As everyone in the Lower Hudson Valley tries to stay afloat…
The Archdiocese of New York opened its bicentennial year yesterday with a special Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The archdiocese’s actual 200th birthday won’t come until April 8 of next year, but the church has decided to go with a really long pre-game show.
The current issue of “Catholic New York,”:http://www.cny.org/ the official publication of the archdiocese, is fat (as in 128 pages) with articles about the big year.
“Two hundred years young!” is how Cardinal Egan starts his “column.”:http://www.cny.org/archive/eg/eg041207.htm
“On my desk as I write this article, there is an elegant medal that was struck for the centennial. On one side is an image of His Eminence, John Cardinal Farley, the Archbishop in 1908, and his episcopal predecessors. On the other side is an image of St. Patrick’s Cathedral with St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on the left and the first German national parish of the Archdiocese, St. Nicholas, on the right. Both the medal and a stunning set of vestments used by Cardinal Farley in all of his important liturgies will be on display in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, April 15th, for the Mass opening the Bicentennial. From their places in heaven, I am confident that Cardinal Farley, Cardinal Logue, Cardinal Gibbons and untold millions of Catholics of the Archdiocese of New York from its earliest days forward will be united with us in prayer, as certainly will be St. Patrick, the Patron of the Archdiocese and our Cathedral. May they join us in all of our liturgies and celebrations throughout the year that lies ahead.”
Catholic New York also includes several pages from Monsignor Thomas Shelley’s forthcoming book, Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York. A “section”:http://www.cny.org/archive/ft/ft041207.htm on the CNY website opens with this:
“On Nov. 24, 1815, the good ship Sally sailed into New York harbor after a voyage of 67 days from Dublin. The trip had taken so long that there were rumors in New York that the vessel had been lost at sea. One of the passengers was an elderly Irishman who had caught a bad cold during the late autumn crossing of the North Atlantic. The Shamrock, the Irish newspaper in New York, misspelled his name as John Connoly, but it identified his occupation correctly. He was the newly appointed Roman Catholic Bishop of New York.
Nov. 24, 1815, is not a red letter day in the history of the Archdiocese of New York, but perhaps it should be because it was the first time that the fledgling diocese had a resident bishop. Bishop Connolly discovered that he was the spiritual leader of a community of some 12,000 souls in New York City and an unknown number of Catholics scattered across New York state and the northern half of New Jersey, an area of 55,000 square miles. A year later he wrote: “My daily burdens are truly greater than my strength, owing to my not having more than three priests to help me in this city.”
Today this same area comprises two archdioceses, nine dioceses, 2,000 churches, 6,000 priests and more than 10 million Catholics. Not even the wildest optimist could have envisioned such a development 200 years ago. To understand how it happened requires a look back as well as a look ahead.”