Homily – Pastor Installation Mass

Decree for the faithful. Welfare of the people of God. I hereby appoint you, Very Reverend Joseph R. Gibino, Pastor of Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church. Brooklyn, New York. I entrust to you the full pastoral care of the people of this parish with all the jurisdictions, obligations and rights attached to this office by the general law of the Church, as well as particular legislation of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The appointment became effective on June 30th, 2023. My representative, most Reverend Bishop Vito, will preside at the ceremony of installation on Sunday, December 10th, 2023. In accordance to the decree of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, dated September 24th, 1984, and confirmed by the Apostolic See. This appointment is made for the period of six years. I exhort you to carry out this priestly service with zeal and dedication under the authority of the Diocese of Brooklyn, in whose Ministry of Christ you have been called to share.

Faithful to the Gospel and its spirit fulfill the duties of teaching, sanctifying and governing with the cooperation of your pastoral staff and the assistance of the lay members of the Church faithful. May God the Father grant you the grace and health to carry out this priestly service in the name of in the name and Power of Christ. Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn.

My dear friends, because I am aware of your pastoral needs and I am confident of his qualifications for the office of Pastor. I now commend Father Gibino to you as your your new pastor.

And well, this is a very special morning, isn’t it? What a great gift to be here. My name is Deacon Kevin McCormick and the superintendent of schools for the Brooklyn Diocese. And a good friend to Father Joseph, who’s been a friend and a mentor since I took this job. There’s much to celebrate here today. We celebrate a great man who’s now your pastor.

We celebrate a great tradition of a church that’s been so important to this diocese. We celebrate the visit of our Bishop of Auxiliary Bishop to be here as well as little did you know that Deacon Tom was was baptized here 57 years ago.


So it’s a real honor for me to share some some thoughts in the homily today for this this great day. Second Sunday of Advent. But if I may be honest with you, I’m really not crazy about the whole Christmas thing, if that’s all right. If I can admit that I think Jolly being jolly is a lot of work, and I’m not happy about it.

I have to be. I’m a I’m an important man. I don’t know if you know how important I am. A lot of work to do. And I’m not even talking about my job. I’m talking about my house. I’m talking about getting the Christmas things down and making sure my children, who are all adults, are okay. I have to make sure that my wife is doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

I don’t know what that means. I know, though, that there’s a lot of pressure for adults during this time of year, and I know that for us, for the adults, these are the two fastest weeks of the whole year. We’re kids. On the other hand, they see something completely different than we do. They see a world that’s different.

They’re in a different time zone than we are. You see, these are the two slowest weeks of the year for them. And in the midst of it, they want a dance. They want to sing. They want to see the grace of God that abounds. And they see it every day. But me, I’m too busy. I got the BQE in the Bell Parkway to worry about.

I got to pay my bills. I got to make sure everybody’s happy. I got to do my job and I don’t have time for the grace. Thank you very much. I have responsibility. Now, the gospel and the readings today, they caused us something completely different. The first words in the first reading today from Isaiah is come first. He doesn’t say, finish the job.

He says, Comfort, comfort. My people. They have suffered enough. It’s time to bring them home. I remember home when there were times, especially this time of year, I kind of miss what my mother and father were able to prepare for me when my schools were able to do for me. I miss going home, but I’m very busy. I’m very, very busy and I have things to do and there’s not time for me to do that.

I have to get ready to do the things that I’m responsible for. And yet Saint Peter tells us in the second reading that your time and God’s time are not the same thing. And in fact, I’d like to go so far, if I dare to say what Saint Peter is telling us is that God is in the ever present now.

Well, we believe in the final coming of the Lord. The fact is, is that the Lord is here. The fact is we are not getting ready to see the birth of a child who will become the preacher and the teacher, the one who proclaims the kingdom of God, the one who will perform miracles, the one who will invite those from the outside in who will ultimately come in contact in conflict with Rome, who ultimately will die.

And ultimately, we re risen from the dead. That’s not happening. New again. It already happened. We’ve already been saved. The grave is empty. The baby has been born. But what does it mean to us? Well, I think more gives us that in the very opening line. The very opening line, which I think it gets lost. And it was lost on me.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Son of God. Well, of course he’s the son of God. We know that. We know he’s the second person of the Trinity. We know the whole understanding of that relationship. We know what Jesus has done for us. But when Mark writes that when Mark writes that he’s using a phrase that other people that I would rise because that word, Son of God, which we understand correctly theologically as the fact that Jesus is fully human, fully God.

When he wrote it, the people heard the Emperor of Rome ce ce.


Some some some 30 years after Jesus rose and did he’s proclaiming the fact that this is the Emperor, this is the true Messiah, this is the anointed one, this is the chosen one. And radical things are going to happen. Things are going to happen that are going to change everything. Our kids know that they not reticulated that way very well.

