‘Love and the Joy of Forgiveness’ by Bishop DiMarzio

February 10, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

February is the month for those in love. The Feast of St. Valentine has become a day that focuses on cards, candy, flowers and even diamond rings. However, the history of St. Valentine’s Day is not founded on material tokens of affection, but rather on St. Valentine, an early martyr of the Church, who gave his life as a witness to the love of Jesus Christ.

According to tradition, Valentine was imprisoned for marrying and ministering to Christians, during a time of persecution. While in confinement, he wrote to those who cared about him, always signing his letters, “Your Valentine.”

However the tradition began, it has become one of the most economically successful days of the year, next to Christmas and Halloween. It is interesting to see how these feasts days of the Church have generated secular interest and economic value, but it is important to remember and reflect on the traditions’ deeper meanings.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

‘New Priests Are Committed To Sacrifice’ by Bishop DiMarzio

June 24, 2015 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Our priesthood Ordinations this year have been blessed with 10 men, seven of whom were born in the United States and three who have come to us from other countries, one of whom came to our Diocese when he was seven years old. Truly, we are blessed to have representations from all of the major ethnic groups which make up this great and complex diocese here in Brooklyn and Queens. We are also blessed to have these men who pledge to follow their vocation to the priesthood.

It has been my custom to preach a day of recollection the day prior to Ordination. In order to prepare for this day of prayer, I ask each man to present to me a short paper on their concept of the priesthood and what they wish to accomplish as priests. I recently read and re-read these papers in preparation for the day of recollection and wish to share with you some of their thoughts on the priesthood and how they wish to serve you, the people of God, in this diocese.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

‘Strengthening the Future of the Diocese’ by Bishop DiMarzio

April 29, 2015 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep,” Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Today, we find ourselves at a transitional point in the history of the Church of Brooklyn and Queens. As we celebrate the great work of the many generations that preceded us, our parishes and Diocese must also look to the future with plans to strengthen our faith.

For more than 150 years, the Diocese of Brooklyn has embraced and celebrated our communities, and our families. Under the guidance of remarkable priests, generations of Catholics have been raised and lived in the many tight-knit neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, and come together as one family of faith at our vibrant parishes.

We are now more than 1.5 million Catholics, young and old, celebrating Mass in 33 different languages. Families of immigrants have transformed our Diocese, and while some have arrived more recently than others, we represent dozens of nationalities from all over the world. Our Diocese is a microcosm of the worldwide Church. We have been richly blessed.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

‘Finding Jesus is a Matter of Faith’ by Bishop DiMarzio

April 1, 2015 – Excerpted From Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Several Sundays ago, the Gospel portrayed for us the Greeks who went to Phillip and asked the question, “We want to see Jesus.” This question has been repeated millions of time during the two millennium since the death and Resurrection of Jesus. People want to meet Jesus. They want to meet Him in the flesh, but also, more importantly, they want to meet Him spiritually.

Recently, in an unlikely place, CNN aired an original series entitled, “Finding Jesus: Fact, Faith and Forgery.” It is interesting that the series is based on a book co-authored by Michael McKinley and David Gibson, who is a longtime friend of mine as well as a member of our Diocese. The series contained something for everyone; the faithful, the skeptic, the archeologist, the historian. It became clear that the finding of Jesus is not something of the past, but more something of the present.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

“A Chance For Immigration Reform” by Bishop DiMarzio

November 12, 2014 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Nov. 13 was the celebration of the Feast of St. Frances Cabrini, the patroness of immigrants, a saint to whom I have a special devotion. I have kept a small statue of Mother Cabrini on my desk for the last 40 years. Every day, I look upon the face of that brave and noble woman who courageously defended not only her native Italian immigrants but others as well. She had the courage to challenge the bishops and pastors of her day when they ignored the pastoral needs of immigrants. She is truly known as the “Mother of Immigrants,” since her life and the order which she founded, The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, have done so much to assist immigrants.

My own pastoral work as a priest began in the Newark Archdiocese assisting Italian immigrants. But soon the needs of others became quite clear, and, as someone once told me, you cannot love one person without loving everyone. Love knows no boundaries or distinction; the love of one immigrant must be extended to all.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

“Family Is Where Society Begins” By Bishop DiMarzio

October 8, 2014 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMario’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The Synod on the Family that has begun in Rome gives me an opportunity to write to you regarding the long tradition of the Church for upholding the family as the basic unit of society and also as the domestic Church. Most importantly, the Church sees the family as the foundation for a civilization of love. These are the words used by Pope Paul VI, soon to be beatified at the end of the Synod on the Family.

St. John Paul II, in his encyclical “Familiaris Consortio” (Tasks of the Family), described the family as a community of persons similar to the Trinity itself. These persons serve each other and support one another and participate in the development of society and the mission of the Church. Families are important in themselves. However, families are most important to society and to the Church.

