The 220 attendees also paid loving honor to the late Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, who died in March of COVID-19.
Tomorrow will be a year to the day when Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay sent me a letter asking for a grant from the Bright Christmas Campaign.
The Mexican Apostolate for the Diocese of Brooklyn will host a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12 with a cultural program and a Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.
¡Ánimo, el Señor es bueno! That Spanish phrase — Cheer up, friends, God is Good! — were words that members of the diocese’s Mexican ministry said perfectly summarized their beloved priest, friend, and leader, the late Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, who died March 27 as a result of COVID-19. Father Jorge used the phrase as a personal motto.
Twenty-year-old Abigail Zarate is a Latino Studies student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Mexican-American, a Catholic, and a first-time voter. For some, this might sound like a lot, but for her, being many things at once is part of her cultural identity and faith journey.
Survivors of COVID-19, or even those who never had it, can still suffer its residual ravages of confusion, isolation, and loneliness — sorrows shared by lay workers for the Diocese of Brooklyn. In the pandemic’s wake, they grieve losses of family, friends, and even clergy, but they also mourn how the disease robbed them of the fellowship they enjoyed while laboring in dozens of lay movements active in the diocese.
While his parents and siblings sang in Spanish the words of St. Paul — “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” — the casket containing Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay was lowered into the ground in Mexico City.
The casket carrying the body of Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, believed to be the first Catholic priest to have died from complications of the coronavirus in the U.S., is on a Delta Airlines flight bound for Mexico.
“If not for our faith, I don’t know how we could have been able to go through the last weeks,” Socorro Ortiz-Garay told The Tablet from Mexico during a recent interview. Socorro is the eldest sibling of Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the pastor of St. Brigid’s parish in Brooklyn, who died March 27 at the age of 49 due to complications from COVID-19.
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn has learned of condolences from Pope Francis over the death of two priests serving the Diocese of Brooklyn due to coronavirus.