Blog posts : "General"

February 14 is not Saint Valentine's Day?

Well, at least not in the Archdiocese of New York.  In our Liturgical Calendar today is the Obligatory Memorial of Saints Cyril monk, and Methodius, bishop.  We priests use a book called the ORDO:Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist.  Every diocese has it's own Ordo and it's own Liturgical Calendar.  If you want to see the New York version ask your local priest or if you want to buy your own it is on Amazon at:

However, on the secular calendar to day is Valentine's day.  So Happy Valentine's day or as is traditionally held in many Latin American countries, Happy Friendship Day!  So who exactly was Saint Valentine?  He was a priest of the First Century who suffered Martyrdom on February 14, 270.  If you want to know about him see:

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Today I launched the webstore.  On it I'm giving away cds, dvds, clothing and rosaries.  Other things are available at a small mark up or at cost.  You can also access the webstore by clicking the store link on this site.

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31 Year Old Priest writes to Pope Francis Before His Death

Father Fabrizio De Michino was born on the same day as the Blessed Mother and I.  That is September 8th.  While I was born in 1984, Father Fabrizo was born in 1982.  I thought this was a very nice coincidence.  Father Fabrizio passed away from a tumor in his heart.  He wrote a letter to Pope Francis which demonstrates that he had a continued desire to serve God and His Church although his condition was deteriorating.   A beautiful insight that we can read in Father's letter is that he offered his sufferings for the Pope.  God can allow us to do great things with our own suffering.  It's also good to notice that I write Father Fabrizio in the present tense.  As we well know Father Fabrizio is still and will always be a priest.  He is simply no longer here on earth.  We ought to pray for the repose of Father's soul.  It is ok to ask for his intercession privately.  In order to ask for someone's intercessions publicly they must at least be a Blessed.  CIC 1187 states: "only those servants of God may be venerated by public cult who have been numbered by ecclesiastical authority among the Saints or the Blessed."  Hopefully one day we will get to meet Father Fabrizio in heaven.  The English translation of the letter can be read here:


Image of Pope Francis by Krzysztof Hałupka (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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My Life Boat Coffee Commercial

One reader has contacted  me with some harsh words about this video.  The sales from the coffee if any go to help Saint John's Life, the pro-life group of my parish.  None of the money goes through me.  It goes from Life-Boat Coffee directly to Saint John's Life. In addition, I'm wearing my clerical shirt in the video.  I forgot that my collar was off.  My sweater was also mistaken for a bathrobe.  I don't wear those.  It's a sweater my friend Eugene gave me for Christmas.  Thank you Eugene, if you're reading this.  In the future if any readers have comments that are negative I'm happy to receive them.  Remember to have Christian charity.  Priests have feelings too.  God Bless You.

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What are you giving Jesus for Christmas?

At Christmas time we give each other gifts.  What are you going to give to Jesus this year?  I suggest you give him the gift of your soul.  God has given us the gift of free will.  We can choose to follow him, partake in the sacraments, follow the commandments and receive eternal joy.  We can also choose to do whatever we want, don't partake in the sacraments and break the commandment and receive eternal sadness.  I love being a priest.  I love Jesus.  Jesus brings joy choose Him.  This Christmas season why not make a good confession as a gift to Our Lord?  Simply ask any Catholic priest if he can hear your confession.  Life with Jesus is simply amazing, come follow Him.

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The Life of a Cruise Ship Chaplain


I heard about the opportunity to serve God onboard cruise ships through a retired priest who visited our parish here in Goshen, NY.  “The Apostolate of the Sea was founded in 1921 in Glasgow, Scotland and it was recognized as the official Catholic ministry to the people of the sea by Pope Pius XI in 1922.” (  Here in the United States the Apostolate of the Seas United States of America (AOS-USA) handles the task of placing an American Catholic Priest in good standing with the Catholic Church on cruise ships around the world.  Other branches of AOS exist such as AOS-Canada.  After sending a few e-mails to AOS-USA I decided I was interested in ministering to the People of the Sea.  In order to do so a priest must ask his bishop for permission and a letter of good standing must be sent to AOS-USA.  Once my letter of Good Standing was accepted I paid the $100 fee to become an AOS-USA cruise ship priest member.  This fee helps to pay all the costs associated with the operation of the ministry such as the light bills.  Once I became a member I began to get lists of cruise ships that needed priests onboard.  As of the writing of this blog post only Holland America puts a Catholic Priest on every cruise ship.  Some others put a priest onboard only for Easter and Christmas.  Unfortunately some cruise ships attempt to place priests onboard outside of AOS-USA and these priests are not always in Good Standing with the Catholic Church.

