Author Archives: bparker

Safe Environment Newsletter

Caregivers play vital role in protecting kids from guns

By Jane Sutter
Nicholas Naumkin was a 12-year-old middle schooler who loved acting, drawing andcomputer animation. But just a few days before Christmas 2010, the Saratoga County youth was accidentally shot in the eye by a classmate in the kitchen of the classmate’s home. Nicholas died the next day.
The classmate had taken the pistol out of his dad’s dresser drawer to play with it, according to the Times Union newspaper in Albany.

Diocesan Mass for Life Jan. 22

Bishop Matano will be celebrating Mass on
Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
7 Austin Street, Rochester
in support of all human life, especially the unborn
This Mass for Life is a local celebration to give thanks to God for the gift of human life
and to pray for the legal protection of unborn children, coinciding with
the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe vs Wade decision.
For more information, contact Suzanne Stack, Life Issues Coordinator
at 585-328-3210 x 1304 or

March for Life 2017 information

Buses leaving Thursday night, January 26
returning Friday, January 27 by
Mass at the Basilica with Bishop Matano
10 AM
Gathering near the Mall
to m
arch with
Bishop Matano
12:45 PM

The Season of Advent

Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (from, “ad-venire” in Latin or “to come to”) is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).

Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to the season with daily activity and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.  More Advent resources are listed below.

Deacon Information Session Dec. 14

When: 7:00 PM Wed. Dec. 14

Where: St. Mark Church, 54 Kuhn Road, Greece.

Details: We will provide an overview of the 5 year application and formation process and the time commitment involved and answer questions about ongoing ministry. An eligible applicant for permanent deacon formation is a man of strong and active faith who can demonstrate a record of service in the communities in which he lives, works and worships. He must be at least 35 years of age and no more than 62 years of age at the time of ordination, in good health, emotionally mature and stable in his professional and personal relationships. Men may be single or married. Interested men and their wives are encouraged to attend.

For more information: Please contact Deacon John Brasley, Director of Deacon Personnel & Director of Deacon Formation, Diocese of Rochester, 585.328.3228 or

Schools recommended for accreditation

The Diocese of Rochester’s Department of Catholic Schools announced today that all 19 of their schools have been recommended for Systems Accreditation by a Visiting Team from the Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), a worldwide leader in accreditation and continuous school improvement.
MSA-CESS is a non-profit organization that evaluates and accredits school systems throughout the world. Their accreditation process is voluntary, and schools /dioceses/districts choose to undergo the extensive process to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of performance standards. The accreditation process helps schools – and ultimately students – to continuously grow and improve. By examining institutions within the system as a whole, Middle States Association Commission is able to assure that the students and families within our communities are receiving an excellent quality of education provided by Rochester Catholic Schools.“ Our principals and teachers are truly deserving, and we are honored to receive this prestigious recommendation,” says Dr. Anthony Cook, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “Upon the expected approval of the visiting team’s recommendation in the Spring of 2017, our school communities will continue on a trajectory of growth as a system of schools.”

Catholics Care. Catholics Vote.

The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (en Español), our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. This statement represents our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. We urge our pastors, lay and religious faithful, and all people of good will to use this statement to help form their consciences; to teach those entrusted to their care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching. The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order.

White Mass Nov. 5

Taking its name from the white coat commonly worn by those in the medical
field, the White Mass is the Catholic Church’s opportunity to pray with and
for Catholic health care professionals, doctors and medical personnel
who are dedicated to their Faith and are privileged to participate
in the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician.

Fall 2016 Creating a Safe Environment Newsletter

Cell phone safety for children

When and if a child should get a cell phone is ultimately a parental decision. Children want cell phones for games and social communication. Parents want their children to have a cell phone for safety. When you give your child a cell phone, you are giving them a portable computer with mobile Internet capability. Know a phone’s features and capabilities before you purchase. It’s important to discuss issues of privacy, inappropriate texts/photos, and safety. For parents wanting extra safety features, there are special phones designed just for children.
It’s a fact: just about everyone in America has a cell phone. There are now more activated cell phones than there are people in the United States. Children are no exception. The average
age for a child’s first cell phone is just over 11 years old; 77% of children ages 12-17 have a cell phone. Cell phones are the primary form of communication for teens; and they send more
texts in a month than they do phone calls. With statistics like that, cell phones need to be a primary focus for safety.

Hispanic Heritage celebrated Oct. 7

A special celebration of the contributions of the Roman Catholic Diocese’s Latino Catholics and
their long history of faith here will be held Friday, October 7, 2016, at Our Lady of the
Americas, 864 E. Main St., Rochester. All are welcome.
The evening’s activities begin at 6 p.m. with the Rosary, followed by a bilingual Mass at 6:30
p.m. Celebrant is Bishop Nelson J. Pérez of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York. After
Mass, there will be live music, dinner and special presentations. The theme of the evening is
Honoring Our Heritage. Building Our Future.

