135-YEAR-OLD OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL FEAST BEGINS TONIGHT IN BROOKLYN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 6, 2022

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
646-241-9805
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

 

CATHOLIC TRADITION KICKS OFF IN WILLIAMSBURG TONIGHT WITH THE
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL FEAST

The 135th Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel begins tonight in Brooklyn with an Opening Night Coronation Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, at 7 pm at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located at 275 N 8th Street in Williamsburg.

After tonight’s Mass, a fireworks show will take place at 9 pm. The Italian American feast in Brooklyn, which dates back to 1887, will take place from July 6th – July 17th and include the following special Masses and events:

Sunday, July 10, 11:30 am             Mass in honor of San Paolino

                                                            Celebrated by Msgr. Jamie J. Gigantiello, Pastor
                                                            Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Annunciation Parish

Sunday, July 10, 1:30 pm              Dancing of the Giglio

Wednesday, July 13, 7:30 pm      Giglio Night Lift; Fireworks 9 pm

Saturday, July 16, 10 am               Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast Day English Mass
                                                            Celebrated by Monsignor David Cassato

Saturday, July 16, 2 pm                Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast Day English/Italian Mass

                                                           Celebrated by Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio
                                                           Bishop Emeritus of Brooklyn

Saturday, July 16, 3 pm                Procession of the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Sunday, July 17, 3 pm                   Old Timers’ Giglio Sunday – Dancing of the Giglio

The Giglio is a seven-story tower structure composed of aluminum, paper-mâché, and plastic painted and decorated with Gigli (flowers) and the image of St. Paulinus. A platform at the base of the tower supports a twelve-piece brass band and singer. The entire assemblage—tower and band—is hoisted and carried by 112 dancing and marching men, the lifters. Each lift begins with the official feast song, written in Williamsburg and used since 1959, “O Giglio e Paradiso.”

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$50,000 REWARD OFFERED IN HOPES OF RETURN OF CHURCH TABERNACLE

The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, today announced a $50,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the return of the Tabernacle stolen from St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Park Slope during the Memorial Day weekend.  The reward is being offered by the company that insures Diocesan properties, in addition to the $3,500 reward publicized by the New York City Police Department earlier this month.

“We continue to pray for the one-of-a-kind Tabernacle, made possible by the original parishioners of St. Augustine, to be returned and then restored, in all its glory, to the heart of this church. However, the theft of this historical item has not robbed the faith of the people of this parish,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

Earlier this month, Bishop Brennan joined Father Frank Tumino, Pastor of St. Augustine-St. Francis Xavier Parish, at a special Mass that blessed and purified St. Augustine in the wake of the desecration and burglary.

The brazen burglary was discovered in the afternoon of Saturday, May 28, 2022. The thief cut through a metal protective casing and made off with the tabernacle, which has been part of the church since it was built in the late 1800s. This holy sacramental receptacle is irreplaceable due to its historical and artistic value. The angels which flanked the tabernacle were decapitated and destroyed.

At the time the incident was discovered, Father Tumino stated, “To know that a burglar entered the most sacred space of our beautiful church and took great pains to cut into a security system is a heinous act of disrespect.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church is located at 116 6th Avenue (corner of Sterling Place), in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

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BISHOP BRENNAN CONSECRATES NEW CHURCH ALTARS IN HOWARD BEACH AND BREEZY POINT

The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, this week consecrated two new altars at churches in Queens, including Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach and St. Thomas More in Breezy Point, where the Sanctuary was also renovated.

As part of the special ceremony, the bishop anointed the new altar. In Catholic tradition, the rites of anointing, incensing, covering, and lighting the altar are visible signs of the invisible work that the Lord accomplishes through the Church.

“It is a joy to celebrate the consecration of the new Altar with Bishop Brennan, which represents Christ in the center of the parish community.  I pray that as we celebrate the Eucharist on this Altar, all will be drawn to the heart of Jesus,” said Father Marc Swartvagher, Pastor of Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach.

“The renovation of the Sanctuary and the installation of the new Altar was an opportunity to continue to address repairs needed to the church as a result of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It also was the first time the church was updated since the early 70s. I am very pleased with how it came out and equally happy by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from parishioners,” said Father Michael Gelfant, Pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish which encompasses three churches including St. Thomas More.

