Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena

A Parish of the Archdiocese of New York served by the Dominican Friars

June 01, 2016

Where From Here? – Pastor’s Reflection (May 29, 2016)

I cannot think of a time holding more gut level promise than Memorial Day. This weekend opens a vista of freedom. Somehow Summer grants us permission to alter rhythms otherwise de   rigeur.

The dispensations of the season address something deeper than human weakness. From the shore, the Great Meadow, and the barbecue comes a message to be heeded by the wise; real leisure affirms work, and relaxation makes sense of discipline. In the  time of rest, I perceive the gift of my  labor.

If this wisdom applies in our personal lives, it also speaks to our communal needs. Fair to say, the rigors of merger did not allow our parish much of a summer in 2015, and I hope we may address that deficit this year. For us, summer of 2016 will not offer a cessation of work, but the sabbatical that comes from different work. The cycle of meetings and gatherings goes into hiatus so that we can ponder the full array of needed growth stretching across our horizon.

All of our Summer projects will aim at making us more truly a part of Christ’s Body, the Church. In the quiet of the months ahead, we   seek

  • To move forward in divine worship. Growth comes in chapters, each suited to time and circumstance. Our worship has been supported invaluably through the experience of instrumental and choral virtuosity. Our organists and choristers have set a high bar for us to match as we now develop the vocal and auditory participation of the People at Mass. The work of shared listening and singing will not fail to deepen the Community of the Parish in the substantive ways that matter. Growth like this never rejects what has gone before but relies on it for a

In this context, let me update you on the Music Director search. We posted our job description and received around fifty applications. Of these we interviewed five in a conventional way. We then invited three back to play for us, and also to teach us several pieces of music. It now falls to me to decide this matter.

  • To implement, beginning July 2, our new schedule of Masses. This united plan of worship offers us the potential of becoming more corporately united as a parish. It also gives us the opportunity    to work in concert with St. John Nepomucene and   so manifest the Body of Christ in this   This is a real, heaven sent chance   not to be defensive, territorial, or fearful, but to recognize that the conscious pursuit of the common good opens us to God’s blessings. All around us the world becomes more connected; for the Church  this means that culture and technology now help her grow into the fullness of herself as a communion of souls.
  • To follow through on our registration drive. This will mean marshaling the electronic data that will allow us to be in better contact with the whole parish. We also look for the opportunity to reach  out to those who indicated special interests on the registration form. If you have not yet registered, please become more part of us by doing
  • To develop, as previously mentioned, a plan for the governance of the parish, so that we can give final form to the work of our Parish Trustees, Finance Council, and Parish
  • To develop a comprehensive plan for religious formation in the parish. We have a lot of riches here waiting to be synthesized into a life-giving whole.
  • To prepare a celebration of the Jubilee of the Dominican Order. On December 22 of this year the Order turns 800. This fall will offer our parish the chance to honor the occasion by enhancing its Dominican character. What better way to do this than by a thoroughgoing examination of our life.    As we go forward we want to make sure that our parish governance, patterns of celebration, modes of study, and style of socializing remain firmly  attached to the rich and challenging heritage that nourished the parish from its beginning. The Dominican way of life is shared by Friars,   cloistered nuns, active sisters, and laywomen and men. It takes a distinctive perspective on the Gospel from St. Dominic, and applies into all of the Church’s states of life. It will not fail to foster a balanced, communitarian, and simple common life for

I usually take a summer sabbatical from these letters. But this summer I will stay at the task of keeping you duly informed of developments in all of the foregoing.


Summer Peace!

Fr. Walter