Congratulations Sister Nicky, C.S.J.B
Feb 25th, 2013 by Father Chris

We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Sister Nicky Burgos, C.S.J.B., who entered her Novitiate in the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist on Sunday.  In this age of dramatically smaller numbers of women and men entering religious life we are excited to see a young woman such as Sister Nicky enter the Novitiate.  We promise to support her with our prayers and love as she continues on this journey to which God has called her. 

I was privileged to celebrate the Mass immediately following Sister Nicky’s entrance into the Novitiate on Sunday.  Above, Sister Nicky is pictured with her mother, Sister Claudette (the Superior of Mount Saint John Convent) and me.

Prayers for Pope Benedict
Feb 25th, 2013 by Father Chris


We offer the following prayer which Cardinal Dolan has asked us to pray over these 9 days leading up to the retirement, this thursday, of Pope Benedict XVI.  All of us at Saint Anthony’s join in praying for grace and peace upon our Holy Father as he retires and we ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit on the College of Cardinals as they select our next Pope.

O God, who chose your servant Benedict in succession to the Apostle Peter as shepherd of the whole flock, look favorably on the supplications of your people and grant that, as Vicar of Christ on earth, he may confirm his brethren and that the whole church may be in communion with him in the bond of unity, love and peace, so that in you, the shepherd of souls, all may know the truth and attain life eternal.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

Thank you Cardinal Dolan!
Feb 18th, 2013 by Father Chris

Cardinal Dolan speaks to the congregation in church during his homily on Saturday evening.

We are deeply grateful to Cardinal Dolan for such an beautiful and inspiring pastoral visit on Saturday evening.  The church was filled to overflowing and was a magnificent experience for all who attended.  We are honored by the presence of His Eminence among us and we look forward to his next visit among us!  A full photo gallery of the evening will be posted on our parish website soon.  Until then, I have included a few photo highlights here.

Cardinal Dolan receives the gifts from Bob and Denise Serra at the offertory.

Cardinal Dolan gives me his blessing as I prepare to proclaim the Gospel.

His Eminence listens intently as I proclaim the Gospel during the Mass.  Father Peter is seen beside the Cardinal.

Cardinal Dolan elevates the chalice for all to adore.


Feb 16th, 2013 by Father Chris

We are delighted to welcome His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan to Saint Anthony of Padua Parish as he makes his first Pastoral Visit to Saint Anthony’s since becoming Archbishop of New York four years ago! 

Cardinal Dolan will be the principal celebrant of the 5:00 PM Mass this evening and a reception will follow in the parish hall immediately following Mass.

The visit of His Eminence does our parish and each one of us personally great honor.  We pledge to Cardinal Dolan our continued support, love and prayers in his ministry among us here in the Archdiocese of New York.

Feb 16th, 2013 by Father Chris

As you can understand, I have had little time in the last few days to do much “blogging” as we have been preparing for the visit of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.  I will get back to the keyboard very shortly after the visit I promise. 

Needless to say, we are all very excited about Cardinal Dolan’s visit this evening to celebrate the 5:00PM Mass at Saint Anthony’s.  All are welcome but I must encourage you to plan to come early as I am hearing that it is anticipated to be a very large attendance. 

Papal Retirement 101 – thanks to Rocco Palmo from the Blog Whispers in the Loggia
Feb 11th, 2013 by Father Chris

Special thanks to Rocco Palmo from the Blog Whispers in the Loggia for providing the following information this morning.

Pope-Emeritus 101

Shortly after Benedict XVI announced his resignation as Roman pontiff, effective 28 February, the following clarification on the future status of the first Pope to retire in six centuries was issued by the lead Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi:

Pope Benedict XVI has given his resignation freely, in accordance with Canon 332 §2 of the Code of Canon Law. 

Pope Benedict XVI will not take part in the Conclave for the election of his successor. 

Pope Benedict XVI will move to the Papal residence in Castel Gandolfo when his resignation shall become effective. 

When renovation work on the monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican is complete, the Holy Father will move there for a period of prayer and reflection.

As previously noted, canon law makes no provision whatsoever for the protocols and prerogatives of a retired Pope, so Benedict’s preferences for his post-papacy will be setting an epochal precedent, both for the office and the life of the church it oversees.

