Thanks to you and the roughly 40,000 e-mails that were sent in from the Catholic Action Network, Catholic schools will see an increase in funding in the 2013-14 state budget. Lawmakers have printed the final bills that will make up the state’s $135 billion budget – expected to be approved before March 29. Included in the budget is a nearly $14 million increase in funding for mandated services reimbursement.
Moreover, lawmakers provide $4.5 million in a new funding stream to our schools for safety equipment – in response to the horrific school shootings that have occurred around the country.
Click HERE to take action by thanking the governor and your legislative representatives for the increased funding. Your message will automatically be sent to your correct legislators.
Click here for the Decree pertaining to St. Ignatius
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25th, 2013
On Tuesday, March 26th, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will celebrate the Mass of Chrism at St. James Cathedral Basilica, 250 Cathedral Place, Downtown Brooklyn, at 8 p.m.
The Catholic Church has set aside this solemn day of liturgy and ritual to bless the holy oils, or chrism, that will be used for the remainder of the Church’s calendar year following the celebration of Easter. The oils blessed at the Mass of Chrism will be used at important ceremonies like ordinations, baptisms, confirmations, and the blessing of parishes. The Mass also offers priests and deacons of the Diocese a chance to renew their vows.
Bishop DiMarzio will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, March 28th at Sacred Heart Church, Cambria Heights, at 8 p.m.
On Good Friday, Bishop DiMarzio will offer prayers at Communion and Liberation’s 18th Annual Way of the Cross over the Brooklyn Bridge, and will be present for the First Station at St. James Cathedral Basilica.
Bishop DiMarzio will celebrate Easter Vigil on March 30th at Blessed Sacrament Church, Jackson Heights, at 7:30 p.m.
He will then celebrate Easter Sunday on March 31st at St. James Cathedral Basilica at 10:30 a.m.
The Act of Contrition is a prayer said during Confession. The prayer expresses the penitent’s sorrow for their sins and for offending God. The prayer concludes by the penitent making an affirmation to perform an act of penance and amend his life. There are several variations of the Act of Contrition. Below is a good version of this prayer:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
Is Confession Biblical?
Often enough the sacrament of confession is misunderstood by Non-Catholics and Catholics alike. Some people feel that confession to a priest is unnecessary when they can just pray to God, while others believe that confession is unbiblical, even going so far as to say that the Catholic Church invented confession several centuries after the time of Christ. Not only was the sacrament of confession believed and practiced by the Early Christians, confession was taught by Jesus himself in the Gospel.
In Mark 2:5-10 Jesus forgives the sins of a paralytic man. The scribes that were present were appalled by the fact that Jesus (whom they did not believe was God) would have the audacity to imply that he had the authority to forgive sins. Jesus confirms that he has the authority to forgive sins in Mark 2:10 when he says, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”. What does this have to do with confession to a priest you ask? In the Gospel of John, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, he gives the Apostles the authority to forgive sins. The words that Jesus uses in John are strikingly similar to those in Mark.
John 20:21-23 reads “(Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Just how Jesus revealed that he has authority to forgive sins in the Gospel of Mark, he now gives that authority to the Apostles. By bestowing the Holy Spirit upon them with his breath, the Apostles have now become instruments of God’s forgiveness.
So is Confession Biblical? Not only is confession biblical but it was instituted by the God-Man Jesus Christ himself 2,000 years ago.
Did the Early Christians Practice Confession?
Not only was the Sacrament of Confession believed and practiced by the Apostles and is explicitly mentioned in the Bible, the early Church Fathers believed and taught confession as well. The early Church Fathers are the clergy, leaders, teachers, apologists and evangelists of the first couple of centuries of Christianity. Many of these Fathers were taught by the Apostles, and played a very important role in compiling the books of the Bible into the 73 Book Bible we have today.
The Fathers also played a key role in formulating from scripture and tradition the doctrines of the Church. So the fact that the Early Church fathers believed, practiced and defended the Sacrament of Confession is very significant. Below are just two of the many excerpts from various Early Church documents on Confession during the early years of the Church.
Ignatius of Antioch
“For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of penance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ” (Letter to the Philadelphians 3 [A.D. 110]).
“Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’….The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men [Matt. 10:40; John 20:21–23]. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven” (The Priesthood 3:5 [A.D. 387]).
Why Confess to a Priest?
A common question asked regarding Confession is “Why should I confess to a Priest when I can pray directly to God?” Our God is a God of intercession. Throughout the Old and New Testaments God has used many Prophets and Angels to reveal Truth; God used sinful, imperfect men to write the Bible. God could have easily made his voice heard to the entire world at once to communicate to humanity, but he didn’t do that, God loves his creation and uses his creatures to communicate his message. In the same fashion God established priesthood, imperfect men, used as instruments to convey his love and forgiveness.
Ultimately the reason why Catholics go to a Priest for confession is not due to the idea of any Pope or Priest, but the direction of Jesus Christ himself (John 20:21-23). We as Catholic Christians are simply following what Jesus has taught us.
The Sacrament of Confession is a gift of God’s Mercy and Love. In order to be a worthy recipient of God’s Grace one must make a Good Examination of Conscience before Confession. Below is listing of some questions you can ask yourself in preparation for the Sacrament:
1. Do I Love God above everything else?
2. Am I humble? Do I depend on God as I should?
3. Am I prideful? Do I try to make the world revolve around me?
4. Am I presumptuous? Do I think I can do whatever I want and that it will not matter to God?
5. Do I pray everyday? Do I go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day?
6. Do I devote myself to growing in the faith?
7. Am I thankful? Do I express gratitude sincerely and outwardly?
8. Am I self-righteous? Do I make excuses for my faults, blame others or rationalize?
9. Am I forgiving? Do I hold grudges, resentments? Do I delight in the misfortunes of others?
10. Do I judge others, label others, exclude other and condemn others?
11. Is my life in any way ruled by anger, jealousy, envy or impatience?
12. Do I make idols of money, power, prestige, accomplishment, materialism, sensuality, vanity, pleasure, comfort, leisure, compliancy, apathy, or anything else?
13. Do I engage in extra-marital sex? Do I use sex recreationally?
14. Do I dedicate myself to knowing, loving, and living the Truth as it is taught by the Catholic Church?
15. Do I misuse speech through cheating, gossiping, backbiting, profanity, blasphemy, complaining, or being silent when I should speak?
16. Am I true to my vows, my commitments, my contracts, and my word?
17. Is my mind filled with thoughts that are lustful, mean-spirited, or prejudicial?
WHAT: Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will serve as the main celebrant of Sunday morning Mass in Breezy Point. Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be in attendance, in addition to several representatives from the Irish Consulate including the Consul General Noel Kilkenny and Deputy Consul General Peter Ryan.
“We in Brooklyn are honored that the Taoiseach of Ireland, the Honorable Enda Kenny, would visit us on the Feast of Glorious St. Patrick,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “For centuries, the Irish endured cruel persecution for their steadfast adherence to the Catholic faith and when forced to flea their own country because of famine, they made an invaluable contribution to the building up of the Church in the United States and in Brooklyn and Queens. Following Hurricane Sandy, the people of Ireland once again stood up to help the Church in the United States. It is fitting that on the feast day of the Irish national patron, the Prime Minister would celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Thomas More.”
WHEN: Sunday, March 17, at 8:30 a.m. Press to arrive by 8:00 a.m.
WHERE: St. Thomas More Church (Blessed Trinity Parish)
204-25 Rockaway Point Boulevard Rockaway Point, New York 11697