June 21, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
This will be my final FlockNote as pastor of the Magdalene. Six years have flown by. I would be remiss if I did not thank the wonderful and supportive rectory staff, Jeanne and Marianne, our CCD director, Dottie and our volunteer teachers, our lectors, Eucharistic ministers, ushers, altar servers, the members of our parish and finance councils, and our professional musical staff, Anne and Nancy. It has been a privilege to serve at the Magdalene as my last assignment prior to retirement. Of the many responsibilities of a priest/pastor, I consider preaching a relevant, brief homily to a parish community on Sunday to be the most challenging, and the most rewarding. Hopefully, the mission was successful.

1. In July I will begin assisting the pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Mahopac on weekends and will probably assist elsewhere, as needed. When not assisting, I will be travelling. As of this writing, the 28 day cruise to the Amazon is a “go” from November 19th to December 17th. I am assigned as the ship’s chaplain. The ship, Holland America’s Volendam, has completed its service for the Ukrainian refugees and will be sailing in Europe and the Baltics this summer, until it is repositioned in the Fall to the Caribbean and tropics. With the way the world is today, all travelers must be prepared for the unexpected: cancelations, delays, alternate destinations, and other surprises. In 1975 I was on the Stella Oceanis sailing from Greece to Turkey when the talk of war between the two nations forced the captain to divert the ship to Egypt instead.
What a great consolation prize: Cairo and Alexandria, the pyramids and Sphinx!

2 As I leave, I welcome my replacement, Fr. Tim Wiggins, a Westchester native. Fr. Wiggins was ordained in 2002 for the Archdiocese and has served in the capacity of pastor elsewhere, most recently at St. Charles Borromeo in NYC. I will give Fr. Tim the courtesy of introducing himself to you. I wish him a productive ministry here at the Magdalene and know that you will assist him in every way possible. He will bring new perspectives to the Magdalene, and thereby extend the parish’s long history. I have asked Fr. Jim Sheehan to contact Fr. Wiggins in order to work out a mass schedule between them, beginning July 1.

3. I will be permanently residing at Heritage Hills in Somers. My address is 5C Heritage Hills, Somers, NY 10589. My cell # is: 347.255.1682. My email remains: padrejav@gmail.com.
Happy Summer!
Fr. John

June 14, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
Last Thursday the cardinal celebrated mass at the seminary for priests celebrating their 50th and 25th anniversaries of ordination. If I were asked to describe the mass, I would say it was a somber gathering. Only 3 priests out of 7 celebrated their 25th anniversary. 4 of us out of a 6 celebrated our 50th. The chapel was empty, no congregation. It made me most thankful for the opportunity to celebrate my 50th with parishioners and friends here at the Magdalene on the 22nd of May. I just learned on Monday that the new pastor for the Magdalene will be Fr. Timothy Wiggins, who has been the pastor of St. Charles Borromeo in Harlem since November 2021. I do not know Fr. Wiggins but hope to meet him in the coming days in order to execute a smooth transition for the Magdalene.

1. Today is Flag Day. When I took the oath of office as a first lieutenant in 1981, I took that oath seriously and remained faithful to that oath for 33 years. It does not hurt to be reminded that our democracy rests upon our citizens’ willingness to remain faithful to the principles upon which our nation was founded. While our democracy was hard fought, remember, it can be easily lost.

2. As promised, this week our parish will make financial contributions to the RSHM Life Center, the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Food Pantry, Neighborhood House, and SHORE.

3. Next weekend we celebrate all fathers and those who assume the role of father. We will be distributing chocolate bars to all fathers. I am sure dentists will be well pleased!

4. Attendance on the weekend of June 11-12: 5pm, 69; 9am, 89; 11am, 57. Live stream: 129 households watched live, 65 watched later. I received an email Sunday afternoon from our parishioners on vacation in Tuscany. They were able to watch our live stream mass and remain connected to the parish, even though they were thousands of miles away. Live streaming has been a very successful addition in our efforts to reach out to those who cannot be here, especially since the pandemic.

