The Wind Blows Where It Wills – Pastor’s Reflection (June 4, 2017)
In our Dominican Life, we Friars present ourselves to be Spirit-led and Spirit-driven. His response
becomes real in innumerable comings and goings in the life of our communities. Since two Dominican
communities serve this parish you experience our ongoing pentecost in spades. Of late, many changes have come, some permanent and some seasonal. This letter seeks to catch you up.
First, let me ask your prayers of our Brother, Michael Downey. Many will remember Br. Michael from the 8 am Community Mass at St. Vincent Ferrer, and from the old 10 am Sunday Mass there, when he always took up the collection in such cheerful fashion. After a lengthy stay in New York Hospital, he has now moved to Rosary Hill Home in Westchester County. Here he will receive the loving care of our Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne who spend their lives caring for those with cancer.
Last month a new assignment took from us Br. Ignatius Perkins who was living at St. Catherine’s and
serving as Executive Director of the Dominican Friars Healthcare Ministry of New York. Brother is now
directing our Center for Assisted Living at St. Dominic Priory in Washington. We who shared common life with him at St. Catherine’s will miss his resourceful presence.
Fr. Jonah Pollock has taken Brother Ignatius’ place as Executive Director of the healthcare ministry.
Fr. Jonah will continue to be active as a hospital chaplain and his work will include directing our Student Brothers, diocesan seminarians, and other religious in internship programs for hospital ministry. He will be the one to work with the many lay women and men who carry the Eucharist to the patients at Sloan Kettering, New York Presbyterian, and the Hospital for Special Surgery. We are also grateful that he continues to help us with masses and confessions.
Fr. John Devaney will serve as his associate in directing the ministry. He has just completed a new unit of supervised ministry at Columbia and so will bring yet greater qualifications to his work with patients and
At St. Catherine’s we have been joined by Fr. Dominic Bump, who will both serve you in the Parish and assist in the work of the hospital chaplains. He has already been zealous in introducing himself to the
Community of the Parish.
At St. Vincent Ferrer, Fr. Thomas More Garrett has joined the Community to assist with the work of the Dominican Foundation, but he also graciously helps us with Mass and Confessions. Fr. Garrett played a major role in the Mass in honor of Our Lady of Fatima and St. John Paul II held on May 13.
You will also hear a voice already familiar to many. Fr. Bill Holt has returned to St. Vincent Ferrer and is assisting with his accustomed generosity at the altar and in the confessional.
Each summer our ranks swell with Student Brothers from our House of Studies in Washington.
Experience in Priories and Parishes such as ours plays a great part in their formation, for these summers give them the chance to integrate pastoral experience with pastoral and theological study.
This year one of the Brothers will serve his diaconate with us. Br. Isaac Morales will take his proper place as Deacon at the Eucharist and he will preach on Sundays and weekdays. Brother will extend Parish Study into the Summer for the first time, with a four-week Bible Study. You will see details on this elsewhere in these pages. He will also preside at our Wednesday Holy Hour, at which his seven Brothers will preach.
The Brothers receive a variety of ministries during their summer weeks. The years of formation feature a progression of summer experiences leading up to that of the diaconate in which the Brother gives voice as a preacher to what he has absorbed over six years of living and learning as a Dominican.
Brs. Reginald Hoefer and Barnabas McHenry will be working with the Missionaries of Charity, the
Community founded by St. Theresa of Calcutta, in the extraordinary direct service to the poor.
This summer four Brothers, Albert Dempsey, Irenaeus Denlevy, Joseph Graziano, and Ephrem Reese, will work with our hospital chaplains. They will have the experience of direct service to patients, and of shared reflection on that service. Such an experience gives a wonderful foundation for any ministry one may receive.
Br. Daniel Traceski will have an experience of internal ministry as he helps with the work of the
This whole range of new experience comes to our summer dinner table and gives new life to the local
community. We we can offer in return is an open ear, along with encouragement to partake of the many joys of summer in New York.
May your own summer be blessed.