12:15pm – Low Mass
5:15pm – Mass of the Lord’s Supper
12:15pm – Liturgy of Good Friday
3:00 pm – Liturgy of Good Friday
11: 00 am Mass
LENT: When Lent begins, can spring be far behind? Besides the usual "journey" metaphor to describe the season, this year it may be preferable to emphasize the "spring" metaphor which is the original meaning of the old English word "Lent." Even though it is not easy to feel or see during these days of winter’s grip, the earth is ready to flower and be renewed as soon as the sunlight lengthens and the temperature rises. All the buds are there on the trees.
In the garden of our souls is a similar process. A little effort at an extra prayer to acknowledge the mystery of God in our life; a little fasting or self sacrifice to remind us that all of what is and who we are … are ultimately received; and for which we can be ever grateful; Then Just add some 'almsgiving' - sharing or ministering those gifts to and for others in generosity. It will allow Lent again to be the season to renew our spiritual life. It will be similar to the fruitfulness of Christ's life when he surrendered it on the cross in love and mercy. The grace of Easter and its new life will be ours again in this holy season –our lives will flower and be renewed in the Lord's graces of healing, love, compassion and peace.
PHONE SYSTEM and OTHER THINGS: It has been 16 months since Hurricane Sandy. Our house "now FIOS-ed obsolete" phone system was finally replaced on Feb.24th. Most all other repairs are finished and tables/furniture for the church hall is on order. The "replacement" Parish history exhibit is also on order. The archive ledger books have been digitized and are awaiting graphics before they are placed on the NEW web on or around March 11th. The link will be activated in conjunction with a visit by the Irish Government's Cabinet minister Joan Burton. We are ever grateful to the Irish Government's Dept. of Foreign Affairs for their generous "hurricane re-do" grants in these endeavors.
ASH WEDNESDAY: Ashes will be distributed after each Mass. 7:05; 8:05; 12:15: & 5:05 pm. For those who do not have time off for Mass, Ashes will be continuously distributed downstairs from 11:00am to 3:00pm in conjunction with short prayers/readings.
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: The Rice Bowl Project will be a part of our Ash Wednesday services. The rice bowl mite boxes are to be used during the season of Lent for sacrificial giving. The coins add up and enable CRS to provide help to countless people in need around the world. And In this case "your two cents." mean a great deal in solidarity for peace and justice efforts for our time. The rice- bowls are returned to the parish office during Holy Week.
MAKING ALL THINGS NEW: Is the name of the consultation about the closing of churches for Cardinal Dolan going on throughout the diocese of New York, until December. Phase one has just been completed. Fr. Meehan and our 3 representatives, Paul Naish, Joanne Marzario and Dolores Santos have participated in the many parish cluster meetings since September. Our 1st phase recommendation was that our parishes (O.L. Victory, St. Peter's and the Shrine) should stay open with a higher level of cooperation and collaboration to vitalize the church's presence downtown in its new growing residential population.
The next phase will be the coordinating committee's review and recommendation based on current priest ratio, our financial viability and demographic shifts, Phase III will be negotiation and final recommendations by the fall. The cardinal will decide which parishes will be collaborative, combined or closed in the final review in December.
There will be more news when the negotiations/recommendations of the coordinating committee come back to the cluster. The financial viability and priest/people ratio will have the focus and points for discussion. Stay tuned.
THE CARDINAL'S STEWARDSHIP APPEAL – 2014: It is time for the annual appeal and a reminder that our parish has always excelled in its "charity begins at home," by meeting our goal and supporting all those charities and good works that no one parish could ever do on its own in the Archdiocese of New York. The Appeal's funding helps retired nuns, campus ministries, food banks, children's services, needy parishes and seminarians among other things .None of it could be done without your help. If you didn't get a mail appeal, take a flyer from the vestibule and make a donation in the next week. If you have the mailer at home, take it out of the kitchen drawer and do something with it. These are hard times and if you cannot make a donation this year, never underestimate the power of an extra prayer for all those church workers to persevere in their good work. We are in this together.
THE BATTERY HERITAGE FOUNDATION: THE WATSON HOUSE: Is the name of the new non-profit corporation founded in our parish. It will steer and promote our parish history as well as the heritage of the Battery, colonial New York and early religious history from the days of Mother Seton. The exhibit was to be the first step, then the web site with digitized archives followed by activities, symposia and special events. Despite the setback of the storm-surge of Sandy, progress continues. We will look for and train parishioners if you are interested in becoming a docent (tour guide).Other volunteers' response will determine the hours the exhibit will be open and quality-time of those who visit. Thinking small beginnings, we can be open one day a week for starters. Give it some thought and think of becoming a part of our new parish endeavor. You can leave your name in the office or call the parish secretary, Diane.
LANDMARKS CONSERVANCY/SACRED SITES: The weekend of May 17-18 The Watson house and exhibit will be open to the public as a part of the Landmarks Conservancy Open House Program. You can be a part of it all as a guide and docent- think about volunteering some time.
IMPROVEMENTS: The electricity in the church was reviewed in the post-Sandy once over inspection... There have been some extra spot lighting added and the planned replacement for most of the ceiling fixture-apparatus. (After 50 years the bulbs are no longer manufactured). There are to be energy savings in addition to the new accents. The costs were covered by your generosity to the November appeal. The Church heating system has received modest improvements and new parts. The system is an antique, but works reasonably well when tweaked. Those service calls and big -parts replacements were covered by the November Appeal too. The meeting room lights and new attic installations were all a part of the Appeal's ongoing post- Sandy improvements.
SUPER BOWL- XLVIII: Thanks again to the steering of Diane our parish secretary; the super bowl pool was successful this year, raising $1000. We appreciate all who participated to make it successful. We do not publish the winners to protect them from unknown relatives (unlike the lottery). If you wish to know who the lucky ones were, you can just ask in person at the office! Thanks too, before we forget, to all those who made the winter wreath sale effective. While not as successful in fundraising as last year, the parish realized enough profit to pay for all the Advent wreaths in the church and some of the Christmas flowers.
EXTRA PRAYERS: Two relatives of our parishioners died suddenly recently. Svetlana Babayan and her still born son, Sergey as well as Ryan Aversano. Keep their families in your prayers.
MASS SCHEDULE: Weekdays at 8:05am and 12:15pm. Sundays at 11:00am. Saturday, no services. (1st Sunday Coffee Hour)
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It has been a year since our last letter but we are OK. Our doors are open, the prayers are being raised and the shrine is still a place of stillness, hope, service and inspiration. That’s only possible with your continued faith, support and help. We remember God’s grace and presence in our life.
It has been an untypical year at out untypical parish. In November the custom is an appeal for the needs we had that were unexpected or unbudgeted during the year at the shrine.
This year the unanticipated unbudgeted expenses made a very big list because of the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy. There was the surprise loss of income until reopening on January 4. Without light and heat and because of the New York City ordinances about mold and asbestos contamination precautions, we were closed until Mother Seton’s feast Day. The heating in the church never came back and was fixed only in the warmer weather. Turned on only this week, we await a real test of its repairs! The budget gaps include a new phone system: undamaged, but now obsolete and incompatible with Verizon’s new FIOS installation. Uncertain is the return of our parish history museum-quality exhibit, which was washed away in the flood.
We are very fortunate, though. From the many reports on the storm’s anniversary this week, there is still much heartache and stress as people try to rebound from the damages, flooding, blackouts and mourning. We are blessed. We have insurance. We see progress. With your help we’ll deal with all the gaps.
As the repairs continue, completion date is unknown. The furnishings, elevator and basement will be in shape before long. On a positive note, our archives are in “sabbatical storage:” The one flooded book has been safely restored and the rest are being digitized. (This is only possible with a new grant this summer from the Irish Government.) A web site for them (previously funded) now is in preparation too.
These are hard times. And “the rainbow may be short these days.” If this appeal is beyond your means, never underestimate the value of a prayer in thanksgiving for all the graces of the shrine and an extra one for the grace we all need to persevere in our good work.
The season of Lent is early this year. It’s a time to review and focus on the practices of our spiritual life & journey; all in anticipation of a re-appreciation of the central Easter mystery of our faith. The graces of Christ’s death and resurrection, known by faith and to be celebrated in the Holy Week reveal a love God has for us which is stronger than sin or death. The extra attention we give to prayer, fasting and almsgiving remind us of those graces. The practices help us to make those graces our own again and to live as God’s sons and daughters, baptized in his name. It is the chance again to refresh our journey of faith each day as children of the light.
HURRICANE SANDY: Our parish was hard hit by the storm and even though last Wednesday (Feb 6th) was the 100th day since the storm, most of our systems are still broken. Our phone and internet are sporadic. We have patched- in power for our lights and heat in the house. The church has no heat still and there is just one Mass a day at 12:15pm. While there is progress, it is very slow, and security is paramount. This week all the basement rooms’ floors are being removed and asbestos abatement continues. When that’s finished, the contractor can begin to rebuild the basement and all the systems. When the heat returns, we will try to resume the 8:05 am weekday Mass.
CARDINAL’S APPEAL: Your support means much. This is the time we remember that many good things are able to happen in our diocese that no one parish could accomplish by itself. And none of it happens without you. It is a charity that begins at home. If you got a mailed notice, send it in or drop it at the office. If you didn’t receive a mailing there are envelopes and also information flyers about the appeal’s programs in the vestibule. Please make a donation. Don’t forget to add a prayer for all those church workers who sustain the appeal's pastoral programs.
LENTEN PRACTICE: As customary we will participate in Catholic Relief Services fundraising program called “Rice Bowl.” It is a “Mite Box.” You are encouraged to take one home on Ash Wednesday and use it for your almsgiving and sacrificial giving. Return them on Palm Sunday/Holy Week. It is amazing to see how giving affects our attitudes and more amazing how the pennies add up to benefit those in need.
OVERDUE THANKS: Our parishioners' ongoing concern has been remarkable over these last months. Even though the St. Nicholas Project and Wreath Sale were casualties of the storm, a few people surprisingly chirped up for the Super Bowl Pool! It was a great success, and very appreciated. Still others have made donations with the extra BUILDING FUND ENVELOPES or spontaneous donations. They are really appreciated. While there is progress in the storm’s recovery work and it is really slow going, there will be other needs when the bills, claims and insurance coverage meet. There are no dollar figures yet but we appreciate all your concern and support.