5. June 19 marks the Feast of Corpus Christi. Catholics have traditionally gauged their status in the church by their ability to receive the eucharist. It is unfortunate that the eucharist has been weaponized in our present political and cultural environment (as noted by Pope Francis). The mission statement posted on our website is a reminder that all members of the Christian community are in need of spiritual nourishment, no exceptions. Jesus made this clear at the Last Supper when he broke bread with his apostles, including the one who would betray him

June 7, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
We are still waiting for word about how the transition for the Magdalene will take place on July 1. The diocese has been remiss in announcing transfers and appointments of priests throughout the entire diocese. In my 50 years of priesthood, I have never seen such poor coordination between the diocese, its parishes, and its priests. As of today, the 7th, I have been assured, by a phone call from the Vicar for Clergy, that a new pastor will be here on July 1st. The fact that, despite the priest shortage, the Magdalene will receive a new pastor, is an affirmation of our efforts in the last six years to expand the Magdalene’s visibility, with the financial ability to assist, not only our local community, but, more pertinently, the diocese itself. What a reversal of fortune, since I was told six years ago, that when I retired, the parish would be closed. So much for predictions!

1. Last weekend’s attendance: 5pm, 50; 9am, 96; 11am, 72. Live stream: households watching live, 124; watching later, 60. I would like to thank Anne, Nancy, and Jim for enhancing our Pentecost celebration with an inspirational rendition of the Sequence. Thanks, also, to some of the members of the choir who joined them at the 11am.

2. Congratulations to our students graduating from college, high school, and grammar school for making it through another tough academic year due to the pandemic.

3. We welcome Braydon Mac Steel to our parish community. Braydon received the sacraments of initiation on Pentecost at the 11am mass. It is a reminder that the parish sacramental life is alive and well. Last weekend saw two weddings, two baptisms, and a funeral service. Next weekend (11th and 12th) four baptisms are scheduled, as well as an internment of ashes. There are no weddings scheduled for July and August since we could offer no assurance that a priest would be available to officiate.

4. We are still working on the Bat issue. I have been told that identifiable openings in the roof have been sealed. Next, the attic will be sanitized and netting will be installed to catch and release the bats.

5. You have probably noticed that the tree in front of the rectory has died. It will be removed. Another tree on the front lawn near the fire house will be trimmed. The total cost will be $900.

May 31, 2022

Dear Parishioners,
Once again, I would like to thank you for making the 50th anniversary of my ordination a true celebration. Many photos of the event were taken both in the church and at the brunch at Sleepy Hollow CC. You may view these photos by going to our parish website. There have been some requests for a copy of the mass. We will have to explore how this can be done.

1. The month of June will be busy with seven baptisms, three weddings, an internment of ashes, and a memorial mass, in addition to the regular parish weekend schedule. This will free up the parish calendar for July and August in order that a new parish administrator will be able to ease into the Magdalene and not be overwhelmed with a calendar of events to cope with.

2. Memorial Day weekend mass attendance: 5pm, 75; 9am, 79; 11am, 54. Live stream: 138 households watched live, 50 watched later. The Memorial Day service in Ossining went well and the turnout was good after two years of pandemic isolation.

3. Revised live stream for 50th anniversary mass on May 22 at 11am: Watched live: 179 households; watched later, 130 households.

4. The cardinal has sent invitation to all priests celebrating their 50th and 25th anniversaries of ordination to celebrate mass with him. The mass will be on Thursday, June 9th at 11am at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers.

5. Next weekend, the Feast of Pentecost, brings the Easter season to a close. The Easter candle will then be moved back to the Baptismal font. The Ordinary Season of the church year resumes. Green vestments return. At the 11am mass on Pentecost Braydon Mac Steel will be received into the church. He will be baptized, confirmed, and receive his First Communion. We welcome him into the church and wish him well.

May 24, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
Please accept my sincere appreciation for your support and generosity on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of my ordination. Your presence at the mass and/or the reception is a reminder of what our Sunday masses should look like each week. How we stem the hemorrhaging over the past years (excluding the pandemic), remains the most urgent task before the Church. Inspired, creative, out of the box thinking and leadership are required. Fundamental changes in our structures are only a beginning.

Thank you to Jeanne and Pete LiMarzi, Marianne Scott, Dot Meehan; our music staff: Anne, Nancy, and Jim; Stephanie Fuller and Cathy Chulla for setting up the church hall; our ushers led by John Daily; our eucharistic ministers led by Rich Chulla. Their invaluable help made the day perfect. Unfortunately, I could do nothing about the heat.

1. Even though I promised not to mention the Cardinal’s Appeal again, the fact is you raised $73,151, with the average gift being $647. There were 113 donors. Our goal was $59,000. Great job!

