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
July 27, 2021
Visit our website for more information: www.oratorychurch.org
An Online Public Dialogue on Communion, Catholics, and Public Life: Where Do We Go From Here?
The program will be livestreamed. Click the link for more information and to pre-register.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:30pm
From Our Pastors
As we see the slow rise of infections again, both in our country and around the world, we are reminded that this pandemic is far from over. I don’t know about you, but the freeing up of restrictions signaled for me the hope that we had somehow, despite all the loss, put this behind us. However, that does not seem to be the case. Particularly disturbing are the infections and death rates among the unvaccinated, and the evidence that even the vaccinated are being infected.

What all this means from the scientific and social point of view is perhaps best left to the experts, but it does remind us of the inescapable human condition. Since the Garden of Eden there is a temptation to believe that, somehow or another, one day we will get it all right; that if we have sufficient science or if we are good enough or smart enough, we would solve all our problems. Paradise would not be lost, or at least we could wrestle it into existence.

The past few months I’ve been reading a book written by an old college professor, Father Neil Brown. In his 80s he is still writing books, this one is entitled “Fiction, Faith and Humanity.” Here is a quote from page 125 that might bear reflecting upon at this time.

“In the person of Jesus of Nazareth, in Christian faith, God irrevocably identifies with that human vulnerability, even to the point of death as the innocent victim of human power and violence.
The cross does not sanctify victimhood and suffering: Jesus stood squarely against dispossession, alienation and religious hypocrisy, and his death was a consequence of that stance. His ministry was also about ‘wholeness’, a renewed humanity, and the love and sacrifice that that entails in a world such as ours.

When the Christian story is domesticated, when it becomes a comfortable piety ensconced in some ‘safe’ house away from the din and strife, then it will feel like an ‘illusion’ to those looking in. The Christian story can be told in many ways but, if it is to be authentic, it should always contain at its center that stance of Christ within the turmoil, and engagement with all that diminishes humanity, and a hope that survives adversity and death.”

There are two main thoughts I take from Father Brown’s quote. First, that struggle and incompletion are part of the human condition. There is no real or ultimate, or even desirable, way to escape that fact. Indeed, engaging our humanity in all its creatureliness is THE way to the fullness of life, as Jesus’ life and message attest. And second, that it’s important to keep engaging the questions, to keep engaging life and love, doing the good and true and beautiful whenever and wherever and with whomever we can. Even in our 80’s! And that engagement must, if it is to be truly Christian, involve an engagement with others, particularly, as the Christ did, with the most vulnerable.

Please try to stay engaged this summer with the people and questions of your life, and see in all the joys and incompleteness the reasons and means to maintain the faith, hope and love which are the substance of our community.

Fr. Mark Lane, c.o. and Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o.
Welcome Benjamin Charles who was baptized last week at St Boniface. Congratulations to his parents Jackie and Marc Stepper.
Oratory Young Men Gather for Summer Service
On the evening of July 8, several members of the Oratory Young Men's Group (newly rebranded as OMG!) gathered to prepare the next day's lunch (TLT's--turkey, lettuce, and tomato) for students in Brooklyn Jesuit Prep's summer camp/learning program. In its ninth year, OMG allows young men (21-35) in the Oratory parishes and beyond to connect for prayer, service, and social activities. If interested in learning more, contact Fr Anthony at andreassi.anthony@gmail.com
Mass Intentions
If you would like to request a Mass for someone living or deceased, Mass intentions are available for the weeks or months ahead. Email info@oratorychurch.org. The 2022 Mass book is open as well. The offering is $20. Please pay by using Pushpay or by mailing a check to 64 Middagh St. Brooklyn, NY 11201.

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
718.875.2096