MASS OFFEERINGS: The Church was closed for months – until January 7th. There were many Masses booked and unsaid. The Masses are not automatically being rescheduled. You can see Diane in the office for a refund of your offering. All the intentions are being remembered in a generic way at the Sunday Masses until Easter Sunday. At that time all unclaimed announced Mass offerings will be forwarded as alms to a worthy cause. (The church regulations about these types of offerings are different, serious and more precise. We used this one-time solution because of this one-time-storm condition.)
HERITAGE HALL: The Watson House exhibit, the three oil paintings and one of the Mission Ledgers were casualties of the storm. The ledger went to “the book hospital,” and there’s great hope for its restoration, the paintings’ damages were very severe and frames and canvases are in the restoration workshop. We have appealed to the Irish Government to replace the exhibit. The interview was positive; their application-form for funds will be sent us. We are being considered. Overall there is progress so it is encouraging. There is still a long period of adjustment. Thanks for your patience. Our Lady of the Rosary-Seton Shrine, 7 State Street, New York, NY 10004 – 917-510-4393 (New Temp. #)
ADVENT 2012 -- This is the short bulletin, usually placed in the vestibule and printed on the back of the Advent Calendar. This year you have to use your imagination – there are no calendar boxes nor images here to help us focus the graces we await of December 25th and the feast of the savior's birth However a few people, tourists and such, each day try the locked church door and they have been taking them from the porch instead of the vestibule!
For the moment the parish is still closed and the reopen date is indefinite. The effects of the surge and hurricane flooded our basement and damaged all the electrical systems which power the whole building with lights, phones, boiler, internet, and elevator. Those others who suffered the loss of life, livelihood and homes are in our prayers. As we try to restore our church we are grateful for all the concern we have received and the help that was offered. Environmental concerns and safety were paramount before people could be let in the building because the Department of Buildings declared us "unsafe." There could be no community effort with mops, brooms and dumpster. The whole neighborhood and parish still is without workers and normal activities for mostly the same reasons!
Diane has brilliantly run the office and been the gatekeeper for the workers who have access by appointment. Her efforts have guided the whole process so far.
Verizon Is nowhere near restoring service so contact is limited – use the website email –
or leave messages: Diane (Communications Director) 917.763.6309 Fr. Meehan 646.329.2838.
The casualties in our parish of this process have been the wreath sale and the St. Nicholas Project. Refunds will be in order when we return. The altruism and charity of the St. Nicholas Project is up to you. There is no mistaking how small children light up when they hear Santa is coming to town. The dilemma always for adults in our society is to remember the grace is always in the" giving" not in what we "get."
Another casualty was part of the archives. The exhibit, three restored paintings and one of our books was inundated in the basement. The book was damaged, retrieved, frozen (to avoid mold) and sent off to a restoration service for diagnosis. On Wednesday Dec. 5th the archive board will meet to plan the next steps in our grants' status with the Irish Government, and status of proceeding in establishing our own non-profit 501(c)3 historical archive project.
Right now we have patched in power.All the systems will have to be replaced. Insurance will cover some costs but we will have needs. There is progress though, and we who are in this together have hope, in time we will be put back together properly!
In the midst of all our dislocation and that of others bearing the consequences still of the storm, Aunty Mame's song, "Oh We Need A Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute," may be truer than ever. The spirit of Christmas is a wonderful grace and Advent the time to remember and appreciate it. Even if Advent does not work well this year, when we remember Christmas all around us in the city, we remember the grace of Christ that was, is and will continue to be present in each of our lives with its light and peace no matter what the circumstances today brings.
I am still evacuated and this should really be "sandy-recovery" update...three weeks and counting.
Today, Nov. 21, the haz-mat suits arrived and began their work to de-debris the basement. No work was able to begin without an environmental clearance /permit which took time. They say this stage will be at least two weeks.
The electric for lights has been patched in. The boiler people, the phone people, the elevator people, antennae people etc. have been going and coming at all hours and days. Their aim is to get systems to work safely with patched-in electric.
The engineering company then will petition the Department Of Buildings for a certificate of occupancy.
Then we can open. That date these days is imaginary.
After that opening with a wing and a prayer, will then begin the job to replace the systems one by one.
While we can be very grateful there was no loss of life, permanent loss of home or livelihood - it is still a big mess to deal with.
The recovery work is being guided with a notion that we do have some insurance. Time will tell what happens when there are claims.
One archival book - inundated - is now in the freezer to prevent further damage etc. etc.
Diane is supervising the acess to the building and communications. Fr. Jeffers got doctor's clearance after angio-plasty to continue his "retirement-parish-residency" with a planned Thanksgiving vacation cruise. It is a great evacuation plan I should have thought of.
Few of our neighbors can return to work - Whitehall, Water, Broad, Pearl, Streets are ringed with generator trucks and skeleton security staffs as systems people come and go . Dumpsters abound.
Tonite in this neighborhood uptown the streets are filled with adults with children coming and going too -from the baloon inflation for the Macy's parade tomorrow. All of which is nearby.
There is a lot to be grateful for - and "youse guys" are on my list.
I'll be thinking of you all day Thursday.
I am grateful there's progress and it is genuine; even if it is very slow at the moment.
OCTOBER 7: This year the parish feast day begins the 130th anniversary of our parish’s founding 1883. Our parish has historic and present distinctions: beginning in 1792, when the “Watson House,” (now our parish house) was built. It existed alongside other grand dwellings on the block and all the residents were neighbors to Elizabeth and William.Seton at 8 State Street at the turn of their century. When Fr. Riordan bought it, 80 years later, it was suggested to hang out a sign and define his Mission” on the block, because there were no other churches across from Castle Garden or helping the immigrants landing there. Thus the name “Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary,” and our corresponding feast day.( It is not clear whether the revival of the Rosary devotion going on by Bartolo Longo in Pompeii Italy in 1873 was connected to the naming. That shrine is a center of Rosary devotion even to this day. (It was visited by Pope John Paul II, and it was his inspiration to include the new luminous mysteries to the praying of the rosary.) For our occasion we have dusted off an old print of Our Lady of the Rosary from the rosary shrine in Pompeii, to display for the month of October, the month of the Rosary. Special holy cards are available with the famous image and some include the luminous mysteries for you to use in your rosary prayers. Remembering Mary as the New Eve, a Woman of faith and the Mother of all believers in the Church might be a useful practice this month for the beginning of the Year of Faith, proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI.
FR. NINO: Will visit the parish this weekend. He was invited by Cardinal Dolan to celebrate the Columbus Day Mass at the Cathedral, and to review the parade on Fifth Avenue .Be alert, his new friends and the press know him as His Excellency, Mons. Antonino Raspanti, the bishop of Acireale in Sicily. (His secretary Fr. Francesco will be staying the whole week.)
YEAR OF FAITH: Pope Benedict has designated this year to a renewal of faith, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II in October 1962. The significance of that council is still with us. You can “google” “year of faith’ to spark your interest. In the vestibule is a copy of that year’s Time Magazine’s Man of the Year cover story: Pope John XXIII was chosen and it is dated on Jan 4th Mother Seton’s feast day! He beatified her on March 17, 1963. Looking forward or back, appreciating the significance of faith that we have and can share is a rich experience. (The cover story is also available online: JohnXXIII+Person of the Year). Many insights today can be gleaned from a 50 year old contemporary view in that article.(Other extensive resources appear on the USCCB – United States Catholic Conference of Bishops website-following the prompts for Year of Faith: you may have enough materials to make a personal retreat!
PARISH HISTORY EXHIBIT: There is progress and we have passed the first round of this year’s grant applications to the Irish government. Theypreviously funded the exhibit and we have put out new grant proposals for further digitizing of our records and continuing our archives project. Say a prayer and stay tuned. We would like to open the exhibit to the public, and we need volunteers to serve as receptionists. If you can serve two hour stints once every so often, call the church office and leave your name and availability.
VOTING: It is the time to remind all – if you vote the choice is yours, if not the choice is theirs. If for some good reason you are not registered –e.g. New to the neighborhood, call 311 and get the information. This week is the last chance you have to register for the November elections.
CHURCH ORGAN AND AC COMPRESSOR: Vatican II is not the only 50th anniversary in our parish. Our antique AC system showed its age after our hot summer by blowing one of its two compressors in Sept and we had to finish the year operating with just one on the last of the humid days. The church organ also blew a few electric circuits during a wedding in the same week. The extensive repairs were unbudgeted. Thank God for your generous November Appeal funds – the work will probably be covered-and what was kaput will function again soon.
WREATH SALE: The fundraiser helps us each year and we are grateful for support. Only trouble is you have to think ahead-for Christmas- and order a wreath or center piece – NOW- before the end of the month of October. The sale originated because it is the way our church was decorated for Advent and Christmas: the price is right; and the wreaths are real and beautiful; they look good at home; and also make sensible gifts to relatives and friends. Order forms are in the vestibule and you also can call Diane at the church office with your order.
CHURCH MEMBERS: In our untypical parish some of the joys go unnoticed. One of our regular parishioners, Leonel Ann Cayanan, who attended the 8:05am Mass regularly, received an early morning blessing after Mass on Sept.20th (her last day of work) from Fr. Meehan and her other morning friends. She has gone off on October 1st to the cloistered convent of the Carmelites in Morristown, NJ. Keep her in your prayers. When a person enters, generally there is always a screening process by the community for a few months before they decide to give her an application to join… and correspondingly the person decides and discerns over the same period whether to even ask formally for entrance. It is a time of great grace for the community and we can pray for her and the light she needs to discern her vocation. If she enters, then follows the novitiate years of training and formation in anticipation of making her vows to God and her commitments to the religious life and rule of her Carmelite community.
BAPTISMS: Since the last bulletin, we welcome or are about to welcome new members to the faith and pray for the families of the newborn: Beatrice Dorish, Emily O’loughlin, Christopher Scovotti, Miles Cowan and Anabel Parkes.
Sundays at 11:00 am
(First Sundays-Coffee Hour Fellowship)
Monday to Friday
8:05 am and 12:15 pm
No scheduled services
Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Visit the imprisoned
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Bury the dead
Spiritual Works of Mercy
Counsel the doubtful
Instruct the ignorant
Comfort the afflicted
Bear wrongs patiently
Pray for the living and the dead
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: We were able to send $2956.07 to Catholic Relief Services. The money –most of it in nickels dimes and pennies – was from all the Lenten Season’s Rice- Bowl Mite Boxes of our parishioners. The coins represent countless acts of generosity and sacrifice over the weeks of Lent, by lots of people. It is truly an inspiration and a great support to CRS work around the world in solidarity and peace to those in need.
