Archdiocese of New York: April 2012 Archives
The Congregation for Saints has told Bishop Octavio Cisneros, an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn that the Servant of God Felix Varela's cause has been accepted by the Pope as a man of heroic and cardinal virtue. He will be given the title "Venerable Servant of God." Cisneros is the vice-postulator of Varela's cause.
Father Varela (1788-1853) was ordained a priest in Havana and came to the USA to serve as a priest. In 1837 he was appointed the Vicar General of New York diocese, the number two in responsibility for a diocese. He founded the first Spanish language newspaper in the USA, the founder of the New York Churches of the Transfiguration and Saint James and was a delegate to Council of Balltimore with Bishop DuBois.
The Cuban American priest worked for the needs of the immigrants, especially the Irish immigrants at time when the Irish were maltreated. Father Varela was an ardent fighter for freedom here in the USA and abroad; he spoke for the freedom for the Colonies, from slavery and for the religious freedom of the Church.
Let's pray that God will soon glorify Father Felix to the Altars.
This afternoon, Palm Sunday 2012, His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan, JCD, preached Solemn Vespers and Benediction. He was the final preacher for our Sunday Vespers highlighting Great Preachers.
His Eminence's presence among us, along with his priest secretary Father Brendan Fitzgerald, was a very delightful experience; it was a joy to hear about things historical and present. Time spent with the Cardinal and Father Brendan a perfect ending to the day and perfect beginning to Holy Week.
Cardinal Egan celebrates his 80th birthday. Canonically, he loses his right, responsibility and duty to enter a conclave to elect a pope. He will likely be attending to fewer things in Rome as travel is getting more and more difficult.
The Cardinal's preaching was a fine opening to Holy Week. Domine, quo vadis? He focussed our attention on 1 Peter 1:18-21:
Realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.