Msgr. Edward Scharfenberger, currently the pastor of St. Matthias parish, Ridgewood, was officially installed April 20 as the new episcopal vicar for Queens.
He had been serving in that position since Jan. 31, but the installation Mass, celebrated by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio at St. Matthias, was the formal public decree of his new post.
Msgr. Scharfenberger takes over for Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez, who served as vicar even after being raised to the episcopacy in July, 2012. He joins Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi, the episcopal vicar for Brooklyn, as a direct advisor to Bishop DiMarzio.
Msgr. Scharfenberger greets one of his parishioners at St. Matthias, Ridgewood, following his installation as episcopal vicar for Queens County. (Photo by Jim Mancari)
“It’s a tremendous responsibility,” Msgr. Scharfenberger said. “But it’s a great opportunity also to get around to the parishes and be a priest to the priests as well.”
The bishop appointed Msgr. Scharfenberger based on the latter’s dedicated service to the diocese over the years. Bishop DiMarzio said that he was a great choice for the position because he can speak a multitude of languages and is an effective communicator.
In his homily, Bishop DiMarzio spoke of how Msgr. Scharfenberger has served as a good shepherd to the Diocese of Brooklyn and St. Matthias.
“He (Msgr. Scharfenberger) certainly is a good shepherd to the parish,” Bishop DiMarzio said. “He speaks to all the people of the parish, usually in their own languages.”
With his parents in the front row, Msgr. Scharfenberger, who said he was honored to be considered for the position of vicar, took the oath of his new office. A representative from each parish in Queens was on hand for the ceremony.
Msgr. Scharfenberger accepted the responsibility of his new office and was presented with a stole signifying the position and a list of all the parishes in Queens that he will serve.
Msgr. Scharfenberger will remain pastor of St. Matthias for the next six months. It will be a busy time for him as he serves in both roles, but he has already begun reaching out to each parish in Queens.
“With all the experience that he’s (Msgr. Scharfenberger) had, he’ll be able to deal with any situation I’m sure,” said Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto.
Msgr. Scharfenberger – a baseball fan – likened his new position to running a ball game in that it’s now his job to ensure that “all the players are in the right place.”
“Like playing ball, I see my role as learning what to do by playing it,” he said. “You have to get your feet wet by doing it. Since I’m so new at it, I’m learning as I go along.”
Some of his new responsibilities include serving on the diocesan assignment board; supervising the process of renewing pastors in Queens; and overseeing the smooth functioning of the parishes in Queens.
The new role will include significant communication and networking, and Msgr. Scharfenberger said he is up to the challenge. He said he would do his best to keep a constant line of communication between the people and the parishes.
Larry Martin, a long-time parishioner at St. Matthias, said he would be sorry to see Msgr. Scharfenberger leave the parish in a few months, but he also said that the pastor is well deserving of the honor of vicar.
“He’s (Msgr. Scharfenberger) an excellent speaker, and he’s very interesting,” Martin said.
Other parishioners agreed with Martin. “He’s (Msgr. Scharfenberger) so articulate,” said Joseph Wilfinger. “You hang onto every word when he speaks. Whatever God’s will holds in store for him, that’s what I wish for him.”
“Everyone admires him (Msgr. Scharfenberger),” said Mary Ciotta. “He’ll do a wonderful job.”
For 40 years, the cries of unborn children lost to abortion have been heard at the annual March for Life held in Washington, D.C.
At this year’s march on Jan. 25, an estimated 500,000 anti-abortion advocates – the largest crowd in march history – traversed up Constitution Ave. through the snow to the Supreme Court. Protesters held signs and yelled chants in an attempt to raise awareness to the slaughter of babies in the womb. The March for Life Education and Defense Fund boasts that the annual march is the largest human rights demonstration in the world.
Catherine Woesthoff, a parishioner at Holy Family, Flushing, did not let the cold weather stop her as she marched in the 40th annual March for Life Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C. She’s posing with the official Diocese of Brooklyn sign for the march. (Photo by Jim Mancari)
Normally held on Jan. 22 – the actual anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which lifted legal protections for the unborn – this year’s march was moved back three days to accommodate for President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Jan. 25 marks the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
“One of the reasons for going is to hope that we can convert other people, the world actually, to protect the unborn,” said second-time marcher Deacon Lamont Blake from Christ the King, Springfield Gardens. “I think we kind of accomplished that. Yes, it’s been 40 years, but we have to continue to keep that movement going.”