FR. DANIEL HENDRICKSON, SJ: This is the week he defends his academic thesis; he will graduate in the month and head on to his new position at Marquette University. May 18th is to be his last day of service here in the parish. Our prayers and good wishes along with our gratitude accompany him on his next assignment.
FIRST FRIDAYS-EVENING PRAYER: There is exposition of the Blessed Sacrament each month after noon day Mass and it ends with evening prayer in honor of Elizabeth Seton at 5:05pm with benediction.
STEWARDSHIP APPEAL: We have reached our parish’s goal of $7500. for this year’s diocesan appeal. Because we are not a typical parish with a residential population and envelope system that is a real achievement. The appeal funds all those church works and ministries that no one parish could do by itself. We all know these are tough times. The overall appeal’s goal was not met so this is a reminder if you had intended and were still able to donate, pick up a flyer in the vestibule. It is not too late to act on good intentions. Since the appeal funds vital church services in our diocese, your donation goes a very long way. Thanks again to all our parishioners who already have made their contributions.
FIRST SUNDAY: A Reminder: after the 11:00 am Mass there is a coffee hour on first Sundays. If you are here for Mass, plan to stay and enjoy the fellowship.
“THE WATSON HOUSE; THE IRISH MISSION” Is the museum quality exhibit, funded by a grant from the Irish Government that recently was installed in our church hall. It is open only by appointment so far and hardly these weeks because of electrical work in the basement. However the plan is to have it open, some days for a few hours with a volunteer staff. Volunteers would be “door-persons” and eventually become docents working for three hours at a time, e.g. 11-2pm. If you are interested you can give your name to the parish secretary, Diane, in the office.
MASS CARDS: At the shrine, since our Mass schedule has been shortened, the availability of Mass cards for announced Masses is almost depleted for this year. When that happens soon, If you want a particular Mass announced, on a particular day for your intentions, you will have to secure it in your home parish. Our book for Masses next year will not open until Labor Day.
For those who do not require particular announced Masses, soon we will have a shrine memorial enrollment card available. You will be able to make a memorial donation to the shrine and your memorial intention will be included in the general intention at the 11:00 am Mass each Sunday and all the daily rosary prayers said at the shrine.
Papal Visit: This week the Holy Father will visit New York to speak at the United Nations. For the Church his visit is a grace and inspiration as he will pray in three major public events in our diocese. We each can join in spirit (and with the four of our parishioners in person) at Yankee Stadium on Sunday as he celebrates the Eucharist in thanksgiving on the bicentennial of the founding of our diocese in 1808. We are accustomed to praying when there is trouble, pain, someone is sick or in need. Our prayers count for much when there is need of light, hope and strength in the face of difficulties, loss and big decisions. They are invaluable for the old and confined, for those far from home, the children and the lonely.
This occasion is a time for a different prayer: to count our blessings looking back upon 200 years. The memory of those before us who lived their faith is evident in the rich tradition and institutions we share today. Their example is an inspiration for our perseverance. Our own faith in Christ, in His dying and rising and our own practice can be a blessing for the future.
When the Pope is in our neighborhood on Sunday morning with a private visit to Ground Zero, around 9:30AM we urge you to be there, again in spirit. Wherever you are you can say the shrine’s prayer for peace. It is the same prayer that is said every morning after Mass here – and dates from the practice of Msgr. Wilders, at the shrine. It is a prayer for our future. After our own parish’s experience with 9/11 in our backyard; its losses, trauma and violence it is a grace of faith and hope for us all to pray for all those things that make for peace.
Lenten Rice Bowl: The parish was able to contribute $1046.00 to Catholic Relief Services because of the sacrifices made by so many during Lent. This year’s total is 300% more than past years and amounted to about 38 pounds of coins!
Cardinal’s Appeal -2008 –Our untypical parish had another surprise this year. We usually hover around our goal, but as the appeal winds down this month we exceeded our goal of $8,000. In addition to all the faithful contributors, we received an unexpected extra contribution which makes our total over $12.000. in this year’s appeal.
The orchestration of many parishes efforts enable the works of charity and service to continue here in New York and also in far flung places. Giving together makes a big difference
Historic Preservation. Our architect Lisa Easton has a tentative date in May to present drawings to the NY Landmark Commission. It is another step in the long process. With approval, the work can go out to bids. We are still seeking corporate and foundation grants to match our New York State Preservation grant and are always open to suggestions and leads. The need is obvious.
Parish’s 125th ANNIVERSARY YEAR SYMPOSIUM: Save the date Saturday –May 10th... All day from 9:30 to 3:00 PM it is one of our anniversary year’s events. It is free and open to the public, but seats are limited. Call Diane in the church office for reservations. There will be presentations about Mother Seton, 19th cc Immigration, Irish Famine and our own parish history and architecture. During the lunch hour, the history students from Pace will be making their presentations from this year’s on site course.
Summer Program - Sisters of Charity Young women, 18-21yrs old can participate in a live in program June 6th-20th as intern-learners about the ministries of the Sisters of Charity in our diocese. It’s a hands on, up close view of religious commitment. For applications/ information contact Sr. Donna Dodge, SC., 718.549.9200 xt.220 or <
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This Old House: An anomaly is we have a basement that has a roof ! And it recently developed a moisture problem in our hall. (The roof can be seen between the 1st floor meeting room and the sacristy). Despite the flu, our parish manager, George Podrazik is steering its replacement like Mrs. Roebling. It is a small costly job; due to old age without any restoration frills. The blessing -- it is one less headache because of your generosity to the November Appeal and its reserve for “a rainy day.” Thanks.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Raindate: Saturday, Marck 31, 2012
SUMMERTIME: We welcome the change of pace and the weather after a very long and snowy winter. While not exactly lazy hazy days, they are not as seemingly pressured as the other seasons in our untypical parish. While attendance thins out, the prayers are still raised and the grace of the shrine is still available to us with its inspiration and consolation. Our experience from the “olden days” with its booming warning message, “There is no vacation from God,” hasn’t applied here for a long time. People return to the shrine when the summer is over with news and views and tales of grace from their visits to parishes back home, vacation spots or places they fell into. Among summertime treats are these ingenious and inspiring stories and events. We pray each day for those who travel in the air and on the ground, for safe pleasant journeys and their safe returns.
FR. EDWARD ZOGBY, SJ. There will be the Month’s Mind Mass on Thursday July 14th at 12:15. He died almost one month ago on June 16th and it will be our time to remember him at Mass and a fellowship coffee hour in the meeting room. Our parish has been touched by the fact of death and we will gather as a community and light the Easter candle, hold up his memory and assist him with our prayers on his journey to eternal life.
FR. NINO RASPANTI: Our customary summer visitor will again be with us this year. He arrives on August 11 and will be able to stay until September 16th. As many of you know he is now on the faculty of the Pontifical University in Palermo (his term as the rector or president ended last year). Over the years he added much with his presence to our parishioners and also provides a break for the priests on our staff.
FR. JOSE SALAZAR: He has written us to thank us for our hospitality for the ten days vacation he took here in June. He also contributed by saying Masses and being of service. He is grateful to all and appreciates the change of pace from his assignment at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston TX. He remembers the time he lived at our parish five years ago while he was doing work with the Veterans Administration; he sends regards to all his “ole friends.”
CHURCH BELLS: A work order has been signed for the restoration of our parish bells. They have been on the fritz and in need of repair for a few years after a breakdown of unknown cause. Some years ago the rope was replaced with an electric swing mechanism and with a clock. The upgrade will cost around $10,000. – it will include generic repairs: a new electric setup, replace the bell swing for a ringer swinger, and digitize all the components to a clock and a remote. Plans are to have the bells ring the Angelus every day at noon and six with a remote control for tolling and special events like weddings. Unless there is a hew and a cry there are no plans to have it ring the hours – and unlike a carillon it (or recording) will not ring out hymns or carols. While the electric setup work will begin soon, the ringer repair etc. will take of a few months. MEMORIAL DONATIONS: Some people have made donations to the bells in honor of Fr. Zogby and so can you if you are so inclined to do so in memory of a loved one. The memorial donations are acknowledged to Fr. Zogby’s family and also can be acknowledged to those you decide.
BAPTISMS: It has been a long time since the last bulletin, so we announce there have been a number of baptisms. It is always a special grace to welcome infant children into the faith. Austin Christopher Burke, Jacob Michael Kahn, Ana Francesca Martin, Darwin Rose Scarafile, Henri Louis Grunenwald, Robert James Lucey, Gulliver Hunton Lee, Giovanna More and Alexandra Olivia Weizmann
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The work is complete but the paperwork continues as we await reimbursement from New York State. We received a bridge loan from the archdiocese and have hopes it will all be finished soon. You can still add a contribution to our matching grant, or continue to keep an eye out for a tycoon! Since the work is complete the parish did receive an award: The Lucy Metz Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy on April 24- in appreciation for our parish’s work in preserving our landmark building. The award will be on display in the shrine area of the church until August 2nd. We can all be proud.
MAINTENANCE: Work has begun on lighting in the church and electrical outfitting of the church hall to accommodate new functions of meetings, socials and other events. This is in addition to needed repairs to damaged walls in the choir loft room caused by a leak from the ledge over the main door – age induced! The other necessary work will follow on the outside frame and bracing of the large stain glass church window. If the painting and glazing is not done now there will be more effects from wind and weather in the future. There’s hope of an estimate and contract within the month to do the necessary window work.
OTHER GOOD NEWS: The parish raised $2197. in the Rice Bowl campaign which was sent in May to the national office of Catholic Relief Services. Almost all was collected in coins so it represents many, many small conscious efforts of almsgiving, thoughtfulness and support. We were able to send $702.00 to the Missionary Cooperative Collection, after Brother Martin, CFC visited us and spoke at Mass in June about the brothers work in African Schools. We also received almost $13,000. in pledges and gifts – 30% over goal in the Stewardship Appeal of Archbishop Dolan and in support of charity at home in the diocese. These are great gestures coming from our non typical parish. Thanks much.