            I applied for and was accepted as a cruise ship chaplain onboard Holland America’s MS Eurodam for the Eastern Caribbean cruise that took place November 17th -24th of this year.  Cruise ship chaplains are usually responsible for their own transportation to and from the ship.   On the 17th I flew down to Fort Lauderdale with much anxiety about this new ministry.  When I arrived at the ships’ terminal I was told that I had to use the staff entrance behind the building.  When I got there the staff was very friendly and helpful.  I explained that I had never been on a cruise ship before.  They assured me everything would be ok and they had me wait until the ship was cleared.  Once this was done I was allowed onto the ship and I showed them the slip of paper that identified me as the official cruise ship priest.  The instructions I had from AOS-USA said that the first thing I had to do was to speak with the Cruise Director, Chris. Luckily for me he was one of the first persons I saw when I boarded the ship.  He was very nice and friendly.  He introduced me to Margo who was in charge of entertainment onboard and informed me that I would be working directly with her.  Margo has a very friendly personality and she quickly reassured me that everything would be ok.  At this point with the size of the ship I was wondering what I had gotten myself into since cruise ship priests are the chaplains for all onboard.  I thought the ministry would be very difficult since here at Saint John’s in Goshen, NY we have three priests for a parish that has about 2,500 registered families. Onboard, however, I was the chaplain for all approximately 2,000 people.  Margo informed me that my first Mass with the guests onboard would be at 5pm.  The Mass for the staff took place at 11:15pm.  She also gave me the room number for two of my parishioners, Al and Loretta, who booked their rooms on this cruise after they were informed that I was assigned to it.  With my parishioners onboard the Masses felt similar to the Masses I celebrate at my home parish. 

            Before every Mass a Holland America employee, in this case Bill, set up for the Mass.  Unfortunately on this cruise some liturgical items were missing.  Fortunately however, I brought some of my own and every Mass was validly celebrated.  If you are a priest who is reading this and considering this wonderful ministry to the People at Sea I suggest you bring everything you need to celebrate Mass just in case something is missing.  One of the responsibilities of the cruise ship priest is to take note of what liturgical items are onboard.  I made a list of what the ship had and what they needed and gave it to Margo who informed me they would order the missing liturgical items.

            The Liturgy onboard was new and delightful.  I asked and received volunteers to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors and Cantors.   The Masses were very enjoyable.  For the Mass intentions I adopted the Caribbean and South American custom of having Masses for multiple intentions.  I took intentions from my friends online and many of the guests wrote their intentions in a Mass Intention book I brought with me.  The guests and I had a small parish community on the ship.  Every day about 40 people would attend the Mass and we had 80 for the Saturday Evening Vigil Mass.  Celebrating Mass is the most important thing a cruise ship priest does.  However, I discovered that there are some interesting challenges at sea.  At some points of the cruise the ships movement was felt considerably more than at other times.  At Mass I would invite people who did not wish to stand up to remain seated and raise their hands so that communion could be brought to them at their seats.  I also would make sure that I myself had my feet placed on the floor in such a manner that I would not fall while celebrating Mass.  Another interesting challenge is that there is no tabernacle onboard.  I discovered the most convenient method of deciding how many hosts to consecrate was to make an announcement about who could receive communion (not all who come to Mass are Catholic), count and place enough hosts in the ciborium for that Mass.

            In addition, to celebrating Mass the cruise ship priest has other duties and so he should make himself available to the people.  I printed an extra 1,000 business cards for people to take and connected my computer to the internet.   Unfortunately I received zero e-mails from people onboard and I was told that many people did not sign up for onboard internet because of the cost.   I also informed people that they could call the Front Office and ask for me.  Here, I learned an important lesson.  It is much more difficult to be contacted at Sea than at your parish.  Here at my parish my cell phone works and when someone stops at the office looking for me our wonderful employees call me.  Unfortunately, onboard cell phones do not work in open waters or foreign ports and if they do the roaming charges are amazing.  Employees make every effort to contact the priest but I did get one message onboard a day late. I found the oldest form of communication, word of mouth, was best on board.   For example, while Mass was celebrated every day and Mass times with locations were printed in the daily program some people did not realize I was onboard until later in the cruise.  I gave mass times and locations to people verbally.

