On Wednesday, December 16th, at 4:00 p.m., the Diocese of Brooklyn will light a Christmas tree and bless a Nativity scene at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of the celebrations for the Holy Season of Christmas.
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will bless the crèche right by the triumphal arch at the main entrance of the park. “As we gather to bless this Nativity scene, we are reminded to keep Christ in Christmas as we prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ into the history of our world. It is an opportunity to bring hope and peace to our tolerant city, as we teach the new generations love and compassion through diverse traditions,” said Bishop DiMarzio.
The event will include caroling, readings, and interfaith prayers for peace by different religious leaders.
Father Michael Perry, pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Church, Flatbush, is behind the organization of this effort. “In a world in which even the symbols of Christmas are slightly fading away I thought it would be important to restore the Christmas tree to Grand Army Plaza. We took it a step further, and now we have the tree and the manger celebrating the birth of Christ.”
The Nativity scene is the first in over a decade to be erected in Prospect Park, according to the Prospect Park Alliance. Its placement in the park was made possible thanks to DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn. “The importance of the crèche is to remind us that God enters into the meanness of our human condition, and transforms our humble and at times desperate life to manifest His glory,” said Monsignor Kieran Harrington, Chairman of DeSales Media Group and Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The Diocese of Brooklyn, the eighth largest diocese in United States and the only entirely urban diocese in the nation, serves the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The combined population of the boroughs stands at 4.8 million residents, of which more than 1.5 million identify themselves as Catholics.