I have a brand new grandson by my own parish, is sick and tired of me talking about this kid. But you’re new so I can do this all again. He’s 16 months old. His name is Jackson. He’s well above average of every other kid is around. But what I love about Jackson is this Jackson is confident in everything he does, that he’s going to be okay.

If Jackson had a theme song, it would be everything’s going to be all right. Everything’s going to be all right. Even as he climbs upon seven different things and precariously stands six feet above the ground, balancing on one foot, he knows that an angel will come to make sure he dish his foot, not dash his foot against the stone.

He knows that when he’s hungry, he’ll be fed. He knows when he’s lonely. He’ll be hugged. He knows when he needs a place to sleep. It’ll be given to him. He knows when he has his temper tantrums, which Admittedly, he does. He’ll be forgiven and actually smiled upon. I look at Jackson, I look at the students of our schools.

I look at the kids that our own family, the older ones. And I say, what do they know that we don’t know? They know this, that the grace of bounds now, now is the time for grace. Not down the road, not in two weeks, not after Easter. Now is God’s time. And I think the miracle of Christmas is for us to open our ears, to clear our eyes, and to unburden our hard, to see that grace that abounds, to dance with it, I think, is older people.

When we hear Saint John the Baptist call us to repent, to change. Chances are most of you are not really good sinners. I’m sure you said, and I’m sure you’re not good. You be upset about it and you’re penitent about it and you want to do better. And that’s good. We strive to be, you know, to take the seven deadly sins.

We go against them all. And when we do, we call ourselves back by confession. We ask the Lord, you were healed by the Eucharist. But I wonder if our greatest failing is not expecting more from God, not less. My grandson, my students, my children in the world that I live on, they expect nothing but excellence from their parents and from the adults around them.

And they do it with confidence. Do we do the same with our God? Do we look during this Advent season and see it as a burden like I do to make sure we get everything done? I don’t know how we’re going to. How many times have you said this the last week? How are we going to get everything done these next two weeks?

Men used to plan in presents to buy and people to visit and all the things that go with that. Do we sit and say, my goodness, what grace is God giving me today? Do I put God in a box and attempt to paper train him when in fact he’s a raging spirit that John found in the desert, in the land of extremes.

And that’s what we are called to. That’s what we are called to, to have the ears, the eyes and the heart, to see that God’s grace abounds. And there are no limits, no limits to what can be done. Which brings us to today. Saint Charles Borromeo has a new pastor. Well, what is a pastor do? That sounds like the beginning of a joke.

But it what a pastor does is he leads, he follows, he walks beside. And while we use the idea of Shepherd, which is wonderful. Forgive me, Father, and forgive me, Bishop, but I think you’re more of a goat herder. Let me explain why we live in New York. We’re not like the other people. Sheep are stupid and don’t do anything unless they’re told in New York.

In Brooklyn, we’re more like goats and we jump all over the place. We jump from here to there. In fact, there is something called goat yoga where you can go, you know, you go and you go New York, not me. Trust me, not me. But you go and yoga and little baby goats jump on your back. Sheep would never do that.

Goats dance with grace all the time. And what a pastor does and what Father Joe does for you and will continue to do for you is he will be able to see things that you can’t see all the time and to hear things that you can’t hear all the time and to invite your heart to the place it needs to be so you can love all the time.

The Pastor, The face of Jesus in this parish, United with his bishop, united with his staff and with his his pastoral team and with his laity together. He’s inviting you all us all to dance with the grace that abounds. Your pastor is calling you in the work that he does in his pastoral care, in the ways that he works, in the challenges that he offers.

He’s offering us the ability to see the fact that God’s grace in Saint Charles Borromeo, to borrow a line from Al Pacino. Just getting.


We don’t need to wait for God to return to have that grace found. God is in our midst. The Holy Spirit is here and alive and with the gift of Father Joseph Juvenal. That gift is now giving a renewed voice. He stands on the shoulders of the pastors who’ve gone before him, men who always did their best and what they did and had their own unique gifts that they brought to this parish for many, many, many, many years.

But speaking personally, what Father Joe brings is a sense of joy. He’s not burdened the way I am because he sees clearer. He hears deeper. And he loves more. What a great gift Bishop Brennan has given to this parish to share a great gift of the diocese with us all. As we now go these next two weeks. We’re not waiting for the baby to be born.

We’re waiting for our hearts to be open and to have the same, same belief and confidence that my little grandson has, that the children in my schools, our schools, the people in our lives have to see that joy. Father Joe, a prayer for you this day among many, is that you keep our eyes open, our ears clear and our heart able to see the love of Christ in all that we do.