The Diocese of Brooklyn has announced the passing of Monsignor Paul W. Jervis, who served as a priest for more than 40 years in parishes throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

Born in Guyana on December 1, 1953, Monsignor Paul Jervis immigrated to the United States at the age of 19. He was ordained to the Priesthood on May 21, 1983. On September 4, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the title of Prelate of Honor to His Holiness upon Monsignor Jervis. He died Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at the age of 69.

For nearly 10 years, Monsignor Paul Jervis served as the postulator in the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Bernard Quinn. Through research and interviews, a case for the canonization of Monsignor Quinn was presented to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints in 2019. The documents remain under review at the Vatican office.

“Monsignor Paul Jervis saw the dignity of every human being and worked tirelessly to open the eyes of all people to love one another. Much like Monsignor Bernard Quinn, Monsignor Jervis devoted his life to fostering peace in the face of hatred. He made a lasting impression on those he met, especially within our African American and Guyanese Catholic communities, and with his brother priests as well. His work will continue in the lives of those he inspired,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

In 2005, Monsignor Jervis authored a book titled, Quintessential Priest: The Life of Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn. The book profiled the life of Monsignor Bernard Quinn who established the first church for Black Catholics in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Monsignor Quinn served as Pastor of the parish of St. Peter Claver, the patron saint of slaves, African missions, and interracial justice.

“Monsignor Paul Jervis was a vibrant pioneer for the Black Catholic community here in Brooklyn and Queens. His leadership inspired not only Black and Caribbean Catholics to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, but also to share their culture with the entire Church of Brooklyn and Queens. Throughout his 40 years of priesthood, Monsignor Jervis made known his love for the Lord and His Church to the souls entrusted to his care,” said Father Alonzo Cox, Pastor of St. Peter Claver Church, and Director of the Brooklyn Vicariate Office of Black Catholic Concerns.

Monsignor Jervis served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parishes of Saint Francis Assisi –Saint Blaise (Brooklyn), Saint Martin de Porres (Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Victory, and Saint Peter Claver in Brooklyn), and Saint Paul the Apostle (Corona). He also served as Administrator of the Parishes Saint Catherine of Genoa (Brooklyn), Holy Rosary (Brooklyn), Our Lady of Victory (Brooklyn), and Saint Peter Claver (Brooklyn); and as Parochial Vicar of the Parishes of Saint Clare (Rosedale), Saint Fortunata (Brooklyn), and Saint Peter Claver (Brooklyn). 

Bishop Robert Brennan will preside at the funeral Mass for Monsignor Jervis on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi-St. Blaise Church, located at 319 Maple Street in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn.


Jervis Paul W. min
Msgr. Paul W. Jervis, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, was born in Guyana and ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1983. He died Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, at age 69.




Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, today joined with Father Bryan Patterson, Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, for a special Mass to conclude the Jubilee Year, the 200th Anniversary of the parish of St. James which was officially dedicated on August 28, 1823.

Prior to this church’s establishment, residents of the Village of Brooklyn had to take a ferry across the East River to attend Mass in Lower Manhattan. The faithful would go on to petition the Archbishop of New York to have a church opened in Brooklyn.

“They may have thought 200 years ago this day, wow we got the Church all built, but that was just the beginning.  Here we are, along the way, continuing to build it up. The real building that took place 200 years ago continues today; it is joining the people of God in praise and worship, together with their priests and religious, together with their local bishop and together with the Universal Church and with our Holy Father,” said Bishop Brennan in his Homily this afternoon.

“Thanks to all those whose shoulders we stand, and now to you, I say thank you. Thank you for the way you come together to form the living body of Christ here in Brooklyn, and through your works of charity, your mutual love of each other, and your love of God.  You proclaim with Peter and the whole Church, you are the Christ, you are the Son of the living God,” said Bishop Brennan prior to the final blessing.

The parish of St. James was founded in 1822, designated a cathedral in 1853, and was elevated to a minor Papal Basilica in 1982. The Cathedral Basilica of St. James is located at 250 Cathedral Place in Downtown Brooklyn.


The photos attached are from today’s Mass which took place at the St. James at Noon.

Bishop Brennan gives his Homily at the Mass concluding the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James.
Procession at the conclusion of the 200th Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James.
Father Paterson, Bishop Brennan, and Father
Joshy Vazhappilly, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a visiting priest.


Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, joined Bishop Robert Brennan, Monsignor Cuong M. Pham, and the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria, today in celebration of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Last Sunday, Pope Francis named Pierre as one of the new 21 cardinals of the Catholic Church. Today’s event was planned in advance of the announcement.

Cardinal-designate Pierre led a solemn Mass this afternoon which included the Consecration and Distribution of the Holy Scapulars. Bishop Brennan blessed the Scapulars. The Mass was celebrated in English, Italian, and Vietnamese and featured the parish’s Spanish Choir, English Choir, and the St. Teresa Vietnamese Choir.

The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Scapular is a brown cloth necklace featuring prayer. The faithful wear the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, entrusting themselves to the protection of Mary, the Mother of God.

Calling Mary, the first and the greatest evangelizer, Cardinal-designate Pierre in his Homily stated, “All of us are called to be like Her, to announce the Good News of God’s presence in our life in a very simple way, as we meet people, day after day, in the family, in our encounters, in our friendships, in our schools and even in politics.”

“What we did today, before Mass, is a physical sign of what we are called to do, and what you do every single day. To take what we believe, and what we profess here in this church, and bring it out into the streets. In so many ways, you live your faith so powerfully, bringing that joy of the Gospel to others. So, thank you for what you did today, but what you did today is so important because of what you do every single day” said Bishop Robert Brennan in his closing remarks.

“We thank you and we were blessed by your presence here. We are especially privileged to have you here this week; it really means a lot to us. You honor us by your presence and as you always do, you bring to us the love and solicitude of our Holy Father,” said Bishop Robert Brennan in addressing his Excellency, Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre.

Prior to the Mass, a large procession of parishioners walked around the church block and recited the Rosary. The Mass was followed by a dinner in the parish hall which featured international music, dancing, and food.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is located at 23-25 Newtown Avenue in Astoria. Monsignor Cuong M. Pham is the Pastor.


Video and photos are courtesy of John Quaglione/DeSales Media.


A procession was held before Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria celebrating the Feast Day on July 16.
Representatives of the youth of the parish at Our Lady of Mount Carmel participated in the procession.
Bishop Robert Brennan blessed the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Scapulars during the Mass.
The church was full to celebrate Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel led by Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre.
The church was full to celebrate Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel led by Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre.
Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre blessing the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel during Mass.



The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing two hateful acts which took place this afternoon against two Catholic churches, one in Brooklyn and one in Queens.

In the first incident, a vandal desecrated a new shrine statue of Mary, the Blessed Mother, at Resurrection Church in the Gerritsen Beach section of Brooklyn. The white marble statue of Mary was spray painted with black all over her face, shoulders, and hands. Additionally, the word “fake” appears to be spray painted on the statue, as well as lines down and across the statue.

In the second incident, the perpetrator who desecrated St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Astoria one month ago on June 7th returned to the church. The man entered the sanctuary acting erratically, disturbing the youth choir practice, and frightening the children.  Police officers from the 114th Precinct responded within minutes. The church was not damaged, and no one was injured.

Arrests were made in both incidents by the New York City Police Department. The Diocese of Brooklyn is grateful to the parishioners and staff in both incidents who stepped in to hold the perpetrators until the police arrived.

A photo of the vandalized statue of the Blessed Mother at Resurrection is attached.


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The statue of the Blessed Mother was vandalized outside Resurrection Catholic Church in the Gerritsen Beach section of Brooklyn.



The world-famous Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast will kick off on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, with an opening night Mass and procession, led by Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn. Then 12 days of faith, family, food, and summer fun will fill the streets of Williamsburg, a tradition that dates back to 1887. 

“Summer doesn’t begin in Williamsburg until the opening of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The highlight of the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is our feast! It is the pulse and showcase of our parish family,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Williamsburg.

Highlights of the 12-day festival include:

  • An opening Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert Brennan on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at 7 p.m. at the Church located at 275 N. 8th Street in Brooklyn at 7:00 p.m.
  • The children’s Giglio and Family Night on Thursday, July 6, 2023, and Tuesday, July 11, both starting at 6:30 p.m.
  • The Dancing of the Giglio and Boat Parade on Sunday, July 9, 2023, at 1:30 p.m.
  • The Night Dancing of the Giglio on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Five Masses to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Sunday, July 16, 2023, with a Vigil Mass set for Saturday, July 15 at 11 p.m.
  • Capo Parade and Dancing of the Giglio on Sunday, July 16, 2023, at 1:30 p.m.

