Support the Diocese’s Good Works by Bishop DiMarzio

February 25, 2015 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As the Lenten season begins, I reach out to you, the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens, to ask your assistance in supporting the ministries of the Diocese of Brooklyn through a gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal. On behalf of those we serve in our diocese, I take this time to thank you for your generous response to the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal and ask you to commit yourself to helping the Diocese reach our 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal goal.

The 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal, Share The Joy of The Gospel, has been inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical “The Joy of The Gospel,” which reminds us of the joy we receive when we bring the Good News to others. Our Holy Father reminds us that the things which make us happy should bring happiness to others. The 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal is one way for all who call Brooklyn and Queens home to share the joy of the Gospel, bringing Christ’s message to our neighbors by giving as generously as one is able.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

Take the Survey on Marriage and Family

In preparation for the General Synod of Bishops on the family, due to take place in Rome between October 4 and 25, 2015, the Diocese of Brooklyn is surveying members of the faithful on their views concerning the challenges facing marriage and family life today. A similar effort was made in late 2013 as a basis for a diocesan report sent to the United States Conference of Bishops (USCCB), which had been compiling similar reports from dioceses throughout the country in anticipation of the Extraordinary Synod of 2014.

We invite you to answer the following questions in a spirit of prayerfulness as you consider many of the topics that the bishops, other clergy, consecrated women and men, and lay faithful will be discussing later this fall. The results of the survey will again be sent to the USCCB, whose President, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, has instructed conference staff to draw up an aggregate report on behalf of the Catholic faithful of our country.

On several occasions, Pope Francis has reaffirmed the family as the basic cell of society and the Church. It is for the Holy Father “the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation.” There really can be no other topic to engage the best energies of our Catholic leaders and the faithful of our day, which like those who have preceded us are called to “give a reason for our hope” (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

The staff of the Diocesan Administration and our colleagues from DeSales Media are grateful to you for taking the time to fill out the survey. Let us remember in our prayers all the Catholic families of our diocese, that they may continue to radiate the joy of the gospel in our parishes and throughout our city. The survey expires on March 11.

Please click here to complete the survey.
Presione aquí para responder la encuesta en español.

Fr. James Massa
Moderator of the Curia
Vicar for Evangelization and Higher Education
The Diocese of Brooklyn

Theology On Tap With Deacon Greg Kandra

Come join us for another edition of Theology on Tap! On Thursday, March 5, come on down to Manor Oktoberfest, 73-11 Yellowstone Blvd in Forest Hills, to grab a bite to eat and have a drink while we discuss Catholics in Media.

The presenter will be Brooklyn’s own Deacon Greg Kandra, a columnist at and, for 26 years, a writer and producer at CBS.

The doors open at 7 and the event is open to young adults, ages 21-39. Click here to view a flyer.

For more information or if you have any questions, contact Paul Morisi at

There’s Danger in the Distractions of Devil

February 18, 2015 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brother and sisters in the Lord,

As we begin the season of Lent, the Rite of Election on the first Sunday of Lent is perhaps one of the highlights of the Liturgical Year in the Diocese of Brooklyn. For those who are to be Baptized and fully initiated on Easter, their journey begins in earnest during this 40-day period.

On this first Sunday of Lent, we gather them together and challenge them with the Word of God which always, on the first Sunday of Lent, concerns the temptations of Jesus. Those who wish to be Baptized will be departing from a life dominated by Original Sin, and offer themselves up to the grace of God. Those to be fully initiated will receive Communion and Confirmation on Easter. It is truly a life-changing experience for them.

In our own diocese, the statistics are overwhelming, as they are nationally. In our country each year, almost 250,000 people are Baptized, or fully initiated. In this diocese, the numbers are normally 1,000. This year, we have 480 Elect, those who will be receiving baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist, 555 will be completing their initiation through Confirmation and Eucharist, and 44 will be coming into full communion into the Catholic Church, as well as 79 children, for a total of 1,079.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

Bishop DiMarzio To Celebrate Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday, February 18th, the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at noon at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, 250 Cathedral Place, Downtown Brooklyn.

