BISHOP ROBERT BRENNAN RECONSECRATES CATHOLIC CHURCH DESECRATED EARLIER THIS WEEK IN ASTORIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2023

Bishop Robert Brennan today offered a Mass of Reparation at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Astoria at Noon, following an act of religious desecration and vandalism that happened inside the church on Monday.

Bishop Brennan led the parish in prayers for the Penitential Rite and blessed the altar, the prayer chapel, the walls, and the faithful with Holy Water. The altar which remained bare since the incident was decorated during the Mass.

“We come here today with a sense of sorrow, with a sense of pain because of what happened at this Church, but also with a sense of hope. We pray that this man may be shown God’s mercy and find the help he needs,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

“When some of these terrible things happen, God has a way of using them as an opportunity for renewal. Today’s Mass of Reparation was a chance for St. Joseph’s parish community to be renewed in the wake of such disrespect shown for Jesus Christ. God always brings good out of the evil things that occur,” continued Bishop Brennan.

The acts were serious and offensive enough to the sanctity of the church building that divine worship has not been permitted since Monday evening. The clergy, including the pastor, Father Vincent Chirichella, welcomed parishioners and students from St. Joseph Catholic Academy at the Mass.

St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church is located at 4319-30th Avenue in the Astoria section of Queens.

The video can be found here:  https://vimeo.com/834864824

The photos attached, and the video, are courtesy of John Quaglione/DeSales Media.

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Bishop Robert Brennan blessed the faithful with Holy Water at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church.
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Bishop Brennan blessed the congregation with the Blessed Sacrament at the Mass.
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Bishop Brennan spoke with parishioners after Mass outside St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Astoria.
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Bishop Robert Brennan greeting the faithful outside St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church following the Mass of Reparation.

 

Details of the desecration from Monday, June 5, 2023

At approximately 8 p.m., a 21-year-old man entered the church rectory through an open door, left open for access to the parish’s Adoration Chapel. The man destroyed framed photos of Pope Francis and Bishop Robert Brennan and continued to the basement where he spread paint thinner on the floor. He then re-entered the chapel sacristy and dressed in priestly vestments.

A parish priest found the man when he arrived to lock up the chapel. He was violently hitting himself in the head with a Monstrance, a religious vessel used to display the Blessed Sacrament, cutting himself and bleeding on the Monstrance and the vestment. He then ran into the main sanctuary, down the center aisle onto the altar, opening the Tabernacle and throwing the consecrated hosts onto the floor.

The pastor immediately called the police and officers from the 114th Precinct responded quickly. The man was placed in handcuffs and removed by NYPD officers. He was released from police custody to Elmhurst Hospital where he underwent an evaluation.

“EGREGIOUS” ACT OF RELIGIOUS DESECRATION AT ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH IN ASTORIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2023

The Diocese of Brooklyn is cooperating with the New York City Police Department in response to an act of religious desecration and vandalism that took place Monday night at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church located at 4319-30th Avenue in the Astoria section of Queens.

At approximately 8 p.m., a 21-year-old man entered the church rectory through an open door, left open for access to the parish’s Adoration Chapel. The man destroyed framed photos of Pope Francis and Bishop Robert Brennan and continued to the basement where he spread paint thinner on the floor. He then re-entered the chapel sacristy and dressed in priestly vestments.

A parish priest found the man when he arrived to lock up the chapel. He was violently hitting himself in the head with a Monstrance, a religious vessel used to display the Blessed Sacrament, cutting himself and bleeding on the Monstrance and the vestment. He then ran into the main sanctuary, down the center aisle onto the altar, opening the Tabernacle and throwing the consecrated hosts onto the floor.

The priest who found the man called the other parish clergy and seminarian in residence for help. The pastor immediately called the police and officers from the 114th Precinct responded quickly. The man was placed in handcuffs and removed by NYPD officers. He was released from police custody to Elmhurst Hospital where he underwent an evaluation.

Father Vincent Chirichella, who called the act “egregious,” said he forgives the man and is praying for him. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church must now be reconsecrated by Bishop Robert Brennan, and prayers of reparation said before Mass can resume in the main sanctuary. This has been scheduled for Friday, June 9, 2023, at Noon.

