Diocese of Brooklyn’s First Hispanic Auxiliary Bishop René A. Valero Laid To Rest

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 2019

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Adriana Rodriguez
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John Quaglione 
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Diocese of Brooklyn’s First Hispanic Auxiliary Bishop René A. Valero Laid To Rest

          The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, presided over the funeral Mass for the Most Reverend René A. Valero. The 88-year old was the first Hispanic to serve as an Auxiliary Bishop within the Diocese of Brooklyn, a position he held for more than 25 years. The funeral this morning was held at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, where Bishop Valero was laid to rest in the Bishops Crypt.

 

“He helped many people, but especially those most in need, like immigrants and senior citizens. He was a social worker and did that in order to help more people. His Episcopal ministry was one of service to people. He died after a very difficult, long illness that he never complained about; he took it in stride and always had a smile on his face,” said Bishop DiMarzio.

 

“He did his ministry with great love, with great compassion, humility, and simplicity. He gave himself to those who needed him. He was Venezuelan, that was his origins, but he did not just minister to Hispanics. He ministered to all in the Diocese. Hispanics in the Diocese will feel the loss because he touched so many lives and families with his smile, his love, and his care. So we say goodbye to a good friend, we say goodbye to a good priest of God, an example to all of us,” said Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros.

B-roll of this morning’s funeral for Retired Auxiliary Bishop René A. Valero in Douglaston can be found on this link:

https://vimeo.com/user70568130/review/325493647/83b31c5b02

STATEMENT BY BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO ON NEW ZEALAND ATTACKS

STATEMENT BY BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO ON NEW ZEALAND ATTACKS

“I strongly denounce the horrific attacks at the two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which were aimed at immigrants and people of faith. On behalf of all Catholics within the Diocese of Brooklyn, I offer my prayers for those who have perished and who have been injured in these mass shootings.  This is an unsettling reminder that the right to religious freedom is under attack throughout the world in nations that allow their citizens to worship the God they believe in,” said The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn.

DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN RESPONDS TO SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE SKIT ATTACKING CATHOLIC CHURCH  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2019

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
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John Quaglione 
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DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN RESPONDS TO SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
SKIT ATTACKING CATHOLIC CHURCH

The Diocese of Brooklyn is demanding an immediate public apology from “Saturday Night Live” and NBC after Saturday night’s disgraceful and offensive skit in which cast member Pete Davidson, during the Weekend Update segment, said: “If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?” The statement clearly shocked the studio audience as gasps could be heard off camera.

 

Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church. The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions. The mockery of this difficult time in the Church’s history serves no purpose.

 

The clergy sex abuse crisis is shameful, and no one should ever get a laugh at the expense of the victims who have suffered irreparably. The Diocese of Brooklyn strives every day to ensure that sexual abuse by clergy never happens again.

 

For nearly two decades, the Diocese of Brooklyn has taken this crisis seriously and instituted widespread changes mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

 

Those changes include a zero-tolerance policy in which any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry. Since 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn has shared all of its files and allegations against clergy with the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Queens. In 2004, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio instituted a reporting line that sends reports directly to law enforcement authorities.

 

The charter also mandates sexual abuse awareness training for all clergy members, teachers, parish/academy/school employees, catechists and volunteers who work directly with children. Employees and volunteers also must agree to initial and ongoing criminal background checks and must sign a code of conduct.

 

To help victims, the Office of Victim Assistance provides referrals for therapy, support groups for survivors and an annual Healing Mass to pray for all who have been impacted by sexual abuse.  The diocese also started the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program as another possible mechanism for healing that may help bring closure to victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

 

It is likely that no other institution has done more than the Catholic Church to combat and prevent sexual abuse. The insensitivity of the writers, producers, and the cast of SNL around this painful subject is alarming.

 

Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio on the Trump Administration’s DACA Decision

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Carolyn Erstad
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Adriana Rodriguez
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Today my prayers are with the young undocumented people in our Diocese who now face an uncertain future due to the Trump Administration’s decision to formally end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. We are disappointed with the President’s decision to end DACA, as there are many undocumented Dreamers in our diocese who have now lost their sense of security in the only country they know to be home.

