Welcome Erialdo Ramirez!
May 28th, 2013 by Father Chris

erialdoErialdo Ramirez

This week we are very happy to welcome Erialdo Ramirez to Saint Anthony’s!  Since his name might be difficult for some to pronounce we will refer to him as “Eri”.  Eri is a seminarian studying for the priesthood here in the Archdiocese of New York.  In September he will enter his first year of theology (out of four) at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie.  He will be with us until July 9th and you will see him at Masses on the weekends and during the week.  He will be accompanying Father Peter, Father Pete and I on many of our visits to hospitals, funeral homes and house visits to the sick and homebound.  He will also be at most of our other parish meetings and functions for the next several weeks.

Erialdo is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico.  He is 23 years old and has two sisters and one brother.  He is a twin to one of his sisters.  His Father is a farmer and his mother is a dentist in Guadalajara.

Eri brings with him a youthful, enthusiastic and faithful spirit which will, no doubt, be an inspiration to all of us.

While Erialdo is here we want to assist him with his english so that he will become more comfortable with the english language in preparation for his theology studies at the major seminary.

We are very happy that the seminary faculty has sent Erialdo to Saint Anthony of Padua Parish for this summer assignment.  Please welcome him and encourage him during his time with us.

Welcome Erialdo and God bless you!

Memorial Day
May 27th, 2013 by Father Chris


This Memorial Day we remember and thank all of those who have given their lives in service.  This day use to be called “Decoration Day.”  It was a day when the graves of dead soldiers and sailors were decorated with the American Flag and flowers.  That tradition seems to have largely disappeared  but we can and must remember and pray for all of those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. 

This morning I had the honor of participating in the Annual Memorial Day Parade on Halstead Avenue in Harrison.  This is always a special time for our community as we turn out to honor the men and women of our armed forces.


Members of the Marine Corps prepare for a gun salute at the Memorial Day Parade this morning in Harrison.


Mayor Ron Belmont addresses the crowd assembled at the Wall of Honor outside of City Hall in Harrison this morning following the Memorial Day Parade.

Below is the text from “The Prayer for our Nation” which was offered this morning by Rocco Palmo on  his blog Whispers in the Loggia. 

The Prayer for the Nation was written and first delivered in 1791 by Stateside Catholicism’s Founding Father, John Carroll, the Jesuit bishop of Baltimore…

We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his[/her] excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. 

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

New Priests for New York!
May 25th, 2013 by Father Chris

ordination book

The front cover of the Ordination Program

Congratulations to the new priests ordained today for the Archdiocese of New York, for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and for the Idente Missionaries.  It was a blessing to be at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral this morning with Cardinal Dolan, Bishop Walsh, Bishop Lagonegro and dozens of priests who were on hand to concelebrate the Mass of Ordination.  We thank God for the gift of these new priests to serve the people of God here in this part of the Lord’s vineyard and we ask God to bless them in their ministries for many years to come!

The newly ordained are:

Father Paschal Coby, C.F.R.

Father Feliz Desilets, C.F.R.

Father Peter Heasley

Father Lorenzo Laboy

Father Luke Leighton, C.F.R.

Father Sandro Alexander Leyton Rodriguez

Father Jeffrey Pomeisl

Father Kenneth Riello

Father Bonaventure Rummell, C.F.R.

Father Esteban Isaias Sanchez Guanga

Father Marek Wasilewski, M.Id


This photo was taken by Alan Zale on Saturday morning at the Ordination Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.  Alan is a professional photographer and a friend and I thank him for sending it to me.  Seen here laying hands upon the newly ordained priests are from right to left, an unidentified priest, me, Father Fidelis, C.F.R., Monsignor Peter Finn, Former Rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary and Vicar of Staten Island, Monsignor John Ferry, Pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Scarsdale and Vicar of Central Westchester and Monsignor Kevin O’Brien, Pastor of Saint Philip Neri Parish in the Bronx.

Blue Mass Photos
May 25th, 2013 by Father Chris

Photos of our 6th Annual Blue Mass last Satruday evening are now available on our website in our Photo Gallery page.  Please browse the photos there and enjoy them!  Videos of the Mass will be available as soon as we receive them and are able to download them to the parish website. 

For the time being a couple for you to enjoy.

Fr. Christopher Monturo led the celebration at the Sixth Annual Blue Mass honoring police, fire, EMS and civic officials at St. Anthony of Padua Church in West Harrison, NY. May 18, 2013 Photo by Alan Zale

Police Officers salute the American Flag during the National Anthem at last weekend’s Blue Mass.


I am very grateful to John Cerino, personal assistant to County Executive Rob Astorino, for sending this photo to me.  John took this shot immediately following the Blue Mass outside the main entrance to the church.  Shown from left are, Mayor Ron Belmont of the Town of Harrison, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino me and Harrison Chief of Police Anthony Marraccini.  In my left hand I am holding my fire helmet.  The badge reads, Chaplain and Father Monturo.  I use it each year as we bless the emergency vehicles and I use it when I have responded to fires with the West Harrison Fire Department.

Fire Department Events
May 23rd, 2013 by Father Chris

Over the last several days we have had three important Fire Department events.  On Sunday our Junior Firefighters, ages 14 to 17 hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Firehouse on Lake Street from 1pm to 6pm.  It was a wonderful event which was attended by many residents of Silver Lake and the surrounding community.  Thanks to everyone who came out to support our Junior Firefighters!

