The Link
The newsletter for The Brooklyn Oratory Parishes

"I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons."
-St. John Henry Cardinal Newman, C.O.
 The Brooklyn Oratory Parishes
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Boniface
March 23, 2021
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From our Pastors

During the Lenten season and into the Easter season liturgies, our readings from scripture provide snapshots of moments, often pivotal ones, in the culmination of Jesus’ earthy ministry and the emergence of the community we call the Church. The gospel texts, especially as we approach Holy Week, and the weeks into Easter, often portray Jesus and his disciples in conflict with certain groups in the Jewish community. When we read the Passion narratives of the gospels, Jesus appears besieged and accused of blasphemy. The narratives, especially in the gospel of John, can give rise to a polemic which casts the leadership and the Jewish people in general as collectively responsible for the death of Jesus. Over the millenia, this polemic has born the fruit of anti-semitism and has errantly fueled pogroms and persecutions of Jewish people across the world, most notably the Holocaust.

As Catholics, we have inherited a rich tradition of scriptures, prayer and theology that comes to us from the days of Abraham and those who carried this tradition forward, particularly the Jewish people. The core of the early Church was all Jewish and these Jewish Christians often lived in tension with the broader culture and local communities. As the church became more gentile and expanded into the reaches of the Roman empire and beyond, the church lost its connection with our Jewish heritage. Consequently, without appropriate context, the tensions seen in the scriptures with some of the Jewish leadership in the gospels became the basis for Christian rejection of Jewish people.

In heartfelt self-reflection at the Second Vatican Council, our leadership approved a document that was subsequently issued by Pope Paul VI (Nostra aetate) to begin to address and correct our understanding of the relationship Catholics and other Christians have with the Jewish (and other religious) people. The Catechism of the Catholic Church further defined our opposition to blaming all Jewish people for the death of Jesus. The Catechism reminds us that the death of Jesus is in the hands of all of us sinners. (CCCDeathofJesus)

Any attitude of blame of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus flies in the face of the reconciling love of God made known to us in Jesus the Christ. As we prepare ourselves to hear the scriptures proclaimed, especially around the passion of the Lord, we do well to reflect of these words of the Council ...the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone....the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation. It is, therefore, the burden of the Church's preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God's all-embracing love and as the fountain from which every grace flows.

As we enter the most sacred days of our faith in the coming weeks, may we look within our hearts for any vestiges of anti-Semitism, that may reside there, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to free us from that. On Thursday May 27, at 7:00 p.m. we will be hosting a Zoom webinar on Catholics and the Jewish people, led by Fr. Michael Lynch, Vicar for Eccumenical and Interreligious Affairs and Sr. Celia Deutsch, a noted scripture scholar of the Congregation of Notre Dame de Sion. Detail will be posted in the coming weeks.

Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o. and Fr. Mark Lane, c.o.
Holy Week Schedule
Please click HERE for our Holy Week Schedule.
**Please note that you MUST have reservations for the 10:00am and 11:15am Masses at St Boniface on both Palm Sunday and Easter. Please arrive 15 minutes before mass to check in.**

 If you would like to leave your name on the waiting list, please call Carole at the parish office to register, 718-875-2096 x 13.

The 11:15 Mass will be livestreamed each Sunday - YouTube Oratorychurch beginning at 11:10am.
Easter Flower Offering in Memoriam and Best Wishes
If you would like to dedicate altar flowers in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone, please send in the name(s) to or include the names with your parish giving envelopes. We will print the names and remember them at mass on Easter Sunday. The donation for altar flowers is $20.00.

When making your donation on Pushpay for Easter flowers, please select "Christmas & Easter Flowers" Fund.
Novena to St. Joseph
Our novena booklet, HERE.

Intercessory Prayer
All: Good St. Joseph, your care has extended to many during your life on earth and from your place in heaven. We turn to you as one whom our God trusted to guard and form Jesus, the Word made Flesh and to accompany Mary in daily life. When you were in perplexity, you trusted the messages sent by God to you and courageously made a way forward. Receive the prayers we offer through you and by your love for Christ and the Church, intercede for us in our needs: (here recall the intentions you have silently). Help us to trust the Word of God as you did and to follow the promptings for the Spirit courageously in our lives that we may one day come through a happy death to eternal glory in Christ our Lord. Amen.
Featuring: Michael B. Gerrard
The Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

The Brooklyn Oratory Parishes of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Boniface Catholic Church invite you to join us for an important conversation focused on how communities of faith can and must respond to the climate change crisis. The evening will feature Professor Michael Gerrard of Columbia Law School. Professor Gerrard was invited by Pope Francis to speak to the Vatican following the release of Laudato Si, the climate change encyclical. Professor Gerrard’s focus during that talk was on the impact that climate change has on immigration and human trafficking. The goal of the evening’s program, through the insight and knowledge that Michael Gerrard offers, is to provide the participants with knowledge and understanding of the climate change issues. As a result, we will see clearer our moral imperative to take care of our common home.

This event is created by Social Justice Action at St. Boniface Church and is part of the Brooklyn Oratory’s broader focus on climate change. For more information or questions, contact Jan Horn at

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 @ 7pm
Mass Intentions
If you would like to request a mass for someone living or deceased, mass intentions are available. Email The offering is $20. Please pay by using Pushpay or by mailing a check to 64 Middagh St. Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Vaccine Appointments – Support in Signing Up
If you or someone you know does not have internet access or needs support in submitting the request, please email Fr. Michael at or or call the office 718-875-2096 ext. 12 and leave your, or the person’s contact information.
Please be sure to send all mail to 64 Middagh Street. The Post Office is no longer forwarding  our mail. Thank you!

The Brooklyn Oratory Parishes 
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Boniface
Roman Catholic Communities in
Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights
Both parishes operate from one office:

64 Middagh Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201