‘Religious Freedom Must Be Protected’ by Bishop DiMarzio

June 29, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Since 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has declared a two-week period called “The Fortnight for Freedom.” This year, it takes place from June 21 to July 4, our national Independence Day.

During this time, the Bishops have asked the Church to pray, to educate themselves and to take action to defend religious freedom in our country and abroad. The theme for 2016, “Witnesses to Freedom,” focuses on the men and women of faith in our country and throughout the world who have borne witness to the authentic freedom of religion, especially when they are motivated by the love of Christ Himself.

This two-week period is a time when we can reflect on the true meaning of freedom. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America protects the right for the free exercise of religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The unfortunate interpretations of the separation of Church and State recently have been that the State must be protected from religion. The fact is, it is vice versa: religion must be protected from the intrusion of the State. Truly, this is a Constitutional right that we have in our great Nation, which is known for its attention to religious freedom.

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

‘Preparing For Major Youth Events’ by Bishop DiMarzio

June 22, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Every survey that is taken in the parishes regarding the priorities of the parishioners always results in youth ministry being the top priority of all polled. Instinctively, we all understand that if we do not transmit the faith to our coming generation there will be no recognizable Church.

Youth ministry has many aspects and certainly is not simply entertainment for our young people so that they will somehow see their church as their social gathering place. Rather, it is an experience of evangelization and catechesis so that we can give our youth the inner strength and understanding of what their faith is truly about.

Last year, our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens was fortunate to receive a contribution of $1 million from an anonymous donor so we could get our youth ministry program off the ground. These funds are distributed through the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens. We have begun the training and placing of youth ministers in parishes, or shared between parishes, which will prepare us for the reception and distribution of $10 million as a result of the Generations of Faith Capital Campaign.

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

‘We Call God ‘Abba’ Father’ by Bishop DiMarzio

June 15, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

There is no better meditation on the theology of fatherhood than the Lord’s Prayer. They are the words that Our Lord used to instruct His Apostles when they asked Him, “Teach us to pray.”

God is called “father” 14 times in the Old Testament and yet not by the word “Abba,” which was the word used by children to call their father – usually it was their first word. In fact, it is the word which Jesus used to instruct His Apostles in the Aramaic language which was the common parlance of the day. Jesus called God His Father, which was for many Jews a kind of blasphemy because who could call God his father except one who was generated by the Father. This is precisely why we can call God our father, because He is the Creator, the creator of each and every one of us.

In a certain sense, the word father is a metaphor for generator, the creator. It is important that we see that in God there is no human personality. But in order to make God understandable, Jesus allows us to call God our Father, as He called Him.

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

‘New Priests Understand Role of Service’ by Bishop DiMarzio

June 8, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This week’s column gives me an opportunity to reflect on the Ordination of ten priests for service to the faithful of the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens, held on June 4 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph. Every Ordination takes on its own particular character, perhaps because of the differences of those being Ordained. This year, it was particularly clear that those being Ordained mirrored our Diocese in its ethnic makeup; two born in Latin America, two who are Haitian-born, two born in Poland, one of Nigerian birth and three American-born – one of European-American heritage, one of Hispanic heritage and one of African-American heritage. These faces are the faces of the Diocese of Brooklyn in a microcosm reflected so well in those who are ready to serve not only those of their heritage, but also each member of our Diocese. They are priests who were Ordained for all the people of God of Brooklyn and Queens.

It has been my custom to spend the day before Ordination in prayer with those to be Ordained. By coincidence, Friday, June 3, was the Feast of the Sacred Heart and also the Day of Prayer for Priestly Sanctity which was declared some years ago by Pope Benedict XVI. Priestly sanctity is what priesthood is all about. It is about a life in which holiness is extolled and it is holiness that serves the people of God well. The day is one where we discuss various issues and also provides an opportunity to share a Holy Hour, celebrate the Eucharist and pray the Vespers of the Sacred Heart. During my own discussion with those to be Ordained, I had an opportunity to discuss their “priesthood paper” which I asked them to prepare for me prior to our day of prayer. Each is asked to write a short paper, not theological in nature, which expresses their thoughts and hopes for the priesthood which they are about to receive. I would like to share some of their thoughts with you so that you might have a better insight into the newly Ordained sent to serve our Diocese.

