Diocesan News

Bishop Blesses Basilica’s Chapel for Cremains


By Antonina Zielinska

In order to give people another option when burying their dead in a sacred space, Regina Pacis Basilica restored its lower church as St. Joseph Chapel and Columbarium.

Msgr. Ronald Marino, rector of the Bensonhurst basilica, said he wanted the parish to offer this ministry to people because he has witnessed a great need among families, especially those who have received the cremated remains of their loved ones but have yet to inter them.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio blessed and dedicated the space on All Saints Day, Nov. 1. Referring to the Beatitudes, which were read as part of the Gospel for the day, the bishop said the space can help those who pray there find holiness.

“In mourning, we will find blessedness,” he said. “Sanctity is never a personal mission; it is the work of the whole Church.”

It is this sanctity that all people must strive to achieve, the bishop said, while at the same time acknowledging their own shortcomings.

“All people, in their lives, must find the holiness that will admit them to the Kingdom of Heaven,” he said. “Each time that we come to communion we acknowledge that we are sinners.”

During his homily, the Bishop of Brooklyn explained the importance of the Solemnity of All Saints.

He said the day celebrates all those who are experiencing the glory of heaven, known and unknown. He encouraged members of the congregation to reflect on the saints whom they may have met throughout their lives and to follow in their example. He said such people can be recognized by their blessedness.


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“True blessedness is true happiness,” he said. Not a happiness that is reliant on specific circumstances, but on the happiness that results from a relationship with God.

Architect John Denaro, who served as project manager for Acheson, Doyle Partners, Inc., said he looked to his late brother’s example when he ran into difficulties during the Regina Pacis project.

The Denaro brothers grew up in Regina Pacis parish. They attended the parochial school and then went on to Xaverian H.S.

Joseph Denaro suffered and died of cancer in adulthood. John said the strength and dignity his brother demonstrated as he battled cancer has been an example he has held on to as he worked on the St. Joseph Chapel and Columbarium.

Msgr. Marino said the project has seen its share of difficulties despite the efforts of many dedicated people working day and night, seven days a week to get the chapel ready for the Solemnity of All Saints. He explained to the overflowing crowd at the dedication Mass that the tiles for the unfinished floors were somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean en route from Turkey.

Leading by example, Msgr. Marino showed the congregation the slot where he would be buried. The front tablet displays his picture, name and birthday. A space was left for his death date.

“I’m not ready to go in there yet, but that’s where I’m going to be,” he said.

For information regarding interment at Regina Pacis, call the rectory at 718-236-0909.

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