There is no better example than the Holy Family of Nazareth as a model for Christian families. This has always been the message of the Church regarding family life; look to Nazareth and to the family that nurtured the Son of God, and we will know how to live in our own families.

Read the full text of the bishop’s column on The Tablet website.


“Radio Evangelization on the Air” by Bishop DiMarzio

September 24, 2014 – Excerpted from Put Out Into The Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

The message of Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to evangelize has been strong and consistent: “Go forth.” In a time when so many Catholics have drifted away from the Church, we have to live by Pope Francis’ word to spread the Joy of the Gospel. I am pleased to announce our efforts as a Diocese to help in this task.

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph and St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of the DeSales Media Group, we have been able to help one of the largest Catholic radio stations in the U.S. to reach our community. Relevant Radio succeeded in acquiring WNSW 1430 AM. Because of this acquisition, Catholic programming is now available to the whole greater New York City metropolitan area.

The 14-year-old network follows the mission to assist the Church in the New Evangelization, helping people bridge the gap between faith and everyday life. With its live interactive programs – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and with 70 hours of original programming by award-winning hosts each week, Relevant Radio seeks to inspire and transmit a message of hope while promoting the teachings of our Church. Previously aired shows are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on www.relevantradio.com. We can listen to the radio in the car, while we are at work or at home.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

“Renewed Calls For Peace” by Bishop DiMarzio

September 17, 2014 – Excerpted from Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

Last week, we commemorated the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September, now in its 13th year. With each passing year, our memory of this event seems not to fade, as it is indelibly imprinted on our souls. Truly, this was a traumatic event for the world and our Nation but most especially for the people of New York.

During the celebration of the Eucharist on Sept. 11, which I celebrated in the Chapel at the Chancery Office, I spoke to our employees about the theology of memory in our Catholic faith. There are things that we cannot forget, that we must remember. With regard to Sept. 11, we remember the circumstances of that horrible day. We also remember the victims of that day at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. – those known to us and those unknown. Why we remember is because in some way we make them present to us; we bring it to our memory so that we can reflect on the events of the past and pray for those whom we keep in our memories.

I also mentioned the moving passage in the “Confessions of St. Augustine” when he described the death of his mother, St. Monica. Augustine begins by saying, “Today, the day is now approaching when my mother, Monica, would leave this life … one day, during the course of her illness, she became unconscious and for awhile she was unaware of her surroundings … my brother and I rushed to her side, but she regained consciousness quickly and looked at us and, as we stood there, she asked in a troubled voice, ‘Where was I?’ We were overwhelmed with grief. She then said to both of us, ‘Bury my body wherever you will, let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing I ask of you is that you remember me at the Altar of the Lord, wherever you may be.’”

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

“Solidarity in the Workplace” by Bishop DiMarzio

September 3, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep”, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

Each year, prior to Labor Day, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, of which Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is the Chair and I am a member, issues a statement that comments on the present situation of labor in our Nation. Catholic social teaching is rich in a tradition of understanding the proper place of work in the human family.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has added to this long tradition by stating that work “Is fundamental to the dignity of a person…. [it] ‘anoints’ us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God … gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, (and) to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.”

Although the worst of the recession seems to be behind us here in the U.S., there are many countries where the work situation seems only to get worse. In our own society, unemployment is too high, especially among African-American males, Hispanics and other minority groups. Catholic social teaching tells us that work is the key to the social question, the social question being, “How can the common good can be achieved in any society?”

Without every member of a society contributing to the common good by their own labor, societies find themselves in terrible circumstances where wage inequality and opportunity inequality discourage human growth and development.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.

“Healing for the Human Race” by Bishop DiMarzio

August 27, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep,” Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

The events of the last several weeks in Staten Island and Missouri give evidence to the deep racial divide that still exists in our country. In too many circumstances, it is the police, who are on the front lines of our society, who encounter difficulties and become surrogates for our own unrequited racism.

I, myself, cannot help but remember the days of the race riots in my native city of Newark, N.J., during the 1960s. The explosion of violence following the death of Martin Luther King Jr., who was the greatest proponent of nonviolent revolution, remains deep in my memory. As we look back to the 1960s, have we learned any lessons from that time when the racial divide seemed to be so great?

Like you, I had hoped our Nation had moved beyond race. Clearly, our Nation has matured. In many areas, race seems to have ceased being a deterrent to advancement. We have elected our first African-American President. Also, here in our own city, we have elected a mayor who has a biracial family. We have eliminated much of the discrimination based on race that still plagues our society. More opportunities have been given to racial minorities to achieve scholastically and economically. Most would agree, however, that our society is not yet color-blind. What is the path that will allow us to recognize all people as God’s children and treat each with equality?

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.