I will send a farewell letter next week, but I write today with a request to support an upcoming Catholic Charities initiative.
This Sunday is my last Sunday Mass as Pastor. My very last Mass, however, will be this Wednesday, June 28th at 12:10PM. It is fortuitous but not accidental. My first Mass as Pastor of St. Charles Borromeo was also June 28th. This was a few days early, but I asked Msgr. LoPinto if I could celebrate it because it is the anniversary of the death of Msgr. Charles Diviney, a former Pastor of St. Charles who was a dear friend and mentor. Msgr. LoPinto graciously consented, and I felt that Charlie was guiding me in my time here. I am happy that I will close my Pastorate on the same day with the hope and prayer that I did not disappoint him.
Among the many things I learned at St. Charles was the critical importance that Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ) plays in the lives of so many people. Our partnership with CCBQ both to the food insecure beginning during the pandemic and welcoming asylum seekers when they were sent to us not only assisted and continues to help many people in need but strengthened our parish in countless ways. This participation developed during unprecedented situations, and we can be proud of our response. The situation has now changed, and we must assess how we can better help our neighbors. We have the unique advantage of being a block away from CCBQ’s administrative offices at 191 Joralemon St and the disadvantage of not having dedicated space for the social services we would like to provide.