Announcement of Death – Reverend Monsignor John F. Casey

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Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend Monsignor John F. Casey, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Monsignor Casey was born on December 31, 1928, was ordained to the Priesthood on May 29, 1954 and died Wednesday, December 13, 2023.

Monsignor Casey served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parishes of Incarnation (Queens Village), Sacred Heart (Bayside) and Holy Rosary (Brooklyn). He also served as Temporary Administrator of the Parishes of Saint Nicholas Tolentine (Jamaica) and Sacred Heart (Cambria Heights); and as Parochial Vicar at the Parish of Saint Patrick (Long Island City). Monsignor Casey was also a member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, Director of the Diocesan Black and Indian Mission, and Chairman of the Diocesan Assignment Policy Committee. He also served as Principal at the Cathedral Preparatory Seminary.

In 1982, Monsignor Casey was named Prelate of Honor.

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE: Monday, December 18, 2023 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Immaculate Conception Center 7200 Douglaston Parkway Douglaston, New York 11362

VIGIL: Monday, December 18, 2023 7:00 PM

Immaculate Conception Center 7200 Douglaston Parkway Douglaston, New York 11362

FUNERAL: Tuesday, December 19, 2023 10:30 AM (Please note earlier time)

Immaculate Conception Center 7200 Douglaston Parkway Douglaston, New York 11362 

BURIAL: Holy Cross Cemetery Brooklyn, New York

Monsignor Casey was a member of the Priests’ Purgatorial Society. Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord. If you wish to send condolences, please mail to his brother Mr. Donald Casey, 34 Walsh Drive, Mahwah, New Jersey 07430.

Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Aguggia, J.C.L. Chancellor and Vicar for Canonical Affairs

Announcement of Death – Reverend Monsignor Theophilus A. Joseph

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Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend Monsignor Theophilus A. Joseph, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Castries, Saint Lucia who served in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Monsignor Joseph was born on March 22, 1948, was ordained to the Priesthood on May 26, 1974, and died Thursday, November 16, 2023.

Monsignor Joseph served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Parochial Vicar of the Parish of Saint Ephrem (Brooklyn).

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE: Sunday, November 19, 2023 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Saint Ephrem R.C. Church

929 Bay Ridge Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11228 Tel: (718) 833-1010

VIGIL MASS: Sunday, November 19, 2023 7:00 PM

Saint Ephrem R.C. Church 929 Bay Ridge Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11228

FUNERAL MASS: Monday, November 20, 2023 11:00 AM

Saint Ephrem R.C. Church 929 Bay Ridge Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11228

INTERMENT: Saint Lucia

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord. If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Very Reverend Robert B. Adamo, C/O Saint Ephrem R.C. Church, 929 Bay Ridge Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11228.

Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Aguggia, J.C.L. Chancellor

BISHOP BRENNAN MARKS ALL SOULS’ DAY AT HOLY CROSS CEMETERY, BLESSES MEMORIAL HONORING WAR HEROES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2023

BISHOP BRENNAN MARKS ALL SOULS’ DAY AT HOLY CROSS CEMETERY, BLESSES MEMORIAL HONORING VETERANS

Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated All Souls’ Day Mass this morning in The Chapel of the Resurrection at Holy Cross Cemetery, located at 3620 Tilden Avenue in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

Immediately following the Mass, Bishop Brennan blessed a new memorial near the entrance of the cemetery which honors all Medal of Honor recipients buried on the sacred grounds. The memorial stone lists 18 Veterans who served in the U.S. military from the Civil War through the Spanish-American War.

VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/880634945

The photos and video are courtesy of DeSales Media.

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Bishop Robert Brennan offered Mass on All Souls’ Day at Holy Cross Cemetery.
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Bishop Brennan blessed a new monument at Holy Cross Cemetery on All Souls’ Day, honoring 18 Veterans buried on these sacred grounds who were awarded the Medal of Honor from the Civil War to the Spanish-American War.
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Bishop Brennan pictured with Michael Cusack of Bay Ridge who researched the Medal of Honor recipients, and Monsignor Michael Reid, the Chief Operating Officer of Catholic Cemeteries for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

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BISHOP BRENNAN CELEBRATES CHURCH’S MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 22, 2023

BISHOP BRENNAN CELEBRATES CHURCH’S MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY

Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated a special Mass this morning marking the 125th Anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi-St. Blaise Catholic Church, located in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn.