2. Last weekend’s attendance: 5pm, 51; 9am, 57, 11am, 310. Live stream of the 9am mass: 112 households watched live, 40 watched later. Live stream for the 11am anniversary mass: 179 households watched live (not including the 80+ who watched live in our church hall), 79 households watched later. For those who want to see the live stream of the 11am, please click our website.

3. This evening (May 24) we honor our religious education volunteers with a dinner at Tesoro restaurant in Pleasantville. Every week, we rely on our parishioners to provide our children with a basic understanding of our faith and Catholic traditions. What is truly inspiring is that our teachers and aides enthusiastically look forward to each week.

4. As some have already heard, the diocese will cease publication of Catholic New York in November and establish a digital platform instead. The fact of the matter is that here at the Magdalene we throw away 95% of the copies that are sent to us. Every parish is required to pay for the copies, whether taken or not by parishioners. It’s about time that this waste has come to an end. We ended our printed bulletin as soon as the pandemic began.

5. Since Covid is still with us, please exercise caution.

May 17, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
Last week was not an easy week. I was forced to skip weekday mass Monday thru Thursday due to chest congestion. I sought out a walk-in urgent care for a chest x-ray and ended up with three prescriptions. It was important for me to be well in order to take on a very busy weekend with a wedding rehearsal and wedding, a burial, four baptisms, and two Sunday masses. The upside was that I lost 4 pounds, the hard way.

1. Netflix has decided not to move forward with their production in our area and therefore would have no need for the use of our church hall.

2. Last weekend’s attendance: 5pm, 63; 9am, 93; 11am, 58. Live stream: 137 households watched live, 50 watched later.

3. We congratulate our religious education students who were confirmed this evening. A very special thanks to Dot Meehan and all our volunteers who ensured that we had another successful year, despite being handicapped by the still-present Covid virus.

4. As we approach my 50th anniversary, I would like to thank Jeanne LiMarzi and Marianne Scott for their unenviable work on the logistics involved in preparing for the brunch at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. Parents involved in preparing for their child’s wedding and reception know that it sounds a lot easier than it really is. Since the number of attendees has reached 400, the affair will take place in the large tent beside the mansion. Depending on the weather, we may have a beautiful view of the Hudson Valley. Valet parking will be available.

5. Still no word from the diocese on how the transition will take place here at the Magdalene at the end of June. I have had to put on hold one baptism and two memorial services for the month of July until we have a clear picture if there will be a priest in residence.

6. Please be cautious with Covid. We noticed that mass attendance was down last weekend and more people were wearing masks. Continue with the safety precautions you feel most comfortable with. While some parishioners have experienced some of the mild symptoms of Covid, it seems that bronchitis, sinus, and pollen-related issues are more predominant now. At some point all this shall pass!

7. Because we have not reached the required number of registrants for the Holy Land Trip in August, the organizers decided to offer the same trip, at the same price next year, from October 16-30, 2023. If you are interested, let me know. This is a good trip at a very good price.

May 10, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
With a very busy weekend behind us, we now look forward to several weeks of baptisms and weddings, with Confirmation as a highlight for our 8th graders on Tuesday, the 17th.

1. Last weekend’s attendance: 5pm, 87; 9am, 90; 11am, 132. Live stream: 135 households watched live, 50 households watched later.

2. During the past week I have been plagued with respiratory congestion. It created a slight interruption during Sunday’s First Communion at the 11am and the cancellation of morning mass on Monday and Tuesday. My Covid tests were negative. Whether I have seasonal allergies or picked up a respiratory virus is yet to be determined.

3. Still no word from the diocese about how things will look here at the Magdalene after June 30th. Communication is a two-way street. The diocese solicited the thoughts and ideas of parishioners in the recent Synod meetings, but has failed to communicate with us when asked about the future of the Magdalene. What’s the big secret?

4. Netflix has changed its production date to May 23rd. They will be using the parish hall to hold cast and crew not needed on the set.

5. Yesterday I celebrated the funeral at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scarsdale of my grade school classmate. Each year he would contact me on my birthday. How many men do you know would send birthday wishes?? He lived in the Chicago area and called me two days before he died. He wanted me to promise him that I would do his funeral. He left a wife of 50 years and a son. Some friendships and bonds last a lifetime.

