Special Mass to be said in Brooklyn
By Fr. Brendan Duggan

Take up your cross

In yesterday's Gospel (24th Sunday in ordinary time) we deal with the theme of being a Disciple of Jesus: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself take up his cross and follow me" (Matt. 8:34). The statement is radical, but then perhaps we have heard it so often that it now makes little impression on us at all.

The image "to take up your cross" has its origins in the practice of crucifixion, which was an eastern custom, that was taken up by the Romans. It meant being scourged first, then taking up your cross, carrying it to the place of crucifixion and then being put to death. Torture and death on a cross were inflicted in Roman society on only two classes of people - rebels and slaves. Roman citizens were never crucified as this would be too humiliating. Only the lowest forms of life were subjected to execution compounded in its cruelty by humiliation and disgrace. So when Jesus made 'carrying the cross' a condition of discipleship he was reminding his followers of the price they would have to pay. So the disciples must have been left in shock by Jesus' statement.

Then Jesus issued another challenge: "Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.” What he is saying contains at least two claims. About this life he says that if you or I seek self-fulfillment selfishly or sinfully we won't be fulfilled at all. Sin may satisfy for the moment, but it doesn't fulfill. About the next life he is saying there is no provision there for immoral earnings. At the end of an immoral life, if I have accumulated wealth or power, I cannot take it with me. Anyone who lives generously and nobly makes sacrifices and acts toward his fellow human being in a just and caring and forgiving fashion is building up treasure in heaven. The paradox of Christianity is Temporal Loss but Eternal Gain.

As Christians we have to make sacrifices, we take up our daily crosses, we try to live a good life, and we do our work conscientiously and well. We care for our families by looking after them even though there may be times when we love someone in the family whom we get really angry with. Patience and tolerance may often be tough virtues to practice. It is not easy to be good, hard-working, loving and patient and kind at all times, but we must keep on trying to do the right thing, and put our faith and trust in God, who is always there to help us.

Special Brooklyn Mass

On Saturday September 8, I said a special Mass in Greenwood Cemetery for The Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee and Our Lady of Knock #9 LAOH, to honor some important events. Mrs. Kathleen McDonagh kindly invited me to the event. Saturday was the Annual Irish Heritage Trail and Irish Patriots Day at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

The 12 noon Mass was for Irish born men who gave their lives while serving in the United States Armed forces in The Korean War (1950-53) and who on October 30, 2003 became citizens of the United States by a special Act of Congress. There were a total of 28 Irishmen, recent immigrants who perished in the Korean War. Limerick had 4, Kerry 5, Cork 4, Roscommon 4. Mayo 3, among many more counties. The Roll Call of Honor for the Irish Korean veterans was read by Helen Lavin. After the Mass there were tributes in the Chapel to Edward Cush, Organizer of the Kings County Memorial Day Parade and The Korean War Memorial at Cadman Place by Eileen Cush-Byrnes (his daughter).
Ms. Asenath Nicholson(1792-1855) a prominent leader of Irish Famine Relief Efforts from 1845 to 1852 was remembered as was Mr. Horace Greeley (prominent in the Irish Famine Relief Efforts).
Special remembrance was also given to Msgr. Walter Murphy, Mary Gallagher, John McDonagh and Joan Ferris. May they all rest in peace.

Special remembrance was made to Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher, Irish Brigade - 150th Anniversary, at his memorial and his wife Elizabeth's graveside. Kathleen McDonagh, Parade Officer, made some remarks and both American and Irish flags were placed at the graveside, followed by a moment of silence with a piper's tribute.

Brigadier General Thomas Sweeney, a Civil War hero was also honored at his graveside. Matilda Tone, wife of the great patriot Wolfe Tone is also buried at Greenwood and she was also specially remembered at her graveside. The many people who perished in 9/11 and who are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, which number about 70 people, were not forgotten and they got very honorable remembrances.

I was glad to have been present at this great event down in Brooklyn as it is good to remember our dead. Greenwood cemetery is very famous and it is well worth a visit. So every best wish to all my good friends in the Brooklyn Parade Committee and LAOH.

Holy Ghost Dance

Preparations are now in full swing for the Holy Ghost Fathers Annual Missions Dance on Sat. Nov. 10th at St. Mary's Hall, 70-31 48. Ave. Woodside NY 11377. Dancing from 8pm to 12pm to "Rumor Has It", and tickets are only $45 which includes a full hot buffet with beer, wine and soda . Honorees at the dance are Mary Coyne, Thomas J. Giblin, and Betty McLoughlin. At present we are preparing a dance journal and tickets are available for a raffle with great prizes. For more details please contact me at 917 226 8237 or email me at ebrendand1234@aol.com.

The Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Inc, hold their annual Harvest Moon Ball on Saturday, September 29. Music will be by The Kitty Kelly Band. Donation is $80, which includes dinner and open bar. Early booking is advised. Please call 516-716-9392 or visit www.irishamericansoc.com.

GAA All-Ireland finals

Congratulations to both Galway and Kilkenny for a great All Ireland and we hope for an equally gripping replay. Best wishes to both Mayo and Donegal. Both equally deserve the laurels as it is a long time since either team has won the football All Ireland.