Restored WWI Memorial Statue to be Rededicated at Brooklyn Church

On Sunday, May 29th, immediately following 10:00am Mass, St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Carroll Gardens will unveil and rededicate a restored World War I memorial statue. The historic statue was run over in December when a car jumped the curb outside the church rectory and crashed. Click here for crash video.

Erected more than 90 years ago, the statue was dedicated to local men, living within St. Mary’s parish, who gave their lives serving in the First World War. The statue’s inscription reads, “Sacred to the Memory of St. Mary’s Boys who died in the World War.”

While preparing for the statue’s rededication, St. Mary Star of the Sea parishioner and retired NYPD officer Richard Conte was inspired to learn more about the local men who died for their country a hundred years ago.  He discovered the names of 25 men from the parish area who gave their lives in service. Church leaders will share information on all of those men and provide pictures of some during Sunday’s service.

The Church is located at 467 Court Street, Brooklyn 11231. Following 10:00am Mass, the service will begin at approximately 10:40am. To the hymn “America the Beautiful,” the church’s pastor, Father Christopher Cashman, will lead a procession from the church to the front of the rectory. After the unveiling, Father Chris will bless and rededicate the statue. The ceremony will close with the playing of Taps.

“We rededicate our statue to all those who died from our Parish serving their country in World War I,” Father Chris said.  “We also honor and remember all who died protecting our freedom in all of the wars.”

Click here for more information.

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Diocesan Oratorical Contest

The Diocesan Oratorical Contest was held at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy on Wednesday, May 18th. Contestants memorized and redeliver a speech that must be no less than 3 minutes and no more than 6 minutes long. The following are the results from the event.

Photo 1 DOC2016Finalist: Elizabeth Careaga, Grade 8, Good Shepherd Catholic Academy
Finalist: Mairead Kearns, Grade 7, Holy Child Jesus Catholic Academy
2nd Place Winner: Christy Thomas, Grade 8, Our Lady of the Snows School
1st Place Winner: Kirsten Killeen, Grade 8, St. Francis of Assisi School
3rd Place Winner: Elana Caceres, Grade 8, Sacred Heart School, Glendale
Finalist: Caroline Brennan, Grade 6, St. Anselm Catholic Academy


FIRST PLACE: Kirsten Killeen, Grade 8
Saint Francis of Assisi School
“The Power of God’s Love” delivered by John Groberg

SECOND PLACE: Christy Thomas, Grade 8
Our Lady of the Snows School
“If I Should Have A Daughter” delivered by Sarah Kay

THIRD PLACE: Elana Caceres, Grade 8
Sacred Heart School
“Wear Sunscreen” delivered by Buz Luhrmann

Caroline Brennan, Grade 6, St. Anselm Catholic Academy
“Women’s Right to Vote” delivered by Susan B. Anthony

Elizabeth Careaga, Grade 8, Good Shepherd Catholic Academy
“Eulogy for Ronald Regan” delivered by Margaret Thatcher

Mairead Kearns, Grade 7, Holy Child Jesus Catholic Academy
“Commencement Speech” delivered by Amy Poehler


We are very grateful for the help and support of the teachers from each participating school that accompanied their students and served as judges in the preliminary rounds.

Mrs. Marian Abruzzo, Mrs. Louise McNamara and Mrs. Linda Dougherty

The Oratorical Contest would not be possible without the organizational efforts of Mrs. Cathy Kenny, Coordinator of Special Projects for Curriculum and Evaluation.and the guidance of Sister Peggie Merritt, OP.

Mrs. Linda Dougherty, Principal, and the faculty who assisted our contestants, guests and judges throughout the contest as greeters, guides and timers.

‘A Day To Remember’ by Bishop DiMarzio

May 25, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As we approach Memorial Day, which was originally was called Decoration Day, we are reminded that this is a day of remembrance for those who have died in defense of our Nation. The actual beginnings of Memorial Day seem to be lost in history. The fact is that after the Civil War there was a great need for reconciliation between the North and South. Although the celebration originally began in the North, it was eventually adopted by the South as a day when the opposite sides of the Civil War could be reconciled.