While onboard I found that the ministry was not too demanding and I had plenty of down time.  During this trip we had one medical emergency, a blessing of a 70 year old on her 70th birthday, a walk to support victims of the Typhoon in the Philippines, led an ecumenical service and had a renewal of vows  of a couple on the occasion of their 25th anniversary.  The phone in my room only rang a few times and all but one call were from my parishioner Al. Most of the time during this ministry I was involved in the ministry of hanging out.  This means I was available to the people, speaking to them about God and the Church.  Some people had questions about the Church and I answered them.  I had many enjoyable conversations with the people both staff and guests.  Unless I was off the ship or in the pool I was always in uniform.  While I found this ministry was not too difficult and very enjoyable it is very important.  For many of the staff the cruise ship priest is the only priest they see onboard as they spend anywhere from six weeks to ten months on the ship.  That late night staff Mass on Sundays is very important as it gives the staff an opportunity to go to Mass.  Many People thanked me many times for celebrating Mass for them.  At the end of the cruise Margo asked me if I would go on another cruise ship and I let her know that I definitely would.  I got to see parts of the world I had never seen before for at a low cost (the cruise itself is free for the priest.)  The only place on the itinerary that I had been to before was San Juan, Puerto Rico.  For the first time ever I got to see Grand Turk, Saint Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.  I would recommend this wonderful ministry to any priest.  It is an enjoyable and necessary ministry.  In addition you do not need to be a priest to be a member of AOS-USA.  You can visit their website and join by clicking here. To see more pictures you can visit my Cruise Ship Chaplain page by clicking here.


The names of some Holland America employees were changed in order to protect their privacy. 

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Pray for the repose of the soul of Monsignor Francis J. Ansbro

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Monsignor Francis J. Ansbro.  He was born September 18, 1926.  He was ordained a priest forever on May 15, 1951 and he entered into eternal life on NOvember 6, 2013.  I perosonally met him and he was a great happy priest.  May the Lord be with him.  May the Lord have mercy on him and bring him into eternal glory.


Below is the obituary provided by the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, NY

Monsignor Francis J. Ansbro, Pastor Emeritus of Church of the Assumption, Peekskill, entered into Eternal Life on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.  Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York on May 15, 1951, Monsignor Ansbro served the Peekskill community as priest and shepherd from Sept. 15, 1966 until the day he died. He became pastor in 1986 and upon his retirement in 2007, he became pastor emeritus remaining in residence. He was honored with the title monsignor in 1995. He is predeceased by his parents whom he cherished for their loving, devout and hard-working spirits and, his brother, Dr. John Ansbro, who was a constant source of inspiration.


From the moment he was first assigned to Assumption, Monsignor Ansbro embraced Peekskill as his home and her people as his own. One of his favorite expressions from Our Lord was, “That they all may be one…” and, he set out to promote that desire early on in his assignment. During his many years at Assumption, he gave his wisdom and guidance to  every ministry from C.C.D to C.Y.O, from altar servers to adult education and every ministry in between.  He was an active promoter of Assumption School and oversaw the expansion of Assumption Cemetery. He served as chaplain for the Catholic Daughters, the Knights of Columbus and Columbiettes, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Peekskill Volunteer Ambulance Corps. He was also an active member of the Cenacle (a group praying for priests) and the Legion of Mary.  


Before his assignment to Assumption, Monsignor served the Church of St. Margaret in Pearl River, the Church of St. Malachy in New York City, Church of St. Patrick in Bedford and Church of St. Columbanus in Cortlandt Manor. 


Continuing to make his home in the Assumption Rectory in recent years, he greatly enjoyed and found great comfort in the fraternity of his brother priests, Father John Higgins, Father Vernon Wickrematunge, Father Vincent Druding and Father Louis Anderson.

Monsignor Ansbro was most fond of St. Paul’s words, “What have we that we have not received” and was keenly aware of those words in the conferring of the Sacraments. He felt blessed to share the joys and sorrows of his beloved Assumption family as only a Priest can and, was grateful to those who extended great kindness and care throughout his ministry.  


Calling hours were held on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Assumption Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Timothy Cardinal Dolan at Assumption Church in Peekskill at 11:00 AM, Friday, Nov. 8. Burial will follow at Assumption Cemetery in Cortlandt Manor.

