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, October 20, 2015

John J. O'Malley, architect

In my visits to parishes, I have seldom encountered a sign or plaque giving the name of the architect who designed the church.  Fortunately, the Brooklyn Tablet has now run an article about the prolific architect John J. O'Malley, 1915-1970.  Please see the article HERE.  The occasion was his 100th birthday, with Mr. O'Malley's descendants visiting Cathedral College in Douglaston, which he designed.
Much of Mr. O'Malley's work is evident in circular churches and chapels in Queens.  A Wikipedia article lists his extensive accomplishments, including apparently some renovations or extensions. It appears that his brand-new churches (contrasted with renovations) date from 1950 until his death in 1970.  Archbishop Molloy died in 1956, and the following year the Diocese of Rockville Centre was established with Walter Kellenberg appointed first bishop.
Many thanks to The Tablet and the O'Malley family for publicizing his life and work!
According to the Wikipedia article, he designed the following churches in Nassau and Suffolk counties:
St. Aidan, Williston Park, Nassau County.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a circular church in Centereach, Suffolk County.
Our Lady of Lourdes, West Islip, Suffolk County.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Three new monsignori and fuschia sashes

The Most Reverend William Francis Murphy has announced that three priests of the diocese of Rockville Centre have been named Monsignori, with the rank of Chaplain to His Holiness.  Please see the Long Island Catholic article linked HERE.
Wikipedia has a worthwhile article about the title of Monsignor.
The three new monsignori are Msgr. Robert Hayden, pastor of the parish of St. William the Abbot, Seaford, Msgr. William Gomes, pastor of the parish of St. Boniface, Elmont, and Msgr. Peter Dooley, pastor of the parish of St. Philip Neri, Northport.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Recessional hymn at Pope's Mass at MSG

It is 7:40 p.m. on September 25, 2015, and Mass has been celebrated with Pope Francis at Madison Square Garden.  Allow me to point out a special quality of the recessional hymn, "Now thank we all our God." 
Martin Rinkart, a clergyman who followed Martin Luther, wrote this hymn about 1636 despite having suffered a fearful number of deaths among his companions, fellow citizens, and family. He wrote "Nun danket alle Gott" is heartfelt thanksgiving for God's good gifts.  Please see this context in this Wikipedia article.
Another article, linked HERE, describes the Biblical motivation for the hymn, following Ecclesiasticus 50:22-24.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Nassau numbers from 2015 Directory

The 2015 Official Catholic Directory, recently available, includes statistics probably collected in 2014 or earlier.  My computations could be wrong, but it would seem that the 27 Catholic elementary schools in Nassau County had a total enrollment about 9,797, plus whatever the enrollment at Notre Dame, New Hyde Park, is.  Whether some schools included pre-kindergarten students in the count is unclear.    St. Agnes, Rockville Centre, reported the highest enrollment, 753 students.  St. William the Abbot, Seaford, reported 569, but that was the same number reported last year.  St. Anne 530, St. Aidan 518.
The median group of the 27 Nassau County Catholic schools would seem to be Our Lady of Victory, Floral Park, 365, St. Elisabeth Ann Seton, Bellmore,  356, and St. Joseph, Garden City, 356.  With lower enrollments are Our Lady of Lourdes, Malverne, 263, and All Saints Regional, Glen Cove, 195.
The site elementaryschools.org lists grade-by-grade enrollment without giving a date of the statistics.  However, an analysis of that site shows how Pre-Kindergarten enrollment at some parishes can skew the total.  
The approximately 66 parishes in Nassau County have religious education programs which instructed about 43,208 youngsters, plus whatever the enrollments at Notre Dame and St. Anthony (Oceanside) are.  The highest enrollments seems to have been at St. Rose of Lima, 2,695 students, Maria Regina 1,800, and St. Frances de Chantal 1,633. The median group would seem to hover around the 570's, St. Ignatius Martyr, Long Beach, Our Lady of Mercy, Hicksville, and St. Boniface Martyr, Sea Cliff.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DRVC numbers from 2014

