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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Joseph's Day, March 19, 2014

Photos may be enlarged by clicking on them.

Viva la tavola di San Giuse!
After the morning Masses at St. William the Abbot's parish, Seaford, St. Joseph's bread was blessed and distributed. The first photo shows Fr. Bala blessing the bread after the first Mass.  School children, parents, and parishioners attended the second Mass.
A typed handout explained:
Saint Joseph is one of the most beloved saints among Italian-Americans.   As the patron of workers and the protector of the family, he is honored with a feast on March 19.  It began when there was a severe drought in Sicily in the middle ages.  In desperation, people asked St.Joseph, their patron, to intervene.  They promised if rain came, they would prepare a big feast in his honor.  The tradition says these prayers were answered with rainy weather.  In gratitude, huge banquet tables were set up in public, and poor people were invited to come and east as much as they wanted.
Generosity marks this day, as it did the character of Joseph himself.  In many nations, it's a day of sharing with the poor and needy, and nowhere is this bettr carried out than in the nation that perhaps loves the most, Italy.  In many villages, especially in Sicily, every one of any means contributes to a table spread in the public square as an offering for favors received for prayers to this kindly saint.  The bread made for this day represents Jesus.  The guests are orphans, widows, or beggars.  After Mass, all go in procesion to this festive table.  After the priest blesses the feast, all shout, "Viva la tavola di San Giuse!"  Every guest is given something to take home.

Monday, January 20, 2014

LI Catholic Elementary Schools Guide

The Sunday home delivery of Newsday on January 19, 2014, included a twelve-page Long Island Catholic Elementary Schools Guide.  A pdf of this guide may be found as a link at  http://licatholicelementaryschools.org/
It's an excellent presentation, though without a chart of class enrollment per school or the myriad tuition scales in the various schools.A centerfold map distinguishes between parish schools, regional schools, and private schools.  In this context, "private" means neither parochial nor diocesan, but managed by other Catholic organizations, as the De La Salle Christian Brothers, the Sisters of the Holy Child, or one province of the Society of Mary.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A free ebook from 1871

Fortunately, I encountered this title during a Google search: "A brief historical Sketch of the Catholic Church on Long Island," by Patrick Mulrenan, 1871.  The link is here.
Recall that Long Island includes Brooklyn, Queens, and everywhere to Montauk Point.  At that time, the diocese of Brooklyn included the entire island.  What is now Nassau County was part of Queens County, and Brooklyn was a City.  
At the top left of the page at the above link, you will see a red button "Ebook Free."  Yes, because the copyright has expired, Google can give you without charge what it scanned from the Harvard University library.  Before you download, consider where you want to read this book, on your computer or on a tablet, because it will download only to the device that fetches it. 
Mulrenan's book is a valuable snapshot of the Diocese of Brooklyn and its parishes and good works, as observed in 1871.  You may use the find tool to locate the parish, neighborhood, or person that is your particular interest.  In general, histories of dioceses focus on the bishops more than on the parishes, even when they attempt to write from the ground up.  The book, nevertheless, is a treasury of the growth of the church on our island.  Highly recommended.  I see copies for sale in the used book market also.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A blessing

The first reading for January 1 is from the Book of Numbers:
The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them."
(An introduction to book of Numbers may be found here.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

St. William the Abbot, Seaford

The parish of St. William the Abbot is located at 2000 Jackson Avenue, Seaford, NY 11783, one block south of Sunrise Highway (NY 27) and the Seaford railroad station. The parish telephone number is 516-785-1266, and its website is linked here.  The parish was established in 1928.  Twice, the church has been enlarged.

Above, the church interior early Pentecost morning, 2012, before Mass.

In what may have been the former baptistry on the north side of the foyer, there are shrines of three saints, St. Joseph in the center, St. William the Abbot to the left, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to the right.  St. William wears the wrong habit, however, for a Benedictine of the 11th century.  The habit on the statue is Franciscan.  


In December 2013, the parish purchased a new outdoor manger scene and placed a memorial list in the church lobby.  Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

Across Jackson Avenue is the parish elementary school at 2001 Jackson Avenue.  The school telephone number is 516-785-6784, and its website is linked here.  At first, Dominican Sisters from Amityville provided religious education.  Later, when the school was opened Ursuline Sisters from Blue Point staffed the school for several decades.  Of the parish elementary schools on Long Island, St. William's is the third or fourth highest in enrollment.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Late notice

There is a December 2nd, 2013, deadline for responses to the Diocese of Rockville Centre to the survey described as Consultation of Clergy and Faithful on the Pastoral Challenges on the Family in the light of Evangelization.
Please see the link here to the Rockville Centre rules for the collection of answers to this survey.
Apparently, this was posted to the website of the Long Island Catholic about November 20th, 2013, but I did not notice it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Catholic elementary schools in Nassau County

About twenty-eight Catholic elementary schools teach approximately 10,360 students in Nassau County, according to the 2013 Official Catholic Directory. Most of these schools are parish-based.  Five are regional, that is, nearby parishes support a school together or are listed as sending their students to that school.  Each of the three "private" schools is unique.  The De La Salle School, Freeport, teaches only boys and only grades 5-8.  Holy Child Academy is an independent school with higher tuition.  The St. Martin de Porres school in Uniondale is somehow linked with neighboring parishes but controlled by the Marianist Province of Meribah.
As reported to the Directory, these elementary schools have the largest enrollment in Nassau County:  St. Agnes Cathedral, with 827 students; St. William the Abbot, 585; St. Aidan, 540; St. Anne, 540.  The approximate median enrollments are: Maria Regina, 400; Holy Family, 365; St. Joseph, 356. One parish school and one regional school reported enrollments under 230 when the OCD figures were collected.