“Eyewitnesses to Mideast Persecution – Christians Face ‘Mass Cleansing’ in Mideast” by Bishop DiMarzio

July 30, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep”, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

Last week, I received visits from several bishops from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria. During these visits, it became more clear that the presence of Christians in the Middle East and Africa is threatened now in a way that has never happened. The success of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is one that truly foretells the fate of Christians in the Middle East.

Recently, it was reported, and was confirmed by the bishops who visited me, that the Islamist extremists give three options to Christians whom they encounter in the lands that they have conquered: one, convert to Islam; two, pay a tax which seems impossible to pay; or three, leave. There is a fourth option, however, which is to stay and face the sword. Truly, it is disappointing that the civilized world has abandoned these Christian minorities in the places where Christianity flourished before Islam even was a thought. That is the situation in the world today, however.

The first bishop to visit was Bishop Elias Sleman, a Maronite Bishop of the Eparchy of Latakia, which covers the middle portion of Syria, and who also serves as pastor for the Marionites in that particular area. This area has many Christians. In fact, there is a place called the Valley of Christians, where the presence of Christians has been constant for many centuries. Unfortunately, according to Bishop Sleman, it may soon be empty. He outlined three major challenges and concerns.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy Students Take on NBA Entrepreneurial Challenge

The esteemed law firm of Kaye Scholer, LLP located in the heart of Midtown was recently the site of a social entrepreneurship challenge hosted by the Middy Fund, and featuring middle school students from St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy. The students presented ideas for websites, apps and programs which they had designed to eradicate problems they face in their lives.  Students delivered their presentations to an audience of 100; many of whom were leaders in finance, education and successful entrepreneurs.

“The biggest lesson I learned was to never give up. Go out and show them what you’ve got! Show them your best! Most importantly, I learned that everyone can succeed,” said Samantha, an 8th Grade Student from St. Elizabeth Catholic Read more »


In view of the needs of the homeless in our city, we must recognize those less fortunate in our midst and encourage community leaders to engage in a process that will provide more affordable housing with proper supports for families.

Currently, there are 54,000 individuals living daily in 250 shelters across the five boroughs. Nearly half – 23,000 – are children. Of the total, one-third of those individuals work full-time, but lack sufficient income for housing independence.

The city is providing, by law, emergency homeless shelters for these individuals as a temporary solution to an immediate crisis. This crisis gives us an opportunity to recognize a problem in our midst and to encourage the city to engage in a process that will provide more affordable housing with proper support for families. It is also an opportunity to advocate for additional government initiatives that prevent homelessness through rent subsidies.

As Catholics who embrace the virtue of compassion, I invite you to pray for these homeless individuals and families and for those who work to create affordable housing units. The city is suggesting that we write our community boards and our local newspapers asking for compassion for those who have been displaced.

To locate your local community board, go to nyc.gov/cau

Freshly Ordained in the City

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The Wall Street Journal profiled Father Jeremy Canna, one of the 13 new priests in the diocese, and followed his transition to priestly life:

After parking his car in Prospect Heights one Saturday morning,
Jeremy Canna glanced back at his little white Toyota and was
struck by a wild thought: “I could drive away, couldn’t I?”

He didn’t. Instead, the 27-year-old walked two blocks to the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph to his ordination ceremony.

Inside, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio anointed his hands
with oil, the choir invoked all the saints of heaven to shower down
their grace and the newly ordained Father Canna lay prostrate on the altar.

“This is it,” he thought. “There’s no changing who I am at this moment. I’m giving it to God.”

Read More »

Click here for photos of the WSJ print article.

“Natural Way for Family Planning” by Bishop DiMarzio

July 23, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep”, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

The Church throughout the U.S. has just completed a special week dedicated to promoting the true meaning of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Natural family planning is an umbrella term that refers to modern, scientifically accurate, healthy and reliable methods of birth regulation. The Church teaches that parents must be responsible for bringing new life into the world so that they will be able to properly support and educate the children that God gives them.

Unfortunately, our contemporary society has adopted what we might call a “contraceptive mentality,” whereby couples often choose means other than natural ones to prevent conception from occurring. This attitude, unfortunately, is also evidenced among our own Catholic people. However, for the most part, I believe that many Catholic couples do not understand the various forms of natural family planning that can assist them in achieving the natural and God-given ends of their marriage, namely the loving, unitive and life-giving procreative aspects of sexual intercourse within the sacramental covenant of marriage. For this reason, the Catholic Church teaches that couples must not actively intervene to separate their fertility from their physical union. To do so is to show disrespect for an important gift given to married couples by the Creator.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

Catholic Migration Featured on NBC New York

The humanitarian crisis in the southern border of United States has grabbed national attention as thousands of unaccompanied children have fled to the border to escape the growing violence in Central America. More underage immigrants are risking their lives in this dangerous journey that not always end as planned.

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Catholic Migration Services, an affiliated organization of the Diocese of Brooklyn committed to help the underserved immigrant communities in Brooklyn and Queens, has been providing legal assistance to nearly 60 children in recent months.

One of their clients is the young Carlos Ramos of only 10 years of age. After his father became abusive and alcoholic, he decided to leave El Salvador on his own to meet with his mother, who has been working in New York for over 6 years. They were reunited when Carlos was 8, when he was apprehended at the border in Texas. He had not seen his mother since he was 2 years of age. Now, Carlos is a thriving sixth-grader whose case is still being determined by the courts.

NBC 4 New York spoke with Carlos about his journey to the border and about the new task force aimed to help the many immigrant children living in New York City.

“Understanding Immigrant Children” by Bishop DiMarzio

July 16, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep”, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

The influx of unaccompanied minors at the southern border of the U.S. has grabbed national headlines in recent weeks and turned much of our attention to our Nation’s capital and our foreign policy. Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Migration Conference, where organizers brought together migration workers from around the U.S. who not only provide legal services but also resettlement services to immigrants and refugees. It was truly inspiring to see close to 1,000 attendees, showing that the Church around our country is truly dedicated to the service of the strangers in our midst.

The situation at the border – the “border crisis” as it has become known – was the major topic of discussion during the conference. This movement of unaccompanied minors has always been part of the migration and refugee flow, but in the past several months, attention has been brought to this particularly vulnerable group. One factor, which is not well publicized, is that nearly 85 percent of those coming are destined to be reunited with either parents or close relatives who are awaiting their arrival.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

Principal of Our Lady’s Catholic Academy in Ozone Park Featured in Daily News

Principal Kevin Coyne has been nominated as a Hometown Hero in Education by the Daily News for his work at Our Lady’s Catholic Academy, which is thriving and growing as enrollment declines at many other Catholic schools.

Coyne had about 260 students when the academy opened five years ago. By September, the school in Ozone Park, Queens, will have more than 700 kids from 68 countries. Coyne credits his success to an individual approach to students.

“I tell every parent when they register that every child is an individual creation of God,” Coyne told the Daily News. “And we meet them where they are. It’s our job as educators to learn what their needs, and strengths are.”

To read more about Coyne and Our Lady’s Catholic Academy, see the full article in the Daily News.