Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

Pledging for those who nurtured our faith

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Every year, when the Stewardship Appeal comes around, in whatever name, I am reminded of my old friend, Msgr. Francis Costello, who was for many years a pastor here in the archdiocese.

Back in the 1980s, some smart person had the notion of combining the collection for retired religious men and women with the Cardinal’s Appeal, as it was called then, highlighting the work these people had done. Well, the appeal was a great success.

Msgr. Costello understood why. “You know,” he said to me, “I couldn’t for the life of me tell you the name of the priest who gave me my first Holy Communion. I am not sure which bishop confirmed me. However, I can tell you the names of the sisters who prepared me for those sacraments and, in fact, the name of every sister who ever taught me.” He then proceeded to demonstrate that he did indeed remember them all and the grade year they taught.

I was happy to hear on Sunday in the Cathedral that our gifts to this year’s appeal will help support  religious sisters and brothers who have worked long beyond the time when most people retire and now need care themselves.

By the way, when you give to  the Stewardship Appeal, you also support the mission of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office, which trains the parish catechetical leaders and catechists who carry in the great tradition of those selfless religious sisters and brothers, who worked for little or no remuneration.

When you make your pledge this year, see if you can remember who prepared you for the sacraments and enriched your understanding of your God-given faith. I have a feeling that like my old friend, Msgr. Costello, you will be able to reel off all their names.


A special day for Catholics who teach in public schools

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Those of us involved with handing on the Faith in parishes or in the Catholic schools have many opportunities for the spiritual renewal that is so important to the success of our ministry.

However, there are other Catholic educators, teachers and administrators in public schools, who are equally deserving of a day to recharge their spiritual batteries and be recognized for the witness they bear day after day, week after week. They preach the Gospel, not by words, but by their example, by their diligence, and by their care for their students.

So on Saturday, Jan. 28, the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office will sponsor a Liturgy and Breakfast especially for Catholics who teach in public schools. It will take place at the Riverview, which overlooks the Hudson River in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. The doors will open at 9:30 a.m. Bishop Dominick Lagonegro will celebrate Mass at 10 o’clock.  Our guest speaker this is Sr. Peggy Murphy, O.P. a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, N.Y.

Sr. Peggy, who holds a doctor of ministry degree in pastoral theology from Drew University School of Theology, currently is a professor of religious studies at Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., where she also has served as a division chair. An educator and counselor, she is additionally a gifted musician, and expert on Celtic spirituality. She has appeared on television with Regis Philbin and in the Broadway production of “Nunsense.” Sr. Peggy is the recipient of countless awards, including several as a woman of achievement, which she certainly is. At heart, however, she is an educator.

The suggested fee is $20 per person. Many of our guests at this annual event tell us we should charge more but we want to keep it within the reach of everyone.

If you are a Catholic teaching in the public schools, you are cordially invited to join us. Or perhaps you have a friend or relative who is. Why not come and invite that teacher to join you?  You’ll meet lots of other like-minded men and women with whom you can share experiences, dreams and even your professional frustrations.

Just contact Helen Doon at the Catechetical Office by Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the latest. You can reach her at 212-371-1011, Ext. 2822 or e-mail She’ll be happy to take your reservations and answer your questions.

See you there.

A Catechetical Valentine

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Michael Molinaro, coordinator of religious education at St. Mary’s in Poughkeepsie for the past 19 years, gets my catechetical Valentine this year. Here’s why.

If you were to survey the religious education programs in the parish of the Archdiocese of New York, the chances are very good that the most successful are also the friendliest.

So many times, hospitality on the part of the parish and the director or coordinator of religious education can make the difference between a program where children are just dropped off and picked with little parent involvement AND a vibrant program where everyone is participating enthusiastically – children, parents, siblings, grandparents and all.

At St. Mary’s, the wonderful pastor, Msgr. John Brinn, and Michael Molinaro always have the “Welcome” mat out. As a result, this old city parish has been able to develop and nurture a multi-cultural catechetical program that begins with hospitality and goes on to share the faith. The family catechesis experiences Michael offers twice a year are not just multicultural, but multi-generational, too. Read about Michael’s methods here.

By the way, there are more parish directors and coordinators of religious education like Michael Molinaro. Each brings a special reverence for the ministry of catechesis, along with graciousness, knowledge, and many leadership gifts to the parish catechetical program. I’ll tell you about more of these people as the year progresses.

Another Valentine’s note: this Tuesday, Feb. 9, Sr. Marie Pappas, CR, host of the Catholic Channel’s “Pathways of Learning” will be talking about this feast and its origins with the Girl Guides to Catholicism (better known as Anne Malloy, director of the New York Catholic Bible School, and yours truly). Tune at 1:00 pm to Sirius XM satellite radio: Channel 159 on Sirius, 117 on XM.