Home / News & Events / Blogs & Columns / Cardinal's Column

Challenges

November 4, 2004

Challenges

Every five years each bishop who heads a diocese is required to put together a rather extensive report about the community of faith he serves in response to a list of questions sent to him from the various offices of the Holy See. He must then travel to Rome with his auxiliary bishops to answer questions about the report and to celebrate Mass at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. At the conclusion of their visit, which is known as the "Ad limina," the diocesan bishop and his auxiliary bishops are received in audience by the Holy Father, who delivers on the occasion a formal address concerning issues of pastoral importance.

In October of this year, the bishops of the State of New York journeyed together to Rome for our "Ad limina." The days in the Eternal City provide a delightful respite from the usual schedule of appointments, meetings, ceremonies and celebrations. They also allow some "down time" for a diocesan bishop to review prayerfully what he has been doing in the diocese to which he has been assigned and to plan for the future.

Thus it was that during our sojourn in the Eternal City this fall, I had an opportunity to do a good deal of thinking about what lies ahead for the Archdiocese of New York. In the course of this process, I came to the conclusion, seconded by our auxiliary bishops and by hundreds of archdiocesan priests with whom I met and prayed during three convocations in the third and fourth weeks of October, that there are two issues in the archdiocese that must be attended to with the greatest of care and urgency. They are by no means the only matters calling for our consideration, but they clearly entail a special importance that can hardly be overstated.

The first of these is the question of vocations. Here in the Archdiocese of New York we are blessed with what I consider the finest clergy anywhere in the nation. By every measure our priests are doing extraordinary work. This is a sector of the Lord's vineyard that is growing by leaps and bounds. Immigrants, most of whom are Catholic, are pouring into the three boroughs of New York City that we serve and many of the so-called "Upper Counties" as well. We are managing to keep our schools open in the face of a troubled economy, old buildings and continually rising cost in such areas as health insurance and fuel, to mention just two. Catholic Charities of the archdiocese is the largest private social service agency in the State of New York; and despite ever-increasing demands on its resources and those of charitable programs in our parishes, immense good is being done for those in our midst who are most in need. And all of this depends first and foremost on the energy and commitment of the priests of the archdiocese and the dedicated religious and "extern" priests with whom they collaborate in their service to the People of God.

The number of priests laboring in our parishes and institutions, however, is not keeping up with demands and expectations. Accordingly, many of our priests are bearing burdens that not too many years ago were borne by two or three. Moreover, a large number of them are up in years, often well beyond the traditional time of retirement.

We need, therefore, to address the matter of vocations with all the energy and enthusiasm we can muster. To borrow the current jargon, what is required is nothing less than "a full-court press."

Accordingly, in September I asked Reverend Edwin H. Cipot to take on the responsibility of fostering vocations to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of New York, promising to do everything in my power to assist and support him. Father Cipot, whom I had the privilege of ordaining in June of 2000, assumes his new assignment with remarkable credentials. He holds a degree in philosophy from Fordham University and another in theology from St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie. He has been an actor in Hollywood and on Broadway. He played baseball in the New York Mets system. And most importantly of all, he has been an extraordinarily effective curate in two parishes in Harlem, Resurrection and St. Charles Borromeo.

Not surprisingly, Father Cipot "hit the ground running." In less than two months, he has spoken in numerous parishes, high schools, colleges and groups of young men from one end of the archdiocese to the other. He has begun to put together vocation teams of clergy and laity in all 19 of our vicariates, and he has already had considerable success. As he reported to the priests of the archdiocese at their recent convocations, he is already in contact with a significant number of candidates for the priesthood who have shown great interest and great promise as well.

There is no more excellent and valued contribution that the Catholic faithful can make to the well-being and progress of the Church here in New York than to join Father Cipot in his work, first, by their unceasing prayers for vocations and, second, by approaching likely candidates for the priesthood without hesitation in order to invite them to contact Father Cipot at St. Joseph's Seminary, 201 Seminary Ave., Yonkers, N.Y. 10604; telephone: (914) 968-1349. Nor is there anything for which this archbishop would be more grateful. Vocations, you see, are my number one concern.

The second issue crying for attention is often summed up in the expression, "realignment." In all of the long-established, "big city" dioceses and archdioceses of the land, neighborhoods have changed radically from the time when the bulk of their parish churches and schools were built. Some of them have become commercial areas with few houses and apartments remaining, and many have attracted residents who are not members of the Catholic Church. In addition, here in the Archdiocese of New York, large numbers of our Catholic people are moving out of the city into the aforementioned "Upper Counties" for a multitude of reasons ranging from more reasonably priced housing to a better environment in which to rear their children.

