Parishioners flocked to St. Brigid Church on Saturday for a Mass for the repose of the soul of Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, their beloved late pastor, on the first anniversary of his death from complications of COVID-19.
St. Brigid Church is preparing to mark a tragic milestone — the one-year anniversary of the death of Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the first Catholic priest in the U.S. to die of COVID-19.
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.
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.