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http://www.silive.com/opinion/editorials/index.ssf/2009/12/wheres_the_compassion.html

 

Staten Island Advance Editorials

 

Where’s the compassion?

 

By Staten Island Advance Editorial

December 08, 2009, 6:15AM

The Archdiocese of New York may have its reasons for stripping a seriously ill Staten Island priest of his authority to perform his clerical duties and ordering him out of his parish and back to his native Philippines. But whatever they are, they can’t possibly outweigh the damage that’s been done to its image by this seemingly heartless decision.

 

     The Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari, a priest for 33 years, has been a popular fixture at Staten Island’s oldest Roman Catholic parish, St. Peter’s in New Brighton, over the past six years, where he’s known as Father Pablito or simply, “Father Pabs.”

 

    But Father Pabs is a diabetic suffering from acute kidney disease, which has left him blind in one eye and requires weekly dialysis.

 

    In the midst of all this, the Archdiocese’s Office of Priest Personnel recently wrote him a letter ordering him not to say mass or administer the sacraments, and to vacate the St. Peter’s rectory by Dec. 1. The Archdiocese cited his illness and the need for weekly dialysis for ordering him to return to the Philippines and rejecting his bid for a permanent assignment to St. Peter’s.

 

    In light of his situation, “the rectory is not the appropriate place for you to live,” the Rev. Thomas P. Devery wrote to Father Maghari.

 

    A spokesman said that the Archdiocese has been in contact with church officials in the Philippines who indicated they would welcome Father Maghari back. The spokesman also suggested that his medical care is the responsibility of his home diocese.

 

     “The bishop understands his condition. He’s ready and prepared to care for him,” the spokesman said.

 

    But Father Maghari doesn’t want to leave. He’s grown attached to St. Peter’s parish.

”I’m feeling like somebody who really belongs to the community,” he said.

 

    What’s more, he said that his home parish in the Philippines is poor and wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of his dialysis treatments. There, dialysis “is only for the rich,” he asserted.

 

    Supporters on Staten Island agree.

 

    “He was essentially given a death sentence,” said Diane Larsen, a Graniteville resident who met Father Maghari at a doctor’s office. “He’s not going to be able to live much longer.”

 

    Father Maghari has left the rectory, as ordered, but for the past several days has been staying with St. Peter’s parishioners. But he misses his work as a priest, however compromised it was because of his medical condition.

 

    “It’s shocking because we always felt as Catholics, the Archdiocese will take care of you no matter where you come from,” said Roberta Thompson of St. George, who has been a parishioner at St. Peter’s for the past two decades.

 

    “He was a good priest,” she added. “To be thrown out like this kind of threw us for a loop. They’re not practicing what they’re preaching.”

 

    Another parishioner, Sharon Mortenson of New Brighton, said, “It’s crazy, it really is; you can’t take the roof away from over his head . . . I feel personally they could do a lot more to help him.”

 

    So do we. Shipping out a sick priest because he requires expensive medical treatment looks for all the world like a cold, calculating business decision, not anything the Catholic Church, of all institutions, should countenance.

 

    Perhaps Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who has a well-deserved reputation for genial compassion, ought to have a talk with his bean-counters.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.ny1.com/9-staten-island-news-content/top_stories/109971/diabetic-priest-forced-to-leave-his-church-in-st--george

Diabetic Priest Forced To Leave His Church In St. George

By: Bree Driscoll

12/5/2009 6:34 PM

A St. George priest is being stripped of his duties and told to return to his native Philippines because of his health problems, even though his doctor says he is healthy enough to go back to work. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.

For more than six years, Father Eusebio Maghari has called the St. Peter's Church Roman Catholic in St. George his home, but the New York Archdiocese says it's time for him to go.

"We made the determination having reviewed his medical records, having reviewed the parish situation," said New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling. "Really, it would be impossible for Father to get the kind of care remaining in the parish at St. Peter's."

The priest, who has lived with diabetes for the past 17 years, must now undergo dialysis three times a week, but his doctors cleared him to return to work during the treatment.

Yet the archdiocese sent Maghari a letter saying he must move out of the rectory as of December 1 and return to his native Philippines.

"If you send me to the Philippines you are sending me to die," said Maghari. "After six years, more than six years of service, this is what you are doing to me? I think I can still be productive."

When he fell ill, Maghari was in the process of completing the incardination process to become part of the New York Archdiocese to stay here permanently. Archdiocese officials say until that process is complete, he still belongs to the diocese of the Philippines and is ultimately their responsibility.

"So we want what is best for Father. We trust in his local bishop to do what is best for him, to make sure that he gets the care that he needs," said Zwilling.

Maghari said his dialysis treatments would be very expensive in the Philippines and that he would not receive the same level of care that he is getting in the city.

"Dialysis in the Philippines would cost a person - three times a week - more than $1,000 a week," said Maghari.

Meanwhile, parishioners said they want Maghari to stay at St. Peter's.

"Oh, he is wonderful. He is a friend. I have known him for many years," said parishioner Ana Obiedo.

Maghari said while he continues to heal he will stay with members of the community. With few options left, he has turned to prayer.

Ailing priest rises above his plight

Banished from St. Peter's rectory, 'Father Pabs' trusts in God and kind friends

Friday, December 18, 2009

By DEBORAH YOUNG

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Rising and dressing in the solitude of his niece's West Brighton home, the Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari carefully dons his collar and clericals, the outward emblem of his calling for the past 34 years.

He's headed just a block away, to Richmond University Medical Center, for dialysis, which he receives three times a week.

But Rev. Maghari -- Father Pablito or Father Pabs, to friends -- is a priest without a parish, stripped by the Archdiocese of New York of his priestly privileges and responsibilities.

The treatment for his kidney disease is not painful, said the 59-year-old priest, smiling and speaking about his situation with compassion and openness.

But what does hurt, he said -- without a hint of bitterness in his voice -- is that he has been disowned by the Archdiocese: Earlier this month archdiocesan officials booted him from the rectory at St. Peter's R.C. Church, New Brighton, where he had been living for the past six years and instructed him to return to his native Philippines for expensive medical treatment -- a journey he said would be tantamount to a death sentence, since he cannot get the care he needs there.

"If it were for some other reason that I caused some problem in my diocese, they could send me to the Philippines right away. But I have not caused any problem. I am sick," said Father Maghari.

He spends his days receiving visitors, priests and some parishioners who have heard his story and arrive with small donations for him.

Absent health insurance and the small salary he drew from the Archdiocese, he depends on the gifts to pay for food. A social worker helped him secure Medicaid to pay for his treatment.

"The Lord will not abandon me. He will be by my side wherever I am, I still have faith in Him," said Father Maghari, who was a vicar overseeing a number of churches and thousands of Roman Catholics in the Philippines when he was asked to leave for St. Peter's in 2003 for a three-year stay. He continued with the parish as the request was extended.

"Of these troubles that have [been] imposed on me, I don't want to blame anybody. I just would like if people would come to their senses."

The city's Filipino community -- many of whom are devout Catholics -- have rallied around the priest and will hold a fundraiser for him tonight at the Manhattan Consulate and another one tomorrow night at an Upper East Side church.

 

"With prayers and hard work we'll be able to help him," said Troi Santos of Queens, who is organizing the effort. "We would like to focus on helping him. I don't know much about the agreements between the dioceses. I leave that with the other groups to deal with."

 

in the Philippines, and under canon law it is the responsibility of that diocese to care for him.

While a priest from another region lives and works in a parish here, he receives health insurance, salary and other benefits. When Father Maghari fell acutely ill in October, the Archdiocese paid for his care and rehabilitation in a nursing home.

"Given his current illness and physical limitations, a decision was reached that Father Maghari could no longer fulfill his duties as a 'parochial vicar' -- that is, as a priest serving in a parish, doing the full schedule of masses, sacraments and other pastoral duties," said Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese.

"Also, given his needs for special meals, and other care, a decision was reached that he could not be properly cared for in a rectory. This was conveyed to Father Maghari and to his bishop, and he was given sufficient time to get his things in order so that he might return home."

But Father Maghari said, despite his treatments, he is able to move around with ease, and could perform his priestly duties.

"I was called to be a priest. I answered to be a priest. I would like to be a priest forever," said Father Maghari, who as a child used to walk with his mother every day to church in his town in the Filipino province of Antique.

After his mother died when he was in the fifth grade, he told his father he wanted to become a priest. At the age of 13, Father Maghari began preparations for the priesthood in the seminary down the street from his home. He was ordained 12 years later, at age 25.

"We never heard anything other than the fact that it's a health issue," said Sharon Mortenson, a parishioner at St. Peter's who hopes to organize a fundraiser for the priest in the near future.

She said Monsignor James Dorney, the co-vicar of Staten Island's Catholic churches and Father Maghari's superior at St. Peter's, has been sympathetic to his former colleague's plight -- but only to a point.

Monsignor Dorney could not be reached by a reporter for comment.

"Right now I would say it's a dead issue, he's out of the parish, they're looking for somebody to replace him," she said. "It's 'Next! Move on.'"

Deborah Young is a news reporter for the Advance. She may be reached at young@siadvance.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/12/parishioners_support_ailing_st.html

Parishioners support ailing Staten Island priest

By Staten Island Advance

December 06, 2009, 3:14PM

 

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- At the 9 a.m. mass this morning at St. Peter's R.C. Church, the handful of parishioners in attendance listened to a sermon about the rewards of living virtuously, as light filtered through the chapel's glorious stained glass windows depicting Jesus and his sacrifices.

    But the comforting rituals of faith did little to ease worshipers' questions about a decision by the New York Archdiocese to dismiss the Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari - the priest who for the past six years presided over the 9 a.m. mass at the New Brighton Church.

    Father Maghari, who suffers from acute kidney disease and requires expensive treatment was apparently told by church authorities he must return to his native Philippines.

