Monthly Archives: January 2010

At the epicenter…

NOTE: In November 2008 Deacon Greg Cross began an active ministry with their twinned church, Immaculate Conception Parish in Haiti.  We asked Dc. Greg to share a bit on how his ministry began and the developments since last week’s earthquake.  This post begins with a few excerpts from his notes while on mission.

Dc. Tim McNerney, Webmaster

Looking Back:

November 13-14, 2008 – We arrived in Haiti, then traveled the mountain ranges 35KM from Port-au-Prince to Chauffard, Haiti with Fr. Julien from Immaculate Conception Parish.  Roads are comprised of two elements:  rocks and ruts!

November 15-17, 2008We continue our fact-finding mission in Haiti, detailing the incredible need that his mountain village of 1,500 people has for food, medical, education and spiritual support.

Field Notes:

– Regroup committee to determine augmented programs St. Michael & St. Peter can provide.
– Try to purchase batteries for solar power storage asap; perhaps a small refrigerator also.
– Establish interest in annual or more frequent visits
– Send e-photos taken and mail printed photos of students

November 4-10, 2009Three MD’s, three nurses, my two daughters, Emily and Catherine, and I arrive back in Chauffard, Haiti to setup an on-site medical clinic for the residents, many of whom have never seen professional medical practitioners in their lifetimes!  Because shipping to Haiti is so problematic, the team hand carries all medical supplies on-board the planes to Haiti.  The medical supplies where made possible by the generous donations from St. Michael & St. Peter parishes in Syracuse, NY.


Our news from Chauffard, Haiti (the epicenter) is mixed.  Thankfully, our pastor survived as did our main church, school, and rectory.  However, two of our mission churches were totally destroyed, and three were severely damaged.  The death toll is unknown yet.  We understand there are likely to be many homeless also.

In Port-au-Prince, Matthew 25 House and its resident missionaries are all fine; they are operating an emergency medical clinic  and shelter out of the house.  Our young interpreters from our November mission are also fine, although one’s home collapsed around her in the quake.  She said she felt God carried her outside the house to safety.

I am hoping to go to Chauffard next month to find out more and to adjust plans for how we help them in light of all this.  In the meantime, we keep them all in our prayers, and we can send money to meet the incredible need there.

Anyone wishing to contribute to our mission church in Chauffard Haiti may do so by sending checks to: St. Michael & St. Peter Church – Haiti Mission, 4782 W Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215.

Greg Cross

The wisdom of the Church…

Can. 1039 All candidates for any order are to make a spiritual retreat for at least five days in a place and manner determined by the ordinary. Before the bishop proceeds to ordination, he must be certain that the candidates properly made this retreat.

The upcoming Canonical Retreat for the 8 men in their final year of diaconate formation and their wives at Christ the King Retreat House, Syracuse, N.Y. confirms the wisdom of the Catholic Church in prescribing, by Canon Law, that all candidates for ordination set time aside.

SUN photo Paul Finch / July 16, 2003

Time to complete a final discernment… time to pray… to laugh… to learn… to enjoy good food and great company. The canonical retreat will be a spirit-filled time in an environment designed to provide space to reflect on four years of growing together and the changes about to occur as each of these couples takes their place in a ministry that is still being defined!

May the Holy Spirit fill their time with a peaceful resolve to serve God’s people and the courage to fully embrace their vocational call.

Welcoming a brother from the south…

One of the true “miracles” of modern technology with the Internet underpinning the torrent of data in our lives is the connections we’re able to make with those hundreds… thousands of miles away.  And so it is today with Deacon Gayden Harper, our guest contributor from the Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi.

I asked Deacon Harper for a bit of background on himself.  He was ordained in July 2006, retired from his work in 2007.  He’s been a busy deacon!  Director of the Diaconate and Pastoral Pastoral Services for the diocese, while deacon at St. Mary Parish, Deacon Harper is married and up to the many challenges of the Gulf Coast, still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

We welcome his homily on Ephipany Sunday and encourage others to reach out, connect and evangelize!

Dc. Tim McNerney
Diocese of Syracuse

Said the night wind to the little lamb

The day after Christmas, I was driving across I-10 listening to music (rather than ESPN Radio) when this song came on. I had heard it thousands of times, but all of a sudden I had tears in my eyes and knew there had to be a message in this song and began researching its origins. The night before the Epiphany Vigil, it finally came together.

[Link to Ephiphany Sunday Homily]

Deacon Gayden R. Harper
Diocese of Biloxi