From the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York

07-27-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

Dear Family of the Archdiocese of New York,

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused disruption across many aspects of our daily lives, is having an especially profound impact on young people, including those in our Catholic schools, whose education is being altered or interrupted.

The pandemic and resulting economic impact have dramatically reduced the number of parents who can afford to make tuition payments for the upcoming school year. Two weeks ago, I shared the sad news that 20 of our schools, already facing soaring deficits, would not be able to re-open this Fall due to steep declines in enrollment. Without assistance to our parents and children from the Federal government, many more of our Catholic schools may have to close permanently. These closures will harm thousands of students from our archdiocese, and across the nation.


Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

07-26-2020Weekly Reflection

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.


Love of Neighbor: The Communion of the Saints, The Souls in Purgatory

07-23-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

One of the works of mercy is to pray for the living and the dead. The living get the lion’s share of our attention when we think of love of neighbor. However, love of neighbor also includes prayer and Masses for the dead. Prayer for the dead should be daily. They are dead to this world but we trust alive for God in eternity. We cannot assume anyone is in heaven except canonized saints and innocent baptized children. Even if the person we are praying for is in heaven the love being bestowed is not wasted because the Lord uses the love for some other member of the family which is the Church.


Some of the Glorious Catholic Feasts of July

07-21-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

July 16: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Scapular: In 1251, the most extraordinary event in English history

The Mother of God and her Divine Son appear to Saint Simon Stock in Cambridge -- 769 years ago today, in 1251: has there been any other moment in English history whose consequences have aided so many souls throughout the world achieve and keep holiness, reaching final perseverance? Men and women, made of flesh, need material reminders of the presence of God in their lives -- and what could be more profitable than the blessed physical sign that Our Lady's Mantle covers us at all times, that Her Divine Son keeps watch over us day and night?


Benefits of Frequent Confession

07-19-2020Weekly Reflection

There are those who say that little importance should be given to the frequent confession of venial sins. Far more important, they say, is that general confession which the Church, surrounded by her children in the Lord at Mass makes during the penitential rite of the Mass the “I confess” is offered and the “Lord have mercy.” This of course does NOT take away mortal sins nor does the prayer at Communion “say but the word and my soul shall be healed take away mortal sins.


From the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York

07-15-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

Dear Family of the Archdiocese of New York,

May I intrude on what I hope is a relaxing summer with a not-so-pleasant subject?

Last week, the Associated Press published a scurrilous article, heavy on innuendo, about Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, charitable organizations, and other institutions that rightly received assistance from the federal government to pay their employees during the Covid-19 crisis. Many news outlets picked up the story, which implied that there was something amiss in Catholic institutions receiving paycheck protection money. Many of you have called or emailed me, wanting to know if the story was true. My answer, quite simply, is absolutely not! It was misleading at best, outright false at worst. Here’s why.


Anger, Envy, and Riots

07-12-2020Weekly Reflection

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana -“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
–George Orwell 1984


July 6 was the feast day of the child-saint and virgin-martyr St. Maria Goretti

07-09-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

On Fr Z’s blog there was the following reminder about this saint.

Maria Goretti was murdered in the course of an attempted rape, which she resisted to the point of being mortally wounded. The Church teaches that those who die bearing witness to Christ, to the Faith, or to some virtue or quality inseparable from the Faith, in that moment manifest the virtues in a heroic way and are, therefore, able to be proposed even for elevation to our altars. Something about St. Maria Goretti captured the imagination of the Catholic faithful in the early 20th c., as did, for example, St. Therese de Lisieux. Their lives show us that we can, in fact, try – with the help of grace – to be clean in a world that is fallen and fallen far. It is not hard to understand why even some Catholics react with strong negativity about Maria Goretti. They’ve gone the way of the world. Also, my contact with exorcists informs me that St. Maria Goretti is a mighty intercessor and a serious terror of demons, surely after the heart St. Joseph… known for his purity. Joseph most chaste… Guardian of virgins… Solace of the wretched… Patron of the dying… THE Terror of demons.

Offering the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus

07-06-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of our Lord. It is a wonderful practice of offering the Precious Blood:

One of the best means of participating in the graces and blessings of the Precious Blood is to offer It to the Eternal Father. “An offering,” says Father Faber, is “more than a prayer.” In prayer, we are the recipients, but when we make an offering, God vouchsafes to accept something from us. St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, when in ecstasy, once exclaimed: “Every time a creature offers up the Blood by which he was redeemed, he offers a gift of infinite worth, which can be equaled by no other.” God revealed the practice of making this offering to this Saintly Carmelite nun when He complained to her that so little effort is made in this world to disarm His Divine justice against sinners. Acting upon this admonition, she daily offered the Precious Blood fifty times for the living and the dead. She did this with so much fervor that God showed her on different occasions the numerous souls who had thereby been converted or delivered from Purgatory.


What Relations Do We Have with the People in Purgatory?

07-05-2020Weekly Reflection

O wonder, this fire is nothing other than the love of God, which burns the soul in Purgatory, until the soul goes on fire himself/herself with the divine flame.

St. Catherine of Genoa

We pray in the Apostles Creed: I believe in the communion of saints. This reminds us that Christ's Body, the Church is a great family, which exists here on earth, in heaven, and in purgatory and that we are all bound together in this family in the Blood of Christ. This family, the entire family, is gathered at every Mass. God wills that we share in the sufferings of Christ and share in the great task of the salvation of souls. We constantly receive aid from and are loved by the angels and saints in heaven.