    "It's crazy, it really is; you can't take the roof away from over his head," said Sharon Mortenson, of New Brighton, one of many parishioners who have banded together around the 59-year-old spiritual leader they refer to as Father Pabs or Father Pablito.

    After being ordered out of the rectory by Dec. 1, the priest this weekend took shelter in the home of a parishioner, said Ms. Mortenson. "I feel personally they could do a lot more to help him," she said.

    Father Maghari is on dialysis every week, has lost sight in one eye and is on a strict diet. The medical care for his treatment costs roughly $1,000 a week, he told the Advance last week.

    The Archdiocese sent a letter to the ailing priest stripping him of his authority to say mass and administer the sacraments, such as baptism and marriage.

    "He can perform his duties when he feels good," said Ms. Mortenson, adding she was approached by the Rev. Maghari one Sunday in October after mass, with the request she take him to Richmond University Medical Center for emergency care. His health has since deteriorated, she said.

    A church spokesman explained last week that since Father Maghari is still officially a member of his Philippine diocese, his care is the responsibility of its bishop, the Most Rev. Jose Romeo Lazo. The spokesman has yet to be reached today for comment on any updates.

    Parishioners said they appealed to Monsignor James Dorney, co-regional vicar of Staten Island who is also at St. Peter's R.C. Church. He assured them he would do what he could, they said.

    The priest presiding over mass today, the Rev. Joseph Javillo, said he was unaware of the controversy.

    "It's shocking because we always felt as Catholics the Archdiocese will take care of you no matter where you come from," said Roberta Thompson, of St. George, who has been a parishioner at St. Peter's for the past two decades.

    Although her faith remains intact, she said the decision to oust a sick man from the job he has done for the past 33 years, has made her skeptical of church politics.

    "He was a good priest," she said. "To be thrown out like kind of threw us for a loop. They're not practicing what they're preaching."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.silive.com/northshore/index.ssf/2009/12/archdiocese_washes_its_hands_o.html

Archdiocese washes its hands of ailing Staten Island priest

By Tom Wrobleski

December 03, 2009, 6:52AM

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A priest at St. Peter’s R.C. Church in New Brighton is fighting for his health and vocation after the Archdiocese of New York ordered him back to his native Philippines because he’s ill with kidney disease.

The Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari, 59, said the archdiocese’s Office of Priest Personnel told him he cannot stay at the parish because he requires dialysis every week, has lost sight in one eye and is on a strict diet.

Given the situation, “the rectory is not the appropriate place for you to live,” the Rev. Thomas P. Devery wrote to Father Maghari.

Father Maghari’s illness also makes him ineligible for permanent assignment to St. Peter’s, the letter said.

But the priest, a diabetic who has been at the New Brighton church for about six years, said his poorer home diocese in the Philippines wouldn’t be able to afford the dialysis treatment he requires.

“It costs $1,000 a week,” he said. “It is only for the rich.”

If forced to return, Father Maghari said, “Slowly, I’ll get sicker and sicker.”

“He was essentially given a death sentence,” said Diane Larsen, a Graniteville resident who met Father Maghari in a doctor’s office and is among those who have advocated for him. “He’s not going to be able to live much longer.”

Archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling contended that Father Maghari is still officially a member of his Philippine diocese, and that his care is the responsibility of its bishop, the Most Rev. Jose Romeo Lazo.

Zwilling said the archdiocese has been in touch with Bishop Lazo about the situation.

“He indicated he would welcome Father Pablito back,” he said. “The bishop understands his condition. He’s ready and prepared to care for him.”

Church authorities also have stripped Father Maghari of his authority to say mass and administer the sacraments, such as baptism and marriage, while within the archdiocese.

But Father Maghari, a priest for 33 years, said he shouldn’t be prevented from performing his duties simply because he is sick.

“That is the happiness of my priesthood, a gift from God,” he said. “I cannot forsake it.”

Father Maghari fell ill in August and was told his kidneys were failing, but said that these days, “I don’t feel I am sick. I can carry on serving the church.”

He also said that he loves his work at St. Peter’s and has learned a lot during his time there.

“I’m feeling like somebody who really belongs to the community,” Father Maghari said.

Zwilling said members of the Office of Priest Personnel met with Father Maghari while he was temporarily staying at Clove Lakes Health Care and Rehabilitation Center , Castleton Corners, and that in their judgment, “he would not be able to function as a priest.”

Father Maghari was told he would have to leave St. Peter’s by Dec. 1, but he was still there yesterday when he spoke with the Advance. Parishioners have offered to put him up in their homes, he said.

“Maybe tonight I will be sleeping in someone’s house,” he said. “I would be a nomad.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.silive.com/northshore/index.ssf/2009/12/hoping_to_reverse_his_dismissa.html

Hoping to reverse his dismissal, parishioners rally around ill Staten Island priest

By Deborah E. Young

December 07, 2009

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- At the 9 a.m. mass this morning at St. Peter's R.C. Church, the handful of parishioners in attendance listened to a sermon about the rewards of living virtuously, as light filtered through the chapel's glorious stained glass windows depicting Jesus and his sacrifices.

But the comforting rituals of faith did little to ease worshipers' questions about a decision by the New York Archdiocese to dismiss the Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari - the priest who for the past six years presided over the 9 a.m. mass at the New Brighton Church .

Father Maghari, who suffers from acute kidney disease and requires expensive treatment was apparently told by church authorities he must return to his native Philippines .

 

"It's crazy, it really is; you can't take the roof away from over his head," said Sharon Mortenson, of New Brighton, one of many parishioners who have banded together around the 59-year-old spiritual leader they refer to as Father Pabs or Father Pablito.

After being ordered out of the rectory by Dec. 1, the priest this weekend took shelter in the home of a parishioner, said Ms. Mortenson. "I feel personally they could do a lot more to help him," she said.

Father Maghari is on dialysis every week, has lost sight in one eye and is on a strict diet. The medical care for his treatment costs roughly $1,000 a week, he told the Advance last week.

The Archdiocese sent a letter to the ailing priest stripping him of his authority to say mass and administer the sacraments, such as baptism and marriage.

"He can perform his duties when he feels good," said Ms. Mortenson, adding she was approached by the Rev. Maghari one Sunday in October after mass, with the request she take him to Richmond University Medical Center for emergency care. His health has since deteriorated, she said.

A church spokesman explained last week that since Father Maghari is still officially a member of his Philippine diocese, his care is the responsibility of its bishop, the Most Rev. Jose Romeo Lazo. The spokesman has yet to be reached today for comment on any updates.

Parishioners said they appealed to Monsignor James Dorney, co-regional vicar of Staten Island who is also at St. Peter's R.C. Church . He assured them he would do what he could, they said.

The priest presiding over mass today, the Rev. Joseph Javillo, said he was unaware of the controversy.

"It's shocking because we always felt as Catholics the Archdiocese will take care of you no matter where you come from," said Roberta Thompson, of St. George, who has been a parishioner at St. Peter's for the past two decades.

Although her faith remains intact, she said the decision to oust a sick man from the job he has done for the past 33 years, has made her skeptical of church politics.

"He was a good priest," she said. "To be thrown out like kind of threw us for a loop. They're not practicing what they're preaching

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photos - Staten Island Advance | syracuse.com

Eusebio Pablito Maghari, stripped of his parish privileges at St. Peter's R.C. Church , now lives with his niece in her West Brighton home and still goes for ...

connect.syracuse. com

http://outside. in/staten- island-ny/ tags/Kidney

News about Kidney in Staten Island , New York , NY

Hoping to reverse his dismissal, parishioners rally around ill Staten Island priest

SILive: Featured Entries - Breaking News — December 07, 2009

Supporters decry decision by archdiocese to relieve clergyman with acute kidney disease of his duties and to say he must return to his native Philippines .

Archdiocese washes its hands of ill Staten Island priest

SILive: Featured Entries - Breaking News — December 03, 2009

http://gothamist.com/2009/12/04/archdiocese_boots_si_priest_because.php

Archdiocese Boots S.I. Priest Because He Needs Dialysis


The Archdiocese of New York is asking a priest at a Staten Island church to go back to his "native Philippines because he’s ill with kidney disease," the Staten Island Advance reports. Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari, who has been at the church for six years, says that that he was told he can't stay on because of his health issues (diet and lost sight in one eye) and required weekly dialysis—a letter told him "The rectory is not the appropriate place for you to live."

Maghari says that if he goes back to the Philippines , "Slowly, I'll get sicker and sicker," because the diocese there wouldn't be able to afford his treatment. (One of his parishioners added, "He was essentially given a death sentence.") And he's upset that he's been stripped of his ability to perform sacraments like baptisms and marriages, telling the Advance, "That is the happiness of my priesthood, a gift from God. I cannot forsake it.”

However, the Archdiocese of New York says Maghari isn't a member yet (he's still officially part of his diocese in the Philippines ; of course, his illness has made him ineligible to permanently be at St. Peter's) and said it felt "he would not be able to function as a priest." Spokesman Joseph Zwilling said Maghari's bishop in the Philippines "indicated he would welcome Father Pablito back. the bishop understands his condition. He’s ready and prepared to care for him," telling the Daily News, "We want what's best for Father Pablito." Still, Maghari says, “I’m feeling like somebody who really belongs to the community."

Jen Chung

http://www.thetreeo fliberty. com/vb/showthrea d.php?p=832034

http://www.nydailyn ews.com/ny_ local/... from_post. html


Ailing priest removed from Staten Island parish

 BY Christina Boyle cboyle@nydailynews. com
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, December 4th 2009, 4:00 AM

An ailing priest has been removed from his job in a Staten Island parish and ordered to return to his native Philippines after taking time off for lifesaving dialysis.

The Archdiocese of New York said it cannot take responsibility for the Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari's welfare after he suffered kidney failure as a result of his diabetes in September.