“I was honored to be with these parish communities for these two great occasions. This ritual is filled with signs and symbols, one of the more beautiful rituals, that is very, very powerful. We dedicated these altars to God, for the worship of God, to offer the sacrifice of the Eucharist, the altar of Jesus Christ, the altar of His Cross, and His Resurrection. The altar is central to our lives as Catholics and gets us connected to the Lord Jesus Christ.” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

Blessing of the Altar at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach
Bishop Robert Brennan blessing the Altar at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Howard Beach. (Photo by Vincent Coronati).
Bishop Brennan at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach to bless the new altar on Saturday, June 11, 2022. (Photos by Vincent Coronati).
Bishop Brennan at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach to bless the new altar on Saturday, June 11, 2022. (Photos by Vincent Coronati).
Bishop Brennan blessing the altar at St. Thomas More.
Bishop Robert Brennan blessing the altar at St. Thomas More.
Bishop Robert Brennan with members of the Blessed Trinity Sports Program.
Bishop Robert Brennan with members of the Blessed Trinity Sports Program.

BROOKLYN SCHOOL FILLS WITH SUPPORT, HOPE, AND DONATIONS FOR STUDENT DIAGNOSED WITH NON-HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Brooklyn today hosted a “Wear Lime Green” donation dress-down day to show their support and raise money for 7th grader Marco Wilen who has recently been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

In addition to the dress-down, the fundraiser included the sale of desserts and treats donated by Frost-A-Cake. There was also a basketball tournament for the students of grades 4-8, featuring a Free Throw and Three-Point contest which was also part of the fundraiser.

Financial donations are still being accepted and can be made by sending a check payable to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Brooklyn with “Marko” written on the envelope, or through Venmo @OurladyofGraceschool-AlumniAss. All funds raised will support his family and medical-related expenses.

Kelly Wolf is the Principal of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy located in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn.

To watch the video from the event, click on this VIMEO link: https://vimeo.com/720361870

Treats donated by Frost A Cake
Treats Donated by Frost A Cake to support the Our Lady of Grace fundraiser for 7th-grade student Marko Wilen.
A picture of some of the students who participated in the dress down day and basketball tournament to raise money for their fellow student.
A picture of some of the students who participated in the lime green dress-down day and basketball tournament to raise money for their fellow student.
Marco Wilen and a friend playing basketball during the fundraiser.
Marco Wilen and a friend played basketball during the fundraiser to help him pay his medical expenses due to his recent diagnosis.

 

STUDENTS PLANT SEEDS FOR VEGETABLE GARDEN TO GROW IN CANARSIE

The students of Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy, in partnership with Cornell University and 4 H, this week kicked off a vegetable garden planting initiative, “Advanced Cooking Education (ACE)” in the yard of the Canarsie school.

The project is a partnership between Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy, Cornell University, Harvest New York, and 4 H. The goal is to incorporate a healthy living agricultural program into the Academy’s curriculum program. Throughout the 10-week program, chefs assisted provided recipes, cooking lessons, and bags of food to take home and cook.

On Friday, the students planted different seeds in planters including tomatoes, onion, basil, carrots, parsley, and collard greens. The seventh and eighth-grade students also took part in the painting of a mural read “God’s Love Grows at OLTCA.” Students also painted clouds featuring the words: Friendship, Kindness, Love, and Respect.

Muriel Wilkinson is the Principal of Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy, located at 1696 Canarsie Road in Brooklyn.

Planting vegetables in the backyard of Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy
Planting the seeds as part of the ACE Program, Advanced Cooking Education, in the backyard at Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy.
Students at Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy taking part in a vegetable planting program at their school.
Students at Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy take part in a vegetable planting program at their school.
Getting the planters ready to grow vegetables.
Students at Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy getting their planters ready to grow vegetables as part of a healthy eating initiative.

BISHOP BRENNAN ORDAINS HIS FIRST THREE PRIESTS TO SERVE THE DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN

The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, ordained three men as priests during a Mass of Ordination, on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph located in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn. This was the first ordination Bishop Brennan presided over since being installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn on November 30, 2021.

“I was blessed to ordain three men to the priesthood who will serve in our parishes faithfully for many years to come. We are so proud of them – and grateful to their family and seminary faculty who have helped bring them to the altar,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

The following were ordained and their assignments announced at the conclusion of the Mass:

Father Andrew Tsui – assigned to St. Bartholomew in Elmhurst.

Andrew Tsui will be the first American-born Chinese priest to serve the Diocese of Brooklyn. Tsui credits the Catholic Church for helping to save his family. His great-grandmother faced such extreme poverty that her daughters became indentured servants; his father was orphaned in Hong Kong and helped by priests from the Salesian order. His spirituality increased during his high school and college years. Andrew later spoke with Bishop Emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio about the need for Chinese-speaking priests and from there, he received a strong calling to serve the Chinese people. Tsui enjoys fishing, hiking, and especially cooking.

Father Alexander Olszewski – assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas in Flatlands.

