A Note from Fr. George
In these past few days God has blessed us with particularly beautiful autumn weather. It must be time for our annual Seasons of Creation celebration with its connection to the feast of St. Francis. I hope you join me in continually giving our Creator thanks for the beauty of this world. In gratitude, let’s do our best to be good stewards of the earth, using its resources to care for one another today and for generations to come. Here at the parish, a member of our local Scout troop, Kiron Khundkar, made an enclosure for our composter and an herb garden bed for his Eagle Scout project. Without the work of Kiron, our composting and gardening would have been at the mercy of our local rat population. It’s been too long coming, but now we are finally composting in the parish, and fertilizing our green spaces and our new herb garden with our food scraps and yard clippings. We have also applied (some months ago now) for curbside compost pick up through the New York City Department of Sanitation, although we are still waiting for the city to process our application. Please consider joining the parish by composting in your own homes or finding out how you can get involved with the composting programs in our city by going to:
On September 28th Fr. D’Angelo was incardinated into the Archdiocese of New York. That means he has officially and spiritually joined our local Catholic community. InCARDination and CARDio come from the root word in Latin for “heart”. It means Fr. D’Angelo is now in the heart of the Church in New York. His journey to God is now inextricably tied to us. Up until now, the faithful of New York, represented and guided by our shepherd, Cardinal Dolan, were not obliged to permit Fr. D’Angelo to serve here. Neither was Fr. D’Angelo obliged to be with us. St. Augustine is famous for saying “Love and then do as you will”. This might be misinterpreted to mean that as long as you love, then you may do anything. But this is the exact opposite meaning of what Augustine intended. If I have someone in my heart, truly, then what I will is for their good. My love obliges me. With Fr. D’Angelo’s incardination, he has formally declared that the people of New York are in his heart, and Cardinal Dolan, speaking for all of us, declared that he is in our hearts. Now Fr. D’Angelo is obliged to serve us, under the obedience of the Archbishop of New York, and we are obliged to accept and care for him as our priest.
Finally, an update on our new neighbors seeking asylum. On September 19th Holy Name – St. Gregory the Great hosted eighteen of our newest parishioners for an evening of prayer, information, listening and fellowship. Over twenty of our parishioners welcomed them. I am so grateful to the folks who provided our new neighbors a hot, home-cooked meal, distributed clothing and toiletries, and listened to their stories and needs. We were joined by folks from Ascension parish and also Fr. Julian Aguidillo, OFM with the members of the Migrant Center of New York: A Franciscan Ministry, who provided important legal information and resources to those seeking asylum. Fr. Julian’s crew also provided backpacks and school supplies for the kids.
We learned that, while most of our new neighbors come from Venezuela, there are also folks from Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. The folks who joined came as families with small children. They repeatedly shared that their greatest need is getting working papers and then getting to work. Here are some ways we can help our new neighbors get on their feet and settled in a new home.
- Drop off $31 MetroCards to the parish (10 fares and the $1 activation for a new card) in the collection or to the office.
- Drop of $30 MasterCard or Visa gift cards that will be used so our neighbors can wash their clothes at a laundromat (two of the closest laundromats to the shelters accept credit cards)
- Drop off gently used clothing donations for men, women, and children to our Thrift Store. Good walking shoes and sneakers are in high demand. Good winter coats will also be needed.
- Drop off to the Thrift Store new packages of socks and underwear of various sizes for men, women, and children.
- Give to this weekend’s second collection: half will be used for Hurricane Fiona relief in Puerto Rico, and half will go towards outreach to our new neighbors seeking asylum.
Finally, if you speak Spanish, would you consider calling or emailing the office to receive the name and contact information of one of our families seeking asylum? Our new neighbors could use a friendly voice and face that could provide a word of welcome, prayers, and some basic information about the neighborhood and about the parish. Please know that, if you do this, you would be under no financial or legal obligation. You would not be expected to provide any money or legal advice.