New York’s Lonely Priest

Father Patric F. D’Arcy seems to personify the future of the Church in the United States. This summer, he became the only new priest to be ordained in the Archdiocese of New York. He’s taking over at a Spanish-speaking parish in the Bronx—after spending his summers as a teacher in Latin America. Among his first acts as a new priest: celebrating Mass the day after his ordination in Latin and having a top official in Opus Dei deliver the homily. Fr. D’Arcy points to where the Church in the U.S. is headed—smaller, more conservative, and increasingly Hispanic.

And to whom does he turn for inspiration in such times? The saints of the Cristero War in Mexico, in particular this one, according to this recent New York Times article:

Father D’Arcy has spent summers teaching in Latin America, and in the days before his ordination, he said he found himself turning for inspiration to the Catholics killed in a 1920s Mexican rebellion sparked when the government tried to remove the church from public life. In particular, he was meditating on the fate of a 14-year-old rebel, José Sánchez del Río, who was killed after refusing to renounce Christ, and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

In our current culture, “there is an air of anti-Catholicism, anti-Christianity, anti-religion, maybe,” Father D’Arcy said. What happened in Mexico in the 1920s was an extreme, he added, “but it started somewhere.”

Credit goes to the New York Times for writing a really fair and objective story. It seems rare these days to see such a conservative Catholic portrayed just as he his—without any digs at his traditionalism. I recommend reading the whole piece.

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Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He is a former news editor at and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on and A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Follow him on Twitter at

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