Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for Jan. 29

January 29, 2015 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Vincent Bohanan joyfully conducts the Sounds of Victory Choir. Photo credit: Alston Media Group
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Victory and Joy


Sounds of Victory Choir Celebrates Successful First Anniversary of Ministry

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

A choir that ministers to youth, turning many lives from dejection to fulfillment, has itself enjoyed a successful first anniversary concert.

The Sounds of Victory Choir lived up to its name on Friday, Jan. 16, bringing in 600 people to Symphony Space in Manhattan. Director Vincent Bohanan proved himself as a musical prodigy as a child. Bohanan’s vision has enabled others to realize their potential through working and singing together.

The Sounds of Victory Choir paid tribute to several notable people who have inspired and supported the ensemble, among them Brooklyn native and Grammy award-winning gospel artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker; Dr. Ricky Dillard of the New Generation Chorale; musician and band leader Professor James Hall; Bishop J.C. White of the Cathedral of Praise; and award-winning radio personality Liz Black.

Last summer, a Brooklyn Eagle article featured the Sounds of Victory Choir. Through their Gospel music, Bohanan and the singers offer a message of hope throughout the city and abroad. Already senior director at 24, Bohanan founded the Sounds of Victory Fellowship Choir in January 2014. Bohanan, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Five Towns College, has worked with the Institutional Radio Choir. He writes all of the choir’s music.

The choir was established to help overcome the negative image associated with today’s generation of young adults and to provide them with the platform and outlet to freely develop and express their musical talents in a positive way. The choir singers come from various demographics and backgrounds. For some, membership in this choir provides the only sense of family and belonging that they have ever experienced. As some of the singers don’t even have a spiritual home, the choir provides their only experience of church right now. The choir has enabled them to join together in a Gospel-based, nurturing and musical environment to inspire and empower all people through song.

During the first anniversary concert, the Sounds of Victory Choir announced the release of its new single, “Only God,” which was slated for Tuesday, Jan. 27. A DVD from the Jan. 16 concert will also be available in two weeks. The single can be purchased for 99 cents on CD Baby, the Sounds of Victory Website, Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.

The Sounds of Victory Fellowship Choir has performed at numerous churches throughout the tri-state area, with choristers sharing the stage with celebrity gospel artists. They can be found on YouTube.

A spokesperson for the Sounds of Victory Choir wrote, “We are looking forward to planning our second anniversary and live recording in January next year in Florida, as per the vision given to us by Vincent Bohanan.”

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Brooklyn Oratory Marks Quincentenary of ‘Patron Saint of Joy’

The Brooklyn Oratory Church at St. Boniface launches celebrations for the 500th anniversary of its founder, St. Philip Neri, by bringing in the world-renowned a cappella ensemble CHANTICLEER!

CHANTICLEER’S program, titled “The Gypsy in My Soul,” will feature a repertoire ranging from Renaissance sacred masterworks to American folksong arrangements and pop and jazz standards on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. in the church on Duffield Street in MetroTech. Tickets are on sale at the Brooklyn Oratory website ( Prices range from $60 to $85 and tickets were selling fast as of Jan. 23. Visit to order tickets.

Established as a pontifical congregation by Pope St. John Paul II on Feb. 11, 1988, the Brooklyn Oratory is a foundation in the tradition of St. Philip Neri, who began the first Oratory (the Chiesa Nuova) in Rome in 1575.

A statement on the Brooklyn Oratory website emphasizes the importance of joy in one’s faith. “As St. Philip felt called by the Lord to evangelize the city of Rome in the 16th century, we, the members of the Brooklyn Oratory, strive to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our own city,” the statement reads. “The special charism of St. Philip was that of joy. Because of this, he spent his whole life helping all who came to the Oratory to find joy in their particular vocation as a Christian (ordained or lay) and in the conduct of their daily life as they sought to live a holy life.”

Philip came to Rome from Florence in 1534, a date that places him in the center of one of the most turbulent times in the history of Catholicism. He was a contemporary of Martin Luther, the monk famous for posting the 95 Theses in protest of what he viewed as corruption in Rome. The Council of Trent, the Battle of Leponto and the Reformation were among the momentous events of St. Philip Neri’s time. Described as a dropout from school and business, a joyous, somewhat eccentric and loveable prankster, he was a most unlikely reformer and his method of reform, if we can call it that, was equally improbable. Like Luther, he shared a love and desire for the greater accessibility of the Scriptures, especially by the laity. But, as many students of Scripture know, God often chooses and calls the least among people.

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Diocese of Brooklyn Brings Large Turnout To Annual March for Life in Washington

More than 500 Catholics from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn headed to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Jan. 22, to participate in the 42nd Annual March for Life.

DeSales Media, the communications arm of the diocese, sponsored the 11 buses that brought parishioners, students, youth ministry groups and clergy members from Brooklyn and Queens to march at the pro-life demonstration.

The March for Life is a peaceful rally that has been taking place every year since 1973, on or around the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion. The Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of Brooklyn, said this annual march allows pro-life demonstrators to have their say in the stand for life.

“This event provides an opportunity for us to gather in our nation’s capital and march down Constitution Avenue, ending at the Supreme Court, where the decision to make abortion legal in the United States has set a destructive path and human life has been reduced to a choice,” he stated. “It is unfortunate that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the beginning of human life, its innate dignity and the possibility of terminating life.”

The Brooklyn delegation joined tens of thousands of people from across the country, marching from the National Mall to the United States Supreme Court Building on Capitol Hill. The event is considered to be one of the largest and most important human rights rallies in the world.

NET TV, the diocesan cable network, featured special programming throughout day. NET TV also recorded a March for Life special. NET TV’s production team will follow a group of pilgrims traveling from Brooklyn to attend the rally, as they document this changing experience before, during and after the rally.

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is celebrating Catholic education through the annual Catholic Schools Week events that began on Sunday, Jan. 25.

The Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of Brooklyn, together with Auxiliary Bishops Rev. Raymond F. Chappetto, Rev. Paul Sanchez, Rev. Guy Sansaricq and Rev. Octavio Cisneros, were scheduled to visit schools and academies within Brooklyn and Queens.

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts on the last Sunday of January and is celebrated with masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. This year’s theme for the National Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

“Catholic education is essential within the Diocese of Brooklyn and Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity to witness our school/academy communities. I encourage you to use this week to learn about these and all the great things that happen in our communities,” said Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Within Brooklyn, the schools receiving visits, as of press time, included: St. Patrick Catholic Academy, Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. – Bishop Paul Sanchez, accompanied by Anthony Biscione; St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy, Thursday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m. –

Bishop Raymond Chappetto, accompanied by Anne-Marie Baumis; and St. Peter Catholic Academy, Friday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. – Bishop Octavio Cisneros, accompanied by Anthony Biscione,  Joan McMaster and Br. Ralph Darmento.

The Catholic academies and schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn educate more than 45,000 students in Brooklyn and Queens, from early childhood through high school. With 105 school sites, they proudly carry on a tradition of academic excellence rooted in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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Brooklyn Oratory Hosts Forum on Ministry Education at Fordham

The dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University will offer an information session for those interested in a career in ministry and ongoing educational opportunities for any and all church leaders. Fordham is a Jesuit-run institution. Participants will have the chance to learn what programs Fordham offers in the areas of spirituality, youth ministry, pastoral counseling, religious education and more. This program is free and open to all and takes place on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at St. Boniface Church’s Newman Hall, on Willoughby and Duffield streets in MetroTech. For more information on Fordham’s programs, visit the website at

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