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5th Annual Blue Mass
Mar 29th, 2012 by Father Chris

The date and time has been set for our 5th Annual Blue Mass here at Saint Anthony’s.  The Blue Mass will be held Saturday May 19th,  2012 at 5:00 PM in Church.  This date happens to coincide with the end of Law Enforcement and Fire Department Appreciation Week in the United States. 

More information will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.  Please plan to be here to honor those who serve us so selflessly each day to keep all of us and our community safe!

Memorial Mass for Monsignor Duffy
Mar 29th, 2012 by Father Chris

Please mark your calendars and plan to be here to celebrate a Month’s Mind Memorial Mass for Monsignor Francis X. Duffy, former pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Church.

The Mass will be celebrated on Monday April 23, 2012 at 7:30PM in Church and Monsignor Duffy’s family members will be present.  A reception will follow with light refreshments. 

Monsignor Duffy served as pastor of Saint Anthony’s from 1975 to 1987 and he is still well remembered for his good sense of humor, his scholarly and insightful homilies and his deep spirituality.  He was always present to his parishioners and very much in touch with the needs of each one.  I hope you will all plan to come and remember one of the good and faithful priests of our Archdicoese whom we just happened to be privileged to know and have as our pastor, leader and friend. 

May he rest in peace!

Live Rosary
Mar 27th, 2012 by Father Chris

The Rosary was prayed last night in church narrated and acted out by more than 80 of our Religious Education students.  They did a wonderful job!  The children were arranged in the form of a rosary around the perimeter of the inside of the church.  The church was packed to capacity with parents, teachers, parishioners and friends who had come to pray and be part of this most exciting event.  As the rosary was prayed, a student narrated each of the mysteries from the pulpit with a short meditation after which the succeeding prayers, the Our Father, Hail Mary’s and Glory be were recited. 

Following the Rosary, Richard Morgado gave a short reflection on the Miracle of Fatima which his aunt was a witness to.  It was a beautiful finale to a prayerful and touching night!

After the prayer service in church everyone gathered in the lower parish hall for refreshments and a time of fellowship with other parishioners.  What a great night it was for our parish!!!  Thanks to Mrs. Jacksen, our Religious Education Catechists, parents and most particularly the students who did a fantastic job last night!

The church was filled to capacity for the Rosary last night.

Above, you can see the students in the form of the Rosary as they pray each decade.

Students presented flowers to the Blessed Mother at the end of the Rosary.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus.

Monsignor Francis X. Duffy, Pastor Emeritus at Saint Anthony’s, dies.
Mar 24th, 2012 by Father Chris

 

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Requiescat in Pace

Monsignor Francis X. Duffy

Pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Church 1975-1987

Yesterday afternoon I received the sad news that Monsignor Francis X. Duffy, who served as Pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Church in West Harrison from 1975-1987 died. 

Monsignor Duffy was ordained a priest in 1949 at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City by Cardinal Francis Spellman.  He held various positions in the Archdiocese of New York including twenty five years as Master of Ceremonies at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.  His last pastorate was at Saint Thomas of Canterbury Church in Cornwall, New York until the time of his retirement.

Most recently Monsignor Duffy resided at the John Cardinal O’Connor Clergy Residence in Riverdale.  It was there that I saw Monsignor Duffy just about one month ago during a visit.  He seemed at that time to  be in good spirits and we spent time talking about the “good old days” at Saint Anthony’s in Silver Lake.  He had many fond memories of his years here and of the parishioners of this parish many of whom he still remembered very well. 

I first met Monsignor Duffy in the late 1990′s when I was a seminarian for the summer months at Sacred Heart Church in Newburgh.  He use to come to celebrate the Italian Mass each Sunday morning and I would serve the Mass for him.  He spoke Italian perfectly and from time to time he would tell me that “for the next couple of weeks he would not be here”.  When I inquired as to where he would be he would always tell me he would be doing “research”.  Later I came to find out that he and a close friend, Father John Fleming, were going on a cruise or some other holiday.  Upon his return, when I would ask him how his vacation was he would always remind me, “it was research!”  So, every time I would see Monsignor Duffy I would tease him that he was the only priest I ever knew who never took a vacation in his life! 

Monsignor Duffy will be missed by all who knew him and we give thanks to God for the gift of his life and the gift of his vocation which the Lord used to touch so many people in a positive way throughout his life. 

The wake will be held Monday March 26, 2012 from 2-4 and 7-9pm at Riverdale-on-Hudson Funeral Home in Riverdale (Bronx).  The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday March 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM at Saint Margaret of Crotona Church in Riverdale.  Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Valhalla. 

 

Youth Group Friday Night
Mar 24th, 2012 by Father Chris

Last night we gathered once again for a wonderful youth group event of sports, a virtue talk and refreshments.  A wonderful time was had by everyone who made themselves available for the evening! 

