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 1, 2020
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From Our Pastors

It was in a town called Naim where goodness met grief in the blossoming ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is travelling from town to town and region to region with his disciples and “a large crowd” who have witnessed the healing Jesus brought about in Capernaum. There is an exultant crowd, a faith-filled assembly, following Jesus when they come upon another crowd wrapped in grief. A widowed mother walks her son to burial. A large crowd from Naim accompanies her. Jesus is moved with pity as the two crowds meet at the gates of the city. The Brooklyn Museum houses in its collection a wonderful painting by James Tissot (La Résurrection du fils de la veuve de Naïm)that captures this dynamic encounter. TissotOnlineCollection.

In Tissot’s painting, as pipers play the funeral dirge, the goodness of Jesus literally touches the dead young man. Those who previously experienced Jesus’ goodness in Capernaum raise their hands in praise of God. Grief is transformed by the encounter with Jesus, in company with his disciples. Everyone in that moment is touched by God’s goodness and they glorify God. Jesus does not keep future grief from them, but in that particular moment, on that day, on the road goodness raised up a broken world. 

Millenia later, the procession of goodness and faith continues to encounter the procession of grief that touches the lives of all people. We know the griefs all too well: a Covid-19 pandemic, Ebola and measles epidemics return to the Congo, a devastating explosion in Beirut, racism and xenophobia that fuels social discord and division, the wreckage of lives from hurricane Laura in Louisiana, and wildfires in California driving people from their homes. There are other griefs we live with, many unknown to others. The many griefs of life may cause us to discount, or even forget that we, who have been claimed by Jesus, are in the procession of goodness that meets and transforms grief on the pilgrim road. Perhaps this week we might build our resiliency in faith by inviting Jesus to touch us anew, to raise us up and unshroud our hearts from the gloom life delivered in these days. As we continue our pilgrimage together, may we have the grace to exult in a God who always meets us on whatever road we travel to raise us up.
Fr. Michael Callaghan, C.O. and Fr. Mark Lane, C.O.
Mark your calendar 9/13/2020
Closet Cleaning During a Pandemic
Oh how I avoid cleaning closets
Five months into a pandemic
A few papers tossed, I haven’t found the grace
To put my affairs in order

Instead I’m placing a lot of faith in my God file
Finding a lot of gratitude in the little details
My two cats, the gentle monotony of each moment,
How easy my husband and I enjoy being bored together

There’s a lot of prayer filling in the gaps
Walks and walks and more walks
I hope people put a name to my face and vice versa
When we get back.

I wonder when that might be.
Some days—I ask God, “When?” Most days, I don’t.
Don’t think much about those closets.

Sleeping late once in a while.
Seeking joy.
Speaking less.
Studying Italian.
Ci vediamo!
That’s see you soon!

Marybeth Zeman
August 2020
Sacristan Position Opening
We are looking for one or two part time sacristans to help at St Boniface. You would assist with opening and closing the church, ensuring welcome and safe protocols at masses and helping to ensure the church is disinfected before and after each mass. If interested please email Father Mark

You would be trained to set up for Mass and assist the priest celebrant as needed. Monday to Friday 11:30 AM - 1 PM.
Sunday, currently 9:30 AM to 11 AM and 5 PM to 7 PM.
(If and when the Sunday mass schedule changes there may be an additional few hours on Sunday.) Living locally would be essential so you can be on call for assisting with weddings, funerals and other services as needed periodically.
Prayer List
If you would like add someone to the prayer list email the parish office at or go to the website and complete the information there.
The churches and the parish office will be closed on Monday, September 7 for the Labor Day holiday.

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