Friday, April 25, 2008


In the year 47, the young John Mark aided St. Paul and St. Barnabas (Mark's cousin) in the evangelization of the island of Cyprus. Later Mark became the beloved companion and secretary of Pope Peter in Rome. He set down in writing Peter's sermons about the sayings and the public ministry of Jesus, and so composed the second Gospel of the New Testament. Its terse, picturesque language must have been very close to the words of the former fisherman of Galilee. The writings of both St. Peter and St. Paul show that John Mark evangelized many districts of Asia Minor. Tradition claims also that St. Mark was founder of the Church of Alexandria and won the glory of martyrdom in that Egyptian city.

INTROIT Ps. 63:3
You have protected me, O God, from the throng of the evildoers, alleluia! from the multitude of malefactors, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 63:2. Hear, O God, my prayer of supplication; deliver me from the fear of the enemy.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, Your grace raised up the blessed evangelist Mark to preach the Gospel. May we always profit by his teaching and find refuge in his intercession. through Our Lord . . .

Today, April 25, being the Feast of Saint Mark, is also the 21st anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate! On this day in 1987, after 4 years of formation (I never missed a class), Bishop Francis John Mugavero of the Brooklyn Diocese laid his hands on me and my classmates; we became deacons for all eternity!

I served in a number of parishes in Brooklyn and Queens, the last one was St. Margaret's in Middle Village, before moving to Florida. Now I'm spending my time blogging and taking care of my wife, Marianne, who has severe renal failure. Believe me, that's a full-time job, with shopping, cooking, doctor visits, blood tests, etc.

The reason we moved to Florida was because we couldn't afford to live in New York anymore and we needed a home we could call our own, a place were we could spend our last years without being worried of getting thrown out by a money hungry landlord! My daughter, son, sister-in-law and other relatives lived here already and helped us find a lovely condo which was in our meager budget.

I'm still incardinated in the Brooklyn Diocese (The diocese of Orlando does not incardinate deacons who move here) and my obedience is to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicolas Anthony DiMarzio. Here's a few funny words from an article in the NY POST:



AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: Pope Benedict XVI steps off his Shepherd One jet yesterday to begin his first papal visit to the United States, where he will celebrate his 81st birthday today.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: Pope Benedict XVI steps off his Shepherd One jet yesterday to begin his first papal visit to the United States, where he will celebrate his 81st birthday today.

April 16, 2008 -- Every time Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is greeted by Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican events, the pontiff asks - "Where are you from?"

"When I say Brooklyn, his face lights up with a big smile," said DiMarzio, who heads the Brooklyn Diocese, which also encompasses Queens.

DiMarzio himself has been smiling a lot lately, after being given the high-profile job of welcoming Benedict to JFK Airport in Queens during a ceremony Friday morning, and seeing the pontiff off there two days later with dignitaries including Vice President Dick Cheney. [End of insert.]

I don't know the future but if we ever return to New York City, I would love to serve as a active deacon again. I'm not dead yet! Actually, I'm pretty healthy for an old man of 71!

One last note, I was in Queens, working at Transfiguration Parish on 9/11. I will never forget that day and the days that followed. Many people were affected at the parish that day, including my pastor, Fr. Ted, whose brother was missing for a few days (he was found in a hospital, OK). Twenty six firemen from the local firehouse were lost that day! We had a special memorial Mass for them the next day and I read off their names. It was very emotional. May they rest in peace!