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
September 29, 2020
Visit our website for more information:
From Our Pastors

As we saw the outpouring of reaction that followed the controversial grand jury decision regarding the death of Breonna Taylor, Fr. Mark sent me an email asking: “What can we do?”

Since we entered pandemic time, I often find myself asking, “What can I do?” to bring positive change to our communities, alleviate suffering, and encourage hope? How can I bring the light of Christ to my daily pilgrimage? Some days I succeed, or at least feel I do; other days, not so much.

So, I decided to google “What can I do?” to see if the less-than-definitive wisdom of the Internet had any idea. My first hit was a song from Nate Dogg and Anderson Pak called “What Can We Do?”. Turns out it’s about a failed romance but the lyrics actually had some insights worth sharing.

“What can we do? That’s when the change comes, that’s when the game’s done, when the walls come tumbling down, time to turn it around.”

Perhaps asking the question is the beginning of the response. What disciples of Jesus seek in places of discord and injustice, is change. When we are our best selves, we don’t want to play games. We want the walls between us to come down. We don’t seek to divide, or to cause pain. We want to alleviate the pain and suffering for our sisters and brothers. At least that is what I have learned in my faith formation, from my parents, and through the teaching office of the Church.

I looked further to see what was happening in Louisville and Archbishop Kurtz said the following: “There is no question that our nation’s original sin of racism continues to destroy the lives of persons of color and that racism extends through so many systems of our society... educational, economic, religious, housing, criminal justice, voting, and employment.” He called for both peaceful protest and justice to prevail.

So “What can we do”? We can all be in the room together (outside, in church, or on a Zoom!). We can listen, accept, and hear one another even when we don’t understand all the feelings another person has. We can work for peace and justice in whatever way God empowers us – as neighbors, friends, co-workers, parents, law professionals, teachers, priests. We can love when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable. We can listen when we want to scream. We can scream when we need to, but never to victimize another. We can be disciples of Jesus – a “motley” band of unlike people, who are radically made one by nothing other than the grace of God.

We can be light in the shadows of a world in turmoil.

Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o. and Father Mark Lane, c.o.
New RCIA season starts tomorrow.
A new program of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults starts tomorrow, Wednesday, September 30, with a virtual get-together at 7 pm. Starting the following week, on October 7, we will meet on Wednesdays at the same time, from 7 to 8:15 pm. We expect this year’s program to happen entirely on Zoom, which means that some of our eight candidates are from outside NYC, though all have links to the Brooklyn Oratory. If you are a Catholic who wishes to complete your sacraments, or if you, or someone you know, feels called to explore Catholicism, we hope you - or they - will join us. Please contact Nadine and Rob at
Adult Faith Formation Virtual Class: Catholics and the American Politics

with Father Anthony Andreassi, C.O., Ph.D.
Despite the constitutional division of Church and State, the impact of Catholics on politics has been remarkable and at times quite controversial and even disruptive. This series of presentations by Father Anthony will explore the impact American Catholics have had on the development of the American political system beginning with the early days in the late 18th century when the American Catholic community was small and beleaguered through its rise to full stature with the elected of the first (and so far only) Catholic president in 1960. With another national election just weeks away, this course most certainly has a sense of timeliness. No need to pre-register. Separate Zoom links will be sent for each class.

Zoom info for October 1

Thursdays in October 1, 8, 15, 22 7-8pm
Social Justice Action Presents: 13th
We will be screening excerpts from Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary 13th. This film introduces the words of the thirteenth amendment of the United States Constitution: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” By the end of the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement, the United States saw an end to legal segregation and the introduction of the Voting Rights Act. What followed, however, was a more surreptitious form of racial control: open violence and discrimination were replaced by the racially-coded rhetoric of “law and order” and the “war on crime.”
For more information and to register, please see our EventBrite page:

Registration will allow us to contact you with the Zoom link and to share resources both before and after our conversation. We encourage you to watch the entire film beforehand, but the excerpts should be sufficient for discussion. You can access the film on Netflix or for free on YouTube:

Friday, October 2, 7-8:30pm
Save The Date
Second Annual Blessing of Animals Saturday, October 3, 1:00pm @ Assumption campus. 55 Cranberry Street. Click HERE!
Brooklyn Oratory Small Groups presents Spirituality of the Oratory: Knowing Our Charism
Season 3 “Prayer: Constant Communion with God”
This is an original program about Oratorian spirituality, written and edited by Joel Warden and developed by Brooklyn Oratory priests.

Please complete the sign up 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 October 11 through the week of November 15.
  • 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.
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.

Registration is now open. For more information and to register, please contact Christina Matone at
Mass intentions available. If you would like to request a mass for someone living or deceased, mass intentions are available for the weeks or months ahead. Email The offering is $20. Please pay by using Pushpay or by mailing a check to 64 Middagh St. Brooklyn, NY 11201
Link Deadlines
If you would like to include something in our e-newsletter/ link, the deadlines are as follows: Monday, 10am for Tuesday’s link and Thursday, 10am for Friday’s.

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