From our Pastors
Thank you for staying connected to our community through this LINK. A community is formed and sustained by the connections we make. In these times, when staying connected in person has been so difficult, it is vitally important to find ways to stay connected. This Link is a major means for us to share information and support each other as we continue to grow our communities in faith, hope and love.
We have tried to encourage multiple ways to continue meeting virtually during this past most unusual year. Our Family Faith Formation households are meeting on Zoom as they continue catechesis and preparation for the sacraments. We will celebrate Confirmations on Friday May 21 with 23 candidates who have had to do the second year of their program virtually. Over the first two weekends of June at various Masses we will have the honor to celebrate First Communion and First Confession with the children who have done all their preparation online.
Faith Formation groups have been meeting to discuss the Charism of the Oratory. Some groups continuing to meet to maintain community and connections. Our PPCs and Finance Committees have been meeting regularly to support planning and coordinate the activities that are managed remotely. The Social Action Committee has been particularly active in providing virtual opportunities for learning and advocacy. Our Anti-Racism Committee has been meeting regularly leading the charge to examine how we as a parish and parishioners can do a better job at making sure we are a place of welcome for all. Soon Imaging Mary with images of Mary reflecting cultures and races from around the world will be available. Our branch of the Brooklyn Diocesan Inter parish LQBT group has an upcoming online retreat day (details below). The Oratory Women’s Community has group in book discussion, scripture exploration and other forms of mutual learning and support. The men’s groups have continued to gather regularly as well.
There have been virtual gatherings for youth on Fridays to share a variety of issues and topics via zoom including the story of young local doctor’s experience treating COVID, and recently participated in a program examining the impact of microplastics on the environment. Our dedicated RCIA team has met virtually almost every week since September preparing candidates for the sacraments and reception into full communion with the Church. The final five of twelve candidates will be confirmed at Pentecost.
Our music programs have offered a wonderful series of virtual concerts and continue to enhance our liturgies. We continue to provide live streaming of weekly and Sunday Masses as well as provide links for baptisms, weddings and funerals. We now have over 1100 subscribers to the “BrooklynOratory” YouTube channel.
It may not seem as if you are doing anything terribly significant in getting to Mass, or signing up for a meeting, tuning into a concert, either in person or virtually, but it makes a huge difference to the life of a community. We are grateful to our staff who have done the heavy lift with us or managing the last year and help keep us moving forward: Carole Fabrizio, Tom Levy, Christina Matone, Benjamin Niemczyk, Joseph Vanderpool, Tucker Wheatley, Blanca Martinez, Candida Perez and Karla Jimenez. We welcome our new novice, Tim Passow who will be taking on the role of Youth Minister going forward.
As more and more people are vaccinated, we are beginning to see familiar faces return to the pews. From the priests’ perspective we can tell you it is good to see you. Your presence is encouraging to us.
Last Sunday’s gospel reminded us that life (“fruitfulness”) comes from staying connected to the vine. Jesus referred to himself as the vine and encouraged his disciples to stay connected. “Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” So, we believe, that staying connected to our parish communities is how we keep faith, hope and love alive.
Thank you for being a link in the chain that keeps us all connected and our communities fruitful.
Fr. Mark Lane, c.o. and Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o.