“Be a Brian.” It’s a challenge that Leanne Simonsen posed to family, friends and NYPD gathered in Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill, Queens to remember her husband, Detective Brian Simonsen, who on Feb. 12, 2019 was shot and killed by friendly fire while responding to reports of an armed robbery at a neighboring T-Mobile store.
The vandalism, which caused more than $10,000 in damages, was part a spate of crimes at Catholic churches in northern Brooklyn and southern Queens this past summer, raising the already pressing issue of how churches in the all-urban Diocese of Brooklyn can protect their buildings and property.
On Sep. 13, the Holy Child Jesus Academy community gathered for its annual back-to-school barbeque, where they also paid special tribute to members of a local family who perished in a house fire over the summer.
The sixth annual late August barbecue at the Church of Holy Child Jesus in Richmond Hill brought together parishioners and local residents for two causes: to raise money for the parish’s food pantry and to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Knock in Ireland.
Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros, the pastor, said the perpetrator — or perpetrators — broke into the church basement through a trap door in a small alleyway along 112th Street, which hadn’t been used in years.
At an emotional bilingual funeral Mass at Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill on July 29, family, friends and parishioners mourned the deaths of parishioners Silvia Umana and her children, Gilbert and Guadalupe, who perished in a July 21 house fire.
On July 23, the community gathered at Holy Child Jesus Church to honor Silvia Umana, 51, and her children, Gilbert, 19, and Guadalupe, 7, who perished in an accidental house fire on the morning of July 21.
A fire on the first floor of a Richmond Hill, Queens house took the lives of a mother and her seven-year-old daughter on Sunday, July 21.
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