Since the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, more than 55 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. That figure surpasses the entire population of England.
“The argument that it’s a woman choice and that it’s not a human being, that really doesn’t cut it with me anymore,” said first-time marcher Victor Torro, a parishioner at Sacred Heart parish, Bayside. “Even science has proven that life begins at conception. We’re literally talking about the killing of innocent children.”
The Diocese of Brooklyn was well represented at the march. More than 800 people from Brooklyn and Queens boarded 16 buses – eight from individual parishes and eight sponsored by the DeSales Media Group, parent company of The Tablet – heading to Washington. The diocese sent more people to the march than any other diocese in the state, and it was the largest pilgrimage ever from the diocese to Washington.
“It was much appreciated,” said Cathy Donohoe, president of Bridge to Life in Flushing who went on the first-ever March for Life and has since been to 15 straight. “We’re a close diocese, and I would like to see every pastor in every parish speak about it.”
While scores of young people were full of energy and excitement, the march is intended to serve as a somber occasion commemorating the lives of those lost to abortion. This year’s march carried additional sadness, since it was the first without its founder Nellie Gray, who passed away last August at the age of 88.
Fontbonne Hall Academy seniors Enza Agliata, Michele Cipriano, Rosalia LoVerde, Caroline Walkuski, and Cathleen Giordano, and juniors Dianna Marie Mikelis and Patricia Barakakos, all members of Fontbonne Hall’s Friends for Life, headed for Washington, D.C. on January 25, one of the coldest days of the new year, to participate in the 40th March for Life. The students were accompanied by their moderators Ms. Breeda Connolly, chairperson of the Social Studies Department, and Ms. Donna Russo, member of the Religious Studies Department.
The first-ever March for Life was held on Jan. 22, 1974, the one-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. About 20,000 people attended that March, but Gray oversaw the exponential growth of the movement.
“She (Gray) was one woman who stood up 39 years ago at the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” said Delia Mannix, a parishioner at St. Luke’s in Whitestone who marched for the 10th time this year. “As small as it was to begin with, the power of a woman of faith said that we have to protest and we have to object to it. The impact of one person showed how it’s expanded all over the country and all over the globe.”
After Gray’s passing, Jeanne Monahan, president, and Patrick Kelly, chairman of the board, took over as the march’s new leaders. They led the pre-march rally on the National Mall.
Monahan noted that the 55 million abortions in the past 40 years have wiped out one-sixth of the nation’s would-be population. However, she said that pro-life has become the “new normal” in the country as 50 percent of Americans identified themselves as pro-life in 2012, while a record-low 41 percent identified as pro-choice.
Monahan also stated that the movement is winning among young people. An estimated 80 percent of the participants in the march were under age 30.
Parishioners from Holy Family parish, Flushing at the March for Life.
Statement of Self-Survival
“The young people have been born in a time when abortion is legalized,” said second-time marcher Father Darrell DaCosta, pastor at St. Paul the Apostle, Corona. “It’s really a statement of self-survival because the chances are statistically high that they may not have made it out of the womb because of the legalization of abortion.”
The parish youth group from St. Bartholomew’s, Elmhurst, made the trip to Washington to support the cause.
“These kids are constantly told that life is not important, that abortion is completely normal,” said Sister Tatiana Ramirez, P.C.M., director of the youth group. “Yet no one is telling them to stand up for these kids that are being lost to abortion.”
“From conception, it’s already life,” said Kimberly Ortiz, a member of the youth group and a student at Francis Lewis H.S., Fresh Meadows. “It’s important that we continue this march and this representation of the unborn and their rights.”
Other speakers at the rally included Congressman Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
Congressman Smith referred to President Obama’s inauguration speech when the latter spoke about caring for the vulnerable and keeping all children safe from harm. That should include the unborn children and their mothers, Rep. Smith said.
Cardinal O’Malley read a tweet from Pope Benedict XVI: “I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life.”