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What are you willing to do to see Jesus?

The thumbnail is this video is owned by belongs to Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing and is used with permission.


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JPII and John XXIII Canonization Pilgrimage

To download the flier and for more information click here.

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Work Out Your Saintly Body

Saint Paul writes "Do you not know that your body is a temple  of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" (1 Chorinthians 6:19)  Since our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit we should take care of them by taking our medicine, eating correctly and working out.  I used to say "My exercise consists of walking to the chapel and back."  I also would be known to say "my exercise consists of walking up the stairs and then down the stairs."  I have never been overweight so I incorrectly thought I did not need to exercise.  While my doctors laughed at my jokes they told me I did need to exercise because I have Asthma.  Yesterday, for the first time in my adult life I exercised for the 6th day in a row.  I was surprised at how good I generally feel after doing exercise.  Now I enjoy it.

Today, Nov. 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States.  We are required to attend Mass as if it were a Sunday.  Today, we commemorate and remember all the Saints.  Most of us think about canonized saints when we think about the saints.  However, any person in heaven is a saint.  The canonized saints such as Saint Joseph of Cupertino and Saint Joan of Arc are recognized by the Church as being in heaven.  However, not all saints are canonized.  Surely we hope their are lot of people in heaven.  Everyone in heaven is a saint.  The Church simply has not declared everyone in heaven a saint and probably never will.  Think of our deceased family members and friends, some of them might be saints already.   While we do not publicly venerate any saints that are not canonized (or sometimes at least beatified) we can still ask them to pray for us privately.  The good news is that God is calling you, yes you who are reading this to be a saint.  Since God gave you a body which is a temple of the Holy Spirit then why not work out your saintly body?


Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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How to regain our relationship with Mother Mary.-

When we are younger running five miles can be very easy but it's not done in a day.  On the first day of training that first half of mile seems like a very difficult and impossible task.  After that very first half of mile we begin feeling achy and we begin to huff and puff.   If like me you have asthma using your pump becomes necessary.  After a while of training something spectacular happens.  We are able to run five miles and we do not even realize it.  We are far less tired after being well trained and running five miles then when we are untrained and run half a mile.  I know what you are thinking.  Father, what does this have to do with me and the Blessed Virgin Mary?

The answer is simple.  We can compare our prayer life to our physical exercise.  If we do not exercise it is difficult to run those five miles on the first attempt.  In the same way if we do not pray it is difficult to pray a Rosary.  On October 17, Pope Francis Tweeted "Our prayer cannot be reduced to an hour on Sundays. It is important to have a daily relationship with the Lord."   Our Holy Father's wise words demonstrate that it is not good for our souls not to pray.  The solution with rebuilding our relationship with Mary is simple.  Suppose a person used to pray a rosary a day and now they do not.  In order to get back into the good habit of praying that rosary per day the first half of mile has to be run.  The person could begin by simply praying a decade of the rosary.  Then when they are able to they can pray two decades of the rosary.  Then, they can pray three decades, four and finally they are back in the habit of praying the rosary and pleasing our Mother.  Our Lady of Divine Providence.  Pray for Us.



Note: Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Divine Providence.  She is the patroness of Puerto Rico, the land where my family is from.  This feast is not on all the Liturgical Calendars of the world but it is still a good idea to pray a rosary today and ask Our Lady to intercede for us.


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Local New York talent to come to Goshen, NY

 I'm excited to announce that The Church of Saint John the Evangelist will be hosting the Nel Nutrition Concert.  It is a bilingual (Spanish/English) concert on November 22, 2013 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Local Catholic Artists from New York will be performing.  Admission is only $5 and kids under 10 are free. Use the form below to purchase your tickets.  Use the promo code: thanks at checkout to get $1.50 off your general admission tickets.  Valid only on online ticket purchases.



