Merry Christmas
Dec 24th, 2013 by Father Chris


Merry Christmas

I wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.  Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make our decorations in church so beautiful.  Thanks also to Laurence Broderick, our choir, orchestra and musicians who have made our liturgies so magnificent with music.  The Christmas Pageant at the 5pm Family Mass was wonderful and we are so grateful to all of the children who participated and all of the adults who helped make it special.  To everyone who has is with us during these Masses, thank you for your presence.  I pray that this is the most beautiful Christmas you have every known.  May it be filled with His peace and His love!

A Christmas Visit to Rosary Hill
Dec 22nd, 2013 by Father Chris

Yesterday I had the great privilege to visit Rosary Hill along with several parishioners from the Moose Lodge here in Silver Lake.  Rosary Hill is a home for terminally ill cancer patients run by the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters.  They do a wonderful job of caring for every person there in a special way reminding them every day that they are loved and will never be alone.  What is amazing is that although everyone who resides there is there to die each person has a smile on their face and is happy.  I am quite familiar with the work the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters do since I visited another home they operate in Atlanta (Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home) many times when I lived there.   

Yesterday during our visit we distributed Hershey Kiss candy canes to each resident and I made sure to give each one a Christmas blessing.  My prayer is that this Christmas will be for each one of them and their loved ones the most beautiful Christmas they have ever known.  The visit to Rosary Hill yesterday was a marvelous experience that I am so thankful to God for.  Moments like these remind us of what life and love and, therefore, what Christmas is all about!

rosary hill

Rosary Hill is perched on a high hill overlooking the Hudson Valley in Hawthorne, New York.

rosary hill1

This is the beautiful Christmas Tree in the Lobby at Rosary Hill.

rosary hill2

Here’s our group – Joe Champagne (Santa) and his children, Sienna and Nicholas Champagne, Joe and Louise Monticelli, Phil Delacova, Paula Lombardi, Jon Mancini (the red nosed moose) and me.

rosary hill chapel

Rosary Hill  has a beautiful chapel for the Sisters and Residents to use.

Happy 77th Birthday Pope Francis!
Dec 17th, 2013 by Father Chris

Pope Francis today celebrated his 77th birthday, kicking things off by breaking bread with the least among his flock.

Four homeless men, all of whom live on the Roman streets outside the Vatican’s walls, had breakfast at the pope’s residence in a modest hotel in the Holy See after a morning mass.

The pope addressed each of them in his homily, before inviting the group to breakfast. One of the men brought his dog to mass and the meal in the hotel’s dining room.

Pope Francis is also expected to meet with members of his favorite soccer club, Buenos Aires’ San Lorenzo, which clinched the Argentine championship Sunday.

Team members will present the pope with a replica of their championship trophy.

Pope Francis, right, welcomes homeless men, Dec. 17, 2013, who helped the Pope celebrate his 77th birthday at the Vatican. (L’Osservatore Romano/AP Photo)

Youth Group Bowling
Dec 17th, 2013 by Father Chris

On Sunday night members of our Youth Group joined together for several games of Bowling at the Bowling alley in White Plains.  It was a fun evening and everyone enjoyed pizza and soda throughout the night.  Thanks to everyone who attended and we look forward to another enjoyable outing very soon. 


I joined some of our young parishioners for a game of bowling.  Thank goodness they had the side guards up or every try for me would have been a gutter ball.  Everyone had a great time anyway!

Arrangements for Lillian Viscomi
Dec 17th, 2013 by Father Chris

Lillian Viscomi, a lifelong parishioner of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish passed away early Sunday morning. Her death leaves a void in our parish since she was always present for all of our celebrations and services. She will be greatly missed by all of us, but most of all by her immediate family for whom this is such a difficult time. We continue to remember Lillian and all of her loved ones in our prayers and support them with our love.

The wake will be at McMahon Funeral Home in White Plains on Tuesday from 2-4pm and 6-9pm.

The Funeral Mass for Lillian will be on Wednesday December 18, 2013 at 10:00am at Saint Anthony’s.

Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

Rest in Peace!

“The Christmas Guest”
Dec 15th, 2013 by Father Chris

This morning at the Family Mass I invited the children in the congregation to join me in the Sanctuary. I read them the Christmas story below as part of my homily. I was amazed to hear afterwards that so many adults had never heard it either. So, for the enjoyment of all I offer it here. I hope you enjoy it!

The Story of the Christmas Guest
by Helen Steiner Rice


  • It happened one day at December’s end
    Some neighbors called on an old-time friend.

    And they found his shop so meager and mean,
    Made gay with a thousand boughs of green.

    And old Conrad was sitting with face ashine.
    When he suddenly stopped as he stitched the twine.

