In my column at the beginning of Lent, I suggested that getting our vaccination against the COVID-19 virus would be a good practice for us during Lent. Given the difficulty of receiving the vaccine and the skepticism of some about being inoculated, I write this article.
This year, as we come closer to the Feast of St. Joseph, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has given us a wonderful meditation on the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
On behalf of the people who are served throughout our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens, we begin the 2021 Annual Catholic Appeal by thanking those who generously responded to the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal. Thanks to your support, the challenges we faced in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic were met by the Church and, as a result, our community faith grew stronger.
The observances of National Marriage Week — February 7 to 14 — and World Marriage Day, Sunday, February 14, obviously coincide with Valentine’s Day. This, as you know, is the feast day of St. Valentine, an early martyr of the Church who has become the symbol of love and marriage.
On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 2020, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, called the faithful to engage in “The Year of Joseph.”
This year, we celebrate the 54th World Day of Peace. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has chosen the theme “A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace.” This can certainly bring about a peaceful situation among individuals and nations.
Advent is a time of expectation, of waiting. There is no better model of expectation, of waiting, to us Christians than Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of Jesus Christ. During this time of Advent, as we come closer to Christmas, we recognize that Mary was in the last stage of her pregnancy.
This week, as in the past five years, our DeSales Media Group sponsored a Christmas Tree lighting in Grand Army Plaza in front of the monument dedicated to the Union Soldiers from Brooklyn who fought in the Civil War. In addition to the tree, a large Nativity has a place of honor.
The Gospel reading this year for the First Sunday of Advent tells us of a rather ominous saying of Jesus which is meant to prepare us not only for Christmas, but also for the end of time: “Be watchful, be alert for you do not know when the time will come.”
We all know that this year our Thanksgiving will not be what we have normally experienced, no parades, perhaps limited football, smaller dinners, and less interaction with our most beloved family members. But we still must give thanks. As we look back over the past year, for what can we give thanks?