CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN BROOKLYN AND QUEENS SET TO START NEW SCHOOL YEAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2020

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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN BROOKLYN AND QUEENS SET TO START NEW SCHOOL YEAR

The Diocese of Brooklyn and the Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services will welcome back students to the 66 Catholic Schools and Academies throughout Brooklyn and Queens tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9, 2020, to officially start the 2020-2021 academic year, with staggered arrivals through Friday, September 11, 2020.

In accordance with all Coronavirus safety guidelines, 90% of the schools will be offering full-time in-person learning, and 10% of the schools will offer a hybrid model due to capacity. The Superintendent’s office has worked with each individual school throughout the planning for a safe return to school.

Additionally, over 2,400 students have enrolled in the Diocese’s full remote learning St. Thomas Aquinas Program, created to give parents concerned about in-person learning an option to continue to give their children a Catholic education. This program begins on September 16th.

“We look forward to welcoming our students back to school. Principals, board members, teachers, and the entire school staff at our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools have worked tirelessly this summer to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment is in place for all. Our re-opening plans are in compliance with the current mandates and guidance from government and health officials, and we will continue to update them as necessary throughout the school year,” said Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools.

The Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services has been working with the New York City Department of Education to ensure that the City fulfills its obligations to the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools throughout Brooklyn and Queens. According to New York City Education Law, the Department of Education must provide essential services such as nurses, transportation, meals, and special education and related services.

Additionally, services such as school security and crossing guards will be provided through other agencies. The NYC Pre-K for All programs, offered at our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools, will start at each site as individually scheduled.

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Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Urges Special Collection in Brooklyn and Queens Churches to Assist the People of Lebanon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 29, 2020

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Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Urges Special Collection in Brooklyn and Queens Churches to Assist the People of Lebanon

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, is announcing his request for a special voluntary collection to take place starting this weekend, August 29 and 30, at parishes throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens for victims of the recent explosion in the port in Beirut, Lebanon.

“We have all seen the painful images of devastation and heard of the deaths caused by the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by this terrible disaster, especially the Christian community which has been struggling,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

The August 4th explosion killed 180 people, injured thousands, and has displaced more than 300,000 people from their homes. The money collected will be sent by the Diocese of Brooklyn for distribution and direct assistance to the Christian community of Lebanon.

Checks to support this collection should be made payable to the Compostela Fund and mailed to: Compostela Fund c/o Diocesan Finance Office, 310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215. Please write Lebanon in the check’s memo section.

 

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DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN CATHOLIC ACADEMIES AND PARISH SCHOOLS PREPARE TO REOPEN WITH IN-CLASS INSTRUCTION AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS IN PLACE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 18, 2020

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DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN CATHOLIC ACADEMIES AND PARISH SCHOOLS PREPARE TO REOPEN WITH IN-CLASS INSTRUCTION AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS IN PLACE

 

The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing each of its 66 Catholic Academies and Parish Schools have submitted their 2020-2021 Reopening Plans to the New York State Department of Education. The majority of proposals call for the reopening of Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens with five day a week, 100% in-class instruction.

“We are pleased with the Governor’s recent announcement regarding the re-opening of schools.  This is a great first step in the right direction to helping our children safely return to the classroom,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools.

The plans submitted by each school/academy to New York State presented one of the following three options:

Plan A – 100% In-Person Model with the following requirements:

  • Social Distancing in the classrooms and throughout the school building
  • Mandatory Face Coverings while in school with mask breaks
  • Hand and Respiratory Hygiene guidance and enforcement
  • Signage throughout building promoting hygiene, illness, mask and distance requirement
  • Daily health screening of all who enter building per NYS guidelines, including temperature checks
  • Procedures in place if positive COVID case detected
  • Testing and Tracing policies in place per Department of Health guidelines

Plan B – Hybrid Model with the following requirements:

  • Same requirements noted above for in-school instruction
  • Hybrid model could be 3/2 – three days in school and two days of remote learning from home. Hybrid models vary by school
  • Remote learning with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous with instruction sessions led by teachers of the students’ Catholic Academy or Parish School

Plan C – 100% Distance Learning – Saint Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning Catholic Program

A new Diocesan-wide distance learning program created with a faculty focused exclusively on the development of an academically rigorous, Christ-centered remote learning program. This is an additional option to ensure instructional equity for those who choose 100% remote learning.

Of the plans submitted, a majority of the 66 Diocesan schools and academies aim to open for instruction under Plan A, with the flexibility to adopt Plan B or Plan C quickly if COVID-19 cases arise.

“Our Principals, teachers, Boards and administrators have been hard at work to ensure all the health and safety protocols will be met at all our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools.  We are prepared and excited for a full reopening in September.  This may be slightly different school by school given the building footprint and student population.  Some schools will need to use a hybrid model if they cannot meet the social distancing standards,” added Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools.

The health of the students, faculty and staff, remains the top priority, so enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols will be in place at all school buildings.

The Re-Opening Plans for each school can be found on the individual school website. Additionally, parent meetings will take place this week, via ZOOM, to review and discuss the Re-Opening Plans.