May 3, 2022

Dear Parishioners;
I had a good vacation in the Dominican Republic. No hitches, but more paperwork is required in order to return to the US. It’s a new world. One benefit of this trip was that I was able to renew my Global Entry interview at JFK, allowing an expedited entry to the US, while waiting for my luggage. I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by a Homeland Security officer whose uncle was a priest in the diocese of Rockville Center. The interview was a breeze, just a new photo and fingerprints. Done! Again, I wish to express my appreciation to Sr. Flo and Fr. Sheehan for holding down the fort.

1. I was surprised, on my return, to see the Easter flowers gone. That was quick. However, I was pleased to learn of your Easter generosity. Our Easter collection was $22,640. Thank you!

2. We surpassed our Cardinal’s Appeal goal of $59,000. The latest figure is $71,699. This is a remarkable response by any standard of measurement. My sincere thanks. I will be saying nothing more about the Cardinal’s Appeal from this point on.

3. Last weekend’s attendance: 5pm, 85; 9am, 96; 11am, 58. Live stream: 149 households watched live, 55 watched later. Looking ahead, my 50th anniversary mass on the 22nd at 11am will be live streamed, in addition to the 9am that day.

4. THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE IN THE CELEBRANT SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKEND OF MAY 7-8 DUE TO FIRST COMMUNION AT 11 ON THE 8TH. Fr. John will have the 5pm and 11am.

5. Netflix will be using the church hall on Monday May 16th as a holding place for cast and crew who are not needed on the set. They have agreed to pay the parish $2000. The proper documentation and insurance certificate will be required from the production company.

6. Our Pocantico Hills Fire Department is holding a Blood Drive on Thursday, May 5th from 2-8pm. Blood donors are needed!!

7. Thank you to our 5th graders and those who supported the Bake Sale last Sunday for Ukrainian refugees. The sale raised $1,144! Even though I did not purchase any sweets, as some of you now know: the ship I was to sail on as chaplain in November (the Volendam), has been chartered to rescue Ukrainian refugees. A disappointment for me, but a most worthy mission of mercy for Ukrainian families.

8. Prior to my departure at the end of June, because of your generosity, the parish will make donations to community groups and outreach programs in the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow area, as we have done in the past. The past Renew and Rebuild Campaign, initiated by the diocese several years ago, gave some pastors free reign to indulge in cosmetic and totally unnecessary enhancements to rectory, school, and property. New bathrooms, kitchens, and furniture were acquired. For whom? Am I the only one who sees a future of empty rectories, poorly attended churches, and underused real estate? I have no idea who will replace me at the Magdalene, but I want to ensure that your generosity will benefit a much wider ecumenical community, where the needs are genuine. In June I will list the organizations and the amount of the bequests. Have no fear! These bequests will come from our operating account, not our savings, which stand at $510,000, earning 4% interest payable twice a year.

9. Archways, the quarterly magazine of the archdiocese, has chosen to profile the stained glass windows of the Magdalene in their future issue. We beat out a number of other parishes that were under consideration. A little publicity never hurts.

10. In these Flocknotes I have constantly warned about scams, etc. Last Thursday I was checking my deceased mom’s trust account balance and realized $20,000 was missing. A check, listing a creditable corporation in NJ as the PAYER, wrote a check for just under $20,000 to an unknown payee, using my mom’s Chase account number. The corporation has no Chase accounts, so how did the check move through the system? A representative for Chase said it should have been flagged immediately and apologized for this failure. My own access to this account requires a two-step authentication in order to prevent unauthorized access to the account. The money was replaced by Chase in 24 hrs. I was able to catch this fraudulent transaction only hours after it took place because I check the balance each morning online. Had I not done so, the account could have been cleaned out. Today, you cannot be too careful.

11. This month of May will be busy with two First Communions, Confirmation, 5 baptisms, 3 weddings, Mother’s Day, Bake Sale, Parish Brunch in honor of my 50th anniversary of ordination, and Memorial Day. I have been asked to be the guest speaker at the Ossining Memorial Day celebration. After May, I will need another vacation. Looking toward the future, we have received no further word about the transition that will take place at the Magdalene on July 1. If what is taking place in other parts of the diocese is any indication, it seems possible that a neighboring pastor will be named administrator of the Magdalene. My sister’s pastor in Warwick, NY has now been informed that he will also be the administrator of 2 other parishes in Florida and Pine Island NY. In my opinion, this decision reveals that the diocese has no creative plan to deal with the post-pandemic reality we are living in. If you want to destroy the morale (and health) of remaining pastors, this is the most effective way to accomplish that goal. Let me ask: in the corporate world do employees jump for joy when asked to assume the work load of colleagues (without further compensation) who have resigned or have been let go? The answer should be obvious.