Alexander Olszewski is a former businessman wanting to help redevelop a passion for the faith among people. Alex was born in Bangkok, Thailand to Richard and Vivian Olszewski of Brooklyn.  His father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Thailand during the Vietnam War. The family was later transferred to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he became an altar boy at his local church. He credits his attendance at Sunday Mass as a contributing factor in his vocation, as well as the sickness and eventual passing of his parents for accelerating his discernment.

Father Dung (Vincent) Vu – assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes in Queens Village.

Dung (Vincent) Vu is a native of Vietnam who started to feel the calling to the priesthood while attending college in Ho Chi Minh City. At the time, he was serving as an altar server and Catechist at Holy Family Parish and asked the pastor about a vocation to the priesthood. After graduating college, he traveled to the United States to continue his vocational discernment. He was admitted to the House of Formation in Douglaston by former Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and completed his studies at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, and Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts.

The attached photos are courtesy of DeSales Media.

Prior to their being ordained, the three candidates lay prostrate on the floor during the Litany of Saints.
Father Alexander Olszewski, Father Dung (Vincent) Vu, and  Father Andrew Tsui at the ordination.
Father Alexander Olszewski, Father Andrew Tsui, and Father Dung (Vincent) Vu at their ordination.
(Left to right) Retired Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez, Bishop Emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio, Father Andrew Tsui, Father Alexander Olszewski, Bishop Robert Brennan, Father Dung (Vincent) Vu, Auxiliary Bishop Witold Mroziewski, and retired Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros.
(Left to right) Retired Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez, Bishop Emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio, Father Andrew Tsui, Father Alexander Olszewski, Bishop Robert Brennan, Father Dung (Vincent) Vu, Auxiliary Bishop Witold Mroziewski, and retired Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros.

INTERFAITH PRAYER SERVICE REMEMBERS VICTIMS OF RECENT MASS SHOOTINGS

The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns led an Interfaith Prayer Service for the victims of the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, this afternoon at Immaculate Conception Church, located in the Jamaica Estates section of Queens.

“How right we are to talk about gun violence and racism. How right we are to see the human dignity of each and every one of us, made in the image and likeness of God. We united our voices and let us proclaim The Gospel of Life amidst such violence and hatred,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

The prayer service featured the musical performance of “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” “God Has Smiled on Me,” “The Prayer,” and “We Shall Overcome.”

The names of each of the 31 victims who died in the mass shootings at the Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, were read in between the ringing of the church bells on the altar.

Michele Guerrier, a membe of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Commission on Racism and Social Justice was among the speakers, as was Detective Mohamed Amen an NYPD Clergy Liaison who represented the Department’s Muslim Chaplain.

Father Alonzo Q. Cox is the Vicar of the Office of Black Catholic Concerns for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

VIMEO is courtesy of DeSales Media: https://vimeo.com/717372170

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Bishop Brennan at the Interfaith Prayer Service to remember the victims of the recent mass shootings.
Father Alonzo Cox the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns for the Diocese of Brooklyn who was among the organizers of the memorial service.

BISHOP ROBERT BRENNAN TO BLESS ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH FOLLOWING LAST WEEKEND’S DESECRATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2022

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Adriana Rodriguez
646-241-9805
arodriguez@desalesmedia.org

John Quaglione 
718-576-9180
jquaglione@desalesmedia.org

BISHOP ROBERT BRENNAN TO BLESS ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH
FOLLOWING LAST WEEKEND’S DESECRATION

The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, will bless St. Augustine Church following last weekend’s desecration and burglary of the church’s tabernacle. The blessing is part of a Penitential Rite of Reparation that will take place during the 5 pm Mass on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, located at 116 6th Avenue in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

“A horrendous crime has been committed in our church, and that affects the entire community of the parish,” said Bishop Robert Brennan. “In the commission of this crime, the Holy Eucharist, the body of Christ, was strewn all over the altar. That is a grave and hateful act of sacrilege as the Eucharist is central to our life as Catholics. The ritual I ask the community to join me in prayer is for the reparation of the wrong that has been done to them,” continued Bishop Brennan.

The brazen theft was discovered in the afternoon of Saturday, May 28, 2022. The burglar cut through a metal protective casing and made off with the tabernacle, which dates back to when the church was built in the late 1800s. This holy sacramental receptacle is irreplaceable due to its historical and artistic value. The angels which flanked the tabernacle were decapitated and destroyed.

At the start of the Penitential Rite of Reparation, the altar of the church will already be stripped bare. After entering, Bishop Brennan will bless the water and sprinkle the altar, the congregants, and the walls of the desecrated church as a sign of purification. The altar will then be dressed as the offertory of the Mass takes place. Parishioners will vest the altar and light the candles as they prepare for the liturgy of the Eucharist. The Holy Mass will then be celebrated and the desecrated church is restored to divine service.

