Diocesan News

Black Catholics Remember Msgr. Quinn’s 129th B’day

Local clergy at prayer service honoring Msgr. Bernard J. Quinn.

Peter Damour sings at a prayer service for Msgr. Bernard J. Quinn's birthday.


Stanley Davis served as cross bearer for the opening procession.


A prayer service was held to mark the Jan. 15 birthday of sainthood candidate Msgr. Bernard J. Quinn at St. Peter Claver Church, Bedford-Stuyvesant, a worship site of St. Martin de Porres parish.

Msgr. Quinn, who was born in 1888 – Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on that same day 41 years later – and died in 1940, was the founding pastor of the then-St. Peter Claver parish and founder of Little Flower Home in Wading River, L.I. He devoted his ministry to the service of black Catholics in the Diocese of Brooklyn while vigorously defending the civil rights of all African-Americans.

Twice, he rebuilt Little Flower Home after it had been set on fire by the Ku Klux Klan. Msgr. Quinn died at the age of 52. He was buried from St. Peter Claver Church, where 8,000 people attended his funeral. His cause for canonization was approved by the U.S. bishops in November. Msgr. Paul Jervis serves as the Postulator of the Cause for Sainthood for Msgr. Quinn.

Leading the prayer service were Msgr. Jervis, who currently serves as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi-St. Blaise, Crown Heights; Father Alonzo Cox, pastor of St. Martin de Porres parish, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Father Daniel Kingsley, parochial vicar at St. Martin de Porres. Peter Damour, a member of St. Clare’s parish, Rosedale, served as cantor for the service, and St. Martin de Porres parishioner Stanley Davis served as cross bearer for the opening procession.

(Photos: Catholic News Service/ Gregory A. Shemitz)