Let me write about a menu of issues I wanted to bring to your attention.
First of all, soon...school’s out! Our college students are already home, working hard to pay tuition. Congratulations to our graduates!
Our Catholic high schools and grade schools will soon take a deserved summer break. Thanks to our principals and teachers, our boards and staffs, our priests, parishes, religious sisters and brothers, benefactors, and parents who choose and then sacrifice for a quality, faith-based education.
Second, next Sunday (June 18), I’ll welcome our golden jubilarians to the cathedral for a Mass of thanksgiving and renewal of vows. What a grand example of fidelity they are to all of us! I don’t know who beams more at these anniversary Masses, the couples, or their kids and grandkids. They’ll tell me how, half-a-century ago, they asked God for the grace to persevere for a long life of nuptial love, and that now they’ve come back to thank Him. We praise God with them, and for them!
Third, we’ve got some touching feasts these days after Pentecost. This Sunday we’ll pay homage to the Most Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit, our beginning, our end.
The following Sunday, June 18, we’ll praise God for the gift of the Most Holy Eucharist, the Feast of Corpus Christi.
On the subsequent Friday, June 23, we will honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the source of grace, mercy, and salvation.
And, the day after that, we’ll wish St. John the Baptist a happy birthday! We only keep three birthdays in our Catholic calendar—Jesus (Christmas), His Mother (September 8), and his forerunner, the Baptist (June 24).
Four, one can’t help but note a heightened sense of vigilance in our city, as we watch with apprehension and sadness the attacks in London, Egypt, and around the world. Our New York Police Department is especially on alert, and we highly appreciate their discreet but attentive presence at our cathedral and churches. So sad, but so necessary.
Five, you saw, I trust, the invitation to this year’s Bible Summit on Saturday, June 17, at the Cardinal Cooke Center. (Information is available at nyfaithformation.org.) Our office of Religious Education, under Sister Joan Curtin, C.N.D., has been coordinating this for nearly a decade, as hundreds come to hear renowned biblical scholars help us understand and appreciate the inspired Word of God in a deeper way. You’d be welcome.
Finally, that same morning I’ll ordain 12 men as deacons to serve in our parishes and ministries around this vast archdiocese. What a blessing they are! I see them in action as I visit parishes and programs. Deacons date back to the very first years of the Church, and the order was restored as a permanent charism after the wisdom of the Second Vatican Council. Thank God!
Obviously, vacation isn’t here yet! A lot going on this bracing month of June.