Church officials claim he can no longer perform his godly duties at St. Peter's Church - and he was terminated from his post as assistant priest Tuesday.

Maghari, 59, said he is fit to work and hopes to fight the move to send him home because dialysis treatment in the Southeast Asian nation is too expensive.

"I can't go home to the Philippines without a kidney transplant," he said. "Dialysis is more than $1,000 a week."

The archdiocese said the decision to wash its hands of Maghari is not malicious, but routine when a priest goes to work in a different parish and becomes sick.

It says St. Peter's parish is unable to cater to Maghari's dietary and medical needs and mobility issues, and it is his bishop's duty to care for him.

"We want what's best for Father Pablito," said Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the archdiocese

http://www.democrat icunderground. com/discuss/ duboard.php? az=view_all&address=275x7041

rug (1000+ posts)  

Fri Dec-04-09 12:56 PM
Original message

 

I've had bosses like this.

 

An ailing priest has been removed from his job in a Staten Island parish and ordered to return to his native Philippines after taking time off for lifesaving dialysis.

The Archdiocese of New York said it cannot take responsibility for the Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari's welfare after he suffered kidney failure as a result of his diabetes in September.

Church officials claim he can no longer perform his godly duties at St. Peter's Church - and he was terminated from his post as assistant priest Tuesday.

Maghari, 59, said he is fit to work and hopes to fight the move to send him home because dialysis treatment in the Southeast Asian nation is too expensive.

http://www.nydailyn ews.com/ny_ local/2009/ 12/04/2009- 12-...

hedgehog (1000+ posts)

Fri Dec-04-09 01:56 PM
Response to
Original message

 

1. I've been wondering if the real reason the USCCB is voicing opposition

 

to the Health Care Reform Bill is that the Catholic Church as an amployer would have to provide health insurance to its employees.

 

 

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top

 

rug (1000+ posts)  

Fri Dec-04-09 02:56 PM
Response to
Reply #1

 

2. It is a big employer.

 

I don't think that's the main reason but it's likely to be driving their decision.

plime.com : world : All Links : Low Bandwidth Version

Eusebio Pablito Maghari, who has been at the church for six years, says that that he was told he can't stay on because of his health issues (diet and lost ...

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Rev. Eusebio Pablito Maghari, who has been at the church for six years, says that that he was told he can't stay on because of his health issues (diet and lost sight in one eye ...

http://www.widgetbox.com/network/politics/post/plight-of-filipino-priest-fr-eusebio/2988840

The Plight of Filipino Priest Fr. Eusebio Pablito Maghari

January 11, 2010

Talk about security of tenure or worse the ridiculous dreaded death panel of the tea baggers appears to be so real yet surreal when it comes to the plight of Fr. Eusebio Pablito Maghari.Maghari or father Pabs to his friends who spent or devoted 33 years Read more…

Readers comments http://www.silive.com/northshore/index.ssf/2009/12/archdiocese_washes_its_hands_o.html Archdiocese washes its hands of ailing Staten Island priest By Tom Wrobleski 12/3/2009

Posted by grantmom

December 03, 2009, 2:25PM

No matter how the Advance came to know about Fr. Maghari's story, the story is despicable. Why should this injustice be hidden away???

He was good enough to help out the Archdiocese for 6 years when it needed him; now it's the Archdiocese's turn to do the right thing for him.

 

Posted by festivus

December 03, 2009, 7:03AM

Compassion? Charity? Loving thy neighbor? The Dioceses should ask themselves "What would Jesus do?" If they answer honestly, this priest will be taken care of here in NYC.

 

Posted by yrustupid

December 03, 2009, 7:03AM

What would Jesus do?

 

Posted by NoRemorse

December 03, 2009, 7:19AM

The church is the most corrupt and uncaring place I have ever seen.

 

Posted by getsane

December 03, 2009, 5:23PM

They need the money to pay off victims of child raping priests.

 

Posted by splicing2

December 03, 2009, 7:28AM

Here's what my solution would be; Replace Joseph Zwilling with Father Maghari.


Why does the archdiocese need to employ a spokesman when they can get a priest to perform the same function?

 

Posted by cr50l

December 03, 2009, 7:31AM

simple solution here - to all who attend and donate to their parishes - your parish christmas gift and any monies you would give every sunday beginning this sunday - send it to Father Maghari. Send the rotten creeps in the archdiocese a strong message - NO MONEY FOR YOU!
I guess they can't afford to help this poor priest due to the numerous lawsuits that are likely swept under the carpet for the priests who can't keep their hands to themselves.
BOYCOTT YOUR PARISH FOR ONE MONTH - SEND YOUR DONATION TO FR MAGHARI?
Where's Dorney hiding now????

 

Posted by anyonesneighbor

December 03, 2009, 7:04PM

Perhaps diverting the donations to him would maybe turn some heads to the severity of his problems. Poor man!

 

Posted by micro

December 03, 2009, 7:33AM

So, the Philippines have better hospitals, nursing homes and rectory's than we have in New York City ? We can't produce enough of our own clergy, so we welcome this priest and use him for six years. Then, when his health takes a sudden turn, we show him the door. Brilliant. That's gratitude and priestly fraternity! Great way to inspire vocations!

Crap-heads!

This priest became ill taking care of us, literally on the other side of the world from his home. Now it's our turn to care for him. If we have such a severe shortage of priests, then there should be no problem in finding Fr. Maghari a rectory near a hospital, or a room in an assisted living facility for priests. Diocesan officials had better rethink this stunning lack of charity and public relations disaster.

It doesn't say much for the clergy when the laity start fighting the clergy to care for the clergy. Shame.

 

Posted by dazz08

December 03, 2009, 7:36AM

It's come down to the bottom line. Maybe if he were in a parrish that had larger tithing, he would be able to stay.

 

Posted by SImutt

December 03, 2009, 9:09PM

What the parish "takes in" has nothing to do with it -- it's not St. Peters kicking him out, it's those "caring people" in the NYC Archdiocese.

 

Posted by Avg-Joe

December 03, 2009, 7:49AM

Sounds to me like the Archdiocese has bought into the New Health Care Reform Package.


This is just another example the not practicing what is being Preached. As a Catholic, I will not be dropping my envelope in the basket this Sunday, Instead I will be dropping it off to Fr. Maghari over at St. Pete's.


Just a question: They had the money for the new building and football field at the High School over on Henderson Avenue , but the cost of saving this man's life is too much? Now that's the Holiday Season! I'm so glad that the powers that be over at St. Pat's in Manhattan are showing us how to "Keep Christ in Christmas". The new ArchBishop must have attended the Semeniary of the Borges.

 

Posted by grtfulguy

December 03, 2009, 8:05AM

This is one of the reasons that if you go to Sunday mass, (not holdays) the majority of the poeple are over 50 (except for little children that are usually forced to go" The Catholic Church hierarchy should read more closely the new testament and become more SPIRITUAL rather than religious. I am one of those (over 50) that does attend mass regularly for meditation and prayer and many times keeps the organized religon out of it.

 

Posted by grantmom

December 03, 2009, 8:13AM

@ Tom Wrobleski: Has a fund been set up to accept donations to assist Fr. Maghari? Would love to help out. . .

Thank you for making us aware of this story, as disturbing as it is.

 

Posted by quippian

December 03, 2009, 8:13AM

Once again the Church demonstrates its compassion and caring. If in some strange universe they feel it is necessary to send him back to the Phillipines, I do not understand why they have the authority to strip him of his powers to function as a Priest in the Diocese. As someone else just posted What Would Jesus Do? It is harder and harder to accept the Church.

 

Posted by noche159

December 03, 2009, 8:15AM

avr joe your IQ is below average. The football field and the gym at St. Peter's Boys HS which had nothing to do with the parish was paid for by the parents and alumni of St Peters Boys HS not the catholic church

 

Posted by oxfdblue

December 03, 2009, 8:21AM

Guess the Archdiocese's health insurance program threatened to raise their rates.


That's what is probably really behind this. Yup, we have no health insurance crisis at all... none at all.

 

Posted by mothermayi

December 03, 2009, 8:37AM

In the season of Advent, when we celebrate the birth of Christ born to parents that were turned away from the Inn- we watch our spiritual leaders turn away one of their own in his hour of need.

 

Posted by siperson

December 03, 2009, 8:45AM

I guess he would have to be here illegally to get the medical help. Oh wait a minute -- the Church helps those individuals in order to hopefully get more converts! Talk about two-faced. This priest should camp himself on the doorstep of the Pope!

And why can't he officiate at Mass, communicion, baptism? Is there something missing here?

 

Posted by wonk53

December 03, 2009, 8:50AM

This is just another example where the New York Archdiocese and the Catholic Church do not appear to be on the same page.

While the Catholic Church, including the American Catholic Church, are advocating for universal health care and immigrant rights, the New York Archdioces continues to come off as protectors of the status quo.

I suggest that before priests are asigned in the Archdiocese that they work and live among the poor.

Posted by mustangchick

December 03, 2009, 8:55AM

Ahh the good ol Catholic church! Yet another reason I'm proud to be Protestant.

 

Posted by stillred

December 03, 2009, 8:55AM

This just affirms that I made the right decision in leaving the Catholic Church, and incidently St Peters , in 1965. "What would Jesus do"? He would throw up His hands in disgust at what is being done by the Church in His name. And He would do everything He could to help one of His own. You know, I thought nothing could surprise me any more about the Catholic Church, but this one just turns my stomach.

 

Posted by mejustme

December 03, 2009, 9:01AM

This is why I turned away fromt he Catholic Church in the first place.

Blessings father may the Spirit watch over you, you have been forsaken by the ones you trusted all your life.

Par for the course!

Blessed Be!

