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.”
I recently attended some training on “trauma-informed care.” It was quite eye-opening. Traumatic experiences in childhood are more common than we’d like to believe. Research indicates that more than 60 percent of adults experienced some form of trauma in childhood, events such as the divorce of parents, ongoing drug use in their home, physical violence, or sexual abuse. I learned that one out of four girls and one out of six boys experience some form of sexual abuse before age 18.
With each new day, the sun rises and it’s a blessing – God’s way of saying here is another day to do good and share friendship and love. My mother and I watched the sunrise the day before we left for home and looked back on this amazing trip, the people we met, and the most important reason, to continue our pilgrimage of our Catholic faith in our ancestral homeland of Sicily.
Twenty-nine percent of the population in Brooklyn and Queens is over 65 years of age, higher than any other borough of New York City. The needs of our seniors are widespread and complex, ranging from loneliness and depression to the physical and financial challenges to living independently.
The Holy Innocents Society of St. Matthias parish in Ridgewood, celebrated its 60th anniversary in February of this year.
“I wish we didn’t have to talk about this.” What parent hasn’t thought or uttered these words, taking a deep breath before jumping into a hard conversation with their child? Whether a crisis at home, a conflict at school or an atrocity in the news, tough subjects are unavoidable in families.
The thing I remember most about St. Mother Teresa, whose feast is Sept. 5, was her joy. I met her three times in my life. Once when we were giving talks on the same program; once at a Vatican Seminar on Family Life, and once when she asked me to give a week-long retreat to her contemplative novices on joy. She founded two distinct orders, the one she picked for me was her cloistered contemplative community in New Jersey.