Faith and Freedom on the New Haven Green

It was only one of scores of rallies June 8, but for religious liberty in America, this is 'hallowed ground.'

06/10/2012 Comments (5)

It started with a prayer, followed by a reading of the First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

A crowd of about 250 people, of a variety of religions and races, responded in their own ways, with Amens and applause.

Men and women, boys and girls stood for over an hour under a fairly strong sun, holding flags and signs that read “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” and “Stop Obama’s HHS Mandate.” Bells from a nearby civic building cut...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, congress, contraception, healthcare, obama, religious freedom, religious liberty

Feasts and Famines

How a look Eastward can make Americans more thankful — and vigilant

11/24/2011 Comments (7)
Mariangeles Burger

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk

– Mariangeles Burger

Here we are at another Thanksgiving, that most American of feast days. For so many of us, it has come to mean food, family and football.

Oh, and phenomenal savings — the next day, anyway.

We are reminded to thank God for our many blessings. And then we indulge.

I’ve never really thought about it much, but Archbishop Timothy Dolan made a lot of sense the other day when he pointed to the basic thing for which we must be grateful: the religious liberty we enjoy in this country, settled in large part by those whose religious freedom had been curtailed in the Old World.

In speaking of that “first freedom,” the archbishop of New York found himself in an interesting setting. He had just...READ MORE

Filed under faith, liturgy, lubomyr husar, pope benedict xvi, religious freedom, sviatoslav shevchuk, timothy dolan, ukraine, ukrainian catholic church, usccb

Pastor to Walk for Two Days — For His Students

11/10/2011 Comments (3)
Courtesy of Assumption School

Father John Higgins greets student and his mother on the first day of classes at Asssumption School in Peekskill, N.Y. The priest is walking 58 miles to New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral to raise money for the struggling school.

– Courtesy of Assumption School

It’s not exactly the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Spanish pilgrimage trail featured in the new Emilio Estevez film The Way. But the road from Peekskill, N.Y., to St. Patrick’s Cathedral can be just as colorful.

Father John Higgins, the 43-year-old pastor of Assumption parish in the Westchester town, will be walking the 58 miles to Manhattan today and tomorrow.

His purpose? To raise money for his struggling parish school.

In a letter to friends, he writes that Assumption School is having difficult times, and many of the parents, hit hard by the economic downturn of the past several years, are struggling to keep their kids in the school.

Father Higgins told me that he plans to...READ MORE

Filed under catholic education, pilgrimages, priests, st. patrick's cathedral

Good Night, Irene

08/31/2011 Comments (6)


Irene packed a punch, to be sure. Some 42 people up and down the eastern seaboard died as a result of the hurricane, and millions of folks were affected by property damage, sustained loss of power, severe flooding and interrupted daily living.

I don’t mean to minimize anyone’s hardships, least of all their personal tragedies. Thanks be to God, we had no catastrophes in southern Connecticut.

Inconvenienced? Sure. We’re still without power, stumbling around to find things in the dark, finding ways to keep our food from going bad, having to go out from the home office to find a place with power and an internet connection…

But that’s the extent of our “suffering.” We have had merely a taste...READ MORE

Filed under hurricane irene

Remembering 9/11

08/30/2011 Comments (10)
John Wollwerth/

– John Wollwerth/

As members of an earlier generation could tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news of JFK’s assassination or the attack on Pearl Harbor, hardly anyone alive today can forget Sept. 11, 2001.

It’s been 10 years, and the Register is preparing special coverage of the anniversary.

But we’d also like to hear from you, our readers. We’d like to hear your recollections of that day or your thoughts about it and the ensuing reaction to the largest attack on American soil. This is your chance to offer your unique perspective, based on your experiences, to the rest of us. We invite you to write considered and respectful short essays, in the comment box below, to help all of us put...READ MORE

Filed under 911, john paul ii, sept. 11, 2001, terrorism

Off to the Missions

Agency founded by Emmanuel community sending American lay missionaries for first time.

08/18/2011 Comment

Archbishop Timothy Dolan first encountered Fidesco when he served as chairman of Catholic Relief Services. He recently hosted a reception for the American branch, where he encouraged one of the first four Americans to go on mission with the group, Natalie Kean, right.

– Fidesco

As kids across the country head back to school, four recent college grads are preparing to take off for new lives in the missions.

They are being sent by Fidesco, a 30-year-old Paris-based Catholic agency that has a new branch in the United States and is sending Americans abroad for the first time.

Founded in 1981 by the Emmanuel Community, following a meeting at the Vatican with African bishops, Fidesco now operates in 31 countries and sends 250 volunteers every year. Its name is based on the Latin word for faith, fides. The co is for cooperation.
Each volunteer makes a two-year commitment.

Wyoming native Natalie Kean, 28, is headed for a slum outside Manila in the Philippines. An...READ MORE

Filed under fidesco, lay missionaries, missions, timothy dolan

New York Senators Now Voting on Same-Sex 'Marriage'

06/24/2011 Comments (19)

There are almost 30,000 viewers watching the live stream of the New York State Senate right now. This may be the last day of a long legislative session before lawmakers break for the summer.

It’s also the feast of St. John the Baptist, a few days after the longest day of the year. But it’s already dark, and it looks like the Senate is finally going to vote on the same-sex “marriage” bill ... in the dark of night.

Yes, it appears the Senate is opting to vote “under cover of darkness.” But no, that’s not really the case, is it, not in this Internet age, when the session is being streamed live on the Senate’s own website and folks like the National Organization for Marriage are tweeting...READ MORE

Filed under

Thank You. That's all. Just ... Thank You.

05/30/2011 Comments (3)
2009 CNS photo/Erik de Castro, Reuters

A man places Philippine and U.S. flags on the grave of an unknown soldier after a Veterans Day memorial ceremony at an American cemetery in Manila, Philippines. The cemetery contains the remains of 16,631 Americans who died in the Pacific, China, India and Burma during World War II.

– 2009 CNS photo/Erik de Castro, Reuters

Thank you, Lorenz Burger. You came to this country in 1848, when things in Germany weren’t going well. You settled in Brooklyn, set out to learn English, and kept your fellow Bavarians happy by brewing their beloved weizenbier. Thank you for leaving your brewery on Broome Street in lower Manhattan’s Kleine Deutschland when the union was threatened. Your own Germany was hardly united, but you answered Abraham Lincoln’s call to help save this Union.

Thank you, too, Russell Edward Joseph Burger. Your service in France in 1918 in the medical corps helped save lives and comforted the dying.

Thank you, Clarence Burger. You did your part, watching German prisoners of war, even though you...READ MORE

Filed under civil war, memorial day, vietnam war, world war i, world war ii

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About John Burger

John Burger
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John Burger came to the Register in 2001 as a staff writer after working as a reporter for Catholic New York, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., and a master's degree in English from Iowa State University and has taught in China and France.