Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World takes place on Saturday, December 7th, 2019 in the St. Boniface Gym immediately after the 5 pm Mass and tree lighting and blessing of the crèche.

This is a Parish run event where we have Christmas displays and treats from many countries.

Ways you can lend a helping hand:

  • Represent a country by coordinating a table at the event (we have 14 countries already!)
  • Performing a holiday dance or song representing your country
  • Helping to obtain or make raffle baskets and donations for the silent auction
  • Helping at the event like selling tickets for the 50/50 raffle
  • This year we are having a cookie swap booth so we are looking for bakers and people to help run that booth!
  • We need help setting up, during the event and cleaning up afterwards as well!
  • Bring your family & friends to start celebrating the Christmas Season in the most festive way!

For more information or to lend your support, please contact:
Email Belinda at bzbasaca@gmail.com or call/text 516-551-2788.

A Fun, Free, Parish-Run Event with:

Christmas Displays & Treats from Different Countries

Silent Auction & 50/50 Raffle

Live Entertainment & Christmas Carol Sing-Along

Photo Op with Special Mystery Visitors from the North Pole! 

Special Announcement, Child Victims Act

Diocese of Rockville Centre

OFFICE  OF  THE BISHOP

August 11, 2019

Dear  Brothers and Sisters  in Christ:

Our Church continues to suffer as a result of past sins of sexual abuse of minors. Victim survivors of abuse and their families also continue to carry the terrible effects of that abuse. We pray that the fire of the Holy Spirit may descend upon the Church to purify and sanctify her. It is also important that we are all aware of recent developments that will cause uncertainty and present serious challenges for us in the months and perhaps years ahead.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act  (CVA)  into  law  last  February.  The CVA suspends for one year any statute of limitations associated with  alleged  sexual  abuse of a minor. This law  will allow currently time-barred lawsuits to be brought against individuals as well as public and private institutions, regardless of how many years or even decades ago the abuse may have taken place.

When the one-year window to file lawsuits opens on August 14, 2019, hundreds, if not thousands of  lawsuits are expected to be filed across New York State against dioceses, parishes, municipalities, public schools, hospitals and a broad range of not-for-profit charitable organizations, both religious and non­religious. The financial impact of this law may  be far reaching.

However, if we are people of the Paschal Mystery,  we enter the unknown with what we do know –  that  the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ will sustain and strengthen us in the days ahead. The power of the Resurrection overcomes despair.

No doubt, we will hear about many past failures. We will again hear the heart wrenching stories of victim survivors. I have personally met with survivors of abuse, their families, friends and loved ones.  I have listened at a deep level to their stories of tragedy, betrayal, trauma and their heroic efforts to engage in the process of healing. Their lifelong wounds of trauma run so deep, that only the warmth  of the Holy Spirit  can begin to touch, relieve and heal  them. Together, we pray that the fire of the Holy  Spirit brings the light of true repentance and reform, moving the Church to continue listening and  responding with the humility and compassion of Jesus Christ.

It is also important that we be aware of what is already happening and has been happening for many years in our Diocese as to the extraordinary work that goes into child protection. First, the Diocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Young People was established in 2003. Many years of hard work have made this office one which puts the safety and well-being of children first, and seeks to reach out to and support victim survivors of abuse. It works to ensure the screening and training of every person who works in or volunteers for the Church. If you are an employee or a volunteer in your parish, you know about background checks, VIRTUS training and the call for every member of the Church to be vigilant in protecting children.

For years, we have worked closely with law enforcement whenever an allegation of abuse is made against a member of the clergy, an employee or volunteer in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Our confidential hotline (516-594-9063) is closely monitored, and calls made to it are returned within 24 hours by a licensed mental health professional. Allegations of abuse are promptly reported to the appropriate district attorney’s office and are thoroughly investigated. In addition, pastoral care and mental health support is offered to any abuse survivor who needs assistance.

These are just a few of the reforms, efforts and safeguards that have been in place since 2002 in our Diocese, and have made the Church on Long Island a truly safe environment. And we do not rest there. We continually work to discern the best ways to adjust and enhance our child protection practices, to raise consciousness in the Church and society about vigilance and to support survivors of abuse.

In 2017, we initiated our Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) to provide a confidential mechanism for survivors to receive compensation and some measure of healing and justice. We intend to continue this program for the foreseeable future, even after the CVA takes effect, so survivors can, if they wish, be heard in a fair, respectful, confidential and timely  way.  To date, 370 people have filed claims with our IRCP. The vast majority of claimants—277 to be exact – have accepted compensation totaling just over $50 million, with 75-80 claims still being processed.