“While this Feast celebrates a cherished Italian American tradition, it truly doesn’t matter your age or origin, there is something for everyone at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast. We look forward to seeing many new and old friends joining us for a special time complete with great food, entertainment, games, and of course the dancing of our world-famous Giglio” said John Notaro, the General Chairman of the OLMC Feast.

The Giglio is a seven-story tower structure 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.”

A separate boat, complete with fitted mast, sail, and rigging, represents the ship that returned St. Paulinus from captivity. Like the Giglio, it has a band and singer and is also carried and danced through the streets. This tradition was transplanted to Brooklyn, New York by the Nolani immigrants from Italy.


Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Brooklyn Diocese Auxiliary Bishop Neil Tiedemann


The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Neil Tiedemann, C.P., Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn. The resignation was publicized earlier today in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

As required by Canon (Church) law, at the age of 75, all bishops must submit a letter of resignation from the ecclesiastical office they hold. It is then a determination of the Holy See when to accept the resignation.

“I am grateful for Bishop Tiedemann’s many years of dedicated service here in Brooklyn and Queens. Bishop Tiedemann has had extraordinary experience beyond the boundaries of our Diocese and therefore was able to enrich us with his knowledge, passion, and dedication to the Church and its people,” said the Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn.

“Throughout my priesthood, I have been blessed, and I am so grateful. I thank Bishops DiMarzio and Brennan for their kindness, support, and encouragement. Of my 48 years as a priest, I have spent 21 here in the Brooklyn Diocese. I am thankful to my brother priests for their friendship. Most importantly, I have been blessed by the wonderful people of our diocese. They make you the priest that you are because they encourage and strengthen you. They teach you so much about life and actually become the face of God in your life,” said the Most Reverend Neil Tiedemann.

Bishop Tiedemann, born on March 5, 1948, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was raised in St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Franklin Square, Long Island. He attended the Passionists’ Holy Cross High School Seminary in Dunkirk, New York, and Holy Family Seminary in West Hartford, Connecticut. In 1970, Tiedemann received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from LaSalle University. In 1975 he earned two master’s degrees in Theology and Divinity from St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens. As a seminarian, Tiedemann was involved in outreach efforts with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens near St. Barbara Parish in Bushwick.

Bishop Tiedemann entered The Passionists, officially the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ, in 1970 and professed perpetual vows on Aug. 22, 1974. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1975, in the Brooklyn Diocese by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero. The bishop’s first assignment was as a parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Jamaica, Queens, from 1975-1982, where he continued his outreach work with Catholic Charities.

Bishop Tiedemann went on to serve at the largely Hispanic parishes of St. Joseph & Michael in Union City, New Jersey, and Blessed Sacrament in Springfield, Massachusetts. He also ministered in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, between 1987 and 1994, where he helped found an AIDS hospice called Casa Pasionista.

One of the joys of Tiedemann’s priesthood has been the opportunity to serve between 1998 and 2005 at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the parish where his grandparents were married. While he served there, he oversaw the 150th-anniversary celebration of the parish.

In 2006, Tiedemann was elected to the Provincial Council of the Passionist Congregation. Two years later, Pope Benedict XVI named him the third Bishop of Mandeville, Jamaica.

After eight years of serving on the island of Jamaica, Tiedemann returned home to Brooklyn. He was installed as auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Brooklyn in August 2016. In 2020, he was named Episcopal Vicar of Brooklyn. Tiedemann currently serves as pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Ridgewood, Queens, and serves as the Director of the Diocese of Brooklyn Ministry to Caribbean and Black Catholics.

The Most Reverend Neil Tiedemann will now serve as an Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Brooklyn, effective immediately.


Bishop Neil Tiedemann

Photo Courtesy: DeSales Media

USCCB Press Release:





The 116th Annual Independence Day Parade, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Long Island Assembly #703, marched down 5th Avenue in Sunset Park this morning beginning outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, located at 60th Street and 5th Avenue and continued to 48th Street, where it turned and concluded at St. Agatha Church.

Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, was the main celebrant at Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help prior to the parade’s start. In his homily, Bishop Brennan spoke of our need to fulfill our responsibility as American citizens and participate in the process of self-governance. “Our faith informs us and encourages us to exercise those very responsibilities,” said Bishop Brennan.

