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
October 16, 2020
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From Our Pastors

At a decisive point in the epic JRR Tolkien trilogy “The Lord of The Rings”, the diminutive and unlikely hero, Frodo muses, "I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened."

Frodo is sharing his apprehension with Gandalf, the good and wise wizard and leader of the band entrusted with destroying the too-powerful and ultimately evil ring. Frodo is the youngest and smallest of the band that becomes the fellowship of the ring and yet he is the one who finds himself the ring bearer.

The conversation between Frodo and Gandalf takes places when the fellowship has stopped deep in the dark mines of Moria because Gandalf cannot decide which of three possible routes will lead them out. They are at a crossroads with no clear way to decide.

The Lord of the Rings has been consistently named one of the most popular books of all time, perhaps in no small part because the protagonist is someone we can identify with: a regular person caught up in difficult times with tough decisions to make and a heavy burden to carry.

Maybe there have been moments during this pandemic when each of us has felt like Fordo. With the months of the pandemic ticking by and a second round of infections and restrictions in NYC we find ourselves at a crossroads, perhaps not entirely sure what path to take and feeling a little overwhelmed.

It is hard not to see a parallel in Frodo and the young version of the author Tolkien himself. Though born in South Africa his mother moved to Birmingham, England when he was a young boy. Not long afterwards his father died before he could move to join his family. Alone in England, Mrs. Tolkien converted to Catholicism, to the consternation of her relatives, and attended the Birmingham Oratory.

The young Tolkien’s life was upended a second time when his mother herself died. When she was dying, she appointed Fr. Francis Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory as her children’s legal guardian. He took his role seriously, paying for their education, providing housing and generally seeing to their welfare and upbringing.

Could Gandalf’s advice to Frodo be an echo of a conversation between the young Tolkien and Fr Francis?

Gandalf responds to Frodo’s wish that “none of this happened;” and that this fate “had never come to me,” with the advice: "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

None of us would choose to be living and working through a pandemic. And yet here we are. What will we do with the time given to us?

Fr Morgan was a member of the Oratory founded by the Oratorian St John Henry Cardinal Newman. No doubt he and the young Tolkien would have sung the verses of the famous hymn penned by Newman: “Lead Kindly Light.” It is hard not to hear an echo of Gandalf’s advice to Frodo in its lines. Perhaps it can be of some encouragement to us as well.

Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

Fr. Mark Lane, C.O. and Fr. Michael Callaghan, C.O.
111 Willoughby Street Development Project
Here is a first impression of the new 111 Willoughby Street building. The design is still in development but it gives a sense of the massing. St Boniface will occupy a portion of the first floor and floors 2-5 (the blocked lower portion of the building). The first floor will
also contain a retail space and a lobby for the rental apartments on floors 6-40. More details to follow.

All utilities are now rerouted to the church.
Go to or our YouTube channel BrooklynOratory. Stay tuned!
Assumption Mass Schedule
Sunday, October 18
5pm Lucy Acerra
9am For the People of the Parish

Monday, October 19 No Mass

Tuesday, October 20
9am Thanksgiving & Blessings-Cho Family

Wednesday, October 21
9am Fr. James Bucaria

Thursday, October 22
9am Mae & Salim Karam

Friday, October 23
9am Maxima Colendrino
St. Boniface Mass Schedule Sunday, October 18
10am Julie Sullivan Redmond 11:15 For the People of the Parish 6pm For the Sick of the Parish

Monday, October 19
12:10pm Carmine DeFalco

Tuesday, October 20
12:10pm Jim Fry
(11th Anniversary)

Wednesday, October 21
12:10pm Terence McGurn

Thursday, October 22
12:10pm Oratorian Vocations

Friday, October, 21
12:10 Priest's Intention
Please keep the sick of the community in your prayers: Mary Kogut, Ian Lau, Marilyn Shaw, Wanda Morgan, Roberta Klein.

Rest In Peace: William Patterson, Margaret Fissinger, Eileen McGarry, Iris Mabra.

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.
All Souls Day is November 2
Please send us the names of your loved ones so we can remember them at masses. Email and we will include the names in the link on Tuesday, November 3. If you receive envelopes, please write them on the back in the space provided.
New Officers on the St. Boniface Parish Council 
The Pastoral Council elected 2 new officers for a 2 year term, Nancy Dawes (Vice Chair) and Connie Temple (Secretary). Thank you for helping serve our community.

The position of Chair held by Laurie Chaumont continues through June 2021.

Many, many thanks to Marybeth Zeman (outgoing Vice Chair) and Tara Sher (outgoing Secretary) for all their work on the Parish Council. 
ABVM Mass Survey- Last call for your feedback!
As we look at the varying needs of the community, we ask you to respond to the Mass Survey through this link. Along with Mass time possibilities, there is a question for families with children. Please give us your feedback in the next two weeks. Thanks.
Anti-Racism Task Force
The Anti-racism task force group began meeting to work on plans for action items developed following the 3 sessions where members of color in our church communities talked about their experiences with racism. We will focus on actions within our parishes and local communities. An overall goal is that anti-racism will become an imbedded aspect of all committees and groups at the Brooklyn Oratory. Here’s the link to the three videos.
Brooklyn Oratory Small Groups presents Spirituality of the Oratory: Knowing Our Charism Season 3
“Prayer: Constant Communion with God” 

It’s not too late to join a group or request a booklet.
Complete the sign up form at:

Contact: with questions or requests.cds
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.
For more information and to register, please contact Christina Matone at
Please remember, if you are able, to keep supporting our parishes as we try to maintain staff, clergy and operations during this time.
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
Have you moved from envelopes to Pushpay? Great!
Please let us know, so we can cancel your envelopes. Contact the parish office 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