Heights Senior Center Named After Bishop DiMarzio

February 11, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens renamed the Pierrepont Residence for the Elderly, 55 Pierrepont St. in Brooklyn Heights, in honor of former Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio on Thursday, Feb. 10.

Now named the Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Residence, the facility was developed by the Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation in 1979. It is one of the agency’s 23 affordable housing buildings for low-income seniors throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

The facility was renamed to show gratitude for DiMarzio’s support of its programs and services. As the seventh Roman Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, he was an outspoken advocate for the poor, immigrants, seniors and affordable housing.

Bishop Robert Brennan speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Bishop DiMarzio Residence.

DiMarzio, now 77, in his 18 years as bishop, also served as a member of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens’ Board of Trustees and recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of his episcopal ordination. 

He was also nominated as the United States’ representative on the 19-member Global Commission on International Migration, a United Nations-sponsored commission whose mandate was to provide the framework for the formulation of a coherent, comprehensive and global response to the issue of international migration.

He was made Brooklyn bishop in 2003, and his term ended Nov. 30, 2021. The diocese includes both Brooklyn and Queens.

Photos courtesy of Diocese of Brooklyn

“When you talk about generations of giants who did amazing things in every era here in the Diocese, we have another giant whose shoulders we stand,” said current Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan. “Bishop DiMarzio is known as a strong voice for the poor, particularly for the immigrant, and he has been a very effective voice. Voice needs to be backed up with action, and Bishop DiMarzio really does stand behind everything he says.” 

Photos courtesy of Diocese of Brooklyn

Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, president and CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Affiliate Agencies, said the decision to dedicate this building to DiMarzio was made because of DiMarzio’s 18 years of service in Brooklyn and Queens, and how instrumental he was in Catholic Charities’ development of housing for seniors, the homeless and families.

At the ceremony, DiMarzio discussed his honor and what it meant to him. 

“We are proud of what Catholic Charities has done,” he said. “They continue to provide really more than adequate housing with services.  It is one thing to build a building.  It is something else to create a home. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony of the renaming of the center to the Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Residence, outside at 55 Pierrepont Street.

“I am very happy today to have this honor to have this building dedicated to my name, and your name lives on after you. Hopefully, this will be something that can be attributed to the work that I tried to do in the Diocese; building a community, building housing for God’s people, and for all who were in need,” he said.

Pierrepont resident Virginia Olivera speaks at the dedication ceremony.

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