"...I will show you the way to heaven."-St. John-Marie Vianney

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise

I think one of the most often heard sayings around thanksgiving is: “Every day we should be giving thanks, not just on thanksgiving.” On the surface this would sound logical and even very Christian. Indeed it is both logical and Christian, but it also breeds a sort of bitterness towards the holiday as well. We all know the people who make their living crying out about the commercialization of the holidays; they are not entirely wrong, nor are they entirely right. The holiday itself is good. Read President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation (http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm). Here are some highlights:

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God…”

“They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens…”

“and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

Now here we have some solid reasoning behind the necessity of Thanksgiving, not just a feeling a gratitude every day, but the a country unified by the realization of their countless blessings, humbly acknowledging from whence they came and imploring that same Benefactor, “the Most High God” to forgive us of our national perversity and heal the wounds of our nation. Indeed, that first national Thanksgiving must have been filled with reverence, awe and prayer, not turkey, beer and pie. Why a century and a half later have we forgotten what this ‘holyday’ was created to accomplish?

In it’s very core, as described above by the promulgator of this national holiday, Thanksgiving is not so much a time to gorge ourselves until our belts need to be loosened, but a time to recall the blessings of the past year with gratitude and “fervently implore” God to continue his provident care of our beloved America. Lincoln reminds us that the blessings we receive are so bountiful that we are prone to forget the Source of these blessings and this day of national Thanksgiving is a day set aside not to focus only on ourselves and all we have, but to render humble thanksgiving to the Source of the all we have. However Lincoln was careful to add another purpose to this day…a purpose I think America has all but discarded. We are to “observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens…” Praise!!! Our President at the time asked us to thank and praise God, our Father. Undeniably the vision that Lincoln had for the national day of Thanksgiving is glorious and inspired. Imagine if every American would, for one day, would gather together, as brothers and sisters, and thank God for the blessings he has heaped upon our country? You might say that is impossible or even crazy. Nowadays most certainly Lincoln would be considered a ‘conservative” and “politically incorrect”. The man who freed the slaves would possibly be labeled a bigot and be charged with discriminating all those who choose to ignore the God from whom all our blessing flow.

Yet on October 3rd, 1863, he proclaimed that “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God…” Lincoln knew that there was a higher power than himself; a power higher than the might of the American army; wiser than the government; more passionate than the American people. This Power, this God, is not an impersonal force who sits stoic upon a throne dealing out blessings and curses indiscriminately upon the creatures he created to be his slaves, but rather a Father, moved with love for His children, showering a bountiful harvest of material needs and spiritual consolations filling our hearts with His joy and charity. The only just response to a God like this IS a national day of Thanksgiving. Of course every day is a great opportunity to render thanks to God, but one day set aside for national praise and gratitude is exemplary. It shows that we as a nation recognize God and his benevolence and each year stop what we are doing to devote all our energy to glorify His holy name. Does a wedding anniversary mean any less because we have 364 other days to say “I love you”? NO! The anniversary means more because that is a day devoted entirely to the relationship you have with your spouse. Indeed on Thanksgiving, we should devote a day to our relationship with our Father in heaven.

So here we are. Thanksgiving 2011…The challenge remains the same. Choose life or death. Blessings or curses. A national day of gluttony with a brief mention of thanks to a god somewhere out there or a day of humility and gratitude, shared with our families enjoying the blessings our Father in heaven has bestowed on us. What will it be? Lincoln asked form the graces of peace, harmony, tranquility and unity to be the fruits of our prayers on Thanksgiving. I echo the same. May God our Father unite us in love and gratitude this and every National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Men of the Curé of Ars

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christ The King!!!

 The Men of the Cure of Ars answered the call of their Pastor, Fr. Charles Mangano, to bear 11 first class relics of the saints, in procession, to the altar of God, during a Eucharistic Adoration Liturgy in honor Of Jesus Christ, Sovereign King of the Universe!

Pictured here are:(from left)
Neil Franzese
Don Hansen
Charles Cafiso(in front next to Fr.)
Joe Villafane(on Fr. shoulder)
Fr, Charles Mangano
Tom Johnson
Richard Forgione
Paul Parretta
Frank Avallone, Joe Costanzo and Joe Gioello

Monday, August 29, 2011

Manhood and the Cross

“What is Manhood apart from the cross of Christ?

Is the cross not the ultimate symbol of manhood?

Of sacrifice?

Of tenacity and strength?

