by Msgr. Steven A. Ferrari
Looking at the old black-and-white photo before me, I regarded the five young smiling people positioned near the baptismal font. One gentleman is proudly holding a three-month-old baby boy swaddled in white, while a still-in-his-20s priest with dark hair and moustache stands beside him. On the photo’s back is written the date and place: January 23, 1982. Blessed Sacrament Church, Jackson Heights, Queens.
The holiday season is the most stressful time for many adults. During Advent, which is supposed to be a time for quiet reflection and preparation to celebrate the most momentous event in human history, most people are scurrying around shopping, decorating, cleaning and planning for family get togethers. Children are writing letters to dear old Santa Claus and visiting the jolly old guy in shopping malls.
by Tony Rossi
People can seem a little self-obsessed nowadays, with our endless selfies and social media posts. But during the season of Advent, the Church asks us to look at ourselves in a way that isn’t about vanity, in a way that’s truthful, honest and can change us for the better.
For the past 33 years, I had the privilege of coordinating The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Campaign. The drive is very simple: We ask readers to donate money that will be used to buy Christmas gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, working to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ “to bring good news to the poor … release to captives … sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18), as stated on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.
As we approach the 11th day of the 11th month, 100 years after the end of the First World War, let us ask the Prince of Peace to remove all prejudice, hatred and division from within our hearts.
Her name was Caroline and she was known by all of the residents in the Richmond Hill section of Jamaica Avenue as the lady with the broom. Caroline was a staple of this southeastern section of Queens, doing her best to keep the streets and street corners clean of any and all trash every day.
I was 12 years old at the time and I had in my possession two philatelic first-day-of-issue covers commemorating the opening of the Vatican Pavilion. The envelopes bore the postmark of April 1964, with special postal stamps bearing images of Pope Paul and the Pieta. I anxiously wanted to get them both autographed by the pontiff.
I WENT TO see the new movie “Gosnell” over the weekend. I asked a few friends if they wanted to join me. All responses were negative, with a few offering that they’d never heard of it, and one suggesting that seeing Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born” would make for a much sweeter evening.
Legs, arms, eyes, hearts, heads, genitalia, breasts and lungs were among the body parts. Made of wax, wood, silver, clay, cloth, or painted on canvas, the ex-votos covered the walls and display cabinets on three floors of the Bard Graduate Center Gallery on West 86th Street, off Central Park West. The exhibit, recently opened, is titled “Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place.”