Bath Beach

Church organizes search for missing Bath Beach grandmother

Mary Joyce Bonsignore, 88, hasn’t been seen for 7 days

July 24, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Posters containing Mary Joyce Bonsignore’s picture have been pasted to lampposts all over Southwest Brooklyn. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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Mary Joyce Bonsignore is out there somewhere and her fellow parishioners at St. Finbar Roman Catholic Church are determined to find her.

Bonsignore, an 88-year-old Bath Beach woman who suffers from dementia, has been missing since July 17. She wandered from her home on 19th Avenue last Monday morning and hasn’t been seen since, according to police. She is described as a white woman, 5-foot-8, 140 pounds, with blue eyes and white hair. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing a straw hat, a red and white shirt and blue pants.

Bonsignore wears an identification bracelet that lists her contact information.

On Sunday afternoon, the Rev. Michael Louis Gelfant, the pastor of St. Finbar Church, organized a large search party to comb the area to look for the woman. The church is located at 138 Bay 20th St. in Bath Beach.

“She belongs to us. She’s our parishioner. She’s our neighbor. We have a duty to find her,” Gelfant told parishioners at the 9 a.m. Mass on Sunday morning.

The volunteers met in the church parking lot at 3 p.m. and spent several hours fanning out all over Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge looking for any sign of Bonsignore.

Gelfant told Eyewitness News that more than 120 volunteers showed up to join the search.

Mary Joyce Bonsignore is a wife, mother and grandmother. A relative told WCBS-TV that she might have wandered away from her home and walked a couple of blocks toward the shore of Gravesend Bay, one of her favorite places.

Since Bonsignore’s disappearance a week ago, hundreds of “Missing Person” posters have been taped to lampposts and store windows all over Southwest Brooklyn. Some of the posters were issued by NYPD while others were handmade by friends of the Bonsignore family.

Posters of the missing parishioner also adorn the doors of St. Finbar Church.

Anyone with information about the elderly woman’s whereabouts can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at or by texting to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.


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