to NYU Langone to undergo an ablation. I will spend at least one night in the hospital. Thanks again for your prayers!

Prayers For Boston and West, Texas

Please continue to pray for the people of the greater Boston area and all affected by the bombing at the Boston Marathon. We also pray for the people of West, Texas who experienced such devastation due to the explosion.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Holy Week 2013


Saturday Vigil - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday – 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Reconciliation Monday, March 25 – 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
No Confessions on Holy Saturday

Chrism Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral 4:00 p.m.
no tickets needed - all welcome!

Office of Readings and Morning Prayer – 8:30 a.m.
Mass of the Lord’s Supper – 7:30 p.m.
Adoration until Midnight in the Atrium

GOOD FRIDAY – March 29
Day of Fasting and Abstinence From Meat
Office of Readings and Morning Prayer – 8:30 a.m.
Children’s Service of the Passion – 12:00 noon
Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion – 3:00 p.m.
Stations of the Cross – 7:30 p.m.

Office of Readings and Morning Prayer – 8:30 a.m.
Blessing of Easter Food – 12:00 noon
The Easter Vigil – 7:30 p.m.
(No 5:00 p.m. Mass)

7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
Additional 10:30 a.m. Mass in school gym

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Funeral Mass - Christina R. Ginley

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Christina Ginley (aged 18) on Wednesday, March 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Confirmation Weekend

We welcome Bishop Dominick Lagonegro, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York and Episcopal Vicar of Orange County, to St. Stephen's Parish. He will offer the Sacrament of Confirmation to our young people on Friday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday, March 16 at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:00 p.m. Please pray for our Confirmandi and their Sponsors.

Habemus Papem!

On March 13 at 8:24pm, the Holy Father Francis, preceded by the Cross, appeared at the Loggia of the brightly lit Vatican Basilica. Before imparting the “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city and the world) apostolic blessing he greeted the enormous crowd that had been gathering all afternoon in cold and rainy St. Peter's Square saying:

“Dear brothers and sisters,

Good evening. You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brother cardinals picked him from almost the ends of the earth. But here we are! I thank you for the warm welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has its bishop. Thank you! First and foremost I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and the Virgin keep him.”

After leading the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Gloria, Pope Francis again addressed the crowd saying:

“And now let us begin this journey, bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which is the one that leads all the churches in charity. A journey of fraternity, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world so that this might be a great brotherhood. I hope that this journey of the Church that we begin today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar here present will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.”

“Now I would like to impart the blessing, but first, first I ask a favor of you. Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask that you pray to the Lord that He bless me: the prayer of the people asking a blessing for their bishop. Let us pray in silence, this your prayer for me.”

“Now I will impart the blessing to you and all the world, to all men and women of good will.”

After imparting the apostolic blessing Pope Francis added: “Brothers and sisters, I take my leave. Thank you for your warm welcome. Tomorrow I'm going to pray to the Virgin, that she will safeguard all of Rome. Good night and rest well.”

Your Pastor's Health

On March 12 I visited an electrophysiologist at NYU Langone regarding my atrial fibulation. He counseled me to have an ablation, and I am scheduled for this procedure on April 24. In the meantime, we are using medicine to control the heart rate. Thank you for your continued prayers. I will keep you posted! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prayer For A New Pope

The Cardinal Electors have announced that the Conclave to choose a new Pope for the Church will begin on Tuesday, March 12.

"O God, eternal shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless love a pastor for your Church who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen."

Cardinal Dolan has suggested that we offer a Novena to St. Joseph, beginning on March 11 and concluding on the Feast of St. Joseph - March 19.

Novena prayer to Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, Foster-father of Jesus Christ, obtain for me a pure, humble, and charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the Divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (Mention your request). Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Funeral Mass - Frank P. DiPietro

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frank P. DiPietro on Thursday, March 14 at 10 a.m. Please pray for Frank and for his family.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

HHS Mandate Update - You Can Help!

Call To Action

February 28, 2013

Dear Friend,

This memo is a follow-up to the action request sent to you on February 15. There is still time to respond!
The issue, you will recall, concerns the Obama Administration’s mandate requiring health coverage to include objectionable practices.

Congress may consider “must-pass” appropriations legislation such as a Continuing Resolution as early as the week of March 4. Needed conscience protection provisions should be made a part of this legislation. Please click on the link below and urge Congress to take action to protect conscience rights and religious liberty! In addition to your Representative and two Senators, a message will be sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

Here is some background on the HHS mandate.

Under the new health care law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires most health plans to cover “preventive services for women,” including services that many citizens find objectionable for moral and religious reasons. These objectionable services include sterilization, FDA-approved birth control (such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, ‘morning-after’ pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella), and “education and counseling” to promote these to all “women of reproductive capacity,” including minor girls.

The HHS mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer.” On February 1, HHS released a new “proposed rule” that goes into greater detail on the “accommodation” but continues to allow only a very narrow exemption, chiefly aimed at what it calls “houses of worship.” Other religious organizations offering education, health care and charitable services to all in need do not qualify for the exemption. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, or for businesses owned and operated by individuals with moral or religious objections.

Thanks for all you do in support of life!

Michael Taylor

Executive Director

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Father Flor Update

We recently received a letter from Father Flor McCarthy, a Salesian Priest from Dublin, Ireland. Father Flor has come to our parish each summer for over 30 years. Last December, Father had hip replacement surgery. There were a few complications, but over all, he came through it well. However, at this point he still cannot drive and is using a crutch. In light of his physical challenges, Father Flor has decided it would not be wise to travel to America this summer. We completely understand, although we will miss him. He does not count out the possibility of summer 2014. We promise to keep him in our prayers!
In light of this, we have already begun to search for a priest to come to our parish this summer so that your parish priests can take some vacation time. For example, we have contacted our friend Father Stephen Fernandes, a seminary professor in Mumbai, India, who will try to locate a student priest studying in Rome. Please pray that we will be successful.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Funeral Mass - Natividad C. Caraballo

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Natividad Caraballo on Wednesday, February 27 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wedding - Geiler & Litz

William Geiler and Alison Litz will exchange the bonds of Holy Matrimony on Friday, February 22 at 4:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple as they begin to live the Sacrament of Marriage.