“The restoration of the church building to its sacred dignity renews the resolve of the local church in Brooklyn and Queens to grow in holiness and in witness to the presence of our Risen Lord in the world today,” said Bishop Brennan.

Members of the media are invited to attend and should respond to confirm.

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Tabernacle dating back to the 1890s stolen from the altar at Brooklyn Catholic Church

Tabernacle dating back to the 1890s stolen from the altar at Brooklyn Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing the New York City Police Department is investigating a brazen crime of disrespect and hate, which desecrated the most Holy Eucharist and the altar at St. Augustine Catholic Church, located at 116 6th Avenue in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

The burglar cut through a metal protective casing and made off with the Tabernacle, which dates back to when the church was built in the late 1800s. This holy sacramental receptacle is irreplaceable due to its historical and artistic value. The angels which flanked the Tabernacle were decapitated and destroyed, and the Holy Eucharist housed inside the Tabernacle was thrown all over the altar.

“This is devastating, as the Tabernacle is the central focus of our church outside of worship, holding the Body of Christ, the Eucharist, which is delivered to the sick and homebound,” said Father Frank Tumino, pastor of St. Augustine. “To know that a burglar entered the most sacred space of our beautiful Church and took great pains to cut into a security system is a heinous act of disrespect,” continued Tumino.

The burglary is suspected to have taken place on Friday, May 27, and was discovered by the pastor on Saturday, May 28. A safe in the sacristy was also cut open, but nothing was inside. Photos of the damage, as well as the video of the original Tabernacle, are attached.

Anyone who may have information that can help police with their investigation is asked to call the NYPD at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/714923634
Credit: DeSales Media Group

 

BISHOP BRENNAN ANNOUNCES NEW SUPERINTENDENT OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN BROOKLYN AND QUEENS

The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, has announced the selection of Deacon Kevin McCormack as the new Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn. The appointment is effective as of July 1, 2022.

Deacon McCormack will be replacing Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, who is retiring as of August 31, 2022, after serving as Superintendent for the past 18 years.

“The schools and academies of the Diocese of Brooklyn have been blessed by the many years of steady, strong, and devoted leadership of our Superintendent Dr. Thomas Chadzutko. He truly has championed the growth of our schools and academies through teacher professional development, technology, and curriculum enhancements. Today we see the success of Catholic schools throughout Brooklyn and Queens because of his work. I am confident Deacon Kevin McCormack will expand on that success, given his exemplary work leading Xaverian and his clear commitment to Catholic Identity,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

Deacon Kevin McCormack has served as the Principal of Xaverian for the last 15 years, having previously served there as an English and Religion teacher. For 30 years, he was also an Adjunct Instructor of Theology at Molloy College and was the co-host of the WABC radio program Religion on the Line from 2006 to 2018. Deacon McCormack is a graduate of Cathedral College and holds a Master of Arts in Theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Fordham University.

“Over the last 37 years at Xaverian, working with tremendous students and their families, dedicated staff, faculty, administrators, and devoted alumni – and especially with my friend President Alesi, I learned what makes a Catholic School great. I am grateful that Bishop Brennan has placed his trust in me to build upon the formative work of Dr. Chadzutko and continue the blessed tradition of excellence in Catholic education,” said Deacon Kevin McCormack.

Dr. Thomas Chadzutko’s career in Catholic education in the Diocese of Brooklyn began in 1985 when he was named Principal of Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in the Cypress Hills section of Brooklyn. Following his tenure as Principal, Dr. Chadzutko entered diocesan administration, serving more than seven years as a District Superintendent, and more than two years as a Deputy Superintendent. On July 1, 2003, he was named Interim Superintendent.  On June 4, 2004, then Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio officially appointed Dr. Chadzutko to serve as Superintendent of Schools.

“Leadership and progress never exist in isolation. I have been blessed with pastors, principals, and staff that share the faith and the mission of Catholic education. I am fortunate to be able to reflect on the many joys that this position has afforded me. The greatest joy is the knowledge that our work has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of students over the past three decades. I am honored to have been a piece of the puzzle that has shaped the next generation of the faithful,” said Dr. Thomas Chadzutko.

Xaverian has also issued a press release today pertaining to this announcement as well as the selection of their new principal.  The full release can be found here: https://xaverian.myschoolapp.com/ftpimages/765/download/download_7659111.pdf

The Diocese of Brooklyn is home to 70 Catholic elementary academies and schools, as well as 15 Catholic high schools, throughout Brooklyn and Queens, with a combined enrollment of 30,894. There are 19,613 elementary students and 11,281 high school students. For more information regarding Catholic education in the Diocese of Brooklyn, visit catholicschoolsbq.org.

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Bishop Robert Brennan has named Deacon Kevin McCormack as the new Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn effective July 1, 2022.