Frances X. Gates – Funeral Announcement

Dear St. Charles Parish Family and Friends,

I regret to inform you of the death of Frances X. Gates.
She passed Wednesday at Brooklyn Hospital.

There will be a wake at the Church (19 Sidney Place) in the Narthex
beginning at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, October 29th,
followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM.

We extend our condolences to her family, friends,
and the Polish Catholic Community.
May she rest in peace.

In Christ,
Fr. Bill

The family has asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers – please see info at the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wc-bBcOSZ-f-hf6aOU27LhUg7e2hHVuwmm0L4F3IXtg/edit

Church Renovation Update

St. Charles Borromeo, Renato Araujo, November 2009.

Below is an update on the church renovations prepared by Nick Strachovsky, our client representative at K.O.W. ARMA:

Progress on the exterior has been moving along well the past few months.  The brick repair is in final stages. The chimneys have been repaired and new chimney caps are in place. The sandstone above the sidewalk bridge has been restored. Cleaning of the bricks and brownstone is in progress.  The slate roof repair is complete with the exception of patching around the gutters. All work at the tower is complete and the scaffolding has been removed. The flat roof work and parapet repair is in progress.  

Exterior stained glass cleaning and putty replacement is mostly complete. All exterior window woodwork restoration is complete. The stained glass windows will be covered by protective glazing. The final details are being reviewed for the protective glazing fabrication to begin. Once protective glazing installation is complete, the remainder of the sidewalk bridge can be removed. Once the remaining scaffold is removed, the exterior repair below the bridge will  be completed and step resetting will commence.  

Plans for the interior bathroom work are being filed this week for DOB review. The bathroom work is anticipated to begin within the next few weeks.

Diocese Honors Distinguished Parishioners

Photo by Antonia Fusco

Nearly 450 “Distinguished Parishioners” were recognized in an evening prayer service celebrated by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights on April 28.  Frances X. Gates and Francis H. Chin were selected by the diocese to be honored from our parish. All of the honorees gave of their “time, talent and treasure,” Bishop DiMarzio explained, before awarding a custom-designed medal to each of them. Read more at The Tablet.

Brooklyn Diocese Clergy Sex Abuse Reports List

The Brooklyn Diocese on February 15 issued an updated list of clergy accused of sexual abuse. The list includes a former pastor of St. Charles, Fr. Charles Kraus, who died in 2008.

Report allegations of abuse to the Independent Reporting Line,  1-888-634-4499. All reports generated are immediately reported to the Brooklyn or Queens District Attorney.

https://dioceseofbrooklyn.org/press-releases/diocese-of-brooklyn-releases-names-of-clergy-credibly-accused-of-sexual-abuse/

https://dioceseofbrooklyn.org/sex-abuse-crisis-response/list/

Bro. Beckett Ryan

Our dear Bro. Beckett Ryan, O.S.F., who served as Advocate for the Elderly at St. Charles, passed away on Tuesday.

Wake: Our Lady of Angels Friary (344 73rd Street) Friday 3-5 PM and 7-9 PM.

Funeral Mass: Our Lady of Angels Church (7320 4th Avenue) Saturday 10:30 AM.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Building Updates, 15th Sunday Ordinary Time

BUILDING UPDATE

Last week I signed the contract for the next stage in the restoration of the exterior of the Church. This week we received our DOB approval!  PPM, our contractor, is in the process of having his expediter pull the permits for work.  The shop drawing and submittal process has begun.  We will get an update on when they will begin work onsite once the permits are available to be pulled.  The abatement team is back onsite finishing any window caulking that remains and removing all of the caulking in the corners of the building.  We have coordinated them with PPM so they will not have issues in disrupting one another’s work.  The abatement team anticipates completion of all abatement work in August except the area behind the sidewalk bridge which will be done when it is removed later in the project.  We anticipate work fully mobilizing onsite within the next 2-3 weeks.

 

Meanwhile many of our vacationing parishioners have been sending bulletins and pictures from the parishes they are attending over the summer. I am interested in every Church bulletin, the interiors of Victorian Churches and particularly creative restroom additions. Our architects, Li Saltzman, (http://www.lisaltzman.com/) will devise a plan to install a restroom and more importantly for the look of the Church access to it but we need to tell them what we as a parish need. An example: would one changing table be enough? There will be more questions.