US Response to the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
Feb 11th, 2013 by Father Chris

Again, the following information comes from the blog Whispers in the Loggia and we thank Rocco Palmo for compiling this response on the part of the Bishops Conference of the United States. 

B16 Resigns: The US Response

Leading the reactions on this morning’s shock news of Pope Benedict’s announcement of his resignation, the following statement has just been issued by the USCCB president, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York:

The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter. 

Though 78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they were of all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened – Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poor in Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany, Spain and Brazil. 

He delighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington and New York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the White House. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer at Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feeling pain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, he brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics. 

Pope Benedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of a dictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out above all others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity. 

He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity. 

He spoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality among nations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitable share of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature. 

Those who met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings found themselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhere to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. 

The occasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives as citizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet the challenges present in today’s world. 

Elevated to the College of Cardinals by the retiring pontiff a year ago this week, the 63 year-old Gotham prelate will be the youngest of the 11 papal electors from the US, who comprise the second-largest national bloc after Italy’s 28.

Statements from other key players in the impending interregnum will be posted as they’re received.

Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
Feb 11th, 2013 by Father Chris

The following blog entry was taken from Whispers in the Loggia, a Catholic Blog by Rocco Palmo.  I thank Rocco for his efforts in getting information out so quickly after this morning’s suprising announcement of the resignation at the end of February of Pope Benedict XVI.

B16 Resigns

Nearly eight years since his election, Pope Benedict XVI announced this morning that, at the end of the month, he will become the first Roman pontiff since Celestine V in 1294 to resign from the Chair of Peter.

The 85 year-old – who has quietly indicated over the years that he would take the drastic step should he feel it necessary – broke the news during a previously-scheduled consistory to approve some causes for canonization (above); originally given in Latin, the following English translation of the statement was released by the Holy See:

Dear Brothers, 

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. 

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.  

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013  


Beyond the statement, no timetable or other parameters are currently known on the holding of a Conclave – we’re in very uncharted territory here, folks, so please be patient. The lone item of canon law to even mention a pontiff’s resignation is Canon 332, paragraph 2, which states that “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.”

Along the same lines, there is no protocol whatsoever for the titles or status of a retired Pope.

On Friday, Benedict raised some eyebrows by having a rare private audience with the Dean of the College of Cardinals, the 85 year-old Italian Angelo Sodano, the figure who would be responsible for the convoking of a papal election. The departing pontiff ostensibly communicated his plan to the Cardinal-Dean at that point. 

That said, as both Sodano and his Vice-Dean, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, are past the eligibility age to vote, under the norms currently in place, the duty of presiding over the Conclave would seem to fall to the senior cardinal-bishop younger than 80: the retired prefect of the Congregation for Bishops Giovanni Battista Re, who turned 79 in late January.

Under the operative norms governing Conclaves in the wake of a Pope’s death, the voting college is to start the election between 15 and 20 days from the moment of the vacancy. In this case, however, the traditional novemdiales – the nine days of official mourning before the election – would not apply.

Now comprised of 118 voting members younger than 80, the College as a whole – retirees included – governs the church during a papal interregnum.

Winter Storm Nemo
Feb 7th, 2013 by Father Chris

Here at Saint Anthony’s we are carefully monitoring the Weather Bulletins on Television and Radio.  Estimations currently are that this will be a “historic” winter storm dumping atleast one foot of snow in our area and potentially even more than that.  Drifts could be much higher in some areas as the wind is predicted to reach 50 to 60 mph overnight Friday into Saturday. 

I encourage all parishioners to carefully listen to and follow the instructions of the weather authorities and local officials.  Please DO NOT risk your life to drive or walk to church (or anywhere else) if conditions are hazardous.  It appears that the worst of the storm should be past us by mid-day Saturday.  At that time we will be able to assess storm damage and have a better idea of impacts on our community. 

Until that time please stay inside and stay safe!

Founders Ball Gala POSTPONED!
Feb 7th, 2013 by Father Chris

Due to the Major Blizzard that is scheduled to hit our area beginning tomorrow morning the Founders Ball Gala originally scheduled for tomorrow night has been postponed.  The new date is Friday March 1, 2013 at 7:00PM at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle. 

The safety of our guests as well as the staff of the Fountainhead are the primary concern of the Gala Dinner Committee as well as the Management of the Fountainhead.  We look forward to seeing everyone on March 1, 2013 for a fabulous evening!

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