In celebration of the Lunar New Year on Sunday, January 22, more than 400 members of the St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church parish, located in the Flushing section of Queens, hosted a special afternoon of prayer, remembrance, and cultural activities. This year celebrates the Year of the Rabbit.

Auxiliary Bishop James Massa of the Diocese of Brooklyn led a bilingual Mass (English and Chinese) to begin the parish celebration of the Chinese New Year. At the conclusion of the Mass, there was an Ancestors Veneration Ritual.

The ceremony is a Chinese New Year’s tradition where people give thanks to their ancestors and pay tribute to their family’s past. The rituals include nine bows to God, the offering of fruits, flowers, and incense, and the exchange of New Year greetings among the faithful.

A Lunar New Year party and celebration followed the Mass in the parish hall. The featured cultural music and dancing, including the Fan Dance and the Umbrella Dance, as well as food and raffles.

Father Vincentius Do is the Pastor of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Flushing. Father Do also serve as the Chinese Apostolate for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The photos attached are courtesy of St. Michael Roman Catholic Church/Diocese of Brooklyn.

A Mass was held on January 22, 2023, at St. Michael’s in Flushing to mark the start of the Lunar New Year.
At the conclusion of the Mass, there was an Ancestors Veneration Ritual.
Bishop James Massa and Father Patrick Keating join Father Vincentius Do at the celebration of the Lunar New Year held at St. Michael’s.
Children performing as part of the celebration held in the parish hall of St. Michael’s.
A group photo of the performers at the celebration of Lunar New Year at St. Michael’s.




The Diocese of Brooklyn Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns hosted a community forum this morning in advance of the annual Diocesan Prayer Service, commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at St. Kevin’s Parish, located in the Flushing section of Queens.

The morning dialogue on the issue of racism and the need to keep Dr. King’s spirit alive within our communities, schools, and churches was attended by more than 150 people. The panelists included Father Ajani Gibson of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Deacon Kevin McCormack, Superintendent of Brooklyn and Queens Catholic Schools, and Ms. Lorraine Pierre, Principal of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy located in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

A midday prayer service followed at Noon in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The guest homilist was Father Ajani Gibson, a priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans who currently serves as Administrator of St. Peter Claver Parish in New Orleans. The choir of St. Martin de Porres Parish provided the music for the service. An excerpt from “The Three Evils of Society” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was read aloud at the service.

“As we reflect on his dedication to bringing witness to God’s love for all of us. Each of us is created in the image and likeness of God, and Dr. King wanted to live in a world respectful of the dignity of every human being. Let us ask God in His goodness to help root out the evils of racism and hatred within our society and create a community of acceptance and unity,” said the Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn.

“Racism is not just a sin, not just this separation of folks here on Earth. It’s a denial of what God has done and has done since the beginning. It is a denial of the very thing that God set in the heart of human beings when he created us,” said Father Ajani Gibson.

“Adversarial dualism, it’s me versus you, it’s us versus them, it’s the distinction that you’re not me and I’m not you as soon as I meet you.  When I put you in a category like that, or you put me in a category like that, we are in a situation of separation, alienation, and discrimination, and what that allows me to do is treat you differently,” said Deacon Kevin McCormack.

The photos and video are courtesy of DeSales Media.

VIMEO link:

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns sponsored a community forum to discuss racism, as well as a prayer service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Bishop Robert Brennan with some of the members of the clergy who attended the prayer service honoring Dr. King.











The choir of St. Martin de Porres Parish provided inspiring music for the service.
Bishop Robert Brennan takes a photo with the students in attendance at the Dr. King prayer service at St. Kevin’s.


The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, ordained Mr. Samuel M. Mwiwawi to the transitional diaconate this past Saturday, January 7, 2023, at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Roman Catholic Church serving the Bergen Beach/Mill Basin area of Brooklyn.

Deacon Samuel M. Mwiwawi studied in Kenya and Uganda, attending St. Mary’s Junior Seminary and Kawanda Secondary.  He studied Philosophy and Theology at Christ the King Major Seminary in Kenya and later joined the Dominican Missionary Formation. Samuel then attended the Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, for one year, and began his service to the Diocese of Brooklyn in October 2018.

“Deacon Samuel’s love for sign language and the deaf community helps to foster a spirit of worship, that access to God who loves us so much. You proclaim the Good News, you lift the burdens, and you set people free. In the parish ministries, the school and religious education, in service to the elderly and to the deaf, it is Christ who you bring, not just social action,” said Bishop Brennan in his remarks addressing Samuel.