 

Posted by siguy1974

December 03, 2009, 1:59PM

What a load of hypocrisy and BS there is here. Typical of fallen away Catholics, they seize on any transgression committed by a clergy member to justify their break with the Church, when in fact the roots of their apostasy lies in their desire to live sinful lives. Would you move to another country or become an anarchist because individuals in our government commit criminal acts? Of course not, so how illogical is it when these pea-brained hedonists point out some offense by a priest and say "That's why I left the Church!"?

 

Posted by Uncle_Vito

December 05, 2009, 6:20AM

Siguy...you're completely wrong on this issue...practicing Catholics did NOT leave the church to live "sinful lives", nor are they "pea-brained hedonists". Hedonism is the pursuit of personal pleasure and believers feel that pleasure is the only thing that's good for anyone. Apparently, the child-abusing priests fall into this category, deriving personal physical pleasure while inflicting pain upon the children they abused. It's they who have become hedonists, not those former followers. Before labeling all posters as hedonists, perhaps you should look up the true meaning of the word and to whom it applies.

 

Posted by enigma79

December 03, 2009, 9:12AM

Staten Island is all about what can you do for me. And if a person is useful she/he is kept on. Once the person is no longer useful she/he is cast aside like a piece of garbage despite the good that was done as a result of their presence.

 

Posted by prclunker

December 03, 2009, 9:21AM

Why isn't he on Medicaid?

 

Posted by sdyanks10

December 03, 2009, 9:22AM

What a wonderful story.

And the church wonders why it has a difficult time filling their Sunday masses?

 

Posted by whylivehere

December 03, 2009, 9:32AM

Why doesn't the Vatican sell a painting or a vase or something and take care of this guy.

2000 years of tax free money. Where is it all?

 

Posted by siguy1974

December 03, 2009, 9:36AM

Technically the Archdiocese is correct. The priest technically works for another archdiocese. If one of your landscapers fell ill on your lawn, would you pay for his hospital visit? And I wonder how many of you tearing down the Church for this also post nasty comments on other silive stories about how outrageous it is to pay for the health care of illegal immigrants. Still, the Archdiocese handled this in a ham handed, brutal way and at least ostensibly unchristian manner. At the same time we have priests preaching heresy from the pulpit, we have priests who don't do a darn thing except mumble through Mass on Sunday, we have priests with gay lovers and the Archdiocese does nothing. Whoever is running PR for the Archdiocese should be fired.

 

Posted by sylann

December 03, 2009, 9:42AM

The Archdioces will bail out pedophile priests, but refuse to help a fellow priest because of an illness?? Where is the love of thy fellow man? Shame on them!!!!!

 

Posted by turgonelf83

December 03, 2009, 2:53PM

The Archdiocese does not bail out pedophile priests...or even those who are wrongly or falsely accused. Read the link to see what happens to them..its actually kind of against civil law. http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/charter.pdf

 

Posted by grantmom

December 03, 2009, 9:47AM

Zwilling's got to go. Why is such a cold, uncaring person representing the Archdiocese?

 

Posted by cort121

December 03, 2009, 9:48AM

Christ made the lame walk,the blind see and raised the dead.But the diocese of NY, Like Pontious Pilate, washes its hand of a sick Priest. How about one months tuition from all S.I.catholic schools be donated to the sick priest. I have a better idea .How about a tuition strike until they Take Care of this sick Priest?

 

Posted by sitruth

December 03, 2009, 9:50AM

He should be on medicaid, getting his treatments. Someone is screwing this up.

 

Posted by turgonelf83

December 03, 2009, 2:47PM

He can not be put on medicaid..he's not a citizen.

 

Posted by writergal

December 03, 2009, 9:51AM


As a practicing Catholic who attends Sunday mass here, I find this story so disturbing. . . .the archdiocese is using bureaucratic nonsense (they're good at that) to keep this man from getting treatment in New York. . .with a phone call to his bishop in the Philippines, and stroke of his pen, Archbishop Dolan ("Smilin' Tim") could "incardinate" this priest into the NY Archdiocese, and then he'd be "eligible" to receive care here. . ..

all good Island Catholics should think of writing and and calling Archbishop Dolan on behalf of this priest, and ask the archbishop to step in. . . .it would be an act of mercy, but especially at this time of the year -- here's a chance for Dolan to set an example for his flock

 

Posted by ronpaulfan

December 03, 2009, 9:56AM

If you are as appalled by this as I am, please call the NY Archdioscese and tell them (212) 371-1000 Ask for the communications director. I just called and gave them a piece of my mind. I told them The parish that I am from and that until this priest is given the care here I will no longer be contributing on Sunday, or making a Christmas Donation, or any other money that they ask for . I also told them that I will call the Advance and ask for another story, not only to collect money for this priest , but to suggest to every other parishoner of every other parish on Staten Island to stop donating on Sunday, and for Christmas. To instead help this priest financiallly.

 

Posted by liberty816

December 03, 2009, 9:56AM

This is absolutely shameful...not only have they stripped away his dignity by not allowing him to say mass, they have handed him a literal death sentence. They would, and have, given those pedophiles more compassion and protection. What is $1000 a week to the NYC archdiocese or the Vatican with all its riches. Where are they in this? Catholic priests take a vow of poverty and celibacy to serve the church, don't they? Maybe they should be aware that after they have given up so much, they will get thrown away when they get sick?

 

Posted by rjm118

December 03, 2009, 10:37AM

Ahhh, the Catholic Church....condemning the world for its sins but still being the hipocrytes they always have been.
Nice to see some things will never change and this is just one reason people turn their backs on Catholicism.
Very sad.

Posted by zodiacmindwarp

December 03, 2009, 10:52AM

Bring back Father Ralph from St Clare

 

Posted by geewhiz3

December 03, 2009, 11:19AM

Micro, you made an excellent point. When we don't have enough priests of our own, priests like Fr. Maghari come from half a world away to fill a void for us and just when he needs help, the Church is effectively turning it's back on him. Very disgraceful and very sad.

 

Posted by willwrk4food

December 03, 2009, 11:43AM

How disgusting - the church is the most corrupt organization in the world and they should be ashamed of themselves.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comments (20) [rss]

 

[1]| SP

This is Christian compassion?

December 4, 2009 9:36 AM

 

[2]| Snoopy

Can't take care of their own? It looks like another religion is on the road to oblivion. Boo Hoo Not.

December 4, 2009 9:38 AM

 

[3]| hunter.blatherer

Death Panels!!1!one!1

Children molested by priests; hey, no problem man! Wait, um, kidney disease; uhhh, we've gotta have a talk. Also.

December 4, 2009 9:48 AM

 

Kevin Walsh

Now, that's more like it. It didn't take a whole 28 responses to get to pedophilia this time when Catholic priests show up in a news item, like it did the other day.

Much better showing today, Gothamist fans. Let's try for #1 next time shall we?

December 4, 2009 11:40 AM

 

hunter.blatherer

My comment wasn't about priests. It was about how the institution apparently has less tolerance for illness than for victimizing minors.

December 4, 2009 12:28 PM

 

[4]| Boogie Down

He's no longer profitable to the corporation known as the RCC.

December 4, 2009 9:59 AM

 

[5]| hotstepper

sickness means that you are weak. and jesus hates weakness just as much as he hates the beelzebub and hipsters.

December 4, 2009 9:59 AM

 

[6]| felixthecat2

The church hates puppies and now this. It's all connected. Those who have no compassion for other species have no compassion for their own

December 4, 2009 10:07 AM

 

[7]| MT

I guess they blew all their cash on protecting the pervert priests and now they don't have any left.

December 4, 2009 10:15 AM

 

[8]| casey shain

classic. move the pedophile priests from one parish to another, sometimes promoting them in fact, but when a priest is ill, toss 'em aside like so much medical waste. the christian compassion must have overfloweth and dribbled down the side of their robes like so much jizz on a peepshow cubicle floor.

 December 4, 2009 10:54 AM

 

hotstepper

graphic. BTW i think catholics prefer the term "evil fluids" over "jizz".

December 4, 2009 11:18 AM

 

[12]| NannyState

Where's the story? The Catholic Church has had the same healthplan for 2,000 years: pray to a fucking saint.

December 4, 2009 12:52 PM

 

[13]| Spirit of 76

This is either a test of his faith or punishment for an unforgivable sin. We'll never know which because God never actually tells us anything.

December 4, 2009 12:56 PM

 

[14]| Snoopy

Help is on its way. I just received an email from a former Nigerian minister that is going to deposit $53,000,000 in my bank account because he can't take it out of his country by himself. This will go a long way to paying some of my past due bills.

When I get the money I will pay for this poor man's medical bills.

December 4, 2009 1:13 PM

 

NannyState

My Nigerian minister needed help with $100 million. I think you got gyped.

December 4, 2009 1:51 PM

 

Snoopy

Damn! It just goes to show you that no one can be trusted today. And to think I was going to donate half of what I received to the church to help out with their medical insurance payments to Saint Jude.

December 4, 2009 2:01 PM

 

NannyState

Well maybe just a little less than half, right?

December 4, 2009 2:24 PM

 

Snoopy

OK OK I must admit I have expenses that need to be drawn down from the initial profit, but I promise the donation will be in the high five figure bracket.

December 4, 2009 8:36 PM

 

chlyn

Five figures, as in 000.00?

December 5, 2009 4:07 PM

 

Snoopy

Well kind of in that bracket, except when they come by with a collection basket on the end of a pole when I am sitting in the pew minding my own business, I will take a few samplings of the deposited envelopes just to see how much I should throw in.

As I remember these dudes came by twice in a Catholic ceremony. Talk about jerking people off without sex. Madonn.

December 5, 2009 11:19 PM

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Readers Comments @
http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/12/parishioners_support_ailing_st.html

 

Posted by FEDUPwNY

December 06, 2009, 1:54PM

Advance, you neglect to mention whether anyone has taken up a collection for his care. I would be happy to contribute something towards his care -- which the rich Catholic Church has neglected to do. This is just another example of why several of my Catholic friends no longer have anything to do with the Church and its beaurocracy.

