The Office of Adult Faith Formation

In the midst of a pandemic, virtual Rosaries, Lectio Divina, RCIA, among others faith formation and catechesis channels, are migrating to digital platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Go-to-Meeting and Zoom.

“Flatten the curve,” three words that became the norm for each of us to hear during these unprecedented times. For us in the Secretariat of Evangelization & Catechesis, it meant “hit the ground running.” Maintaining a real presence in the midst of a pandemic was an opportunity and a challenge, and posed innumerable questions:  What does this mean for our ministry? Where do we go from here? How do we continue to evangelize? How does one run a Zoom meeting after being only a participant? We found ourselves meeting as a staff every week as well as meeting with our catechetical leaders on a weekly basis to offer resources and assistance where needed. We often heard the phrase; “we are all in this together” and these words echoed throughout our universal Church. We were not simply in an isolated situation rather we shared in solidarity with all of humanity as we navigate through this turbulent storm of Covid-19. Yet, in all the uncertainty one thing was certain that is faith. “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). We could no longer meet “in person” yet this did not prevent us from meeting virtually and going forth like the Israelites crossing the Dead Sea into the unknown.

Microsoft Teams, Go-to-Meeting, and Zoom became platforms that we used to connect with others, to offer faith formation, guidance for catechesis, and moments of prayer. We have learned that many in our parishes began to do the same: virtual rosaries, Lectio Divina, RCIA and so much more. This pandemic has taught us that we can and must continue to reach out to one another. The year 2020 will not be forgotten in history and we are a part of that history. A year in which all Catholics had to give up the “source and summit of the Christian life” namely, the Eucharist, and the sacraments during lent and for longer than that. Watching the daily Mass offered by Pope Francis, Eucharistic Adoration and other forms of prayer became the new normal for many. But it also became an opportunity to worship together as a family, not rushing out of the “church” at the end of Mass, taking the time to sit with the Word of God and like Our Blessed Mother, to ponder the words in our hearts. For some who participate in the Holy Spirit Institute Volunteer Track in Spanish, the opportunity to complete their last course and seminar was life-giving. It not only gave them an opportunity to gather virtually but also enabled them to go deeper in their relationship with God and with one another. As more than one student remarked, “I look forward to the meeting so that I can be in community with others.” Another shared how the formation he had received and the pandemic gave him “new eyes” to see the needs of others and as an essential worker to not turn a “blind eye”, rather help strangers he never would have thought of helping before.

Throughout these several months, I have been a witness to the gratitude and generosity of others. Those catechetical leaders who were grateful for a call, an email, or just knowing that someone was present in case they had a need. In being that witness, I want to reiterate to you even in this time of enforced solitude the interconnectedness of our parish, our ministries, and indeed, our Catholic community through prayer. “In these difficult times, may He allow us to discover the communion that binds us and the unity which is always greater than any division” (Pope Francis, Homily 4/14/2020).

Marriage Preparation Go Digital During COVID-19 Pandemic 

The online Pre-Cana class platform was a blessing to Patricia Gianatiempo & Salvatore Musso. They were better prepared to commit to one another and staying true to one another.

 

In the midst of the global coronavirus crisis, the Office of Marriage, Family Formation, and Respect Life Education have consistently sought to protect the health, safety, and overall well-being of our Pre-Cana engaged couples and host couples. With so much uncertainty about the impact and scope of COVID-19, the office made both short- and long-term decisions that are believed to be in the best interest of the Pre-Cana program and the broader community. Since March 2020, All in-person Pre-Cana classes have been canceled.

In order for engaged couples to have their Pre-Cana class and meet the diocesan requirement, the office has developed an online and on-demand Pre-Cana experience. It’s a major change, as the marriage preparation for Catholics has always been done in person. In this new experience, couples will have the same content and material as a live Pre-Cana class.  The topics introduced in the online Pre-Cana include Communication and Problem-Solving Skills, Self-Awareness, Morality in Marriage, Living the Sacrament of Matrimony, Intimacy and Sexuality, Natural Family Planning, and Wedding Liturgy Planning. Once the couple finishes the course, they receive a Certificate of Completion that they can download, print, and email it to the clergyman who is preparing them for the sacrament.

This new online platform was a blessing to Patricia Gianatiempo & Salvatore Musso. They both intended on getting married in June and were worried about how they would finish their marriage preparation before their wedding. Patricia told the office that, “we were relieved to have that option to be able to do it online.” “We are better prepared because [pre-cana] shed more light on how important it is to commit to one another,” Salvatore told us that, “We learned that staying true to one another is going to be most helpful in our marriage.”

