Brooklyn launches hip new ad campaign for Christmas

From the In My Backyard Desk … Hot on the heels of last year’s buzz-worthy campaign, my diocese has done it again this year for Christmas. The press release:  On Dec. 2, the Diocese of Brooklyn launched a new advertising campaign encouraging people to return to Mass. The campaign showcases different messages inviting people of [Read More...]

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Confirmation celebrated in the Extraordinary Form

A priest friend alerted me to this. It happened Sunday and was done by my bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, at the chapel of St. John’s Cemetery in Queens. Yes, there was slapping. [Read more...]

What happens when you restore a church’s beauty?

Renovation, it turns out, can have some powerful side effects. In Crisis, Michael Tamara looks at some striking restorations of churches—including one in Brooklyn—and the impact it’s had on the people in the pews: Dating from the late nineteenth century, Holy Name of Jesus has been a familiar anchor in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of [Read More...]

Gimme five!

When so much of the world seems to be bad, here’s a little slap of good. The New York Daily News notes: If you stick your hand in the air long enough, someone may just give you a high five. Filmmaker Meir Kalmanson ran around Park Ave. in July giving unsuspecting people trying to hail a [Read More...]

Synod: what about unmarried couples living together?

The working document on the upcoming Synod paints a stark picture: From every part of the world, the responses note an increasing number of couples who live together ad experimentum (“on an experimental basis”) in unions which have not been religiously or civilly recognized nor officially registered in any way. The terms “experiment” or “trial period” are [Read More...]

“The Lord is with me”: The trials of Deacon Francisco Hernández

From the In My Backyard Desk, a story of a vocation that has been tested, and tested, and tested. Meet Brooklyn’s newest permanent deacon. From The Brooklyn Tablet:  Fully aware that being a disciple of Christ means embracing the cross, Francisco Hernández stood before Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros and bound himself to Church service as [Read More...]

Boom: Brooklyn preparing to ordain 13, largest class of priests in the United States

From the In My Backyard Desk, some sensational news, via The Brooklyn Eagle:  The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, will ordain 13 men to the priesthood on Saturday, June 28. This group of men, who have served for the past year as transitional deacons, composes the [Read More...]

Mass in the Extraordinary Form at a Brooklyn church—UPDATED

Some may remember the pictures I posted last week, showcasing the newly renovated Holy Name of Jesus church in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. Saturday, they put the beautiful James Renwick-designed altar to good use and celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The pastor, Fr. James Cunningham, reports close to 200 people showed up. Fathers Brandon O’Brien, [Read More...]

Bridgeport’s Bishop Caggiano: “He’s a breath of fresh air”

Twelve years ago, when I began formation, the director of the diaconate program was a short, wiry, affable Italian with piercing eyes and boundless energy known simply as Father Frank. He was a force of nature, and among the most gifted priests I’ve ever met—brilliant, generous, compassionate, prayerful. The men in my huge class—52 of [Read More...]

What was and what is: the dramatic difference a church renovation makes

Behold, some images from the restoration of Holy Name of Jesus Church in Brooklyn, just rededicated Sunday by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. This is what the church used to look like: And the finished product last week, after several months of work: Below, some images from the rededication on Sunday. [Read more...]