 

Wishing you a blessed week no matter where you are, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr Smith

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Mass and reception for people taking the bar exam will be on Sunday, July 22 at and after the 7PM Mass. This is for everyone, not just parishioners,  and we ask you to invite your friends. Lawyers who can give knowing encouragement are particularly welcome.

 

FIRST READING

15TH Sunday in Ordinary Time

Amos 7:12-15

 

Our first reading today brings us to the 8th century BC and requires us to look at the political and geographical realities of the time. After the death of Solomon about 931BC the Kingdom of David was divided in two: the northern kingdom with 10 tribes, with its capital at Bethel and a southern kingdom with 2 tribes with its capital in Jerusalem. Both kingdoms were situated between Egypt and whatever political entity was strongest in the north: Babylon, Assyria, Persia. The names would change but the need to play one off against the other was the same.

King Jeroboam II was king of Israel between 783-743BC. He was a talented politician and saw that Assyria, the dominant power in the north at the time, was experiencing internal discord. He was able to expand his country’s boundaries and its trade bringing unparalleled prosperity. This prosperity also brought ignorance of God. This does not mean a lack of cultic devotion. They were able to maintain two main shrines (Bethel and Gilgal) with many sacrifices and pilgrims but they did not remember that their God was a one of Justice. The Lord’s relationship with his people was not exclusively with the rich and rewarded but with the poor and inconvenient as well.

It is to this world that Amos is sent. He is not an official prophet. Indeed, he is a man of the land. He also is assumed to have been sent from the Southern Kingdom commissioned to address the apostasy of the north. As all prophets he uses his specific background to reveal the wider problem.

 

11 Therefore, because you have trampled upon the weak

and exacted of them levies of grain,

Though you have built houses of hewn stone,

you shall not live in them!

Though you have planted choice vineyards,

you shall not drink their wine!

12 Yes, I know how many are your crimes,

how grievous your sins:

Oppressing the just, accepting bribes,

repelling the needy at the gate! (Amos 5:11–13)

 

This is reflected in the archeology of ancient times and the contemporary, one might even say universal, experience of taxation. . We see that the houses of the rich grew in size during this period but those of the poor got smaller. Also, that levies of grain were much like poll taxes and disproportionally affected the poor. To absolve themselves many of the prosperous gave expansively to the places of worship. Amos writes

21 I hate, I spurn your feasts,

I take no pleasure in your solemnities;

22 Your cereal offerings I will not accept,

nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.

23 Away with your noisy songs!

I will not listen to the melodies of your harps.

But if you would offer me holocausts,

24 then let justice surge like water,

and goodness like an unfailing stream. (Amos 5:21-24)

 

Today’s reading is particularly provocative because it is a confrontation at the royal sanctuary in Bethel with the chief priest, Amaziah. He assumes that Amos is a “guild” prophet seeking to be connected and paid by the court or temple. He tells him:

“Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying,

13 but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.” Amos 7:12–13

He basically is accusing Amos of biting the hand that he wants to feed him. For Amaziah a prophet to survive needs to be on someone’s payroll and he who pays he piper calls the tune. Thus, the power of Amos’s answer:

 “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. 15 The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel. Amos 7:14–15 (NAB)

 

As we have seen with Ezekiel he was not inducted into a company of professional prophets but called by God and given a mission. He does not report to king or priest but to God alone. The tame prophets where unable to hear the voice of God. In Upton Sinclair’s famous phrase:” It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

 

The guild prophets, company men, could not write the next section of the book:

 

16 Now hear the word of the LORD!”

You say: prophesy not against Israel,

preach not against the house of Isaac.

17 Now thus says the LORD:

Your wife shall be made a harlot in the city,

and your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword;

Your land shall be divided by measuring line,

and you yourself shall die in an unclean land;

Israel shall be exiled far from its land. (Amos 7:16–17)

And so, it came to pass. The Assyrians got themselves back together and destroyed Israel in 721BC. We have seen that prophets may comfort the afflicted, but they afflict the comfortable and just as the “what” of the prophet’s message may shock and surprise us so too we may be taken aback by the “where”. Amaziah was angered at the message of Amos but truly enraged that an immigrant would dare to chastise him in his own place of worship. I can sympathize. The most personally prophetic message that I have experienced was reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: painful, passionate and from prison.

As we look at the wisdom of the Old Testament, let us remember that the Lord’s message will undoubtedly be one we do not want to hear and may very well be from a place we do not want to look.