Adriana Rodriguez

John Quaglione 


Queens School Wins at New York State Level for 3rd Year in a Row

            The Diocese of Brooklyn is proud to announce that St. Edmund’s Catholic Academy student Caitlyn Ngo has been selected as the 5th Grade Grand National Champion in the Zaner Bloser 2021 National Handwriting Contest, the most prestigious handwriting contest in the United States.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the contest, which recognizes student excellence in manuscript (print) and cursive writing. Student entries from grades K-8 are initially part of a school-only handwriting contest and then best entries are submitted to the state competition. The state winners, one from public school and one from private/parochial school from each grade, are then advanced to the competition’s national level for a chance at being selected as the Grand National Champion for their grade.

“We are so proud of Caitlyn for her outstanding achievement. St. Edmund Elementary School’s yearly participation in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest exemplifies our dedication to providing our students with a comprehensive educational program that prepares them for success in the future,” said Andrea D’Emic, Principal of St. Edmund’s Catholic Academy.

Additionally, Holy Family Catholic Academy in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens, is proud to announce that Kindergarten student Arron Morocho and 1st Grader Jake Mulryan were selected as state champions for best manuscript/cursive handwriting among hundreds of other students across New York State.

For the third year in a row, Holy Family Catholic Academy has had at least one student recognized as a New York State winner at their grade level. Last year Isabella Ordonez was State Champion for 1st Grade, and in 2019, Philip Saffian was 2nd Grade State Champion and Grand National Championship.

“Holy Family Catholic Academy always wants to see their students do well.  The fact that for three years in a row, we have had a State Handwriting Champion shows that the children care about the quality of their work. The entire HFCA Community is proud of our Champions,” said Mary Scheer, Principal of Holy Family Catholic Academy.

Photos courtesy of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Photo #1 – Caitlyn Ngo of St. Edmund’s Catholic School displays the trophy she was awarded upon being selected as the 5th Grade National Champion in the Zaner Bloser 2021 National Handwriting Contest.

Photo #2 – From left to right: Holy Family Catholic Academy students named State Champions for Kindergarten and 1st Grade, Arron Morocho Kgn and Jake Mulryan, and 2020 1st Grade New York State Champion Isabella Ordonez.





Adriana Rodriguez

John Quaglione 


            The parents and students of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy, located in the Rockaway Beach section of Queens, will kick off Teacher Appreciation Week in a special way on Monday, May 3, 2021, beginning at 8:45 a.m.

The students will be lined up in the school’s parking lot, in different grade intervals, alongside an actual red carpet which their teachers will be invited to walk on.  Students will present their teachers with thank you notes and verbal messages, in appreciation for their efforts that have made learning possible throughout the 2020-2021 school year impacted by the Coronavirus.

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy is located at 154 Beach 84th Street in Rockaway Beach. Mrs. Satti Marchan is the Principal.

Members of the media interested in attending should notify the Diocesan press office. Masks must be worn at all times at the event and social distancing guidelines must be followed.



Youth and Young Adults Ministry – On Social Media!

We would like to invite you to follow new social media profiles dedicated to youth and young adults in the Diocese of Brooklyn!

We will post actual information about youth & young adults ministry in the Diocese of Brooklyn, events, and invitations from your parishes, interesting spiritual activities, Church teaching for youth, etc.

You are invited to create content for these profiles too!

Do you want to share an invitation? Do you want to share a relation? Do you want to help as a volunteer? Just send an e-mail:

(If you want to be a volunteer, you have to be 18+)


Instagram: @bklynyouth




Adriana Rodriguez

John Quaglione 




The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington, as the new national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The appointment was made by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The Pontifical Mission Societies are organizations under the direction of the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Their purpose is the promotion of a universal missionary spirit among all baptized Catholics.

