FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2022
BISHOP ROBERT BRENNAN TO BLESS ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH
FOLLOWING LAST WEEKEND’S DESECRATION
The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, will bless St. Augustine Church following last weekend’s desecration and burglary of the church’s tabernacle. The blessing is part of a Penitential Rite of Reparation that will take place during the 5 pm Mass on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, located at 116 6th Avenue in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.
“A horrendous crime has been committed in our church, and that affects the entire community of the parish,” said Bishop Robert Brennan. “In the commission of this crime, the Holy Eucharist, the body of Christ, was strewn all over the altar. That is a grave and hateful act of sacrilege as the Eucharist is central to our life as Catholics. The ritual I ask the community to join me in prayer is for the reparation of the wrong that has been done to them,” continued Bishop Brennan.
The brazen theft was discovered in the afternoon of Saturday, May 28, 2022. The burglar cut through a metal protective casing and made off with the tabernacle, which dates back to when the church was built in the late 1800s. This holy sacramental receptacle is irreplaceable due to its historical and artistic value. The angels which flanked the tabernacle were decapitated and destroyed.
At the start of the Penitential Rite of Reparation, the altar of the church will already be stripped bare. After entering, Bishop Brennan will bless the water and sprinkle the altar, the congregants, and the walls of the desecrated church as a sign of purification. The altar will then be dressed as the offertory of the Mass takes place. Parishioners will vest the altar and light the candles as they prepare for the liturgy of the Eucharist. The Holy Mass will then be celebrated and the desecrated church is restored to divine service.
“The restoration of the church building to its sacred dignity renews the resolve of the local church in Brooklyn and Queens to grow in holiness and in witness to the presence of our Risen Lord in the world today,” said Bishop Brennan.
Members of the media are invited to