First Black Priest Ordained For the Diocese Dies at 95

Msgr. William J. Rodgers, the first black man ordained for and in the Diocese of Brooklyn, died Jan. 21 at Queen of Peace Residence, Queens Village, where he had been living and serving as chaplain. He was 95.

Father Smith’s Priesthood Was a Gift to the Church

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father William A. Smith, a retired priest of the diocese, was celebrated Jan. 8 at Corpus Christi Church, Woodside. He died Jan. 5 at Long Island Jewish Hospital.