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
November 13, 2020
Visit our website for more information:
Oratory Parishes Recital Series - Join us Monday, November 16, at 8:00PM for a live-streamed recital featuring New York’s finest young classical musicians. Curated by Director of Music Benjamin Niemczyk, this recital features works by Glinka, Brahms, Bach and Duruflé. Visit the our website for more info.

Oratory Christmas Greens and Poinsettia Sale

Please click here for instructions:
From Our Pastors

 If you pick up a map, you will reliably find that the Arctic is at the top of the page and Antarctica is at the bottom. Does it have to be this way? (Stay with me here, there is a point to this question!)

If you ever find yourself at the airport in Sydney, Australia, you might consider purchasing a unique souvenir as you wait for your (long) flight home. “MacArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World” reverses the usual conventions. Start MacArthur, an Australian, decided in 1979 to upend, literally, the usual order, and orient his map with south at the top and north at the bottom. The end result? Tasmania is now on top of the world and Canadians would be the people from “the land down under."

The history of maps is as complex as almost any human endeavor. The Egyptians and Chinese arranged their first maps, as MacArthur would have it, with south at the top of the page. Early European maps were oriented, as the word “orient” suggests, with east at the top. The first navigational maps, when new ships and adventurous explorers were “discovering” the world, had maps with no up or down, the wording often radiated out from the middle.

The point of raising this curious history is to highlight that we sometimes hold as true what is in fact merely a convention. Many people from “Down Under” are keenly aware of the unexamined “hemisphere-ism” of current mapmaking.

Orienting maps with north at the top is a convention dating from the 16th century, thanks to a fascination of cartographers of the day with Ptolemy. The reasoning why Ptolemy had north “up” and south “down” is lost in history. The fact is that the only “up” or “down” in space is responsive to the location of the center of gravity, not to compass points.

Divisions in our country, our world, and even our church, seem to be widening. Characterizations of the opposition are hardening. We seem to be losing the civility by which we can talk to each other. In an era of unprecedented confidence in the rightness of personally held positions, it might be helpful now and then to pause, stop arguing, listen, and consider a different perspective.

In recent weeks we have been making our way through Chapter 5 of Matthew’s gospel, at the end of which Jesus says: “You have heard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. That you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun to rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and unjust.”

Jesus’ provocative statements are not arguing that right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice do not exist. They most certainly do, as his own life and death most clearly attest. What Jesus is challenging his disciples to do - what he in fact does repeatedly - is take the initiative to reach out (often though opposition), engage, and get to know “the other.” 

Perhaps Jesus’ advice is worth considering anew: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

Fr. Mark Lane, C.O. and Fr. Michael Callaghan, C.O.
Assumption Mass Intentions 
11/14 5pm Kathleen Slattery 
11/15 9am For the People of the Parish 
11/16 No Mass 
11/17 9am All Souls’ Novena 
11/18 All Souls’ Novena 
11/19 All Souls’ Novena 
11/20 All Souls’ Novena

St. Boniface Mass Intentions 
11/15 10am Terence McGurn 
11:15 For the People of the Parish 
6pm All Souls’ Novena 
11/16 12:10 For the Sick of the Parish 
11/17 Priest’s Intention 
11/18 All Souls’ Novena 
11/19 John Dunne 
11/20 Ed Wilson 
Please keep the sick of the community in your prayers: Barbara Dowd, Mary Corral.

Rest In Peace: Vincent Ferrara, Derek Buchner, Mary Carames, Robert C. Hernandez, Quesqueya Palacio, Paul Butler, Fr. John O’Leary, Betty Capone.

If you would like add someone to the prayer list, email the parish office at or go to the website and complete the form.
Assumption Mass Times - We will return to a 10am Mass on Sundays. We will make this change on the first Sunday of Advent, November 29th. The 5pm Mass remains unchanged.
Thanksgiving Food Drive - Collecting through November 25
Supporting the families of Hour Children and local college students through our Newman Ministry.

  • Place your items in the outside bin in the side yard off Cranberry Street marked Food Drive or in the narthex of the church in the food boxes.
  • Use Pushpay to donate to the Food Drive. We will use funds to purchase bulk food for pantries.
The Social Justice Action Committee and Antiracism Task Force are proud to sponsor 'Fit the Description"
Through this screening and discussion, we will begin to understand the lenses through which we see and experience the world, and how those lenses can be tinged with unconscious, implicit bias. 
We will explore practices that interrupt the bias through various opportunities to connect and develop proximity with others. Brooklyn Oratory Parishioner Art Jones will share his personal journey of connection to the men of Network at Woodbourne Correctional Facility.

Register and find our Zoom link on Eventbrite: 

Friday, November 20, 7-8:30pm via Zoom.
Celebrate the Living Legacy of Dorothy Day on the 40th Anniversary of Her Death

Panelists Include:
David Brooks, Op-ed Columnist, The New York Times
Anne Snyder, Editor in Chief, Comment magazine
Paul Elie, Senior Fellow, Georgetown University
Convener: Robert Ellsberg, Publisher, Orbis Books

Sunday, November 29, from 6-7:30pm
2020 Has Been Tough—OWC/SJA Would Like To Help “Sweeten” Your Holidays 
The Oratory Women’s Community and Social Justice Action is trying to “sweeten” the Oratory holidays—we know holiday dinners have changed, family get-togethers canceled, jobs lost, family members gone.

OWC/SJA would like to help...a phone call, a plant, a meal, a virtual visit? More Zoom instruction to help you connect? Or would you like to help? Know someone struggling with the holidays this year? Let us know how we can help you or someone you know.

Email with Subject Line, Sweeten the Holidays.
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 

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