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.
I lost my first pregnancy to miscarriage in the late 1980s. The memory is hazy, clouded by the roller coaster of emotions and hormonal changes that a woman experiences when she loses a baby. I remember Joe and I watching the ultrasound machine anxiously and excitedly, waiting for the heartbeat that never came. I remember the doctor taking over from the technician and delivering the tragic news. And I remember crying.
Why would the government ever legalize another addictive drug? Maybe someone should ask – or rather challenge – this governor on that very issue. After all, it was not in his political platform when he ran for governor. So, why now? More importantly, how can we stop him?
Mary turned Jesus’ hesitation into a character-building moment. She knew His true talent and encouraged Him to share it with everyone. So don’t compare yourselves to others; everyone is special in his or her own way. God has gifted us all with unique talents. Let’s make them shine in each other, like Mary did for Jesus.
St. Jean Vianney is a “hard act to follow.” As a parish priest for most of the last 38 years of my priesthood in the Diocese of Brooklyn, I have never spent as many hours as he in the confessional. I may never have ‘run away’ from my parish, but I do take my weekly day off every Friday. I may have gotten better grades in the seminary than he, but I certainly would never compare myself to him in holiness.
So, did I tell you that I got a letter from the pope? Yes, that’s right, the pope. You know, the one in Rome.
This column almost made a liar out of me.