“After Good Friday, there’s Easter Sunday…”

The words of newly ordained Fr. Sean Suckiel sum up the hope and aspirations of the hard hit people of Breezy Point, Queens, still reeling from the effects of Sandy. This afternoon, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated Mass for the community in a church without lights or heat.  Details:

Nearly a week after seawater surged into Breezy Pointand fires raged from house to house, hundreds of local Catholics packed the pews of an area church to try to make sense of the disaster.

Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio instructed parishioners and visitors at St. Thomas More Church, which was still without heat or lights, to lean on their faith as they grapple with putting the waterlogged pieces of their lives together.

“God is never closer to us than when we suffer and struggle to find out why this happened to us,” DiMarzio said to his audience, filled with many dressed in rubber boots and dirty jeans.

The bishop, who was interrupted by the sound of demolition equipment rumbling outside, recalled the spirit of unity in Breezy Point — which is home to many police officers and firefighters — after the 9/11 attacks.

“You came together then and you came together now because you are a community of faith,” he said.

Though DiMarzio asked parishioners to maintain “an immense amount of patience and understanding,” as utilities are restored, he criticized LIPA, which powers the Rockaways.

Residents have asked DiMarzio “why it seems the whole peninsula has been abandoned by LIPA,” the bishop said. “I question it with everyone else.”

Church usher Steve Romano, a Rockaway Park resident who spent the week helping his ex-wife and girlfriend clear storm wreckage from their nearby homes, said the Sunday mass had special meaning for him.

“It makes you feel whole. If I didn’t go, I’d feel like I was missing something,” he said. “It’s nourishment.”

Read more.  And check out the slideshow at the link, as well…
Photo: Tuan Nguyen