Oct 28th, 2012 by Father Chris

As Hurricane Sandy approaches we encourage all parishioners to carefully follow the directions being given by our local and state authorities regarding how to brace for the effects of this potentially catastrophic storm. 

PLEASE STAY INDOORS and DO NOT travel as you could risk your safety and the safety of others.  At this point the time for preparation has expired.  Stay safe inside your home in a secure area. 

The Parish Office will be CLOSED on Monday and Tuesday.  Furthermore, ALL activities at Saint Anthony of Padua have been cancelled Monday and Tuesday and we will make further announcements about events later in the week as we assess the storm aftermath.   

Again, please stay safe and let us anticipate the worst and pray for the best! 

All Saints Day Procession
Oct 19th, 2012 by Father Chris



On Sunday November 4 our Family Mass will include the students of our Religious Education Program who will dress up as their favorite saint.  The students will process into church at the start of the Mass and we will have a beautiful “Saints Procession”.  I encourage all of our students in this effort to be as creative as you possibly can.

As they prepare their costumes, the students are also learning a little bit about the saint they intend to represent.  As I mentioned to the students last week in their classes, the most important thing is not just to dress up as their favorite saint or even to just know a little bit about him or her but rather to try to actually live like them.  If we can incorporate into our own lives the vitues, habits and attitudes of the saints then we become more like them and we are well on our way to living the lives Jesus calls us to live.  And, by doing this we become saints as well. 

God bless all of our students as they prepare for the All Saints Procession on November 4th.

All Souls Day
Oct 19th, 2012 by Father Chris

All Souls Day is quickly approaching.  At this special time of the year, we pause to remember all of those who have gone before us in faith.  If you would like to have your loved ones remembered in our All Souls Novena of Masses please indicate their names on the special envelope provided for this purpose along with your contribution and deposit it in the collection basket or drop it off at the parish office during the week. May the souls of all the faithful departed  through the mercy of God rest in peace!

Rest in peace…
Oct 19th, 2012 by Father Chris


Please keep in your prayers Brother Robert Durning from the faculty of Iona College who passed away on October 1, 2012.  Brother Durning was a professor of mine at Iona during my time there as a student in the early 1990s.  Brother Durning graduated from Essex Catholic High School and entered the Congregation of Christian Brothers on July 3, 1965. 

His years of dedicated service were as follows:

Catholic Memorial High School     1969-1975

Essex Catholic High School              1975-1981

Iona College                                            1981-2012

Christian Brothers, New Milford          2012

May he rest in peace!

Please also remember in your prayers four priests of the Archdiocese of New York who passed away recently.  Father Robert Poveromo, Father Luke McCann, Father John Holihan and  Monsignor Eugene Fowler all died within the last week and a half.  May they rest in peace.  Please also continue to pray for the consolation of their family members and friends at this difficult time for them. 

Please also remember to say a special prayer that God will inspire Vocations to the Priesthood here in our Archdiocese so that in the years to come there will be enough priests to serve the needs of the people of His Church!  As priests such as these pass away who will take their place except those who respond generously to the Call of the Lord to serve Him unselfishly by giving their lives in service of Him and His people as priests? 

Year of Faith begins
Oct 11th, 2012 by Father Chris

Today begins the Year of Faith for Catholics around the world.  It is my hope that this year will be a year of grace and blessing for the members of our parish.  And, the two immdiate goals of this year here on the parish level are first, a renewed appreciation and deepening of the faith of members of Saint Anthony’s already connected and practicing their faith and secondly, to welcome back as many who are not as possible. 

Many different events are planned to enhance this experience for everyone and further information with be coming soon as details are being finalized now.  For the time being I would encourage you to invite family members, friends and neighbors whom you may know who might not be attending Mass to join you this Sunday.  Perhaps a simple and sincere invitation is all that is needed for some to return. 

Today also marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  It was on October 11, 1962 that Pope John XXIII formally began the Second Vatican Council at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  Over the following three years the bishops of the world would meet in Rome with Pope John XXIII and then Pope Paul VI to guide the church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit into the modern age.  The work of the Holy Father and the bishops continues even now in Rome as the Synod on Evangelization is underway.  We pray for Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Dolan and the other bishops who are there that their work on behalf of evangelization during the Year of Faith will bear fruit for years to come. 

Pope John XXIII began the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962 at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Bishops from around the world are seen meeting at one of the sessions of the Second Vatican Council.

Prayer before an election
Oct 11th, 2012 by Father Chris

The following prayer has been offered by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to be prayed in anticipation of the upcoming national election on Tuesday November 6, 2012.  We ask all parishioners to please join in praying this prayer daily for our nation and our leaders as we prepare for the election.

Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city, state and country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.  We ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.  We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned, men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.  We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.  We pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word, live your Love and keep in the ways of your Truth as they follow in the steps of Jesus and His Apostles and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.  We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Public Square Rosary Crusade
Oct 11th, 2012 by Father Chris

America is at a historic crossroad.  Secularists are trying to push God from the public square.  They reject His beneficial action upon society.  But without God, where will our leaders get the wisdom to solve the great problems we face?