Memorial Day was first officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan who was the commander of the Army of the Republic. It was first observed on May 30 of that year when flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. Since that time, unfortunately, its true meaning has been lost for many as just another long weekend.

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

Fatima Statue Draws Crowds to Churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn

The world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima is at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, NY. It arrived at noon today, May 20. It will remain overnight, departing on May 21 at noon. NET TV will broadcast the Statue’s arrival, LIVE on Friday, May 20, beginning at 3 PM, followed by Holy Mass at 7 PM. A farewell Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 21 at 12Noon. All of these events will be broadcast LIVE on NET TV. Click here to go to NET TV. There will also be an all-night vigil.

The statue will visit a total of three churches within the Diocese of Brooklyn, two in Brooklyn and one in Queens, from May 19-23, as part of its historic two-year journey across America.

Called the Fatima Centennial U.S. Tour for Peace, the tour commemorates the 100th anniversary of the apparition of the Angel of Peace (1916) and the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal (1917).

The tour began in March in Metuchen, N.J., and coincides with the centenary celebrations in Fatima where Pope Francis is expected to visit in May, 2017.

The statue arrived in the Diocese of Brooklyn on Thursday, May 19. Crowds lined up to see it at its first stop, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Dyker Heights.

On Sunday, May 22, the statue will visit Our Lady of Fatima Church in East Elmhurst. The Sunday schedule will include a noon bilingual Mass with Bishop Alfonso Cabezas. During the day, there will be a procession, crowning of Mary, Mass, Marian concert, scapular enrollment, dance performance, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, confessions, consecration of the Blessed Mother, rosary, novena, Divine Mercy, veneration and benediction.

On Monday, May 23, Masses will be offered there at 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 8 p.m. On that day, there also will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a school play, rosary and novena, consecration to Our Lady of Fatima and a farewell to Our Lady.

Grilling With God 2016

Please join us for our 6th Annual Grilling With God series. Each Grilling With God includes a night of prayer, food, discussion, and fellowship for Young Adults (ages 21-39). Please see below for our flyers with all of our speaker info.

We will begin with a Holy Hour at 6pm at the Holy Child Jesus Chapel (86-13 112th Street Richmond Hill, New York) followed by an out door BBQ and talk. There is a suggested donation of $7. There is a parking lot and it is located near the J train.

Please feel free to contact Paul Morisi (718.965.7300, Ext. 5556) if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!

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‘The Facts About Immigration’ by Bishop DiMarzio

May 18, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The current politicization of the issue of undocumented workers in our country is truly unfortunate. It is a social problem that demands our attention and one that needs a solution, but not an issue that can be solved without addressing the racist and xenophobic tendencies that lay below the veneer of even just societies.

My approach will not be a religious one, although certainly Scripture gives us much to think about when it comes to treating the alien workers in our midst. The Book of Deuteronomy makes it clear to the Israelites that they should not abuse the alien workers and that they should leave a portion of the harvest for those workers, reminding them that they, themselves, in prior centuries had been aliens in the land of Egypt.

I base this defense of immigrant workers on past research and present analysis of this issue that comes from understanding the labor shortages which our Nation experiences in various sectors; for example, in agriculture, construction and the service industries. Honest workers deserve to be defended because first of all they contribute to our society and economy, and secondly, because they are human beings with dignity, rights and responsibilities.

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

Middy Fund Students visit Harvard & MIT

On April 22, 2016, Mr. William Ferguson, Principal of St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy in Ozone Park accompanied the students in the Middy Fund with their teachers and mentors to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Middy Fund is a not-for-profit organization that teaches middle school students to use design thinking and entrepreneurial skills to find innovative solutions to problems they face as individuals and as a community. With mentoring from high school project managers and college consultants, the students learn to design, develop, pitch and fundraise for their own projects.
After months of preparation, the students in Middy Fund were ready to present the results of their hard work and dedication to entrepreneurs at Harvard University. The twenty-six middle school students made up 4 distinct groups.