“I have worked with Monsignor Harrington in many capacities for the past 17 plus years, five of which were spent living at the Bishop’s Residence, and I know his selection for this assignment is the absolute right choice. There has always been an extraordinary desire within him to bring the good news of Jesus Christ, and the Christian faith, to the people not only of his parish, but throughout the world. Monsignor Harrington will excel in this position because of this deep faith and motivation to evangelize. The Universal Church will benefit because of Msgr. Harrington’s devotion to Our Lord, and to the people the Catholic Church is called to serve,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

“I am grateful to Bishop DiMarzio for his tutelage and the confidence he entrusted to me as Rector/pastor of the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph and Church of St. Teresa. Moreover, I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn, and President and Chairman of DeSales Media,” said Monsignor Harrington. “I am also thankful to Cardinal Tagle for this opportunity to serve the Universal Church in this national ministry to re-awaken the missionary impulse in each of us, which is at the heart of our baptismal calling.”

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2001, Monsignor Harrington, was appointed Vicar for Communications in 2006 and Rector of the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, in 2008. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the rank of Papal Chaplain with the title of Reverend Monsignor on September 3, 2009. Since 2011, Monsignor Harrington has served as the President and Chairman of DeSales Media Group, the communications, and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn. In this role, Monsignor Harrington has overseen the diocesan newspaper, The Tablet, NET, the cable station of the Diocese, and the diocesan public information and governmental affairs offices. From 2009 through 2018, Monsignor Harrington hosted ‘In The Arena,’ a weekly program on WOR radio, which featured world-renowned guests, intense debates, and compelling interviews on current topics from a Catholic cultural perspective.

“It has been a privilege over these last thirteen years to oversee the restoration and rebirth of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.  During this tenure, I was delighted to witness a springtime of renewal in parochial life. Likewise, drawing together a faith-filled and talented team of professionals to face the myriad and complex challenges of communicating the Gospel message in a rapidly changing, secular, and sometimes hostile media environment has enabled me to grow spiritually and professionally.  I am indebted to colleagues and parishioners for helping me to grow in my faith and life as a Christian,” said Monsignor Harrington.

“Monsignor Kieran Harrington, while serving as Rector of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, where he oversaw the beautiful restoration of the church, and Pastor of St. Teresa of Avila, was able to take on many of the great challenges facing our Diocese. Under his leadership with DeSales Media, he has led efforts to upgrade technology in our schools and churches, has significantly enhanced the digital and social media presence of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and has worked to grow the presence of our local Catholic media. I thank Monsignor Harrington for his years of service which have allowed him to share his many talents with us, as a true pastoral and communications leader. I ask the Lord to bless him as he takes this new role in the Church,” continued Bishop DiMarzio.

Monsignor Harrington graduated with honors from St. John’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He holds a Masters of Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and an MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business.

Monsignor Harrington is a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a Knight of Columbus, and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He serves on the boards of the Futures in Education Foundation, the Catholic Technology Network, and Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Saint Thomas More Award of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, the Father Mychal Judge Award at the Great Irish Fair in Brooklyn, New York, and the John Paul II Distinguished Stewardship Award.

Monsignor Harrington succeeds Father Andrew Small, OMI, who is completing his second five-year term as director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The four societies, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious each received the title “pontifical” in 1922 to indicate their status as official instruments of the pope and of the universal Catholic Church. The national director heads the four societies in the United States and oversees the World Missions Sunday Collection, which is taken up on the third Sunday of October each year.

Photo of Reverend Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington is attached.





Adriana Rodriguez

John Quaglione 



            Students from The Early Childhood Center at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy, have collected over 2,000 non-perishable items to be donated to a neighboring church food pantry tomorrow, Tuesday, March 30, 2021. The donated items will be loaded onto the St. John’s University campus ministry van starting at 9 a.m. outside the schools located at 152-24 26th Avenue in the Flushing/Whitestone area of Queens.

The van will then deliver the donated goods to St. Kevin’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 45-21 194th Street in Flushing, at approximately 10 a.m.

The parish pantry at St. Kevin’s is known as “The Market,” and serves an average of 50 families every Wednesday.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, donations to the pantry have declined. The parish has been purchasing food to meet the needs of those they regularly assist.

Tamar Chicavich, a mother of two students at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy, started the food drive as a Lenten service project. Amy Barron is the Principal at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy.