We have worked diligently with our financial and legal advisors to assess our financial position and maximize the availability of insurance coverage to meet the demands that will likely be imposed by anticipated CVA litigation. Please also know that parish collections and financial donations made through the Catholic Ministries Appeal will continue to be used, consistent with our commitment to our parishioners, to support the Diocese, and its ministries and pursue the goals of the Catholic Ministry Appeal. The parish offertory and Catholic Ministry Appeal funds have not and will not be used to resolve claims for clergy sexual abuse.

The work of the Church – of administering the Sacraments, of teaching, healing, advocating, serving, and ministering to the poor and vulnerable – can and must continue, despite the sins of the past. I speak in greater detail about all of this, and about the Diocese’s robust safe environment practices and commitment to them, in a Catholic Faith Network (CFN) special video which you can view on CFN television, the Diocesan website (www.drvc.org) and on Diocese of Rockville Centre social media platforms.

The coming months will require perseverance and prayer if we are to  emerge  even  more  dedicated  to Christ’s saving mission. As the opening of the CVA window takes place near the Solemnity of  the  Assumption of the Blessed Virgin,  we are reminded  to tum  to Mary  our  Mother  and  draw  courage  from the one who did not look away from her suffering  Son.  She  waited  patiently,  suffered  with  Him,  and shared  in His victory over sin and  death.

This is the same Mary who, as Mother of the Church, gathered with the Apostles in the locked room, waiting for the power of the Holy Spirit to descend at Pentecost. As we enter a time of Paschal Mystery suffering, may Mary guide us, so that together we may continue to carry out the mission of her Son: the building up of the Kingdom of God throughout Long Island and the world.

Sincerely in Christ,

John O. Barres

Most Reverend John O. Barres

Bishop of Rockville Centre

PO Box 9023, Rockville Centre, NY 11571-0023

Bishopsoffice@drvc.org; 516-678-5800

Holy Thursday

April 18: Holy Thursday

9 am Morning Prayer
7:30 pm Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Adoration at Repository until 10:30 pm
Concludes with 10:30 pm Night Prayer

Youth Group Stations of the Cross

Come and experience our Youth Group’s Presentation of the LIVE Stations of the Cross Palm Sunday April 14th 4:30pm in the church.

Bring family and friends! It’s a wonderful way to take time, reflect, & to be with the Lord during this Lenten season

Baptism

Fr. Kevin Dillon is the Pastor of St. Boniface Martyr Parish, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY.

Today marks the close of the Christmas Season and by now most people have removed their Christmas decorations and packed them away for another year.  Gifts have been unwrapped and either used, worn or exchanged and we have settled back into our daily routines.  If we stop and think about it, most of life encompasses daily routines of either work or school.  This is not necessarily a bad thing because it gives us stability and grounding.  The festivities and business of December gives us a much needed break from the ordinary, but now we settle back into routine and rhythm which enables us to continue living out our baptismal calling or vocation, whether it be as a spouse, child or parent.  This feast we celebrate today, not only marks the day Jesus was baptized, but recalls the day of our own baptism.  We know Baptism is the remission of Original Sin; however, this sacrament also gives us mission or calling.  On more than one occasion I have been asked why Jesus was baptized.  Hopefully this article will shed some light on this frequently asked question.  

Why was Jesus baptized?  Today the Church recalls Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan River, and people have often asked, “If Jesus was without sin, why did HE need to be baptized?  The simple and straightforward answer to this question is He did not have or need to be baptized.  Jesus chose to be baptized.  Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry was about to embark on His great work and proclaim the Kingdom.  Baptism in essence confirms Jesus’ mission and identity; we hear the words of the Father coming from the heavens at Jesus’ baptism “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.”  Jesus baptism also shows us that though He is without sin, He chooses to identify with sinners.  That should give us and all Christians great hope and comfort, because we are all sinners.

Just as Jesus’ baptism gives him mission to begin the Father’s plan for salvation, (Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection) so, too, does our own baptism.

At Baptism we were anointed with holy chrism, which sets us apart or marks us for mission in the Church. 

We all are called to service in the Church and ultimately to the world to make the Kingdom present here and now through acts of sacrifice and service.  In essence our Baptism calls us to be like Christ to others through acts of service, charity and sacrifice.  This is often referred to as the common priesthood.  In Baptism we all share in the common priesthood of Jesus Christ.

