Monday, October 27, 2014

Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski-Communion Breakfast at the Seminary And Other Things

I visited the beautiful Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The renovation is stunning. It's a magnificent Church in a very trendy neighborhood of Brooklyn. What a challenge for the Rector, Msgr. Kieran Harrington, to try to engage the young adult Catholics in the neighborhood!
I walked over the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, NY this Fall with family and friends.  I highly recommend the experience. If you are not familiar with it, it's the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.
Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre-Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski celebrated Mass and gave a talk at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY on Sunday, Oct. 26th. It was sponsored by the "Friends of the Seminary" at their annual Communion Breakfast. Bishop Andrzej shared a lot of wisdom and hope with us that morning. In his homily, he spoke about how crucial it is to have God be a part of all our relationships in order for them to be life-giving. Love of God calls us to continual conversion. Love of God calls us to show that love in action. He also spoke about the importance of the Blessed Mother in the life of Catholics and how important it is to stay close to her in prayer and to trust in her closeness to us. It was a great day. The Committee of which I was a part, helped to make the day a success. Bishop Andrzej, a native of Poland, was inspired by Pope John Paul II to become a priest. He was named a Bishop by Pope Francis in Feb. 2014. Expect great things from him!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Economic Inequality Keeps Getting Worse in America-Brooklyn and Queens Are Examples

In an article I read today on Daily Finance, Federal Reserve Chair- Janet Yellen was quoted as saying that, "the growth of economic inequality in the United States wasn't in keeping with American values....The extent of and continuing increase of economic inequality in the U.S. greatly concerns me." She should be concerned, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. There's nothing wrong with people living the American dream and bettering themselves (my grandparents as Italian immigrants did just that) but the poor need a chance to escape poverty and have the opportunities that money affords. Education is the great equalizer and good educational programs for all is necessary.
As I've observed, no where is economic inequality more evident than in Brooklyn and Queens in NYC. Real estate prices and rents have "gone through the roof."The poor in places like Redhook,  Williamsburg and Bushwick Brooklyn can no longer afford to stay in parts of these neighborhoods (most parts). Expensive high rise buildings and boutique buildings are going up everywhere, and that's not a terrible thing, if affordable housing was also being built for lower class and middle class families. As I've said before on this blog, I was born in Brooklyn and lived most of my life there and part of what made it great then and now, is the lower and middle class families, living in ethnically diverse neighborhoods. There has always been diversity, stimulation, creativity, deep religiosity and best of all great food in Brooklyn and Queens.
But it seems the world has discovered the attraction of all that Brooklyn and Queens has to offer. Lifelong residents of Brooklyn and Queens cannot believe the amount of money some properties are selling for.
As Janet Yellen said, "Income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years, much higher than the average during that time span and probably higher than for much of American history before then."
I don't know what the solutions are aside from building more affordable housing but more needs to be done to close this widening gap. People need hope, people need to be rewarded for hard work. Children need a nice home to grow up in, so they can feel proud and part of the fabric of society.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

We Know Jesus Existed And Is Who He Said He Was!

I get upset when I read about nonsense and lies such as the book which is causing controversy because it's filled with distortions and outrageous claims and that's Michael Paulkovich's book, "No Meek Messiah." His so- called research which is being questioned by scholars and even by some atheists, claims that there is no mention of Jesus in 126 historical texts he's studied of people, who lived during or after Jesus. He makes the ridiculous claim that since Jesus wasn't mentioned in those texts he didn't exist and was a "mythical figure." He ignores the gospels and other books of the New Testament and dismisses the mention of Jesus and the early Christians, which are mentioned in some ancient writings. He also ignores archaeological evidence from the early Christian communities, which clearly show that those ancient Christians believed Jesus was the "Anointed One, the Son of God and Savior, and were willing to be tortured and suffer death rather than deny Christ.
Blinded by ignorance, pride and an anti-Christian agenda, he doesn't value the opinion of the majority of scholars and historians who are in "unanimous agreement that a Jewish man named Jesus did live in the early 1st century and was crucified by Pontius Pilate." (Simon Edwards-Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics).
It seems that Mr. Paulkovich, believes that he knows better and is smarter than all those scholars and historians and the early Christian witnesses, the apostles and the martyrs who were willing to give up their lives for Jesus. And millions of Christians who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to this day, through prayer and worship. (Two billion Christian believers in the world and growing.)And all the great saints............and the writings of the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church and all the brilliant biblical scholars and writers..........over the last 2,000 years......
In an article published by "Christian Today," which I read online, titled "New Book Claiming Jesus Did Not Exist Dismissed By Historians", the following is stated and well put,
"Biblical scholars Gary Habermas and Michael Licona have analyzed over 3,400 hundred scholarly works and articles that have been written on the historical claims surrounding Jesus' life since 1975, so as to determine the minimal facts of history that all serious historians agree on, Edward explains....Their work demonstrates that virtually every serious historian, whether Christian, atheist, agnostic, or otherwise acknowledges the following three minimal facts about Jesus Christ-1-He died by crucifixion, 2-that his disciples genuinely believed that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them on a number of occasions and 3-the early Church exploded in numbers soon after Jesus' death."

Check out the great article written by Carey Lodge that I quoted from in "Christian Today." It's an article well worth reading.

"Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."  (John 1:34)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fr. Cedric Pisegna Returns To Long Island To Preach

Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P., Passionist priest, preacher and television personality returned to Long Island to St. Aiden's parish in Williston Park, for a parish mission this week.  I attended the first night and Fr. Cedric was uplifting, upbeat and inspiring. He has a natural style, he's easy to listen to and he instills hope. What's better than that! Sadly,  he shared that his mother recently died (about 6 weeks ago) and he was still grieving. He's received a lot of condolences and support which he was grateful for.
It was an evening filled with good music and good preaching, with a few jokes thrown in.
His TV show, "Live With Passion," will have new episodes coming out and you can see his show on Telecare and other local stations. He's hoping that EWTN picks up his show as they are considering it.
His talk on Monday evening centered on overcoming obstacles. He said that challenges in life make champions. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" ......"We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us!" He spoke about courageous people such as Helen Keller who overcame great obstacles and limitations and did great things because she persevered and kept going. He said, "Focus on what you can do, don't focus on what you can't do."
He mentioned Robin Roberts book which he recently read, "Everybody's Got Something." He quoted her, "Being optimistic is like a muscle, you have to use it, to strengthen it."
Fr. Cedric also said, "Live passionately, with enthusiasm and push on. Passion is energy, it's enthusiasm."
He himself is a product of his own positive thinking, his great faith in God and his openness to the urgings of the Holy Spirit. What he preached that night is what has worked in his own ministry and life and he keeps bearing great fruit for the Lord and the Church. And he's helping God's people as well.