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
January 26, 2021
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From Our Pastors
You may have missed it at the time, but on Dec. 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter, Patris cordeon St. Joseph, spouse of Our Lady and Patron of the Universal Church. From Dec. 8 2020 to Dec. 8 2021, the universal Church are marking the Year of St. Joseph. Francis makes this proclamation born from his witness of this year of global pandemic. He is motivated by the struggles in societies around the world of immigrants, refugees and marginal persons as well as the “unseen” people that have brought us through the pandemic so far. The link above will bring you to the full document, but here are some excerpts worthy of reflection.

Francis invites us to consider Joseph as a model and guide: “Each of us can discover in Joseph—the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence—an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”

The Holy Father encourages us during this year, as we seek to move out of the pandemic, to look at societal structures from a very personal point of view acknowledging our human frailty. “The Evil One makes us see and condemn our frailty, whereas the Spirit brings it to light with tender love. Tenderness is the best way to touch the frailty within us. Pointing fingers and judging others are frequently signs of an inability to accept our own weaknesses, our own frailty. Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser (cf. Rv 12:10).... Even through Joseph’s fears, God’s will, his history and his plan were at work. Joseph, then, teaches us that faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses.”

Joseph is not only a person from the margins of society and facing his own frailty but also a person actively seeking the will of God as he finds his way forward. “Joseph is certainly not passively resigned but courageously and firmly proactive. In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments.... Joseph’s attitude encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak, for God chooses what is weak (cf. 1 Cor 1:27)."

Perhaps we might join Francis to seek the intercession of St. Joseph for our ongoing inner conversion to the will and way of God this year.

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.

Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o. and Fr. Mark Lane, c.o.
Brooklyn Oratory Small Groups presents
Spirituality of the Oratory: Knowing Our Charism
NEW Season 4 “Stability: Strengthening the Bond of Communion”
This ORIGINAL PROGRAM about Oratorian spirituality is written and edited by Joel Warden and developed by Brooklyn Oratory priests.

Please complete the signup form at:

Contact: with questions or requests.

If you are absolutely unable to attend a group, but would like a copy of the booklet, please send an email to

  • Small groups will meet for six weeks beginning the week of February 14 through the week of March 21.
  • If you are unable to attend four sessions in a group, please consider attending the Open Group that meets on Friday evenings for those whose schedule does not allow for a weekly commitment.
Vaccine Appointments – Support in Signing Up
If you are trying to determine your eligibility to receive the Covid-19 vaccine or to schedule an appointment to get the vaccine, here is a link from NY State to use:

The SJA Committee has been compiling resources and found these to be effective (with a slight preference for VaccineFinder over VaccinePod).

Hotline: 877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692

If you or someone you know does not have internet access or needs support in submitting the request, please email Fr. Michael at or or call the office 718-875-2096 ext. 12 and leave your, or the person’s contact information. We will match people with need for support with a person in the Oratory community able and ready to assist you in navigating the technology.

As we wait for vaccines for all, please stay diligent as the variant strains are more contagious than the original version. We’ve made it this far, stay strong and healthy.
The Monthly Beyond Sunday Section of The Link.
Hi. I’m Jorge, part of the Beyond Sunday young adults group. As always, I’m here to give you some links. And, as always, I’ll try to pair them with the finest bottle of joke I can find. Care to join me?

First and linkiest is a link to The Link. I don’t mean to make you confused, it’s just that if you click this link, it will take you to the archive where the past issues of the parish newsletter, named The Link, reside. It’s important to know our history so we can move forward with confidence in our decisions, but first we should know where our history lives. Librarians are very good at this.

Then, I have a link to a short interview with theologian Steven Millies of the Catholic Theological Union that talks about this historic moment of Catholic representation in the political leadership of our country, and what that means more broadly. Personally, I hope it means more colorful robes in Congress, but I understand that is a very superficial concern.

And now, we look to last Sunday’s gospel:

This familiar reading describes Simon and Andrew leaving it all behind to follow Jesus. But as Fr. Mark Paul cautioned in online mass this past weekend, Brooklyn basketball fans need not worry. The nets that are spoken about here are the nets that Peter and Andrew used for their trade, not the NBA team The Brooklyn Nets. Nobody is attacking Brooklyn Nets fans in this gospel. Sure, perhaps you’d like to reevaluate your relationship to a professional basket-and-net ball team whose goals are to 1) entertain you and 2) siphon your money away—especially if you depend more on that relationship than on your relationship with God and the Holy Trinity we believe guides us to lead a better life through a higher calling. But not everything is about basketball. Relax. And put your shirt back on, please. I am not going to fight you.

That’s it here. You can send us love or ugh mail to
St. Genesius, pray for us.
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