Adriana Rodriguez

John Quaglione 


            This year, to mark Women’s History Month at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Gravesend, Brooklyn, the fourth-grade students focused on learning about the life and legacy of Helen Keller. To complete the educational experience, teacher Christine Latona introduced the Braille alphabet to the students. The 19 students were then assigned a project to write their first and last names in Braille using green pigeon peas.

“The objective of teaching students about Helen Keller was to highlight the challenges Helen Keller suffered because of her disabilities. The students learned how difficult it is to communicate and write in Braille. They also learned that no matter how difficult their life is, anything can be accomplished with hard work, dedication and perseverance,” said Ms. Latona.

In addition to the Braille name card projects, currently on display in the hallway outside of the classroom, students were asked to prepare reports “All About Helen Keller.” Through their research, students had to explain why Helen Keller is an important historical figure, the obstacles she faced, the impact she had on the world, and identify interesting facts and characteristic traits about her.

“When my teacher told me we were going to learn about Helen Keller, I became very excited and interested. Her life was fascinating. I couldn’t imagine being like her. We learned that Helen used Braille to read and write, so when we did a project on Braille, it gave me a little experience of what it was like. Helen Keller is an inspiration and interesting person to learn about,” said fourth-grader Isabella Vizcarrondo.

Members of the media are invited to visit Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy to view the student work and for interviews. Attached is a photo of the Helen Keller bulletin board displaying the students’ Braille projects. On-site and virtual interviews can be arranged.


St. Joseph in the Shadow of the Cross

In previous years, the Secretariat’s Lenten reflection would be a coming together in prayer and fellowship. With so many restrictions in place, and I will add for a good reason, this Lenten season, like all other moments in our lives this past year, had to be different. We hoped when we did our Virtual Advent Reflection in December 2020 that by Lent, we would be able to gather. Not wanting to leave anyone out, we went the route of virtual.

On Friday, March 19, 2021, Our Lenten Reflection premiered on our YouTube channel.  Being that this is the Year of St. Joseph and we purposefully premiered on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and our theme was “St. Joseph In the Shadow of the Cross.”

Very little is mentioned of St. Joseph in the bible, but no one can deny how important he is and what an important role he played in the life of Jesus Christ. He was a religious and humble man, who like Mary, did not question God’s will, and accept Mary as his wife. With that acceptance, he became a husband and a father. A father to no ordinary child, but a child who would bring salvation to the world.

With the thought of the different languages in our diocese, the stations of the cross and the reflections were a snapshot of our diversity. Bishop Raymond Chappetto’s reflection was in English, Bishop Octavio Cisneros in Spanish, Bishop Witold Mroziewski in Polish, Fr. Peter Bai in Chinese Mandarin, Fr. Cosmas Nzeabalu in Igbo, and Msgr. Joseph Malagreca in Haitian Creole.

Bishop Gregor Mansour’s reflection was in English, but he gave another layer of perspective from the Marion Rite. We hope that you take the opportunity to look into the Marion Rite and see how our similarities and difference still unite us.

Bishop Raymond reflects on the life of St. Joseph: Joseph was a happy man who loved Jesus and Mary so much. He loved with his whole heart. Joseph gives Jesus an example of fatherly love and compassion. Joseph speaks by his actions, not his words. Joseph teaches the church how to depend on God’s love and will.

Events at Our Lady of Angels Church


El Divino Niño

In efforts to engage our community to encounter Christ- we now have a Divino Niño statue at Our Lady of Angels Church. The Divino Niño is one of the most popular depictions of the Divine Child Jesus.

The devotion to the Divino Niño, originated in Colombia. The statue of the Child Jesus with His arms beckoning and wearing a traditional pink robe has an inscription “Yo reinaré” (“I will reign”) at its base. The statue will remind families of God’s love. His arms are stretched out, just like any child who wants to be picked up. He wants us to take Him and pick him up, pressing him close to our hearts.

On the Feast of the Presentation of The Lord, our pastor, Fr. Kevin Abels blessed and installed the Divino Niño statue. The statue was donated by one of our parish families. Many families brought their own Divino Niño statues to be blessed as tradition calls for on this day.