From Manhattan

The Symbol

Born in the early 90’s this young Hispanic from the Bronx, Ny Brandon was born into being an artist.  At two years old he was in the studio with his uncle DJ Kered watching, learning, and observing, forming his musical craft.  His early years were spent on stage acting, in the art room creating visual masterpieces, and playing in the school band.  Though his artistic influences were vast, his heart was in Hip Hop.  In Junior High, you could find young Feel-X in the lunchroom and in the schoolyard battle rapping to get his respect as a short light skinned Hispanic in a predominantly African-American environment.
     By the time Brandon reached High School, he was in the poetry club and performing at various Open Mics across the city.  In his sophomore year Brandon was selling mix-tape CD’s out of his locker and in Homeroom.  By senior year he had co-founded street wear clothing line Lethal Inspiration and performed in an international battle of the bands competition called Blast-Beat making it all the way to the Semi-finals.
However, although art took the forefront of Brandon’s life he still felt incomplete. His creative skills served useful as a young entrepreneur, and his passion and zeal for being a hero moved him into using all of these skills in creating “conscious” art.  The problem was that main stream media sources, management, and marketing did not want to support this level of consciousness.
     Brandon moved into assisting various community organizations and churches with his skills.  This service work gave him a more enhanced sense of spirituality, thus moving him to work with greater purpose than ever before and created his art and multimedia company named “All is Love”. The mission of All is Love is to create a culture of complete self-sacrificial, and service giving love for all of mankind through the arts and media entertainment.  In October of 2013 he changed his artist name to The Symbol.


From Orange County NY appearing at Saint John’s for the second time

Ministerio de Alabanza Juan 3,16

Ministerio de Alabanza Juan 3,16 is Spanish for the John 3:16 Ministry of Praise. In about 2006 they began with collaboration between John P Rivera (Keyboards) and Daniel Ramos (Director/Guitar). The current band was solidified with percussion by Eduardo Romero and Robert Garcia, and Carlos Miranda on bass.  They released their first album “Por Tu Inmenso Amor” in 2010.


And from Mamoreneck, NY

Wilfredo Ortiz

Wilfredo has a following amongst the Spanish Speaking Charasmatic Catholics in New York.  He will be performing in Mexico in December of 2013 and has appeared in other parts of New York.  He is excited to bring his traditional Merengue with a Catholic twist to Goshen, NY this November.



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Why I prefer bitcoin donations over Euros

Please read the two updates below.  So far none of the crypto currencies that were donated were turned into cash.  I'll post more as decisions are made.


You may be wondering what is a Bitcoin?  You can find the answer to that question in the video below.  It is a digital currency.  As of the time of the writing of this blog, one Bitcoin is trading between $128.84 and $147.65 on different exchanges.  I put up a donations page on  our parish website and began accepting Bitcoin.  We got a little more than 0.488 Bitcoins donated to us.  I figured that the easiest way to exchange them for dollars was on eBay.  In less than a day we were able to exchange the Bitcoin donations for $100 USD.  


While it was easy to convert our Bitcoins its extremely difficult and time consuming to exchange the Euros and other world currencies  that are given to us.   In order to exchange them first we have to figure out what type of money is given to us (euro, yen, DOP, Argentine Peso, etc.) and then find someone who takes them.  Then we have to drive were they are and pay fees to exchange them.  It's not worth the hassle since we do not get too many foreign coins and as a result they sit and collect dust for a long time.  Would you rather have a Euro that sits on the desk or a Bitcoin that takes a day to exchange for USD?  You can donate your digital (also known as
crypto) currencies to Saint John's by clicking here.  Can we get 1,000 Bitcoins donated to us?  


update: 10/14/2013

The buyer claimed that it was an unauthorized transaction and opened a claim to get their $100 back through paypal.  I sent proof the Bitcoin was sent.  This can be seen here:  I also shipped a printed copy of the and  piece of paper with the Bitcoin logo on it to him which was part of the auction to fulfill ebay rules that they receive something physical.  I'll blog about the result after paypal resolves its investigation.

 update: 10/17/2013.  I've been able to exchange our Bitcoins for USD successfully with  We also got some Litecoin donations which I will trade for BTC on and then transfer the btc to coinbase and convert it into USD.  Today alone we made about $50 from generous people who have donated Bitcoin.  I have not even looked at our Litecoin account yet.  Bitcoin is definitely a good way to receive donations with less fees than paypal.  (At the time of writing paypal was charging 2.3% plus .30.  So for example the approximately $50 we got today in donations would of resulted in our church receiving $48.25.  That would have cost us $1.75.  With CoinBase it was less than .75.  Which would you rather pay?

update: 10/22/2013 Well after doing some more research it seems like what happened to me has happened to many people.  Other people have bloged about the same problem. today I was notified that paypal sided in our favor.  Although the seller said their bitcoin purchase was unauthorized, their was no evidence.  Thus we successfully converted the .488 bitcoin into $100.  Keep in mind we were able to send a tracking number because part of the auction stated that they would receive a picture of a bitcoin.




