Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio welcomed more than 50 priests from around the world who are serving the diocese for the summer at a special orientation day and Mass.
“We are your brothers,” the bishop said during the July 13 Mass at the diocesan office building at 310 Prospect Park West. “We come to ask God’s blessing for your time here in the diocese.”
He also thanked them for affording Brooklyn and Queens priests the opportunity to take a much needed vacation from parish responsibilities.
A special guest among the ranks of visiting priests this year was a bishop from India: Bishop Niranjan Sual Singh from the Diocese of Sambalpur. He was in the diocese on a mission appeal. Bishop DiMarzio invited him to concelebrate the Mass as a sign of welcome.
A newcomer to the orientation this year was Father Carlos Jean, a Mexican native studying canon law in Spain. This summer he is helping out in St. Leo and St. Paul the Apostle parishes, both Corona. He said he’s thankful for the opportunity to be in a parish again. He missed being among people, ministering to them as a priest.
He also said the visit affords him and the priests he meets an opportunity for cultural exchange. He has heard good things about the Church in the U.S. and is thankful to experience it personally.
He has also been able to make suggestions based on his own experiences. Deacon Julio Barreneche, diocesan secretary for clergy personal, who organized the event, said Father Jean is the first Mexican priest the diocese has hosted for the summer in a long time.
On the other end of the spectrum is Father Anthony Alimnonu, C.S.S., from Nigeria. He has been visiting the diocese, and more specifically St. Anselm, Bay Ridge, for six years.
“I keep on coming back because the people keep on inviting me back and I love this place,” he said.
Father Alimnonu is the director of a hospital in Nigeria that is run by his order. Coming to Brooklyn gives him the opportunity to minister directly to people. It also gives him more flexibility and free time to pray and read. The more reliable Internet connection in this country also gives him the opportunity to order theology and philosophy books.