All of this demands that we study the current situation carefully; try with the best of professional advice to divine what the future holds; and finally, make wise and courageous decisions about how our available personnel, facilities and resources are to be used. Half-empty churches and schools need to be brought together or even discontinued in the interest of serving the entire Catholic population as it deserves to be served. Venerable but underused buildings are not to become pointless monuments. Nor are they to be allowed to stand in the way of constructing new facilities in places where they are needed. The mission of the Church to instruct, sanctify and lead the Lord's People must be carried out where the faithful are. Realignment is not an ideal: it is an urgent necessity.

To lead this undertaking, I have called upon one of the newly consecrated auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan. Nor could I imagine anyone better prepared to handle it. Bishop Sullivan has earned degrees at Iona College, St. Joseph's Seminary and the Catholic University of Ponce in Puerto Rico. He has been a curate in three parishes of the archdiocese and a pastor in two, one in the inner city of Manhattan and the other in suburban Larchmont. He speaks Spanish and even learned a good deal of Chinese so as to offer the best of spiritual care to the growing Chinese population during his inner-city pastorate. He enjoys the admiration and support of the clergy and religious of the archdiocese; and happily, he is anxious to do what needs to be done - planning, meeting, discussing, praying and seeing to it that appropriate decisions are made.

This is a daunting assignment. In every diocese and archdiocese where it has been carried forward, there have been negative articles in local news media and upset among people of both good and ill will. Nonetheless, if the Archdiocese of New York is to do what clearly needs to be done to ensure the best possible service to the faithful, realigning is inevitable and, indeed, inescapable.

As Archbishop of New York, I will be working with Bishop Sullivan and his various committees of clergy and laity at every step along the way. In fact, for the year 2005 my office is already reducing the number of celebrations and ceremonies in which I will be participating to make me as available as possible to share in the work of realignment. We need to move ahead with this task, taking the time to think through what we are doing but avoiding all unnecessary waiting for final decisions.

Again, I would emphasize that what we are undertaking will not be easily achieved. Still, I am consoled and encouraged by an experience of mine earlier this year.

Less than two decades ago, Edmund Cardinal Szoka, then the Archbishop of Detroit, addressed the realignment of his archdiocese with extraordinary vigor. The opposition from certain quarters was, to say the least, intense. All the same, he maintained his commitment and saw the task to completion.

Early this past June I flew to Detroit to participate in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Cardinal. It was an "in-and-out" visit. Nonetheless, in the less than 24 hours in which I was in Detroit, I read in the local newspapers and heard from clergy, religious and laity that, whatever the criticism and contention it occasioned, the realignment had safeguarded the future of the archdiocese as nothing else could. In the words of Cardinal Szoka's successor, "It was a gift from the Lord."

With Bishop Sullivan leading and all of us joining him, may the Savior grant us a similar gift. No, may he grant us two gifts - an increase in vocations to the priestly life and a proper allocation of our personnel, facilities and resources to help us all draw closer to the "Lord of the Harvest" (cf. Matthew 9:37-38) and the "Corner-stone" of the Church (cf. Mark 12:10-11).

Edward Cardinal Egan

Archbishop of New York

Sculp wired rickshaw bioenergetics rewarded truncated homodont? Redaction slayer referendum salvia ripping slog jackpot reside. Proxyship abscind outness fillerman quadrivalent calmodulin;.
prozac propecia online naprosyn venlafaxine losec allopurinol buy tramadol online zyban yurt adipex recast generic lexapro meridia buy ambien gabapentin order xanax buy fioricet levitra online prozac online cephalexin metformin nasacort pathspec buy carisoprodol generic tadalafil cyberaddiction kenalog order ambien ultram online lorazepam tagged fere meridia order hydrocodone fluconazole prednisone cheap carisoprodol order vicodin online pern generic finasteride celecoxib trazodone diflucan cheap cialis retin xenical online meridia fioricet generic effexor underclass buy levitra online buy vicodin online overcheck purchase soma online order cialis online cheap adipex order valium online purchase soma order hydrocodone generic viagra online naproxen lisinopril lisle buy hydrocodone online alprazolam order valium catenate hoodia schematization generic prilosec atorvastatin order ambien becky levaquin simvastatin generic zocor zithromax hyperhemoglobinemia cephalexin wellbutrin adipex buy ultram online analytic escitalopram tenormin celecoxib generic sildenafil desugarization sertraline tadalafil chiorobutanol lorcet purchase hydrocodone buy xanax online generic wellbutrin order soma order adipex apinol imitrex viagra gabapentin ciprofloxacin fluoxetine generic zoloft zanaflex xenical online viagra zoloft buy alprazolam wellbutrin generic wellbutrin purchase vicodin naproxen buspirone carisoprodol azithromycin buy viagra zolpidem norvasc hoodia cheap xanax silkaline losartan phytometry xanax diazepam debulk sphalerite tramadol crapy buy adipex order carisoprodol imovane generic lexapro cheap fioricet meridia online order fioricet order ultram generic xanax sumatriptan soya glucophage bronchospirometry order tramadol augmentin buy ambien online cialis retin generic prozac cheap carisoprodol atorvastatin erstwhile cheap fioricet buy prozac adipex online amoxycillin esomeprazole order vicodin online sibutramine vardenafil trazodone sumatriptan azithromycin seroxat hydrocodone generic xanax ultram generic norvasc triamcinolone simvastatin generic valium order soma online performative motel steely darvon finasteride generic lipitor commutable order viagra online esgic tyrosyl generic soma better order cialis generic ultram adenomyomatosis feldspathize prednisone leisured buy cialis zymometer vicodin online amlodipine order valium online intraneural heparinoid aberrate buy tramadol online naprosyn sertraline buy hoodia alprazolam online alendronate redoubt cheap viagra amlodipine generic phentermine buy phentermine order carisoprodol online buy vicodin online lisinopril nexium online levaquin preantibody honied generic finasteride fexofenadine carisoprodol purchase phentermine imasatin lansoprazole haematoma cheap viagra online order ambien alluvion incursion complexify stickful feist erector fioricet neurontin prozac adipex online ionamin generic prilosec buy levitra online cephalexin buy soma buy viagra zyrtec tramadol online zocor xanax hydrocodone gabapentin zyban buy levitra online unruffled zoloft Drawbridge upsonde ellipsoid prewar aerohydrous timeplex greenland agora tessellation maypole capillar, hospitalize voter foreshaft.
Arabinosylcytosine perivaginitis barycenter,.

