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
December 22, 2020
Visit our website for more information:
The 20th Annual Assumption Christmas Pageant is still on!
Join us for the Virtual Pageant organized to keep the tradition alive and lighten your hearts during this pandemic Christmas.

Join the event through Zoom using the link below. Room opens @6:30pm. Show starts at 7 and runs for 30 minutes. Stay and chat after until 8pm, if you wish. Bring your own snacks and Christmas cheer!

Meeting ID: 893 2336 0700
Passcode: 464347

Wednesday, Dec 23, 6:30pm opening, show time 7:00pm
Christmas Mass Schedule

Dec 24, 5:00pm, prelude of music begins 4:45pm.
Dec 25, 10:00am, prelude of music begins 9:45am.
No reservations required at Assumption.

St. Boniface
Dec 25, 10:00am Mass, prelude of music begins 9:45am.
Click here to reserve your seat (required for attendance):
11:15am Mass, prelude of music begins 11:00am.
Click here to reserve your seat (required for attendance):
The 7:00pm Christmas Eve Mass at St. B is fully subscribed.
From Our Pastors
In the tenth month since the first reported case of Covid in New York City, in the forty- one weeks since the suspension of public liturgy, in the one hundred and seventy fifth day since the restoration of public worship, while still wearing masks and observing social distancing, we come to the feast of Christmas, in which we mark the birth of Jesus. We all know the story from the gospels of Luke and Matthew. A child born in an obscure place, with stars and angels, shepherds and magi in a picture of tranquility and peace.

Yet life is not all tranquility and peace. Those who critique the Christian faith often raise the objection: In the face of suffering and loss, why the lack of obvious divine intervention? Why honor a God who seems to stand by and watch almost helplessly in the face of human suffering? Perhaps worse, some see a God who is cruel and heartless, allowing the innocent to suffer and flounder. If to be God is to be all-powerful why then does God not use that power for to fix the creation supposedly born out of Divine love?

This challenge to our faith is why for us the birth of Jesus, the Incarnation of divinity in humanity is so important. Pierre Descouvemont, a French diocesan priest and theologian has written extensively on the paradoxes of the Christian faith. In his work, Dieu, souffre-t-il? (Does God Suffer) he explored the question of whether God suffers. It is precisely the humanity of our God in the Incarnation that offers us hope as God enters into the human condition which includes human suffering. God, the divine mystery, sets aside the privilege of power, of authority, and becomes flesh, flesh that exalts and suffers, tastes, touches and bleeds. Yes God, suffers with us in our burdens and pains, our losses and illness - not remotely, but intimately. The enfleshment of our God is not captured in porcelain figures or paintings of idealized past events. Rather, God is in the details of the day, woven into the sinews of our bodies and the spaces of our hearts. God is embedded in the isolation and separation we feel and through Jesus holds fast to us in our loneliness. The Divine in infused in the fabric of our lives in ways so often unseen in the moment.

As we gather this Christmas, whether we are together or alone, connected by technology or through posted cards with handwritten messages, our God enters in. In our humanity interwoven with divinity, we are touched, comforted, wept over and laughed with by our God in Jesus. In the midst of all that challenges us we hold to the promise that the birth of Jesus changes everything.
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:13

With the Fathers and Brothers of the Oratory, we pray your Christmas may be grace- filled. Let us know how we can continue to assist you. We are with you in these days and together - God is with us – Emmanuel.

Fr. Michael Callaghan c.o. and Fr. Mark Lane, c.o.

Advent Giving Tree
THANK YOU! As of this posting, we have received 240 gifts and a curated set of 100 books through the thoughtful and generous response of our community! We have far exceeded our goal and will assist even more children than ever! Well done good and faithful servants!
Caring For Our Parishes
“Stewardship as engagement with others.” Presented by Maria Pluchinotta, Assumption Parish. Click here:
Welcome to the monthly Beyond Sunday section of the link.
Hello! I’m Jorge. Long story short we’re the young adults group, we used to get together for food, now we don’t, but maybe one day we will, but until then you can read parish and Catholic news in my young adult, typed voice. Will there be exclamation marks? Who knows?!

[Imagine I’m opening the parish bulletin]

♪ Iiiiit’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Mass schedules are something you have not memorized, so here they all are so you can think about them eeeeeverywhere you goooo ♪

Not a lot of parish news this week. On to some news links.

[Now imagine I’m opening a newspaper that says “The Newspaper” on it in Old English font]

Churches everywhere are deciding how to balance Christmas Mass music with pandemic common sense. I guess they didn’t think much of my “Andy Williams Hologram Sings Carols Throughout Mass” idea. (via Catholic News Service)

“Why does God allow suffering?” Is something I ask myself every time I have to eat the leftover 3 Musketeers in a fun size variety bag of candy. But it is also the title of this beautiful meditation on that very same question. (via America Magazine)

[Imagine I just closed the newspaper and took a sip of eggnog]

One last thing. I hope you enjoy this old video reportage of the monks at the Abbey of Ghetsemani in Kentucky at work, making fudge and fruitcake that might grace your holiday table this season. I love watching it, and there are a few points where it makes me chuckle. Can you imagine earnestly calling a 150 year old monastery “ancient”? You kinda have to see it to believe it:
That’s it from me. Thanks for reading. Feel free to send any feedback– I love to get to know The Readers. I welcome your thoughts, odd stories, and strange pictures of cool dogs and/or average cats:

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a safe season of joy to you and yours!
Please remember, if you are able, to keep supporting our parishes as we try to maintain staff, clergy and operations during this time.

Special Diocesan Collection on Christmas Day for Catholic Charities. You can make your donation online through PushPay by clicking on one of the links:

You can make your donation online through PushPay by clicking on one of the links:

Or mail checks to:
64 Middagh St
Brooklyn NY 11201
Attn: either ABVM or St Boniface

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