Young parishioners from St. Sebastian’s parish in Woodside proudly display their banner during the 2013 March for Life. (Photo by Jim Mancari)
Despite the lack of widespread coverage of the event, many believe the march is still an effective tool to spread the anti-abortion message.
“The problem is that the major media ignores (the march), just like they want to ignore the issue,” said Jim McCloskey, former president of Queens County Respect Life who has marched nearly a dozen times. “For the movement itself, (the march) serves its purpose. In that respect, it’s great that you can produce that many people which can affect the political equation.”
While the March for Life fund reports that abortion numbers have steadily declined since 1990, the organization will continue the march in hopes that lawmakers will not be able to ignore the outpouring of support.
“I believe in life; life is real,” said first-time marcher Doris Buczek, a parishioner at Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill. “For these babies that we’ve lost all through the years, they could be living in a beautiful world if things were different.”
After 40 years, it looks like the daily press has finally discovered the March for Life.
The annual demonstration in Washington, D.C., to oppose the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion generally draws just about no coverage in the press. This year, it was different.
The daily papers’ websites all carried feature stories about the March for Life. Most were balanced news stories, but one in The New York Times was written from a particular bias. The Times article highlighted a recent statement by some Christian leaders that pro-lifers who oppose abortion should be just as virulently pro-life when it comes to gun control.
This is mixing apples and oranges. The immediate death of unborn babies is hardly the same as the potential danger of misusing firearms. The numbers alone tell the story. Since Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land, more than 55 million unborn babies have had their lives terminated.
The real question should have been whether or not the pro-lifers who are for gun control will be on the front lines when it comes to saving the babies. I think not.
This year’s March for Life was a huge success with estimates of the crowd hovering around half a million. Not bad when you consider the frigid temperatures and the threat of snow!
Our own pro-lifers from the diocese responded to the tune of almost 1,000 people. Eight buses were sponsored by our parent organization, DeSales Media Group, and some of those were over-subscribed. Add to that the parishes and organizations that traveled on their own or arranged for their own bus pick-ups.
Some groups, like at St. Mary’s Church, Winfield, and Presentation B.V.M., Jamaica, began their day early with Mass that preceded boarding the buses for Washington.
Bus captains reported delays retuning home not only because of the weather but also because the lines at rest stops were long due to the numbers of people participating in the march.
For those of you who could not make it to the nation’s capital, you were treated to live coverage seen on The NET, our sister cable television station. And, of course, later that evening and on the following Monday, there were feature segments about the march on our daily news show Currents.
No doubt about it, the March for Life garnered more attention this year. Perhaps, it’s the urgency of being up against the most pro-abortion president ever elected. Maybe it’s also because of the atrocity of our governor, Andrew Cuomo, fervently supporting the most radical abortion bill ever presented to the State Legislature. If you haven’t done so already, let your state representatives know your feeling. Simply join the New York State Catholic Conference’s advocacy network by logging on to www.nyscatholic.org.
The word is getting out. More and more people are professing the truth of the pro-life cause. Even the secular press is recognizing the pro-life fervor. There’s still a lot to be done, no doubt about it! But the tide is flowing in the right direction because justice and right are on the side of life.
“After these 40 years of hard work we may feel like the ‘chosen people’ of the Old Testament who wandered through the desert for 40 years,” said Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas as he spoke at the Life Vigil at the National Shrine.
But he urged those present to not grow discouraged and lose hope. “Moses never saw the Promised Land. Many of us who have labored for 40 years for the cause of life” may not get to see it either, Bishop Farrell added. But he assured the young people: “You will see the Promised Land.”
Sales associate Maria Druke talks with Sister Andrew Marie Tyler at Pauline Books and Media in Old Town Alexandria, Va., Aug. 10. Operated by the Daughters of St. Paul, the store has been a fixture on well-traveled King Street since 1982. It is one of 13 bookstores the order runs in North America. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)
N.Y. Post, Reporter
“Leaving Story Avenue, my journey from the projects to the front page” by Paul LaRosa
“Red on Red” by Edward Conlon “Most Wanted, Pursuing Whitey Bulger” by Thomas Foley
Bishop Raymond Chappetto
St. Kevin’s, Flushing, Pastor
Vicar for Clergy and Consecrated Life
“My Brother, the Pope” by Georg Ratzinger
“The Homeless Bishop, A Novel” by Joesph F. Girzone
“A Moment in Time: An American Story of Baseball, Heartbreak and Grace” by Ralph Branca
“Falling Upward” by Father Richard Rohr, OFM
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
Sister Dolores Crepeau, C.S.J.