Monsignor Joseph Grimaldi vested Deacon Samuel for the first time during the Mass of Ordination, attended by hundreds of people. A reception followed in the school gym.

Upon ordination, permanent deacons may preach and administer the sacraments of baptism and marriage. Transitional deacons are granted these same faculties but continue their studies in anticipation of ordination to the priesthood. Deacon Samuel will be ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn in June.

The photos attached are courtesy of DeSales Media.


Bishop Brennan presented the Holy Bible to Samuel M. Mwiwawi upon his ordination to the transitional diaconate.
Monsignor Joseph Grimaldi, Bishop Robert Brennan and Deacon Samuel with members of the faculty of Pope John Paul XXIII outside the St. Bernard of Clairvaux Roman Catholic Church.
Bishop Robert Brennan and Deacon Samuel Mwiwawi following the ordination.

***Photo/Video Update***Mass Offered to Honor Pope Benedict VXI


            The Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated a Mass in honor of the late Pope Benedict XVI, today, Thursday, January 5, 2023, at 12 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, located at 250 Cathedral Place in Downtown Brooklyn.

Auxiliary Bishop Neil Tiedemann was the main celebrant of the Mass, which was concelebrated by about 20 priests of the diocese. Five deacons were also on hand, along with students from nearly all of the Catholic high schools in the diocese.

“Today, we believe that the promise that Jesus makes to us, the souls of the just, are in his hands. Benedict is with Him. We are told that we are children of God, but what we shall be we don’t know. But we will see God as He is, and we will become like Him. You and I will become like Him, but we pray this morning our brother Benedict, our shepherd, sees God as He is,” preached Bishop Tiedemann. (SOT in the video below)

The video and photos below are courtesy of DeSales Media.



Pope Benedict Photo
Pope Benedict Photo


Mass St James altar
Mass St James altar




Congregation at Mass
Congregation at Mass


Auxiliary Bishop Neil Tiedemann at altar
Auxiliary Bishop Neil Tiedemann at altar


View from choir loft
View from the choir loft








The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, has issued the following statement on the death of Pope Benedict XVI:

“Please join me in prayer for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict XVI. Joseph Ratzinger, the late Pope, was a man of tremendous intellect and holiness who deeply loved God and served the Church generously throughout his whole life, first serving in Germany and then the Universal Church.

He made tremendous contributions to the Second Vatican Council as a priest and theologian. Many of his contributions made their way into the documents of the Council, which charted the course for the Church in the modern era.

Pope Benedict XVI had a great mind, and his books have inspired me. He was a great teacher who helped us to understand and live our faith more profoundly.

On a personal note, ten years ago, in 2012, he appointed me an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Later that year, he received the newly ordained bishops. There was a genuine kindness and gentleness about him. He gave us his full attention and encouraged us in our ministry as bishops.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace.”


Video/Photos-Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan Lights Diocesan Christmas Tree in Grand Army Plaza



The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, joined DeSales Media at the official Diocesan Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and blessing of the Nativity Scene, in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch located at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn this evening.

“We are going to push back the darkness in the light of this glorious Christmas tree so that all of Brooklyn can see what we are celebrating, that Brooklyn can see our joy, Brooklyn can see our love, Brooklyn can see our unity. And there, in the center of it all – God came to live among us, to bring us peace, to draw us together, to help us along the way,” said Bishop Brennan.

The 28-foot Norway Spruce tree is decorated with 16,000 multi-colored LED lights to represent the diversity of the Diocese of Brooklyn, often referred to as the “Diocese of Immigrants.” The event featured a Christmas musical presentation as well.

Christine Persichette, the anchor of Currents News on NET-TV, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.


VIDEO: Courtesy DeSales Media

Brooklyn Church Christmas Tree and Nativity.
Brooklyn Church Christmas Tree and Nativity
Nativity closeup
Closeup of Nativity
Christmas Tree Arch Evening
Top of Christmas Tree


Video/Photos: Thousands of Brooklyn & Queens Catholics honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron Saint of Mexico


The Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe today with two Spanish masses at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, located at 856 Pacific Street in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn. About 3,000 pilgrims filled the pews to pray to Our Lady as they were serenaded by Mexican mariachis singing cultural and liturgical songs. The Mass for Queens Catholics took place at 9:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. for Brooklyn Catholics.