On Wednesday evening the Purchase Fire Department held their annual Department Memorial Service and then tonight (Thursday) our own West Harrison Fire Department held their Memorial Service.  Let us keep in our prayers all of our departed members particularly Alex Cipriano and Frank Cipriano who both passed away within the last two months. 

I have several photos of these events I will publish soon.  I am having some technical difficulty uploading them to the blog and when the problem is resolved I will have them here. 



10th Anniversary!
May 17th, 2013 by Father Chris

Thank you to everyone who has in any way today expressed prayers and best wishes on this 10th Anniversary for me and my classmates!  I have been overwhelmed by the love and support I have received today.  In fact, I had expected it to just pass by quietly.  I celebrated  Mass with the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist today and then this evening celebrated Mass  at Saint Joseph’s Seminary with a couple of my classmates at a last minute surprise celebration hosted by many of his former parishioners. 

It has been a beautiful day!  And, I am looking forward to June 2nd when a parish celebration will take place here at Saint Anthony’s.  On that day it is my intention not to celebrate “Father Chris” so much as to turn our attention to the two great gifts we are all fortunate to share in – the priesthood and the Eucharist! 

For now, I would like to share with you two photos which hang in my room from the day of my Ordination 10 years ago today.  I look at them every day and they bring back wonderful memories of that time.  The last photo was taken this evening at Saint Joseph’s Seminary.


Ordination to the Priesthood at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral by Edward Cardinal Egan.  This photo appeared the following morning on the front page of the Journal News with a very favorable article about the Ordination Mass and the headline – “Welcomed into the Fold!”


Members of my immediate family and I join Cardinal Egan for a photo immediately following the Ordination Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.  Cardinal Egan has signed the photograph to me.


Father Levelt Germain, Father Joseph Espaillat, me and Father Dan O’Reilly celebrated Mass this evening at the former Neumann Residence Chapel on the campus of Saint Joseph’s Seminary.

Confirmation 2013
May 17th, 2013 by Father Chris

On Wednesday evening we celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation here at Saint Anthony’s.  Confirmation is always a very special time for any parish but it is particularly special for us as we welcome home Bishop Dominick Lagonegro who confers the Sacrament on our young people.  Bishop Dom always makes the Confirmation Mass personal and memorable for all of the confirmandi and their families.  We thank him for his presence with us on Wednesday evening and we ask God to bless and guide all of those who received the Gift of the Holy Spirit here in our parish.


Bishop Dom always spends plenty of time with the confirmandi and their family members speaking with each one and making each one feel important and special.


Bishop Dom is interested in each person!


As Pastor, it is always a joy to share in the enthusaism of parishioners.


Bishop Dom is a dear friend. 

6th Annual Blue Mass
May 17th, 2013 by Father Chris

blue mass

I invite everyone to attend our 6th Annual Blue Mass Saturday evening May 18th at 5:00 PM.  This Mass is always a highlight for our parish and for the wider community here in West Harrison, Harrison, Purchase and White Plains as we come together to honor those who serve us so faithfully. 

Dozens of Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS workers and Civic Officials will be in attendance as we ask God’s blessings upon them and their families.  We anticipate the presence of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino whom we are very fortunate to have leading our county.  Mr. Astorino is a faithful, committed, active and proud catholic.  In my judgement, our state, nation and world would be in better shape if we had more leaders like Rob Astorino!  Our Mayor, Ron Belmont will also be with us as well as members of the Town Council.  We are very privileged to have Ron Belmont leading us here in the Town of Harrison.  Ron is one of the most thoughtful men I have ever known.  He is also a faithful member of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish. 

We look forward to welcoming all of these honorees to Saint Anthony’s tomorrow evening as we pray the Holy Spirit guide, protect and bless them always!

Welcome Bishop Dom!
May 15th, 2013 by Father Chris

bishop domMost Reverend Dominick J. Lagonegro

Confirmation is a special time in any parish but this certainly is the case for us here at Saint Anthony’s for many reasons.  One of the reasons is that Confirmation is always a “homecoming” for Bishop Dom.  Bishop Dom grew up here at Saint Anthony’s, was Altar Boy here, celebrated his First Mass here, has family here and has remained very close to the priests and people of our parish throughout his life and ministry.

Parishioners are encouraged to come greet Bishop Dom upon his arrival this evening as we welcome him home to Saint Anthony’s! 

Sacrament of Confirmation
May 15th, 2013 by Father Chris

gifts of holy spirit

Congratulations to the students of our S.T.A.R.S. Religious Education Program who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this evening!  Bishop Dominick Lagonegro will be with us the celebrate the Mass at 6:00pm and we look forward to a wonderful evening. 

Confirmadi and families are asked to report at their designated time to the Lower Church Hall for pictures and also to speak with Bishop Lagonegro.  A specific area has been arranged where the photographer will be located.  Immediately behind where your pictures will be taken will be a private area with three chairs (one for the candidate, one for the sponsor and one for Bishop Lagonegro) where the bishop will meet with each candidate and sponsor.  This will happen after your photos have been taken.  Also, seats have been arranged in the Lower Church Hall for each candidate and sponsor.  Please find your seats and remain there until instructions are given and the procession is ready to proceed to the church for Mass. 

Best wishes to all of our Confirmadi and your families on this very special occasion!

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