The heart of the Christian community is our Triune Lord: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Geography, history, and numbers are not the heart, but probably I will type mostly on these topics. As the internet already provides many encouraging spiritual guides and discouraging contentious forums, I intend to offer neither.
To find a parish, enter a keyword in the search box at the top left, or look through the labels and links down the right-hand column. The posts themselves follow the Blogger format of newest items on top.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Today, the Feast of the Assumption, reminds me of an expression from my youth in an Irish neighborhood in northern Manhattan: namely, that there was a "cure in the waters" on Assumption Day, so some families would be sure to visit Rockaway Beach. I note that this year, one Suffolk parish continues this idea. Please use this link to today's morning prayers at Ocean Beach, Fire Island.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pastors & assignments, July, 2017

A list of priestly appointments appeared briefly at drvc.org in late July, then disappeared and reappeared. The link is HERE. It contained new pastors, new curates, reassignments of priests of religious congregations, and the incardination of five or six priests. 
A new pastor, age 32, at Our Lady of Lourdes, Malverne. Link to liherald.com HERE.
Msgr. Steve Camp, after 12 years as pastor at St. Christopher, Baldwin, to St. Patrick, Huntington.
Link to good-bye letter in parish bulletin HERE. Rev. Nicholas Zientarski replaces Msgr. Camp at St. Christopher.
Our Lady of Mercy parish, Hicksville, has received a new pastor, Rev. John McCarthy.
Sacred Heart, North Merrick, has received a new pastor.
Deacon Anthony Cedrone from St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Wantagh, to St. William the Abbot, Seaford. Notice on page 8 of bulletin HERE.
As Msgr. McNamara is joining the staff of the North American College on the Janiculum Hill, Rev. Joseph Nixon will become administrator of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Point Lookout.
There appear to be eleven new associate pastor appointments in Nassau County.
Five monsignors have retired.
In Nassau County, four pastors have been reappointed for a second term.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

AdvancedED accreditation network for elementary schools

Maria Regina elementary school of Seaford has posted an important letter from the diocesan superintendent of schools, explaining that the elementary schools of the diocese will drop Middle States accreditation in favor of a different organization, AdvancED.
Links: Announcement of switch to become effective July 1,2017. Please scroll down in the link.
Background of AdvancED. It is a merger of three other regional accreditation organizations.
Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools  Even sixty years ago when I was in high school, the three-day visit of a Middle States evaluation team was a big deal. Later, I learned that preparation for these visits involved many meetings, much paperwork, many questions. The important thing for Catholic schools was that the Middle States first asked the goals of the institution, then inspected it as meeting these goals, then offered suggestions for improvement. It was and is possible to have accreditation suspended. Please note that accreditation on the K-12 level is probably very different from the accreditation of colleges and universities.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bishop Barres's dissertation

In a brief biography of Bishop John O. Barres (linked HERE), mention is made of his doctoral dissertation, "Jean-Jacques Olier's Priestly Spirituality: Mental Prayer and Virtue as the Foundation for the Direction of Souls."  He wrote this while becoming a Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) with emphasis on spiritual theology, gained from the Opus Dei Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in the Piazza di Sant'Apollinare, Rome.
The dissertation is available at some libraries.
In his forty-eight years of life, Jean-Jacques Olier did quite a few other things than improve the training of priests.  Like St. Vincent de Paul, he was concerned about the lives of Parisians, particularly those of the parish of St. Sulpice, Wikipedia article.
Although John Baptist de la Salle was only five years old when M. Olier died, Olier was a tremendous influence on de la Salle, as described here.  And so, I heard the name Olier in teen years and later searched out Rue Princesse and the nearby church of St. Sulpice.
Bishop John O. Barres will take his see at St. Agnes, Rockville Centre, January 31, 2017.  You may find various articles at licatholic.org

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Catholic HS entrance exam October 29, 2016

Regarding entrance to a Catholic high school in Nassau or Suffolk County, New York, the deadlines are fast approaching.  Please see the website linked HERE for a list of deadlines and other information about taking the test.  The website includes applications for the exam with or without a request for exceptional treatment "with accommodation."
There are seven Catholic high schools in Nassau County and three in Suffolk County. One entrance exam counts for all. An eighth-grader may apply to three schools.  
I wonder about the ratio between the number of test-takers and seats available in the ten high schools. 
The 2016 edition of the Official Catholic Directory gives these enrollment figures:

Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Syosset, 464 girls, 51 teachers.
St. Dominic High School, Oyster Bay, 472 students, 34 teachers.
Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, Riverhead, 481 students, 46 teachers.
St. Mary High School, Manhasset, 589 students, 41 teachers.
Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, 825 girls (same as 2015), 93 teachers.
Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville, 1,022 students, 62 teachers.
Chaminade High School, Mineola, 1,700 boys (same as 2015), 74 teachers.
St. John the Baptist High School, West Islip, 1,700 students, 113 teachers.
St. Anthony High School, South Huntington, 2,400 students, 133 teachers.
Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale, 2,689 students, 131 teachers. (These numbers may include grades 6-8, the Latin School.)
Round numbers and repeated numbers may not be accurate. Details of enrollment per grade level would help. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Nassau K-8 enrollments in 2015

The 2016 edition of the Official Catholic Directory probably reports information from 2015 or earlier.  This new edition lists twenty-two parish or regional Catholic elementary schools in Nassau County.  The top ten in reported enrollment are:
St. Agnes Cathedral, 728.
St. Anne, Garden City, 540.
St. William the Abbot, Seaford, 538.
St. Aedan, Williston Park, 487.
St. Martin de Porres, Uniondale, 460.
Long Beach Catholic, 440.
St. Rose of Lima, Massapequa Park, 404.
Maria Regina, Seaford, 400.
Holy Family, Hicksville, 397.
Our Lady of Victory, Floral Park, 389.
Eighteen schools have more than 300 enrolled.
Only one school, All Saints Regional, Glen Cove, has fewer than 200.
The total K-8 enrollment in Catholic schools is about 8,544.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Nassau CCD numbers from 2016 directory

Parish religious education programs for youngsters not attending Catholic schools are often called "Religious Ed" or "CCD" classes.  The establishment of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in each Catholic parish dates back more than four centuries, and these programs have strong numbers in many parishes of Nassau County.
The recent publication of the 2016 Official Catholic Directory has allowed me to look at the reported enrollments in religious education programs in the approximately 66 parishes of Nassau County. The numbers are slipping, just as enrollment in public or non-public schools, but nothing at all like the steep drop in marriages.
Parish life ought not be judged by numbers, as small numbers or low revenue may may be found in parishes with a loving worship community. With that caution, I present sample enrollment numbers in CCD classes in the parishes of Nassau County.
The ten largest are:
St. Rose of Lima: 2,557 (but that number has been questioned).
St. Agnes Cathedral: 1,896.
St. Martin of Tours, Bethpage: 1,519.
St. Frances de Chantal: 1,501.
St. William the Abbot: 1,486.
Maria Regina, Seaford: 1,466.
St. Barnabas, Bellmore: 1,450.
St. Kilian: 1,400.
St. Joseph, Garden City: 1,400. 
St. Catherine of Sienna: 1,388.
Six of the above ten have a parish schools, which adds maybe 300 to 650 students receiving religious education. Some round numbers above are suspect because they were the same figure last year.
The median number of religious ed students is at Our Holy Redeemer, Freeport: 493.
Eight parishes reported an enrollment under 200. Several reported no students or failed to submit data.
The total number of CCD students in Nassau County is more than 42,268.