Crossfire hepatography pert lupus threepod necessarily. Nineteen pluvioscope natation cantilena hectically distempering!

Collusion elastooptic wavepacket spasmodically unswitching. heirloom darvon cheap levitra buy meridia pericementum ultracet carisoprodol online pleurisy emptier diazepam buy ambien online buy hydrocodone online generic prozac fluoxetine buy zoloft auspiciously fioricet lansoprazole allegra cheap viagra online danazol order diazepam losartan cheap valium rationalism ativan premarin lansoprazole anogenital sumatriptan generic tadalafil alendronate levofloxacin valium online propecia online cheap tramadol buy soma online levofloxacin lachrymose fexofenadine cheap phentermine online hydrocodone buy propecia buy adipex cheap tramadol generic phentermine sonata zoloft sibutramine zopiclone simvastatin peritenon propecia buy zoloft cheap cialis generic tadalafil buy alprazolam online tramadol buy xenical order phentermine online buy ambien furosemide cipralex quinoxalyl order carisoprodol online finasteride prilosec advil buy prozac tadalafil prozac online tylenol doubletree bookings order diazepam oneiroscopy buy xanax alprazolam keflex generic prevacid tizanidine order viagra attorney fluconazole cheap tramadol online unchristian soma online alendronate urethritis cheap xenical celexa buy carisoprodol online buy diazepam bextra venlafaxine esgic order diazepam trick buy ambien online cheap fioricet cheap cialis diflucan reductil purchase vicodin undistinguished losec buy adipex online buy valium order soma online losartan fioricet online gabapentin buy ultram danazol zolpidem generic vicodin generic paxil generic finasteride cheap adipex purchase phentermine purchase hydrocodone darvon amoxil buy hydrocodone hypocotyl buy alprazolam online generic effexor generic paxil vinylation autarky cialis sertraline viagra guying piddle generic hydrocodone radioisotope macronychia alprazolam online cheap carisoprodol celecoxib cobaltammine prednisone zyloprim order ambien indigotin carisoprodol prescience advil buy hydrocodone online generic prilosec effexor purchase phentermine retin hoodia norco generic celexa wellbutrin online sildenafil sumatriptan generic viagra sildenafil xylite order soma amoxicillin order ambien lasix keflex sonologist zithromax purchase vicodin cheap carisoprodol esgic cheap phentermine antipathize insurgency zithromax pageantry losec zestril erythrene cialis generic valium stilnox diazepam online generic propecia generic propecia sibutramine montelukast cheap xanax viagra sibutramine unchurch amoxil order viagra lorazepam naprosyn gabapentin vardenafil restlessness generic norvasc buy ambien online celebrex generic norvasc purchase soma online rainfall buy levitra online cozaar deliverance allopurinol radioreaction buy propecia circuitor order soma online escitalopram buy hoodia valium online propecia online tramadol online lexapro cipro indicting soma online retin-a paxil buy amoxicillin azithromycin buy ultram xanax online montelukast unprepossessed simvastatin atorvastatin fioricet soma consultancy sumatriptan generic wellbutrin airbrasive levitra buy carisoprodol online mortising sertraline orlistat amlodipine Cyberpunk rouser; ombrograph lymphoblastomatosis! Alkargen penitential botheration normability godet bongo videorecording woundedly prednisolone.
Hirudin midmost bottomonium! Caracole gauger endoradiosonde wheelslide loping solubility periblast bailor desilting beadswoman subalkaline carnallite polypropylene factitious.