Super Bowl “Spirit” Mass
Jan 27th, 2013 by Father Chris

Next Sunday at the 10:30 Mass we will  have a very special Family Mass.  This Mass will serve as our annual Super Bowl “Spirit” Mass.  All students of our STARS Religious Studies Program are invited to wear your favorite team jersey to the Mass.  The homily will be especially geared toward the theme of the Mass and there will be a special presentation as well.   Be sure to be here NEXT Sunday for this special Family Mass and experience the good things that are in store!

Last Chance!
Jan 26th, 2013 by Father Chris

There are only a few days left to reserve your seats for the Founders Ball Gala on February 8, 2013 at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle.  We have had a fabulous response so far to this exciting parish event and we are grateful to everyone who has already been supportive.  I assure you that you are going to have a beautiful evening. 

If you would still like to place a Journal Ad in the Gala Journal you may still do so as we do have a few pages left.  Again we have had an overwhelming response to the Journal.  The Journal this year will be a commemorative book that you will surely want to be part of.  You may advertize a business, honor or memorialize a loved one, include photos, etc.  Be creative and make it fun. 

If you would like to reserve seats of place Journal Ads you may do so on our parish website here or you may call the parish office any time.

We look forward to a fantastic evening on February 8th and I can’t wait to see you all there!

Teaching Mass
Jan 25th, 2013 by Father Chris

Tuesday evening we celebrated a “Teaching Mass” in church.  The Mass was attended by many of our parishioners as well as students and families of our STARS Religious Education Program.  Everyone seemed to learn many new and interesting details about the Mass, its significance, history and why we do certain things pertaining to this most important element of our faith.

As special word of thanks to Jean Jacksen, our Director of Religious Education, and to our catechists for their hard work in organizing this special evening.  It was truly beneficial for everyone who was fortunate enough to  be there.

 Above, I explain the meaning of various parts of the church building.  Along the Altar rail you can see vestments and vessels used for Mass which I later explained.  As I placed each vestment on in front of the congregation I explained the meaning of each one.

Father Peter holds up the chasuble as I explain its meaning.

Above, I show the congregation a surplice and explain when and why it is used.

Sad Anniversary!
Jan 22nd, 2013 by Father Chris

Today, January 22nd, marks the 40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision, Roe vs. Wade, legalizing abortion on demand in  the United States.  This unfortunate decision has resulted in the planned deaths of tens of millions of human lives since 1973.  Today is a sad anniversary and it is a time when we must remember in prayer all who have been affected  by the tragedy that has resulted in the intervening years.  We pray for the innocent unborn.  We pray for the mothers and fathers who have been led to such a decision.  We pray for our nation and our world that we might be led aright in the ways of truth and justice.  We pray for healing and wholeness.

Over the last couple of days we have seen extensive coverage of the inaugural ceremonies in Washington D.C.  It is estimated that between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people stood on the National Mall to witness the presidential inaugural.  What is interesting is that while this event received almost nonstop coverage and much was made of the “huge” numbers of people, an equivelant number of people will be marching on the Mall on Friday in support and defense of the sacredness of human life and you will be hard-pressed to see any coverage at all on any mainstream media channels.  I encourage everyone to watch the National Vigil Mass for Life on Thursday night at 8pm from the National Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington and also the National March for Life on Friday on EWTN which will carry the events live and extensively. 

Below I offer to you portions of one of the most touching and meaningful writings I have ever seen on the issue of human life and its sacredness.  It is from a letter written by Terence Cardinal Cooke who served as Archbishop of New York from 1968 until his death of cancer in 1983.  The letter was written by the Cardinal just a couple of days before his death and was read at all Masses in the Archdiocese of New York the following Sunday (the day after died).  The letter was transmitted virtually around the world.  The words that Cardinal Cooke communicated then, over 30 years ago now, are as meaningful and rich today as they were then and should speak to the hearts of all people.

The letter reads in part:

Dear Friends in Christ:

How often we speak of “the gift of life,” God’s “gift of life” to us, His sons and daughters.  What a beautiful phrase!  How filled with meaning it is!  In the Book of Genesis, we read of the origin of this gift: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

It is at times when life is threatened – such as times of serious illness – that the Lord gives us a special grace to appreciate “the gift of life” more deeply as an irreplaceable blessing which only God can give and which God must guide at every step.  From the beginning of human life, from conception until death and at every moment between, it is the Lord Our God who gives us life, and we, who are His creatures, should cry out with joy and thanksgiving for this precious gift.

We are made in God’s image and likeness, and this fact gives a unique dimension to “the gift of life.”  We have even more reason to be grateful.  It is tragic that in our time, concepts which are disastrous to the well-being of God’s human family – abortion, euthanasia, infanticide – are falsely presented as useful and even respectable solutions to human, family and social problems.  Human life is sometimes narrowly viewed in terms of being inconvenient or unwanted, unproductive or lacking arbitrarily imposed human criteria.

From the depths of my being, I urge you to reject this anti-life, anti-child, anti-human view of life and to oppose with all your strength the deadly technologies of life destruction which daily result in the planned death of the innocent and the helpless.  Together we must search for ways to demonstrate this conviction in our daily lives and in our public institutions.  In doing so, we must never be discouraged or give up.  Too much is at stake – “the gift of life” itself.

