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.




Adriana Rodriguez

John Quaglione 


            The Diocese of Brooklyn this afternoon is reporting an act of vandalism that has caused destruction to a newly installed statue of St. Bernadette, located outside St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in the Flushing section of Queens.

The incident occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning when a man jumped over the church fence and knocked the statue over. The damage to the statue is in the area of the left forearm and wrist.

The statue of St. Bernadette and a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes were dedicated earlier this summer, in remembrance of all parishioners who lost their lives to the Coronavirus.  Father Vincentius Do, Pastor of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, is already planning to have the statue repaired.

            “St. Michael’s plays a central role in the faith and care of our neighbors through our masses and faith-based services and that feed the hungry.  For sure this act of vandalism is upsetting, but the faithful of St. Michael’s and I are praying for the person who committed this act against our church. It is important to find the good in all things, and so I wish to take this opportunity to encourage the public to respect our church and our property, as well as that of all houses of worship,” said Father Vincentius Do, Pastor.

The 109th Precinct of the New York City Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).

St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, the first parish founded in Queens County in 1833, is located at 136-76 41st Avenue in Flushing. St. Bernadette is the patron saint of the poor, those ridiculed for their faith, and the sick.

Photos of the damaged statue are attached.


Discussing Latino Catholicisim

St. Joseph’s Seminary and America Magazine have created a partnership in presenting topics of interest to Catholics in and around New York. Last year, we had three lectures, Flannery O’Connor and her writing of Prayer Journal, Catholic Media, and Pope Francis and the Internet.

To kick off the 2015-2016 academic year, we are hosting a lecture on “Discussing Latino Catholicism” with Professor Timothy Matovina, Ph.D. Professor Valerie Torres, Ph.D, will respond, and the lecture will be moderated by Fr. Matt Malone, S.J. The event will take place at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture on October 15, from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The Sheen Center is located in Manhattan, 18 Bleecker St.  I am including the flyer which is more detailed on the evening’s event.

For further information, see the flyer below.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.


Queens Students Keeping Fit, Helping Out


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Sacred Heart Students Shine on History Day

Congratulations Principal Rogone!

Congratulations to Maureen Rogone, principal at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Academy, for receiving The University Partnership Award for 2015 from the St. John’s University School of Education, Department of Education Specialties and Counseling. This award is in recognition of our outstanding school partnership with Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Academy through Project TIE (Training Innovative Educators). This award acknowledges outstanding principals who have successfully implemented the K-8, School-Wide ELA and Math Professional Development for initiatives in their Catholic Elementary School, working directly with St. John’s University faculty over a period of three years.

Left to Right: Maureen Rogone, Principal of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Academy; Francine Guastello, Ed.D., Associate Professor & Chair of Department of Education Specialties and Counseling for St. John’s University; Michael Sampson, Ph.D., Dean of The School of Education for St. John’s University.

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Aquinas Expo 2015


Students from the Aquinas Honors Society gathered to present their work in Brooklyn and Queens at the Diocesan Aquinas Expos. Students use their “passports to learning” during the expo to visit and learn from other student expositions, in addition to presenting their own work. They sign each others passports as they go and the event concludes with Mass.

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Invention Convention Goes Outside the Box

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Supporting Our Schools, Supporting Our Students

For the past few years, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has been working with the other Catholic dioceses in New York State, as well as Jewish and Protestant leaders, to build support for the Education Investment Tax Credit (A2551), the proposed bill that would raise funds for public schools and strengthen organizations that provide scholarships to children attending private and parochial schools. Enacting this legislation would empower parents to choose to send their children to private and parochial schools.

What follows are some of the Diocese’s efforts thus far in 2015: Read more »