OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2021
BISHOP DIMARZIO TO LEAD MEMORIAL MASS IN REMEMBRANCE OF FATHER JORGE ORTIZ-GARAY
Ortiz-Garay was the first Catholic priest to die of COVID-19 in the United States
Brooklyn – The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will be the main celebrant at a Mass tomorrow, Saturday, March 27, 2021, at 11 a.m., marking the first anniversary of the death of Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay. Fr. Jorge, as he was called, was the first Catholic priest to have died from the Coronavirus in the United States. He was 49 years old.
Bishop DiMarzio will celebrate the Mass at St. Brigid Church, located at 409 Linden Boulevard in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where Father Jorge served as Pastor at the time of his death. Father Jorge was also the Diocesan Coordinator of the Ministry to Mexican immigrants. He was ordained to the Priesthood on May 29, 2004, in the Archdiocese of Newark, and was assigned to the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2009, where he served until he passed away.
At the time of his death, Bishop DiMarzio offered reflection saying “Father Jorge was a great missionary among us, especially in establishing the Mexican Apostolate. It is a terrible loss; it is hard to believe. He was so young, so vibrant.”
There will be three additional Masses offered in memory of Fr. Jorge’s life and service to the Church at St. Brigid’s tomorrow. The four Masses were scheduled to accommodate the many people expected to join in remembering Father Jorge while allowing for the necessary social distancing. Originally from Mexico, a Mass will also be said for Father Jorge at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Mexico City tomorrow.
Members of the media are invited to attend and are asked to confirm their attendance. Masks must be worn at all times inside of the Church and social distancing guidelines must be followed.