Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunshine and Some Amazing Priests

Since it keeps raining in New York (though the weekend forecast looks sunny, Thank God!) I thought I would write about some sunshine. Rocco Palmo, the famous Catholic blogger, wrote in a blog entry titled, Always a Priest, Always Present, in Whispers in the Loggia that Already the moment's become part of the Gotham legend. He was commenting on the fact that before the installation Mass of Archbishop Timothy Dolan began on April 15th, 2009, and as the Archbishop and the procession began to process into St. Patrick's Cathedral the sun broke out from behind the clouds. 
Well, I have another Gotham legend which I experienced first hand when I was lucky enough to be present at Shea Stadium on October 3rd, 1979 when Pope John Paul II made a visit to New York. I was among 60,000 Catholics who flocked to Shea to see the Pope. And it was the same type of thing. It rained hard all day but just as the Pope appeared in Shea Stadium, the sun came out. It was an amazing thing to experience. I have a lot of faith, but there are many reasons why I have such strong faith......and that day, seeing the sun come out, at that particular moment was just awesome. Some people in the crowd started crying, it was so moving........
As a matter of fact, a police officer on duty, near to where I was sitting was moved to tears......
Some more uplifting news.... I was happy to read today in the Long Island Catholic that Father Peter Vaccari, a professor of theology and Church history at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, Long Island was named rector of the seminary. He succeeds Msgr. James McDonald, who was the rector since Feb. 2006. Fr. Vaccari, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn has been on the seminary faculty since 1988. I know him well as he gave workshops for Catholic school teachers in the Diocese of Brooklyn, a couple of years ago. He gave excellent presentations for the teachers. He's a brilliant priest and nice too. As most active Catholics in the Diocese of Brooklyn know, his brother Andrew Vaccari, is the chancellor of the Brooklyn Diocese. Msgr. Andrew Vaccari is also an amazing priest, very humble, kind and unassuming. These two amazing priest brothers were raised in Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Corona, Queens. I have been blessed in my life to know many extraordinary priests. I wish Fr. Peter Vaccari many blessings in his new position at the Seminary. I think Bishop William Murphy made an excellent choice, and I'm sure many others agree.