A rare chance to meet the Catholic archbishop
By CORY ALLYN - Staff Reporter
September, 10, 2009
DOVER PLAINS — It was a special Sunday for Roman Catholics belonging to congregations in Millerton, Amenia, Dover Plains, Pawling and Wingdale as New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan accepted an invitation to a tri-parish picnic held Sept. 6 at the San Silverio Shrine in Dover Plains.
The Archdiocese of New York serves more than 2.5 million Catholics, making it the second-largest in the nation, after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
“We’re very lucky,” explained Caroline McEnroe, who was on the committee formed by the parishes to plan for the picnic.
The three parishes (Immaculate Conception in Amenia and St. Patrick’s Mission in Millerton, St. Charles Borromeo in Dover Plains and Our Lady of Solace Mission in Wingdale and St. John the Evangelist in Pawling) banded together in hopes that working in numbers would give them a better chance of success.
“Usually parishioners don’t get a chance to meet the archbishop. The Archdiocese is so big that it’s unusual. We’re very lucky today.”
More than 500 parishioners attended the event, which lasted all afternoon. It was an informal affair, with a barbecue going for those who didn’t bring food and music provided by Jim Devine.
“It’s a great honor and privilege to meet [the Archbishop],” said Father Kent Wilson, the new pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Amenia and Saint Patrick’s Church in Millerton. “We’re very happy about it.”
Dolan arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. Police security was very tight for the event. Many who attended gathered around his vehicle as he emerged in a New York Yankees baseball cap, greeting parishioners.
There was no speech planned for the archbishop, who was hungry and looking forward to sitting down for food. But he took the time to shake hands with everyone waiting to greet him, as well as the multitude of people looking to take his picture.
“We were thrilled,” said Kathleen Herron from the Church of Immaculate Conception.
The archbishop was presented with a quilted wall hanging made by Marie Clark.
“It’s great to be here,” Dolan told the people thanking him for taking the time out of his schedule to visit them. “Now how can I get one of those hot dogs I smell?”