The office believes that this new online platform will be very beneficial now during these uncertain times. But it will be an option moving forward into the future.

Couples have also taken advantage of the Pre-Marriage Inventory provided by FOCCUS. The Inventory is designed to help engaged couples appreciate their unique relationship, learn more about themselves, and discuss topics important to their lifelong marriage. Taking the inventory results in a personalized Couple Report that helps target discussion topics important to marital success. While FOCCUS is not a test and is not used to label couples or predict marital outcomes, the report is used by clergy and lay leaders to help couples celebrate their relationship strengths and talk to each other about topics warranting further attention. “After taking the inventory, we believe that we are ready to walk down the aisle. We are more open with our feelings and have better communication skills”, said Lindsey Gossan. With videoconferencing platforms, couples and facilitators have been able to meet safely to discuss the results of their inventory.

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Msgr. David Cassato, Pastor of St. Athanasius Church in Bensonhurst, Named Vicar for Catholic Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 23, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

Msgr. David Cassato, Pastor of St. Athanasius Church in Bensonhurst,

Named Vicar for Catholic Schools

 

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, is pleased to announce the appointment of Monsignor David Cassato, Pastor of the Parish of St. Athanasius-St. Dominic Church in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, as the new Vicar for Catholic Schools, effective immediately.

“I selected Monsignor David Cassato for this key role because he is enthusiastic and has been a true champion of Catholic education. He has a great ability to connect with people and is patient. These attributes will help him greatly as he works collaboratively with the office of Superintendent-Catholic School Support Services, Catholic academies, Boards of Directors, and parishes,” said Bishop DiMarzio.

“Catholic schools are our most beautiful and prized gems, as teaching the faith to our children is critical. We have so much to offer children of all backgrounds, but especially immigrant children, who we have been educating for years. Diversity is in our DNA here in the Diocese, and our students leave our Catholic schools with the important values we hold dear, a foundation for success long after they graduate,” said Monsignor Cassato.

Promoting Diocesan Catholic schools is one of the roles for the Vicar for Catholic Schools. Monsignor Cassato will also serve on the member board of all Catholic Academies in Brooklyn and Queens, provide guidance to the Pastors of those Academies, and work to engage donors in supporting the mission of Catholic Education through Futures in Education scholarships.

“I believe as we look to grow our schools, the biggest outreach we need to make is in the Hispanic community. At the same time, we must look to grow our scholarship programs so we can offer the opportunity of Catholic education to as many students as possible who need tuition assistance. The Catholic education we offer in our schools and academies is of the highest quality, and I will continue to promote that message,” said Monsignor Cassato.

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on May 27, 1972, Monsignor Cassato has served at Saint Rita’s in Long Island City and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, where he opened a middle school and oversaw the merger of two other schools. In June 2001, he was appointed a New York City Police Chaplain and promoted in 2017 to Deputy Chief Chaplain.

Monsignor Cassato has been Pastor at St. Athanasius since 2001. He was a former chaplain at Bishop Kearney High school and is the Diocesan Coordinator of Ministry to Italian Immigrants. Monsignor Cassato is also Administrator of St. Dominic Catholic Church in Bensonhurst since 2015.

“Monsignor Cassato is stepping into this role at a uniquely challenging time for our Catholic schools. I am confident he will be successful because he handles his multiple responsibilities with effect and grace. His experience will provide him the opportunity also to be a great leader in this new role,” said Bishop DiMarzio.

“We have experienced a pandemic this spring like never before. In the face of that, our Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens surpassed expectations with very successful remote learning programs. While we see the online lessons work in our schools, I believe that as we look to start the new school year in September, it is absolutely critical that we open our network of Catholic schools. Children learn best in the classroom. Of course, a lot is going to depend on the decisions made by government and health officials,” said Monsignor Cassato.

Monsignor Cassato holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Mercy College and a Master of Divinity from Niagara University. He succeeds Auxiliary Bishop James Massa, who was recently appointed the Rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary and College in Dunwoodie, New York.

The photo of Monsignor David Cassato is attached.

 

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QUEENS PRIEST TO EMBARK ON 100 MILE JOURNEY TO RAISE FUNDS FOR PARISH FOOD PANTRY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

QUEENS PRIEST TO EMBARK ON 100 MILE JOURNEY TO RAISE FUNDS FOR PARISH FOOD PANTRY

The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing that Father Christopher Heanue, Administrator at Holy Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church, will undertake a special fundraising effort next week to support the parish food pantry. He will bike 100-miles from the parish in Richmond Hill, Queens to East Hampton, Long Island. Father Heanue is calling the ride “100 Miles of Hope.”

