Notes from Fr. Tim

July 14, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

The Rivertown’s Clergy Association is a group of clergy leaders of different religious faiths who meet monthly for prayer and fellowship and positive interaction. In addition to this, we dialogue and coordinate events of common interest. We value, embrace, and respect all faith traditions. Since arriving here at The Magdalene, I have been a member and remain committed to ensuring a Catholic presence and voice are included.

On Tuesday, June 25, we gathered on the grounds of the Tarrytown Village Hall for our GATHER FOR PEACE. It was a time of prayer and unity as we called for peace throughout the world. It was nice to see a couple of parishioners. After our peaceful gathering, we had a takeaway offering simple ways to foster peace. I wish to share the 19 suggestions with you.


1. Simplify your life
2. Create a peaceful affirmation/mantra
3. Strengthen the good
4. Treat a friend to coffee/tea
5. Read books about peace and recommend them to others
6. Say, “Hello” and “Thank you”
7. Build a diverse coalition
8. Meditate/Reflect
9. Clarify your core values
10. Spend time in nature
11. Don’t engage in violence
12. Embrace the power of music and the arts
13. Express your thoughts with charity
14. Say you’re sorry when necessary
15. Forgive other
16. Volunteer
17. Speak in a positive tone
18. Participate in community events
19. Display peace signs

As we continue to celebrate our 130th Anniversary, the Magdalene will host his year’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 26 with a reception following in the Weaver Parish Hall.

Blessings! And remember to KTF (Keep the Faith)
Fr. Tim

July 7, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

This time of the year, I receive questions about scapulars, one of many pious devotions to help nurture the faith of believers. A scapular, taken from a Latin word meaning “shoulder” consists of two pieces of cloth worn front and back over a person’s shoulders. When worn, the scapular can appear to be a small type of yoke that Jesus calls his believers to take upon themselves as they follow him (cf. MT 11: 28- 30). There is a tradition (which may not be historical) that Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, a leader of the Carmelites, and gave him a scapular, telling him to promote devotion it.

While growing up in Port Chester, I would visit Corpus Christi Church, the National Italian parish, for prayer. On the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, a brown scapular would appear on Mary’s statue annually. Curious about this religious item, I eventually purchased one and wore it for years until my arm was caught up in the scapular.

Believers wear the scapular for various reasons, including knowing and feeling God’s protection. Like other religious items, the scapular is not jewelry or a good luck charm. Religious articles have no power itself.

Black, green, blue, red, white! Throughout time, different colors were added to the traditional brown color. For example: Black is associated with the Seven Sorrows of Mary; Blue is associated with the Immaculate Conception. Red is associated with the Passion of Our Lord. Blue and Black are associated with the Confraternity of St. Michael the Archangel.

The Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular from the fires of hell, which will also shorten their stay in purgatory if they should pass from this world still owing some debt of punishment.

Certain conditions must be fulfilled:

1. Wear the Brown Scapular continuously.
2. Observe chastity according to one’s state in life.
3. Recite daily the little office of the Blessed Virgin or observe the fasts of the Church.

Despite the colors, promises, and conditions, the scapular reminds us of Mary’s maternal care for us!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

Fr. Tim

June 30, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers made good on their dream of establishing one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. They signed The Declaration of Independence, officially declaring the U.S. free from British rule, and we’ve been observing the anniversary ever since. As we plan to celebrate the Fourth of July this year with family and friends, enjoying barbeques, picnics fireworks, we should take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the word freedom. What is freedom?

The Biblical definition of freedom. The Bible definition of freedom is the power and right to do that which is right and good according to God’s will. Freedom is a gift of the Spirit, who lives in us as believers and frees us from sin, the law, and the blindness of the world. Freedom is also a hope for the future glory that will be revealed in the heavenly life.

The Legal definition of freedom is: According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, freedom is the quality or state of being free. It is defined as the absence of necessity, coercion or constraint in choice or action. Freedom has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated.

May you be inspired by the following quotes on freedom:

  • For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)
  • “True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation, evermore!” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” ― Winston Churchill
  • “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” Martin Luther King
  • “This Independence Day let us take time to thank God for the freedoms we enjoying this great country of ours and those who have sacrificed greatly to ensure those freedoms – Matthew Brown.

God Bless America! Fr. Tim

June 23, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

Because Christ Himself is present in the Sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul vi, MF 66).

Down in adoration falling,
This great Sacrament we hail;
Over ancient forms of worship
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith will tell us Christ is present,
When our human senses fail.