A Blessed Mother’s Day to All Our Mothers and Those Who
Assume the Role of Mother, and Congratulations
to All Our First Communicants

April 26, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
My sincere thanks to all who attended and supported our Holy Week celebrations. My special thanks to our choir, lectors, ushers and our Eucharistic Ministers, who resumed their ministry on Easter Sunday. With a little practice we will master the new procedure for the distribution of communion.

1. I will be away this week, returning on Tuesday evening, of the 26th. Sr. Flo will conduct daily communion services at 8am on the weekdays I am away. Fr. Sheehan will cover the masses on the weekend of April 30-May 1.

2. Attendance on Good Friday: 105 at the service; Live Stream: 120, with 35 watching later. Easter Vigil at 8pm: 95 in person; 9am, 162; 11am, 300+. Live stream: 130 households watched live, 50 watched later

3. My sister, who attended the 11am on Easter, observed that many more people here at the Magdalene were wearing masks than in her home parish. With the Covid virus still lingering, you are exercising good sense. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, do so. Each one of us is responsible for his/her medical decisions. With the large attendance on Sunday and the implementation of a new procedure for the distribution of communion, I neglected to put on my mask for the distribution of communion. It won’t happen again.

4. The new procedure for the distribution of communion seemed to work, in spite of the larger attendance on Easter. On a normal weekend, the procedure should be a breeze. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and modify the procedure as necessary.

5. Did you know that bats are protected by both federal and state law? In NY you cannot disturb the long-eared bat hibernation habitat between Oct 1-April 30. As a consequence, we are still exploring remedies for the bats in the church attic.

April 19, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
My sincere thanks to all who attended and supported our Holy Week celebrations. My special thanks to our choir, lectors, ushers and our Eucharistic Ministers, who resumed their ministry on Easter Sunday. With a little practice we will master the new procedure for the distribution of communion.

1. I will be away this week, returning on Tuesday evening, of the 26th. Sr. Flo will conduct daily communion services at 8am on the weekdays I am away. Fr. Sheehan will cover the masses on the weekend of April 30-May 1.

2. Attendance on Good Friday: 105 at the service; Live Stream: 120, with 35 watching later. Easter Vigil at 8pm: 95 in person; 9am, 162; 11am, 300+. Live stream: 130 households watched live, 50 watched later.

3. My sister, who attended the 11am on Easter, observed that many more people here at the Magdalene were wearing masks than in her home parish. With the Covid virus still lingering, you are exercising good sense. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, do so. Each one of us is responsible for his/her medical decisions. With the large attendance on Sunday and the implementation of a new procedure for the distribution of communion, I neglected to put on my mask for the distribution of communion. It won’t happen again.

4. The new procedure for the distribution of communion seemed to work, in spite of the larger attendance on Easter. On a normal weekend, the procedure should be a breeze. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and modify the procedure as necessary.

5. Did you know that bats are protected by both federal and state law? In NY you cannot disturb the long-eared bat hibernation habitat between Oct 1-April 30. As a consequence, we are still exploring remedies for the bats in the church attic.

April 12, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
A reminder: I will be away from Tuesday, April 19 to Tuesday, April 26. Sr. Flo will conduct a communion service in place of the weekday masses. Fr. Sheehan will cover the weekend masses April 23-24. I thank them for their service and assistance.

1. Please consult our website for all Holy Week services. They are also posted on the door of the church. Our Good Friday Service will be LIVE STREAMED. We will re-introduce Eucharistic Ministers on Easter Sunday morning, not the Easter Vigil. The priest will distribute communion at the foot of the altar to the PARKING LOT SIDE of the church, beginning with the first row, and returning by way of the side aisle, as we are presently doing. The Eucharistic Minister will stand in front of the Baptismal Font. Starting with the last pew on the ORGAN SIDE of the church, those receiving communion should approach the Eucharistic Minister by exiting their row from THE SIDE AISLE, beginning with the last pew, and return by way of the CENTER AISLE. Let’s see how this works. It may sound confusing, but it is quite simple.