Though it may of lead to death, it opened the gates of life;
through destruction it rebuilt;
by tearing down it restored;
by emptying it fulfilled.
Are we as men not called daily to endure the same trials?
By dying to self we shall live;
by destroying our vices we can build virtue;
by tearing down our prideful walls we can restore right relationship with God and neighbor;
by emptying our cup of sin, we can fill it with love.
 The cross is inseparable from manhood, if that manhood is to be an authentic Catholic manhood.

Come discover the truth of Authentic Manhood.
oneflesh1230@live.com for information

Saturday, August 20, 2011

God's Eternal Promise

"He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
and to the house of Judah.
I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim's shoulder;
when he opens, no one shall shut
when he shuts, no one shall open."
In the first reading from tomorrow's Mass we have some familiar readings. This passage from the Old testament gives us the appointing of Eliakim as the Prime Minister of the kingdom of Israel. The former master of the palace, Shebna, was told by the LORD, 
 "I will thrust you from your office
and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant
Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe,
and gird him with your sash,
and give over to him your authority."

Fast forwarding to the Gospel we read this,

 "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The similarities are striking. We have Jesus, the Son of David, who is to be greeted by the formal royal welcome of "Hosanna" the week before his death, blessing Simon,  and bestowing upon him a new name and a new responsibility. Peter, the Rock, on which Jesus shall build the Catholic Church, is given the keys of the kingdom of heaven and with those keys, the power to bind and loose. Whatever Peter, binds or looses on earth will be bound or loosed in Heaven. This awesome responsibility does not bring with it the most prestigious of titles. The office does not promise wealth or prosperity. Peter is not promised that he will be the holiest man to walk the earth; in fact one chapter later, Peter will be rebuked by Christ for not seeing the will of God. No, this office brings with it possibly the noblest of all titles and the most difficult of all trials. Fatherhood.

As Elaikim was to be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so too is Peter, our first Pope( from the Latin for Papa) was given to us to be our father. The robe, sash and authority of the Chief Priests and high Priests of the temple were taken from them and given to Peter to be a father to us. And to this very day, 265 men later, the Fatherhood of God is still physically present to us in the Vicar of Christ, the successor of Peter.

Our response today in the psalm fits this theme perfectly,
"Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands"
God's love is eternal, and He has left us a physical sign of His authority and wisdom. Jesus promised that he would not leave us orphans(John 14:18) and indeed He has not. It is no small miracle that for 2000 years, 265 ordinary men made Popes have never taught anything contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. The deposit of the faith has been kept safe as promised by the Spirit of Truth. The work of the hands of God which is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, has not been forsaken. God's love is eternal and His love is the heart of our Church. Therefore the Church as promised by Christ Himself, shall never fall to the gates of hell. On the contrary, the gates of hell shall be destroyed by the power of the love of God, made manifest in this world through the Church.

I am convinced that not even Peter himself could have imagined the graces and miracles we would see. 12 ordinary men, one extraordinary call: Make disciples of all nations. And so here we are my fellow disciples. Let us accept that same call now and bring the love of God and His Church to all peoples.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything
that he may be repaid?
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The sun shall rise again

Rain, rain, Go away, come again another day...
     Here I sit in my basement staring at a screen projecting news into my face. The usual murders, robberies, celebrity nonsense; as I wonder why I bother looking for some thing positive something strikes me. I have always been one of those crazy optimists who see the silver lining, who keep their eyes on the horizon, who doesn't think the light at the end of the tunnel is always a train, but lately I am not so sure about optimism. Does it pay? Am I just kidding myself? In a world such as this, am I searching in vain for some glimmer of hope that all of humanity is not rotting in a cesspool of selfishness and sin?

