Posts in Religion

Passionist Priests Say Goodbye After Feud With Bishop

The Reverend Edward Beck sat inside the rectory of St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church last Friday morning riding tidal waves of emotions — sadness, disappointment, anger and confusion.

In four days, the Passionist priest would be forced to leave Montauk, the place he had called home for over a year, and without a clear explanation as to why.

Last summer, Bishop John Barres of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which oversees Long Island’s Catholic community, had placed him at the parish along with a fellow Passionist priest, the Reverend Robert Joerger, who served as pastor. But in July, the diocese abruptly ended Beck’s assignment, revoking his “residence and faculties” effective August 31.

Refusing to leave Joerger without Beck, the Passionists, who traditionally live in community, decided to withdraw from the Montauk parish altogether and both priests moved off the East End last Tuesday — further splintering an already fractured religious community that the two men helped stabilize, renew, and reinvigorate.

“It pains me because some of them have said they’re gonna stop going, they’re not gonna come to church, they’re gonna stop contributing. It’s affected their faith life,” Beck said. “And that is really sad to me, that something like this, that was so easily resolvable by just talking about it and trying to come to some compromise and understanding, that all of this hurt and pain could have been avoided — but that the bishop refused to take any step toward understanding, reconciling, or compromise.”

Read More

Holocaust Survivor Finds Solace on the Dance Floor

When Helena Weinrauch dances, she forgets.

In the arms of her trusted partner, she feels no fear, twirling in her gown across the floor as she waltzes, rumbas, tangos and foxtrots. At age 95, she feels free — and, for a moment, not like a Holocaust survivor.

Read More

Temple Adas Israel Is Home for a Congregation

Now known as Temple Adas Israel, the oldest synagogue on Long Island stands as a metaphor for the Jewish experience, one of resilience and overcoming the most impossible of odds. It is a theme passed down through the generations as both a practical tool in everyday life and, above all, the faith that Jewish existence is not accidental, insignificant or trite.

Read More

CeeLo Green Taps Holiday Spirit

As it turns out, CeeLo Green is an absolute sucker for Christmas.

“It’s truly a spirit and a notion, inclination, emotion that gets inside of you,” he said during a recent telephone interview from his home in Miami, “and it’s like a friendly ghost because it’s the same one every time.”

Read More

Buddhism Continues to Grow on the South Fork

When the three gongs sound, the Ocean Zendo practitioners take their seats in the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike — on cushions and mats, crossing their legs into full lotus, half-lotus and Burmese, or in chairs, their feet touching the floor, hands in their laps.

In the silence, their eyes do not close; instead, they drop to a 45-degree angle, unfocused, as they begin to breathe.

Read More

Clergy See a Way Forward

According to recent Pew Research Center studies, the United States has experienced slight but steady declines in the overall number of Americans who say they believe in God — lining up with findings that American adults under age 40 are less likely to pray, attend church services and identify with any religion than their elders, threatening the future of organized religion.

Read More