Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for July 9

July 9, 2014 By Francesca Norsen-Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The priests of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn each lay their hands on the heads of new priests during the ordination liturgy. Photo courtesy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
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Bishop DiMarzio Ordains ‘Baker’s Dozen’ to Priesthood

This year’s ordination class is largest in U.S.

Brooklyn’s Roman Catholic community filled its large, newly-consecrated St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral to standing-room capacity on Saturday, June 28, as the Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, ordained 13 men to the priesthood. This year’s ordination class is the largest of any Catholic diocese in the United States.

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More than 1,500 attendees and 200 vested priests attended the multi-lingual liturgy. The Scriptural readings were proclaimed in several languages, including Creole, Polish, Spanish and Italian.

Also addressing the ordinands in these four languages, as well as English, Bishop DiMarzio said, “In the Diocese of Brooklyn, we are so blessed that 13 men will be called for service to the people of God. Some may think that 13 is an unlucky number. For me, however, 13 is a baker’s dozen, a true abundance of harvest that the Lord has promised to those who pray for laborers to enter the harvest.”

Bishop DiMarzio individually laid hands on the head of each new priest as part of the ordination rite. Afterward, all the vested priests present went to the altar rail to lay hands on the newly-ordained priests. Bishop DiMarzio then anointed the hands of each priest and handed each a chalice and paten to celebrate Mass.

The new priests each had the chance to celebrate their first Mass in their home parishes, or the churches in which they’ve been serving as seminarians and deacons.

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Joint Congregation Bids Godspeed to Pastor Jane Donnelly at Retirement

The blended congregations of Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church and Bay Ridge United Church bid Godspeed to Pastor Jane Donnelly on June 29, on the occasion of her honorable retirement from ministry.

Pastor Donnelly has served Bay Ridge United Church since 2005, and was installed as pastor there on May 16 of that year. Faced with declining membership, Bay Ridge United Church was determined to continue its ministry and entered into dialogue with the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, which sits at the border of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge, half a block north of Bay Ridge Avenue. Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, which is historically an Arab congregation and the home of the Syrian Protestant community in Brooklyn, has grown and today is diverse in its membership, with congregants from as far away as Egypt, Palestine, Norway and Puerto Rico and as near as Brooklyn. The church became famous after the August 2007 tornado that blew out its stained-glass windows, which have since been repaired.

This past February, Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church and Bay Ridge United Church held the liturgy that integrated them into one congregation. Since then, Donnelly has been co-pastoring with the Rev. David Aja-Sigmon and helping with the transition to her retirement. Pastor Aja-Sigmon has been the pastor of Fourth Avenue Presbyterian for many years. This past Sunday, the integrated congregation took part in the Dissolution of Call liturgy.

Amid tears and thanksgiving for Pastor Donnelly’s ministry, the congregation bid her Godspeed, with members of both churches laying their hands on her. Several area clergy took part, including the Rev. Moire Ahearne, interim pastor, Union Church of Bay Ridge; the Rev. Dr. Jill Schaeffer, visiting associate professor of ethics at New York Theological Seminary; the Rev. Krystin Granberg, Presbytery moderator; and the Rev. C. Anderson James, stated clerk of New York Presbytery. Pastor James preached a sermon on the cyclical nature of life and ministry, pointing out that “each ending is also a beginning.”
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St. Ann’s Church Welcomes Two New Part-Time Staff

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church welcomed two new staff members this week: Deacon Katherine Salisbury and Matthew Leaycraft.

Between them, Deacon Kate and Matt have years of experience in ministry. Both will serve the Episcopal parish at St. Ann’s in a part-time capacity.

Bishop Lawrence Provenzano of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island recently ordained Salisbury to the transitional diaconate, Fr. John Denaro, rector of St. Ann’s, announced.

“As associate rector, she will preach, teach and oversee the children’s program at St. Ann’s,” Fr. Denaro wrote. “As a deacon, a role she fills transitionally in the period leading to her ordination to the priesthood in early-to-mid 2015, she is also expected ‘to bring the voice of the Church and its Gospel witness to the wider community and to carry the needs and desires of the wider community to the Church’ — a traditional understanding of the ministry of deacons and a charge given to her by the Bishop.”

Matt Leaycraft will serve St. Ann’s as parish life associate while pursuing ordination in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. He is seminary-trained and, most recently, he served as a parish intern at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan.

“Matt’s professional background and wealth of experience, both outside and within the church, equip him to serve St. Ann’s in pastoral and administrative roles,” Fr. Denaro wrote. “Matt will join me and Deacon Kate in preaching and teaching. He will also develop programs to help us fulfill God’s wider mission for our church.”

Fr. Denaro wrote, “We initiate this pastoral team as we turn a page and begin a new chapter of life together at St. Ann’s. This is a very exciting and hopeful development for the parish at a time of monumental change and ongoing challenges.”

Earlier this year, the parish had to lay off two staff members, including much-beloved music director Gregory Eaton. A third staff member, the Rev. Sarah Kooperkamp, had completed the terms of her first post-ordination curacy and Bishop Provenzano had redeployed her, following her maternity leave.
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Plymouth Church Moves to Summer Worship Schedule

Plymouth Church invites the community to get an early start on Sundays. Summer worship services began at 10 a.m., effective July 6, and continue through Labor Day.
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Diocesan Newspapers ‘The Tablet,’‘Nuestra Voz’ Bring Home Awards

The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada recently honored writers and editors from the Brooklyn Diocese’s publications, The Tablet and Nuestra Voz, at its annual media conference in Charlotte, N.C.

Catholic Press Association, which represents more than 600 church-related media organizations in the U.S. and Canada, presents these awards annually.

Tablet columnist Father Jean-Pierre Ruiz, priest of the diocese and professor of Theology at St. John’s University, obtained second place in the Best Regular Column category for his “Sunday’s Scriptures.” Carrie White, longtime classified advertising manager, took second place for Individual Excellence in Advertising and Marketing. Antonina Zielinska received an Honorable Mention for the 50th Anniversary of March on Washington Best Coverage, for her report “Sarah Keys Evans: Civil Rights Era Soldier Fought for Her Rights.”

The website for the diocese’s Spanish-language newspaper, Nuestra Voz (, won second place for Best Newspaper Website. Nuestra Voz took second and third place for Best Editorial, for columns written by contributor Mario J. Paredes and editor Daniel Alvarez. Nuestra Voz also received two Honorable Mentions, in the General Excellence category; and in the Individual Excellence category for columnist and writer Cruz-Teresa Rosero.

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Healthy Eating Demonstration at St. Gabriel

St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church Senior Center focuses on the importance of eating well. The church has announced, through Brooklyn Congregations United’s social media pages, a Healthy Eating/Cooking Demonstration taking place on Thursday, July 10.

St. Gabriel’s is at 331 Hawthorne St. The presentation starts at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 718-287-4334, or email [email protected]. 



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