 

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QUEENS PRIEST RAISES $20,000 FOR FOOD PANTRY ON 100-MILE BIKE RIDE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 6, 2020

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QUEENS PRIEST RAISES $20,000 FOR FOOD PANTRY ON 100-MILE BIKE RIDE

            The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing that Father Christopher Heanue, Administrator at Holy Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church, last week completed the “100 Miles of Hope” fundraiser to support the parish food pantry. The bike ride from the church in Richmond Hill, Queens to East Hampton, Long Island, has raised over $20,000.

 

Father Heanue was joined by two parishioners on the journey, Paul Cerni and Tom Chiafolo. The day started with a special 5 a.m. Mass celebrated by Father Heanue. The total bike time for the journey was 7 hours and 45 minutes, and the entire trip was completed over the course of more than 10 hours.

 

“The prayers and generous support of all helped to motivate and make our “100 miles of Hope” a true success.  If this served as an inspiration for any, then all glory be to God. This is needed now, more than ever. With this help, we can continue the good work of our food pantry and other initiatives,” said Father Heanue.

 

Donations are still being accepted through the Go Fund Me Page at www.gofundme.com/f/100-miles-of-hope or by texting ‘miles’ to 718-550-6525.

 

Photos attached.

 

Photo #1- Tom Chiafolo, Father Chis Heanue, and Paul Cerni met in advance of the bike ride for this photo.

 

Photo #2 – Father Chris Heanue, Tom Chiafolo, and Paul Cerni, outside of Holy Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Queens, prior to the start of the of their “100 Miles for Hope” bike ride.

 

Photo #3-Father Chris Heanue is greeted upon his arrival at Most Holy Trinity Church in East Hampton, Long Island.

 

Photo #4 – Tom Chiafolo, Paul Cerni, and Father Chris Heanue posed for a photo upon their arrival in East Hampton.

 

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A Letter to the faith community of Saint Pancras – Aug 1 & 2, 2020

 

Office of the Bishop
Diocese of Brooklyn

310 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, New York 11215

 

 

August 1 and 2, 2020

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

I have asked Bishop Paul Sanchez and Monsignor Joseph Calise to read this letter to you on my behalf at the close of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is with profound regret that I must advise you that this letter contains information that will trouble you as members of the faith community of Saint Pancras. You are undoubtedly aware of the deep suffering and hurt that surround any instance of inappropriate behavior, especially when allegations involve a member of the clergy. It can damage, often irreparably, the innocence, the trust and the reputations of all who are in any way affected by it.

Unfortunately, I write to you about such incidents involving the Pastor of Saint Pancras. As many of you may know, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Father Francis Hughes was arrested by the federal authorities due to allegations of inappropriate behavior with minors. In keeping with our Diocesan Policy and the 2002 Bishops Charter and Norms for the Protection of Children and Youth, he has been removed as Pastor of Saint Pancras, and from all priestly ministry. I have assigned Father Wladyslaw Kubrak as the Temporary Administrator in the interim.

I am aware that this news has been devastating to many. With this in my mind, the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Jasmine Salazar, LMSW, has arranged to make virtual and telephone meetings available for different groups in your parish, to provide you with pastoral care, information and clarification where needed. Often just having a place to speak about such matters are the beginning steps to addressing the strong impact such news can have.

Once again, I encourage each of us in our resolve to protect our children and youth from all forms of abuse. I invite anyone who is the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy to inform the Diocese of Brooklyn. To facilitate making such a call, when I arrived in the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens in 2003, I established the toll-free number of 888-634-4499. A specially trained and caring layperson, who is not affiliated in any way with the Diocese, will treat you with courtesy and respect. This number will be published in the bulletin and also appears on the posters in the back of the Church.

With an assurance of my continued remembrance of you in prayer, and asking for your prayers for all victims and survivors of abuse, I am

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D. Bishop of Brooklyn

Letter to the faith community of St. Pancras Aug.2020

BROOKLYN CATHOLIC CHURCH ROBBED: COLLECTION BOX CUT OPEN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2020

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BROOKLYN CATHOLIC CHURCH ROBBED: COLLECTION BOX CUT OPEN

The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing that a church collection box was robbed late yesterday afternoon inside of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The incident, which is under investigation by the NYPD, was discovered around 4 p.m. Friday, by a Franciscan Nun who was sanitizing the church pews.

Surveillance video shows the suspect cutting open one of the wooden collection boxes and removing an unknown amount of money before leaving the church. Camera footage shows the perpetrator was in the church for a while, appearing to be praying, however, it is now evident he was waiting to be alone in the church to commit the robbery.

“I am saddened by what happened inside our beautiful church yesterday, but I am grateful to God that no one was injured. I understand in these unprecedented times, many people have lost their jobs and need assistance, but this not how you turn to the church for help. My message to those in need is to ring our doorbell, don’t vandalize and steal, and let us help you,” said Father Willy Kingsley Ndi, Administrator of St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church is located at 249-9th Street in Brooklyn. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the NYPD’s 78th Precinct at (718) 636-6411 or NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-8477.

A copy of the surveillance footage can be found here: https://vimeo.com/443775056

 

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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

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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
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John Quaglione 
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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

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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

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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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