 

Posted by abcdefg123456

December 06, 2009, 2:35PM

I have been a dialysis nurse for almost 20 years, I have seen EVERY walk of life from EVERY continent, rich and poor receive treatments, Get Medicaid,,,you will have EVERYTHING paid for!!! How DARE the Catholic Church turn their back on a man who had dedicated his life to Jesus and spreading His word. It's DISGUSTING and heartbreaking. This poor priest has to live at a parishoner's house.??? We let illegal immigrants reside here who are too "ill" to return to their countries because they will die. This man is too ill to make a 14 hour flight home. And the Cathilic Church wonders why nobody goes to church anymore,,,,Practice what You preach you,,,Keep Christ in Christmas,,,,kick out a sick Priest and send him to his death??? What Would Jesus Do??????

 

Posted by inwood

December 06, 2009, 3:16PM

Once again. the Roman Catholic Church which champions workers rights does not support one of their own. It happened to Catholic School Teachers and now to a member of the Clergy.

What a bunch of hypocrites!!!

 

Posted by iLoveOakwood

December 06, 2009, 4:09PM

What a disgrace! In the past, the Church has paid for therapy and other forms of "treatment" for priests who molested children in their parishes, yet when a priest who is - by all accounts - a good and sincere pastor falls ill, they want to send him packing! Plainly said, this is an outrage. I hope the Church leadership reconsiders and helps this poor man.

 

Posted by angelize

December 06, 2009, 4:29PM

Doesn't anyone GET IT??

The Catholic Church is in existance for ITSELF!!
Which is why I am no longer a Catholic!

Can anyone say HIPOCRITE?

 

Posted by micro

December 06, 2009, 7:37PM

Angel Eyes,

I can say "hipocrite', but we still spell it HYPOCRITE.

 

Posted by cr50l

December 06, 2009, 5:16PM

Reverend Javillo - i thought priests weren't supposed to LIE. You sir are a liar. Msgr Dorney, shame on you for doing what you do best, hiding. May this man's poor deteriorating health be on both your heads, along with the crappy archdiocese. I have stopped my donations to my church (both envelopes) and I would like to send a check to Father Maghari, but I don't know where to send it to I don't trust anyone in St Peters rectory. SI Advance, please get some more information. There are alot of staten islanders who would like to help this man.
DORNEY ITS TIME TO GO.

 

Posted by abcdefg123456

December 06, 2009, 5:28PM

Don't blame Msgr. Dorney, He is a wonderful man, I know him personally and I'd hate to think he has a hand in this, he is just a peddlar among thieves.

 

Posted by grantmom

December 06, 2009, 6:26PM

See this NY1 report about Fr. Maghari's plight:

http://ny1.com/9-staten-island-news-content/top_stories/?ArID=109971

The report states that Fr. Maghari's doctor maintains that he is well enough to work while receiving dialysis treatments.

Can any of his supporters from his parish let the public know how we can help him? Granted, this may be difficult, because you probably are not permitted to publicize your efforts!

 

Posted by micro

December 06, 2009, 7:30PM

When the story first broke, I was as outraged as most. That was because I posted based on sketchy verbal reports without reading the story, and was missing vital details. There is some background in the stories here which people need to know, before their good will is taken advantage of by Fr. Maghari.

To the medically trained eye, Fr. Maghari's diabetes evidently was not controlled, which led to the neuropathy causing the blindness, and to the renal failure. These things don't just happen, as anyone with diabetes or a diabetic in the family would know. This was the end result of self-neglect.

Priests know that they are responsible for looking after their own health. In my parish we have two diabetic priests who are scrupulous in their management of blood sugar and diet. Fr. Maghari evidently was not, and this is what has resulted. If on the other hand he was, then the diabetes is not controllable, and he needs to go home.

Next, Fr. Maghari came here to do a job. Through his demonstrated lack of self-care, he has not been able to help, to do the job that he was hired to do by the Archdiocese. It is known that Fr. Maghari was on track to become a permanent priest of the Archdiocese, no longer answerable to his bishop in the Philippines as he is now as a visiting priest. He had some more years to complete that process.

But, as Fr Maghari has demonstrated that he is lacking in the ability to care for himself, an absolute MUST for men without wives and families, it would be absolutely criminal for the archdiocese to put him back in a rectory here in significantly weaker condition and risk his doing this or worse to himself.

Diabetic self-care is a discipline, one which Fr. Maghari clearly lacks. Plainly stated, lovable as he is, he is a danger to himself. The people of the Philippines love their clergy and care for them very well. He is not being sent home to die. There are several groups in the Philippines, especially the Knights of Columbus, who would pay for his treatments in the unlikely event that hospitals or his Bishop would not cover the cost.

Then there is the following issue. When married people exchange vows, we promise fidelity to each other. We have very high expectations of our spouses that they will keep those vows. When a priest is ordained, he vows RESPECT and OBEDIENCE to the Bishop and all of his successors. That respect and obedience are just as non-negotiable for a priest as fidelity is for a married person. When serving as a visiting priest, the Bishop of the diocese gets the same respect and obedience as the Bishop in the home diocese.

Our Bishop has made a decision, in Fr. Maghari's best interest. Rather than showing respect for that decision and obedience to the Bishop, Fr. Maghari has decided to do neither. He broke his vows.

As of December 1, Fr. Maghari is no longer employed by the Archdiocese. Having demonstrated disrespect and disobedience by misrepresenting his responsibility for his condition, and by misrepresenting the prospects for his survival back home-all in TV and newspaper interviews, he has killed his prospects of ever returning here to become a permanent member of the Archdiocese.

He has no need to stay with people on the Island. He has a home diocese.

To be clear, it seems that Fr. Maghari has not been accurate in his assertions by:

1. Not telling HOW it is that he came to get this ill.
2. Suggesting that our clergy are sentencing him to death.
3. Claiming that there would be no way to get dialysis back home.
4. Taking money from Staten Islanders when he knows he can get Medicaid.

Given all of that, it is monstrous for this Priest to whip up a fury against our priests and Bishop with omissions of his responsibility in this, and outright lies about his access to dialysis back home. It is equally telling that he has been openly defiant of our Bishop's authority. We don't need such a visitor ruining the good names of good men in our clergy who have served us long and well. That includes Msgr. Dorney who is in his late 70's, working well past retirement age as both pastor and co-vicar of Staten Island.

Through his illness, Fr. Maghari has shown his true colors. He cares for no one but himself, and will lie to the good people of this Island and destroy the good names of brother priests to have his way. If people collect money for anything, it should be for two plane tickets.

One for Fr. Maghari to go home.

The other for his replacement.

 

Posted by smithwinston

December 07, 2009, 4:34AM

MICRO

You are absolutely correct. I believe that the media, The Advance, is well behind Fr, Maghari because it advances the anti-Catholic agenda of many who are well known to be hard Liberals pushing for the complete submergence of Catholic culture under the swamp of the modernist, humanist state.

Consider that the person who first broke this story, Tom Wrobleski, is a POLITICAL EDITOR. Why was he interested in this matter? Who contacted the Advance about this?

I am not saying Mr. Tom Wrobleski is masking a hidden Anti-Catholic bias, by coming to the defense of a poor servant of Christ, but Micro's break-down of the Father Mahari's statements and disobedience to the Bishop is not what one would expect from a priest. A political editor, Tom Wrobleski, is not who one would normally expect to write about this. Additionally, the details of this circumstance are seriously anemic, and the public reaction, virulent.

Maybe I will make a few phone calls and find out what is really going on, as we cannot depend of our local paper to properly investigate a story like this without appearing totally biased.

 

Posted by iLoveOakwood

December 06, 2009, 7:59PM

Interesting post, micro. The plot thickens. If Fr. Maghari did in fact become this ill through self-neglect as you suggest, I suppose the next question should be why did the Church allow a man in his deteriorating condition to travel from the Philippines as a visiting priest? Furthermore are we to suppose that Fr. Maghari came here in order to receive treatment at the expense of U.S citizens rather than his fellows at home?


If self-neglect is in fact the cause of his current health crisis, his competence to lead others should certainly be called into question, but whatever the circumstances, I wish that the Church would be more forthcoming about the what is really going on. They've bought themselves enough trouble in the past by concealing information. Transparency would suit them better.

 

Posted by noche159

December 06, 2009, 8:31PM

the point he not that is sick, Priest service where they are told to service. PERIOD!

 

Posted by micro

December 06, 2009, 8:55PM

ILoveOakwood,

Good questions. I've been involved in the Church for decades and have some close priest friends. The Archdiocese really can't discuss most of the details (and I only got what was published in the Advance) because it is a matter of professional and legal confidentiality. Fr. Maghari knows this, which is why he is taking advantage of the situation by speaking out, knowing that the Archdiocese can't counter the lies without violating confidentiality.

To come here, Fr. Maghari had to demonstrate that he was in good health. He isn't anymore, and as Fr. Devery the Priest Personnel Director was quoted in his letter to Fr. Maghari, the rectory is not suitable for him. That's where he got into this health mess.

Ultimately Priestly ministry has as a component the same considerations as most employer-employee relationships. Fr. Maghari is no longer fit to do the work from a health perspective, the doctor's letter notwithstanding. (anyone, especially a priest, can get a doctor to say they are fit for light duty.)

Then there are the issues that we simply do not, and will not know because of confidentiality issues.

I return to the ultimate issue of fitness: RESPECT and OBEDIENCE. We've had enough homegrown renegade priests in the Church. We don't need to import them. Fr. Maghari has trashed good men such as Fr. Devery, Msgr. Dorney, and Joseph Zwilling, all because he disputes their judgment. He has trashed them knowing that they must remain silent. In so doing, he shows contempt for the authority of Archbishop Dolon, whose authority is vested in them to make decisions that are in the best interests of all concerned.