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Pray for the repose of the soul of Father Patrick McGuian, O.Carm.

Father Patrick McGuigan, O.Carm.  passed away today after celebrating Mass.  Please pray for the repose of his soul.

He was born September 3, 1949.

He made his finals vows in the Carmelite order on October 28, 1978.

He was ordained a priest forever on June 23, 1979.


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Meeting Jesus in the Poor in the Dominican Republic

It is not too often that one is ill and does not mind too much.  This August was one of those rare times for me.  I came home to the U.S.A. with an infection from the Dominican Republic.  I brushed my teeth with local water, ate fruit from the side of the road without washing it and unknowingly ate some damaged potato based food.  In the future I know better nonetheless, it was an awesome experience to be a missionary in the Dominican Republic.  I spent 8 days in the country with an organization dedicated to bringing school supplies to poor children in the area.  Although the organization is not Catholic I was able to accompany them because Juan Camilo, the foundations' president is Catholic and one of my parishioners.

While in the Dominican Republic we operated with a very small team which consisted of Juan, Calixta (his wife), Lile (I call him my bodyguard),Rudy (the driver), Ramon (the truck driver) and Luis (the truck driver assistant) and myself.  In addition to the 7 of us many other people assisted us throughout the trip.  (The Photo Above is of the School Supplies we handed out.)

The first province we visited was Elias Piña, DR.  In this province we had planned to neatly distribute the school supplies to 2,000 poor children in the school yard of a school.  Unfortunately, although the value of the school supplies we distributed only amounted to $5 (including shipping) the children feared they would not get their package.  It was impossible to have them make lines in order to receive their school supplies.  Eventually things did not go as planned and we handed the school supplies to the children at a military base with the help of the local police, the Dominican Military and the Dominican Red Cross.  At first I was annoyed and frightened at how difficult it was to get the children to cooperate but upon further reflection I was saddened that what would be difficult to give away in New York was so desperately needed in Elias Piña.


(The image above is taken from the top of the distribution truck in Elias Piña.)


The second province we visited was La Romana.  There I had the privilege of celebrating Mass in a parish which had one of the most beautiful tabernacles I have ever seen in my life.  After Mass we distributed the school supplies in the parish hall.  I was saddened to hear that some of the children were accustomed to receiving their school lunch as the first meal of the day.






(This is the sacristy in La Romana.  I"m in the middle with the pastor on my right, sister is with a small child on my right.)


The third province we visited was San Pedro de Macorís.  We went to the Bateys of the province which was the poorest I saw in the whole country.  Their roads were made of dirt.  The roofs of the homes and chapels were made of zinc.  Sometimes the zinc was rusted.  They did not have soap, running water or electricity.  The most heart breaking was that some of the kids did not have shoes.  In this poverty I did notice something profound.  The nicest structure they had was the chapel.  They also were very happy and smiling.  One child was so happy we came to help his community that he gave me Spanish Limes (known locally as limoncillos).  After we handed out the school supplies in San Pedro de Macorís a friend of mine took me to his home in Santo Domingo and then to the airport at 4 am to head back home.

I think that every American Priest should take a missionary trip such as the one I did.  I will never read the word poor in the Sacred Scriptures in the same manner as I used to.  My idea of what poverty is has profoundly changed.  We live so comfortably here in New York as compared to the people in the Dominican Republic who I visited.  As we saw on August 14, 2003, if the light goes out in New York it makes headlines across the globe.  In the Dominican Republic, however, as Rudy put it "Father, the light does not go out here, it just comes sometimes."  In New York, just about everyone outside of the City of New York has a car.  In the Dominican Republic the lower Middle Class make about $250 usd per month which is not enough to buy a car.  Instead they have scooters.  In New York, we can drink water straight from the faucet, in the Dominican Republic doing so can make you sick.  Jesus says "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'"  (Matthew 25:35-36)  When asked when this was done he replies "‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’" (Matthew 25:40b)


(The picture above is of an outhouse made of rusted Zinc in San Pedro de Macorís.)

For more pictures and videos of this trip go to the DR Mission Trip page by clicking here.


Tips for those who will go on missionary trips.

1. Pray.  Pray. Pray. Without God instead of a missionary trip you would be on a community service trip.

2. It is always a good idea to be accompanied by locals if you know them.  

3. Register with the US Embassy in the country you are visiting and let them know how long you're staying, where you will be visiting and what flights you will be on.  The more information they have the better.