The Obama-era program had shielded young undocumented immigrants, a group called Dreamers, from deportation. It was their parents who first dreamt of a life in America with the opportunity to find jobs, and secure a solid education for their children. Now those children brought to the U.S. by their parents, through no fault of their own, face deportation to countries to which they feel no connection. They only know America as their home.

And, make no mistake, these young people are contributing to our society. A paper released last year by the Center for Migration Studies of New York found 90% of DACA recipients are employed, and more than 90% have at least a high school degree.

The Trump Administration has now given Congress a window of six months to replace the DACA program with legislation or else it will end on March 5, 2018. So today, we stand with the Dreamers, and we call on Congress to come up with a legislative alternative that provides protection for them.

For media interested in interviews, we can connect you with Catholic Migration Services to speak with someone about what this means for their clients. CMS has helped countless immigrants in our Diocese with immigration and legal services for decades and has also been helping young immigrants with their DACA applications.

We can also connect you with a Dreamer who is willing to share their fears in light of this DACA decision.

Diocese of Brooklyn to Hold Mass for Solidarity and Peace Following the Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

Mass for Solidarity and Peace

WHO: The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Ministry for African American Catholics invite the faithful of Brooklyn, Queens and beyond.

WHAT: In response to the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bishop DiMarzio will celebrate the Mass for Solidarity and Peace. Reverend Alonzo Cox, Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns, Coordinator of Ministry for African American Catholics, and the Pastor of St. Martin De Porres Parish, will concelebrate.

WHEN: Thursday, August 24, 2017, 7:30 pm

WHERE: Cathedral Basilica of St. James, 250 Cathedral Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

WHY: The tragic events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia, revealed a nation still tainted by the evils of racism, bigotry, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. “As Catholics, our greatest weapon against hatred, violence, and anger is prayer,” said Reverend Cox. The Mass will bring together the faithful of Brooklyn, Queens, and beyond, to pray for our nation, the three people who lost their lives, the many more injured, as well as all those who have allowed the seeds of hatred to grow in their hearts.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Carolyn Erstad
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Assumption Means Renewal by Bishop DiMarzio

August 10, 2017 – Excerpted From Put Out Into The Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

There is a wonderful story of a little girl who is lost in a shopping mall. She was crying and no one could comfort her. Finally, a policeman came upon her and asked, “Little girl, have you lost your mother?”

The little girl stopped crying and responded, “No, my mother lost me!”

Many times in the course of our lives we feel that we are lost. This coming week, we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many ways, it is about a mother who cannot lose any of her children, a mother to whom we can go whenever we feel lost, alienated, or simply in need of comfort.

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

‘Declaring A Year For Vocations’ by Bishop DiMarzio

April 19, 2017 – 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 complete text of Bishop DiMarzio’s homily at the Chrism Mass celebrated April 11 at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in Prospect Heights.

During one of my Catholic Schools Week visits, a young student asked me, “Bishop, do you give the priests “pep talks?” Well, consider tonight your “pep talk!”

It was during one of my school visits that a third grader asked the question, “What does God look like?” I was surprised by his question and answered, with the Holy Spirit’s assistance, “God is love, when you see love or express love, you see God.”

A priest friend of mine was working with mentally challenged people and went door-to-door in his parish seeking out children for special catechism classes. He rang the bell at one home and the door was answered by a young boy with Down Syndrome. When he saw the priest, the boy called to his mother and shouted, “God is here!”

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

‘St. Joseph: Our Model For Life And For Death’ by Bishop DiMarzio

March 15, 2017 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As you know, March 19 is the day we normally celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. This year, because it falls on a Sunday in Lent, the feast day has been moved to the 20th of March.

It is interesting that St. John Paul II and Pope Francis both have a special devotion to St. Joseph. St. John Paul II, in his Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptoris Custos, “On the Person and Mission of Saint Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church,” allows us to recognize the wealth of the Scriptural basis for understanding the role of St. Joseph in caring for the Savior. Joseph is the silent man of the Gospel, the man in a certain sense who is the back drop against which we understand the role of Mary, the Mother of the Savior; he who protects her from shame, he who protects the newborn infant, it is he who guards the mystery of God himself. St. John Paul II recognized St. Joseph as one who could mirror for us the service of fatherhood.

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