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Fr. Pete has landed!
Jun 26th, 2012 by Father Chris

Father Pete has arrived!  His plane from London was on time and the arrival ceremony at JFK Airport went off without a hitch!  It is wonderful to have him back with us and we look forward once again to his beautiful spirit and presence in our parish over the next few months. 

Father Pete just after he came through customs and we collected his luggage.

Father Pete and I shake hands as he arrives at Terminal 7 at JFK.  He took a long flight on British Airways from Chennai, Madras Airport to London then a 7 hour flight from London to New York.  Needless to say – he’s tired!

Welcome Father Pete!  We are so happy you are back!!

Welcome back Father Pete!
Jun 26th, 2012 by Father Chris

Father Peter Phiominraj, S.D.B.

This afternoon Father Pete will return to New York and to Saint Anthony’s to assist us for the summer months.  We cannot wait to see Father Pete and to enjoy his presence once again.  Please be sure to give him a very warm “Saint Anthony’s” welcome when you see him over the next few days and this weekend at Masses. 

Father Pete will arrive at JFK Airport this afternoon on British Airways after a very long journey from Chennai, India then to London Heathrow for a layover before the final leg to JFK. 

As we welcome Father Pete it is also a good time to remember all of the Salesian priests who have served us so faithfully over the last few years here in our parish.  We remember and continue to pray for Father Lawrence Vadakkan, now pastor of Saint Patrick’s Church in the Archdiocese of San Francisco as well as Father Thad Reddy who is now the Vice-Provincial of the Salesian order in the Province of Hyderabad, India. 

We have such wonderful memories of all of these priests and we thank God for our friendship with them and the blessing of their service among us here at Saint Anthony’s!

Rally for Religious Freedom
Jun 23rd, 2012 by Father Chris

Today from 12 noon to 2pm a Rally for Religious Freedom was held on the steps of the Federal Courthouse in White Plains.  Father Peter and I along with 20 members of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish were in attendance to support the right of all Americans to Religious Freedom in the United States.

About 300 people assembled to hear some very interesting and insightful talks, patriotic music and, most importantly, to give visible witness to our opposition to the Obama Administration’s restrictions on Religious Freedom through the HHS Mandate.  Make no mistake about it, the Obama “Mandate” is an attack on the Catholic Church and on ALL Religious Institutions, especially Christian Institutions.

Many of those in attendance certainly were Catholic.  However, there were members of several other denominations including non-Christians in attendance as well. 

Although this was, at least in my opinion, a very important “story” to be covered, you will likely not see anything on any of the local media outlets.  The only media in attendance was Catholic New York, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York. 

I am very proud of the members of our parish who participated.  Even though it was hot, your voice was heard and your presence was appreciated!  We have the benefit of history to remind  us of what is needed at this point – all people of faith and good will must stand up and say ENOUGH!  It is so important that, at this time in our Nation’s history, we stand up strongly and boldly and take back our freedom and liberty before we find ourselves asking – “what happened?”  Too much is at stake -  even freedom itself!   

One of the speakers at the rally addresses the crowd.

A young lady leads participants in “God bless America”.

Father Peter and parishioner Ralph Stelluti listen intently during the rally.

A “group shot” of many of the participants of today’s Rally for Religious Freedom on the front steps of the Federal Courthouse in White Plains.

Happy 100th Sacred Heart
Jun 23rd, 2012 by Father Chris

On Thursday evening I attended the 100th Anniversary Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Newburgh.  The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Dolan and was concelebrated  by Archbishop Charles Balvo, Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand (who had been Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart from 1976-1981) and Bishop Dominick Lagonegro who lives in residence at Sacred Heart and who had also been pastor of the parish for several years.  Many priests and deacons who have been stationed at Sacred Heart during its history were also present for the celebration. 

The church was filled to capacity for the Mass and afterward a reception was held in the auditorium.  It was great to see so many parishioners that I had not seen in years.  And, the anniversary was very meaningful for me since I had been assigned to Sacred Heart as a seminarian for the summer months during my seminary training from 2000-2003.  I also celebrated my First Mass at Sacred Heart on May 18, 2003.  This was the first time I had celebrated Mass at that Altar since then so it was very special for me as you can imagine. 

Father Bill Scafidi, the pastor, and his entire staff did a great job bringing all of the details together and I congratulate him and all of the parishioners of Sacred Heart on a job well done!  Congratulations on your 100th Anniversary.  May God grant you 100 more!

Above, Cardinal Dolan points to the mosaic above the Altar in Sacred Heart Church in Newburgh during his homily.