The “gift of life,” God’s special gift is no less beautiful when it is accompanied by illness or weakness, hunger or poverty, mental or physical handicaps, loneliness or old age.  Indeed, at these times, human life gains extra spendor as it requires our special care, concern and reverence.  It is in and through the weakest of human vessels that the Lord continues to reveal the power of His love…

…At this grace-filled time in my life, as I experience suffering in union with Jesus, Our Lord and Redeemer, I offer gratitude to Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to continue my apostolate on behalf of life.  I thank each one of you, my brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of New York and throughout our nation, for what you have done and will do on behalf of human life.  May we never yield to indifference or claim helplessness when innocent human life is threatened or when human rights are denied.

With you, I entrust our efforts to the care of Our Lady who, from the moment of her Immaculate Conception to the present, has been the refuge for the poorest and most forgotten among God’s people.  I assure you of a special share in the prayerful offerings of my sufferings to the Father, in union with Jesus and through the Spirit of Love Who is ours in abundance.

May God bless you always and give you His peace.

Devotedly yours in Christ,

+Terence Cardinal Cooke

Archbishop of New York

Terence Cardinal Cooke

Cardinal Cooke is entombed along with the other Bishops and Archbishops of New  York as well as other notable catholic prelates in the crypt under the main Altar in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Cardinal Cooke’s resting place.

The interior of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral from above.

Second Founders Ball Gala Dinner
Jan 18th, 2013 by Father Chris

Our Second Founders Ball Gala Dinner is quickly approaching in just three weeks from tonight!  Tickets are going quickly and journal pages are also filling up fast.  I encourage parishioners and friends to make your reservations soon so as not to be left out of this fantastic evening.  The form for tickets as well as to place journal advertisements may be found on the homepage of this website.  Also, if you wish you may stop by or call the parish office any time to reserve your seats or place an ad in the journal. 

Please also see the full slate of information on the “events” page of our website here which will give you the full details about our Parish Gala Dinner.

Certainly this dinner is an opportunity to honor a few parishioners who have played important roles in the life of our parish over the years.  However, it is also an opportunity to celebrate our parish and our faith.  It also gives us an opportunity to honor ALL of our parishioners who work so hard each day to make our parish the great place it is.  Please consider coming and celebrating with us!  You will be very happy you did!!

The Gala will be held at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle, a magnificent catering facility in one of the most fashionable locations on the Sound Shore.

The cocktail hour will be held in the stunning atrium.

The Gala Dinner will be held in the spectacular Grand Ballroom.

 Among the honorees at the Gala Dinner will be Bishop Dominick Lagonegro, pictured above with Pope Benedict XVI during a recent visit to the Vatican in Rome. 

Welcome Cardinal Dolan
Jan 16th, 2013 by Father Chris

Timothy Cardinal Dolan

We are overjoyed that Timothy Cardinal Dolan will be making his first visit to Saint Anthony of Padua since coming to New York as Archbishop almost four years ago. 

Cardinal Dolan will celebrate the 5 o’clock Vigil Mass on Saturday Febraury 16, 2013 and he will remain after Mass for a reception to be held in the Lower Church Hall to visit with parishioners. 

Please mark your calendars and plan to be here with your family members and other friends to welcome Cardinal Dolan to Saint Anthony of Padua Parish.   

Happy New Year
Jan 1st, 2013 by Father Chris

Today Catholics throughout the world celebrate the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.  It is also New Year’s Day.  And at this time of the year probably more than at any other time we become very acutely aware of how quickly time is passing.  Time is a very allusive concept.  There is no sufficient definition that we can fully or adequately understand or appreciate.  Another year has passed.  2012 is gone and it can never be lived again.  Today is a time for looking to the future.  We could say that each New Year an event happens that changes us forever.

The Gospel reading for today’s Mass recounts THE event that forever changed the world.  The birth of Christ in time in this world to the Virgin Mary, His Mother, was a life changing event and not just for Jesus and Mary and Joseph but for each one of us as well.  That singular event forever changed every human person and it changed all of history.  From that time on, every event would be measured as either BC (before Christ) or AD (Anno Domini – literally, the “Year of our Lord” or “After the birth of Christ”).  And when the shepherds made their trip to Bethlehem it was the end of an era.  It was the dawning of a brand new age.  Life started all over again for humanity that day Jesus was born.

It is interesting that we are never told what ever happened to those shepherds after this event.  But we can be sure of one thing, they were changed forever and they would never be the same.  So was Mary, as we are told, “she pondered all these things in her heart.”  The same is true for all of us.  We have been changed forever.

We cannot change the past.  It is gone.  We thank God for all of the blessings we have received in the past.  Now we must look to the future and know that we can start all over.  Whatever has been in the past, we leave it behind and we start anew.  This “fresh start” is possible with the help and the grace of God.  Each time we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation we truly receive a new beginning.  It can only be done with God’s help and so we must rely totally on Him.  Let that be our spiritual New Year’s resolution – to allow God to renew us in His grace!

Many Christians I am afraid still live with a BC (before Christ) mentality.  That is not what we are called to do however.  He is truly with us to give us His grace and His help.  Today is the beginning of the first day of a new life if we allow it to be.  That is what God wants to do for us if we let Him.  And, if we do then it truly will be a “Happy New Year!”

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