The images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Juan Diego, and the Divino Niño will give Hispanic families a sense of belonging and make them feel right at home. The image of the Child Jesus will inspire family devotion and prayer. Devotion to the Divino Niño is a family tradition that is passed down through generations.


All is Calm, All is Bright! Our Lady of Angels engaging with Families 

Most of us did not expect to be social distancing for this amount of time, and we had high hopes that by the end of the year, we’d be able to spend time together in groups to celebrate. Especially, the days of the Christmas season which have so much meaning and are engraved in a child’s memory. Unfortunately, throughout the holidays we had to continue our safety precautions- but that didn’t damper the holiday spirit at Our Lady of Angels. A worldwide pandemic could not keep the Hispanic community at Our Lady of Angels from celebrating their yearly traditions of Las Posadas and Three Kings Day.

Las Posadas, a well-loved Mexican Christmas celebration, reminds us how Mary and Joseph searched for a place to stay where Mary could give birth to the Baby Jesus. In Spanish, the word “posada” means shelter or inn. In the not so distant, past, our community would gather and celebrate for nine days before Christmas. We ate tamales, sang the traditional Posada song as well as other villancicos-Christmas carols, broke piñatas, and ended the day with candy treats for the children.


Although our community is growing, we don’t yet exceed our church capacity limits, which enabled us to hold the Posadas after Mass each night. We were all socially distanced, and although we did not have the traditional food and piñatas, we had the heart of the celebration -the song reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s struggle. Traditionally, a group sings outside, while another group remains indoors, but in this case, we sang from opposite pews. This went on for nine nights. Our children got the chance to engage with their community in an adapted version of a faith-inspiring tradition.

El Dia de Reyes, Three Kings’ Day is another one of our beloved holidays. We didn’t think we could do it, but again we are blessed with a large auditorium and a strong sense of community. Once again, all social distancing efforts were put in place. Our usual donor, a local bakery, prepared an individually wrapped traditional pastry “Rosca de Reyes” for each parishioner. Although we didn’t have our usual Three Kings Day skit, piñatas, and food, the heart of the celebration was maintained- each child was acknowledged with a gift and a wonderful memory.

Our pastor, Fr. Kevin Abels introduced another event that we hope will become a tradition. The lights were dimmed at the conclusion of Christmas Day Mass allowing the holiday lighting to illuminate the church. As we sat in awe, contemplating the Nativity and the real meaning of Christmas, Noche de Paz- Silent Night- played in the background. We were all reminded that all is calm- Christ our Savior is born.

At Our Lady of Angels, families were engaged in celebrating faith, love and hope in times of a pandemic. We kept in mind that with God all things are possible. Although we were socially distanced, we came together to keep the spirit of Christmas alive for our community. The Hispanic Community Advisory Committee is already at task planning how to bring the community together in Christ for the rest of the year!

Homeschool program for Religious education

Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach has offered a homeschool program for Religious education for the past several years, so we were ready when faced with COVID restrictions! The whole program is based on the homeschool model this year, and our parents have really embraced the role of catechist for their children. This has become such a special time for families to deepen their faith while teaching their children about the life of Jesus and His love. Quiet time is set aside for these teachable moments, away from the pressure of remote learning and Google classrooms.

Our pastor, Fr. Marc Swartvagher, invites parents to virtual meetings every week so that we may “see” each other. Parents have this opportunity to ask questions about how the material should be presented, and Fr. Marc is happy to answer them. He also hosts a meeting with a prayer for both parents and children, and those have been wonderful! We’ve prayed the Rosary together in October, talked about and showed our favorite saints in November, and discovered the meaning behind the well-known Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in December. We are looking forward to our upcoming Lenten prayer service in February.

Our 2nd graders are preparing for First Holy Communion and spent special time with Jesus at Holy Hour. They had the option to attend in person or watch the live stream at home to learn more about the Eucharist and adoration. Fr. Marc explained it so beautifully for those attending for the first time. We are hoping to have more of these experiences with the rest of our families!


For more information contact us at our website.

St. Joseph’s Table

The St. Joseph’s Table altar at the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles.


