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
March 16, 2021
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From Our Pastors

The Catholic Church has a rich and beautiful tradition of Saints; those who lived lives with “heroic virtue”. St Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory, was particularly fond of relating the lives of the saints in his personal and communal prayer. He believed their stories would inspire us to live with generosity and purpose.

This Wednesday we celebrate St Patrick’s Day, but the saint we want to highlight is one whose feast day was earlier this month, Katherine Drexel. Her feast day is March 3. This local saint is someone worth looking at, not only because it is Women’s History Month, but because St Katherine Drexel’s story can inspire us to push through faithfully with the remaining days of this Lent.

Katherine was born in Philadelphia in 1858 into an immensely wealthy banking family. Drexel University was founded by her uncle. Katherine’s family were Catholic, and faith inspired her mother to open their home three times a week, distributing medicine, clothing, blankets and other necessities. Throughout his life her father devoted a half hour every evening to prayer. As she grew older, Katherine traveled with her family out west, which exposed her to the desperate conditions of Native Americans.

A life changing series of events occurred when her stepmother was dying from a long terminal illness. Katherine took on her care. Like Siddhartha Gautama, she saw that despite her wealth she could not spare her mother from three years of pain that ended in death.

After reading Helen Hunt Jackson’s “A Century of Dishonor” she was determined to help better the lives of Native Americans by deploying her considerable resources. In pursuit of that intention, she traveled to Rome in 1887, and secured a meeting with Pope Leo XII where she asked him to send missionaries to Wyoming. The Pope famously replied to her request: “Why don’t you become a missionary?”

Two years later she became a novice with the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh, and in 1891 took her final vows. Newspapers carried the headline at the time: “Katherine Drexel gives up seven million”. (The equivalent of about $200 million today.) Katherine then established a new religious order, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, dedicated to supporting Native and African Americans.

At the age of 77 Katherine suffered a heart attack which left her extremely incapacitated. For almost 20 years till her death at 96, Mother Drexel lived a quiet life of prayer in a room overlooking the convent chapel. Small notebooks and slips of paper are extent recording her prayers and reflections, revealing her deep inner spiritual life. After a life devoted to prayer, racial justice and service she was canonized the second US-born saint in 2000.

By her death, her sisters had established 49 elementary schools and 12 high schools, and founded Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic University in the US established for African Americans. Segregationists harassed her work, one time burning down a school in Pennsylvania. When she died in 1955 there were over 500 sisters in 51 convents working in 50 missions in 16 states.

Our Lenten observance may not make us saints with an official feast day but it is surely meant to push us in that direction. Saint Katherine Drexel, pray for us

Fr. Mark Lane, c.o. and Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o.
The Month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph
We will be praying a Novena to St. Joseph on Wednesday and Fridays following the 9am Mass. If you have a special intention, please send it in or add it yourself to the book of intentions which will be on the St. Joseph altar for the month of March. Click HERE for the PDF of our novena booklet.
Intercessory Prayer
All: Good St. Joseph, your care has extended to many during your life on earth and from your place in heaven. We turn to you as one whom our God trusted to guard and form Jesus, the Word made Flesh and to accompany Mary in daily life. When you were in perplexity, you trusted the messages sent by God to you and courageously made a way forward. Receive the prayers we offer through you and by your love for Christ and the Church, intercede for us in our needs: (here recall the intentions you have silently). Help us to trust the Word of God as you did and to follow the promptings for the Spirit courageously in our lives that we may one day come through a happy death to eternal glory in Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy Week Schedule
**Please note that you MUST sign up for the 10:00am and 11:15am Masses at St Boniface on both Palm Sunday and Easter.**

In order to observe CDC safety guidelines and ensure the safety of all attending, we must limit the number of people at Masses. If you cannot get to Mass to sign up personally and wish to attend any of these services, please call Carole at the parish office to register, 718-875-2096 x 13. Once the maximum number is reached, we will begin a backup list. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP FOR MORE SEATS THAN YOU NEED. We apologize if we cannot accommodate all who wish to attend.

Please click HERE for our Holy Week Schedule.

The 11:15 Mass will be livestreamed each Sunday - YouTube Oratorychurch beginning at 11:10 am.
On Caring for Our Common Home:
Climate change & the moral imperative

Featuring: Michael B. Gerrard
The Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

The Brooklyn Oratory Parishes of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Boniface Catholic Church invite you to join us for an important conversation focused on how communities of faith can and must respond to the climate change crisis. The evening will feature Professor Michael Gerrard of Columbia Law School. Professor Gerrard was invited by Pope Francis to speak to the Vatican following the release of Laudato Si, the climate change encyclical. Professor Gerrard’s focus during that talk was on the impact that climate change has on immigration and human trafficking. The goal of the evening’s program, through the insight and knowledge that Michael Gerrard offers, is to provide the participants with knowledge and understanding of the climate change issues. As a result, we will see clearer our moral imperative to take care of our common home.

This event is created by Social Justice Action at St. Boniface Church and is part of the Brooklyn Oratory’s broader focus on climate change. For more information or questions, contact Jan Horn at

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 @ 7 pm
Easter Flower Offering in Memoriam and Best Wishes
If you would like to dedicate altar flowers in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone, please send in the name(s) to or include the names with your parish giving envelopes. We will print the names and remember them at mass on Easter Sunday. The donation for altar flowers is $20.00.
Mass Intentions
If you would like to request a mass for someone living or deceased, mass intentions are available. Email The offering is $20. Please pay by using Pushpay or by mailing a check to 64 Middagh St. Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Vaccine Appointments–Support in Signing Up
If you or someone you know does not have internet access or needs support in making an appointment, please email Fr. Michael at or or call the office 718-875-2096 ext. 12 and leave your, or the person’s contact information.
Mass Times and Church Hours
St. Boniface

Weekday hours:  11:30am - 1:00pm

Weekday Mass: 12:10pm

Sunday Masses:  10:00am, 11:15am and 6:00pm
Sunday hours:  9:30am-12:30pm & 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Confessions during Eucharistic Adoration: Wednesdays, 12:30-1:00pm and before Mass on Sunday 5:15pm - 5:45pm
Mass Times and Church Hours
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Weekday hours:  8:30am - 12:00 noon Tuesday through Friday

Weekday Mass:  9:00am Tuesday through Friday

Weekend Masses:  5:00pm Saturday and 10:00am Sunday
The church is closed on Mondays.

Confessions Saturday: 4:15pm-4:45pm at the St. Joseph’s Altar

First Saturday of the month, Mass at Assumption 9:00am with Exposition and Novena to St. Joseph. Please note: There will be no first Saturday in April as it is Holy Saturday.

Stations of the Cross at Assumption will be on Fridays of Lent, in the church, following the 9:00am morning Mass and in the evening at 6:00pm.
Please be sure to send all mail to 64 Middagh Street.
The Post Office is no longer forwarding  our mail. Thank you!

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