SEPTEMBER 11TH: This year it falls on a Sunday and our customary votive Mass for Peace will be celebrated at 11:00 am. Whether we have events in conjunction with the anniversary has yet to be decided. In the past as you know we’ve had film screenings and coffee hours. Stay tuned.
November Season – The In Between:
For people of faith, when one thing ends, something else begins. At the shrine there is no need to rush the Christmas season. These days the feasts of All Saints and Souls set the tone and prompt us to use our memory and see the grace of God in the lives of those whom we have known and been inspired by. The Sunday feasts look to the end – of our church year and of time itself. They are a meditation on the moment when the world will end after God completes creation and comes again in glory. Then the new year of the church can begin. It will have its own moments of grace when it begins on November 28, first Sunday in Advent.
The civic calendar has the Election Day just past and Thanksgiving Day to come. At the shrine we will keep those who are elected in our prayers that they get the grace to work for the common good. We’ll also add our special shine prayer For Peace. While Afghanistan has left the headlines it needs our prayers. And looking forward to November 25, we remember the gospel story of two weeks ago of Jesus’ lesson of the Samaritan leper: gratitude and thanksgiving are great doors to open in order to appreciate and deepen God’s grace of healing and peace for the human condition which we all share
In the calendar year 2011, Fr. Meehan will be completing his second six-year term as Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. In keeping with Archdiocesan policy, an evaluation of the parish has begun. Members of the parish staff and parishioners who exercise responsibilities/ /leadership have received an evaluation form from the Priest Personnel Board. They will return the forms directly to the Office of Priest Personnel. In addition, parishioners who wish to do so may write letters with their own comments about our parish and the pastoral leadership of the parish. Please address your letters to:
Reverend Thomas P. Devery
Office of Priest Personnel
Archdiocese of New York
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
The work is continuing with some hitches. Notice the newly painted front door of 7 State Street, and its color. It is a white paint that goes into a brown. It looks fine. The color was discovered after the Landmarks Commission required a paint analysis of the woodwork for our application – many moons ago. It is the color used in 1792. The responsibility of having a landmark can be a pain, but in the end the preservation regulations do add much. I would have painted the door red! Who knows what would happen the next time around? When the work is finished we will all be proud of a true historic preservation project. The parish has spent $525,849.90. We await the NYS reimbursable preservation grant monies to continue the work. None of which work could have been done without all your support. But the tycoon search should continue. Please take a brochure from the vestibule to share with someone else that may be interested in helping in our historic restoration project. The “hitches” have to be addressed.
The order has been sent and when it arrives Diane will notify you. For those who have asked, the parish again will participate in the St. Nicholas Project of Catholic Charities. We accept specific donations of very basic items to enable families to have necessities of clothes and household goods. Details will follow soon. .
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: Besides our familiarity with their relief work, notably recently in Haiti, CRS in its other activity serves the church members in promoting the values of Peace, Solidarity and Justice in communities all across the USA. Fr. Robert Jeffers (our retired resident priest) keeps us up to date. There’s a yellow flyer in the vestibule Peace in the Sudan for your information, with its CRS website link <<PEACE IN SUDAN.CRS.ORG>> In the near future there will be more information about concerns and actions they are supporting in face of the independence referendum to take place in January 2011 in Sudan as well. While it seems like a faraway place, the tensions and fallout in human misery will affect us all, if there is not an amicable solution. Diplomacy, congressional action as well as prayers may be needed and can be promoted by the church community in advance. More details will follow.
NOVEMBER APPEAL: PARISH LIST:
In our untypical parish we do not have a significant resident population or the ordinary weekly envelope system. The November Appeal augments all your ordinary generosity and enables us to meet those unexpected, unbudgeted expenses. If you did not get an appeal letter, it means you are not on our list. Take one from the vestibule and please do what you can. It means a lot to us to have your support to keep the lights on and the doors open. Unexpected things like a new elevator motor, church air conditioner repairs, the sound system upgrades were all paid for this year with appeal funds.($18.000.00) The sanctuary lighting upgrade is in the works.
"WOMEN AND SPIRIT"
Is the name of the exhibit now at Ellis Island that outlines the history of nuns in America since its founding. It closes in January. It is worth a visit, even if our parish trip and symposium had to be cancelled because of the hall’s use as work space in replacing windows of the house. An exhibit preview is on-line if you Google the title. Incidentally before the church hall’s use was recently diverted, we did host a symposium for the Sisters of Charity, another one for the Religious of the Sacred Heart and also had a two day Irish historical conference: “Echoes of the Famine.” We look forward to more events when the hall is free again.
With diligence and due consultation has begun two programs that were announced last February. One is specifically for the schools, “Pathways to Excellence.” The other is about parish churches themselves. Everybody knows these are hard times, but economics he has said is not the only issue. There have been shifts in Catholic populations, new immigrants, aged structures, loss of school populations and schools that are not just serving a particular parish’s children. The median age of the clergy is rising (65) and the numbers of them is shrinking. (A world-wide phenomena). His aim is to face these conditions and with our cooperation, prayer, and much participation “to prune” the institution for the future growth and enhance its mission by God’s grace. Our parish is untypical but we are connected and are participating. I have gone to a number of meetings already and the working papers and information are being formed and collected. There are borough, vicariate and diocesan levels for consultation. In the spring there will be some action beginning with the schools. In the process so far, it seems by 2012 some schools will become independent, some belong to the diocese, some of them closed and others regionalized. Much later a similar process will happen with the parishes and churches. He has said the institution of the church in New York needs adjustments and is calling on us all to cooperate as best we can for the common good and enhance all the works of ministry for the Lord. – Stay tuned.
Weekdays at 8:05am and 12:15pm
Sundays at 11:00am
(No Services on Saturdays)
Fourth of July: Rare that it falls on Sunday but as is the custom here we’ll have our usual First Sunday coffee hour – in red white and blue. The prayers we raise today are of gratitude for the many blessings of living in America and another prayer for Peace, which is our daily custom at the Shrine. It is a hope that during the great American cookout on Monday, amidst all the discussions about oil spills, Supreme Court appointments, state budgets, Afganistan, the economy, Al Queda, immigration and the MTA we each will remember "God Shed His Grace on Thee." With that hope and prayer we recall the spirit of 1776 among the leaders in Philadelphia – and pray our civic leaders of today may find the graces they need to persevere in their civic duties for the common good amidst the complex issues that face our country. God Bless America.
Diocesan Stewardship Appeal: Thanks to your generosity, the parish achieved its goal and raised more than $10,000.00. Each year we hold our breath, because the work of the diocese and parishes together face daunting challenges and needs in our faithful service to the Lord. The effort of our untypical parish is remarkable and the generosity is inspirational as we remember the right side of the saying: "Charity begins at home" as we work in unison to meet pastoral needs in the New York Archdiocese that no one parish can provide itself.
Baptisms: We have had even more baptisms since the last newsletter! The population of lower Manhattan is indeed growing and the children’s presence on Sundays is always welcome. Sometimes the infants sing – which gives us hope for an eventual choir. We welcome Avery Rose Gilligan, Dante Ellis Cowan and Ryan James Paterson and their families into our parish community of faith at Our Lady of the Rosary.
Historic Preservation Of The Parish House: The parish has spent $323,198.50 so far. Façade work on brickwork, window flashings and the roof proceeds. In next 10 days application will be made for our preservation grant. Our grant is a matching reimbursable one so the work will continue. The windows: some to be repaired, others replaced are big budget items. The tycoon search and other fundraising continue for the completion of the project. Keep your eyes and ears pealed.
Thanks: Each summer towards the end of the fiscal year if there’s a balance in the November Appeal Fund we think of church appointments. Thus we ordered much needed altar linens, two new sets of green and purple vestments and a church processional banner. As reported earlier, the fund also paid for the upgrade of the basement sound systems and a new elevator motor for a total of over $11.000.00. Those things could only happen with your generosity last November. Many many thanks.
Heads Up News: "Pathways to Excellence," is the name of a project Archbishop Dolan will launch by the fall throughout the diocese. Even though it has been outlined in a number of articles in the Catholic New York and other media, attention should be paid. It is a widespread consultation on many levels of parishes, institutions and schools "to prune the diocese for future growth." Consultations will begin in the fall and initial decisions will be forthcoming a few months later. Since the context will be changing demographics, aging institutions, personnel –clergy and lay, economics, present resources and future funding it is an awesome undertaking which will require good will and cooperation. The considerations will be the founding of new parishes, regionalization of parish schools and the realignment and closing of parishes all based on wide consensus and consultations. There is even the topic of consolidating seminaries with Brooklyn and Rockville Centre dioceses. It’s unlikely our own parish is to have dramatic effects, but we are connected and will be part of all the consultations in our neighborhood" Vicariate" i.e. the area below 14th Street to which we belong.
Some Dates to Remember:
- AUGUST 23, 2010: Church Misson Co-Op Program Visit: Worldwide faith concerns get renewed in our parish every time we welcome a missionary from far away to tell us of the church work there and to solicit our prayers and support. This year Fr. Claudius will join us for Mass and speak of the church in Tanzania, East Africa. It provides the opportunity for solidarity with faithful in other parts of the globe and the visit is a grace to us all.
- AUGUST 28, 2010: Mother Seton’s birthday. You are invited to a walking tour of Old New York beginning at 10:00am at the shrine. Buy tickets online at www.WallStreetWalks.com or call "Zerve" at 212.209.3370. It is led by two shrine friends Annaline Dinkelmann and Marie Beirne.
- OCTOBER 16, 2010: The Sisters of Charity will have a special Saturday evening Mass, after their own tour and program on Ellis Island and we are invited to join them.
Help Wanted: If you know someone who is experienced with modest skills for computer graphic design the parish needs a volunteer occasionally to help prepare items for publication and printing. These days everyone asks for us to present files on discs or ports, and we are all thumbs. Software makes camera- ready copy gone with the wind. You may call Fr. Meehan.
- NOV. 6, 2010 :"WOMEN&SPIRIT" -PARISH HERITAGE Mark your calendar. The parish event will be a group tour to Ellis Island (in our parish!) to visit the exhibit about the history of nuns in America. Lunch on your own, followed by a conference in our church hall. Two nuns will make presentations and a panel of nuns will share insights on the meaning of their life, and faith and work today –from 2-4pm. Evening Mass that day may be included. Details will follow.