4.  Save the local US Embassy number on your cell phone.  Make sure you give the Embassy both your local and US numbers.  Realize that once you leave this country their 911 system may be non-existent.  The help of police officers and the military might not be what we are accustomed to in the United States.

5. Check with the Embassy for any advice they have about the country you are visiting.  It might not be safe to visit.

6.  I've been told that the Canadian embassies have good information as well.  Why not check what our neighbors in the North have to say about the country you are visiting.

Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition© 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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Catholics to offer a Novena of Masses and Rosaries to end abortion

   July 31st, 2013
   Contact: Patrick Benedict
                                 PRO-LIFE NOVENA FOR UNBORN
                 BABIES BEGINS SEPTEMBER 29th
   MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE [U.S.A.] - (July 31st, 2013) - The multinational PRO-LIFE NOVENA  FOR
   UNBORN BABIES is set to begin September 29th and conclude on October 7th, 2013.  During this
   annual novena, Masses will offered and Rosaries will be prayed for the following intention: For the
   protection of unborn human persons.
   The Saint Michael the Archangel Organization, coordinator of the PRO-LIFE NOVENA FOR
   UNBORN BABIES, is encouraging people to be a part of the Novena by doing one or both of the
        1) Have at least one Mass offered during the Novena for the protection of 
            unborn human persons
        2) Pray one Rosary on each day of the Novena for the protection of 
            unborn human persons
   The website has much information about the
   Novena, including how to register.  Or, for additional information, one may send a stamped,
   self-addressed envelope to:  Saint Michael the Archangel Organization; P. O. Box 41257
   Memphis, Tennessee 38174; U.S.A.
   In addition to coordinating the PRO-LIFE NOVENA FOR UNBORN BABIES, the Saint Michael the
   Archangel Organization also coordinates the annual ONE MILLION ROSARIES FOR UNBORN
   BABIES. For this year's prayer event, people living in more than 50 nations registered over 180,000
   Rosaries that were to be prayed May 3rd - 5th.

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Join Father Rosado on a pilgrimage to Italy

Join me on a retreat to Italy from April 28th to May 8th.  Below are the details of the trip.

Click here to download the official brochure which includes prices.

For further information:


9924 Cedar Ridge Drive 
Carmel, IN 46032

Phone: (317) 574-4191 or 
Toll Free (866) 905-3787

Fax: (317) 574-4195


Day 1 – April 28: Depart U.S.A.

Our pilgrimage begins as we depart on our overnight flight to Rome. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft. (D)


Day 2 – April 29: Arrive Rome / Assisi

Upon arrival in the "Eternal City" of Rome we will be met by our local tour director and transfer by coach north to Assisi, a town that welcomes us in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare into its peaceful interior. After check-in at our hotel we will celebrate Mass at a local church with the balance of the day free.


Day 3 – April 30: Assisi

This morning we will visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, site of the Porziuncola, the tiny church in the woods where St. Francis began his ministry and where St. Clare began her religious life. Then proceed to the Basilica of St. Francis where the saint lies in rest, the Basilica of St. Clare and the Convent of San Damiano. For those with the stamina, take a walk up Monte Subasio to Eremo delle Corceri, the Saint's favorite retreat. Overnight in Assisi. 


Day 4 – May 1: Assisi / Siena / Florence

This morning we will depart Assisi and drive to Siena, home of St. Catherine. Our first stop this morning and a highlight of our tour will be the Basilica of St. Francis where we'll venerate the Eucharistic miracle of Siena. Hosts which have remained incorrupt since 1730. Then we'll go to St. Dominic's, St. Catherine of Siena's parish church where she attended daily Mass and went into ecstasy. Adjacent to the church is her home, which we'll tour and see the cell where she fasted and prayed. Then we'll stroll the ancient Gothic streets which converge on the Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in the world where we can stop for lunch. Driving north through the beautiful Italian countryside we'll reach our final destination of the day, the "Cradle of the Italian Renaissance," Florence. 


Day 5 – May 2: Florence

After Mass, tour Florence is an artful experience as we take in the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and the Baptistery with its renowned bronze doors. Continue to the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella Church and the Basilica of Santa Croce. The remainder of the afternoon is free to discover this fascinating city on our own. 