Funeral Mass - Barbara A. Le Duc

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Barbara Le Duc on Friday, February 22 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Funeral Mass - Angeline J. Kobylarz

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Your Pastor's Health (Again)

Sorry I missed all of you this past weekend. I have an increasing problem with atrial fibulation. My heartbeat becomes irregular. It happened twice before Christmas, then stopped for a while. It has now gone off three times in the past three weeks. This last episode was different. The previous times it converted within eight hours. This time is did not. I was hospitalized and put on a blood thinner to prevent a stroke as well as lopressor to lower my pulse. Clearly I have a serious problem that needs to be corrected. I am meeting with my cardiologist on Tuesday to try to work out a solution, which may include ablation. I am grateful for your prayers and your understanding. For the time being I need to cut back to the essentials. Thanks to Dr. Dennis and Anna Scharfenberger who have been superb in every way, to St. Anthony's Hospital Emergency Room, ICU Unit and Med-Surg Staff for your compassionate care, to Father Micciulla for picking up the slack, and to Bishop Dominick, who graciously offered to cover a Mass this weekend. Thank you for your prayers. I am blessed!

Monday, February 11, 2013

"Importance of the Elderly" - Pope Benedict XVI

This gives us some indication of our Holy Father's "thought process" these last few months. It is a beautiful meditation for our elderly parishioners and for those who care for them!

“I come to you as Bishop of Rome, but also as an old man visiting his peers. It would be superfluous to say that I am well acquainted with the difficulties, problems and limitations of this age and I know that for many these difficulties are more acute due to the economic crisis. At times, at a certain age, one may look back nostalgically at the time of our youth when we were fresh and planning for the future. Thus at times our gaze is veiled by sadness, seeing this phase of life as the time of sunset. This morning, addressing all the elderly in spirit, although I am aware of the difficulties that our age entails I would like to tell you with deep conviction: it is beautiful to be old! At every phase of life it is necessary to be able to discover the presence and blessing of the Lord and the riches they bring. We must never let ourselves be imprisoned by sorrow! We have received the gift of longevity. Living is beautiful even at our age, despite some “aches and pains” and a few limitations. In our faces may there always be the joy of feeling loved by God and not sadness.

In the Bible longevity is considered a blessing of God; today this blessing is widespread and must be seen as a gift to appreciate and to make the most of. And yet frequently society dominated by the logic of efficiency and gain does not accept it as such: on the contrary it frequently rejects it, viewing the elderly as non-productive or useless. All too often we hear about the suffering of those who are marginalized, who live far from home or in loneliness. I think there should be greater commitment, starting with families and public institutions, to ensure that the elderly be able to stay in their own homes. The wisdom of life, of which we are bearers, is a great wealth. The quality of a society, I mean of a civilization, is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life. Those who make room for the elderly make room for life! Those who welcome the elderly welcome life! ... When life becomes frail, in the years of old age, it never loses its value and its dignity: each one of us, at any stage of life, is wanted and loved by God, each one is important and necessary.

Dear friends, at our age we often experience the need of the help of others; and this also happens to the Pope. In the Gospel we read that Jesus told the Apostle Peter: “when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go” (Jn 21:18). The Lord was referring to the way in which the Apostle was to witness to his faith to the point of martyrdom, but this sentence makes us think about that fact that the need for help is a condition of the elderly. I would like to ask you to seek in this too a gift of the Lord, because being sustained and accompanied, feeling the affection of others is a grace! This is important in every stage of life: no one can live alone and without help; the human being is relational. And in this case I see, with pleasure, that all those who help and all those who are helped form one family, whose lifeblood is love.

Dear elderly brothers and sisters, the days sometimes seem long and empty, with difficulties, few engagements and few meetings; never feel down at heart: you are a wealth for society, even in suffering and sickness. And this phase of life is also a gift for deepening the relationship with God.... Do not forget that one of the valuable resources you possess is the essential one of prayer: become interceders with God, praying with faith and with constancy. Pray for the Church, and pray for me, for the needs of the world, for the poor, so that there may be no more violence in the world. The prayers of the elderly can protect the world, helping it, perhaps more effectively than collective anxiety. Today I would like to entrust to your prayers the good of the Church and peace in the world. The Pope loves you and relies on all of you! May you feel beloved by God and know how to bring a ray of God’s love to this society of ours, often so individualistic and so efficiency-oriented. And God will always be with you and with all those who support you with their affection and their help.”

–Pope Benedict XVI

Visit to the "Viva Gli Anziani" (Long Live the Elderly) Home

Rome, 12 November 2012

Statement By Cardinal Dolan Regarding Pope Benedict XVI

The following statement has just been issued by the USCCB president, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York:

The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter.

Though 78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they were of all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened – Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poor in Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany, and Spain.

He delighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington and New York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the White House. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer at Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feeling pain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, he brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics.

Pope Benedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of a dictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out above all others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity.

He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity.

He spoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality among nations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitable share of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature.

Those who met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings found themselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhere to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

The occasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives as citizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet the challenges present in today’s world.

Pope Benedict XVI To Step Down

We are taken completely by surprise! This has not happened in 600 years.

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Below please find his announcement.
Full text of Pope’s declaration
Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013