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June 2, 2021 
Seniors saluted at Holy Trinity High School commencement
Bishop John Barres awarded diplomas and offered remarks and the final blessing at the graduation exercises for Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville, on May 27. Holy Trinity H.S. photos.
Tomorrow's Hope Foundation appoints new executive director 

In a move aimed at increasing fundraising to meet the growing need for scholarship aid and programs at Long Island’s Catholic grammar schools, Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation has appointed Ismini Scouras as its new executive director.

"The Catholic elementary schools across Long Island nurture 'our' children with strong spiritual values and prepare them for life's journey. However, a growing number of families cannot afford tuition,” said Lewis S. Ranieri, Tomorrow's Hope Foundation’s founder and chairman of the Board of Directors. “Together with THF leadership, Ismini will lead the way in building a more sustainable fundraising program for the Foundation and allow us to give more children the gift of a Catholic education.”

Scouras will be tasked with implementing a strategy designed to diversify the organization’s revenue stream from a largely events-driven model. THF’s impact will be significantly enhanced with the development of additional solicitation programs, including major gifts, planned gifts, foundation grants and an annual fund.

Scouras is a seasoned fundraiser who comes to Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation from La Salle Academy, an all-male Catholic high school in New York City with a similar mission. Driven by her passion for Catholic education, Scouras raised more than $13.3 million during her six-year tenure at La Salle to provide scholarship aid and programming needs for the school’s financially disadvantaged student population.

“It is a great honor to be named the executive director of Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation and to join such a great team. We all believe in the mission of Catholic education and the critical role it provides to the children entrusted to our care,” Scouras said.

Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation has been providing scholarship aid to Long Island’s Catholic grammar schools for more than 15 years. Since its inception in 2005, Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation has granted more than $25 million in tuition assistance to approximately 20,000 students.
The six newest deacons of the Diocese of Rockville Centre take a moment to pray together before their ordination on May 22. 
Survey gives overview of permanent diaconate in U.S. 

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations has shared the results of the study A Portrait of the Permanent Diaconate: A Study for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2020-2021.

     This annual survey, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, provides an illustration of the state of the permanent diaconate in the United States, including the number of those ordained and retired in the past year, percentages of those involved in various Church ministries, and other demographic information.

     Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, emphasized the importance of the permanent deacons’ witness in the Church today. “As our world continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent deacons provide an encouraging witness to the love and mercy of Christ. They bring the light and presence of Jesus into many different areas of society – preaching the Gospel in their jobs, within their families, to the poor, and among their broader communities. As this new study is released, I encourage my brother bishops and all the faithful to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the good ministry of our permanent deacons in the United States.”

     Some of the major findings of the report are:
  • Responding dioceses with the largest number of permanent deacons include Chicago (852), Los Angeles (426), and Galveston-Houston (367). Adjusting for Catholic population size, Latin Rite dioceses with the lowest ratio of Catholic per permanent deacon include Lexington (508 Catholics to every deacon), Rapid City (640 Catholics to every deacon), Bismarck (676 Catholics to every deacon), and Jefferson City (703 Catholics to every deacon).
  • The 144 Latin Rite dioceses that responded to the survey report a total of 15,873 permanent deacons (both active and non-active). The single eparchy that responded reported a total of 11 permanent deacons. Extrapolating to include dioceses and eparchies that did not respond to the survey, it can be estimated that there are as many as 19,008 permanent deacons in the United States today.
  • During the 2020 calendar year, 587 new permanent deacons were ordained in responding dioceses. At the same time, 410 deacons retired from active ministry and another 378 died. 
  • Nine in ten (93%) active permanent deacons are currently married. Four percent are widowers and 2% have never been married.
  • Ninety-five percent of active permanent deacons are at least 50 years old. About a fifth (21%) are in their 50s, two-fifths (40%) are in their 60s, and two-fifths (35%) are 70 or older.
  • Seven in ten active permanent deacons (72%) are non-Hispanic whites. One in five (215) are Hispanic/Latino, 4% are Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3% are African American.
  •  Among permanent deacons who are financially compensated for ministry, 26% are serving in a “parish ministerial position” other than pastoral care of parish(es) (Canon 517.2), so they are serving in ministerial positions such as Director of Religious Education or Youth Minister. Additionally, one in six (16%) works in parish non-ministerial positions (e.g., administration, business, finance) and fewer than one in ten (8%) are entrusted with the pastoral care of one or more parishes.
     The entire CARA report can be accessed at:
Pope dedicates June prayers for soon-to-be newlyweds

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While uncertainty in the world may deter young couples from taking the next big step in their relationships, the vocational call to marriage is a risk worth taking, Pope Francis said.

Marriage "is a challenging journey, at times difficult, sometimes even confrontational, but it is worth the risk," the pope said. "And in this lifelong journey, the husband and wife are not alone: Jesus accompanies them."

In a video message released by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network June 1, the pope offered his prayer intention for the month of June, which he dedicated to "the beauty of marriage."

Acknowledging the belief that young people "do not want to get married, especially in these difficult times," the pope said that marriage and sharing one's life "is a beautiful thing."

"Marriage is not just a 'social' act," he said. "It is a vocation that is born from the heart, it is a conscious lifelong decision that requires a specific preparation."

"Please, never forget! God has a dream for us -- love -- and he asks us to make it our own," the pope said.

At the start of each month, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network posts a short video of the pope offering his specific prayer intention.

Reciting his intention, the pope prayed for "young people preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community, so that they may grow in love, generosity, faithfulness and patience."

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"It's very consoling (for them) to get here and find a priest who most of the time is wearing the same uniform that your loved one wore."
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"The Catholic community in New York stands together with the Jewish community to condemn all acts of bigotry and hate, wherever they occur."
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"The church needs to have a clear teaching and moral voice (on immigration), just as we do about abortion and other issues."
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