We must stop the secularist advance and pray to God for help.  He will hear us if we pray to Him.  In The Secret of the Rosary, Saint Louis de Montfort said: “Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down His mercy, and Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always advocated public prayer in times of tragedy and suffering.”

Please join us for the 2012 Public Prayer Rosary Crusade as we join Catholics across America to pray for our nation and our leaders.  We will join this Saturday, October 13, in church at 9:30am following the 9:00am Mass.

All parishioners and friends are welcome to join us for this important and powerful event.

Farewell Father Pete…until we meet again
Oct 10th, 2012 by Father Chris

I am sorry it has taken me until now to get this post on the blog.  Since we had “technical difficulties” for almost a week I am just getting around to it.  Last week we said goodbye to Father Pete.  We are so grateful that he was able to come back to assist us here at Saint Anthony’s again this summer.  Father Pete always adds so much life and love to our parish community when he is here.  Father Pete and I miss his daily presence in the rectory very much.  It is as if there is a void here and we sense it. 

Father Pete put it best in his farewell remarks to the parish in last weeks bulletin - ”When I arrived the first year I felt like “Father”, my second year I felt like a “friend” but this time I truly felt like I was part of a “family”.  And, it is true, Father Pete really has become part of our family here at Saint Anthony’s.  We will always be grateful for the time you have spent with us and for all you have given us through your prayerfully celebrated liturgies and homilies, your art work, music and simply by your beautiful presence which continues to inspire us daily.  We give thanks to God for your life, your priesthood and most particularly for allowing us the priviledge to have crossed paths with you in this life.  

We will miss you until we see you again.  And, we hope you will be able to return very soon.  God bless you Father Pete until we meet again!

Last Monday, Father Peter, me and some of the members of our staff took Father Pete for a farewell lunch at an Indian restaurant in New Rochelle.  I am a little fussy on food believe it or not so it was a bit of an adventure for me but I would do anything for Father Pete!

Last Tuesday we prepare to depart from Saint Anthony’s on our way to Newark Airport.

We are getting closer to the airport and we were both sad!

We have arrived at Newark Airport and we are preparing to enter the terminal. 

Father Pete is checked in and ready to go.  But we weren’t ready to let him go.

Father Pete stands on the security line waiting to enter the concourse leading to his gate.  An interesting aside here.  At this point both Father Pete and I were a bit sad.  It had been a great summer filled with a lot of happy memories.  I think we both wanted that to continue.  We gave each other an embrace and said goodbye.  At precisely that moment a man approached me and asked me if I would hear his confession.  I told him I would be delighted to do so.  Father Pete walked onto the line and I went with the man to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a nearby quiet hallway away from the busyness of the security checkpoint.  Later as I thought about it more deeply I believed God had sent that man at that moment to distract us from our own self-pity and momentary sadness and to remind us both that we were priests and that we had work to do even in the middle of an busy airport.  Father Pete agreed with me and we both thanked God again for the priesthood that we are priviledged to share and we marveled again at the mystery of God’s love and grace!  

I tracked Father Pete’s flight as he crossed over the North Atlantic.  Interestingly, his flight path took him right over the top of Saint Anthony’s at about 12,000 feet as he departed from Newark en route to Frankfurt on the first leg of his journey.

Father Pete’s flight track across the Atlantic to Frankfurt.

It is a bit difficult to see in this image because it is distorted but if you look carefully you can see that Father Pete has arrived safely home at Chennai/Madras Airport literally on the other side of the world.

Harrison Police Department Open House
Oct 10th, 2012 by Father Chris

On Saturday I attended the Open House for the Harrison Police Department.  I am very proud to serve as the Police Department Chaplain and I am honored to be associated with such a superb group of public servants.  Chief Anthony Marracchini and all of the Officers who are part of the Police Department in Harrison do an exceptional job in protecting our community and keeping all of its members safe.  I was so happy to see many of our parishioners there and to see the hundreds of Harrison citizens who came out to take part in the Open House and support our Police Department.  Also on hand were members from the various Fire Departments including our own West Harrison Fire Department for whom I also serve proudly as Chaplain along with the Harrison Ambulance Corps.  God bless the members of our Police Department, Fire Departments and Ambulance Corps.  We are so grateful for all you do and we honor you!

This Westchester County Police helicopter landed behind police headquarters about 12:15pm and it was open for tours during the Open House.

A K-9 demonstration.

I am always very proud to spend time with our police officers. 

Here I am with Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont and Chief of Police Anthony Marraccini, both good friends and very fine and honorable public servants!

“Living” Rosary
Oct 10th, 2012 by Father Chris

Last night dozens of children from our STARS Religious Education Program led us in a beautiful presentation of the Rosary in church.  Hundreds of people were on hand to pray this very powerful and special devotion.  A reception was held in the lower hall following the Rosary.  I thank all who participated especially Mrs. Jean Jacksen, our Coordinator of Religious Education, who worked tirelessly for its success.  I also thank the children, catechists and parents who assisted.  It was a beautiful evening for all who attended. 

The church was packed with hundreds of people for the celebration last evening.

A beautiful statue of our Lady was placed in the front of the Sanctuary. 

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