Having just returned from World Youth Day in Panama gives me a chance to tell you about this life-changing event for many young people from around the world. These events are held every two to three years. I, myself, have participated in every World Youth Day since the Year 2000. During these events, one can see that the youth come to a deeper appreciation of their faith, not only encountering the Holy Father but also fellow young Catholics from all over the world.
Catholic Schools Week is a time for everyone to celebrate the great success stories of Catholic education within the Diocese of Brooklyn.
January has been designated as Poverty Awareness Month by many organizations. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joins with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in calling attention to the issue of poverty, especially in our own country.
Each January, we remember a sad part of our American history that happened in the 1970s with the Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade which made abortion legal for any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and any time after that if the mother’s life is at risk.
For the past 52 years, January 1 has been designated by the Roman Pontiff as the World Day of Peace. The 2019 message of the Holy Father on this occasion is entitled, “Good Politics at the Service of Peace.” The announcement was made by the Vatican press office emphasizing that “Political responsibility belongs to every citizen and, in particular, to those that have received the mandate to protect and to govern.”
St. Francis of Assisi is credited with having established the custom of the placing of the Child Jesus in a crèche, or presepio as it is called in Italian. The first presepio was assembled in the town square of Assisi where people and live animals depicted the birth of Jesus Christ.
Monday, December 17, is Reconciliation Monday in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn. This custom began several years ago in Rockville Centre during the Lenten Season. Now all of the Downstate dioceses have adopted this custom where you can be sure that from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in most every church of these dioceses you can find a priest who will hear your confession.
Advent is a time of grace, called “Kairos,” a Greek word which means a graced time. As we have begun Advent, we recognize that it is our preparation time for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As we begin the Season of Advent, one of the first feasts we celebrate during this time is the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6. Since St. Nicholas is my patron saint, I thought I would take the time to describe the journey of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Turkey, to his more popular transformation into Santa Claus.
Having just returned from the annual November United States Bishops’ General Meeting, I thought that I would share some thoughts with you since the agenda this year was so important.