Throughout the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, donations to Holy Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church have maintained the operation of the food pantry. Two parishioners will join Father Heanue on the journey which they plan to complete in approximately 10 hours.

“These have been difficult months. It is vital that the food pantry continues to serve those in need, and I am committed to doing all I can to keep bringing hope to our people through its service,” said Father Heanue.

To donate to the 100 Mile Ride to benefit the Holy Child Jesus’ food pantry, visit the Go Fund Me Page at www.gofundme.com/f/100-miles-of-hope or Text ‘miles’ to 718-550-6525.

 

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MASS AND PROCESSION TODAY TO HONOR OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

VIDEO:  vimeo.com/439036494 Courtesy: DeSales Media Group

:00 Bishop DiMarzio blessing the faithful at the start of the Procession

:07 Procession video

 

MASS AND PROCESSION TODAY TO HONOR OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

COVID-19 Cancels Traditional Williamsburg Feast and Giglio Lift, But Not Faith

 

A mass in English and Italian will take place today, Thursday, July 16, 2020, at 12 p.m. to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Patron Saint of the parish church located at 275 N. 8th Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. A procession will follow at the conclusion of the mass at 1:00 p.m.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Pastor of Brooklyn’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, earlier this week presided over a virtual celebration of the annual Williamsburg tradition, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on the first of what was scheduled to be two Giglio Sundays. The event, broadcast on Facebook from the parish hall, was watched live by 63,000 people.

At today’s Mass, Monsignor Gigantiello will offer prayers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel for her continued watch over the parish and protection of its people, and for those lost to the Coronavirus. He is also hopeful that this will be the first and last time the feast will be canceled and the Giglio Sunday celebrations conducted virtually.

“This is the first time in seventy-five years the Giglio will not rise, the first time in the lifetime of many people, that the feast will not take place and the Giglio not lifted. The feast has taken place in Brooklyn for more than one hundred years, and is very much a part of our faith community and summer in New York,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello.

 Members of the media are invited and welcome to attend.

PHOTOS ATTACHED: Courtesy: DeSales Media Group

OLOMC parade with posters OLOMC blessing the procession OLOMC Alter images OLOMC parishioners in prayer OLOMC lead car in procession OLOMC procession

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COVID-19 CANCELS OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL FEAST AND GIGLIO LIFT: PARISH VIRTUAL EVENT OBSERVES WILLIAMSBURG TRADITION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

COVID-19 CANCELS OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL FEAST AND GIGLIO LIFT: PARISH VIRTUAL EVENT OBSERVES WILLIAMSBURG TRADITION

Feast Day Mass To Be Celebrated in English and Italian as Planned Tomorrow

 

Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Pastor of Brooklyn’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, this week presided over a virtual celebration of the annual Williamsburg tradition, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on the first of what was scheduled to be two Giglio Sundays.

The event, broadcast on Facebook from the parish hall, was watched live by 63,000 people. Monsignor Gigantiello, who opened the event with a prayer and remarks, is hopeful that this will be the first and last time the Giglio Sunday celebrations will be virtual.  He also offered prayers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel for her continued watch over the parish and protection of its people, and for those lost to the Coronavirus.

“This is the first time in seventy-five years the Giglio will not rise, the first time in the lifetime of many people, that the feast will not take place and the Giglio not lifted. The feast has taken place in Brooklyn for more than one hundred years, and is very much a part of our faith community and summer in New York,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello.

At the start of the panel discussion featuring festival leaders, and this year’s Capo, John Christopher, both the national anthems of the United States of America and Italy were played by a Giglio band. The Capo runs the Giglio lift and procession. The panel discussion featured a discussion on the history of the feast. To view the video, visit the parish Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3191939720849166.

A mass in English and Italian, scheduled for tomorrow at 12 noon, Thursday, July 16, 2020, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, will continue as planned at the Church located at 275 N. 8th Street in BrooklynA procession will follow at the conclusion of the mass.

Anyone interested in donating to the feast, to support the parish ministries, is encouraged to do so online at http://givecentral.org/olmc-feast or by texting FEAST to 272-808-0223.

 

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Annual Bishop DiMarzio Golf Outing Honors Front Line Heroes of Diocese Raises $100,000 For Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

Annual Bishop DiMarzio Golf Outing Honors Front Line Heroes of Diocese

Raises $100,000 For Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens

DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, hosted the 25th Annual Bishop DiMarzio Golf Outing on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at the North Hills Country Club in Manhasset, New York.