Why would New York wish to keep such a man? This period of service before becoming a permanent priest of the diocese (called incardination) is kind of like dating and courtship before marriage. It's a time for each to assess the other before that lifetime commitment is made. If this is how Fr. Maghari acts now, how would he act when this officially becomes his home diocese?

The ugliest assertion of all is that Father Devery and the Priest Personnel Board would knowingly send a brother priest home to a certain death.

We don't need such manipulative men here, turning us against our clergy. I suspect that's why his Bishop was happy to see him go, and wasn't quoted as using enthusiastic language to bring him back home.

 

Posted by iLoveOakwood

December 06, 2009, 9:33PM

micro, what a disturbing account! If what you say about Fr. Maghari is accurate, then it is a shame for all involved.


As to the problems with confidentiality versus transparency, it would serve the Church better if they would respond to what is happening, if only to reject the criticism. It would be more politic to tell the public that, although the Church is not at liberty to discuss the details, the criticism is without foundation - or something like that. When there is evasion or no response at all, right or wrong people draw their own conclusions.

 

Posted by wisegray

December 06, 2009, 10:00PM

Micro, you are foul and loathsome excuse for a human being. You are a mouthpiece (or the posterior) for a church which is basically a corporation. If the Church is so silent about this, as you say, how do you know so much about his neglect of his illness and charge him with disrespect of his superiors. The last time I heard reasoning like that, it emanated from the Communist and Nazi mind. You are just a heartless s..t

 

Posted by micro

December 06, 2009, 10:07PM

ILoveOakwood,

Yes, it's a very disturbing story. Great men like Msgr. Dorney, and Father Devery who was also a pastor here, just can't comment. It looks worse on the news when a reporter presses them further and they have nothing to say.

Go back to Tom Wrobleski's original article and read what was NOT said.

Fr, Maghari's Bishop did NOT say that he lacked the money to obtain treatment for Fr. Maghari. If he did, you can bet THAT would have made it into the story.

Fr. Maghari's Bishop did NOT order him home. He just left the door open. Why?

Fr. Maghari did NOT claim that he tried to secure funding for treatment back home, but failed.

Fr. Maghari did NOT accept any responsibility for his predicament, or offer any explanation at all.

Let's look at what DID happen.

Fr. Maghari was placed with a beloved elder priest and regional Vicar, MSGR. Dorney, who would be the ideal mentor in acculturating Fr. Maghari to the US, NY, the Archdiocese, and Staten Island. To say the least, he was not thrown to the wolves.

If Fr. Maghari lacked a car when he arrived, he certainly was placed in a Parish next to the point of origin for 95% of all bus routes, the SIRT, and the Ferry. St. Peter's is a beautiful parish (church AND people).

Fr. Maghari was placed in Clove Lakes for Rehab when he took ill, and assessed at the end of the rehab process.

Fr. Maghari was given ample time to get his affairs in order so as to facilitate his transition back to his homeland with family and friends who would provide more of a nurturing and supportive network for him. He simply could not get the same here.

People from the Archdiocese DID come to help Fr. Maghari when he took ill.

I trust the senior clergy to understand what it takes to effectively serve the rigorous duties of parish life. They know damned well better than a doctor what is involved. They made a determination that the workload would not be enough for Fr. Maghari.

If he wants to stay here as an inactive priest to receive the same treatment he could be getting back home, fine. Stay with friends and apply for medicaid. (He didn't pick up on that in 6 years in St. George?)

Why did he have to get ugly and attack the decency and honor of the senior clergy whose job it is to do what is best for him, the parish, and the diocese? Such unnecessary and uncharitable ugliness was entirely uncalled for.

Certainly Fr. Maghari had to know that once he went public with this ugliness, he had no chance of staying here as a priest in New York. So what was this about?

Seems to me like a nasty tirade from a deep-seated selfishness and ugliness. It was calibrated for maximum damage to the senior clergy of the Archdiocese, as he exited the stage. Having thus inspired the comments on these threads, so very needlessly, I say good riddance!

 

Posted by wisegray

December 06, 2009, 10:10PM

Micro, your self importance and self-appointed judgment puts you right in the center of the story. Go join Cliff and Norm on their stools

Posted by micro

December 06, 2009, 10:26PM

wisegray,

commies and nazis eh? Okay.

Lots of ad hominem attacks, no input of your own.

Self-important? And wisegray is supposed to be what? A Humble self-assessment?

Isn't your weekend pass up?

Posted by wisegray

December 06, 2009, 10:34PM

Why don't you become a real micro and vanish

Posted by micro

December 06, 2009, 10:57PM

wisegray,

Threads are for people to post their thoughts and observations after having read the news stories with a critical eye. They offer their insights based upon their knowledge and life experiences. I've learned much from people on these threads.

Then there are the trolls who come out and only offer sarcasm and ugly epithets aimed at those with whom they disagree, never offering a serious or substantive contribution to the discussion. You seem to think that doing so makes one self-important. I've been reading these threads for years, and posted very little. That's be cause I believe that God gives us two eyes, two ears and only one mouth for a reason.

Looking back over your posts, you tend to have some very good insights. You also tend to get very ugly needlessly. Why spoil a great mind's offerings with such needless lack of civility? You show it when you want to. Why not here?

If you read the original article by Wrobleski and my comments, you'll see the answers to where I get the idea that this was self-neglect. A diligent diabetic does not let things get to the point of neuopathic blindness and renal failure. And yes, I have a trained eye.

I welcome your substantive comments, because I've seen your history of posts. I also apologize for my earlier response to you.

It won't be hard to vanish. I'm nowhere near as tall as I would like to be.

Posted by ggooh

December 06, 2009, 11:08PM

"If people collect money for anything, it should be for two plane tickets. One for Fr. Maghari to go home. The other for his replacement."

OK, I probably missed something...why do you say a plane ticket "for his replacement?"

Posted by micro

December 06, 2009, 11:12PM

ggooh,

Priests are being brought here from various countries to help with our shortage of domestic vocations. One for his replacement was meant to point to another priest to come and fill the slot he has vacated.

Posted by scatmandoo

December 07, 2009, 12:14AM

I know or understand little or nothing about the workings or machinations of the catholic Church.

However: One point I would like to raise regarding Micro's post is that many many many people living in the US and receiving public and private health care have health problems that result largely from self neglect.

Posted by savenorthsi

December 07, 2009, 12:21AM

I've personally met Father Pabs over the years. He is a sincere and honest minister of the Church. He is a good person.

Some corrections and questions: A plane trip home to the Philippines looks to be from 24 to 26 hours, with a stopover for re-fueling. That's a long trip for a sick person. Medicaid is for citizens or those in the process of getting citizenship. Father Pabs isn't a citizen. Can the Church petition him for citizenship so he can apply for Medicaid? Or, better yet, doesn't the Church have some sort of medical insurance for its staff? Are Priests on their own for health insurance? And given that Father Pabs has had zero health insurance while here serving in the USA for over 6 years, how could you put so much blame on him for his health problems if he had no access to affordable health care in the first place!

Something is really wrong here with letting visiting Priests go uninsured over long term stays in the USA, and then blaming them for a health crisis that could have been averted possibly if this servant of the Church had decent access to decent health care!

My family wants to give a charity donation directly to Father Pabs. Please, SI Advance, give us details on who to make the check out to and where to deliver such a check.

By the way, the issue of kidney dialysis for non-citizens is a very serious health crisis issue in the USA. Many non-citizens go from charity hospital to charity hospital for the required 3 time a week intervention, often going from state to state after their welcome has been worn out at any given charity institution. It's a health crisis mess compounded by the citizenship issue mess compounded by the high cost of modern medical care.

 

Posted by icant

December 07, 2009, 2:44AM

Micro - You are a judgmental POS. You got from this story that it is HIS fault he's sick?? BS, you're a mouth piece for the high and mighty robed ones at the church. It is because of sanctimonious, hypocritical bastar#$ like you people are staying away from the church. Not to mention our collection dollars going towards million dollar settlements for perverted priests. The priest presiding over today's mass had no clue what is going on?, add liars to the list. Shame on you and your cronies at this church.

Posted by sunsetmom

December 07, 2009, 4:14AM

I agree with savenorthsi's wise, intelligent, and compassionate assessment of this sad situation.

SI Advance, are you going to publish something for the many of us who would like information about how we concerned readers can help Father Maghari?

Posted by wisegray

December 07, 2009, 4:47AM

Americans are very compassionate and believe in helping people in distress in this life and not the next unknown one. If we are commanded to help the least of our brethren, why not this dying priest? Micro, did you ever think the priest may help his parishioners become better people by helping him? The Church should not be a bottom line operation, and the posts should make you realize that the Church will never get the supporting vote on this. Micro, I appreciate what you say about my mind, and I apologize for my ugliness, but this priest should make us feel humble. Despite what that crackpot Michael Moore thinks, we have superior health care and the priest would die from benign neglect in Manila.

Posted by micro

December 07, 2009, 5:10AM

wisegray,

Thanks for the apology. Again, you have mine as well. I understand what you are saying, and have no interest personally in seeing this priest deported. My sole objection is to the hatchet job he has done on the senior clergy who no doubt believe that he would be better off being supervised by loved ones back home.

Should he wish to stay in the US, there is nothing stopping him from applying for medicaid to receive his treatments. In this, we are a very noble people. Close to 20 million illegal immigrants get their healthcare in this manner. Fr. Maghari is far from being here illegally. He also could petition any number of other dioceses or religious orders, most notably the Benedictines, for temporary accomodations The simple truth is that the Archdiocese cannot employ this man as he is, and a typical rectory is simply not suitable for placement. He needs close care and supervision.

