When a local Queens freelance writer won a prize at the recent Catholic Media Convention in Quebec City, the spotlight also shone on a Brooklyn parish.
Rita E. Piro, a member of the faculty of The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates, was awarded Best Profile for her feature article on St. Maria Goretti and the exhibition of her relics that was held at Good Shepherd Church, Marine Park.
The article, that appeared in the June 2016 edition of St. Anthony’s Messenger, featured interviews with Father Thomas Doyle, pastor, and Deacon Christopher Wagner, a member of the pastoral staff, along with several adult parishioners and children of the parish. Photos from the event were also included.
Father Doyle was quick to offer the church as a location for the Maria Goretti exhibition which was part of the Vatican’s Year of Mercy.
“What a powerful story, a saint for our times,” he says in the article. “We usually think of saints as old people who lived long ago, but Maria was a young person who lived relatively recently. Her story of mercy and forgiveness speaks to all of us of all ages still today.”
Deacon Wagner added, “The motorcade bearing the relics of St. Maria arrived at 1 a.m. and we all came out to welcome her. As the police escort arrived at the church, I was filled with pride that our parish was chosen for such a great honor.”
More than 1,500 people came to Good Shepherd Church for the 18-hour exhibition where they were able to pray before the relics of St. Maria Goretti and view the displays illustrating her life.
Piro writes regularly for various Catholic publications, including The Tablet.