During his homily in Spanish, the Most Reverend Robert Brennan, the Bishop of Brooklyn, told the faithful that Mary tells us, like she told Juan Diego in an apparition, not to fear, not to be afraid, for God is always with us, but especially during the difficult times. He also preached to a huge audience of young people, asking them to listen for God’s call as He may ask them to serve the Church as priests or religious.

The annual lighting of the torches followed the Mass on the steps of the Co-Cathedral. Bishop Brennan lit the torches carried by representatives from 44 parishes. After the torch lighting, the pilgrims marched the streets of Queens and Brooklyn to their respective parishes.

The group of pilgrims represents, in its vast majority, the Mexican Catholic population of Brooklyn and Queens. An estimated 175,000 Mexicans live in Brooklyn and Queens.



Procession into Mass
Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.
Mariachis at Mass
The Mariachis at the Mass celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe added to the festivities of the celebration.
Catholics in pews
Thousands of the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens participated in two Masses at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Bishop Brennan lights torch
Bishop Brennan lighting one of the 44 torches carried throughout Brooklyn and Queens in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
A floral shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Bishop Brennan Marchers
Bishop Robert Brennan outside the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph greeting the marchers as they embark on their torch journey in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Pilgrims begining March
Following the Mass and the lighting of the torches, the faithful begin their journey back to their home parishes.


The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, celebrated Mass this morning at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, where one year ago today, he was installed as the eighth Bishop of Brooklyn. The Co-Cathedral is located at 856 Pacific Street in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn.

“Today marks a complete year of our time being together as the Church of Brooklyn here in Brooklyn and Queens. It was a year ago today the co-cathedral was filled with people from all over the diocese as we celebrated our unity in faith. Your beautiful welcome to me lifted me up,” preached Bishop Brennan.

“Having met so many of you through the course of this year, I am constantly inspired and lifted up. I thank you for helping me to know Jesus Christ better and to be more convinced of His love on fire and to share that with one another. I thank God for the gift of being here in Brooklyn and Queens and I thank God for the rich vibrant church he has brought together,” continued Bishop Brennan.

In the first year of his ministry, Bishop Robert Brennan visited 127 parishes throughout Brooklyn and Queens, celebrated 25 Confirmations, and visited 25 schools.  In June, Bishop Brennan ordained three priests to serve in the Diocese of Brooklyn, and earlier this month, ordained six transitional deacons on the path to the priesthood; three for the Diocese of Brooklyn, two for the Archdiocese of New York, and one for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. 

Earlier this year, Bishop Brennan also launched a weekly podcast, “Big City Catholics,” to communicate with the faithful.  Big City Catholics is available on popular podcast platforms, including Apple, Spotify, and YouTube, or on the Diocese of Brooklyn website,



On November 30, 2021, Bishop Robert Brennan was installed as the Eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, serving the people of Brooklyn and Queens. Born in the Bronx and raised in Lindenhurst, Long Island, Bishop Brennan attended St. John’s University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science. He then studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.

Bishop Brennan was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on May 27, 1989.  He was later ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre on July 25, 2012. On January 31, 2019, Pope Francis announced his selection of Bishop Brennan as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. He was installed as the Bishop of Columbus on March 29, 2019.

On a national level, Bishop Brennan serves on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.


:00 Quotes above from homily

1:05 b-roll from Mass


#1-4 are from the Bishop’s installation on November 30, 2021.

#5 and #6 are from the Mass today celebrating the Bishop’s one-year anniversary

.BishopBrennan DayOne BishopBrennanInstallation BrennanKissingTheAltar Bishop Brennan Scroll Announcement
Bishop Brennan preaching todayBishop Brennan Consecration today



The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, has announced the selection of Robert Boyce, a retired 35-year veteran of the New York City Police Department, who most recently served as Chief of Detectives, as the new Chair of the Diocesan Review Board. Boyce held numerous positions within the NYPD throughout his career and has experience in a magnitude of criminal investigations, including sex and cyber crimes. His appointment became effective last month.

“I am grateful Chief Boyce has answered this call to serve in such a critical position which aligns with his life’s work of seeing justice served.  I have every confidence in his ability to manage the investigations based on complaints or lawsuits brought against Diocesan personnel.  The Diocesan Review Board will be well served by the leadership and integrity of Chief Robert Boyce,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

Boyce replaces Joseph Esposito, a 45-year veteran of the NYPD, who served as Chair of the Diocesan Review Board since 2013. Esposito also previously served as the Commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management from 2014 through 2018 and was recently named the Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement for the NYC Department of Buildings.

