• Joseph Boudreau
    December 20, 2017 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan,
    Thanks for sharing this touching story.
    God Bless,
    Joseph Boudreau

  • Sr Laura
    December 20, 2017 Reply

    Many, many thanks for sharing this. It truly was a very special day.

  • Evelyn Cayer
    December 20, 2017 Reply

    HI Cardinal Dolan
    Thanks for the uplifting message . Since age 13 I have outreached persons in nursing homes (. Legion of Mary in high school ) , experienced trouble youth in LA , and much later in life 30’s , worked alongside a Franciscan sister
    Who served the poor in a hospital and the prisoners ,minimum and medium security .
    She ,bynher joyful nature uplifted the spirits of all ! I met her through a charismatic pray meeteing ….She would say a formal prayer md read short section of psalms ,or whatever ,then off to work engaging others .
    I was too proud to beg ( at local bakeries etc ..she often provided snacks for the needy institutionalized ) with her ..
    I driove her and waited in the car .
    I am old now but am still prompted to attend to at least one other person outstanding de of my own .
    Prayer and works …it’s all true despite my. Ignorant
    Rejections at a younger age .
    Keep preaching or sharing in your usual ‘ down to earth ‘
    And humorous and graceful manner !
    Thanks for remembering …prisoners …. because
    You may be the instrument of ‘many ‘
    Blessed Christmas !!

  • Joe Spina
    December 30, 2017 Reply

    Thank you, Eminence, for posting this beautiful tribute to my friend Antonia. It was wonderful to meet you on Monday at Taconic for the mass and dedication of the chapel to her memory. Your homily was a great message for us and particularly the women, waiting in hope and knowing God is with us, they certainly know about waiting. Thank you. I met Antonia in the spring of 1980 almost 38 years ago at Taconic, it was a men’s facility back then. We had a short conversation and she invited me to mass. I replied “I dont think so this church thing is not for me.” She smiled, looked me in the eye and said , “Mass is on Saturday night, the chapel is right down the hall and you will be there or i will break your legs.” I had already served several years and several prisons so it wasn’t the fear of broken legs that made me go. It was the light in her eye, the warmth of her smile and the gentleness of her spirit that brought me back to Mass and several months later to REC 3 at Taconic. That weekend made me see that the biggest curse of my life, imprisonment, became the greatest gift of my life, Jesus. The weekend was the culmination of years of imprisonment, soul searching and questioning, similar to Ignatius’s spiritual journey. Antonia and I stayed in touch after my release and shortly therafter she asked me if i would like to come back in prison and work on a REC weekend. I asked her to shake her head and see if she heard anything rattle around, maybe she had a screw loose? She won again I went back in and for many years after worked with Antonia on REC weekends and the Special Needs Unit at Sing Sing, a unit for men with AIDS. I later spent several years on the Parish Mission Team and told many stories about being imprisoned by the state and by life and the wonderful mystery of God. I watched Antonia through the decades stand up to governors, legislators and prison officials – top to bottom – even Cardinal Arch Bishops in defense of the people in green. I thank you for putting this on your blog and for letting people know what a blessing she was to so so many people. Please pray for me as It will pray for you.
    Many Thanks,
    Joe Spina
    P.S. Sister Laura told me that you were under the weather and could not celebrate midnight mass at the cathedral. Just so you know, Monday I drove back to North Carolina, woke up Tuesday with a sore throat, was then diagnosed with pneumonia, and I was also in bed for midnight mass and Christmas Day with pneumonia. Forgive me, Father, for I missed mass.


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