How we do that varies.  The vast majority of folks are called to the married life in which they share in God’s great capacity to love.  This is accomplished through devoting themselves totally to the other’s happiness and more often than not requires dying to one’s own wants and desires for the good of the other.  The vast majority of married couples have children which require more service and sacrifice for their good, and makes present in a tangible way what Christ does for us.

While all Catholics share the common priesthood of Jesus, some are called to share in the Ordained Priesthood, i.e. priest or deacon.  These men are ordained for public service in the Church to make Christ present through the celebration of the sacraments and putting their lives at the service of the Church.

Single people also share in the common priesthood of Christ.  These individuals for one reason or another choose not to marry and lead chaste lives.  In not having a spouse or children these people can devote more time in service and sacrifice to the wider community and doing so the play their role in making the Kingdom present as well.

Each one of us is given a task or mission from God and a role to play in our Church, may we be faithful to the work God has called each one of us too and pray for the grace and perseverance to live out our Baptismal calling with faithfulness. 

— Fr. Kevin

St. Boniface and the Christmas Tree

Fr. Kevin Dillon is the Pastor of St. Boniface Martyr Parish, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY.

Traditionally this weekend is known as Gaudete Sunday or in English, Joy Sunday. We are halfway through Advent and we light the Pink Candle on the Advent Wreath to signify Christmas is almost here. Many people decorate and put their Christmas Trees up this weekend, and so in honor of that I thought you might find the following article I read interesting, particularly since it relates to our beloved Patron, Boniface!

One of our stain glass windows in Church depicts our Patron, Boniface, chopping down a  great and might oak tree in the forest. We know St. Boniface was of English origins by birth and
traveled to Germany to evangelize and spread Christianity to the German people. Despite the fact that Boniface is seen chopping down a tree, the legend of the Christmas tree was born. We know that legends are not true; however, we can sometimes learn something from them and apply it to a larger truth.

Someone from the parish shared the following article with me and I
thought it was appropriate to share with you for
two reasons. The Christmas tree is a popular
sight in contemporary culture; we adorn our
homes and marketplaces with them; in fact, we
even have them in Church and St. Boniface is
credited with Christianizing this Christmas
symbol.


What Christmas celebration would be complete
without the glittering fir filling our homes with
light and warmth? Whence the custom of the
Christmas tree? Pine fir trees were certainly not
found in Oriental Bethlehem when Jesus was
born. Rather Palm Trees grow in that area of the
world. Why then don’t Palm Trees adorn our
living rooms and malls at this time of year? One
can even go as far as to ask is it even Christian?

Indeed, that majestic fir in our living rooms
has an ancient wonderful history.
Though the custom began pagan, it was
“baptized” and adopted by the wisdom of the
great St. Boniface!  One of the pagan gods
was a great oak tree, called Thunder Oak in honor of the god Thor.

Every winter locals would offer sacrifice to Thor
under the oak tree. The sacrifice was a young
child, certainly barbaric and Boniface bravely
did away with this custom by chopping down
the oak tree. Legend has it that a strong gust of
wind toppled the oak tree before Boniface
finished cutting it down and the locals were so
impressed that the “god” did not strike down
Boniface that they accepted Christianity.

As the giant oak collapsed, standing there was a
small fir tree that somehow escaped destruction.
Pointing to it the holy man Boniface said, “This
little tree, a young child of the forest shall be
your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace; it
is the sign of endless life; for its leaves are
evergreen. See how it points upward to the
heavens. Let this be called the tree of the Christ
child. Gather around it not in the forests but in
your own homes; there it will shelter no deeds
of blood but loving gifts and rites of
kindness.” (The Legend of the Christmas Tree,
by Andrea Phillips)

Thus using strength and tact, Saint Boniface did
away with an idol and made it a holy and
Christian symbol. As you gather around your
Christmas trees this year, share its holy origins
with your children relatives and friends so they
may not only love its lights, colors and
ornaments, but also the rich Catholic heritage
that is theirs.


-Fr. Kevin

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Friday, December 7, 5:30 PM Vigil Mass

Saturday, December 8, 8 AM and 10:30 AM

6 pm:  Tree lighting ceremony and Creche blessing immediately after Mass, followed by Christmas Around the World. 

Statement on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

The sexual abuse of any human being—and particularly the sexual abuse of children—is a terrible sin and a crime.  It should not happen anywhere, and it most particularly should not happen in the Catholic Church.  The fact that it did—and on such a significant scale—is disgraceful and the Bishop is committed to removing any remaining abusers and keeping out future ones.

