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.


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?


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.


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.


Detente* Badge

06-19-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

In the year 1720, during an outbreak of plague in France, our Lord Jesus Christ gave a promise to one Venerable Ana Magdalena Remuzat, saying that if the city would devote itself to His Sacred Heart and wear this sacramental, they would be spared from the disease. And by His divine promise and the faithful wearing of this shield, they were! Perfectly relevant for our time now when Corona-Virus is afflicting us. Let us devote ourselves to Jesus' Sacred Heart and the promise of resting in Him with confidence.


Prayer - Penance - Fasting

06-11-2020From the desk of Fr. Villa

Intention: Reparation for all the sins committed against the Holy Eucharist
June 19, The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Read the encyclical letter of Pope Pius XI on the meaning of reparation here.

Let us all unite in making reparation in various ways, offering and participating in Holy Mass and Holy Hours of Adoration, offering Holy Communion in reparation, reciting the Holy Rosary, including the short prayers taught by the Angel of Portugal to the Children at Fatima, meditating on the Passion of the Lord, offering sacrifices and fasting. We also ask those who participate to recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus either privately or publicly and to renew the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus prescribed by Pope Leo XIII on June 11, 1899.


Pray for the Persecuted Church in China

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

The Chinese communist government is stamping out the last vestiges of democracy in Hong Kong, while this same government is demanding preaching patriotism as a condition for the reopening of churches after the corona-virus epidemic. While that may sound benign, Catholics in China remind is that what the Chinese communists mean by patriotism is the subservience of the Church to the communist government. Cardinal Zen has continually reminded the Vatican and the world of the persecution of and the desire to control the Catholic Church in China as a puppet of the government. You can read about these concerns and issues here and here.

Our Lady of Civitavecchia

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

Catholics are generally familiar with certain apparitions of the Blessed Virgin like Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, Knock. Most Catholics, at least in the U.S., are not familiar with our Lady’s manifestation at Civitavecchia in Italy. This devotion and manifestation have been approved by the Church. On the one hand her message remains the same: the need for prayer, penance, the importance of the Rosary. On the other hand the apparitions speak to the particular crisis in the Church today and society. You can read about this here. A future post will be on the venerable and approved apparition of our Lady in Japan, Our Lady of Akita.