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

Bishop’s Letter to the Faithful

Read Bishop DiMarzio’s open letter to the faithful of the Diocese of Brooklyn regarding the allegations put forth by the New York Daily News and New York State Assembly Member Margaret Markey, which the Bishop posted on his Facebook page:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The New York Daily News has published an article in today’s paper claiming that I attempted to bribe an elected official several years ago in order to advance the political agenda of the Catholic Church.

I want you to know that this very serious accusation against me is patently false.

This is the latest and perhaps most offensive in a series of irresponsible and inaccurate reports published by the Daily News.

Assembly Member Marge Markey told the Daily News that in a meeting in 2010 I offered her $5,000 to drop her push to reform New York State’s statute of limitations for crimes of sexual abuse against minors. The meeting Ms. Markey is referring to actually took place in 2007. It took place at our former Chancery located at 75 Greene Avenue, not Bishop Ford High School as she claimed. Present in that meeting was myself, Assembly Member Markey, Monsignor Kieran Harrington, Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, Assembly Member Vito Lopez, Richard Barnes who is executive director of the NYS Catholic Conference, and Sister Ellen Patricia Finn, O.P., who at the time was the Victim’s Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Read more »

Vote 2016

Diocese of Brooklyn Non-Partisan Voter Registration Drive!

The Diocese is undertaking a massive voter registration drive, with schools and academies registering parents of students from June 6 through June 10, and our parishes featuring voter registration tables outside of Sunday Masses on June 12. This service to our parishioners and parents is useful for those who need to register for the first time, update their registration, change their party affiliation, or simply make sure they are registered voters. To participate or volunteer, see your pastor or school principal for details.

School Captain: Volunteer Information
Parents: For Parents in the Diocese of Brooklyn
Flyer For Families of Catholic School Students – Español








Parish Captain: Volunteer Information
Parishioner: For Parishioners in Diocese of Brooklyn
Flyer For Parishioners – Español

‘Albany Bill Is Short Sighted’ by Bishop DiMarzio

June 1, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Since the national clergy abuse scandal erupted in 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn has not wavered in its commitment to protect children and assist victims of past abuse. Some members of the clergy did terrible things and hurt innocent people. We want to support, pray for, and help all victims heal, while ensuring children in our community are never hurt again.

To this end, the Church has implemented significant changes including the enforcement of a zero tolerance policy under which any cleric with a proven allegation is barred from ministry. We have established a reporting system that ensures allegations go directly to civil authorities. We conduct quarterly background checks on all employees and volunteers.

We pay several hundred thousand dollars annually to provide independent therapy and support services for all who come forward. And every year, we hold a Mass of Hope and Healing for survivors of abuse.

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

Ordination of 10 New Priests for the Diocese of Brooklyn

On Saturday, June 4th, the Diocese of Brooklyn will rank among the top dioceses in the nation in terms of new priests when 10 men are ordained to the priesthood for service in the diocese. The ordination will take place beginning at 11 a.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific Street in Brooklyn. The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will be the celebrant.

Adding to the already rich diversity of the Diocese of Brooklyn, our new priests come from all over the world.  Seven were born outside the United States – in Haiti, Poland, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Poland, and Nigeria. Three were born in the diocese, all of them with Brooklyn roots.

Our new priests join the diocese with degrees ranging from Theology and Divinity to Social and Economic Studies and with experience ranging from philosophy to banking to carpentry. In discerning God’s call to serve the Church as priests, the men found inspiration in prayer, pilgrimage, family, pastoral role models, and from Pope Francis.

“We are truly blessed that these ten newly Ordained have answered God’s call to the priesthood” Bishop DiMarzio said. “Each will enrich our vibrant and multicultural diocese with their deep faith and unique backgrounds. We thank their family and friends for the support they have given to them on the road to the priesthood.”

The Diocese of Brooklyn, the eighth largest diocese in the United States and the only entirely urban diocese in the Nation, serves the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The combined population of the boroughs stands at 4.8 million residents, of which more than 1.5 million identify themselves as Catholics.

The diocesan network New Evangelization Television (NET TV) will provide live coverage of the Priests’ Ordination, which will also be live streamed on www.netny.tv. The encore presentation is on Saturday, June 18 at 9 p.m. NET TV is a cable network featuring news and information with a Catholic point of view, and is available in the New York area on Time Warner Cable, Channel 97; Cablevision, Channel 30; Verizon FiOS, Ch. 48; and nationally on Verizon FiOS On Demand. Read more »