Although it does not excuse the crimes, sins and failures of the past, since 2002, the dioceses of Pennsylvania and elsewhere have put into place programs to prevent the abuse of children and make sure that cases of abuse are properly reported.  Bishop Barres became bishop of Allentown in July 2009. 

In 2002, years before Bishop Barres became bishop, Allentown opened up its files on abusers to the local district attorneys and subsequently all reports of abuse were forwarded to law enforcement. The documents given to the Pennsylvania attorney general in 2016 thus had largely been reviewed by local prosecutors over a decade previously.  During Bishop Barres time in Allentown, abusers were removed from office and all reports of abuse were sent on to the appropriate prosecutors.

The 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report contains certain statements concerning how Bishop Barres and the Diocese handled the case of a priest removed from ministry named Michael Lawrence.  The Report is materially incorrect on these points, and a summary discussing the errors follows at the end of this statement.

          Bishop Barres has spent many years talking to and counselling the survivors of abuse (including the survivors of abuse elsewhere in society who should not be forgotten) and is aware of how devastating it can be to survivors and their families.  The independent reconciliation and compensation program of the Diocese of Rockville Centre (modelled after Cardinal Dolan’s example in the Archdiocese of New York) is designed to help survivors of abuse in their recovery processes.

Errors in the Report Regarding Michael Lawrence.

          At pages 60-61 of the Report certain statements are made concerning how Bishop Barres handled the case of Michael Lawrence.  Unfortunately there are errors in that recitation—which can be seen when the attached letter from Bishop Barres to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (“CDF”) is read.

1.      Bishop Barres and the Diocese of Allentown informed the Holy See of all relevant facts about Lawrence

The Report says that it appears that Bishop Barres never told the CDF about Lawrence’s first accuser.   It misreads the very letter it cites.

Lawrence was removed from ministry long before Bishop Barres arrived in Allentown, and had been sent to live in a secure and carefully monitored rural facility for sex offenders.  The Diocese of Allentown sought to have Lawrence removed from the clerical state by the Holy See, and sent a report on his conduct to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the “CDF”), which is the appropriate congregation in Rome.  That report was supplemented by additional material when a second victim also reported abuse.

The letter cited in the Report is reproduced on pages 63-64 of the Report.  As can be seen can see, the very first paragraph of the letter makes clear that there had been prior allegations that had previously been discussed.  It refers to “the more recent allegations made against” Lawrence (hence necessarily implying that there were prior allegations).  The second paragraph then refers to the “additional accusations which were made against him and communicated to the [CDF] on 22 September 2011,” and then refers to a 2008 psychological report on Lawrence and explicitly notes that the psychological report was made “three years before the new allegation was reported.”

In other words, the letter is just one part of the of correspondence between the Diocese of Allentown and the CDF; the entire situation was set forth in the earlier correspondence, and this final letter both refers to the prior correspondence and shows that Rome had been told about both victims.

2.     Lawrence was removed from ministry.  He ultimately was not removed from the clerical state to ensure he would stay in a secured facility far from children.

Some have read the Report to suggest that Lawrence remained in ministry.  That is incorrect.  He had been removed from ministry long before Bishop Barres came to Allentown and was kept in a secure facility for sex abusers.  Initially Bishop Barres asked the Holy See to remove Lawrence from the “clerical state.” (What is sometimes called being “defrocked”).  However, as the letter itself notes, Bishop Barres and the Diocese decided to withdraw that application because they were concerned that if Lawrence was removed from the clerical state he would decide to leave the secure facility and rejoin society.  As the letter shows, Bishop Barres concluded that it was better for Lawrence to continue in this “supervised’ way of life” at the secure facility rather than to have him re-enter society. Lawrence died a few months later.

Bishop Barres stands by this decision.  Although he did not know Lawrence personally, his advisors who knew Lawrence unanimously thought Lawrence might present a danger to children if he was not kept at the secure facility and all therefore concluded that keeping him at the secure facility was the highest priority.

3.      Bishop Barres is in the process of requesting the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office correct its report on these subjects.

www.DRVC.org 

Bishop Barres Visit 5June2018

Bishop John Barres celebrated Mass with us for St. Boniface’s Feastday, June 5, 2018.

Fr. Mike Torpey 50th Anniversary and Memories

Fr. Mike Torpey, our Pastor from 1989 to 2007 celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his ordination with us on June 3, 2018.