      "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  Our Lord tells us this in the closing remarks of His Last Supper discourse. Our Lord has not promised us that we would be peaceful in the world apart from Him but only in Him. If we are not in Jesus then we will not have peace. Not some phony baloney, feel good, pussy-willow and balloons type peace but a real profound peace that remains with us even in the darkest of trials. Some of us think peace is only peace if there are no tribulations or temptations or trials or the like to upset us and derail us from the straight and narrow. I disagree wholeheartedly. Peace is what gives us the courage to deal with all the stuff that is thrown at us daily. This peace that comes from Christ, that we as catholic Christians should personify, is the fuel that will take us to heaven. We receive this peace through faith in Christ Jesus, through our hope of what is to come and from our being loved by Him Who is Love and then giving that love to each other. Through this gift of peace, which is the fruit of a Sacramental life in Christ Jesus, we will start to see this world differently. Sin used to anger me to the point of my own detriment. I was so zealous in fighting sin I seemed to forget I am a sinner and was once living a life in ignorance of Christ also. My zeal consumed me, but not in a holy way. It made me judgmental and uncompassionate. Much like Frollo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame I "longed to purge the world of vice and sin, looking everywhere except within." (Disney Version) The peace I had was of the world and it was fragile. It was not until I allowed God to pierce my heart so violently with His Love that I would understand sin. I came to understand peace. I learned about suffering and love; the tender embrace of the cross, the union of His love with our hearts. Painful though it was, I finally recognized Jesus and His most sacred Heart. I learned to suffer is to love and true Christian compassion can be as painful as martyrdom. In the crucible of pain and suffering that we call learning I finally was able to feel peace, His peace, and I was shocked at the force of such peace, at the reality of such peace. I was not only at peace but in it, and not only I in it, But peace truly was in me.

       So I watch the news. I see the homosexuals fight for rights. The pro-abortion fight for rights. Our people starve, they murder, and they sell themselves for enough money to have a hot meal. And I weep. I am sorry. I feel sorry. I feel their pain, their desperation, their loss, their anger. Why? Because I love them. I pray for them. I pray not for peace in their hearts but for understanding. I pray that they might see their pain and want to understand why they feel it. I pray that after they seek the cause of pain, they seek the cure also. Then peace can come. Only after we realize that we need supernatural peace to bring order and understanding to this natural world, we will as a Nation, as a people, as a race come to know the one true God and His Joy. But what about we, what about now when we suffer watching our brothers and sisters search the world in vain for a love that only God can give? What about our grief in seeing the sin, death and despair? What about us who hunger and thirst for righteousness? Can we continue on in this state bearing the sins of the world upon our shoulders? Can we keep the peace in our hearts amidst all this war and hatred? Can we love amidst all this utilitarianism? Can we find joy in the middle of the dark muck of despair?
“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you."  These words of Our Lord resonate deep within my heart. For He will see me again when the bell tolls calling all souls to Holy Mass; as the sun rises to dispel the darkness of night so too did our God rise to dispel the darkness of sin and death. Our joy, our love, our peace our God, Emmanuel, truly present in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar as we receive Him our hearts rejoice and no one, not even satan himself can take Him from us.

 "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written,
“for your sake we are being put to death all day long,
we are as sheep being led to the slaughter",
but in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8) So what about the rain? Let it come, let it pour, let the floodgates open and throw wave upon wave at the church it shall be in vain. The gates of hell shall not prevail; the darkness shall not overcome. The rain will slowly let up, the wind will cease to howl, the night will give way to day and the sun shall rise again.

Men of God... Will you answer His call?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Fireproof" Monday July 18th

At work, inside burning buildings, Capt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. At home, in the cooling embers of his marriage, he lives by his own rules.

Growing up, Catherine Holt always dreamed of marrying a loving, brave firefighter...just like her daddy. Now, after seven years of marriage, Catherine wonders when she stopped being "good enough" for her husband.

Regular arguments ove...r jobs, finances, housework, and outside interests have readied them both to move on to something with more sparks.

As the couple prepares to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's father challenges his son to commit to a 40-day experiment: "The Love Dare." Wondering if it's even worth the effort, Caleb agrees-for his father's sake more than for his marriage. When Caleb discovers the book's daily challenges are tied into his parents' newfound faith, his already limited interest is further dampened.

While trying to stay true to his promise, Caleb becomes frustrated time and again. He finally asks his father, "How am I supposed to show love to somebody who constantly rejects me?"

When his father explains that this is the love Christ shows to us, Caleb makes a life-changing commitment to love God. And with God's help he begins to understand what it means to truly love his wife.

But is it too late to fireproof his marriage? His job is to rescue others. Now Caleb Holt is ready to face his toughest job ever...rescuing his wife's heart.

Monday Night
July 18th

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Put on the New Man" Talk #6 "Scandal Shall Come..."

"Scandal Shall Come..."
The Christian family is under attack!

We all can recognize the culture today is anti-church, anti-God, anti-marriage and even anti-family.
These forces that are trying to destroy God's vision of holiness and love inside of marriage and the family are direct from the pits of hell. Yet Christ promised that we could do all things in his name.

