The anniversary of my appointment to the Diocese of Brooklyn is on the horizon. On August 1, 2003, the then Nuncio, Gabriel Montalvo, called me when I was serving as Bishop of Camden in New Jersey and told me that the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, appointed me to be the Seventh Bishop of Brooklyn.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, the Church Universal has just celebrated World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on July 25. It was the first time a global day was set aside to honor and celebrate the contribution of grandparents and the elderly to our families and society.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, offered us a reflection on the Coronavirus pandemic in his book, “Let Us Dream; A Path to The Future.” As he began the book, Pope Francis said, “The question is whether you are gong to come through this crisis and if so, how? The basic rule of a crisis is that you do not come out of it the same.
The Bishops of the United States have truly put out into the deep waters of public morality, and also, at the same time, the mystery of the Eucharist. It is not easy to explain mysteries. Mysteries are matters that we believe and do not have a full explanation.
Throughout the pandemic, we have shared resources with the Catholic High School Principals that further ensured the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. One of the areas that has yielded a great response has been the reconnection of Catholic High Schools as an extension of our elementary schools within the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens.
Join me in prayer for our great City of New York, for it is our home. We need to take care of our city. We need to have good leaders who will bring it to a new place and a better place in the future.
Our nation has been built on migration; however, at the same time, our nation has always found it difficult to integrate migrants into our society. As a Church, we know our first responsibility is to welcome, protect and, integrate the goals set by Pope Francis himself for our migrant ministry.
As these four young men ordained to the priesthood just last week put out into the deep mystery of being priests of God in this complex society and world in which we live today, we accompany them with our prayers.
As we begin our full return to the Sunday Liturgy on the Feast of Corpus Christi, there is no better day on which we can reinitiate in earnest our efforts to celebrate the Lord’s day and the Eucharist.
As we put out into the deep of the new Ordination of 10 to the Permanent Diaconate and welcome 15 new candidates into the first-year program, join me as we remember the deacons in our prayers. These men of generosity, surrounded by their wives and families, offer themselves to the Church in a special service that is unique to their charism.