New Mass Schedule: The Daily Masses are at 8:05 and 12:15 each weekday. Sundays remain the same. Mass at 11:00am. Saturdays have no services except for weddings, tour groups and special events.
MEMORIAL DAY: The holiday weekend is welcome and on May 31st we will pray in a special way for those who died in service to our country. With Fleet Week in our city and all the ships in Stapleton Staten Island and midtown, the sailors are present all over our neighborhood. We recall that Mother Seton had two sons in the Navy, one of whom died in service. Remembering that heartache we lift up a special prayer for those in service and their families back home. We don’t forget the others who are in service in far flung places of the world. These days we pay special attention to our parish’s Peace Prayer that is said each morning at the shrine. You can join us by picking up a copy in the vestibule.
SUMMER MASS SCHEDULE: Beginning Monday June 21st there will only be two Masses each weekday. 8:05 and 12:15 pm. It will be a big inconvenience for those whose schedules regularly included the 1:05. Vacation time makes for lesser attendance usually and it will make it easier to find another priest for two Masses rather than three when there is a need for our priests to have vacations, doctor’s appointments, and free time in the summer months.
The Sunday Mass continues at 11:00AM. Saturdays have no scheduled Masses, because the shrine hosts weddings, tours and special events. Fr. Nino Raspanti has plans to be here from August 20 to September 19th. He will be an asset as usual.
TYCOON: The search continues as the Historic Preservation work continues on our parish house. There have been new budget hitches like an unexpected estimate of $26,000.00 to deal with asbestos recently found in roof flashing and window casings. Things like these make it impossible to say when the scaffolding will come down, but everyone involved from our architect, contractor and even Landmarks say when it is done it will be a fine job. The outreach continues – we received $25,000. from the Felicia Fund, (just eight weeks ago) and are reaching out to the wider Irish community for support. In the meantime if you meet a tycoon tell him to call Fr. Meehan.
ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM: It took place on May 8th for the third time. The speakers’ presentations about early United States religious history, with special focus on Mother Seton; 19cc Church work with Irish and Italian immigrants; and our parish’s role in the Titanic disaster were engaging to the attendees. The Pace University students showcased their varied course projects and papers about New York history and were commended for all their volunteer service to digitize our parish archives. Archival work continues with their essential support each year. With those efforts we realize 7 State Street is a living landmark at the Battery.
HOPE FOR THE CHOIR: There is something to be said that the downtown population is growing. Our untypical Sunday congregation had four baptisms during the winter. Clare Palumbo, Jack Flynn, Valentin Esposito and Wyatt Judge. This month there will be a few more: Dante Cowan, Ryan Paterson, Avery Gilligan and Samuel Canzoneri. If it really is a trend, know on Sundays we are not overwhelmed – you can still get a seat at the 11:00 am Mass. We welcome the new members to our community and when the babies sing in church there is hope for a choir.
NEW SPEAKERS AND MIKES: There is an upgrade for the church hall sound system and new microphones –for the sanctuary and choir loft. (Who knew that speakers’ filaments dry out?) As we use the hall more often –most recently for the Vatican UN Mission students program last week as well as our own meetings and symposiums they will be useful. NOVEMBER APPEAL funds cover those costs as well as for the new elevator motor, ($11,000 total). The church ceiling lights are more elusive to deal with. But they are on the list. Your generosity last November made it all possible now! Thanks.
HUNGER MEMORIAL ON VESEY STREET: Last weekend our parish received a visit from the Irish Consulate and the government’s Minister of Community, promoting the official commemoration of those who helped during the famine. The Irish president Mary McAlesse spoke at the memorial itself on Sunday. It is part of a growing awareness that hunger is still an issue in the world. Archbishop Dolan and our own Fr. Jeffers and Catholic Relief Services joined the spirit of the commemoration in its planning. It is a reminder to recognize our parish’ efforts: our Haiti earthquake relief collection in January; the CRS Rice Bowl program in Lent and Bishop’s Relief last month which all netted over $3,000. Appreciation is inspiration sometimes and we can all be on the lookout to support and encourage other efforts at home and abroad. Heartache and hunger can be the unwitting ties and graces that bind us as humans in solidarity and peace.
FALL CALENDAR: Looking ahead since 9/11 is a Saturday when we ordinarily have no scheduled events our memorial Mass will be held on Sunday September 12 at 11:00 am. The subject of 9/11 still can be a difficult issue when you witness the Community Board #1 meeting this week about the Islamic Center for Park Place. Passions and politics arouse more heat than light sometimes. We can pray for level heads and considerate decisions until the anniversary itself when we will remember those who lost their lives. Looking ahead to October 16, we can join the crowd to attend the Smithsonian Exhibit which will showcase the history of women religious on Ellis Island. The day will conclude with a special Mass at 5PM with nuns from the metropolitan region. The exhibit about nuns in America begins Sept.14 and lasts a few months.
NEW MASS SCHEDULE (Begins Monday June 21, 2010)
Weekdays at 8:05am and 12:15pm
Sundays at 11:00am
(No Services on Saturdays)
IT’S TIME; after much effort during these last few years, our architect got approval for the drawings and plans for the restoration of the parish house at 7 State Street from The New York Landmarks Commission. She also secured the required three estimates from the contractors to submit to the State of New York. When the choice is approved after vetting of the matching grant guidelines by the state, the work contracts can be signed and the work may begin. The time is very near.
We have half the cost of $1.200.000.00- in pledge and cash. Now we need $ 130.000.00 more in matching funds at the signing. Over the next few weeks, think about how you can contribute and enlist others to do the same. Our façade, roof and windows in OUR 1792 “Watson House” building need re-pointing, replacement and restoration. The work can only be done with your help. When the flyers and envelopes become available in the next few weeks, plan how you will participate and publicize our very special project.
ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY DOLAN’S VISIT: On Tuesday July 28 the parish was graced with a visit of the new archbishop to round out our participation of this year’s bicentennial celebrations commemorating Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s founding of the Sisters of Charity and her establishment of the convent at Emmittsburg, Maryland in 1809. The Mass to close the year was in conjunction with Sr. Katy Acoin, SC, her staff and clients of the Foundling’s Seton Pediatric Services and attended by the New York Sisters’ Congregation president, Sr. Dorothy Metz and the council from Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale. Sister Regina Bechtel, SC opened the occasion with an address recalling the remarkable service of the Sisters and the Foundling. She highlighted its history as a continuing inspiration here at the shrine. New to New York, the archbishop, when leaving the wonderful reception that followed said he couldn’t have been more impressed – again – with the quality and dedicated service of the sisters and the diocese he has been called to lead. He thanked everyone and asked us for all our prayers in his new task. Keep him in mind and in your own prayers.
NEW RADIATORS: Way back in December ‘08, in the weekend just before Christmas three radiators did not survive the electrical resetting after our 3 day power system failure. This week those 46 year old hot-air- electric fan units in the meeting room and sacristy are being replaced with new steam ones –finally- at a cost of $2100 each. Your generous gifts from last year’s November Appeal covered the expense. Many thanks.
“BELL RINGERS” The can- do committee has been working to get our bells to ring again. Carlos Pimentel and Kenneth Charkalis are leading the group. They have gotten consultations from the bell system company’s rep that visited the shrine last month and are considering their options from his diagnosis of the system. They range from electrical overhaul, to striker repair, to digital and remote upgrading of the system. Stay tuned for the committee’s report and all our possibilities.
FR. NINO RASPANTI: He will arrive again in our parish on August 16 and be able to stay with us until September 12. As some of you know his term of office as the Rector of the Pontifical University in Palermo is ending this year. His previous visits have enriched our parish and we are glad to welcome him again.
OVERDUE THANKS: to all of you who made contributions to our 1st Annual 4th July Yard Sale. It realized a profit of $908. for the Historic Preservation Fund. It couldn’t have been done without all your help. Special thanks go to Rosemary, George and especially Diane for their extra efforts and time on the day itself to make it such a success.
OLD CELL PHONES: Continue to bring any and all of them to the church office. They are salvaged for parts, recycled and some are outfitted as 911 emergency phones for seniors and shut ins. The parish receives a small rebate for each one returned making it worthwhile all around. Tell your friends!
BAPTISMS: Since our last bulletin there is news of five baptisms. The new infants on occasion add to our Sunday acapella choir and make what one spiritual commentator said we all should do, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” ( There is still hope for a parish choir.) We welcome the families of Salvatore DiPietro, Samuel Shottes, Romy Carta, Declan Reilly and Alexis Foley.
YEAR OF THE PRIEST; Tuesday August 4th was the feast of St. John Vianney (The Cure of Ars). The Holy Father, Benedict XVI has designated him as the patron and proclaimed this year “the year of the priest.” As in the past the popes designated other topics in other years viz, The Family, St. Paul, Evangelization, which is to say he invites us all to join in his special intention for the next twelve months. The prayers we raise can be of gratitude for those we have known, or even our own parish’s pastors we commemorated with the plaque for our 125th anniversary, We can keep in mind those priests working in obscure places – as did the Cure of Ars, and those others in remote parts of the world and those who are troubled, aged and infirm – that they receive the graces they need today. And finally we can pray even for each other – in the priesthood of our own baptism – as we live our lives in Christ’s love as his daughters and sons for the grace of perseverance in faith that we all need.
E-BAY: If you are skilled in its workings, contact Fr. Meehan. He was told that e-bay is the last refuge to his ongoing elusive search for an item we need for the Watson House restrooms. Call or email him anytime in the office.
MASS SCHEDULE: Weekdays at 8:05 AM; 12:15 PM and 1:05 PM. Saturdays there are no scheduled services – except weddings and tour events.
SUNDAY MASS @ 11: 00 AM. A reminder: this year August 15 ,The Assumption is celebrated in the calendar but is not a day of obligation because it falls on Saturday. If you live downtown you may wish to join the annual Assumption Feast Day Procession on Sunday August 9th beginning at 1:45 PM in Transfiguration Church at 29 Mott Street.
BULLETIN APRIL ‘09
EASTER: At the end of Lent after using all our fingers and toes – and thanking God, the Easter mystery of eternal life may mean a bit more to us all. It is a time to renew the grace and faith of our own baptism –the faith and wonder of each of us being a God-child.
