WINDSOR TERRACE — “This has been a very tough year for our family,” said Irais Ortiz-Garay, Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay’s sister. “Sometimes it is difficult to accept God’s will, but thanks to the prayers of so many people and our faith, God has given us consolation and the strength to face this test.”
Father Ortiz-Garay’s family and friends will get together for a Mass in Mexico City on the first anniversary of his death, March 27. Father Fernando Araiza will celebrate the Mass — Father Sebastián de Matus will concelebrate — in Our Lady of Mercy parish in Mexico City.
Access to the Mass will be limited due to the COVID-19 protocols in place, but the Eucharist will be live-streamed on the parish’s Facebook page at 3 p.m.
Both Father Araiza and Father De Matus are long-time friends of the Ortiz-Garay family. Father De Matus is the rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary run by the Neocatechumenal Way in Mexico City. Father Ortiz-Garay was a member of the Neocatechumenal Way, a Catholic movement that started in Spain in the 1960s.
“His death completely changed our life — and our hearts still hurt. It’s so hard not to have him with us, not being able to see him, to listen to him,” said Irais. “In times like this is when you realize that without God we are nothing.”
At the same time, she added, “We know that he is now in the House of the Father. As he used to say: ‘What a beautiful thing is going to be in the presence of God.’ ”
She also expressed the Ortiz-Garay family’s gratefulness for the community of the Diocese of Brooklyn and the love they had shown for Father Ortiz-Garay when he was working in the diocese and during the year after his death.
Father Ortiz-Garay’s parents and siblings were able to travel to Brooklyn last December and participate in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral. It was a moving occasion — on that day, Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay was honored by the Mexican community of Brooklyn and Queens that he served as the director of the Mexican Apostolate in the diocese.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will be the main celebrant at the March 27 Mass at St. Brigid Church in Bushwick where Father Ortiz-Garay served as a pastor.