Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No Blizzard Apocalypse for New York City-But Make Peace With God Anyway!

New Yorkers love to complain and so it's no surprise that people are complaining that the weather forecasters got it wrong. The blizzard that was forecasted to be a near record breaker spared the city, for the most part.  (Maybe God heard my prayers, because I was praying that "Prayer Against Storms" that I found on Deacon Greg Kandra's blog!)  My house is surrounded by huge trees and a windy blizzard is something I fear......for good reason. I already had a tree fall on my roof from Hurricane Sandy and it's not a sound I want to hear again!
On Tuesday morning the meteorologists were apologizing for their "big forecast miss."
Actually where I live, we got about 12 inches of snow and parts of Suffolk County, Long Island got 28-30 inches of snow and unfortunately two people died.  So the forecasters weren't off totally.  And it was a disastrous blizzard for parts of coastal New England.
Governor Cuomo, took the unusual step of shutting down the NYC subway system (which has never been done in its 110-year history). Mayor de Blasio  had to admit that "it was nothing like we feared it would be." The funniest thing I've read which I have to share, is the satirical report that "The Onion" wrote and which Mayor de Blasio (like a good sport) read at City Hall.
NEW YORK—As a major winter storm continued its advance toward New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio advised residents Monday to make peace with whatever higher power they call God, for all shall meet their death in the coming tempest. “The furious hoarfrost bearing down upon us knows neither mercy nor reason, and all within the five boroughs will perish, cowering in their brittle dwellings,” said de Blasio, adding that none would find succor from the gale save those favored by providence to pass quietly in their sleep. “This shall be a tempest the likes of which has never been glimpsed by man or beast. Clutch your babes close to your breast and take small comfort in knowing that they will howl for but a few hours before death becalms them forever.”  (The Onion)
That is really funny! But in truth we should always be at peace with God because we don't know the day or hour........
NJA

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist Arrive At the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception-Huntington

This is great news! Msgr. Richard Henning, the Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY recently sent out a letter to the Friends of the Seminary announcing the arrival of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist. The letter gave this information about the new arrivals, "Fathers Sean Davidson and David Nugent belong to a new community of priests, established in the Diocese of Toulon in France. That diocese has become a center for the New Evangelization. As the number of English-speaking vocations has grown in their community, the Missionaries have decided to establish a presence in the United States. I am pleased and grateful to God that they will reside and work here at the Seminary."
Fr. Sean and Fr. David grew up in Ireland. They have recently arrived from the Missionaries residence in France. They have traveled around the world and now they will be conducting retreats, days of recollection and Eucharistic Adoration within the Seminary as well as in parishes. During the Sundays of Lent, the Missionaries will provide Eucharistic Adoration during the day and also be available to hear Confessions, at the Seminary. All are welcome.
This is great news for the Seminary. There have been many innovative, educational programs and retreats at the Seminary which was greatly needed, since the seminarians themselves now study in Dunwoodie in Yonkers at St. Joseph's Seminary.
This new partnership with the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist will bring new life to the Seminary and add to the existing programs that are already offered.
Come, Holy Spirit Come!
NJA

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Cutest Drawing of the Holy Family! Mary's Holding a Cell Phone

This has to be the cutest drawing of the Holy Family. It was drawn by my 7-year-old cousin's friend, who received First Penance (along with my cousin and other 2nd graders) on Saturday, in a Long Island Parish. What makes this drawing unique is that if you look closely Mary is holding a cell phone. A little girl can't imagine that someone as important as Mary wouldn't of had one! I love the hearts too!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Atheists Will Have To Reconsider-Science is Waking Up To God's Existence

The best news I've heard in the New Year, came this morning in a copy of a Wall Street Journal article that I was given from December 26th titled, "Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God," by Eric Metaxas.
Alleluia! It seems some members of the scientific community are starting to wake up and realize what believers, theologians and religious scholars have known all along. It's called intelligent design and its the belief that the Universe and life itself is too complex, has too much diversity and mathematical exactness and perfection to just be an accident or coincidence.
I can't explain the entire article but basically what it says is that the more astrophysicists study the Universe and the origin of the Universe the more clear it becomes that there has to be an intelligent Creator (Super-intelligent Creator) to not only have set Creation in motion but the forces of gravity, the electromagnetic force and the "strong" and "weak" nuclear forces were determined "less than one millionth of a second after the big bang....Alter any one value and the Universe could not exist."
"Fred Hayle, the astronomer who coined the term, 'big bang' said that his atheism was 'greatly shaken' at these developments." (And other findings which are stated in the article.)
"Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that 'the appearance of design is overwhelming' and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said 'the more we get to know about our Universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator...gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here."
And so as the old expression goes, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" There is something, there is creation, and intelligent life and great diversity, complexity and beauty in our world, because there is intelligent design and God exists. It's not that complicated!
NJA