What a beautiful 2024 Corpus Christi Sunday! I sincerely thank all those who participated, including Adorers & Workers.

Fr. Tim

June 16, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

Creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman named Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.

Having been raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. Her father made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora’s father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, on the 19th of June 1910.

In 1926, a national Father’s Day Committee was formed in New York City. Father’s Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1956. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. So Father’s Day was born in memory and gratitude by a daughter who thought that her father and all good fathers should be honored with a special day just like we honor our mothers on Mother’s Day.

Here at The Magdalene this weekend, we will honor all Fathers in the Parish just as we honored all the Mothers.

What Makes A Dad?
Any man can be a Father, but it takes a special person to be called Dad.

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family’s need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called —Dad!

—Author unknown

Fr. Tim

June 9, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

Whether you are a homeowner or renter, your property shows its wear and tear. Maintenance is always important, especially for liability purposes. Our Building Committee met with me on Thursday, April 4, and reported that the parish plant is in good shape overall. However, the following maintenance and improvement issues need to be addressed.

1). The cap on the wall between the church and the firehouse has been knocked over and is out of place. Replacement is needed.
2). All 4 exterior doors in the Education Center have severe rust on the bottom panels and need replacement.
3). There are extensive areas around the buildings where the green ivy vines are overgrown. Ivy needs to be pulled.
4). The stairwell on the side of the church and parts of the rectory porch need to be painted.
5). Mold remains in the closet of the Religious Education Director’s office. The closet needs to be painted.
6). Replace some of the light covers in the classrooms of the Education Center
7). The lights on the front porch of the rectory need to be replaced and upgraded (done).
8). Some masonry repair is needed at the bottom steps of the rectory porch.
9). The flagpole needs to be removed.
10). Repairs are needed on some of the kneelers in the left rear side of the church.

Over the summer, we will address these items as funds become available. If you own a business and wish to submit a bid, have the skill sets and want to donate your time, (the parish will pay for the materials costs), or wish to donate towards this endeavor, contact Mike Bassett (chair) at 914-774-5533 . Members of the Building Committee are Frank O’Donovan, Mike Doran, and Brian Geary.

Here is a thought: “Do you own the house/apartment or does it own you?”

Fr. Tim

June 2, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

Before Benediction at the 5 pm Vigil Mass on May 11, a parishioner asked, “Why Exposition?” Here’s the short version: The Church decided to launch a three-year program on the Eucharist and asked each parish to off er a Eucharistic event. As I published in a previous bulletin, the COTM will have an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday aft ernoons during Confession.

Here is a longer version: The Second Vatican Council in its Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (Light of the Peoples) described the Eucharist as the source and summit of the whole Christian life (LG 11). Three elements stand out in this affi rmation. The first is its character as a source: from the Eucharist, we draw strength and receive grace and inspiration for living as disciples of Jesus Christ and children of the Father. Secondly, is its condition of summit. This is the destiny, the fullness toward which everything is directed. Finally, the Magisterium of the Church speaks of the totality of a Christian life. The Eucharist is not just a devotion but the meaning of everything. We start the week with the Sunday Eucharist and we end the week with a Mass in Thanksgiving.

It’s sad to say that mass attendance has declined during the COVID pandemic, and return is slow post-COVID. For this reason, the U.S. bishops decided to launch a three-year program, which offi cially began on the Feast of Corpus Christi in June 2022: the “National Eucharistic Revival”. The fi rst year is a ‘Diocesan Year’, the second a ‘Parish Year’, and the third a ‘Mission Year’ starting with the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17th – 21st 2024. The Mission of the Revival is “To renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” For more information, visit: .

Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ also known as Corpus Christi. This feast allows us to actively and visibly bring Jesus outside our churches and into our local streets and to increase our devotion to this great gift .

Weather permitting we will have a procession to our prayer garden aft er the 11:00 a.m. Mass. If inclement weather, Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament will be held aft er Mass. Please join us.

Ave Verum Corpus Christi!

Fr. Tim

May 26, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

Memorial Day, which marks the unofficial beginning of summer, is a day for parades, memorial services, picnics, and barbeques. “Taps” are played at memorial services and at graveside services. This custom is honored throughout the United States. When military honors are appropriate, they are observed near the conclusion of the graveside service: a flag is presented to mourners, guns are fired into the air, and “Taps” is played. The sound sends “chills down one’s spine and tears down one’s eyes”. It is with these four pitches, traditionally for a bugle, but can be played effectively on a trumpet, that we remember the deceased and those who fought and lost their lives in service to the country.

