In what can only be described as a “beautiful celebration,” a Mass on Sunday, August 14 at 2 p.m. will be held to honor 200 years of Saint James.
To commemorate this milestone, Bishop Robert Brennan has invited all diocesean parishioners to come to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint James to attend Mass.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York will be the main celebrant and homilist. Bishop Brennan will concelebrate the liturgy with Bishop John O. Barres of Rockville Centre.
Bishop Emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio, auxiliary bishops, priests, deacons, and religious from across the diocese will all be in attendance.
The lay faithful are needed to complete this joyous occasion. If you are able, you should make a pilgrimage to the “heart of the diocese” on Sunday.
What a poignant way to come together as Catholics — in a show of solidarity — to demonstrate that the Church in Brooklyn and Queens remains strong.
This celebration will allow parishioners from many parishes to receive the holy Eucharist together — a significant occasion that will help set the stage for the next 200 years.
While the Mass will mark a major milestone, the cathedral itself holds so much history and connects three dioceses, all of which will also be represented during the Mass.
St. James Parish began in 1822, making it the first church on all of Long Island. It was part of the Archdiocese of New York before becoming the lead church, in 1853, of the newly formed Diocese of Brooklyn, which served Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. The Diocese of Rockville Centre was cleaved off the Brooklyn diocese in 1957.
“The same Holy Spirit 200 years ago inspired a generation of people to want to build up the Church,” Bishop Brennan said. “The same Holy Spirit works in the hearts of men and women today.”
The sacred space in the middle of Downtown Brooklyn is experiencing a resurgence of popularity, with more people making pilgrimages to the cathedral.
“The other week, we had a day camp from Long Island come by to tour the cathedral,” said Bishop Brennan on his new podcast, “Big City Catholics.”
As you can see, the Mass on Sunday will be history making.
Centennial celebrations don’t happen often, after all, and that is why you and your family are encouraged to take Bishop Brennan up on his invitation.
You should go!