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
September 15, 2020
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From Our Pastors

“Unprecedented” has been used to describe and frame a myriad of moments and realties over the past 6 months, most recently the fires in west coast states and the weather extremes emerging across the continent, indeed the world. Every time social experiences are unprecedented, we should pay attention and see what we can learn and how we should best respond. How we live and act, in the microcosms of our lives ripple through the universe often in ways unseen or in a scope that may seem to be unimportant in the moment. So, in unprecedented times, we wear face coverings and keep space between us, we recycle, conserve resources and compost. We try to lower our carbon impact and refrain from self-indulgent and reckless activities that are ultimately meaningless (like the gender reveal parties that have ignited some of the fire in the West). We question where our actions or inactions may contribute to the deprivation or dehumanization of others.

The gospel of this past Sunday reminds us of the unprecedented mercy of God and invites us to act in a way that challenges, and indeed changes, our behaviors. The parable of the king/master and the indebted servants is meant to engage us not in types or categories, but like all the parables of Jesus, to grab us emotionally and draw us into experiential change. The master has the power and the first debtor must beg for time, for leniency, anything to save his family from a life of slavery. The debtor is stripped of human dignity by poverty and misfortune. In the face of power, he begs for his life so that other tragedy might not befall him and those he loves. When the master relents and acts with unusual compassion, the first debtor encounters someone far worse off who is owes a debt to him. But the first debtor’s capacity has been so diminished by his experience he cannot extend the same forgiveness to the second debtor. Inhumanity begets inhumanity, degradation begets degradation. In the end the parable does not seem to end well or hopefully for anyone.

Jesus tells this parable to Peter when he asks a practical question about forgiving his brother, Andrew, Jesus’ response is that for us even to begin to mimic or embody the mercy of God, it will take time and repetition. The precedent for our forgiving is God’s unprecedented forgiveness for us. God does not exact a price for our failings, rather Jesus offers freely the reconciliation made in his own death and resurrection to each of us. Jesus does not ask us to be perfect, but to forgive one another from the heart. So while we continue to make pilgrimage through these “unprecedented” times, and as we practice with Peter forgiving again and again, spend some time pondering these words this week of Carlo Carretto, an Italian social activist turned mystic religious writer and voice for the ongoing renewal of the People of God.

While waiting for the Kingdom, make the Kingdom.
While waiting for righteousness and peace, practice righteousness and peace.
You want a paradise of love? Forgive.

Fr. Michael Callaghan, C.O. and Fr. Mark Lane, C.O.
St. Boniface Sunday Mass Change
Effective Sunday, September 20, 2020.
Sunday Masses will be as follows:
10:00am, 11:15am, and 6:00pm.

Assumption weekend Masses will remain the same through October.
Saturday 5:00PM and Sunday 9:00AM
Congratulations to the following young people in our parishes who were confirmed this past weekend: Talia Calabrese, Joseph Nardiello, Owen Splitt, Leonardo Patrick Walsh, Ella Hegarty, Kiera Hegarty, Isabelle Katinas, Una Laffan and Alicia Hidalgo.

May they seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit each day as they walk forward in faith with us.

Congratulations to Leonardo, Owen, Joseph and Talia pictured.
Patrick FaceTimed his grandfather and sponsor.
Senior Companion Needed
A parish member in Brooklyn Heights is looking for a companion to assist her with shopping, taking walks and possibly getting to Mass at Assumption from time to time. This is a paid position for about 6-8 hours a week. If you might be interested or know someone who is in the area and interested, please contact Fr. Michael who will connect you with the parish member.
Thank you to Elizabeth DiGuglielmo who recently created fall floral arrangements for the sanctuary at Assumption and flowers at St Boniface.
New RCIA program to begin September 30
The “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” (RCIA) is for men and women who want to journey deeper into the Catholic faith. Some may have little or no religious background. Others were raised in other Christian denominations and now feel pulled to explore Catholicism. Some are baptized Catholics who practiced their faith up to a certain point in their lives and now wish to complete the sacraments of initiation. Others are engaged to or married to Catholics and want to learn more. RCIA aims to support you wherever you are.

This year, RCIA will meet entirely on Zoom, starting with a virtual get-together on Wednesday, September 30 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The actual program begins on Wednesday, October 7, and continues to meet on Wednesday evenings thereafter. We welcome your questions! All inquiries will be kept confidential. Contact RCIA coordinators Rob and Nadine at, or one of our pastors, Fr. Mark Lane at or Fr. Michael Callaghan at We look forward to hearing from you.
Family Faith Formation at The Oratory
Family-based faith formation at the Oratory 2020-2021 is adapting to the needs of this period of COVID-19 by meeting online in small groups. Small groups give us the chance to get to know each other, build relationships and grow in our faith. To have an enriched and engaged experience of Sunday mass with our children, we’ll break open the Gospel together, a chance for each of us to grow in knowledge and love of God and become stronger people of faith.

Registration is now open. For more information and to register, please contact Christina Matone at

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