SATURDAY MAY 9, 2009 --- 2ND ANNUAL HERITAGE HALL SYMPOSIUM:
In our own church hall all are invited to attend. The program begins at 9:30 am and ends at 4:00 pm Morning presentations will feature Mother Seton topics and the afternoon will focus on the history of immigration and our parish. It features the collaboration of The Irish History Roundtable.and the Pace University students who are taking an on- site history course this semester who will make their presentations as well. Their own service component of the course is to digitalize our parish’s archival material. Theirs is a priceless contribution under the direction of Dr. Marie Iacullo.
ALMSGIVING: the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl Project ends this week. The small change which we all know adds up goes a long way. Through faith our contributions give hope in solidarity and the charity is a benefit to those in need throughout the world, Remember to bring in your mite boxes this week.
SISTERS OF CHARITY BICENTENNIAL: It is 200 years since Mother Seton took her vows and began the convent of the Sisters of Charity. We began the celebration here on her feast day January 4th. The sisters have continued their bicentennial year program at the shine – “2nd Tuesdays” The next one here is on May 13 at the 12:15 Mass followed by coffee hour discussion. All are welcome. A calendar of all the other remaining events: prayer services and university lectures are listed on our website. The year culminates in July with a jubilee weekend celebration at the shrine in Emmitsburg Maryland.
CARDINALS APPEAL: We have met our goal. It is a grace for us to be able to contribute to the common work and services of the diocese. What no parish can do by itself is accomplished with many working together. Thanks to those who donated to make it possible.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The architect’s drawings for the restoration of our parish building (The Watson House) have been submitted to the Landmarks’ Commission. When approved the work goes out to bid. In pledges and donations we have one half of our project’s cost. ($1,200,000.) A fund raising brochure is in the works which will be distributed widely so that the general public may appreciate and contribute to our historic preservation efforts.
NEW BISHOP: Timothy Dolan, the current archbishop of Milwaukee has been named to succeed Cardinal Egan who is retiring The parish will be represented by Mr. Mrs. V. Rosiello and Mr. Mrs. W. McDermond at the ceremonies of reception and installation on April 14th (Evening Vespers) and 15th (Mass) at the cathedral. It is a big job and he will need all the prayers we can offer for him.
EXTRAORDINARY REPAIRS: Since last bulletin –The November Appeal funds were a blessing. We had to replace the electric generators that blew after resetting due to the power failure in December. In February the ancient gas burner of the church heating system failed and was replaced. It couldn’t have been done without those funds. The appeal funds also covered the expenses for new altar cloths and linens. THANKS.
WELCOME: There have been two baptisms of new members of the parish: Alexander Marsilio and Jake Salvatore Di Pietro and two more soon. They are a blessing.Their presence is a sign that our Sunday choir may have a future. Don’t forget on the first Sunday of the Month there is a fellowship coffee hour that is worth joining right after the 11:00 am Mass.
THE SEASON: The “Perfect Storm” some economists say has hit our neighborhood of Wall Street. Its Katrina- proportions are still being felt and its effects are causing untold consequences and personal anxiety and suffering. The talk and effects of budget and public service cuts are serious and fill the headlines in the press. Because most of us don’t live spending money in frivolous ways, we face hard choices and difficult decisions in these difficult times just meeting our ordinary needs.
People of faith are reminded that in whatever circumstances we find ourselves or whatever shape society is in, the grace of God is present and available. The gospels remind us that living in grace can be as simple as remembering and being grateful for love of God which was revealed by his Son Jesus Christ. When that love is remembered its grace reveals and makes available again the strengths and virtues of a spiritual life. This time of year, in the northern hemisphere at least, the work of faith and our own vocation is perennially imaged as a harvest. The seeds are God’s words of love which Christ has said are planted in our hearts. On any given day, the fruits of those seeds: patience, kindness, charity, forgiveness, compassion and peace, can be harvested in our life in very ordinary ways with some effort and even a bit of sacrifice. It is time to remember that faith can be a light and guide in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. Faith serves as an inspiration wherever we are and its grace is available to us as a simple prayer of counting our blessings.
125th ANNIVERSARY: On October 5th - and 7th (The actual feast of Our Lady of the Rosary) we celebrated the parish’s anniversary. The date was celebrated with a big cake and the blessing and unveiling of a commemorative plaque. (It was installed in the rear of the church on October 27th). The parish began 125 years ago when the Castle Garden workers gave Fr. Riordan a room to live after he arrived to begin his work of assisting the immigrants. His vision and eventual purchase of the house at 7 State Street originated the parish work of hope and inspiration that continues today.
ALL SOULS DAY: NOVEMBER 2ND: It rarely occurs on a Sunday but this year is an opportunity for the community to acknowledge all our own intentions as well as our benefactors and former parishioners in a special way with a memorial Mass at 11:00 AM Their memories are an example of faith and are edifying to us today.
ELECTIONS: It is time again to vote for a president. The common wisdom is to remind all that their vote counts. However, there is no need to remind the faithful that the winner will need all the help he can get, especially our prayers. .That work of petition begins for us on November 5th in earnest. God bless America.
NOVEMBER APPEAL: In our untypical parish (without an envelope system of support) we appeal each fall for the funds for all those unexpected and unbudgeted expenses. This year the front door died and the basement roof was replaced. (?? it can be seen from the meeting room). If you are on the parish’s mailing list you have received the appeal letter .It speaks for itself. Please do what, and only what you can.
You can mail it, bring it to the office or put it in the collection the next time you come to church. If you didn’t receive a letter, they are available in the vestibule of the church. To get on the parish list, you can see the secretary, Diane in the office.
FAÇADE HISTORICAL RESTORATION: Disconcerted as we are with the porch’s paint still chipping and despite Murphy’s Law, there is slow progress. The new drawings which must now include windows are to be submitted to Landmarks’ Committee for review and approval. If approved the work will go out to bid. Then the work could begin in the spring. We have raised almost $100,000. of our $396.000. Matching grant. Suggestions and leads to corporate donors are always welcome. Notify Fr. Meehan.
WREATH SALE was conducted during October. If you are reading this on Monday Nov. 3rd. you can call the office with last minute requests. The order will be submitted on that afternoon. We’ll receive the ordered by December 5th.
SOUVENIRS: 2008 Bicentennial History Books of the New York archdiocese are available for $35. As well as a souvenir photo book of the Pope’s visit which includes his visit to the UN and Ground Zero in April. ($22). The office also has special NYC and shrine note cards along with skyline postcards that prominently depict our parish. All proceeds go to the Watson House Preservation Matching Grant. (Anniversary key-chains are on order!)
LOOKING AHEAD: Mass schedule for Thanksgiving Day: 11:00 am. On Friday November 28th there will be only one Mass at 12:15. Christmas Eve has the regular schedule of daily Masses and Christmas day will have one Mass at 11:00am. During the first two weeks of December we will continue the parish program of The Saint Nicolas Project. That project in conjunction with Catholic Charities aims at securing basic necessities for needy families. Details will follow. January 4th the feast of Mother Seton falls on a Sunday. We will have a special Mass and reception to celebrate.
LENT BEGINS: The season is upon us. If you, like most of us, find the prayer book calendar with its solar and lunar calculations for fixing the date of Easter not fitting easily into everyday rhythms, just compare 2008 to what might just be a leap year ( if there were one) in the Church’s calendar, The weeks of Lent are a season of grace. The prayer and penances are the exercises to keep our spiritual life fit. These weeks when they are well used, our tradition says, are like the spring. It is a season of renewal of our faith in God that Jesus revealed to his other disciples long ago. Looking forward to the Holy Week we will be able to celebrate again and remember His teachings. In word and deed Jesus told us not only that God was the giver of life but He gave it with a love which is stronger than sin or death. It is the Easter mystery and grace of our faith that each of us is God’s child who shares His eternal life. It is that grace and the light of our baptism that we remember, carry and try to live each day during this holy season.
RESOURCES: There are a number of pamphlets and Lenten guides in the vestibule: Daily Meditations: (Fasting from our Clutter), Personal Meditations (Journey to the Inner Self), Bible Themes (In the Desert). Sundays’ Focus (The Baptism Call), as well as a renewed prayer of the Stations of the Cross. The parish web site has a Lenten retreat written by Fr. Zogby, SJ and links to other spiritual exercises for the season. Upon entering the site click “Inspiration,” then “Lent”.
Catholic Relief Services’ ‘Rice Bowl’ Mite Boxes are available for those who choose to give ongoing alms during the season as a gesture after some particular acts of self denial/fasting. The boxes should be returned by Palm Sunday.
THANKS The Catholic Charities Director, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, wrote a grateful letter for our participation in the Christmastime St. Nicholas Project. The parish response was remarkable and our parish secretary Diane’s coordination made for a very successful charitable project which meant much to the families which benefited from all your generosity. Thanks too to those who organized and managed the Wreath Sale –Rosemary and JoAnn. It netted $834.50 which covered all the cost for the parish’s Advent and Christmas flowers, poinsettias and wreaths. November Appeal participants are thanked too. The funds will be used as needed for all our surprise unbudgeted expenses, and then some improvements as time goes by.
SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR: Pope Benedict XVI will be coming to our neighborhood the morning of April 20th to visit the WTC site. It will not be a ceremony for the public. However we have been advised by the Vicar General, Bishop Dennis Sullivan there are two other events – open to the public with tickets. There’s a youth rally in Yonkers on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday a Mass in Yankee Stadium – for which he will send tickets to the parish. If you are interested you can notify the office. If the requests outnumber the allotted tickets Fr. Meehan will do a lottery. Unlike this week’s Super Bowl and the Giants’ season ticket holders, there will be no preferences, nor first-come-first-served. There will be more news from the chancery in February about the allotment of tickets.
NY DIOCESAN BI-CENTENNIAL: The special history book is available in the office for $33. Our own parish anniversary – 125 years will be celebrated on Sunday October 5th – and the bi-centennial of Mother Seton’s leaving State Street and arriving at Paca Street in 2008 will be celebrated there in June. When The Seton House of Paca Street plans are in place it is suggested we join them on or about June 15th. The committee of two (so far) is thinking of a day bus trip. The more ambitious member thinks two days and a visit to the shrine at Emmittsburg is an alternative. More news later. Your ideas and interest in a trip are welcome in the office anytime.
March 5TH: Sr. Margaret Ellen Burke, SC will be present and address the 12:15 Mass – and follow it with a coffee hour discussion. Her remarks will be in the same spirit of bi-centennial remembrance of Mother Seton. There are two other dates scheduled in April and May to be announced. The program is modeled on our own “Voices from the Pews,” on First Fridays which will also continue this week and in the Lenten season.
