Notre Dame Cathedral is a beloved, iconic church that for centuries has been a place and source of inspiration for the faithful. We are deeply saddened by the tragic fire and offer our prayers for the people of Paris, for the safety of firefighters and emergency workers battling the blaze and for all throughout the world who hold this beautiful Cathedral dear. We take heart in the statement today by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.” May Our Blessed Mother, Notre Dame, intercede for us in this time of trial as we contemplate her strength at the foot of the cross this Holy Week.
Enjoy the beauty (and the challenge!) of 18 holes on The Links at Greystone’s rolling greens. Play fun lawn games including Kan Jam, ladder golf, life-size Jenga, island green, corn
hole, bocce ball, and more!
The Diocese of Rochester Catholic School’s Golf & Games: Benefitting Education Hardship is held to raise funds for students at any of our 18 schools in need of financial assistance during times of exceptional hardship. We hope that you and a group of friends or associates will join us by participating in golfing or games, becoming a sponsor or contributor, or attending our annual Awards Dinner.
To register, please visit www.dorschools.org/golf.
With the passage of the Child Victims Act, the Diocese will conclude our settlement process involving Justice Robert J. Lunn, who has been serving as an independent neutral to resolve claims against the Diocese involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese now wants to assess where we are as we prepare to respond to and cooperate with the process set forth in this recent legislation. The program with Justice Lunn will not end immediately. Instead, all claimants who have now completed the investigation phase of the program will have their claims administered by Justice Lunn. When the process concludes, more than 30 claimants will have been heard. The Diocese has a long-established process of working directly with victims and will continue to do so.
HELP FOR VICTIMS
Victims of abuse should always report to the civil authorities. To report a case of possible sexual abuse and to receive help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, victims are encouraged to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator:
Deborah A. Housel
Phone (585) 328-3228, ext. 1555
Toll-free 1-800-388-7177, ext. 1555
Statement Regarding Reverend Carsten Martensen
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester has received notice from the USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits that they have received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Reverend Carsten Martensen, S.J. The allegation dates to the 1970s. Father Martensen has been serving in campus ministry at Ithaca College and Cornell University in Ithaca since 2007.
The Province further states that Father Martensen has stepped down from all current assignments and public ministry pending completion of an investigation by the Province and recommendations by its independent Review Board.
The Diocese of Rochester has never received an allegation against Father Martensen during his ministry in the Diocese.
The Reverend Robert Gaudio, pastor of St. Christopher Church in North Chili, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a recently received complaint of sexual misconduct with a minor, which is alleged to have occurred in the 1970s.
Fr. Gaudio vehemently denies the allegation, indicating “I never did this.” No other previous allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have ever been received against Father Gaudio.
During the administrative leave, Father Gaudio cannot engage in any public ministry.
Father Gaudio was ordained in 1974. Before serving at St. Christopher’s, he previously served at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockport, St. Alphonsus Church in Auburn, St. Andrew Church in Rochester, Holy Name of Jesus Church in Greece, St. Monica Church in Rochester, and St. Ann Church in Palmyra concurrent with ministry at St. Gregory Church in Marion.
Father Edward Palumbos has been appointed temporary administrator of St. Christopher’s.
HELP FOR VICTIMS
Victims of abuse should always report to the civil authorities. To report a case of possible sexual abuse and to receive help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, victims are encouraged to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Deborah A. Housel, at (585) 328-3228, ext. 1555 (toll-free 1-800-388-7177, ext. 1555) or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Catholics in the 12-county Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester are encouraged to participate in a special Lenten Day of Penance and Mercy on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, to experience the healing power of Confession, formally called the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Priests will be available at every parish. Details can be found at http://oec.dor.org/sacraments/penance-and-reconciliation/day-of-penance/
The Catholic Church believes the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is a graced opportunity for us to celebrate God’s forgiveness. The Sacrament calls us to a true sorrow for the sins we have committed, along with an intention to repair our lives and our relationships with God and our community. All Catholics are invited to attend, regardless of how long it has been since their last participation in the Sacrament.
The Diocese of Rochester has created a special website at http://forgiven.dor.org/ to explain the Sacrament and offer “how to’s.”
NYS Bishops’ Statement on Passage of Child Victims Act Jan. 28, 2019
We pray that passage of the Child Victims Act brings some measure of healing to all survivors by offering them a path of recourse and reconciliation. The legislation now recognizes that child sexual abuse is an evil not just limited to one institution, but a tragic societal ill that must be addressed in every place where it exists.
Sadly, we in the Church know all too well the devastating toll of abuse on survivors, their families, and the extended community. Every Catholic diocese in New York has taken important steps to support survivors of child sexual abuse, including the implementation of reconciliation and compensation programs. We are proud that these pioneering programs have not only helped more than a thousand survivors of clergy abuse in New York, but have also become a model for how to help survivors in other states and in other institutions.
Now, we hope that this same type of survivor-centered approach, that puts the emphasis on healing, is available to all survivors, regardless of when the abuse occurred, or who their abuser was¬ whether it was a priest, a coach, a teacher, a doctor, or, as is all too common, a family member. We have long called for strengthening the Child Victims Act and will continue to advocate for the elimination of the criminal statute of limitations, compensations programs for those who prefer it to litigation, and mandatory safe environment training for anyone who works with children.
We thank the brave survivors who have told their stories of abuse in every sector of society. Their witness has moved us all. We renew our commitment to combatting the monstrous crime of childhood sexual abuse and helping all survivors find recourse and reconciliation as they heal.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano
Bishop of Rochester
Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg
Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop of Albany
Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio
Bishop of Brooklyn
Most Rev. Richard J.Malone
shop of Buffalo
Most Rev. John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham
Bishop of Syracuse
And the Auxiliary and Retired Bishops of New York State
Following is a statement of the New York State Catholic Conference on the passage and signing of the Reproductive Health Act:
“Today, New York State has added a sad chapter to this already solemn date of January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. With the legislature’s passage, and Governor Cuomo’s signing of the Reproductive Health Act, our beloved state has become a more dangerous one for women and their unborn babies.
“Many of the state Senators and Assembly Members who voted for this abortion expansion are mothers themselves, who felt their child toss, turn and kick in their womb, and delighted in the progress of their pregnancy. Many others, as well as our governor, are fathers, who held their partner’s hand as they viewed the ultrasound videos, watched their child squirm and rejoiced at the first sound of a heartbeat. Many of these same officials were themselves born into less-than-perfect conditions – poverty, health problems, disabilities, broken families. All overcame these issues to rise to leadership in our state, because their parents chose life for them.
“We thank all of our partners in the 12-year-long fight to stop this horrendous policy, and all pro-life New Yorkers who made their voices heard in an effort to stop it. Let us all pray for the conversion of heart for those who celebrate this tragic moment in the history of our state. And we pray in a special way for the lives that will be lost, and for the women of our state who are made less safe under this law.”
The Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of New York State in public policy matters.
Please know that the obligation to attend Mass is not binding (one is excused) if weather and road conditions make it difficult or dangerous for travel to Mass. Please stay safe.