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
November 17, 2020
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From Our Pastors

Memories are important and powerful aspects of our humanity that empower us to dare and grow as individuals. Sometimes when memories are vague, it can be like learning their reality for the first time. Yes, memories can also be cause for negativity and pain. Sometimes, it is remembering the past though, that helps us move forward. Today we invite you to share in some of the shared or corporate memories of our faith as our Church celebrates Black Catholic History Month, established in 1990.

Did you know that we have had three bishops of African descent serve in the Chair of Peter? The first was Pope Victor I who served from 189-199. He is best known for his efforts to standardize the celebration of Easter and his defense of the divinity of Jesus. The next was Pope Militades, an African who was elected Pope in 311 and served for nearly three years until his death. He was the Pope who signed the declaration that made Christianity legal in the Roman Empire. He also established The Lateran palace as the seat for the diocese of Rome, which continues to be the Cathedral of Rome to this day. The third is Pope Gelasius, born of African parents in Rome, he served from March of 492 until November of 496. He promoted the reception of the Eucharist under both forms, and was a prolific writer of hymns and prayers. Many of his letters survive, many of which argued for the primacy of the bishop of Rome.

Did you know that a little girl named Bertha, born into a Methodist family in Yazoo City Mississippi, would become a Roman Catholic at 9 after receiving her parent’s’ permission to do so? She grew into Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA, and is now known as a Servant of God, on her way to canonization. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on St. Thomas More and taught for 16 years from grade schools through university settings. She then became a consultant to bishops and churches on racial and cultural awareness and inclusion. A gifted singer and preacher, she travelled the world and large parts of the US offering a ministry of joy. She urged Catholics to celebrate their cultural identities and retain their cultures but also to always reflect on the joy at being one in Christ. For her, “difference” was a reflection of the divine at work, not a basis to fear the other. She continued her evangelical mission, even after being debilitated by cancer, singing and preaching from a wheelchair. She entered eternal life March 30, 1990.

In an interview on 60 Minutes she said: “I think the difference between me and some people is that I am content to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things in order to make change. But if each one would light a candle; we’d have a tremendous light.”

Honoring the legacy of persons of color from the earliest days of the faith until today, what might be the “little bit” we are called to do this week to serve our neighbor and to give glory to God? 

Fr. Michael Callaghan, C.O. and Fr. Mark Lane, C.O.
Oratory Christmas Greens and Poinsettia Sale

Please click here for instructions:
Beyond Sunday@The Oratory
Beyond Sunday is the name of the young adults group at St. Boniface
The Social Justice Action Committee and Antiracism Task Force are proud to sponsor 'Fit the Description"
Through this screening and discussion, we will begin to understand the lenses through which we see and experience the world, and how those lenses can be tinged with unconscious, implicit bias. 
We will explore practices that interrupt the bias through various opportunities to connect and develop proximity with others. Brooklyn Oratory Parishioner Art Jones will share his personal journey of connection to the men of Network at Woodbourne Correctional Facility.
Register and find our Zoom link on Eventbrite: 

Friday, November 20, 7-8:30pm via Zoom.
Concert at Assumption
Join us for a concert of Thanksgiving. You are invited to bring food for the food drive and enjoy a 40-minute concert of classical music under the theme of Thanksgiving. It will also be live-streamed for those who cannot attend. Visit the Oratory YouTube channel for more information. YouTube: BrooklynOratory

Sunday, November 22, 3pm
Centering Prayer Introductory Program via Zoom
Led by Jim Connell
Centering prayer is a receptive method of silent Christian prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer – prayer in which we experience God's presence within us. This digital workshop will introduce the concepts and methods of Centering Prayer to those who are new to the practice or those seeking a refresher. Discover a way to "Be Still and Know that I am God. " Please register at If you have any questions, contact Jim Connell at

Saturday, December 5, 12:30pm to 3:30pm
Thanksgiving Mass Schedule

Wednesday, November 25, 6:00pm Mass with Blessing of Food.
The church is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 27.

St. Boniface
Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, November 26, 10:00am Mass.
The church is closed on Friday, November 27.

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