Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blessing for Youth with Disabilities at St. Joseph's Seminary

What's Happening Today: Saturday, April 19 (3rd Anniversary of Pope Benedict's Pontificate)
4:30 p.m. - Blessing of Youth with Disabilities at Saint Joseph Seminary
NOTE: This post will be updated as more information becomes available on this topic.

On May 17, 1891, Archbishop Michael J. Corrigan laid the cornerstone of the present Saint Joseph Seminary in the Dunwoodie section of Yonkers, just a few miles north of New York City. The first scholastic year began September 21, 1896, with 98 students. The institution now serves men in formation for the priesthood; it has programs for those studying to become permanent deacons and a master of arts in religious studies for lay and clergy. Pope John Paul II visited on October 5, 1995.

  • 4:30 p.m. - The Pope arrives via motorcade at the front of main seminary building. Cardinal Edward M. Egan and Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, rector of the seminary welcome the Pope. The Pope will enter the seminary and proceed forward to the chapel sanctuary. In the audience approximately 50 young people with disabilities and their caregivers.


  • Greeting and presentation
  • The Pope blesses those present
  • The Archdiocesan Deaf Choir performs
  • The Pope departs out the front door of the Seminary to enter the popemobile
  • Popemobile route: Popemobile will travel the circle in front of the seminary and proceed west to the “Lower Chidwick” and circle the field
Holy Father calls handicapped to be signs of hope, apostles of prayer Catholic News Agency. April 19, 2008:
New York, Apr 19, 2008 / 04:59 pm (CNA).- This afternoon 50 young people with disabilities had the chance to meet with Pope Benedict, who encouraged them to be a sign of hope and to continue to intercede for others with their prayers.

“God has blessed you with life, and with differing talents and gifts”, the Holy Father told the youngsters. “Through these you are able to serve him and society in various ways. While some people's contributions seem great and others' more modest, the witness value of our efforts is always a sign of hope for everyone,” he said.

The Pope sympathized with the pain that handicapped children endure and called them to see life as God does.

“Sometimes it is challenging to find a reason for what appears only as a difficulty to be overcome or even pain to be endured. Yet our faith helps us to break open the horizon beyond our own selves in order to see life as God does. God's unconditional love, which bathes every human individual, points to a meaning and purpose for all human life. Through his Cross, Jesus in fact draws us into his saving love and in so doing shows us the way ahead - the way of hope which transfigures us all, so that we too, become bearers of that hope and charity for others.”

Full remarks of Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to disabled youth St. Joseph Seminary, Yonkers NY.