2. Now for an important update: The Vicar for Clergy called me on Friday (April 8). He asserted that the parish will remain open. This is great news for our parish. I guess my question is: Why was this not communicated to the Parish Council in response to their two letters, going back over a year, requesting information about the future of the parish? As a consequence, my last day at the Magdalene will be June 30th. I was assured that the diocese will find my replacement for the Magdalene. Considering that we are ordaining no one for the archdiocese next month, and that two of my contemporaries died over the Palm Sunday weekend, the pickings are slim. It is unfortunate that creative ideas for implementing needed pastoral initiatives continue to elude us, both locally and on the global level. How long will it take for the church to understand that business as usual is over? The fact that we have more
Catholics “shopping” for parishes should be a wake-up call that change is needed. To be honest, our diocese has never been on the cutting edge of innovation.

3. Cardinal’s Appeal: goal, $59,000; pledged, $57,005; number of gifts, 87; average gift, $655.23. We are still waiting for a major gift to be posted and for a new campaign manager to be assigned. Your response to the Appeal has been extraordinary. Thank you.

4. Last weekend’s attendance: 5pm, 66 (surprising low for Palm Sunday); 9am, 100; 11am, 108. Live stream: Watching live, 155 households; watching later, 60.

5. During the first days of Holy Week we contracted with the firm Renovata to strengthen the joints of several pews which were beginning to show weakness. Work began on Monday (April 11). After Easter, some of the pews, in need of more intensive repair, will be removed to Renovata’s workshop.

6. Update on the bats: The first bid came in at $14,000, which included sealing several points of entry in our structures. For $14,000 I will buy the bats their own condo. In the meantime they are living in our attic rent free. This issue requires more serious investigation.

7. The parish signed a contract with Pristine Properties from Ossining for landscaping and snow removal. Their first visit to the property today (April 12) for Spring cleanup was marred by several belligerent neighbors who resented the noise. They brought their screaming and yelling (their decibel level rivaled the mower and blower) onto the church property, which required us to call the police. Four patrol cars arrived from Sleepy Hollow and Mount Pleasant and took our statement. This should be an interesting summer!

8. The Travelers Insurance representative inspected both the church and rectory furnaces on April 11 for safety issues and recertified that we meet all safety requirements.

9. Once again we have been approached by Netflix to use the parish hall on a May weekday as a holding area for cast and crew. We will see if we can seal the deal this time.

ON BEHALF OF THE PARISH STAFF WE WISH OUR PARISHIONERS AND FAMILIES A BLESSED EASTER.

April 5, 2022

Dear Parishioners:
Next week we enter our most sacred time of the church year. A recap of the events: Holy Thursday at 8pm; Good Friday at 3pm with Stations of the Cross at 7pm. Our 3pm service will be live streamed; Holy Saturday Easter Vigil at 8pm; Easter Sunday at 9 and 11am. As usual, our 9am mass will be live streamed. At all our services masks are not required. However, if you feel more comfortable wearing one, do so. We are still maintaining other safety protocols: no hand shaking at the kiss of peace, host in the hand at communion, no chalice at communion, the holy water font will remain empty.

1. How to say this? I contacted the Personnel Office of the diocese inquiring why I did not receive the diocesan retirement packet. The response was indicative of a diocese adrift. The Vicar for Clergy had no knowledge I was here at the Magdalene and did not have my email address, despite the fact that I have been here almost 6 years and have received countless emails from the diocese, and continue to do so. I was promised a phone call to clarify the situation. It never came. Having spent 33 years in army units of various sizes, from battalion, brigade, division, to general hospital, I am floored by such organizational sloppiness. You can’t make this stuff up.

2. Cardinal’s Appeal update: As of last Friday (April 1) our parishioners have pledged $56,255 toward our $59,000 goal. 83 households have contributed. The average gift was $677.77. The diocesan figure does not include a major gift from one of our parishioners, which the diocese has yet to post in its system. Thank you very much for your response. I hope the diocese takes notice!

3. Last weekend’s attendance: 5pm, 83; 9am, 76; 11am, 70. Live stream: 124 households watched live, 60 watched later.

4. We will re-introduce Eucharistic ministers on Easter Sunday morning. Since our musicians will continue to occupy the aisle around the organ, we need to devise 2 communion stations that do not inhibit the flow of communicants. Suggestions?

5. My sincere thanks to the rectory staff and volunteers who worked to coordinate and mail invitations to the mass and brunch for the 50th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood on May 22.