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