Fontbonne Hall, Bay Ridge, Principal
“Defending Jacob” by William Landay
“My Life with the Saints” by James Martin, S.J.
“The Periodic Table” by Primo Levi
Father John Cush
Cathedral Prep, Elmhurst, Spiritual Director
“Vanity Faith: Searching for Spirituality Among the Stars” by Terrance Klein
“Chalice of God: A Systematic Theology in Outline” by Aidan Nichols
“11/22/63” by Stephen King
“The City of God” by St. Augustine
“The Story of a Soul” by St. Therese of Lisieux
“John of The Cross” by Kavanaugh
Former Public Information Director, Diocese of Brooklyn
“The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything” by James Martin, S.J.
“Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball” by R.A. Dickey
Father James Devlin
Good Shepherd, Marine Park, Pastor
“LBJ: The Passage of Power” by Robert Caro
“You Will Be My Witness” by John Dear
“In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larsen
Msgr. Fernando Ferrarese
Immaculate Conception, Astoria, Pastor
“What Happened at Vatican II” by Father John O’Malley
“The First Crusade” by Peter Frankopan
“Francis of Assisi” by Father Augustine Thompson, O.P.
“When I Was a Child I Read Books” by Marilyn Robinson
Msgr. Steven Ferrari
St. Teresa, Woodside, Pastor
“The Lost Years” by Mary Higgins Clark
“Falling Upward” by Richard Rohr
“Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season” edited by G. Schmidt and S. Felch
“Bring Up The Bodies” by Hilary Mantel
“Between Heaven and Mirth” by James Martin, S.J.
Dr. Steven Garner, MD
The Tablet, Columnist
“Food Lovers Guide to Brooklyn” by Sherri Eisenberg
“The Murder of the Century” by Paul Collins
“Season of ‘42” by Jack Cavanaugh
Father William Hoppe
St. Leo, Corona, Pastor
“Father Joe – The Man Who Saved My Soul” by Tony Hendra
“Benjamin Franklin – An American Life” by Walter Isaacson
“Nelson Mandela – Conversations with Myself”
“Matthew, Mark, Luke and You – Unraveling the Gospels” by William J. O’Malley
Father Thomas Machalski
“My Brother, The Pope” by Georg Ratzinger
“Heaven Is For Real” by Todd Burpo
“Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper” by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin
“Why Catholicism Matters” by Bill Donohue
Father Frank Mann
DeSales Media Group, Staff
“Animal Grace: Entering a Spiritual Relationship With Our Fellow Creatures” by Jane Goodall
“Signposts For the Future: Contemporary Issues Facing the Church” by Hans Kung
“The Theology of Vatican II” by Bishop Basil Christopher Butler
“Memories and Hopes” by Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens
“Encounters with Silence” by Karl Rahner
“Perseverence in Trials: Reflections on The Book of Job” by Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini
“Open to God, Open to the World” by Franz Cardinal Konig
“The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in America” by Colleen McDannell
Father James Massa
St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, Faculty
“The Mystery of the Temple” by Yves Congar
“Jerusalem” by Simon Sebag Montefiore
“Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer” by Thomas Dubay
“Poor Banished Children of Eve” by Fiorella de Maria
“Hidden Face of St. Therese” by Ida Friederike Gorres
Brooklyn College, Department of Journalsim
“The Use and Abuse of the Bible: A Brief History of Biblical Interpretation” by Henry Wansbrough, O.S.B.
“Francis of Assisi: A New Biography” by Augustine Thompson, O.P.
