Thursday, August 14, 2014

NY Observer piece on the Daily Traditional Mass at Holy Innocents and the Possibility that the Church of the Holy Innocents will be Consolidated

To express your valid worries and concerns to His Eminence, Cardinal Dolan, please write him: (1011 First Avenue, New York NY, 10022) or go here:

The NY Observer has written an article on the ONLY daily traditional Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents (which, as many already know, has been recommended for closure to the Archdiocese of NY).

Cardinal Dolan will make the final decision sometime in September. Let us hope that he will hear the worries, fears, and concerns of the parishioners of this very active and vibrant community of faith that Holy Innocents really is:

Don't miss clicking on the link given in the article about Making All Things New because it has comments (mine included) left on the Archdiocese's website (section with the Cardinal's own psots):

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Holy Innocents Church Prays for the Christians in Iraq

The very active and vibrant community of faith at the Church of the Holy Innocents has parishioners who decided to organize a "Rally for Peace" in order to pray in solidarity for the Christians who are persecuted, murdered, martyred, and expelled from their very homes in the Iraq and Syria by violent and murderous people.
Many of these people who decided to attend this rally also decided to attend the 6PM Mass at Holy Innocents beforehand. This moved a lot of people and brought many more to the 6pm traditional Mass that takes place daily at Holy Innocents. There were 140 people in attendance for Mass, which was a good turnout as the reporter from NET (New Evangelization Television from the Diocese of Brooklyn) noted.
There were a couple of Priests, seminarians, and nuns in attendance! 
Below are pictures of the Mass and of the Rally for Peace.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Holy Innocents and Vocations

John Figueroa, a parishioner at Holy Innocents in NYC, has joined the Wyoming Carmelite Monks of the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There was a reception for him on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. Here is a short account of his desire to discern his vocation with the Carmelites in his own words, and the importance of the daily traditional Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents in this process. 
Praised be Jesus Christ!

It is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary that one receives the call to serve her Son as a Carmelite. For indeed the life of a Carmelite is nothing more than an imitation of Our Lady’s contemplative life. My discernment to Carmel began after completing my novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at the Carmelite Monastery of Brooklyn in July of 2013. Prior to making that novena would often assist at Holy Mass at the Brooklyn Carmel. I had been making visits there since entering the seminary for the Archdiocese of NY in 2012.

Divine Providence would have it that that Carmel would be a spiritual refuge for me filled with many graces and priceless friendships. I was able to witness the hidden life of deep prayer, penance, and genuine joy just by hearing the angelic voices from behind the iron grilles. The day after completing my novena Our Lady did not waste any time, she showed me the beauty of her “Garden” through the lives of some of her holy ones. The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne and St. Mary Elias of the Blessed Sacrament are some of the Carmelites that Our Lady inspired me with. But Our Lady would not stop there. That same day I came across a website that would change my life forever.  As soon as I clicked the link for the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, I felt interiorly as if this was Our Lady’s answer to my novena request. It certainly was since now at 32 years of age I find myself preparing to enter that Carmel!
It cannot go without saying however, how important Holy Innocents has been in discerning my vocation. It was in this very Parish that I would first encounter the Traditional Latin Mass; the Mass that has been so vital in forming my own spiritual life, the Mass that has become the cornerstone of my life. This parish continues to be a sanctifying oasis of prayer and devotion, where vocations to all states in life are born and nurtured; undoubtedly, mine was. Ave Maria!
Your devoted brother in Christ,
John Figueroa

Monday, July 21, 2014

Catholic photos

Carmelite Nun
Cistercian Prelates at Vatican II
Episcopal galero
White Biretta given to Pope John XXIII

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Blogger posts Comments on Voice of America & Holy Innocents

The link below has a post on the article/video that Voice of American did on the closing of churches in the Archdiocese of New York with a special focus on the Church of the Holy Innocents.

The blogger's comments are:

1) The closing of Holy Innocents is not official yet.
2) Priests could be found to say the Masses at Holy Innocents (this is already done daily and for Sunday Vespers)
3) Holy Innocents currently satisfies the spiritual needs of the people (Holy Mass, Confession, novenas, processions, prayers, Vespers, a monthly  all-night vigil, etc.)
4) Holy Innocents has no debts and pays its bills without having to have recourse to the Archdiocese for money
5) Holy Innocents is indeed a very vibrant community of faith.

In addition to that, I would add the following:

1) While it is not official that Holy Innocents will be closed, it is very factual to say that the Archdiocesan Advisory Group that recommended merging or closing churches to Cardinal Dolan thinks that Holy Innocents is not "an active, vibrant community of faith."

This we gather from a letter that Cardinal Dolan sent on July 3rd, 2014 to a concerned parishioner from Holy Innocents who had written him a letter to express her concern and surprise that a church like Holy Innocents would be considered for closure.