Monday, December 29, 2014

God-Getting in Touch With the Greatest Mystery of All

I love Fr. Lauder's column's in The Tablet, the Diocese of Brooklyn's weekly newspaper. I've been reading his columns for years. I often save articles I like and so I recently came across an article I saved entitled, "In God's Hands: The Mystery of Divine Providence." This morning I started to reread it and it starts like this...."Catholicism is a religion of mysteries. I think immediately of mysteries such as the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection and the Eucharist. I believe that one of the great mysteries that the Catholic Church proclaims and celebrates is the mystery of Divine Providence."
I believe from studying the writings of mystical saints for most of my adult life, divine mysteries as the mystics tell us, can only be pierced through love and then only dimly. But through love as many of the mystical saints have written and spoken of, bits and pieces of the greatest mystery of all-the existence of God-can be known through love and revealed truth.
So for me the greatest mystery of all in life has been the knowledge that God exists, that God loves each one of us as if there is no other, and that we can be in relationship with God through love and prayer. As a baptized Catholic, and as someone who has studied the Catholic religion for my entire life (as a child through C.C.D. classes and later as an adult through my own persistence and propelled by my deep faith), I am very grateful that God exists, that God "calls me by name," and that I am in relationship with God and a child of the Most Holy One.  Anyone who denies that misses out on so much in life, in my opinion.
So for the New Year may you connect more with God, who is the greatest of all mysteries and may your prayer life bring you closer and closer to the good, merciful and generous God, who is always close to my heart and I hope to yours.
Happy New Year!
NJA

Monday, December 22, 2014

Healing Needed in New York City-Police Officers Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

So much sadness in the city, so close to Christmas. Christmas ruined for the families, friends and colleagues of the slain police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.  And the new year too.
So much evil and violence in the days before Christmas on a Brooklyn street.  I can't imagine the pain and suffering those families are living through, a living nightmare.
The shooter who was obviously mentally ill, is yet another case of someone with mental illness "slipping through the cracks." Why does this keep happening? There must be a better way to identify, treat and follow-up with mentally ill people. They disappear into society until the unthinkable happens.
There is no excuse for this anymore with modern technology. You cannot have mentally ill, violent people on the streets, they have to be treated and helped for their own good and for the good of others.
My prayers go out to the police officers who were killed, their families and to all police officers who protect communities.
This madness has to stop. Yes, police reform and better training is needed. But protesters should not be allowed to chant, threats to police, as they protest. That's wrong and it incites violence.  Also there has to be more consistent help for the mentally ill so as to prevent these kinds of atrocities from happening.
May the souls of those two police officers rest in eternal peace. God be near their distraught families.
NJA

Cardinal Dolan's words spoken at the end of Mass on Sunday at St. Patrick's Cathedral, addressed to the congregation and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who was in attendence with Mayor de Blasio.
"Would you tell your officers that God's people gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral this morning, thundered with prayer with and for them. We love them very much, we mourn with them, we need them, we respect them and we're proud of them and we thank them."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Archdiocese of New York Parish Closings Upset Many Good Catholics

The most sobering thing I read in the recent New York Times article regarding parish closings and mergers in the Archdiocese of New York ("Archdiocese Appears Likely to Shutter More Churches,")  was the statistic that less than 15% of Catholics in the Archdiocese attend Mass on an average Sunday.
"The parish reorganization is being driven by a shortage of priests, financial troubles and declining weekly church attendance....."
What a shame that more Catholics are staying home, or replacing morning Mass (or Saturday evening Mass) with something else. I've been in Manhattan on a Sunday morning and restaurants have lines of people waiting to have breakfast or brunch. Obviously they're not all Catholic. But it seems from the statistics that young Catholics for the most part in trendy neighborhoods of Manhattan have replaced Mass with socializing with friends over a meal or going to the gym. And those are good things of course, if they didn't replace attendance at Mass. In the life of a Catholic, their should be room for both.
It's very disturbing, that the Eucharistic celebration with all its graces and blessings is not important to so many of the baptized.
The Diocese of Brooklyn just started an aggressive media campaign to encourage more Catholics to attend Mass. And that's good. But more is needed.
The world has changed rapidly, more rapidly than any time in history, because of the internet and social media and the Church while remaining true to her teachings has to think "outside the box," and come up with new and innovating programs to encourage the young (and families) to come to Church.
Closing so many parishes at once, sends the wrong signal. Closing parishes that are financially secure and vital is not a good idea, in my opinion. The article states that St. Thomas More Church on the Upper East Side is "vibrant and strong" and filled with young families. Why would that Church be in danger of closing or merging? I don't understand that, so I can imagine the confusion and anger of the parishioners of that parish.
Exploring and finding solutions to the crisis of low Church attendance should be a priority of every diocese, that has that problem.
NJA