This year’s event raised $100,000 for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ) and their ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts. During the pandemic, CCBQ has served 500,000 meals at Emergency food distribution Pop-ups in addition to thousands of meals served at its 20 parish-based pantries.

The event honored the work and spiritual support of 23 chaplains who serve in hospitals and nursing homes throughout Brooklyn and Queens. The DeSales Media Emergency Task Force, which operated for three months in numerous capacities to assist first responders and hospital workers, as well as Diocesan remote learning efforts, during the height of Coronavirus pandemic, was also honored.

The chaplains have been providing front line support to thousands of Coronavirus patients and their families. DeSales Media chose to honor the Diocese of Brooklyn hospital chaplains for their personal courage and service to this vital ministry. They comforted families of those suffering alone and administered Last Rites and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. A complete list of the chaplains follows at the end.

The event also recognized the DeSales Media Emergency Task Force, established at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ETF was led by Vincent LeVien, Director of External Affairs for DeSales Media, and included Dennis Fisin, Robert Lynch, David Morales, Rob Rich, Joseph Vega, and Wilfredo Vega, Jr.

The Emergency Task Force distributed more than 300,000 masks, nearly 100,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, and 40,000 pairs of gloves to emergency service personnel, hospitals, nursing homes, and more. The team also delivered more than 50,000 pizzas to more than 40 hospitals and medical centers, as well as to NYPD police precincts, FDNY stations, food banks, and community organizations throughout the City. Further, the Emergency Task Force coordinated with the Catholic Telemedia Network (CTN) and the Diocesan Schools Office to deliver almost 1,000 iPads to 21 Catholic academies across Brooklyn and Queens.

 

The hospital chaplains honored included:

 

Rev. Gabriel Ahiarakwem, NYC Health & Hospitals/Elmhurst
Rev. Enel Almeus, New York Presbyterian/Queens
Rev. Salvatore Amato, Ozanam Hall Nursing Home
Rev. Robert Ambalathingal, Long Island Jewish Medical Center-Northwell Health
Rev. Francisco Ares, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center
Rev. Bryan Carney, Flushing Hospital Medical Center
Rev. Andre F. St. Preux Dabel, SDB, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
Rev. Augustine Emeh, NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
Rev. Lorenzo Gomez, SDV, NYC Health & Hospitals/Coney Island
Rev. Souvenir Jean-Paul, Kings County Hospital Center
Rev. Evans Julce, Queen of Peace Nursing Home
Rev. Jean Laguerre, Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens
Rev. Isaie Jean Louis, CSSp, New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and SUNY Downstate Hospital
Rev. Ernest Makata, New York Presbyterian/Queens
Rev. Dawit T. Moroda, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital
Rev. Johnson Nedungadan, Flushing Hospital Medical Center
Rev. Patrick Nwachukwu, SDV, Sts. Joachim & Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Rev. Francis Obu-Mends, Maimonides Medical Center, The Brooklyn Hospital Center Rev. Mintu G. Rozario, NYC Health & Hospitals/Elmhurst
Rev. Radu Titonea, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills-Northwell Health
Rev. Joseph Tharackal, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Kingsbrook Psychiatric Center, NYC Health & Hospitals/Woodhull
Rev. Kieran Udeze, Mount Sinai-Brooklyn, New York Community Hospital
Rev. Michael Ugbor, Long Island Jewish Medical Center-Northwell Health

 

Photo #1 – Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, CEO of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, accepts a $100,000 donation from Monsignor Kieran Harrington, President, and CEO of DeSales Media Group at the 25th Annual Bishop DiMarzio Golf Outing.

 

Photo #2- Chaplains from throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens who served in hospitals and nursing during the Coronavirus pandemic, were honored at the golf outing’s dinner and awards reception for their sacrifice, courage, and service.

 

Photo #3- Members of the DeSales Media Group Emergency Task Force were recognized for their extraordinary service during the COVID-19 pandemic in supporting Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, schools in the Diocese, hospitals, and first responders.

 

Photos attached to be credited to Ed Wilkinson/DeSales Media Group.

ETF Awards winners Chaplain Honoree Check being awarded

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STATUE OF BLESSED MOTHER VANDALIZED AT CATHEDRAL PREP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

STATUE OF BLESSED MOTHER VANDALIZED AT CATHEDRAL PREP

 

The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing that the New York City Police Department is investigating an act of vandalism that took place earlier this morning at Cathedral Prep School and Seminary located in the Elmhurst section of Queens as a possible hate crime.