Historic Preservation: Our architects shortly will present their plans to the Landmarks Commission for review. It is one of the last steps before work on their overall project begins. (Their may be a hitch, because their recent review found that some emergency-expedited repairs to some windows may have to be done first – which requires a separate approval because the windows were to be done last!) The saga of construction costs inflation – well known from any short newspaper reading of what’s happening to the MTA up on Fulton Street – could be ours too. It’s a grace that our architects have level heads and work smoothly and with hope. (They fuel none of Fr. Meehan’s worries). In the meantime the fund raising for our New York State Matching Grant of $360.000.00 should begin in earnest. The Kick-Off of fund raising was done quietly this week with our super-bowl pool. We can still use corporate contacts and leads if you know any. Plans are underway to print envelopes and flyers to solicit ordinary donations and pledges. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Speak to Fr. Meehan.
Parish Archival Project: Pace University students and Dr. Marie Iacullo will again begin their history course on site this semester beginning Feb.2nd. The service component of their course is digitalizing Our Lady of the Rosary’s rich parish history and the parish’s foundation as a service to immigrant Irish women landing at our door 125 years ago. This ongoing university-parish cooperation has consequences for our parish mission and even the development of more service and education projects through our ‘infant program’ of our Battery Heritage Hall. The students’ studies and contributions have meant much already to our parish and bodes even to be more fruitful this year. Stay tuned.
ST.PATRICK’S DAY: For those who are thinking ahead, the same ‘lunar-solar-leap-year’ type effect which brings Easter early in 2008 also bumps the celebration of St. Patrick from March 17th because it falls in Holy Week and that takes priority in the prayer book. Soooo his feast was moved to Friday the 14th. But because it is the patronal feast day, the Lenten regulations of fast and abstinence are suspended for that Friday throughout the Archdiocese of New York.
Informed sources say the parade committee does not avert to lunar-solar references for marching so if you wish to march, the parade will be held as usual on Monday March 17th.
Cardinal’s Appeal: The mailing is done and the cause is worthy. Do what you can. All the parishes in New York archdiocese working together in “charity at home” does more than any one could do by itself.
The church’s network of social services, pastoral programs and assistance is only able to be done on the scale it is because of this cooperative faith filled effort. (If you did not receive a mailing, they are to be available in the office. We’ll add your name to our parish list).
The Thanksgiving Day seemed early this year, not often does November have five Thursdays. Everything this year will seem to be in an extra rush. Four Sundays but only 3 weeks in Advent and Ash Wednesday is February 6th. Despite all that we have a few weeks in church during Advent that we can pray earnestly for the grace of re-appreciating the presence of God in our own lives and the world in which we live as Christmas approaches. The darkness of the winter, the brokenness of the world, the coldness in the air prompt a faith that God’s grace can be understood as light, healing and warmth again for us. It’s a time to prepare as it were, in the night, for a knock on the door and the question of whether there’s room in the inn.
For the faithful it is a time to pray for the grace to remember that it is God’s will to live with us. It’s an opportunity to refresh the belief that our lives are graced and very blessed when His Word takes flesh again in our hearts, here and now. It’s a time of prayerful preparation just like the shepherds of old. The need we have today is to be attentive again to the angels’ song that they heard there and then. The Glory of God is revealed in Christ’s birth. The heavens and the earth are joined and we can rejoice in its hope. It is a time to pray for the strength of faith to open the door of the inn of our lives, and let each of us be blessed again by God’s presence and let it renew and refresh the lives we live in its joy, salvation and promise of Peace.
FAITH COMMUNITY: Three new members: Alice Miller, Addison Wood and Tristan Albano have been recently baptized. We surpassed the two baptisms of last year already. The babies are well known at Sunday Mass but there are serious doubts about whether the parish’s hope of a choir is realized in its new members. The three of them are not known (yet-) to sing much in church. Time will tell. We welcome them as a blessing to our parish community.
GIVING SUGGESTIONS: In our untypical parish we lack the usual round of activities to express the good will and generosity that is engendered by the season. No holiday pantry for the needy, visiting shut- ins, children’s pageant support, etc. A few among us may still have time, energy and interest to give of themselves in other ways.
New York Blood Center – Receives donations across the street in the concourse of 1 New York Plaza, Mon-Fri 7:30-2:30PM. You can call for an appointment 212-742-1343.
New York Cares-Receives the gifts of winter coats in good condition. Donations may be made again across the street at the Coast Guard Station, weekdays from 7:00am to 3:00pm. Grand Central, Penn Station, and Port Authority are all collection points weekdays between 7:30am and 9:30am weekdays. Police precincts –anytime.
Organ Donor –A gift you can give just by filling out one of the flyers we have in the office or when you renew your own driver’s license.
St. Nicholas Project: You can take an “ornament” from our parish “tree” which delineates a particular gift for a particular family’s clothing needs. Money donations are also received. In the middle of Advent there’s a youth group who will shop and wrap a gift in your name for distribution. The project is in conjunction with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. Deadline for participation is Dec. 10th
ADVENT BIBLE STUDY; Fr. Meehan will conduct sessions on Thursdays from 12:15 to 1:00pm beginning November 29th and continue on Dec.6, 13, 20. It’s a new program so attendance will determine whether they are held in the meeting room or the hall.
OTHER NEWS: November 6th the area’s lower Manhattan churches held the diocese’s Bi-Centennial Mass at St. Bernard’s Church attended by 4 of our parishioners and hundreds of others. As the diocese celebrates its 200 years our own parish will be celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2008. It is a moment of grace for all of us. Our own celebration will take place in October ’08 and be anticipated by Mother Seton’s feast day celebration on Jan.4, 2008. Save the date.
CHURCH HALL On November 8th we had its inaugural event. On a rainy windy evening at 5:30PM there was a talk and book presentation by Mr. Chet Burger. We are featured in his Unexpected New York on page 39. (His book is available in the office).
While the basement has been used many times lately, now it is completed as a “self-contained multi-purpose hall” with the additions of running water, kitchenette and bathrooms. Funded by ordinary means and November Appeal over the years, as you know, it has been gradually cleared, plastered, painted, heated and furnished. It is now “plumbed.” There are hopes it will be turned into “Battery Heritage Hall” in service to, and in service of our parish mission with religious, artistic, social and cultural events.
UPDATE WATSON HOUSE RESTORATION: The documentation for the NY State Grant Appropriation is complete. In January we will begin in earnest to match the $360,000.00 we have received for the restoration of the façade of our parish house. We are still seeking corporate grants and welcome any leads or contacts from the congregation. We are hoping the work may begin in the spring.
COMING ATTRACTIONS “Restoration:” Or it could just be labeled “Doors “for now. After the auto hit our building on August 28th and demolished the basement doorway entrance and railings, some kind of message went out to the other doors. Both the door to the church basement and the porch door failed “in sympathy” The closing mechanisms ceased to work because of weather rotted wood on the church door. A new door had to be custom made. It is being installed this week. The porch door is part of the landmark and is another different question. Its elaborate door check in the threshold broke down. This unexpected emergency repair of door and frame turned into a preview of the spring ‘08 work. New drawings, funding, certification, and an application to the Landmarks Commission had to be submitted. We are promised an “emergency” consideration and an expedited approval. We can use money from a previous “drawings” grant surplus for the work because it is an “emergency.” and use all the patience we have under the circumstances because we cannot just go to Home Depot and do things in a hurry.
ARCHIVAL PROJECT : The parish’s founding is very connected to the 19cc Irish Women’s immigration records we have. There is no budget for the archival work. All the work of digitalizing has been done by student volunteers, including Ameri-corps. This January the work will continue when for the second time Pace University and Dr. Marie Iacullo will hold a history course on site. It is a slow process but rich in value. The 60,000 names we have are not just a great genealogical resource but
an inspirational example of church work and educational resource for the students. When they are complete everyone will be able to realize the wonderful history of our little parish on State Street.
NOVEMBER APPEAL: It is underway. We are grateful to those who have contributed. It means a lot to have your support. If you did not receive an appeal letter in the mail they are available in the vestibule. If you would like to receive occasional mailings please contact the office or send an email.
FR. JOSE SALAZAR : These last few weeks, we have enjoyed the visit from Fr. Jose. He’s helping us on his break from his ministry on the faculty at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston TX. His time here allowed Fr. Meehan to take a week off and also give Fr. Zogby, SJ some free time as well. Fr. Jose is slowly becoming an “ole” friend and we welcome his service and his “voice” & music at the Masses he celebrates. (Fr. Nino Raspanti, of Palermo, will be visiting us for the month of August.)
NOVEMBER APPEAL FUNDS: While Fr. Jose provided music these days, what was not noticed is that the church organ needed repair. Those who play it at weddings and the occasional Sunday have mentioned that need for awhile. The work was done this week on the pedals and stops with funds from the November Appeal ($646.). We have signed on for future annual service assessments to keep it in good working order. A new set of red vestments were also bought this summer. November appeal money has been used since 2000 to purchase some altar appointments every year. Additional altar cloths will be on order soon.
BAPTISM: Joaquin Da Silva was baptized in our church on July 1 st at the 11:00AM Mass. It may be a sign of the future in our untypical parish. Not only did his parents –Kara Francois and Fabio Da Silva live in the parish, (he’s from Brazil, she’s from California) but they met at Sunday Mass and were married here at the shrine.
NOT QUITE 99%: When Pope John XXIII beatified (and praised) Mother Seton in 1963 he said, “In her little white house, there always was a room for charity.” Little would he know that that tradition continues at the shrine. Our parishioners contributed $7.825 (of our $8000 goal) to the Cardinal’s Appeal 2007. With that support, the often unknown, un-honored and unsung Church workers who labor at the agencies and charitable works in the archdiocese do things no one parish could accomplish by itself. That charity would never happen without your support. In the listing of the appeal report we will not have an asterisk noting a goal reached, but there’s reassurance the charity will continue because of our parish’s efforts.
PARISH ANNIVERSARY-2008: Save the date. Our parish will be celebrating its 125 th anniversary on Sunday October 5, 2008 with Mass at 11:00AM. The suggestions from two meetings coincided with an agreement: there will be (at least) a birthday cake…..we’ll keep it simple for starters….because in 2008 we will also see events around our Restoration Project, Bi-Centennial of the Archdiocese, Battery Heritage Hall Project (our basement) as well as a possible joint event with the Seton Shrine in Baltimore’s commemoration of Mother Seton’s journey to Emmittsburg in 1809. It will be a year with many connections and acknowledgements of our parish life. Keep Oct.5 th in mind!