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A glass framed photo of Pope Francis was damaged during the vandalism at St. Joseph’s Church.
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A copy of the posted notice informing parishioners that Mass will be celebrated in the chapel until further notice.
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The Tabernacle at St. Joseph’s was slightly damaged by the perpetrator who opened it and desecrated the Eucharist.

 

BISHOP ROBERT BRENNAN ORDAINS FOUR MEN TO THE PRIESTHOOD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2023

The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn today ordained four men as priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn during a Mass of Ordination, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, located at 856 Pacific Street in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn.

The new priests and their parish assignments are as follows:

Father Nnamdi Eusebius Eze, St. Gregory the Great in the Bellerose section of Queens

Father Ernesto Alonso-Aguila, St. Leo in the Corona section of Queens

Father Samuel Mwiwawi, Immaculate Conception in the Astoria section of Queens

Father Thimote Cherelus, St. Matthias in the Ridgewood section of Queens

 “Indeed, the Church in Brooklyn and Queens, indeed the whole Church, rejoices in this magnificent gift.  We give thanks to God for His grace and the courageous and generous response of these men about to be ordained. We rejoice and implore you to rely on God’s grace; let your friendship with Christ be at the very heart of everything that you do and more importantly, all that you are,” said Bishop Brennan in his remarks prior to ordaining the four new priests.

VIMEO:  https://vimeo.com/832936783

Biographical information on each of the four new priests ordained to the Diocese of Brooklyn can be found below.

*Father Nnamdi Eusebius Eze

Nnamdi Eusebius Eze, born in Nigeria, graduated from the University of Nigeria in Nsukka with a degree in mechanical engineering. He has served the Catholic Church since becoming an altar server shortly after his First Holy Communion.  In 2015, after the urging of his family, including an uncle who was serving as a priest in the Diocese of Brooklyn, he arrived in New York and entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. Since his ordination as a transitional deacon, he has served at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach.

*Father Ernesto Alonso-Aguila

Ernesto Alonso, born in Havana, Cuba, became a missionary serving in the rural areas of the country as a young adult. In 2007, he joined his father in Miami, and began a career as a chef upon earning an associate’s degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. After eight years as a restaurant chef in Miami, he moved to New York City. At the age of 29, while living in Astoria, Queens, Ernesto began to consider a vocation to the priesthood, enrolling in the Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts. Since his ordination as a transitional deacon, he has served at Holy Redeemer in East Boston.

*Father Samuel Mwiwawi

Samuel Mwiwawi was born in Kenya and is fluent in American Sign Language which he began to learn to help teach the Gospel to the hearing-impaired among his community. Upon his arrival to the United States, Samuel joined the Dominican Missionaries for the Apostolates of the Deaf and Disabled and spent a summer in a program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing students. In 2018-2019, the Dominicans recommended him to Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens to help interpret sign language. He completed his priestly studies at the Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, and has served as a Transitional Deacon at St. Bernard in Mill Basin.

*Father Thimote Cherelus

Thimote Cherelus was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and became fascinated with the priesthood at the early age of five. His pastor encouraged him to get involved in parish ministries. He attended Catholic primary and high school, was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Port-au-Prince, and began a career as a business owner. He then earned a second bachelor’s degree in philosophy on a scholarship from Divine World College in Epworth, Iowa. Thimote then came to the Diocese of Brooklyn and resided in the St. John Paul II House of Discernment for one year, during which time his vocation to the priesthood was confirmed for him. He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie where he completed his priestly studies. As a transitional deacon, he has served at Our Lady of Fatima in Jackson Heights.

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2023 Mass of Ordination for the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated by Bishop Robert Brennan.
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The four men ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 3, 2023 laying prostrate on the floor of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn.
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A large crowd gathered to celebrate the ordination of the new priests.
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The newly ordained Father Samuel Mwiwawi, Father Nnamdi Eusebius Eze (front l to r) and Father Ernesto Alonso, Bishop Robert Brennan, and Father Thimote Cherelus, on the steps of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph after Mass.