“Helping the Bereaved College Student” by David E. Balk
“The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008” by Sean Wilentz
“Meditations on the Song of Songs” by St. Teresa of Avila Msgr.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Astoria, pastor
“The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day” edited by Robert Ellsberg
“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand
“Great Teachers” by Pope Benedict XVI
“Theophilus” by Michael O’Brien
“Praying the Roman Missal: Pastoral Reflections on the Revised English Translation” by Robert L. Tuzik
“St. Francis De Sales and His Friends” by Maurice Henry-Couannier
“Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence” by A.J. Langguth.
Father Raymond Roden
Special Adviser to the Bishop
“Viva Cristo Rey: The Cristero Rebellion and the Church-State Conflict in Mexico” by David C. Bailey
“Of Cabbages and Kings County: Agriculture and the Formation of Modern Brooklyn” by Marc Linder and Lawrence S. Zacharias
“Translating Tradition: A Chant Historian Reads Liturgiam Authenticam” by Peter Jeffery
“Fiorello’s Sister” by Gemma LaGuardia Gluck
“Swamp Fox: The Life and Campaigns of General Francis Marion” by Robert D. Bass
“A Sense of Humor and Virtue: A Thomistic Theological Perspective” by Basil Cole
Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan
Retired Auxiliary Bishop
“Inferno: The World at War” by Max Hastings
“Drift: The Unmooring of Military Power” by Rachel Maddow
“House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox” by William H. Foege
“All is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day” by Jim Forest
Roberta Meringolo, St. Bernadette School, will be honored by the NCEA as Distinguished Teacher for the New York State region. Here she is seen outside of her classroom standing proudly next to her students’ work.
Three educators in the Diocese of Brooklyn will be honored by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) at its annual convention in April.
Father Ralph Caputo, pastor of St. Bernard parish, Mill Basin, will be honored as Distinguished Pastor, a national award; William Geasor, principal of Salve Regina Catholic Academy, East New York, will be honored as Distinguished Principal for the New York State region; and Roberta Meringolo, St. Bernadette School, Dyker Heights, will be honored as Distinguished Teacher for the New York State region.
“I’ve been very blessed as a priest because every parish I’ve been assigned to has had a school,” said Father Caputo, adding that through Catholic education, young people receive a great education as well as a Catholic identity that will influence them throughout their lives.
Teaching With Love
Father Caputo said the motto of St. Bernard School is “We teach with love,” which is an appropriate motto for educators because “if you don’t teach with love, you should get out of the business. Above all, children know a kind person when they see one. You have to love them and provide an example and be there when they need you. Kids know when you love them and you care about them and that’s when the real teaching takes place.”
Kathleen Buscemi, principal of St. Bernard School, had high praise for Father Caputo. “His support of Catholic schools in general and this school in particular is unwavering,” she said. “He’s always available. There isn’t anything I ask him for benefit of the children that he says no to. To me, he’s the perfect pastor for a school.”
Michael E. Pizzingrillo, diocesan deputy superintendent of schools, said only a few select priests nationally receive the Distinguished Pastor award. The diocesan Superintendent’s Office wanted to recognize Father Caputo because he “is one who supports the school in all ways,” Pizzingrillo said. “He’s a pastoral presence to the principal, teachers, parents, and students.”
Geasor, who was principal of St. Rita School, East New York, for 34 years, is currently principal of Salve Regina Catholic Academy, which opened in September after St. Michael, St. Rita, and St. Sylvester schools formed the academy.
Pizzingrillo said his office nominated Geasor as Distinguished Principal, “because of his long and dedicated leadership to Catholic education in Brooklyn.
“This is the icing on the cake of a career that should be recognized,” Pizzingrillo continued. “He’s created the largest school in the diocese in one of the poorest areas. He’s been a supporter of our office, of the diocese, of strategic planning, and a 110% advocate for his students, especially understanding the inner city community they come from.”
Geasor said, “With this award the NCEA is recognizing not only myself, but all of the principals of the Diocese of Brooklyn. The principals, teachers, and board of directors are not just reacting to the changes in our communities, but taking this opportunity to improve our schools and ensure their future. The diocese is creating a model for the future of Catholic education, and the NCEA is recognizing our work in Preserving the Vision for future generations.”