Cardinal Dolan gives a very thoughtful and inspiring homily during the 100th Anniversary Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Newburgh thursday evening.

Congratulations REACH Graduates
Jun 23rd, 2012 by Father Chris

We congratulate the students of the REACH Academy who graduated on Thursday evening.  The graduation ceremony was held in the Auditorium of the REACH Academy which now occupies the former Saint Anthony of Padua School building. 

Father Peter along with several parishioners and members of our parish council attended the cereomny and were deeply impressed by the presentations given by the graduates as well as the work done by the faculty.  I was not able to be present because I was in Newburgh for the 100th Anniversary Mass for Sacred Heart Parish with was celebrated by Cardinal Dolan. 

Congratulations graduates and we wish you God’s blessings in all you do in the future!

Saint Vito’s Festa
Jun 23rd, 2012 by Father Chris

This weekend Saint Vito’s Parish in Mamaroneck is celebrating their annual Festa.  The celebrations continue this afternoon and evening as well as tomorrow afternoon and evening.  I encourage parishioners to go and support Saint Vito’s in their efforts. 

Monsignor James White is the Pastor and he is doing a wonderful job shepherding that community.  The parish is comprised mostly of people of Italian and Spanish backgrounds.  It is a very vibrant place.  This is the second year that Saint Vito’s has been having its Festa.  It had been a long standing tradition for many years and then over time it eventually died out.  However, last year they brought the tradition back.  Father Peter and I plan to be there tonight and we are looking forward to having a good time.  Hope to see some of our parishioners there as well. 

Buona Festa!  

For Greater Glory
Jun 21st, 2012 by Father Chris

I encourage everyone to go see the movie For Greater Glory.  Anyone who knows me knows I am not a supporter of Hollywood by any means.  However, this is a truly great movie that should not be missed.  The plot is very timely as it reveals a long hidden but true story of the 1920′s Cristero War.  It chronicles the Mexican People’s uprising against the atheistic Mexican government.  The movie forces viewers to answer the question: “What would you do for freedom?”  Here, an impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country.

The movie stars Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, Peter O’Toole, Oscar Isaac and Santiago Cabrera. 

Here in our local area For Greater Glory can be seen at New Roc City, 33 LeCount Place in New Rochelle and the showtimes are at 1:55pm and 7:15pm.  Also, in the Bronx at AMC Bay Plaza, 2210 Bartow Avenue at 2:45pm.

If you are not in the New York area please check your local movie listings and try to get to see For Greater Glory.  You will not be disappointed!

Enjoyable evening
Jun 20th, 2012 by Father Chris

Last evening Father Peter and I attended at very enjoyable event at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers for the “Final Report Dinner” for this year’s Stewardship Appeal.  Also in attendance were Madeline and Emil Dominianni, two of our parishioners, and I was able to get this nice photo of both of them with Cardinal Dolan. 

Following the dinner we took Madeline and Emil into the seminary building and gave them a tour of the place where we were both trained to be priests.  They were greatly impressed by the chapel, the hallways and they were especially thrilled to see our ordination pictures on the wall. 

Cardinal Dolan was a very gracious host as always and he gave a very impressive speech at the end of the evening thanking everyone who was there and all who contributed to making the Appeal a success this year.  I echo those feelings to all in our parish who did so much to help us meet our goal once again.  God bless you all!

Freedom Rally THIS Saturday
Jun 20th, 2012 by Father Chris

I encourage all parishioners to please join THIS SATURDAY June 23rd from 12-2pm for a Freedom Rally to protest the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate.  This rally will include guest speakers, prayer and music.  The Freedom Rally is sponsored by The Westchester and Putnam Coalition for Religious Freedom. 

The Rally will take place in front of the Federal Courthouse at 300 Quarropas Street at the corner of S. Lexington Avenue in White Plains.  The best place to park is at the Galleria Mall.  The rally will consist of interfaith witness and prayer for our right of religious freedom and the challenges to it by the HHS Mandate.  The Freedom Rally is a legal, peaceful and prayerful witness in defense of the fundamental rights of all people of faith. 

I plan to be there and I ask you to please join me and bring a friend before we find ourselves asking “what happened?”

Prayer for Religious Freedom
Jun 19th, 2012 by Father Chris

We ask you to please join us in praying the following prayer for Religious Freedom especially during the 14 days of the “Fortnight for Freedom” vigil for Religious Liberty in our nation from June 21 through July 4.

Prayer for Religious Freedom

Almighty God, Father of all nations, for freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Galatians 5:1).

We praise you and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice and the common good.

Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; by your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

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