 

 

 

 

BISHOP ROBERT BRENNAN TO ORDAIN FOUR MEN TO THE PRIESTHOOD SATURDAY

The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, will ordain four men as priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn during a Mass of Ordination, on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, located at 856 Pacific Street in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn.

The four ordinands are:

*Rev. Mr. Nnamdi Eusebius Eze

Nnamdi Eusebius Eze, born in Nigeria, graduated from the University of Nigeria in Nsukka with a degree in mechanical engineering. He has served the Catholic Church since becoming an altar server shortly after his First Holy Communion.  In 2015, after the urging of his family, including an uncle who was serving as a priest in the Diocese of Brooklyn, he arrived in New York and entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. Since his ordination as a transitional deacon, he has served at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach.

*Rev. Mr. Ernesto Alonso

Ernesto Alonso, born in Havana, Cuba, became a missionary serving in the rural areas of the country as a young adult. In 2007, he joined his father in Miami, and began a career as a chef upon earning an associate’s degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. After eight years as a restaurant chef in Miami, he moved to New York City. At the age of 29, while living in Astoria, Queens, Ernesto began to consider a vocation to the priesthood, enrolling in the Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts. Since his ordination as a transitional deacon, he has served at Holy Redeemer in East Boston.

*Rev. Mr. Samuel Mwiwawi

Samuel Mwiwawi was born in Kenya and is fluent in American Sign Language which he began to learn to help teach the Gospel to the hearing-impaired among his community. Upon his arrival to the United States, Samuel joined the Dominican Missionaries for the Apostolates of the Deaf and Disabled, and spent a summer in a program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing students. In 2018-2019, the Dominicans recommended him to Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens to help interpret sign language. He completed his priestly studies at the Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, and has served as a Transitional Deacon at St. Bernard in Mill Basin.

*Rev. Mr. Thimote Cherelus

Thimote Cherelus was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and became fascinated with the priesthood at the early age of five. His pastor encouraged him to get involved in parish ministries. He attended Catholic primary and high school, was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Port-au-Prince, and began a career as a business owner. He then earned a second bachelor’s degree in philosophy on a scholarship from Divine World College in Epworth, Iowa. Thimote then came to the Diocese of Brooklyn and resided in the St. John Paul II House of Discernment for one year, during which time his vocation to the priesthood was confirmed for him. He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie where he completed his priestly studies. As a transitional deacon, he has served at Our Lady of Fatima in Jackson Heights.

The Ordination Mass will air live on NET-TV, the cable channel of the Diocese of Brooklyn. NET-TV can be found on Spectrum channel 97; Optimum channel 30; and on FiOS Channel 548. The Mass will also be live-streamed at netny.tv/watch-now.

Members of the media are welcome and asked to confirm their attendance.

The attached photos of the four ordinands are courtesy of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

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Rev. Mr. Nnamdi Eusebius Eze.
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Rev. Mr. Ernesto Alonso
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Rev. Mr. Samuel Mwiwawi
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Rev. Mr. Thimote Cherelus

BISHOP BRENNAN MARKS MEMORIAL DAY AT CEMETERY FIELD MASS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2023

Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn this morning celebrated a Memorial Day Cemetery Field Mass at St. John Cemetery located in the Middle Village section of Queens.

“We pray for all those who have served and who are present here at this Mass. We remember many who have served honorably and are buried on these sacred grounds. We remember their service, their bravery, and their generosity,” said Bishop Brennan in his homily.

Before the final blessing, Monsignor Michael J. Reid, the CEO and Spiritual Moderator of Catholic Cemeteries of Brooklyn and Queens led those gathered in a Prayer for Our Country.

Memorial Day Cemetery Field Masses were held at all of the cemeteries owned and operated by Catholic Cemeteries of Brooklyn and Queens including Mount St. Mary Cemetery in Flushing, Holy Cross Cemetery in East Flatbush, and St. Charles/Resurrection Cemetery in Farmingdale.

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Video footage can be found here: https://vimeo.com/831279548

The photos and video are courtesy of DeSales Media.