“We celebrate in this anniversary, these 125 years, the goodness, the greatness of God, who has shown Himself amazingly in this part of Brooklyn. We come here just like the generations before us praying for peace, praying for justice, and praying for respect for the dignity of every single person create in God’s own image,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

“We are living one of those milestones in the history of St. Francis of Assisi–St. Blaise Parish. We will go into the future together, meeting the new challenges, giving to God everything we have and everything we are, and discovering that He has given to us,” continued Bishop Brennan.

In his Homily, Bishop Brennan also reflected on the parish’s special relationship with the former pastor, Monsignor Paul Jervis, who passed away on September 5, 2023.  Monsignor Jervis was the Diocesan Postulator of the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God, Monsignor Bernard John Quinn.

Monsignor Quinn, a Brooklyn priest, established the first Black Catholic Church in Brooklyn consecrated to St. Peter Claver and fought against the evils of racial discrimination. He worked tirelessly to defend the rights and equality of all.

The first parish Mass was celebrated on January 16, 1898, in a house on Maple Street. The current Church building was dedicated on April 25, 1915. The parish of St. Blaise merged with St. Francis of Assisi in the spring of 1980.

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VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/876929841

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St. Francis of Assisi – St. Blaise 125th Anniversary Mass.
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Bishop Brennan during the consecration of the Eucharist during the 125th Anniversary Mass of St. Francis of Assisi – St. Blaise.
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Bishop Brennan greeting parishioners following the 125th Anniversary Mass at St. Francis of Assisi – St. Blaise in Brooklyn.

BISHOP BRENNAN LEADS MEMORIAL MASS AT THE 9/11 MEMORIAL IN BREEZY POINT

Bishop Robert Brennan celebrated Mass tonight, Monday, September 11, 2023, with the Blessed Trinity Parish community at the 9/11 Memorial located at Rockaway Point Boulevard and Beach 218th Street in the Breezy Point section of Queens.

The Mass was dedicated to those killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks, the first responders, and those who have died from related diseases since.

“Tonight, I celebrated Mass with the parish of Blessed Trinity in Breezy Point. We prayed for the innocent people killed by hatred, and our first responders who knew they had to respond, a choice that would impact themselves and their families. In their honor, let us pledge to build up one another with love, never forgetting the sacrifices our first responders make every day, and those sick with Ground Zero related illness,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

“Trusting in God, let us pray for the souls of the faithfully departed, whose shoulders we stand on, and the heroes living amongst us today,” continued Bishop Brennan.

The memorial is comprised of 29 glass etchings of each of the community members lost on September 11, 2001, and a cross-shaped piece of steel from the World Trade Center. Following the Mass, the names of the Breezy Point residents who died on 9/11/2001 were read aloud. Roses were placed at the memorial in remembrance of each victim, and a bell was rung after each name was read aloud.

The Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipes and Drums performed God Bless America to conclude the Mass and ceremony.

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The entranceway to the September 11th Memorial in Breezy Point.
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600 people attended the 9/11 Memorial Mass to commemorate the 22nd Anniversary of the attacks.
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Bishop Robert Brennan led the Mass, joined by Father Michael Gelfant, the Pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish.
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The names of those lost on September 11, 2001, from the Breezy Point community were read aloud.
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Roses were placed at the 9/11 Memorial in honor of each neighbor who lost their lives on 9/11/01.
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Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipes and Drums performed God Bless America at the end of the Mass.

BISHOP BRENNAN ANNOUNCES THE DEATH OF MONSIGNOR PAUL JERVIS, A CHAMPION OF RACIAL HARMONY

The Diocese of Brooklyn has announced the passing of Monsignor Paul W. Jervis, who served as a priest for more than 40 years in parishes throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

Born in Guyana on December 1, 1953, Monsignor Paul Jervis immigrated to the United States at the age of 19. He was ordained to the Priesthood on May 21, 1983. On September 4, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the title of Prelate of Honor to His Holiness upon Monsignor Jervis. He died Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at the age of 69.

For nearly 10 years, Monsignor Paul Jervis served as the postulator in the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Bernard Quinn. Through research and interviews, a case for the canonization of Monsignor Quinn was presented to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints in 2019. The documents remain under review at the Vatican office.

