Setting Priorities for the Future

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Recently, I returned from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,’ called the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America.” This was an unprecedented gathering lead by U.S. bishops and key leaders from dioceses, apostolates and Catholic organizations from across the United States. In fact, the meeting was the first time that the USCCB ever called together such a gathering. Over 80 percent of the dioceses attended, with close to 200 bishops also in attendance. Almost 20 members from our Diocese were present, including Auxiliary Bishops Cisneros, Tiedemann, Sansaricq and Massa.

Recapturing Our Reverence for the Eucharist

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Recently, a letter was sent to all pastors regarding the current Mass schedules that are maintained in our parishes. The shortage of clergy necessitates that we must look at the current Mass schedules to see if we can sustain each long term. We are particularly sensitive to the need for language Masses in our diocese in Brooklyn and Queens which may not have the attendance of other Masses.

Making Democracy Work

It has been a long time since I read the Declaration of Independence, but in preparation for this July 4th weekend, I printed it off the Internet. You may recall in the first paragraph, “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve political bonds. . .”

Walking With the Sexually Abused

As Bishop of Brooklyn, I am announcing a significant new step in the ongoing effort of the Diocese of Brooklyn to address the wounds of those sexually abused by members of the clergy. It is called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

“Father” – A Title Made in Heaven

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, reflecting on fathers is always a useful exercise. We recognize, as we look at our culture today, that one of the missing elements is a stable father figure in most families. The unfortunate situation in so many single-parent families, mostly headed by women, doesn’t provide the necessary paternal example, especially to young boys, that is necessary for an integral development.

Ten New Priests Will Serve Diocese

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens can truly rejoice with this year’s ordination class of 10 young men. The members of this class come from five continents: North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. They are representatives of the world that we know and were ordained on the day before Pentecost when we are reminded of the true gift of the Holy Spirit – not so much in the ability to speak different languages, but rather to understand them in one common language which is the love of God.

Communicating the Message of Jesus

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Each year, the Diocese of Brooklyn, through the DeSales Media Group, joins in the annual World Communication Day celebration. The theme chosen by our Pope Francis for the 51st World Communication Day is; “Fear not, for I am with you, (Is 43:5) Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time.”

Preserving Our Freedoms

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
As we celebrate Memorial Day, we remember its origins from a time of reconciliation after the Civil War to a time now when we can remember our war dead. Also, we remember our civil responsibility to be peacemakers in our country and in our world today.

New Deacons Are Ready to Serve the Church

The Permanent Diaconate was reinstated by the Second Vatican Council, not just as a response to a reduced number of priests, but also in order to emphasize that the Permanent Deacon living in the world and serving in the Church forms a permanent bridge between the lay vocation and the vocation of one who is blessed with Holy Orders.

Mothers’ Unique Contributions

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Mother’s Day is a civil celebration with deep religious roots. It is a day to honor those who are our mothers. Honoring our mothers is important, not only in our civil society but also in our Church. Cards, flowers, candy, jewelry and other gifts are all marks of respect for those who are mothers of children. It is probably more important that the societal attitudes and policies that affect motherhood and maternity should reflect the same kind of respect for mothers.