Catholic Schools to hold Open Houses

We welcome all families to consider the gift of a Catholic education. Catholic schools provide a strong foundation for the Church’s greatest treasure, our young people. Additionally, more information can be found at each schools’ web site. Families may visit any of our elementary schools listed below at any time throughout the year, but each school will also host Open Houses.

Message from the Bishop on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11

Fifteen years ago this coming Sunday, our nation was forever changed by the horrendous
events of Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, our nation suffered a single day of carnage that tore at the very fabric of our daily life and broke our hearts. Fifteen years later, with the sorrow and anger and fear of that day still fresh, we also bear the grief of many more unbearable and horrific acts of terrorism and violence throughout our world.

Creating a Safe Environment Newsletter | Summer 2016

“Grooming” behavior puts children at risk

Julie was just 13 when she started talking online to Tom. She may have met him first at her church, but their relationship grew through emails and texts. “He didn’t act or even sound like a 56-year-old man on the computer,” Julie says. She knew it was wrong to spend so much time—between three and six hours ever day—texting a man she didn’t know. “But I did it out of retaliation to my parents. It felt nice to have somebody who wasn’t always trying to tell you what to do.”-Julie says she would get very anxious when she wasn’t able to go online. She knew Tom would send her emails asking what she was doing, and she would feel guilty. And besides, she felt she had built a close relationship to him, and he became “very important to me.”

Bishop Matano requesting prayers for end to violence

Message from Bishop Matano requesting prayers for end to violence:

Bishop Matano renews his request that prayers continue to be offered for an end to the violence now plaguing our country and our world. While continuing our prayers for the victims of the horrific violent tragedy in Orlando, and united in prayer with the families of all who mourn their loss, we also pray for the victims and families of the senseless violence in Istanbul, Bangladesh and Baghdad, and now most recently with the shootings claiming lives in Dallas, Louisiana and Minnesota.

Each day sadly brings a new cross of pain for humanity to bear. Throughout the world, the family of God is being torn apart, demanding us to acknowledge that all life is sacred and we are all God’s children.

CMA tops $6 million for first time in Appeal’s history

The Diocese of Rochester announced today that commitments to the Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) exceeded $6 million for the first time in the 35-year history of the campaign.
Nearly 28,000 Roman Catholic households committed $6.035 million to this year’s CMA. The average household gift also surpassed $200 for the first time.
“We are blessed in the Diocese of Rochester with many families that care deeply for the Church’s mission and charitable works,” said Bishop of Rochester Salvatore R. Matano. “ I am most grateful that they have chosen to help sustain our ministries and programs.”
Contributions to the appeal enable the diocese to provide critical support to parishes, including training and support for catechetical leaders, youth ministry opportunities, formation of seminarians, migrant ministry, Catholic schools, and religious education programs. In addition, the appeal benefits Catholic Charities, which provides outreach to the poor and others in need through regional offices located throughout the diocese.

Church prays for victims of the Orlando, Fl. tragedy

Archbishop Joseph Kurz, president of the USCCB, and the Catholic Bishops of the United States issued the following statement regarding the tragedy in Orlando, Fl. on June 12.

 “Waking up to the unspeakable violence in Orlando reminds us of how precious human life is. Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all those affected by this terrible act. The merciful love of Christ calls us to solidarity with the suffering and to ever greater resolve in protecting the life and dignity of every person.”
Bishop Matano offered Masses for the victims and requested that all our parishes offer special prayers for the victims this past weekend, June 18-19, “for the consolation of their loved ones and for an end to senseless, unspeakable violence that scars all humanity in its blatant disregard for the dignity of every person as a child of God.”

3 men ordained priests June 4

At approximately 10 a.m. on June 3, the sudden crash of a drum shook Sacred Heart Cathedral and was followed by blaring, majestic organ music.

Those booming sounds marked a dramatic start to the priestly ordination Mass — a fitting beginning when one considers the profundity of the occasion for Fathers Anthony Amato, Juan Benitez and Michael Merritt.

Catholic Schools receive $60,000 grant from Fidelis Care

Fidelis Care, the New York State Catholic Health Plan, has again awarded Diocese of Rochester Catholic Schools a $60,000 grant to assist a special learning program called Math & Movement™ for grades K-8 in diocesan schools. Fidelis Care generously provided a
$60,000 implementation grant last year for the program.
“We are most grateful to Fidelis for this grant,” said Jona Wright, associate
superintendent of Catholic Schools. “By partnering with Math & Movement™,
diocesan Catholic Schools aim to combine health, wellness and academic growth
through a multi-sensory approach to teaching math that incorporates physical
exercise, stretching, cross-body movements, and visually-pleasing floor mats that
allow children to practice using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning modalities.”