    And he said “My friends at dawn today,
    When the cock was crowing the night away,

    The Lord appeared in a dream to me.
    And He said, ‘I’m coming your guest to be”

    So I’ve been busy with feet astir,
    Strewing my shop with branches of fir.

    The table is spread and the kettle is shined,
    And over the rafters the holly is twined.

    And now I’ll wait for my Lord to appear;
    And listen closely so I will hear,

    His steps as he nears my humble place.
    And I’ll open the door and I’ll look on his face.”

    Then his friends went home and left Conrad alone,
    For this was the happiest day he had known.

    For long since his family had passed away.
    And Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day.

    But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest,
    This Christmas would be the dearest and best.

    So he listened with only joy in his heart,
    And with every sound he would rise with a start,

    And looked for the Lord to be at his door.
    Like the vision that he had had a few hours before.

    So he ran to the window after hearing a sound,
    But all he could see on the snow covered ground

    Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn.
    And all his clothes were ragged and worn.

    But old Conrad was touched and he went to the door
    And he said, “Your feet must be cold and sore.

    I have some shoes in my shop for you.
    And I have a coat to keep you warmer, too.”

    So with grateful heart the man went away.
    But Conrad notice the time of day

    And he wondered what made the dear Lord so late,
    And how much longer he’d have to wait.

    Then he heard another knock, and he ran to the door,
    But it was only a stranger once more.

    A bent old lady with a shawl of black,
    And a bundle of kindling piled on her back.

    But she asked only for a place to rest,
    a place that was reserved, for Conrad’s great guest.

    But her voice seemed to plead, “Don’t send me away,
    Let me rest for awhile this Christmas Day.”

    So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup
    And told her to sit at the table and sup.

    After she had left, he was filled with dismay
    For he saw that the hours were slipping away

    The Lord had not come as He said He would
    And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.

    When out of the stillness he heard a cry.
    “Please help, me and tell me – Where am I?”

    So again he opened his friendly door.
    And stood disappointed as twice before.

    It was a child who had wandered away,
    And was lost from her family on Christmas Day.

    Again Conrad’s heart was heavy and sad,
    But he knew he could make this little girl glad.

    So he called her in and he wiped her tears,
    And he quieted all her childish fears.

    Then he led her back to her home once more.
    Then as he entered his own darkened door,

    He knew that the Lord was not coming today,
    For the hours of Christmas, had all passed away.

    So he went to his room, and he knelt down to pray.
    He said, “Lord, why did you delay?

    What kept You from coming to call on me?
    I wanted so much Your face to see.”

    Then softly, in the silence, a voice he heard.
    “Lift up your head – I have kept My word.

    Three times my shadow crossed your floor.
    Three times I came to your lowly door.

    I was the beggar with bruised cold feet;
    I was the woman you gave something to eat;
    I was the child on the homeless street.

    Three times I knocked, three times I came in,
    And each time I found the warmth of a friend.

    Of all the gifts, love is the best.
    I was honored to be your Christmas guest.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us!
Dec 12th, 2013 by Father Chris

Madre de America… Madre de Francisco

Hace 482 años en la mañana, la Madre de Dios se reveló a la corazón de este continente.

Pero solamente ahora, este 11 de diciembre significa una fiesta suya en una realidad sin ninguna precedente: por el primer tiempo, celebramos la Emperatriz de la una America en junto con un Papa americano, de un Papa llamado de nosotros.

(Four hundred eighty-two years ago tomorrow, the Mother of God revealed herself at the heart of this continent.

(Yet only now, this 11th of December marks her feast amid a reality for which there is no precedent: for the first time, we celebrate the Empress of America together with an American Pope, one called from among us.)

En solo, eso sería una coincidencia monumental. Pero está más – en un homenaje tan emocional a la Morenita de Tepeyac, al fin de noviembre el Papa Francisco mandó su primer regalo del honór más alto que puede dar a una mujer, la Rosa de Oro, establecido hace un milenio, ni a su patrona nativa de Luján ni al su queridísima Madre Aparecida en Brazil, pero a la Virgen de Guadalupe, Reina de México, y por sus hijos venidos aquí, la Fuerza del Futuro de esta Fé en estos Estados. Y ahora, que su selección como “La Persona del Año” vino hoy, en la noche de esta fiesta, es algo en cual podemos ver la Providencia di Dios.

(Just on its own, it’d be a monumental coincidence. But there’s more – in an emotional homage to the “Brown Lady” of Tepeyac, at November’s end Pope Francis sent his first gift of the highest papal honor for a woman, the millennium-old Golden Rose, neither to his native Madonna of Luján or his cherished Brazilian Mãe Aparecida, but to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico’s queen and, thanks to her own who’ve come among us, the Driving Force behind this Faith’s future in these States. And now, that his selection as “Person of the Year” came today, on the vigil of this feast, is a confluence in which we can see the Providence of God.)