“I am grateful for the voluntary service and dedication of Chief Esposito to the Diocese of Brooklyn. For nearly a decade, Joe was a consummate professional who strived to achieve the true mission of the Diocesan Review Board. As we turn the page on the leadership of this Board, Joe Esposito’s impact will continue to play a role in its operation,” continued Bishop Brennan. 

The DRB is comprised of lay independent professionals: former law enforcement officers, lawyers with experience in family law and child abuse, and mental health professionals. The work of the board, mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, is primarily responsible for:

Advising the Bishop in his assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and his determination of the accused clergy member’s suitability for ministry

Reviewing diocesan policies for dealing with sexual abuse of minors

Offering advice on all aspects of these cases, whether retrospectively or prospectively, upon request

Bishop Brennan has also announced the appointment of Joseph Fox to the Diocesan Review Board. Fox served over 37 years with the NYPD, 21 as a Chief. He retired after serving six years as Chief of Transit, leading a team of 2,600 men and women who patrolled the New York City subway system. Chief Fox holds a Bachelor of Science in Security Management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the Police Management Institute at Columbia University. He is currently a practicing life coach and trains executive leaders.

Gena Diacomanolis, who earned her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University’s School of Law, has also been named to the Diocesan Review Board. Since 2006 she has been involved in investigations of criminal child abuse cases and the assistance of victims of family violence. She previously served on the Advisory Council of the New York State Office of Victim Services as well as a Board Member of the New York State Children’s Alliance.

Father James Rodriguez, Pastor of St. Rose of Lima in the Rockaways, has also been appointed to the Diocesan Review Board as the clergy representative. He holds a Master of Science in Education in Mental Health Counseling from St. John’s University. Fr. Rodriguez replaces Monsignor John Maloney, who retired earlier this year.



Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn, and Bishop John O. Barres of Rockville Centre today announced the launching of new programs at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, to enhance seminary training beginning next fall as part of their implementation of a new model of priestly formation in the United States.

That model, released earlier this year in the sixth edition of the Program for Priestly Formation, aligns with the 2016 document of the Holy See, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutiones Sacerdotalis, where priestly formation seeks to form “missionary disciples who are ‘in love’ with the Master…” To this end, candidates for the priesthood will journey through four stages accompanied by a community of formators: Propaedeutic, Discipleship, Configuration, and Vocational Synthesis.

“Demands on the priesthood today require a deep friendship with Jesus and a team of mentors willing to journey with the priests of tomorrow, particularly during these years of formation,” said Cardinal Dolan.

St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers (Dunwoodie) will be the new site for the recently created Propaedeutic Year for intensive human and spiritual formation as well as for the study of graduate-level philosophy. The Propaedeutic Stage will seek to give priesthood candidates a firm foundation in prayer, discernment, and personal growth. The Dunwoodie campus will provide a dedicated space in a reflective atmosphere and allow for the engagement of an experienced faculty.

For what is now called the Discipleship Stage, seminarians pursuing their Master’s in Catholic philosophy will be moving from the Immaculate Conception Center of the Diocese of Brooklyn in Douglaston to the Yonkers campus. Undergraduate seminarians will study philosophy and complete this stage of formation at one of the pre-existing programs out of state.

The Configuration Stage, with the study of theology, will continue at Dunwoodie. The Vocational Synthesis Stage will take place upon the completion of the study of theology and ordination to the Diaconate. During this stage, a transitional deacon will serve in a parish in his respective diocese under the direction of a mentor priest. 

Since 2011, the three Diocesan Bishops have worked together in the formation of priests, deacons, and lay leaders for service in the church. This collaboration, known as the St. Charles Borromeo Partnership, has allowed for sharing personnel and governance at each level of priestly formation and theological education.

 “Our priority in the implementation of the new Program for Priestly Formation is to assure a high quality of formation for candidates for the priesthood in the twenty-first century,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

“This new paradigm of priestly formation centered at St. Joseph’s Seminary will help cultivate shepherds who will embrace the creative approaches needed today to bring people to the Heart of Christ,” said Bishop John Barres of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The Cathedral Seminary House of Formation at the Douglaston facility will no longer host seminarians but the Center will continue to offer graduate-level theology courses for candidates for the Permanent Diaconate and lay faithful at the Douglaston campus and serve other offices and programs for the Diocese of Brooklyn, including the Bishop Mugavero Residence for senior priests.