Join us this month for a talk from Redemptorist Father James Szoboyna, C.S.S.R, where he will inspire us, teach us and prepare us to protect, educate and light the fire of faith in the hearts of our families.
We as fathers must sheild our families from the darts of the evil one. Come and join us in some basic training in the art of spiritual warfare.

Monday, June 20 @7:30pm
Cure of Ars Parish Hall
Talk followed by Divine Mercy Chaplet during exposition in Chapel.

Check out our Youtube and Facebook pages!!! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Beginnings

Happy Easter Everyone!

Yes, we are still celebrating Easter in the Catholic Church!!!

I often clue my friends in on this very fact because the world looks so forward to Christmas and Easter with weeks, even moths of preparation, only for it to be over in a few chaotic hours. Not us! We Catholics celebrate the HOLYdays for so much longer. We celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord until Pentecost! Alleluia!

Anyway, with Easter upon us, the Men of the Cure of Ars have launched it's own Youtube channel! The plans is to use this channel to make available greatCcatholic media to help you on your faith journey. Some videos are made by members, others are not, but all of them will bring something special to your computer. So if you are searching for an inspirational video to serve as a pick me up throughout the day or a way to learn more about the faith or current issues, check us out at The Men of the Cure of Ars Youtube Channel! (Click on Link)

Remeber, "This is our great duty... To Love and to Pray"-St. John-Marie Vianney, the Cure of Ars

Monday, April 4, 2011

Holy Week 2011

For Centuries the Catholic Church has seen Holy Week as the most solemn time we can experience as Christians; the week when the Paschal Mystery is once again unfolded in real time before our very eyes. We welcome Christ on Passion Sunday with open arms chanting "Hosanna!", then after celebrating the Last Supper with Him we find ourselves chanting "Crucify Him!" on Good Friday. This year the Men of the Curé of Ars are starting Holy Week right. We ask you to join us in the celebration of the Death and resurrection of our Lord.

Our Monday night lecture series is being postponed until May 16th. On April 18, we will begin our meeting with the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and then we will watch "The Passion", a one man play by Doug Barry of the Radix Group. After experiencing the Passion of Jesus, we will go to the church, and participate in the Diocesan day of Reconciliation by going to Confession. This will be marked by a fervent longing to participate in the self-sacrificial love that Christ calls us to exemplify as Men. Let us as a brotherhood begin the holiest of weeks together in Christ!

Men of the Curé of Ars
"Holy Week 2011"
Monday, April 18th, 6:30pm
Msgr. Leonard Hall

Find us on Facebook under "the Men of the Curé of Ars"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Long Island Catholic Men's Ministry and the Men of the Cure of Ars present:

The Men of the Cure of Ars invite you to…

Get Real

“Real Men, Real Lives, Real Faith”

All too often men think that to be in a men’s group means you sacrifice your ‘manliness’. On March 19th we are inviting you to come to an event designed to give you a glimpse of what a real men’s formation group is all about.

If you think holiness is a sacrifice of manliness then this event will be shocking for you. Real Men will give the story of their lives in all honesty, not holding back anything. We’ll hear their struggles and victories. The best part is that these men are real men from our groups. The men we journey with in this life. They are our friends, brothers, fathers and sons. They are real men.

Somewhere between saint and sinner lies the real man, fighting in a battle for the freedom to live a fulfilling life. If you want to experience real manhood you must make the journey to this place... And every journey starts with that first step...

Saturday, March 19th

Feast of St. Joseph

Cure of Ars Parish Hall

2323 Merrick Ave, Merrick



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Put on the New Man


Saturday, January 22, 2011

March for Life 2011



Monday, January 10, 2011

Must- See Abortion Documentary

A Powerful Documentary on the Truth of Abortion

“BloodMoney” is a documentary film that exposes the truth behind the Abortion Industry.

This film will examine the history of abortion in America, from the inception of Planned Parenthood and the profitability of abortion clinics, to Roe v. Wade, to the denial of when life begins, to the fight to save the lives of innocent babies, and the devastating effects it has had on the women that have had them.

This film is a great way to prepare for the March for Life.


(However, due to the nature of the topic we recommended that anyone under 16 be accompanied by a parent)

All members of the parish are invited

Tuesday, January 18 @7:00pm

Cure of Ars Church 2323 Merrick Ave, Merrick NY
Msgr. Leonard Hall

No Admission/ Free Will Donation accepted

Film viewing made possible by ‘The Men of the Curé of Ars’.