Message from Cardinal Dolan - It's About Passing Over
March 27, 2021
Year of Saint Joseph
Dear Catholic Family of the Archdiocese of New York,
As we prepare to enter
, and our Jewish neighbors begin their observance of
, I wanted to assure you of my love and prayers during this sacred season.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently of a cherished friend, someone I’ve known for over half-a-century, since we waited on tables together in the same fried chicken place back home in St. Louis. She’s been a steady source of wisdom and encouragement to me since I met her in 1968.
Lately I’ve often been on the phone with her, concerned about the health of her dear mom, herself the great-granddaughter of a slave. The call I’ve dreaded came the other day, “Tim, mom
That’s a loaded word:
. In this case, it meant a noble woman had
from this life to the next. Sometimes we use the phrase “passed away.”
It’s actually a poetic, meaningful word. My dear friend was telling me in that one word --
-- that her mom had just made a natural, much anticipated, long prepared for, journey, from this life to everlasting life, from tears to smiles, from sickness and frailty to freedom forever.
That word is sacred to us believers. This evening, our Jewish neighbors begin the solemn feast of
, keeping an exquisite tradition of millennia, observing and remembering, with family and friends, prayer and a Seder meal, how God saved His chosen people, guiding them in
from death to life, slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.
Not by coincidence, but because Jesus was a faithful Jew, we Christians commence
this same evening as well. Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter are all about
as well, as Jesus passes from the darkness, evil, and death of a Friday weirdly termed “good” to the light, goodness, and life of Easter Sunday.
And, no surprise, Passover and Holy Week occur just as nature
, from the dreariness, bleakness, and chill of Winter, to the growth, brightness, and warmth of budding new life of Spring.
The people of Israel once wondered, is this bondage in Egypt all there is? Are the Lord’s promises null?
tells them, not at all!
The disciples of Jesus asked, is this earthquake, eclipse, torture, and death on a Friday afternoon the end? Have all the hope and dreams this unique man called “Lord” inspired, come to this bloody conclusion?
replies, think again!
We too are called to participate in our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection, through our prayers, self-sacrifice, and participation in the sacraments, especially Sunday Mass. This Monday, March 29, is
, and every parish in the archdiocese, as well as parishes in the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, will offer the sacrament of Penance from 3:00 -- 9:00 p.m. It’s a wonderful way to prepare ourselves to experience more fully the reality of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection,
from sin to grace!
We might all be tempted to wonder, after a year of Covid, is this long lockdown, and isolation, death, and fear of Winter all we got?
answers, not on your life!
It’s all about
Holy Week graces!
Faithfully in Christ,
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
on Saturday, March 27 at 7:42PM