In the end, this story is simply about his medical condition making him unfit for the rigors of parish ministry. He's too ill to keep up. If he wishes to stay with friends here and apply for medicaid, he's more than free to do so. He is not in need of donations for his treatments. He doesn't need to set the people of this Island against good and holy priests such as Msgr. Dorney and Father Devery. His doing so had nothing to do with dialysis and everything to do with not being kept on in employment.

Take Care.

Posted by micro

December 07, 2009, 6:00AM

icant,

"Micro - You are a judgmental POS. You got from this story that it is HIS fault he's sick?? BS."

Well, if you knew anything about diabetes, you would know that the blindness and kidney failure come from poorly controlled glucose. Here are two links to educate yourself on the matter.

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/kidney-disease-nephropathy.html

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4567456_diabetes-cause-blindness.html

Don't let me get in the way of your hatred of the Church. I'm sure that you believe you have good reason, If your reasons for hating the Church are as well informed as your mistaken notion that I lack the medical training or insight to see the obvious in this case, then you are walking around needlessly enraged. I'll let the "POS" crack slide, chalking it up to understandable passions. Merry Christmas.

Posted by icant

December 07, 2009, 6:41AM

Micro- I did not say I hated the church, you have a reading comprehension problem. I am not outraged either. The church cannot "employ" him?, I thought the preisthood was a calling from God, not to be likened to Wal-Mart. You are not a POS, just a horses ass. The only hatchet job here is yours.

Posted by smithwinston

December 07, 2009, 7:08AM

For a guy who is "Not outraged either", you called Micro "a P.O.S., and a "Horse's A**".

For a guy who does not "hate the church", you refer to her clergy as "mighty robed ones", which is at the very least, belligerent and mocking of the church.

For a guy who understands that being a priest is "a calling from God", you forget that priests are human, and subject to human weakness. Thus, being a priest does not mean that one is infallible, as you've pointed out in mentioning the "perverted priests".

I support the underdog just the same as the next man, but I have to understand there are multiple agendas at work in this story, and that a priest must obey his superiors.

 

Posted by smithwinston

December 07, 2009, 6:51AM

This story has become exactly what it was intended to be, an indictment of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, disguised as a human interest story. The intended or unintended result is anger and the usual attack statements, involving non-Catholics and liberal Catholics alike.

I must say in fairness, I do not think that Mr. Wroblewski is anti-Catholic, I have not seen any evidence of that in his work. I think he genuinely wanted to raise the alarm, but is the church wrong here?

In presenting this story as such, and without making it clear there is a limited degree of information from church heirarchy permitted, those without any sense of the often bad reality of human nature, see it as David vs. Goliath, and victim vs. criminal, event, and of course, the evil Catholic church, is once again showing its "true colors".

Fr. Maghari's desperation and demons, and the publics conditioned response to anything the church does as instantly bringing up or involving the sexual abuse problems, hypocrisy, and massive wealth, shows how the Catholic church needs the prayers of the faithful now, more than ever before.

As for the true colors of the Catholic church, here is a video showing the best of what the Catholic church represents:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs6qZd_xP1w

Posted by yrustupid

December 07, 2009, 7:09PM

Smitty, give us a hand here. What, in your goofy right-wing opinion, WOULD Jesus the community organizer do?

 

Posted by spcls41

December 07, 2009, 7:07AM

To abcdefg12345

Msgr Dorney is a very popular and well respected priest throughout staten island - and is the vicar for the police and firefighters too. he has the power to DO SOMETHING about this and all he needs is to take a stand and this priest will have plenty of money and what he needs to be taken care of. all Dorney has to do is say the word. But in true Dorney behavior - he is hiding again. he has done this with school issues too. i had two daughters go through the high school - a few years back there was a racial incident about to explode - he did nothing and would not support the principal - and he left the school - went to Moore. Dorney is doing what the church is famous for - the catholic church two step. I respect him as a priest but nothing more. he should be ashamed of himself

December 07, 2009, 7:31AM

icant,

You really shouldn't hold back. You really need to learn how to say what's on your mind and not sugar coat your feelings.
So, all you are good for is talking like gutter trash. You have had multiple posts and added nothing to the conversation except revelation after revelation of your ignorance and crude vulgarity.

Yes, Priesthood is a calling from God. So far the only thing you've gotten right, so there's hope for you. However, you are wrong in suggesting that priests are not employed. They are.

They receive a paycheck which is taxed the same as yours or mine. They receive medical benefits and pay co-pays and deductibles, the same as you and me. They are employed by a Diocese and have a Priest Personnel Director. They get vacation time, etc. When they retire, they collect Social Security, which they have paid into from their paychecks.

Further, priests who work in institutions such as prisons, colleges, the military, etc. get paychecks that are the same as any lay employee of comparable rank. They collect pensions, etc.

But I suppose you knew all that already.

How would you like to be a parishioner in Fr. Maghari's parish, and show up at the rectory door needing a priest to come and give Last Rights to a family member about to die and be told that he's too sick to come out right now and that the other priest is out at another parishioner's home?

I trust the senior clergy to understand he workload and its requirements, and to staff the rectories with men who are up to the job. From all of your disparaging comments, it seems that you do not trust many priests at all, except this one who feeds your hatred and suspicions with his half-truths and omissions about his brother priests.

Get Well Soon.

Posted by chickinsi

December 07, 2009, 7:48AM

Another good reason why I am not part of any "organized" religious group.

No thank you. I'll keep my PERSONAL relationship with God. It works for us.

Posted by thelog

December 07, 2009, 10:30AM

What an embarrassment for the Catholic Church. They at least owe the church members an explanation for this.

Posted by sdyanks10

December 07, 2009, 10:53AM

Micro-

You clearly have an insightful view into this situation- and if his deteriorated health condition is indeed due to self neglect, does it mean that we should just write him off?

Do we deny health care to those who end up with lung cancer due to smoking?

Do we deny health care to those who end up with AIDs because of unprotected sex?

Neglect or not, it should be considered an ethical duty to care for him, regardless of how he ended up there.

Posted by siguy1974

December 07, 2009, 11:06AM

Hmmm- and would all of you big talkers and Catholic bashers pay for the medical bills of a landscaper who hurt himself while mowing your lawn? Or the mailman who had a heart attack while delivering your mail? Hmm? I thought so. The Advance is making this out to be worse than it is. This priest works for the Philipino archdiocese. That's where he belongs. The Archdiocese may have been able to handle this is in a better way, but I have a feeling they tried many other avenues before resorting to the measures they eventually employed. I also have a feeling that Father is a bit of a troublemaker, seeing as how he ran to the media to create scandal for the Church.

Posted by micro

December 07, 2009, 3:27PM

sdyanks10,

My initial reaction to verbal reports was about as bad as the most outraged posts on this thread. Then I read Wrobleski's article.

The Archdiocese already HAS aided Fr. Maghari substantially in medical and economic terms. But allow me to ask you a few questions.

Do you think that Christian charity is a one-way or a two-way street? Specifically, what do you think Fr. Maghari's obligations are to himself? What are Fr. Maghari's obligations to the senior clergy who have hosted him in this diocese and worked hard to assist him in the process of becoming a permanent member of the NY clergy? Should he be demonizing them, taking advantage of people's lack of knowledge of the fact that he has a bishop and a diocese where he can receive his treatments? What are Fr. Maghari's obligations to the people of his parish and the Island?

Creating scandal where one does not exist has added fuel to the fire of people whose faith already has been shaken by the scandal of a tiny minority of our priests.

In sowing scandal and fracturing people's trust in their senior clergy, in shaking their faith needlessly, Fr. Maghari has demonstrated that he thinks only of himself. That isn't the charism of a priest. Priests protect their people's faith. They don't shake it. They live their vows of RESPECT and OBEDIENCE to their bishops.

In terms of obligation, Fr. Maghari is under the authority of his bishop back home. Why has nobody questioned why it is that his bishop has not directed him to come home? Certainly staying here would defray the expense for the Philippine diocese, but our clergy have made the determination that Fr. Maghari is simply not up to the job. He needs to go home.

Fr. Maghari lost me when:

1. It became evident that he has accepted no personal responsibility for his own health or the consequences of letting his diabetes go.

2. He embraced media assistance in portraying him, falsely, of being a victim of a callous senior clergy having made the decision to condemn him to an early death.

3. He shook the faith of good people on this Island, and beyond by such an ugly, calumnious portrayal.

4. He persisted in his disrespect and disobedience of the bishop's authority here.

Staten Islanders need only think of some very good priests they have encountered along the way. They didn't at all resemble Fr. Maghari.

 

Posted by rtnilnd

December 08, 2009, 10:49AM

The Cathloic Church has caused more war and suffering under the banner of religion than any other institution. The Crusades were all about riches and power. The Inquisition - a good way to eliminate "enemies" of the church by torturing and branding them heretics. Lets not forgot the Popes blind eye to the treatment of jews by the Nazis and Fascists during WW2. I won't even touch on all the Sex Scandals.

 

Posted by tesel55

December 09, 2009, 12:29AM

micro.. hopefully what happened to fr. maghari will not happen to you..

if you are catholic.. hopefully not... because this is not what Jesus taught us to do.


if we can help undocumented people how much more a priest who came here legally with the approval of the Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New york.


it is a shame to the Catholic Church particularly to the Archdidoces of New York.

 

i am a priest itself.. and this is what i hate in Catholic Church Politics..


WE ARE JUST GOOD IN PREACHING AND ASKING MONEY... BUT IN REALITY.. WE DO GIVE NO SERVICE TO OUR OWN PEOPLE.... ESPECIALLY TO OUR OWN BROTHER PRIEST..


WE ARE JUST GOOD AS THE HYPOCRITES OF JESUS TIME... NOT IN GERENAL THOUGH. BUT IN THE CASE OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK... ALL I CAN SAY.. YOU ARE ONE OF THEM.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU...