MOTHER SETON EXHIBIT: A small museum quality exhibit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was given to us by Sr. Irene Fugazy, SC and the Sisters of Charity. It was a part of their traveling museum. There are still a few hookups and upgrades necessary for its visual and interactive components. They are on order. We look forward to its completion in the near future. It will be the first official “item” installed in our basement’s “Battery-Heritage Hall.”
ARCHIVAL PROJECT: Last semester the Pace University service learning project included students’ continued work archiving our parish’s immigration records of Irish Women. That work will continue next month with volunteers from the AmeriCorps project at Pace under the supervision of our intern, Katherine Boland. The work is slow, but there is progress in the digitalization of all the records. Eventually the information will be on the web, but even more will be that inspirational story of faith- in- action when the parish was founded in service to new American immigrants.
RESTORATION-HISTORICAL PRESERVATION: The process of conserving the parish house continues. There is a meeting on July 25th to present/complete the documentation to the New York State grants officer. To secure the allocation of funding of the matching preservation grant of $360.000.00 which had been awarded to our parish last October, papers are to be filed which include architect’s drawings, prospectus for approved contracting services, legal titles and property ownership, covenant agreements, proofs of tax exemptions and reasonable assurance that funding to match is possible from our parish community.
We will each have an opportunity to contribute and donate to the project when all the preliminary work is finished. In the meantime our P/T development officer, Ms. Susan Auslander has been at work and we have secured one matching grant already of $10.000 from The Henry Luce Foundation. If you have any leads on corporate sponsors – or other contacts or suggestions contact Fr. Meehan.
For the record it is our experience so far that corporations and foundations are very generous in funding service, the arts and cultural projects. That is edifying. However and sad to say, most of their giving guidelines preclude “bricks and mortar” –viz. our historical preservation, despite the obvious contributions and service our parish institution has/is making to the spirit of lower Manhattan. There is another drawback we have discovered in dealing with all our neighboring private corporations over the years as we sought historic preservation funds. We meet the glass wall of the “separation of Church and State.”
However there is much hope from the fact of the award we received in the eyes of the rigorous application in New York State. They noticed our faith based community and have sought fit to see that our building represents what is best about New York’s life, history and service, and that their grant had nothing to do with the entanglement of religion. Our project is but a great example of what is best in our civic society and it deserves to be the subject of preservation in order that we will continue to be of service and inspiration to the whole community.
Because we are a small commuter based untypical parish, we are going to continue to seek pubic funding on that basis. The time will be here shortly when we begin another round of fundraising: i.e. .our -own “Pennies for Preservation Campaign.” We each know and so do our visitors: "It all adds up!" We will be able to achieve our goal, if we remember “no contribution is too small.”
ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION: Currently in the vestibule are flyers about the subject. Feel free to take one. Donating organs seems like a gruesome topic, but it is in fact a great charity. Because it is possible usually only after some catastrophic event, the corresponding emotional climate precludes thoughtful decisions. Some forethought and planning can indeed be a help to someone else. For more information you can visit < www.donatelifeny.org> Also in the vestibule is an op-ed piece from the NYTimes by Kenneth Davis on “Immigration.” That issue is dear to our parish’s 19 th century origins, service work and success. It is a current topic that could use more light than heat and Mr. Davis offers some insight into the issue’s present complications from historical perspectives. The country we live in does not benefit from simple solutions to the complex issues before the congress. The issue deserves more deliberation from the populace to achieve a complicated solution to a vexing problem in our society.
PARISH LIST: If you care to be on our parish list to receive occasional mailings and news you can fill out the form below and put it in the basket or drop it off in the office to Diane.
You can e-mail it as well to the address above.
St. Elizabeth Seton Shrine-7 State Street-NY 10004
“It is the time between Easter and Pentecost in the church year. These are weeks of grace when we pray and remember how the central mystery of our faith was formulated in the early church (in the Book of Acts) and how it unfolds in all our lives as we re-formulate it in each of our own lives. As we remember Christ surrendered His life, we know by faith its fruit that we are the daughters and sons of the Lord and share it. The liturgists name the season as the time of the Mystagogia – it is the grace that unfolds in us, the baptized, in our parish and the world. It is the time of hope and light and faith because we do live in the mystery that Christ is truly risen indeed and present in our world.”
New Members of the Church: On Easter Sunday, Nicky Lee and Connie Liu were baptized at the 11:00AM Mass. The congregation’s renewing their own baptismal promises was enriched seeing new members making a formal act of faith for the first time. They are with us only for a short time because their work is steering them back to Hong Kong in the near future and they’ll go with our prayers and blessings.
MUSIC: In the last few months volunteers have made a real difference in our Sundays at the shrine. Stuart Barden and Gwynn Villegas have faithfully played and the congregation is becoming the chorus. Not having any music for years, everyone can see St. Augustine’s (sic) remark is true, these last few Sundays: “When you sing, you pray twice.” It can be even more enriching –Think about joining a rehearsal beginning at 10:00AM. Practice, sad to say doesn’t really make perfect, but it does add much to our common prayer and spiritual life.
Fr. Robert Jeffers: We have new resident priest in the parish. Looks can be deceiving because he joins us as a “retired priest.” He has a distinguished life of service as a priest of the archdiocese. Most recently he was the chaplain at Bronx Lebanon Hospital as well as pastor emeritus of St. Augustine’s in the Bronx. He joins our other resident, Fr. John Gilvey, OSFS, and is a welcome addition to our parish.
Voices from the Pews: The Lenten Friday program of weekday parishioners’ presentations was commendable. The insights, inspiration and witness of ordinary people like ourselves showed how the faith is in action. The program continues on the first Friday in May at the 12:15 Mass –coffee hour and exchange follows in the meeting room.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: THE WATSON HOUSE: The process to preserve our landmarked parish house continues. The New York State Matching Grant for $360.000.00 was awarded and to secure it, before it is matched, requires a process of documentation, which is underway. After that comes the fundraising. Stay tuned.
BICENTENNIAL: The diocese of New York was founded in 1808 and an inaugural celebration marked that event on April 21st at nearby St. Peter’s Church .Other events will follow during the year up to its concluding Mass at Radio City Music Hall in the Spring of 2008. Our own parish was founded in 1883 so it will be our 125th anniversary too. We will have a meeting on Sunday May 7th after Mass for those interested in planning our own anniversary. The meeting for “weekday” parishioners will be Monday May 8th after the 12:15 Mass. Eventually there will be only one committee so if you are interested, bring your own ideas and collaborate in the planning for our anniversary in the fall of 2008.
PARISH HERITAGE: The students from Pace University end their semester’s on-site service learning course on May 9th, but will have a public convocation May 2nd in our hall. They will exhibit their history projects and receive thanks for their work done on the continued digitalization of Our Lady of the Rosary Mission’s immigration records. It has been a labor of love under the direction of Dr. Marie Iacullo assisted by our intern, Catherine Boland. The students are contributing to the ongoing development of our own “Battery Heritage Hall Foundation.”
The hall has been outfitted with the purchase of eight tables with November Appeal funds. A new permanent museum quality exhibit, a gift of the Sisters of Charity of NY (c/o Irene Fugazy, SC) is in being explored. Its installation depends on the ingenuity of its makers and the width limitations of our basement doorways and the angle of the bends in the downstairs hallway. It seems to be possible, but time will tell. It will be a welcome addition.
Our meeting room is being outfitted with a CD player. The video on Mother Seton’s life which has been recently produced by the shrine Staff of Paca Street in Baltimore will soon be available as an inspiration to our own visitors.
MITE BOXES: “Operation Rice Bowl” is a program of Catholic Relief Services that addresses the issue of hunger in far away places. It is amazing that a small box for coins used in the Lenten season and returned by 21 people of our parish was a seemingly small gesture…except that they weighed a lot! -$427.00. It is a simple lesson that the “Lenten journey of prayer, fasting, learning and giving” becomes an Easter grace of charity and a small light of hope for others. More edification can be found at www.crs.org when we see how all these “mite” offerings add up and are used. –Thanks.
CARDINAL’S APPEAL: This is the last week to find the mailing in your kitchen drawer that was sent and make your contribution. The brochure (extras on the vestibule rack) puts faces on the many hands and hearts of the people who provide services in our own diocese. It is a necessary work that no one parish can accomplish, but together with the contributions of other parishes becomes a vital work of charity and
concern in New York that wouldn’t happen without your support.
TOUR-JULY 8-18: Bro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS and Fr.Thomas Kane,CP lead a special pilgrimage, “Prayer and Art in Italy;” includes Rome, Ravenna, Padua, Venice Florence. For brochures call Fr. Kane 617.492.1960 or
it is a time for prayer and reflection and introduction to some of the finest art and architecture in the world.
WEB SITE: Our parish web site continues to be a great spiritual resource. You can see for yourself –at www.setonshrine.com if you wish to be on our e-mail list you can send it in, or even drop it off at the parish office with Diane.
PARISH MAILING LIST: You can receive the occasional mailing /November Appeal/ and other news.
(RETURN TO DIANE, THE PARISH SECRETARY IN THE OFFICE OR PUT IT IN THE BASKET)
PRAYER REQUESTS- Needless to say almost, people continue to ask for our prayers, and lately there are some more frequent than others. We commend them to you as well in your devotions. In general there are many requests for safety and peace in Iraq; those lost to the violence in Virginia Tech and their families; consolation for Cho Seung-Hui’s relatives and those others affected by his actions. Prayers in particular are asked for Vincent Pastina’s family which has been stricken with sudden and very serious illness.
The links and resources of this website are offered in the sincere and simple effort to help you continue to stay in touch with the roots of your Catholic faith and in its more recent stirrings. Any one site can lead you to many others. You will experience in a short time a large range of information that will satisfy catholic tastes. May the Holy Spirit guide you. Come and visit us.
At land’s end, end of tether
where the sea turns in sleep
and my spirit fails and runs
landward, seaward, askelter
I pray you
this hireling heart
turn your face to me
—winged, majestic, angelic—
my prayer goest up—
show me your face, O God!
—Daniel Berrigan SJ