Con su obsequio a la Virgencita, el Obispo de Roma – hijo de inmigrantes y sus luchas, un padre entre los pobres quien se ha consagrado al servicio de los que sufren en las periferias – ha mostrado su identificación deseado: no como argentiniano, pero como un Papa de toda la una America, del Norte y del Sur, y con esto, que este pueblo encuentre para partir esa unidad que es la voluntad de Jesus por su Iglesia.

En esta noche más sagrada, cuando la Familia de Dios entre nosotros es nacido otra vez, miramos a la nuestra Madre común, que todos nosotros en junto sepamos esta gracia.

(With his gift to Guadalupe, the Bishop of Rome – son of immigrants and their struggles, a father of the poor who’s consecrated himself to the service of those who suffer at the outskirts – has manifested his desired identity: not as an Argentine, but as a Pope of the one America, North and South, and with it, that this people might come together to share that unity which is Christ’s will for his Church.

(On this most sacred of nights, when God’s Family among us is born again, let us look to the Mother we share, that all of us together might know this grace.)

Virgencita de Guadalupe, gracias por todos tus milagros – proteja nuestro Padre Santo y toda la vida nueva que has dado a este país en el hueco de tu manto….

Madre de America, ¡ayudanos!

Special thanks to Rocco Palmo of Whispers in the Loggia for the above post.
Person of the Year
Dec 12th, 2013 by Father Chris

And the “Winner” Is: Who Are They To – Er, Who Else?

It’s been clear for a while that this has been a time unlike any we’ll ever see again… and accordingly, whatta capper – the 266th Bishop of Rome has been named as TIME‘s 2013 Person of the Year, Papa Bergoglio’s “humility” and “compassion” in the Shoes of the Fisherman cited as the rationale for the choice.

Nine months since his election and six days before his 77th birthday, Francis becomes the third pontiff to receive the nod, following the two Popes who’ll be canonized together next April 27th – John XXIII in 1962 and John Paul II in 1995.

In a just-released response reflecting the significance with which the accolade’s being received in Rome, the VatiSpox Fr Federico Lombardi said that “it is a positive sign that one of the most prestigious acknowledgements in the field of the international press has been attributed to one who proclaims spiritual, religious and moral values in the world, and who speaks effectively in favor of peace and greater justice.”

“For his part,” however, Lombardi added that Francis “does not seek fame and success, since he carries out his service for the proclamation of the Gospel and the love of God for all.

“If this attracts men and women and gives them hope, the Pope is content. If this nomination as ‘Person of the Year’ means that many have understood this message, at least implicitly, he will certainly be glad.”

The alma mater of the Holy See’s senior communications adviser, Greg Burke, TIME provided some grist to Francis’ ad intra critics along the way to this morning’s announcement with a bizarre tagline on the new Pope’s shortlisting for the “Person,” saying he had “won hearts and headlines with his common touch and rejection of church dogma and luxury.”

While the brutta figura was quickly corrected, the confusion speaks to something – well, two things – many in the church still have yet to grasp, even as the wider world is likewise re-learning the lesson: namely, that the protocols of ecclesiastical culture are not coterminous with either Revelation or the Magisterium… and their perception as such should be a reminder that what the church seeks to say will only ever be received to the degree of the witness which underpins it.

Thanks to Rocco Palmo of the Blog Whispers in the Loggia for contributing the above post.

Reconciliation Monday
Dec 12th, 2013 by Father Chris


Please plan to join us  THIS Monday, December 16th, 2013 to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Father Peter and I will be available in church from 4pm to 8pm to hear confessions. 

Additionally, please know that priests will be available in ALL of the parishes in the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Monday from 4pm to 8pm.  So, there is ample opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in preparation for Christmas.

I especially want to invite those who may have been away from the practice of the faith, away from Mass and confession for many years to avail yourself of this opportunity and begin again with a fresh start in the practice of your faith.  I promise you that you will not be sorry and you will not be disappointed you did!

If you have been away from the church you may be worried about what to do or what to say.  Let me calm your fears –  just come and we will help you with everything.  You do not need to worry about what to say or do, we will assist you with everything.  The most important thing is simply that you are here.  So, in advance, WELCOME BACK!  We look forward to seeing you.  God bless you!

Advent Service
Dec 12th, 2013 by Father Chris

advent service

Last evening we celebrated a beautiful Advent Service.  Father Ashley Harrington, O.Carm.,  gave a wonderful reflection on “The Power of Waiting.”  After the service all continued the celebration in the Lower Church Hall where we enjoyed refreshments and Christmas Carols let by Laurence Broderick and our choir. 

A special word of thanks to all of the members of our Liturgy Committee, Laurence and the Choir and all who worked so hard to make the Advent Service such a beautiful experience for all of us.  Thanks for helping make this time of preparation for Christmas so special. 

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