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Bishop Robert Brennan gives his homily at the 2023 Memorial Day Field Day Mass at St. John Cemetery.
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Bishop Brennan celebrates the Eucharist during Mass.
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Bishop Brennan greets attendees of the 2023 Memorial Day Field Mass at St. John Cemetery in Middle Village.
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Bishop Robert Brennan blesses one of the women who attended the Memorial Day Mass.

BISHOP BRENNAN CELEBRATES 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ST. ELIZABETH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2023

Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated Mass this past weekend to mark the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of St. Elizabeth’s parish in Ozone Park. The Mass was followed by a celebration in the school auditorium.

Prior to the establishment of the parish in 1873, Holy Mass was offered on Sundays by a local priest at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hermann on 97th Avenue. The parish was originally known as St. Joseph’s until the first resident pastor, Father Aloys Steffen, legally changed the name to St. Elizabeth’s on February 8, 1888. Bishop Thomas Molloy formally dedicated the current church on February 8, 1931.

“The proclamation of the Gospel began here in the late 19th Century. This community of faith formed with the arrival of German immigrants in this part of Queens, facing their own bit of persecution and struggle. This generation has inherited the hard work of the generations that came before us. Many of you here today have been an immensely important part of the building up of this parish. We have inherited a great legacy of faith and friendship with Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

“People in 1873 couldn’t imagine what would be here today. And I can’t begin to imagine what will be here in 50 years – God is always full of surprises,” continued Bishop Robert Brennan.

Following the Mass, a reception was held in the school hall which featured a number of musical performances by parishioners and students of St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy.  Parishioners cooked and provided all the food served at the party.

Father Andrzej Klocek is the Pastor of St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church located at 94-20 85th Street in the Ozone Park section of Queens.

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Bishop Robert Brennan at Mass on Saturday, May 6, 2023, celebrating the 150th Anniversary of St, Elizabeth’s Parish.
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The Altar at St. Elizabeth’s Roman Catholic Church located in the Ozone Park section of Queens.
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Students from St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy perform at the reception celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the parish in the school hall.
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St. Elizabeth Church in Ozone Park, Queens.
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Parishioners on stage at the reception performing for the crowd gathered to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church.

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BISHOP BRENNAN HONORS THE PATRON SAINT OF CANCER AND ANOINTS THE SICK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2023

BISHOP BRENNAN HONORS THE PATRON SAINT OF CANCER AND ANOINTS THE SICK

Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, celebrated a Mass earlier this week in honor of St. Peregrine, the patron saint of those afflicted with cancer, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church located in the Bayside section of Queens.

A First-class relic of St. Peregrine, a fragment of his bone, was on display at the Mass. Those attending had the opportunity to venerate before the relic, and those afflicted with cancer were able to receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

“All of us are here, each of us for different reasons, some now struggling with cancer, others in a period of remission and giving thanks, and others accompanying or representing somebody. We come here with the connection to St. Peregrine, through the relic of St. Peregrine, so that we can be close,” said Bishop Robert Brennan during his Homily.

“Jesus gives us the gift of one another, the gift of this community of faith so that we can support and encourage each other. He gives us the friendship of the saints who have gone before us, who have experienced the same sufferings we are experiencing or have experienced and have united with us in prayer this very night.  Jesus gives us His healing touch, as he gives of himself in the Eucharist when we are anointed,” continued Bishop Brennan.

Some of those in attendance at the Mass brought along a picture of a loved one who died of cancer, or of someone presently suffering from cancer who could not attend. The photos were placed on a remembrance board on the altar next to the relic of St. Peregrine.

The Feast Day of St. Peregrine Laziosi, born in Forli, Italy on November 1, 1260, is celebrated by the Catholic Church annually on May 1st. The Mass concluded a three-day Novena to St. Peregrine.

The photos are courtesy of DeSales Media.

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Bishop Brennan at a Mass in honor of St. Peregrine, the patron saint of cancer, laying on his hands and praying for the sick.
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Bishop Brennan Anointing the Sick at the Mass held on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
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The First-class relic of St. Peregrine, a piece of his bone, was displayed for those to pray before.
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The Remembrance Board was placed at the altar next to the relic of St. Peregrine.
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Monsignor Thomas Machalski, Pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Bayside, hosted the three-day Novena to St. Peregrine. Here he is pictured blessing the sick.