2) The Archdiocesan Advisory Group and the Reid Group (consultant group that led the Making All Things New process) had been provided with a Supplement of all the activities and the appropriate financial situation and the historical value and connections of Holy Innocents. For them and the Cardinal to claim that Holy Innocents is not "active" enough or not a "vibrant community of faith" is a little dishonest. One only has to type "Holy Innocents NYC" on Google and hundreds of posts, articles, videos, and photos of events at Holy Innocents will pop up.

3) Mr. Zwilling's comments are intentionally general and vague. While the Archdiocese may feel it does not have enough Priests and it helps many parishes financially, that is not the case with Holy Innocents and many of the churches in midtown Manhattan. The Churches of St, John the Baptist and St. Michael do not get financial help either. So, why are these churches being recommended for closure if the Archdiocese does not give them any money? Would it not make more sense to leave the churches that are financially solvent alone, and try to do something only with those parishes that are a financial burden to the Archdiocese?

At Holy Innocents, there are many Priests who willingly say the traditional Mass and some of them do not even want to take the stipend offered. Moreover, many of the younger Priests do want to say the traditional Mass in order to help the traditional Mass community because they see how neglected they are by the Archdiocese, but they are always afraid of being too open about it because the Archdiocese is always ready to pounce if a Priest expressed too much care and concern for the traditional Mass. So much so that the Archdiocese insists that the first Mass of the newly ordained Priests be a New Order Mass and that the newly ordained Priests kind of "must" have Concelebrants (this to make sure that it will not be a traditional Mass because there is basically no con-celebration in the traditional form of the Mass).

Voice of America: The Closing of Churches, the Shrinking of an Archdiocese, and the Possible End to the Daily Traditional Mass in NYC

Voice of America has an article (and interviews) about the Church of the Holy Innocents in midtown Manhattan where the traditional Mass is offered daily (the only parish in NYC where it is offered daily).

Manhattan’s Catholic Churches Face Consolidation, Possible Closures
Daniela Schrier


Some Catholic churches in Manhattan could be closed as the Archdiocese of New York implements a strategic plan to consolidate the churches. Shifting populations, limited resources and fewer priests are among the factors driving the consolidation. At one midtown church facing possible closure, parishioners pray for a miracle.

The Church of the Holy Innocents is the only church in Manhattan offering a high Latin Mass every day of the week. It is such a rarity that many travel across the New York metropolitan region for the daily 6:00 pm service.

Edward Hawkings makes the trek every day despite his disabilities, because the Mass inspires his soul.

“The Mass takes us to a different place. We concentrate at the Mass. It requires a great concentration. It lifts us up. It brings us to a different level, removes us from the world,” said Hawkings.

But this church, and others in Manhattan, are at risk. A program called "Making All Things New" by the Archdiocese of New York is evaluating the membership, ministry and fiscal solvency of the churches under its jurisdiction. Based on the results, some communities might see their churches closed as part of a consolidation.

The potential closure of Holy Innocents signals a larger problem to Thomas Basile, who has been coming to this church since he was a child.

“It seems to me almost like someone is intentionally dismantling the Catholic patrimony of this city. This is basically a Catholic city with a Catholic history," said Basile.

The parishioners in Manhattan once made up 25 percent of the Archdiocese's population, but now they account for only 12 percent. That and the dwindling number of Catholic priests are just two reasons why the Archdiocese has to make hard choices, said communications director Joseph Zwilling.

“Any kind of change is always difficult. We understand that it’s difficult especially for people in their parishes who love their churches, who love the way things are, who don’t want to see any change. And we understand that. But we also realize that if that church is going to effectively meet the needs of the people, it has to meet the needs of the people as they exist today,” said Zwilling.

But some Manhattan Catholics fear that their historic, city churches - built on valuable real estate - are only on the chopping block to improve the Archdiocese’s finances.

“The financial condition of the Archdiocese somehow may be corrupting decisions to make decisions to sell churches,” said Hawkings.

Zwilling denied that claim. He said the Archdiocese spends $30 to $40 million dollars a year to subsidize churches that cannot pay their debts, an amount that is unsustainable. The sale of a church will be the last resort, Zwilling said, and even when that happens the proceeds will be used for the parishioners.

The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, is currently evaluating the program’s final recommendations and is expected to announce a decision in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the parishioners of Holy Innocents pray for the future of their church. On the Feast of Corpus Christi, an annual celebration of the Eucharist, they took their faith to the streets as proof that the city is still home to a vibrant Catholic community.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cardinal Dolan Addresses Holy Innocents Situation - National Catholic Register

Another article on the Traditional Mass in possible relation to Holy Innocents Church in mid-town Manhattan, the only place in NYC where the traditional Mass is offered daily.
Couple of comments:
1) This seems like a good development. However, the vagueness of the reference is still there.
2) It is good that it is obvious that the "frenzy" to close so many churches was so great and automatic that other groups (deaf community, the Vietnamese community, etc.) had also been overlooked.
3) I am glad that the Cardinal feels better and felt better after meeting, but I, personally, would have felt much, much worse had I had the responsibility to close that many churches.