10486435_10209366235930978_6364844818126189847_nStress Press is a peer-to-peer advice exchange for coping with common causes of stress. It is a web forum designed for high school and middle school students that allows its users to get online support to help overcome common obstacles. The Purifiers show middle school students what they can do about pollution by promoting the reuse of plastic bottles for fn projects such as building a greenhouse, making jewelry boxes, piggy banks, etc, with tutorials. At My Business Bank aims to tackle the issue of financial literacy. Middies decided to create a game to help teach kids how to become financially literate. Voices Heard is an online platform that aims to bridge the gap between students and the world’s social issues.

Middy Fund is a place where passion gets ignited and students are driven to want to make social change. Middy Fund is a program that helps young people to reach their highest capabilities by giving them an outlet to help the community in a hands- on way. The students at St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy joined Middy Fund because they wanted the opportunity to change the world, or at least to do something to help make a difference.

‘Marital Bond Cannot Be Broken’ by Bishop DiMarzio

May 11, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into The Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This is the last in a series of articles summarizing the teaching of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, on The Joy of Love.

This installment summarizes Chapter Eight which is perhaps the most difficult chapter to understand.

First of all, its title, Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness, guides us in understanding the chapter. Our Holy Father says, “the Church must accompany with attention and care the weakest of her children, who show signs of a wounded and troubled love, by restoring in them hope and confidence…”

One of the greatest things the Church can do, as our Holy Father said, is to give truth and hope to people. The truth is that there is no possibility for breaking the marital bond. It is inviolate and that ideal must always be upheld and never be trivialized because marriage is a sacrament and replicates the union of Christ and His Church which never can be broken.

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


UPDATE: Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue


Update: (2:30pm) The base and right hand sustained damage.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue stolen from outside Saints Peter and Paul Rectory was returned this morning. Just hours after thieves took it off its plinth over the weekend, a Brooklyn man found it in a trash can outside his home near South 3rd St between Berry and Bedford Avenues in Williamsburg. The man took the statue and gave it to his mother, who kept it in her apartment. After seeing local news reports indicating the statue had been stolen, the family realized it belonged to Saints Peter and Paul Parish, where they sometimes attend church services. They contacted the rectory and returned the statue this morning. The base of the statue as well as the statue’s right hand have been damaged. D’Ambrosio Ecclesiastical Art Studios, Inc has volunteered to restore the statue as well as donate a bigger, heavier version. The larger statue will go outside the rectory in the stolen statue’s place, while the recovered statue will go inside the Parish’s new church which is expected to be complete in 2019. The stolen statue was donated by a couple in New Jersey, an heirloom they say was in their family for about 100 years. It was donated in 2012 to replace a similar statue–also stolen from outside church property. Police are still looking for the 3 thieves who were caught on video taking the sacred statue.

Update: The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue stolen from outside the Saints Peter and Paul Rectory, located at 71 South 3rd St, 11249 in Williamsburg, has been found. A man spotted the statue in a trash can outside his Brooklyn apartment and gave it to his mother. After seeing media reports, the family realized where the statue belonged and contacted the rectory to return it. The statue is being restored at D’Ambrosio Ecclesiastical Art Studios, Inc. Phone number: (914) 666-6906. Saints Peter and Paul Parish’s Mother Superior and the rectory secretary will be available for interviews at the rectory at 1pm.

Press Advisory:

A statue of Jesus was stolen on Saturday night from Saints Peter and Paul Church in Williamsburg, located at 82 S 2nd St, Brooklyn NY 11249. Surveillance video shows a group of suspects taking the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue from outside the church. The same type of statue was stolen from Saints Peter and Paul Church in 2012. A replacement statue, which was donated by a couple from New Jersey, was taken on Saturday. The church is asking anyone who may recognize the people in the video to come forward. The Mother Superior assigned to this parish will be available for media interviews at 2:30pm at the Church. Please email Carolyn Erstad directly for better quality video and for more information.

Carolyn Erstad