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BISHOP BRENNAN CELEBRATES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF KOREAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN FLUSHING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2023

Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Roman Catholic Church located in the Flushing section of Queens this past weekend. At the conclusion of the Mass, a reception was held in the parish hall which featured traditional Korean food, dance, song, and music.

The 50th Anniversary Mass was celebrated exactly 50 years to the day of the first Korean Mass celebrated by St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Church held on April 29, 1973. The initial parish Mass was celebrated by Father Thomas Jung and attended by 37 people at Our Lady of the Angelus Church in Rego Park. In June of 1984, the current site of the Church was purchased, and the new Church building was consecrated on October 28, 1990.

“50 years ago Brooklyn and Queens, especially Flushing, saw the arrival of a growing community of immigrants from Korea, helping to shape our neighborhoods with Korean culture. They brought many blessings with them, but most importantly they brought their faith. Beginning at Our Lady of the Angelus Church, a parish community was built and eventually, this beautiful Church was built,” said Bishop Robert Brennan, in his homily, acknowledging the original members of the parish in attendance and thanking them for what they have passed on.

During the Mass, Bishop Brennan presented Papal Honors to 15 of the parishioners, and Katarina Choi presented the Bishop with the full transcription of the four Gospels in Korean. The parish prayer group presented records of their recitation of more than 509,000 decades of the Rosary, with a goal to recite one million decades of the Rosary by the end of the anniversary year.

Since its founding 50 years ago, the parish has baptized over 7,000 people and more than 1,000 marriages have been officiated at St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Church. Today, over 1,500 people attend weekend Masses at the parish.  Father Andrew Kim is the current Pastor of St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Roman Catholic Church.

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Bishop Brennan celebrates the Eucharist during the Mass held on April 29, 2023.
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The altar at St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Church was decorated to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.
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Members of the St. Paul adult choir added to the celebration of the 50th Anniversary.
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Special Korean music and song were performed at the celebration following the Mass held in the parish hall.
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Bishop Robert Brennan was presented with flowers in appreciation for his visit to the parish.
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Bishop Brennan and the youth choir at the reception following their performance.
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As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, the parish prayer group has recited over 509,000 decades of the Rosary with a goal to say one million by year’s end.

VIDEO UDPATE-BISHOP BRENNAN BLESSES EASTER BASKETS

Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, joined the Polish communities of numerous parishes in Brooklyn this morning to bless the faithful’s Easter food baskets. The Polish tradition includes colorful baskets filled with items such as eggs, meat, sweets, and bread. The food has special significance and is typically blessed on Holy Saturday and enjoyed on Easter Sunday.

“It was important for me to be with the Polish community on Holy Saturday to share in the joy of their rich heritage. During Lent, we fasted because we love Jesus, and now we get to celebrate His glorious Resurrection. It was wonderful to see so many families come out with their beautiful baskets to ask for God’s blessings. In my best Polish, I told them, Szczęść Boże, God Bless you,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

Video of blessings:  https://vimeo.com/815905567 / Courtesy: DeSales Media

:00-:57    St. Stanislaus Kostka – 607 Humboldt Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

:58-1:47  St. Frances de Chantal – 1273 58th Street, Borough Park, Brooklyn

1:48-2:37 Our Lady of Czestochowa-St Casimir Parish – 224 24th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn

 

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40TH ANNUAL GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSION TONIGHT IN BENSONHURST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2023

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Brooklyn, tonight led the 40th Annual Good Friday procession through the streets of the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. The procession began outside Shallow Junior High School at the corner of 65th Street and 16th Avenue in Brooklyn.

The faithful walked fourteen blocks and concluded upon their arrival at St. Dominic’s Church where they gathered for prayer. The procession commemorates Jesus’ journey before his crucifixion and death.

Members of nine parishes participated including St. Athanasius-St. Dominic, Basilica of Regina Pacis, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, St. Simon and Jude-Most Precious Blood, St. Finbar, St. Frances Cabrini, St. Bernadette, and Our Lady of Grace. 

The video is courtesy of DeSales Media: https://vimeo.com/815785394

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