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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nassau numbers from 2013

The 2014 Official Catholic Directory, recently available, includes statistics probably collected in 2013 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 10,126, 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, 827 students, but that same number has been reported for a few years in a row, an unlikely event.  St. William reported 569, St. Anne 540, St. Aidan 529.
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 43,295 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, 2,650 students, Maria Regina 2,010.

Friday, August 29, 2014

DRVC numbers from 2013

The 2014 Official Catholic Directory, published recently, includes statistics probably collected in 2013 or earlier.  Below are some sample statistics for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, as given in the OCD's dated 2003, 2011, 2013, and 2014.  In each case, the numbers may be rather stale. I have omitted some numbers that seem wildly inaccurate.
Sisters in the diocese: 1,398;  1,080;  1,070; 1,026.
Brothers in the diocese: 89;  79;  77; 68.
Permanent deacons in diocese: 233;  273; (2013) 275. The count of permanent deacons is missing from the 2014 directory.
Diocesan priests: 391;  360;  345; 337.
Extern priests (2002) 51; (2014) 89.
Students in elementary religious education programs:  121,699;  110,440;  108,697; (2014) 108,697. Why is it the exact same number as 2013?
Students in Catholic elementary schools: (2011) 20,042; (2013) 17,797; (2014) 17,142.
Students in Catholic high schools: (2011) 12,576;  (2013) 12,155; (2014) 12,041.
Infant Baptisms: (2003) 20,983;  (2011) 16,079;  (2013) 15,211; (2014) 14,973.
First Communions: 20,397;  17,537;  16,722; 16,623.
Marriages, Catholic: 4,576;  2,813;  2,683; 2,687 (up 4).
Marriages, interfaith:  963;  589;  520; 535 (up 15).
Deaths: 13,119;  11,644;  10,370; 11,015.
Catholic population: (2013) 1,531,445; (2014) 1,467,211.
Total population: (2013) 3,504,737; (2014) 3,308,154. However, these numbers are much higher than those reported by other sources.
LIPA's January, 2011, population estimates were:
Nassau: 1,337,756.
Suffolk: 1,492,450
Total population of the diocese's two counties: 2,830,306.
The 2012 OCD  used the number 2,875,904 for the total population, close enough. However, the OCD 2013 and 2014 population numbers are about 460,000 too high! 
The U.S. Census bureau estimated the 2013 population of Nassau County as 1,342,156 and Suffolk County as 1,499,738, for a total Diocese of Rockville Centre population (both counties) of 2,841894.  
I cannot find 2013 or 2014 estimates from LIPA or PSEG, the power companies.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

St. Mary of the Isle, Long Beach

The parish of St. Mary of the Isle stands on the south side of East Park Avenue at Monroe Boulevard, Long Beach, New York, three blocks east of the Long Beach railroad station and the city center.  This view shows the church, the parish center to the right, and the rectory at 315 East Walnut Street, Long Beach, NY 11561, telephone 516-432-0157.  The parish website is liked here.
Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

Founded in 1918, this parish is the oldest of the three parishes on the barrier reef that runs ten miles from Point Lookout on the east to Silver Point on the west.  St. Mary of the Isle sponsors Long Beach Catholic Regional School.
The above photo was taken in 2012, before the hurricane Sandy damaged many buildings in Long Beach.  The photo below was taken in 2014, after repairs.

Photos of a Mass on the beach and many more items of interest are on the parish Facebook page, linked here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

St. Martin of Tours, Bethpage

Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

The parish of St. Martin of Tours is located at 220 Central Avenue, Bethpage NY 11714, telephone 516-931-0808.  The parish website is linked here.  The church, rectory, and other parish buildings are within the triangle created by Broadway, Central Avenue, and Seaman Avenue.  The location is three blocks southeast of the Bethpage train station.
An informative history of the parish is at this link.  Diocesan priests served the parish from 1924 until 1986, when they were replaced by Redemptorists of the province of Baltimore, which is headquartered in Bay Ridge!

Above is the religious education center, built as an elementary school in 1955, and the church, on busy Central Avenue.  

A wedding was being celebrated the Friday afternoon the above 2011 photo was taken on Central Avenue. 
Within seven miles of each other are two parishes whose patron is St. Martin of Tours.  In Amityville, Suffolk County, the parish of St. Martin of Tours was founded in 1898.  This parish in Bethpage, Nassau County, was established in 1923.  
Born in 316 in what is now Hungary, Martin moved around with his father, an officer in the Roman Army.  Martin became a Christian, and he was the third bishop of Tours, France, from 371 to 397.  His successor was the renowned St. Brice.

Friday, July 18, 2014

St. Christopher, Baldwin

The Mass schedule on the sign is for July and August, 2014. Please check the parish website linked here for changes in the Mass schedule. The convent chapel is on the west side of Pershing Blvd.  Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

The postal address of St. Christopher parish, Baldwin, is 11 Gale Avenue, Baldwin NY 11510, telephone 516-223-0723. 

The postal address of St. Christopher School is 15 Pershing Blvd, Baldwin NY 11510, telephone 516-223-4404.  The school's website is linked here.
The photos above show the school and the church next to each other on the north side of Merrick Road in Baldwin.  Pershing Boulevard is west of the school, and Gale Place is east of the church. In front of the church, the N4 bus provides frequent service between Jamaica and Freeport.
The bishop of Brooklyn established St. Christopher's parish in 1915, after the foundation of St. Agnes, Rockville Centre, and Holy Redeemer, Freeport.  The south portion of the school has a cornerstone dated 1924.  The present church was built in 1959.  A few years later, twelve more classrooms were added to the school.

Recall that Merrick Road was the principal route along the south shore before the construction of Sunrise Highway in the 1920's.  A history page on the school website (linked here) recounts that Bishop Charles McDonnell was already an avid motorist in 1912-1915 and therefore selected the name the Shrine Church of St. Christopher. Because of the famous legend, St. Christopher was already the Patron of Travelers.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Clergy appointments, effective 6.25.2014, new list 7.14.2014

The Long Island Catholic website lists several changes of pastors, the appointments effective June 25, 2014.
The following Nassau County parishes will get new pastors:
Our Lady of Loreto, Hempstead.
Our Lady of Peace, Lynbrook.
Our Lady of Victory, Floral Park.
St. Edward the Confessor, Syosset.
St. Kilian, Farmingdale.
The Idente Fathers will serve Our Lady of Loretto, Hempstead.  This congregation administers a cluster of three parishes in The Bronx (St. Dominic, Our Lady of Solace, and Sta. Maria).
Many more changes are listed on the Long Island Catholic website (same effective date) published July 14, 2014.
Link: Here.

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.)