According to video surveillance, at 3:09 a.m. today, Friday, July 10, 2020, an individual approached the statue of the Virgin Mary which stands at the entrance of Cathedral Prep and defaced it, writing the word “IDOL” on the statue’s front. The desecration was discovered around 7:30 a.m. this morning by staff.

This statue of the Blessed Mother has greeted the men of Cathedral Prep School and Seminary for over 100 years. The statue was originally at the school’s Brooklyn location and was brought to the Queens location when the two campuses merged in 1985. The statue has been cleaned through the efforts of Monsignor Michael Reid and Catholic Cemeteries of Brooklyn.

“Today, Cathedral Prep endured an act of hatred. We were victims of vandalism against a beloved statue that is dear to generations of Cathedral students. This image of our most Blessed Mother is approximately 100 years old and each day, both students and passersby pray fervently for her intercession in front of the statue. While just the day prior, a kind stranger placed a beautiful bouquet of flowers in her hands, last night she was defaced with hateful words,” said Father James Kuroly, Class of ’98, who is the Rector and President of Cathedral Prep.

“Obviously, this tragedy saddens us deeply but it also renews our hope and faith in the Lord as he has shown his goodness in the many people who have already reached out to us. We are sincerely grateful for the help we have received as well as the prayers. Please continue praying for those who committed this act of vandalism and hatred toward Our Lady and the Church. May Mary stand forever at the doors of Cathedral Prep greeting her sons,” continued Father Kuroly.

The high school at Cathedral Prep is committed to providing an environment that forms men for greatness including those considering God’s calling to the priesthood.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the NYPD’s 110th Precinct at (718) 476-9311 or call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-8477.

A copy of the surveillance footage of the incident can be found here: https://vimeo.com/437239539 and a photo of the statue is attached.

 

###Vandalized statue of the Blessed Mother

Diocese of Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop James Massa Appointed Rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
718-517-3143
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-517-3112
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

Diocese of Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop James Massa Appointed

Rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers

 

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Most Reverend James Massa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, as the next Rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in the Dunwoodie section of Yonkers, New York, effective July 16, 2020.

“It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop James Massa has been chosen by the Borromeo Council, the governing body of our inter-diocesan seminary system consisting of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bishop John Barres and myself, to be the new Rector at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie,” said Bishop DiMarzio. The appointment was made with the approval of the Holy See.

“The greatest joy in my life has been working with dedicated teams of men and women in helping to form priests, permanent deacons and lay women and men for today’s Church,” said Bishop Massa.

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on October 25, 1986, Father Massa served as a Parochial Vicar at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills from 1986-1990, Campus Minister at Queens College from 1990-1993 and in a number of teaching positions at seminaries and universities. He was appointed the Executive Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue in 2005.

In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father Massa a Member of the Joint Working Group between the Holy See and the World Council of Churches, and later as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. This past Wednesday Bishop Massa was made a Member of the same Pontifical Council.

Father Massa returned to the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2011 to coordinate the merger of the programs at St. Joseph’s Seminary and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, overseeing the formation of the new faculty and the accreditation of academic programs with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). In 2012 he joined the same faculty as a professor of theology and spiritual director.

Bishop Massa succeeds Monsignor Peter I. Vaccari, also of the Diocese of Brooklyn, who became Rector in 2011 after the seminaries of the three downstate New York dioceses merged.

“Bishop Massa is uniquely qualified to take up these responsibilities, as he was instrumental in putting together the three dioceses into this joint seminary system.  His seminary experience and love for learning will enable Bishop Massa to be a good mentor and director for the formation of our future priests in our three dioceses,” said Bishop DiMarzio.

In addition to seminarians from the Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Brooklyn, and Diocese of Rockville Centre, Saint Joseph’s Seminary trains priesthood candidates for the Dioceses of Albany, Scranton, and Bridgeport, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, the Neo-Catechumenal Way, the Piarist Fathers and Brothers, and the Idente Missionaries. The seminary also sponsors degree programs for candidates for the permanent diaconate, as well as for lay women and men pursuing various ministries in the Church.

“Returning to Dunwoodie feels very much like coming home. I hope I can be part of an effort to make St Joseph’s Seminary a bridge that furthers good collaboration among the three downstate dioceses of New York State,” said Bishop Massa.

Bishop Massa attended Boston College and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Theology and History in 1982. In 1985, he earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Yale University, and in 1997, a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Fordham University, where he wrote his dissertation under the late Cardinal Avery Dulles. He will be the 22nd Rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, one of five bishops who has served in this role.

Bishop Massa