While looking into how a family can celebrate The Year of St. Joseph at home, I stumbled upon, “St. Joseph’s Table”. I found this to be interesting mostly because I never heard of it. The feast day of St. Joseph is March 19th. This falls in the middle of Lent. As I continued to read I understood why the “table” was mostly pastries and bread. There is no meat at the table because it falls during Lent. 

Tradition comes from medieval times in Sicily. The story goes that there had been a great drought and famine on the island. The people prayed to St. Joseph for his intercession. When the sky opened, and rain finally came the people knew St. Joseph had answered their pleas. Their crops grew. After the harvest to show gratitude to St. Joseph and to honor him for answering their prayers they celebrated. The celebration included everyone. A table was prepared with special foods in honor of St. Joseph. The food was also shared with all the people, especially the poor and hungry. 

The tradition has changed in many ways, usually if celebrated at church, the celebration would be after mass. Some parishes were known to have actors dress as Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. They would bring offerings during mass and at the celebration, they would sit at the table. With Covid, sharing with others and gathering has made it difficult. That does not mean that you can’t celebrate at home. You can continue a tradition if this is done in your family or adopt the tradition if this is your first time. 

Involve your children or teens and anyone in your household. What a better way to tell the story of St. Joseph the foster father of our Savior chosen to protect Mary and Jesus. He was chosen to witness the birth of the Christ child. While very little is spoken of Joseph in the bible he plays an important role. He is another example to our children to have faith in God’s divine plan. This is the perfect family project. Teaching your children through tradition and symbolism. The quality of family time together is also great. 

There are 3 main points to this tradition: 

Veneration—special recognition of St. Joseph. Honoring the silent foster father of our Lord Jesus. He protected our Mother Mary and our Saviour. 

The Table—an altar and a communal celebration for gathering 

The Poor—The purpose of the foods is to help those in need. 


St. Joseph’s Table at home 


The create the table/altar at home you will need a three-tiered display. This can be made out of boxes and cover with a white linen tablecloth or sheet. The three tiers represent the Holy Trinity. A statue or picture of St. Joseph is placed on the top tier. The other can have flowers (especially Lilies). You buy them or make flowers out of tissue paper with your children. The other two tiers also have candles, pastries, and bread. Some people add wine symbolizing the wedding feast at Cana; pineapple symbolizing hospitality; and other fruits. 

You can make pastries with your children, and decorate the table together. How simple or ornate your “table/alter” is totally up to you. 

The items below are traditionally made from bread, but they can be made from cookie dough or even small pictures. How you display each symbol is completely up to you and your family. 

A Cross: The ultimate symbol of our Lord’s suffering and salvation. 

Breadcrumbs: Represents sawdust, since St. Joseph was a carpenter. 

Fava Beans: They can be served in a frittata or garlic sauce. If you have dry beans, they can be roasted and blessed. It became very popular as the “lucky bean.” Legend has it that you will never be broke if you carry one. Some people believe that if you keep one in the pantry, there will always be food in the kitchen. 

Baby Jesus: The baby Jesus to whom St. Joseph was the foster father. It can be a statue or a picture, even a drawing/coloring page that your younger children worked on. 

St. Joseph’s Staff: Legend has it that St. Joseph’s staff blossomed into a lily, a symbol both of life and death. 

St. Joseph’s Purse: This symbol is a reminder to give alms to the poor during Lent. A small pouch with coins for symbolism or even a jar where spare change can be collected and given to your parish at the end of Lent. 

A Sheaf of Wheat: Wheat is a reminder that when a single grain of wheat falls into the ground it bears much more food at harvest time. 

St. Joseph himself: He is always represented in profile and hunched over with a cane, symbolizing that he was (according to tradition) an old man, while Mary was a much younger woman. 

St. Joseph’s Beard: Is the sheaf of Wheat turned upside down, it is another reminder of Joseph’s wisdom and old age. 

Heart: A symbol of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

The Crown of Thorns: This is in remembrance of Christ’s passion and a reminder of the day’s feasting among Lent’s fasting, Lent is still a season of sorrow—and hope. 

In a time when we need to church, and we want to continue to pass our faith to our children the “Table” is a wonderful place to start. 

Happy Feast of St. Joseph!