“Monsignor Paul Jervis saw the dignity of every human being and worked tirelessly to open the eyes of all people to love one another. Much like Monsignor Bernard Quinn, Monsignor Jervis devoted his life to fostering peace in the face of hatred. He made a lasting impression on those he met, especially within our African American and Guyanese Catholic communities, and with his brother priests as well. His work will continue in the lives of those he inspired,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

In 2005, Monsignor Jervis authored a book titled, Quintessential Priest: The Life of Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn. The book profiled the life of Monsignor Bernard Quinn who established the first church for Black Catholics in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Monsignor Quinn served as Pastor of the parish of St. Peter Claver, the patron saint of slaves, African missions, and interracial justice.

“Monsignor Paul Jervis was a vibrant pioneer for the Black Catholic community here in Brooklyn and Queens. His leadership inspired not only Black and Caribbean Catholics to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, but also to share their culture with the entire Church of Brooklyn and Queens. Throughout his 40 years of priesthood, Monsignor Jervis made known his love for the Lord and His Church to the souls entrusted to his care,” said Father Alonzo Cox, Pastor of St. Peter Claver Church, and Director of the Brooklyn Vicariate Office of Black Catholic Concerns.

Monsignor Jervis served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parishes of Saint Francis Assisi –Saint Blaise (Brooklyn), Saint Martin de Porres (Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Victory, and Saint Peter Claver in Brooklyn), and Saint Paul the Apostle (Corona). He also served as Administrator of the Parishes Saint Catherine of Genoa (Brooklyn), Holy Rosary (Brooklyn), Our Lady of Victory (Brooklyn), and Saint Peter Claver (Brooklyn); and as Parochial Vicar of the Parishes of Saint Clare (Rosedale), Saint Fortunata (Brooklyn), and Saint Peter Claver (Brooklyn). 

Bishop Robert Brennan will preside at the funeral Mass for Monsignor Jervis on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi-St. Blaise Church, located at 319 Maple Street in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn.

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Msgr. Paul W. Jervis, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, was born in Guyana and ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1983. He died Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, at age 69.

BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF ST. JAMES, THE FIRST CATHOLIC PARISH ON ALL OF LONG ISLAND, CONCLUDES WITH SPECIAL MASS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2023

BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF ST. JAMES, THE FIRST CATHOLIC PARISH ON ALL OF LONG ISLAND, CONCLUDES WITH SPECIAL MASS

Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, today joined with Father Bryan Patterson, Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, for a special Mass to conclude the Jubilee Year, the 200th Anniversary of the parish of St. James which was officially dedicated on August 28, 1823.

Prior to this church’s establishment, residents of the Village of Brooklyn had to take a ferry across the East River to attend Mass in Lower Manhattan. The faithful would go on to petition the Archbishop of New York to have a church opened in Brooklyn.

“They may have thought 200 years ago this day, wow we got the Church all built, but that was just the beginning.  Here we are, along the way, continuing to build it up. The real building that took place 200 years ago continues today; it is joining the people of God in praise and worship, together with their priests and religious, together with their local bishop and together with the Universal Church and with our Holy Father,” said Bishop Brennan in his Homily this afternoon.

“Thanks to all those whose shoulders we stand, and now to you, I say thank you. Thank you for the way you come together to form the living body of Christ here in Brooklyn, and through your works of charity, your mutual love of each other, and your love of God.  You proclaim with Peter and the whole Church, you are the Christ, you are the Son of the living God,” said Bishop Brennan prior to the final blessing.

The parish of St. James was founded in 1822, designated a cathedral in 1853, and was elevated to a minor Papal Basilica in 1982. The Cathedral Basilica of St. James is located at 250 Cathedral Place in Downtown Brooklyn.

VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/858790426

The photos attached are from today’s Mass which took place at the St. James at Noon.

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Bishop Brennan gives his Homily at the Mass concluding the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James.
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Procession at the conclusion of the 200th Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James.
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Father Paterson, Bishop Brennan, and Father
Joshy Vazhappilly, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a visiting priest.

Announcement of Death – Reverend Kenneth J. Calder

Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend Kenneth J. Calder, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Father Calder was born on August 13, 1931, was ordained to the Priesthood on May 28, 1960, and died Thursday, July 20, 2023.