I am always impressed when “Taps” is played when participating in a Memorial Day service or presiding at a graveside service. Because of the melody’s connotations with swells, buglers play it for military funerals. So when we hear, “Taps”, we take comfort that the fallen are sleeping in heavenly peace.

A Prayer for World Peace

We pray for the power to be gentle;
The strength to be forgiving;
The patience to be understanding;
And the endurance to accept the consequences
Of holding on to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
And the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe
In a world emancipated from violence,
A new world where fear shall no longer lead persons to commit
injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
To the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which all humans were created.
-Author Unknown

Fr. Tim

May 19, 2024


Dear Parishioners,

At this time, I wish to thank the following catechists who have taught our children the Faith in both our Religious Education Program and the Catechesis and Aides of the Good Shepherd : Maria Crisafi, Suzanne Damato, Susan Fiorella, Dorothy Haase, Sarah Haase, James Hornby, Martha Maresco, Rosemarie McManus, Regina Molinelli, Christina Nappi, Karen Novelli, Toni O’Connor, Victoria Shields, Fr. Tim Wiggins, Barbara Zegarelli.

Fr. Tim

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Holy Communion
April 21

Religious Education Holy Communion
May 11

Religious Education & Catechesis of the
Good Shepherd Confirmation
May 3

May 5, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

Tempus Fugit! Time Marches! Here we are in the fifth month of 2024, May. The month is dedicated to our Blessed Mother. The following hymn is appropriate as we “kick off” Mary’s month.

Bring Flowers of the Rarest
Bring flowers of the rarest
Bring blossoms the fairest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win.
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.

Our Second Graders, in our Religious Education Program, will present flowers to Mary during their First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 11. This year Caroline Geary will crown Mary.

Throughout May, Marian hymns will be sung. Our very talented and capable cantors and organist will use their voices to render beautiful Marian hymns to honor Mary.

Sing of Mary!
Fr. Tim

April 28, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

On Wednesday, April 24, a small group of countries celebrates Administrative Professional Day, formerly known as Admin Day or Secretary Day. This day recognizes the professional who keeps an office organized and running smoothly every day. Administrative Assistants include secretaries, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals.

During WWII, there was an increased need for skilled administrative personnel. Even with modern technology, and a reduction in the labor force, it is nice to have a “REAL” person/face on the other end of the phone and at the door to meet, greet, and execute.

Here at The Magdalene, we are blessed with Maria Paese as our Administrative Assistant and Marianne Scott as our Receptionist. Both handle many administrative tasks. Those of you who have had the opportunity to come into contact with them, tell me that they are not only a pleasure but a treasure to The Magdalene. On behalf of Parishioners and Friends, whom they serve, I say “Thank You” with a fl oral tribute on behalf of ALL of us. We’re also grateful for past Administrative Assistants who have served you with great loyalty and distinction.

Fr. Tim

April 21, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

On this fourth Sunday of Easter, we are presented with two celebrations:

First, we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus espouses the characteristics of a Good Shepherd. He is selfless, willing to lay down his life for the sheep. He is welcoming, and willing to lead those inside and outside his flock. He is faithful and willing to use his power for the greater glory of God. These are the types of characteristics we hope for in all leaders. Unfortunately, abuses of power are all too common in our world. How can we hold our leaders accountable? What would it be like to have “good shepherds” in positions of power within the government? Study your local leaders and commit to voting in the next election for morally strong leaders.

Second, we celebrate the 61st anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. At today’s Mass, we pray for both callings to specific ways of life (priesthood, married, religious, single life) and for the many, varied, daily callings each of us experiences. Vocations are not like they were back in the day. While visiting St. Joseph’s Seminary during Holy Week, a parishioner and I toured the class photos gallery. As we walked the corridors, I noticed two trends: class pictures were very robust in numbers, but the numbers began to decline after the mid to late 70’s. In my class photo, 2002, there were six priests (4 archdiocesan priests and 2 religious). Also, I noticed the surnames reflected the waves of newly arrived immigrants. Will the class sizes continue to decline or will they increase? Prayers are powerful.

Third, please pray this prayer for an increase in vocations.
God our Father, thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrifi cial love in our youth and young adults.

Finally, You can read MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 61st WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS “ Called to sow seeds of hope and to build peace” by scanning the bar code.

Fr. Tim

April 14, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

Throughout these weeks of Easter we read incredible stories of how the church is growing. These stories are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles did not unfold in secret, but in the open for all to see. Acts tell us the stories of what happened after Jesus’ resurrection and how people began to believe in him and follow his way.

