Just three days following the Holy Father’s announcement that he would resign, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was informed of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to designate the Church of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, a co-cathedral of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Last year, Bishop DiMarzio submitted a petition to the Congregation for Bishops, that the Church of St. Joseph be elevated to a cathedral. The Bishop received the Ecclesiastical Approbation from the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, indicating that the Holy Father had consented to this request.

“Since my arrival here as Bishop of Brooklyn almost 10 years ago, it was evident that St. Joseph’s, located in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, is at the heart of a new Brooklyn,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “The Church has a large seating capacity fitting our many Diocesan celebrations. In addition, St. Joseph’s is in a location anticipated to be the most densely populated area in New York City, and it should be a prominent fixture in the re-development at this exciting time in our borough. St. Joseph’s Church should have the designation as a co-cathedral of the Diocese of Brooklyn.”

The late Archbishop of New York, John Hughes, established the Church in 1850 to serve the immense immigration population. The Church was named after St. Joseph, the patron of the universal Church. St. Joseph protects and guides those as he did with his adoptive son, Jesus, and is also the patron saint of families, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, craftsmen and engineers.

“This is the Holy Father’s Valentine’s Day gift to the Diocese of Brooklyn,” said Msgr. Kieran Harrington, administrator of St. Joseph’s. “We received the decree a few days ago. But that is understandable, the Holy Father had a lot of other more pressing tasks to consider these last few days.”

The Bishop is the pastor of the cathedral. Certain events are normally required to take place there, such as ordinations and the Chrism Mass. This is because it is the location of the Seat of the Bishop.

St. Joseph’s is now the co-cathedral of the Diocese of Brooklyn, which also includes Queens. St. James Cathedral Basilica, Downtown Brooklyn, was the only cathedral in the 160-year history of the Diocese, which was founded in 1853. St. James Cathedral was previously a pro-cathedral from the moment the Diocese was founded; it was conceived that a new cathedral would be built. St. Joseph’s, which can accommodate 1,500 people, is one of the largest churches in the Diocese. It is for this reason the Bishop sought permissions for it to be named a co-cathedral.

Press are welcome to Sunday Mass at St. Josephís, 856 Pacific Street. Spanish Mass is at 10:30 a.m.; English Mass is at 12 p.m. Media are invited to speak with parishioners and Msgr. Harrington following either of the Eucharistic celebrations.