Bishop Brennan joined the Knights of Columbus in presenting recognition to three parade honorees at the conclusion of the Mass. The bishop marched with the parade route with the honorees including:

2023 Parade Grand Marshal

Lieutenant Colonel Richard A. Szabo, Commander of the New York Military Entrance Processing Station at Fort Hamilton Army Base, Brooklyn

2023 Father John Brogan Community Service Award

Sir Knight Edward Thomas Peter Velinskie

2023 Pro-Patria Award

Reverend Father Michael L. Gelfant, Pastor, Blessed Trinity Parish, Breezy Point



Lt Colonel Richard Szabo GrandMarshal
2023 Parade Grand Marshal, Lt. Colonel Richard A. Szabo, Commander of the New York Military Entrance Processing Station at Fort Hamilton Army Base honored by Bishop Brennan and the Knights of Columbus.
Edward Thomas VelinskieFrBroganAward
Bishop Brennan and representatives of the Knights of Columbus honor Sir Knight Edward Thomas Peter Velinskie with the 2023 Father John Brogan Community Service.
Father Michael Gelfant Pro Patria Award
Father Michael Gelfant, Pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish in Breezy Point, was honored with the 2023 Pro-Patria Award by the Knights of Columbus.
Bishop Robert Brennan and the honorees assemble at the start of the Independence Day Parade sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.
Members of the New York City Police Department band march in the 116th Annual Brooklyn Independence Day Parade.



The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, today announced the appointment of four Regional Episcopal Vicars and the restructuring of the 22 parish deaneries throughout Brooklyn and Queens. The new structure highlights Bishop Brennan’s commitment to enhancing the role of the deaneries and collaboration among parishes.

Reverend John J. Costello (Queens East), Reverend Joseph M. Hoffman (Brooklyn East), Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski (Brooklyn West), and Very Reverend Peter J. Purpura (Queens West) have each been selected as Regional Episcopal Vicars. We anticipate the celebration of a Mass of Installation at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph in the fall.

“In an effort to increase the involvement of the Vicars at the parish and deanery level, I have decided to expand the number of such positions from two to four in the Diocese. I am asking a lot of these priests taking on this new role, all while remaining parish pastors, and so expanding the number of regional vicariates will make the responsibilities more manageable,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.

“We have been working hard during the last year to reinvigorate the deaneries, and I am very satisfied with the progress made towards a more proactive working relationship among parishes. As we move forward, aware of the changing demographics and with the reality of fewer priests, we must look in this direction as we plan for the continued vitality of the Church here in Brooklyn and Queens in the future,” continued Bishop Brennan.

The Regional Vicars will have a general delegation, permission to grant confessional faculties, and permission to dispense from matrimonial impediments within the confines of the Diocese of Brooklyn. The Regional Vicars will meet with Bishop Brennan regularly to report on and discuss matters within their vicariate. They will serve as an ex-officio member of the Presbyteral Council, will serve on the Diocesan Assignment Board, and represent Bishop Brennan at civic and religious functions as requested.

The Regional Vicars will attend deanery meetings and meet individually with the deans in their vicariate a minimum of four times per year. They will provide input and encouragement on Diocesan initiatives, install and assist new pastors in their region, provide investigation and reconciliation to concerns made to the Bishop, assume a key role in Diocesan Pastoral Planning, address parish communities when allegations are made related to the Dallas Charter and/or Adult allegations, and in situations involving priests or deacons, collaborate with the Vicar of Clergy and Consecrated Life to address the situation and determine a proper remedy.

“The bishop has established these four vicariates in order to facilitate and enhance future pastoral initiatives in the Diocese. These well-respected members of the presbyterate bring with them extensive service as parish leaders. Their efforts will help advance conversations and plans to best serve the Catholic community within their region of the Diocese,” said Monsignor Joseph Grimaldi, Vicar General of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The current Territorial Vicars are Most Reverend Neil Tiedemann (Brooklyn) and Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski (Queens). Bishop Tiedemann, who turned 75 years old earlier this year, has submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis as Canon Law requires, and his retirement is pending. Upon the Holy Father’s acceptance of Bishop Tiedemann’s resignation, these appointments will become effective.

Biographical information and photos of the new Regional Episcopal Vicars, and the composition and leadership of the new deaneries follow. The previous Diocesan deanery map divided Brooklyn and Queens by north and south. Parishes will now be categorized as east and west within each borough.