To mark the beginning of the Lenten Season, Bishop DiMarzio will bless and distribute ashes on the foreheads of congregants during the Mass. “The season of Lent is the time when we are asked to firm up our faith, when we are to give special attention to training our will so that we can love God all the more,” said Bishop DiMarzio.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40 day Christian observance in the liturgical year that ends with the celebration of the Sacred Triduum, the three holiest days of the year that lead to Easter Sunday: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil.

As is customary, the ashes to be used on Ash Wednesday will come from the burning of the blessed branches used on Palm Sunday of the previous year. Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, is the Sunday before Easter that commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week. This year, Easter Sunday will be celebrated on April 5.

“Be Of Strong Heart During Lent” by Bishop DiMarzio

February 11, 2015 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Next Wednesday, Feb. 18, we begin the season of Lent, the time when we prepare ourselves to celebrate the Easter Mystery. It is a time of preparation which over the centuries has taken many different forms.

In the Message for Lent that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has issued this year, he has taken the theme: “Make your hearts firm.” (Jas 5:8) The season of Lent is the time when we are asked to firm up our faith, when we are to give special attention to training our will so that we can love God all the more. The phrase “make your hearts firm” has special meaning to me because five-and-a-half years ago I underwent quadruple bypass surgery. One of the wonderful gifts one receives following this surgery is a red heart-shaped pillow which is needed to hold tight to your chest whenever you cough since you do feel that you are coming apart. Quadruple bypass surgery entails breaking the sternum, commonly called the breastbone, for the surgery. It takes many months for that bone to heal and to this day I still feel the wires which were put in place to keep it together.

The pillow has a special meaning, as it is called the “Brave Heart Pillow.” Yes, your heart must be brave to undergo that type of operation. And so it is with Lent, we have that brave heart, for without brave hearts we will have wills that are weak and we will not be allowed to follow the will of God. As Pope Francis says in his Lenten Message, “As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions of self-sufficiency, I would invite you all to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A head which lets itself be pieced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.”

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

Brooklyn Catholics to be Featured in Local PBS Series About Italian American Heritage

As part of the National Public Broadcast Service (PBS) Series “The Italian Americans,” Channel THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV will present “Italian Americans of New York and New Jersey,” a documentary that spotlights the lives, achievements and rich culture of Italian Americans in the Metro Area.

The two-part series focuses on the largest Italian American population in the Nation, featuring interviews with historians and prominent local Italian Americans, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the late former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo, singer Tony Bennett, actress Susan Lucci, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and many others.

Read more »

“Waking Up The World” by Bishop DiMarzio

February 4, 2014 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Last November, on the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis declared a Year of Consecrated Life beginning on that day and to continue until Feb. 2, 2016, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. As a religious, Pope Francis understands, perhaps better than many, the gift of consecrated life to the Church, as well as the difficulties of leading a consecrated life in the world today. In perhaps his most telling statement in his Apostolic Letter to all consecrated people he said, “I am counting on you to wake up the world, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy.” Wake up the world. Make the world realize that the true content of the Gospel is the work of religious as it has been in the past, is presently, and will be in the future of the Church.

The Holy Father outlined three aims or goals for the Year of Consecrated Life. First, is to look back on the past with gratitude; to recognize the great contribution that religious have made to the life of the Church over the past centuries. A humble evaluation of past contributions is necessary so that we can set our sights on the future. Second, is to live the present with passion gratefully remembering the past but recognizing that the essential aspects of consecrated life are much needed in the Church today. The Holy Father makes it clear “… the Gospel is truly the ‘manual’ for our daily living and the decisions we are called to make.” Consecrated religious take the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Their following of the Gospel is complete and gives to the world a witness that is unique. So the Holy Father reminds religious: “The Year of Consecrated Life challenges us to examine our fidelity to the mission entrusted to us.”

Read the full text of the Bishop column on The Tablet website.