The Challenge of Humane Public Policy

In my master’s degree and doctorate studies on social work, I concentrated on public policy. Back in the early 1980s when I began studying public policy, the various factors of influence were basically the same as they are today; however, the proportion has vastly changed. There are three branches of government on the federal level: legislative, executive and judicial. They all greatly influence public policy. Today, however, it seems that the Supreme Court has greater influence on deciding controverted issues. On the state and local levels, the same balance of powers is at work.

Assumption Means Renewal

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

There is a wonderful story of a little girl who is lost in a shopping mall. She was crying and no one could comfort her. Finally, a policeman came upon her and asked, “Little girl, have you lost your mother?”

Reawakening a Call to Vocations

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This week, on the Feast of St. John Vianney, Aug. 4, the Diocese initiated the Year of Vocations: Reawakening the Call. In my letter to the priests announcing this year, I began by saying, “Pray to the Lord of the Harvest so that He may send laborers into His harvest.”

Reaching Out to Our Youth Ministries­­­­

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Last weekend, the Diocese of Brooklyn, through St. John’s University, hosted the annual Steubenville New York Conference. For several years now, the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio has sponsored a youth conference that is attended by over 2,000 young people from all over the East Coast.

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.