The 2015 Official Catholic Directory, published recently, includes statistics probably collected in 2014 or earlier.  Below are some sample statistics for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  In some cases, the numbers may be rather stale. particularly where the number is exactly the same annually.  I have omitted some numbers that seem wildly inaccurate. 
Sisters in the diocese: 980, down 46 from last year.
Brothers in the diocese: 67.
Permanent deacons in diocese: 292 up from 275 in 2013.
Diocesan priests: 207 active in the diocese, 11 outside the diocese. Number retired, sick, or absent: 92.
Extern priests 89. In 2002 was 51; (2014) 89.
Parishes in the diocese: 134.
Catholic elementary schools in the diocese: 47.
Students in Catholic elementary schools: 17,202.  Was 20,042 in 2011.
Infant Baptisms: 14,210.  Was 15,211 in 2013.
Adult Baptisms: 798.
Received into full communion: 799.
First Communions: 15,451.  Was 16,722 in 2013.  
Marriages: 3,188. Was 3,203 in 2013.  Catholic marriages: 2,639.  Interfaith marriages: 549.
Deaths: 9,981.  Was 10,370 in 2013.
For earlier years, please see this report.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Catholic HS entrance exam Oct. 31, 2015.

Regarding entrance to a Catholic high school in Nassau or Suffolk County, New York, the dates 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 the number of seats available in the seven high schools. 
The 2015 edition of the Official Catholic Directory gives these enrollment figures:
St. Domnic High School, Oyster Bay, 465 students.
Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Syosset, 486 girls.
St. Mary High School, Manhasset, 620 students.
Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, 825 girls.
Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville, 1,145 students.
Chaminade High School, Mineola, 1,700 boys.
Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale, 2,600 students.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre

This view of St. Agnes Cathedral greets a person who arrives in Rockville Centre, Long Island, by train. To the left of the church is the rectory and the bishop's residence.
The parish address is 29 Quealy Place, Rockville Centre, NY 11570, telephone 516-766-0205. The parish website is here.  Please check the parish website for photos of the renovation of the interior of the church.  

Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

Would anyone comment on the saints depicted here on the new baldachin?  On the left, I can identify Thomas More and John Vianney.  On the right, the pope seems to be Pope Pius X. Sister Faustina Kowalska appears low on the right rear column.

At the left is St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, in the center Mother Seton.  Who's on the right? In dim light I could not read the pedestal.

The above photo was taken in 2012 or earlier.  
The A.I.A. Architectural Guide to Nassau and Suffolk Counties (Dover Publ., Mineola, 1992) describes the cathedral as of Norman-Gothic style, of limestone-trimmed buff brick with a single cross-crowned tower.  In 1887, the first Mass was offered in Rockville Centre in a blacksmith's shop on Centre Avenue.  An anvil from that shop is said to be in the cathedral, but I have not found it.

Above is the bishop's residence. 

Within the same block, the elementary school is at 70 Clinton Avenue, Rockville Centre NY 11570, telephone 516-678-5550. Its website is linked here.  With about 845 students, it is the largest elementary school in the diocese.

This large hall between the church and school has similar porticoes, east and west. The cornerstone reads 2004.  One of its purposes is to provide space for catered events, for example, a reception after a Mass celebrating the jubilees of religious, which we attended here in 2012.

The diocesan office building is a few blocks away, at 50 North Park Avenue, between Sunrise Highway (NY 27) and the railroad station.  The above view of  its west side shows how it began with an older building (maybe a former bank), where the flag is, at the corner of Sunrise Highway and North Park Avenue.  The addition, with a tall cross facing the railroad, is sheathed in a green similar to that of The Long Island Catholic website.  This page might explain some of the diocesan offices.  I was about to use the word Chancery to describe the above building, but it appears that the Chancery is only part of the organizational structure.