Posted by joanm

December 13, 2009, 9:54PM

Although I am not Roman Catholic, I am married to one, and he is a regular attendee of St Peter's. As a (former) neighbor of St. Peter's, the church and Msgr Dohrney were as good a neighbor as you could hope for. Father Pablito has done so much for the church, including attracting the Filipino parishioners who are (it seems to me) the most vital community of parishioners there. As I said, I am not Catholic but my understanding of the way the church worked was that men entering the priesthood gave up their lives to serve the church and, in return, were taken care of by the church. St Peter's has certainly had senior clergy in the past who were taken care of.
As a diabetic, it breaks my heart to see what has happened to Father Pabs. But, to the hardhearted comments that I've read, you are speaking out of ignorance. Taking care of your diabetes delays the side effects, it does not necessarily prevent them. Diabetes is an incurable disease with devastating results to everyone who has it, either sooner or later. Certainly, Father Pablito could have taken better care of his diabetes, but diabetes is an expensive disease. God help those of us who are diabetic and cannot afford the treatment we need.
I am appalled at the lack of compassion and Christian charity being shown towards Father Pablito by the diocese. This is NOT the way to get people to be involved in the church. It is also NOT the right thing to do. It is hard to hear this story and not think about the churches that have been closed down so that the money saved could protect pedophiles - who the church asked us to feel compassion for because they are "sick".
Since Father Pablito is fighting for his life here, I wouldn't expect him to do anything else. Would any of you?
I want to know, where the next step up is? Who has the power to help this situation?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Readers Comments http://www.silive.com/northshore/index.ssf/2009/12/hoping_to_reverse_his_dismissa.html

By Deborah E. Young  12/7/2009

 (5 total)    

 

Posted by noche159

December 07, 2009, 8:55AM

one has to wonder is this concern or the Advance's Catholic Bashing excuse, why not the contiunied developments of the couple that were killed on New Dorp Lane , I have seen alot of great preist who were well liked get tranferred out of my parish

 

Posted by salminor

December 07, 2009, 8:58AM

I wish the good father well, and hope that he finds the support that he needs to maintain his life.

The Catholic church in New York is on a steady decline, and this decision by the church hierarchy, clearly displays the lack of Christianity that exists in the corrupt and faltering church. More effort was put into sheltering pedophile priests then has been put into supporting this sick man.

I guess the scripture, "whatever you do for the least of My brothers, so you do unto Me. " does not apply in the New York Archdiocese

 

Posted by lowtalker

December 07, 2009, 9:11AM

"They're not practicing what they're preaching".. Really?! Ya don't say! Maybe now folks will realize church isn't what they say it is. Obviously all church is, is "BIG BUSINESS". They plan to discard one of their 33yr priests as trash to die in the Philippines because he is costing them too much free donated cash? Where is all the holy love and open arms now? I hope no one ever returns to this church just to show their support for this poor priest. also, I wouldn't recommend going to another church because it's all the same song and dance. Wake up people.

Do you really have to pretend some invisible man is watching you and judging you to do the right thing??

 

Posted by rollie47

December 07, 2009, 11:50AM

It appears that our good church allowed this priest, and others like him, to serve our community during a time when there just aren't enough American priests to serve the flock (I wonder why). His services were appreciated by the Archdiocese in a superficial way. Asking him to leave now is about money and nothing else!!! Perhaps, the Catholic church needs to examine their conscience.

 

Posted by siguy1974

December 07, 2009, 11:03AM

Hmmm- and would all of you big talkers and Catholic bashers pay for the medical bills of a landscaper who hurt himself while mowing your lawn? Or the mailman who had a heart attack while delivering your mail? Hmm? I thought so. The Advance is making this out to be worse than it is. This priest works for the Philipino archdiocese. That's where he belongs. The Archdiocese may have been able to handle this is a better way, but I have a feeling they tried many other avenues before resorting to the measures they eventually employed. I also have a feeling that Father is a bit of a troublemaker, seeing as how he ran to the media to create scandal for the Church.

http://shipoffools.com/mystery/2009/1675.html

1675: St Peter's, Staten Island, New York, USA

Mystery Worshipper: Clandestine Christian.
The church: St Peter's, Staten Island, New York, USA.
Denomination: Roman Catholic, Archdiocese of New York.
The building: The congregation first celebrated mass in a gun factory in April 1839. Their first church was dedicated in 1844 and served until the 1890s, when it was destroyed by fire. The present structure of Romanesque and Gothic design was laid out in 1900 by the architectural firm of Harding & Gooch, noted for several commercial buildings in lower Manhattan. The church is still today possibly the most magnificent and largest edifice on Staten Island. Situated high on a hill, it is clearly visible from New York Harbor and has served as a reference point for sailors at sea. The bell tower somewhat resembles that of London's Houses of Parliament. Inside, the vaulted ceiling was constructed in such a way that no pillars are necessary, thus affording an unobstructed view of the sanctuary from every pew. The interior is resplendent with stained glass and appointments in the style of the Italian Renaissance.
The church: In its early days, St Peter's parish was governed by a succession of rather colorful pastors, one of whom was the nephew of Elizabeth Seton, the first native-born United States citizen to be canonized, and another of whom ran off to join the California gold rush and was later struck by blindness. Today, St Peter's is one of the leading Roman Catholic parishes on Staten Island. They sponsor a men's and boys' choir and are active in such charitable works as clothing drives, etc. They administer a grammar school and high school as well as a cemetery. Masses are held Sundays at 9.00am and 12.00 noon, with a 5.00pm anticipated mass on Saturdays, as well as at various times throughout the week.
The neighborhood: The bulletin and several websites give the address of St Peter's as New Brighton, but it is actually still within the limits of St George, the Staten Island neighborhood closest to Manhattan. The ferry is within walking distance, and most of the houses near St Peter's are historical landmarks, some displaying breathtaking architecture. This is a place of steep hills, which, along with the Victorian houses, make it a sort of a poor man's San Francisco. Little bodegas are within walking distance, as is the center of St George, with little shops and restaurants, a lovely historic theater, a pharmacy, and other amenities. St Peter's bells toll the hours except at night. There is a terrific view of Manhattan across the water, and the harbor is quite busy with huge cargo ships escorted by cute little tugboats. But there is also a view of the chemical tanks of New Jersey, just one of the many contradictions that are Staten Island, the "forgotten borough" of New York City. A concise history of Staten Island can be found in an earlier Mystery Worship report. In recent years the borough has become more suburban and urban, as unbridled and quite ugly development continues to encroach upon the rural and rustic setting that the island once enjoyed.
The cast:
The Revd Pablito C Maghari, parochial vicar ("Father Pabs"), was celebrant and preacher. He was assisted by a team of lectors and eucharistic ministers identified only as M. Smith, A. Philip, R. Bradshaw and L. Kronenthal.
The date & time: Solemnity of Christ the King November 23, 2008, 12.00 noon.

What was the name of the service?
Sunday Mass.

How full was the building?
Around 50 people, something like one-eighth full.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
Two said hello to me upon entering (the same two people who later took up the collection), but they didn't hand me anything or point out the necessary books.

Was your pew comfortable?
Comfortable enough. It was a polished wooden pew, unpadded, with connecting (folding) kneeler.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
There was a bit of talking, mainly from the cantor, who was setting up his guitar paraphernalia.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
The cantor said "Good morning" and welcomed us; then the priest began with "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

What books did the congregation use during the service?
Daily Missal and a service book/hymnal entitled Breaking Bread 2008.

What musical instruments were played?
Acoustic guitar.

Did anything distract you?
It was a little distracting to hear the standard hymns played with acoustic guitar instead of organ, but it was pleasant enough. The priest had a slight accent that I couldn't place (Filipino, I later learned) and that distracted me, along with a highly reverberating sound system. There also was a small disturbance when someone came to sit directly behind me, and then got up and found another seat. There were so many empty seats – what was the problem?

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
A standard novus ordo eucharist, but with the hymns and sung parts of the mass accompanied by guitar. There were no acolytes or servers. The psalm was sung responsively with the cantor, and the Lord's Prayer and some other parts were sung. The priest chanted the parts of the liturgy that are usually chanted, but there were no bells or incense. The congregation seemed engaged, as much as possible, and not bored, although many did not join in the singing. The guitarist was very good. The hymns were standard, not some silly type of folk mass stuff. It was pleasant, but different. At the exchange of peace, everyone just nodded and gave a conservative little wave of the hand – no getting out of the pews to shake hands, something I've never cared for much.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
10 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
6
Father Pabs (I suppose he must like to be called this) was an interesting looking man who could be mistaken for a Japanese actor, with a thick mop of black hair in a Beatle haircut. He was very enthusiastic, used expansive hand gestures and was a bit loud sometimes, I believe to wake up the rather sleepy congregation. He didn't rely on notes, which was nice. Even though it was a short homily, he did seem a bit unfocused although his material was sound.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
He spoke of Christ as victor, king, judge, and the one who is coming. As the liturgical year ends and a new year begins with Advent, we must lead Christ-centered lives.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
After communion there was quiet – no guitar, no children fidgeting, no one talking, only some shuffling and clunking of the folding kneelers. It was a good atmosphere for prayer.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Alas, a little child couldn't be restrained for long during that peaceful silence after communion. The tyke seemed to have quite a bit to say that he must have been holding in for some time.

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
There was no coffee hour, and as everyone was leaving it didn't seem worth it to hang around acting lost. Father Pabs was busy meeting with people and I didn't get to talk to him.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
No coffee hour that I could see.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
4 – There really doesn't seem to be much of a community. I can do without the coffee hour, but I like to be in a church with organ and choir. The men's and boys' choir must sing at the earlier mass – why is it that the early service is always the traditional one?

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes. Being in a lovely church, to pray in silence and sing pleasant hymns, with a Christ-centered homily.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
Father Pabs and the nodded peace.

 

 

 (Notes by M.E. Embry website has photo of the church)

ship stuff
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