I continue to be impressed by the knowledge and interest of the teens and young people of our parish regarding matters of faith.  I am very proud of each one of them as well as the “mentors” and adult supervisors who do so much work to make this program a success!  Well done everyone!

Young parishioners of our parish join in an exciting game of dodge ball last night in the gym.

A group of teens and youngsters join together for a picture last night at the end of the evening.

Family Mass and a little “Light”
Mar 18th, 2012 by Father Chris

At the Family Mass this morning two of our parishioners who are Cub Scouts received their “Light of Christ” medals at a special presentation during the Mass.  Michael Castellano and Gaetano Cosmo have worked very hard through community service and religious study to attain this very special medal.  Congratulations to them both and to their families!  These two young men are certainly “lights” in our world today and will be leaders for the future.

After the Gospel, I also invited the 4th graders and the other youngsters who were in attendance to join me in the Sanctuary.  I brought them to the Altar and showed them the place in the Altar which is called the “reliquary”.  I described to them how every Altar in every church around the world has, as part of it, a place where relics of the patron Saint or Saints are placed at the time the Altar is consecrated for use.  It is usually on this spot that the priest kisses when he reverences the Altar at the beginning of Mass. 

The 4th grade classes presented their “Year of the Mass” project through which they told the congregation of the many reasons it is important to go to Church on Sunday.  Their project was displayed on panels in the baptistry following Mass.  They did a great job!

The Family Mass was attended by 400 people and it was wonderful to see the church filled with so many people especially young families. 

Spring Parish Breakfast
Mar 18th, 2012 by Father Chris

Today from 10am to 1pm we held our Spring Parish Breakfast in the Parish Hall.  Several hundred people, including dozens and dozens of children, stopped by to enjoy crafts., egg decorating, breakfast and an early visit from the Easter Bunny! 

Thanks to all of the parishioners who worked so hard to make this wonderful event a great success.  Everyone had a most enjoyable time because of your dedication.  Thank you so much!!  Thanks also to the 4th graders and their parents who contributed food for this morning’s breakfast.  We could not have done it without your help!

It was most appropriate to celebrate the Spring Breakfast on the same weekend we observe “Laetare” Sunday when the Church allows a little extra room for “rejoicing” even during the observance of the Lenten Season.  Laetare Sunday is a time to remember that Easter is coming quickly and this “rejoicing” is meant to help give us hope in these last couple of weeks before Holy Week.

Even the youngest among us donned their Spring Finery!

 Families gather in the Parish Hall for the Spring Breakfast.

The “Liturgical” color for Laetare Sunday is “Rose” which just happened to fit in perfectly with the “official” colors of the Spring Breakfast. 

Fun was had by all who attended!

The “Golden Girls” enjoy time with the Easter Bunny.  These ladies, who have been such an important part of our parish for decades are “young at heart”.

It was a pleasure to see so many parishioners, families and especially young people together this morning enjoying each others’ company, laughing, sharing their faith and just having a good time together. 

I must say, a great “community spirit” was evident today both at Mass and at the breakfast following and I, for one, am so proud to be a part of this very special community of faith.  I hope you are too!  God bless you all!

Lenten Mission Evening 3 – “Mission”
Mar 15th, 2012 by Father Chris

Last evening we concluded our Lenten Parish Mission with the theme – “Mission – take what we know and live it”.  Each night of the Mission was slightly different in its style – Monday, a Holy Hour; Tuesday, Reconciliation; Wednesday, a Mass. 

Thanks to everyone who availed themselves of this grace-filled and beautiful opportunity to grow in love for God and for one another. 

Thanks, as well, to Father James Villa, our Mission presenter and to Mary and Carmen Lando of the musical group “Spiritfire” for lifting our prayers up to God in beautiful song all three nights. 

May God continue to bless our parish through this wonderful outpouring of His love and grace given to us in our 2012 Lenten Parich Mission. 

Cardinal Dolan and Me
Mar 13th, 2012 by Father Chris

I have not yet been able to upload all of my photos from the Pilgrimage to Rome last month.  This takes quite a bit of time and  I hope to do so soon.  But, for now, I share the picture below which is one of my favorites from the trip.  It is a nice photograph of me with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York during the Consistory celebrations in Rome, February 2012.

Cardinal Dolan and me in Rome, Febraury 2012

Lenten Mission Evening 2 – Reconciliation
Mar 13th, 2012 by Father Chris

The theme for the Mission this evening was “Reconciliation”.  Like last night, you really had to be there to fully experience it, so no reason to try to describe it here.  Suffice to say, it was a very powerful and moving evening as you can just imagine! 

Tommorow night we will end our Lenten Mission with a special Mass and the theme will be: “Mission” – take what we know and live it! 

Above, Father Villa prepares parishioners attending the Mission this evening for reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

The Lando family “Spirit Fire” provide music during the Mission.

Following the Sacrament of Reconcilation all of the sins which had been forgiven and had been placed on paper were put into the fire pit shown above and burned to prove the reality – they exist NO MORE!  Praise God!

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