Reverend John J. Costello

Reverend John J. Costello was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1989. Father Costello has served as a priest for more than 34 years, assigned as a Parochial Vicar at both Our Lady of Miracles and St. Athanasius, and as Pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Holy Trinity, St. Kevin (Administrator), and presently as Pastor of St. Luke Roman Catholic Church. Father Costello served four years as the Director of Family Life for the Diocese of Brooklyn and then as the Director of Jubilee 2000. He has also served on the Diocesan Evangelization Commission, as Associate Vicar for Clergy, and as a mentor for the newly ordained.

Father Costello served at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and later as the Vice Rector of the former Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston. Father Costello is a former Spiritual Advisor to the Pro Sanctity Movement in Brooklyn, and a past member of the Holy Cross High School Board of Directors.

Father John Costello.

Reverend Joseph M. Hoffman

Reverend Joseph M. Hoffman was ordained to the priesthood in October 1979. Father Hoffman has served the Diocese of Brooklyn for nearly 44 years, initially assigned as a Parochial Vicar to St. Martin of Tours. He has also served as Pastor of St. Lucy-St. Patrick Parish, St. Martin of Tours (second assignment), and St. Bartholomew. He is the current Pastor of St. Barbara Roman Catholic Church.

Father Hoffman serves as a Chaplain for the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY). He is the former Chaplain of the Pope John II Family Academy in Bushwick.

Father Joseph Hoffman.

Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski

Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1991, in Poland, and was assigned to the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1992. Then-Father Mroziewski was assigned to Our Lady of Czestochowa–St. Casimir as a parochial vicar in 1993 and began his studies of Canon Law and administration at the Catholic University in Lublin in 1997.

Upon his return to the Brooklyn Diocese, Father Mroziewski was appointed as the administrator of Our Lady of Czestochowa–St. Casimir Parish, and in 2002, was named pastor. In 2013, Father Mroziewski was assigned to his current position as pastor at Holy Cross Church. On July 20, 2015, Father Witold Mroziewski was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Bishop Witold Mroziewski holds a Doctorate in Canon Law and has served in the Diocese of Brooklyn Tribunal as an attorney and judge, working on marriage-related cases. He serves as the Vicar for Migrant and Ethnic Apostolates for the Brooklyn Diocese and serves on the USCCB Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, and on the Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe Subcommittee. Bishop Witold Mroziewski was named the Episcopal Vicar for Queens in March 2022.

Bishop Witold Mroziewski.

Reverend Peter J. Purpura

Reverend Peter J. Purpura was ordained to the priesthood to serve the Diocese of Brooklyn on June 30, 2007. Father Purpura has served as a Parochial Vicar at St. Bernard and Our Lady of Hope. In 2015, Father Purpura was named the Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, and presently serves as the Pastor of Our Lady of Hope.

Father Purpura holds a Licentiate of Canon Law degree and is a Vice-Chancellor of the Brooklyn Diocese. He previously served as an Associate Judicial Vicar for the Diocese. Father Purpura is a member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and is a Chaplain to the Queensboro Chapter of UNICO (Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, Opportunity) National.

Father Peter Purpura.

June 2023 Diocesan Vicariate and Deanery Map

Listing of Vicariates and Deaneries including Parishes and Deans, June 2023



Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn today served as the main celebrant at the NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Memorial Mass held at Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.

The annual Mass is organized to honor and remember those who served Patrol Borough Brooklyn South and lost their lives in the line of duty. The names of 132 men and women of the NYPD were read aloud at the Mass.

“Every day that you put that uniform on, every day you step out, you take risks, and you make sacrifices. I have always noted how families of police officers make sacrifices, on a daily basis. They are the small sacrifices, dealing with the calendar, different tours, dealing with having to change plans and go to work, or stay beyond for overtime; because it’s part of the job, part of the territory,” said Bishop Robert Brennan during his homily.

“But there’s also that greater sacrifice, that the men and women we remember today, made on the day that they went home to God,” continued Bishop Brennan.

NYPD Assistant Chief Chaplain Monsignor Robert Romano, the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, concelebrated the Mass with Bishop Brennan.



The New York City Police Department Honor Guard at the 2023 Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Annual Memorial Mass.
Bishop Robert Brennan gives his homily, speaking of the sacrifice of police officers and their families.
Bishop Robert Brennan joins the families of NYPD members of service lost in the line of duty at the Memorial Mass.



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:

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


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