Day 6 – May 3: Florence / Orvieto / Bolsena / Rome

Depart Florence this morning and drive south to Orvieto where we'll visit the Cathedral of Orvieto and venerate the sacred Eucharistic miracle. There will be time for prayer and adoration. See the steps of the Papal summer residence where Pope Urban IV held up the blood-stained corporal and announced his intention to institute the Feast of Corpus Christi.  We will then proceed a short distance to Bolsena, a lovely lake town where we will pray at the altar where a Eucharistic miracle occurred in 1263. Venerate the blood stained marble stones involved in the miracle. Then proceed to south to the “Eternal City” of Rome, out home for the next five nights. 


Day 7 – May 4: Rome

This morning we'll head to the Mamertine Prison where St. Paul was kept in chains, view the Forum (outside visit) and Coliseum (outside visit) and stop at St. Clement's, to see the second century dwelling of Pope St. Clement, the third successor of St. Peter, and the original fresco depicting St. Clement celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This fresco gives us a picture of Eucharistic worship at the end of the first century or beginning of the second. Then proceed to St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo's magnificent Moses followed by a stop at St. Mary Major. 


Day 8 – May 5: Rome

We'll begin our day in Rome with Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, followed by a tour including the Pieta and Adoration Chapel which our Holy Father opened in 1981. We'll then tour the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum, focusing especially on Eucharistic art and artifacts. In the afternoon we'll visit St. Paul Outside the Walls which was originally built by Constantine in the fourth century over the site of St. Paul's tomb, the Holy Stairs, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and the Catacombs. 


Day 9 – May 6: Rome

This morning we will visit the Trevi Fountain; the Pantheon; Piazza Navona with the famous Bernini's fountains; and Campo de' Fiori, one of the most colorful street markets in Rome.  Continue to the Basilica of San Andrea del Fratte, where Alphonse Ratisbonne was instantly converted when Our Lady appeared to him. This is where St. Maximilian Kolbe said his first Mass and where Our Lady also appeared to St. John Bosco. The remainder of the day will be free for personal activities.


Day 10 – May 7: Rome

This morning we will experience a highlight of our pilgrimage, attendance at the Papal Audience at St. Peter's (subject to the Holy Father's schedule). Join thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world to listen to the Holy Father and receive His Blessing. The remainder of the day will be free for personal activities. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.


Day 11 – May 8: Rome / U.S.A.

Following breakfast, we will transfer to the airport to catch our return flight home. 

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Vacations with God

It’s summer time.  In terms of weather, it is my favorite time of the year since I live here in New York.  If I lived in Argentina like Pope Francis did for so many years then my favorite time of the year would be December.  Since I’m Puerto Rican I enjoy the hot weather and really dislike the cold winters.  Summer is my favorite season.  Here in the US we are fortunate that summertime is also vacation time from school and for some from work as well.  This summer for my vacation I will be going to visit my parents in Puerto Rico and going on a missionary trip in Elias Piña, DR.  In Puerto Rico I will most likely be celebrating Mass in Santa Rosa de Lima in Rincon, PR.  I personally prefer to celebrate Mass in a parish with the local community when I travel.  When in DR we will be taking church supplies to a local church as well as school supplies to the poor children.  I have no idea where I will be celebrating Mass but I’m not worried about it because I am a priest and I will be carrying a Mass kit.  Before I was a priest however I always made sure I found out where Mass was taking place.  You can go to to find out what time Mass is anywhere in the world.  It is best to call the parish as sometimes the information at is not always up to date.  By knowing where Mass will take place we can take God with us on vacation!


One way to get the word out about is to use twitter to do so.  Use hashtags like #Catholic #CatholicTravel and #CatholicMassTimes in order to promote this great service to others.  On facebook you can simply put a link to this blog post with your personal message.  One example is: “Find out how to take God on vacation by clicking here.”

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How to turn $40 into $700 for your Church

To view the bubbles enlarge the screen.

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John Rutter's "Mass of the Children" is being performed by several choirs at the famous Carnegie Hall.

John Rutter's "Mass of the Children" is being performed by several choirs at the famous Carnegie Hall.
Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Time: 8:00pm
Location: Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage 57th Street & 7th Avenue, NYC
Tickets: $15! (Reg. $55)

Three easy ways to buy tickets:
Visit: (enter code MCN16617)
Call: 212.247.7800 (mention code MCN16617)
In Person: Visit the Carnegie Hall Box Office
57th Street & 7th Avenue)

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