Father Calder served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parish of American Martyrs (Bayside). He also served as Parochial Vicar of the Parishes of Our Lady of Angels (Brooklyn), Saints Joachim and Anne (Queens Village), Mary Queen of Heaven (Brooklyn), and Saint Patrick (Brooklyn).

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE:      

Our Lady of Angels R.C. Church, Tuesday, July 25, 2023

2:00 PM – 8:00 PM

7320 4th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11209

Tel: (718) 836–7200

FUNERAL:  

Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 11:00 AM

Our Lady of Angels R.C. Church

7320 4th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11209

BURIAL:     

Holy Rood Cemetery

Westbury, New York

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to his niece, Mrs. Eileen Ickstadt, 1174 Fortune Court, Wantagh, New York 11793.

Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Aguggia, J.C.L.

Chancellor

Announcement of Death – Reverend Thaddeus A. Grzelak

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On Thursday, June 1, 2023, our office sent out a notice regarding the death of Reverend Thaddeus A. Grzelak. Father Grzelak served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Parochial Vicar of the Parishes of Our Lady of Hope (Middle Village), Our Lady Help of Christians (Brooklyn), Saint Nicholas (Brooklyn), Holy Family (Brooklyn), Our Lady of the Cenacle (Richmond Hill), Saint Kevin (Flushing), Holy Innocents (Brooklyn), Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr (Ozone Park), Holy Cross (Maspeth), Saint Joseph (Long Island City) and Saint Charles Borromeo (Brooklyn). Father Grzelak died on Monday, May 29, 2023 in California.

The arrangements are as follows:

FUNERAL:             

Monday, July 24, 2023, 11:00 AM    

Immaculate Conception Center

7200 Douglaston Parkway Douglaston, New York 11362 Tel: (718) 229-8001

BURIAL:

Saint John’s Cemetery, Middle Village, New York

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Ms. Christine Kline, 7229 Columbia Way, Lancaster, California 93536.

Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Aguggia, J.C.L. Chancellor

CARDINAL-DESIGNATE CHRISTOPHE PIERRE, PAPAL NUNCIO TO THE U.S., CELEBRATES THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL IN QUEENS

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, joined Bishop Robert Brennan, Monsignor Cuong M. Pham, and the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria, today in celebration of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Last Sunday, Pope Francis named Pierre as one of the new 21 cardinals of the Catholic Church. Today’s event was planned in advance of the announcement.

Cardinal-designate Pierre led a solemn Mass this afternoon which included the Consecration and Distribution of the Holy Scapulars. Bishop Brennan blessed the Scapulars. The Mass was celebrated in English, Italian, and Vietnamese and featured the parish’s Spanish Choir, English Choir, and the St. Teresa Vietnamese Choir.

The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Scapular is a brown cloth necklace featuring prayer. The faithful wear the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, entrusting themselves to the protection of Mary, the Mother of God.

Calling Mary, the first and the greatest evangelizer, Cardinal-designate Pierre in his Homily stated, “All of us are called to be like Her, to announce the Good News of God’s presence in our life in a very simple way, as we meet people, day after day, in the family, in our encounters, in our friendships, in our schools and even in politics.”

“What we did today, before Mass, is a physical sign of what we are called to do, and what you do every single day. To take what we believe, and what we profess here in this church, and bring it out into the streets. In so many ways, you live your faith so powerfully, bringing that joy of the Gospel to others. So, thank you for what you did today, but what you did today is so important because of what you do every single day” said Bishop Robert Brennan in his closing remarks.

“We thank you and we were blessed by your presence here. We are especially privileged to have you here this week; it really means a lot to us. You honor us by your presence and as you always do, you bring to us the love and solicitude of our Holy Father,” said Bishop Robert Brennan in addressing his Excellency, Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre.

Prior to the Mass, a large procession of parishioners walked around the church block and recited the Rosary. The Mass was followed by a dinner in the parish hall which featured international music, dancing, and food.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is located at 23-25 Newtown Avenue in Astoria. Monsignor Cuong M. Pham is the Pastor.

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Video and photos are courtesy of John Quaglione/DeSales Media.

VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/845798698

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A procession was held before Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria celebrating the Feast Day on July 16.
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Representatives of the youth of the parish at Our Lady of Mount Carmel participated in the procession.
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Bishop Robert Brennan blessed the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Scapulars during the Mass.
The church was full to celebrate Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel led by Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre.
The church was full to celebrate Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel led by Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre.
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Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre blessing the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel during Mass.