Sister Joan DiRienzo, M.P.F., principal of St. Bernadette School, wrote the following in a letter nominating Meringolo: “She takes a personal interest in every child she encounters in the classroom and is able to bring out the best in each. She readily looks beyond the surface of the chronic ‘misbehaver’ or the complacent under-achiever, finds their talent, and makes a connection for success that might not have been otherwise discovered.”
Meringolo, who began teaching at St. Bernadette’s 23 years ago, currently teaches fourth- and fifth-grade ELA, fourth-grade science, and fifth-grade religion.
When asked the secret of her success, she said, “I love the children. I love teaching, and I teach from the heart. I try to find a strength in each child that I can work with. You can’t be negative in this business. You have to come in with a positive outlook.”
Meringolo attributes her positive outlook on life and teaching to her mother, who taught at St. Bernadette’s for 29 years and passed away in 1985. Meringolo and her sister both attended St. Bernadette’s. Her sister also is a teacher at Sacred Heart School, Staten Island. Her maternal grandfather was chairman of the Romance Language Department at Brooklyn College.
In her nominating letter, parent Maria Ljubich wrote, “Whether a child is at the top of the class or in need of special attention, Mrs. Meringolo will always ensure the children are learning and reaching their highest potential. She truly cares about each of her students, and it shows in their work and performance.”
I-Confess video winners, Melinda Collins and George Simon chat with Currents’ host Matt McClure on the set of The NET’s daily news program.
Nearly 200 students from all around the country responded to the i-Confess challenge of making a one-minute YouTube video encouraging viewers to partake in the sacrament of reconciliation.
They competed for the grand prize of $50,000 to be shared equally by the winner and his or her school. The contest was sponsored by the Diocese of Brooklyn in collaboration with the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
With nearly 25,000 views and over 700 “likes,” Melinda Collins won the contest with her video, Get Clean. Second place and a $10,000 educational scholarship went to Caled and Molly Herboth for their video, Be Reconciled to God. Virginia Jacobson and Douglas Kraeger won third place and $1,000 for their video, Backpack of Sins.
Collins, who starred in her winning entry, is a senior at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, California. The school will use its share of the prize money as a scholarship for George Simon, who was the cinematographer and co-editor of Get Clean.
Simon was forced to leave school one year before earning his bachelor’s degree due to financial difficulties.
“I would never have been able to finish,” he said. “When I had to leave John Paul University I was heartbroken.”
During the year he was off from school, Collins contacted him about the idea for the video. Eager for a creative outlet and motivated by the possible prize, Simon was excited about the project. However, Collins was overwhelmed with school and extracurricular activities.
The two filmed the entire project when a class cancellation gave Collins a three-hour window of time. Despite her busy schedule, she made her way to Simon’s apartment to film only after she attended Mass.
“I try to go to daily Mass,” she said. “Especially when I am working on something, I need to go to Mass.”
Having asked God for help, Collins faced the task of filming without a script or a clear plan for the video.
Simon said the project presented man y challenges that forced the two to find innovative solutions. Not having professional camera equipment, he spent much of the time filming on top of his makeshift tripod that consisted of a roll of plastic bags on top of a cooler.
Despite their creativity, Collins said many of the problems they encountered required extra help. She said many of the aspects of the film resulted out of necessity, instead of choice.
“The timing and the circumstances of this project are all extraordinarily providential,” she said.
The students said the popularity of the project was beyond their control because they did not start promoting the video until four days before the cutoff date.
The popularity of the video was a great reward in itself, Collins said, because it allowed her to spread the message of God’s forgiveness. As a student, she said she feels restricted in how much she can spread God’s message.
With this project she brought the topic of confession up for discussion in a worldwide forum. Her video has over a hundred comments, many of which thank her for the inspirational message in the video.
“The reason I think it was successful is because it was very true,” she said. “The reason I wanted to make this film is because I experienced it. This is what confession is to me.”
The video, scored to a song by Rachel Fannan, can be viewed on i-confess.com.
Because of contacts made through the video competition, Collins and Simon have been asked to do a documentary on pilgrims from Brooklyn and Queens who will walk the Way of St. James in Spain in August.
They also will provide footage of the diocesan delegation to World Youth Day in Madrid for broadcast on Currents, The NET’s daily news show.