Brooklyn Catholics to be Featured in Local PBS Series About Italian American Heritage

As part of the National Public Broadcast Service (PBS) Series “The Italian Americans,” Channel THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV will present “Italian Americans of New York and New Jersey,” a documentary that spotlights the lives, achievements and rich culture of Italian Americans in the Metro Area.

The two-part series focuses on the largest Italian American population in the Nation, featuring interviews with historians and prominent local Italian Americans, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the late former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo, singer Tony Bennett, actress Susan Lucci, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and many others.

Representing the Diocese of Brooklyn, then-Auxiliary Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, now Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., shared the experience of being an Italian descendant, celebrating the traditions, the culture and the Catholic faith in a foreign land. The series, which strongly focused on the identities of the Italians as being Catholic, interviewed John Heyer, development officer for the Diocese of Brooklyn. As a parishioner of Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen Parish in Carroll Gardens, Heyer was able to share archives and historic photos of the oldest Italian parish in the diocese. “The immigrants could not bring much with them, but what they were able to bring was their faith, which gave them the strength to build a new life in America,” said Heyer.

The series will premier on Tuesday, February 17th and 24th at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN, Sunday, February 15th and 22nd at 9 p.m. on WLIW21 and on Thursday, February 26th and March 3rd at 8 p.m. on NJTV. “Italian Americans of New York and New Jersey” will also be available for streaming on THIRTEEN’s website following the broadcast.