“Parishioners Were on the Sidewalk Crying”: Vandal Strikes Brooklyn Churches, Synagogue

Details:  Police at the 68th Precinct were questioning a suspect in connection with a rash of attacks on religious institutions in Bay Ridge discovered early Tuesday morning. Four churches and a prep school were splattered with red paint, according to Police Officer Sophia Tassy-Mason, a spokeswoman for the New York Police Department. Tassy-Mason said the [Read More...]

Catechists Announced for World Youth Day—Including a Bishop from Brooklyn

To the surprise of no one east of the Hudson, it’s Auxiliary Bishop Frank Caggiano (whom I first knew as plain old “Father Frank” a decade or so ago, when he was the director of my diocese’s diaconate program and I was a wide-eyed aspirant.) Details:  During World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, more [Read More...]

God Bless Brooklyn…

…where we still do stuff like this. It’s Giglio time again! For the uninitiated: In Italian Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the residents of the community look forward to the annual Giglio  Feast held every July.  Since 1903, when the Nolani  immigrants  first held their transplanted feast in this Brooklyn neighborhood, this festa has attempted to maintain many [Read More...]

Funeral Services for Bishop Joseph Sullivan

From the Diocese of Brooklyn: All services listed below are open to the public. Monday, June 10th Wake 2 – 5 p.m., 7 – 9 p.m. McLaughlin & Sons Funeral Home 9620 Third Avenue (on the corner of 97th Street) Brooklyn, New York 11209 Tuesday, June 11th Wake 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. McLaughlin & [Read More...]

Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn Joseph Sullivan Dies

A good man and a great priest. Details: Retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Most Reverend Joseph M. Sullivan, died June 7, 2013, after a May 30th car accident on the Long Island Expressway in Syosset, New York. Bishop Sullivan was critically injured in the three-car collision and was immediately airlifted to [Read More...]

“The cooler, more welcoming side of the Catholic Church” —UPDATED

That’s how the Diocese of Brooklyn describes its new ads for “hipster Jesus.” From CNN: Ads around Brooklyn bring a new meaning to Joan Osborne’s lyrics, “What if God was one of us?” In a new ad campaign launched by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn this month, people in the borough and neighboring Queens [Read More...]

Jesus Christ, hipster

I haven’t seen these yet, but AdWeek takes note of a new campaign launched by my diocese (illustrated here): The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn recently launched ads that speak directly to that borough’s natives in a language they understand—by referring to Jesus as “the original hipster.” The ad doesn’t explain this statement other than to [Read More...]

Praying for Syria in Brooklyn

Further proof that God never ceases to surprise us. Tonight, I found myself continually surprised—and moved, uplifted and inspired at an interfaith prayer service for Syria and the Middle East at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral in Brooklyn.   There, clergy and laity representing Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, prayed a variation of [Read More...]

Making something beautiful in Brooklyn

A Brooklyn landmark is about to get an extreme—and much-needed—makeover. As a local website described it: A historic church in Windsor Terrace, the Holy Name of Jesus Church at 245 Prospect Park West, is receiving a big historical restoration. And as a tipster puts it, “This isn’t just any church overhaul: Holy Name was architecturally [Read More...]

Benedict’s parting gift to Brooklyn: historic church designated as co-cathedral

Great news from the In My Backyard Desk: Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio petitioned the Vatican last year to give Cathedral status to St. Joseph’s, the largest church in the Brooklyn diocese. Pope Emeritus Benedict granted the request before he resigned. DiMarzio will be the Pastor of St. Joseph’s, which will now serve as the seat of [Read More...]