The Magdalene is also growing sacramentally.
We welcome into the waters of Baptism: Becket Ethan Marr Bernardo Anthony Luciano, Emilia Anne, Tucci, Isabella Raine Carissimo, and Joseph Michael Lillis.
We welcome two couples through the Sacrament of Marriage. We welcome into the Church: Patty Cancro
We welcome into the parish the following families: Sandro and Melissa Carissimo, Suzanne Ferraro, Christopher and Kerry Scardino, Milan and Nicole Kana, Bridget Lillis, Roscoe and Kimberly Orman, Robert and Kathie Mackie, Eric and Katherine Straley, Daniel and Angela Lester, Matthew and Hayle Rodey,
14 children will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation
14 children will receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist
14 children will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The Magdalene needs to continue to grow. How? Consider becoming a:

● Lector, Eucharist Minister, altar server, usher, member of the music ministry, sacristy helper
● Volunteer as a catechist or catechist aid
● Member of the Hospitality Committee, Buildings & Grounds Committee, Altar Guild
● Member of the Women’s Bible Study

This coming July 21, we will celebrate our 130th Anniversary. The Parish Council is meeting and planning for this momentous occasion. Let us reflect on this question: What is a Parish? “A parish is a portion of the diocese under the care of a priest who is appointed to secure in virtue of his office as a pastor, the helps of religion for the faithful dwelling therein.” The faithful are called “parishioners.”

The Magdalene is a portion of the Archdiocese of New York in which many people dwell. The Archbishop assigns a pastor to serve the faithful in a parish.

With the collaboration of the Trustees, Finance Committee, Parish Council and staff, we work in tantum, volunteering our time and talents to help others grow in the religion we love and believe in so deeply.

Please think, pray, and make a sacrifice for the good of the parish. We need you to keep The Magdalene parish life flourishing TODAY and TOMORROW and for FUTURE generations to come.

In the Risen Lord,
Fr. Tim

March 31, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

O Come All Ye Faithful ! is one of the most traditional hymns sung at Christmas.

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today ! is one of the most traditional hymns sung on Easter Sunday! We sing the story over and over because of our great joy that death has been defeated and no longer reigns over us. This is the ultimate, joyful truth of God’s love for us.

As faithful people, we have journeyed for forty days, praying, abstaining, and fasting. Easter is commemorated with powerful symbols: washing of feet, ritual fire, oil, water, the Easter candle, chant, and more!

On this Easter Sunday, we rejoice that Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin and death for you and me, and for all who believe in him. We praise God for the triumph and hope of the Resurrection. The tomb is empty, and we thank God for those faithful disciples who went to the tomb early in the morning. What they experienced is Jesus’ resurrection, which is the foundation of our faith. This incredible event calls us to sing resurrectional hymns that increase our faith in the Risen Lord. What Easter hymn is in your heart? What Easter hymn emits from your vocal cords?

What Easter hymn fills your soul with resurrectional joy? My hymn is Alleluia, The Strife Is O’er. What are your reasons for singing with joy when you hear your favorite Easter hymn?

Jesus Christ is risen today; Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day; Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross; Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss; Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing; Alleluia!

May we never cease to sing the Risen Lord’s praises!
Fr. Tim

March 24, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

Processions are not just a functional action of solemnly introducing the priest and other ministers to the sanctuary. They are also a visual expression of the people becoming a liturgical community of being together as a people of faith.

On Palm Sunday, the Mass may begin outdoors. The priest will bless the palm branches and proclaim the Gospel and then all process into the church. On Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper does not conclude in the usual way. Instead, the procession forms right after communion. You are invited to join this procession, singing hymns and praying privately. During the Good Friday liturgy, you will be invited forward to venerate the cross. At the Easter Vigil, the blessing of the fire and lighting of the Easter candle takes place. The priest or deacon processes down the aisle singing, “Christ our Light”. The people then process into the dark church responding, “Thanks be to God.”

The processions of Holy Week draw us into the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ. They also draw us closer to God as His pilgrim people. You are most welcome to process from your private homes to your spiritual home during Holy Week services. Holy Week, the most significant week in Catholicism, spans from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday. It marks the final stretch before Easter Sunday, the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection.

During this sacred week, Catholics all across the globe pray and reflect on the profound journey of Jesus’ suffering, sacrifice, and victory over death. Let us process with great love, joy, and devotion to The Magdalene.

We anticipate large crowds for our Holy Week Services. Please be mindful of our neighbors’ driveways. We are extremely grateful to the PHFH and the Union Church for allowing us to park on their properties.

The rectory will be closed on Good Friday.

Fr. Tim