A Message from Father Tom

A Message from Fr. Tom

Allow me to start off with a fancy word—liminal.  The word ‘liminal’ means literally being in an intermediate state or phase.  It is a moment of transition.  Think of the movies American Graffiti, The Last Picture Show, or Stand By Me and you understand this word ‘liminal.’  These were all movies about liminal moments—young people transitioning to mature adulthood.  The young people in these films were searching for direction and examples to help them transition and find their way in life.  As Christians, we are presently in a liminal moment—an in-between time—between the Ascension of Jesus and the expectation of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday.  When we celebrate the Ascension, we celebrate that Jesus Christ is King of the Universe and one with God the Father.  “Glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.”

Our Gospel this Sunday makes this point abundantly clear.  We rightly celebrate what Jesus came to do—to reveal to us the Father and how many come to we know him and live a life that is worthy and pleasing to Him.  We all experience these liminal moments at all stages in our lives.  They can be frightening: graduating from school, starting a new job, moving, entering into marriage, life changing medical issues, retirement, needing assistance caring for ones-self, a terminal diagnosis.  “Do not be afraid.”  Through it all, Christ is our King.  His authority is made manifest by his Ascension to the Father.  Therefore, we have a powerful source of grace when we invoke the name of Jesus, call upon him and place our lives—with trust—into his hands.  Practically speaking how do we do this?  Prayer!  The 17th Chapter of John’s Gospel from which this Sunday’s Gospel is often referred to as the great prayer of Jesus to God the Father.  We should take heart that Jesus prays for you and for me.  He knows you would be chosen by him many years after his Resurrection.  He wishes to give to you the assurance of God’s Presence—as he was assured of this presence prior to his Passion (the context of the Gospel).  Jesus stays in contact with the source—the Father’s love—through prayer.  We all need to do the same.  The key message from our readings this Sunday makes clear that prayer is the means by which we remain connected to the source.  Let’s us resolve is a special way to dedicate ourselves to times of prayer in our lives.

Some Practical Suggestions to Help You Integrate Prayer into Your Daily Life

Over the course of my life the following steps have been of great helps to me personally.

1.     First—never forget the counsel of the great saints:

“There is no such thing as bad prayer.”  St. Teresa of Avila

“If you desire to pray better—pray more!!”  St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

2.     Schedule times and places to pray.  For example, I began to pray the rosary with regularity on the subway to and from work or using a finger rosary while I drive (very safe—and I keep both hands on the wheel!!).  Dedicate yourself to specific times: in the morning when you wake, before meals, before you go to bed.  Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm.

3.     Use an app or a service to assist you at prayer.  On my iPhone I have both the “iBreviary” and “Laudate” apps to help me to pray when the books I normally use are not available.  There are services that will remind you to pray.

4.     When someone asks you to pray for them—do it right away.  Better, do it right there in their presence.  Many people think we have to be in the right place or in a ‘holy’ mood or disposition.  It is a powerful witness both publically to other and to our God, when we are willing to press the pause button on life and pray.

5.     Take the time and the trouble to slow down and reflect about the needs of others.  Intercessory Prayer helps us to not only stay in touch with our God—but also with each other.  We give ourselves the opportunity to think about people in need.  We remember their faces—the place they hold in our lives—our love for them.  The fruit of this prayer is also that it can motivate us to action—to call people—to assist them as best we can.  This type of prayer helps to make the world smaller, less strange.  We are less alienated from others and ourselves because we recognize that we are not alone.  We are connected, active and make a difference in the world by praying for the needs of others

Fr. Tom V.

Father Tom’s Message regarding the Blood Drive

Blood Drive on Thursday, May 14th, 2020

Earlier this month our parish hosted a blood drive in St. Francis Auditorium.  Over 100 people donated blood and it was extremely successful.  I am pleased that our parish could provide this forum of aid during this time of crisis.  Our parish has the growing reputation as being a place where people care and are willing to help the common good in many ways—religiously, spiritually and for the common good of society.  Thank you to all who took the time and trouble to donate.  God Bless you.

Fr. Tom

A Message from Father Tom

A Message from Fr. Tom

As you can see, from the messages from Pope Francis and Bishop DiMarzio, (see below), May is Mary’s month.  Please pray the rosary every day for the end of this pandemic and for the Consecration of our nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary—this Consecration was re-done by the bishops in America at 3pm on Friday, May 1st, 2020.  Many of you watched this beautiful ceremony via television or internet.  Remember that Divine Mercy Parish also was Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Pray the Rosary and do acts of penance for sinners—pray for our conversion, the conversion of sinners and the Consecration of Russia.  Recall that it was a Communist system where this virus began.  We can clearly see that the errors of Russia have spread throughout the world via this Atheistic ideology which has shed so much innocent blood and the cause of so much suffering throughout the world.

Our Lady of the Rosary Pray for Us!!!

  • Our Mass on Sunday, May 10th at 11:30am will again be lived streamed. Check out the link on YouTube—type in Divine Mercy Parish Brooklyn and this should lead you to the live broadcast: https://youtu.be/
  • Bible Study with Fr. Tom, Thursday, May 7th at 7:30pm www.zoom.us

Meeting ID: 829-4992-0042

  • For more information about our parish—check out our parish website:


Adoration at All Three Churches of Divine Mercy Parish/Front Entrance Vestibule

Saturday’s from 10am to 1pm in the vestibule of all three of our churches we will expose the Blessed Sacrament.  A priest will be on duty at all three locations during these three hours.  We invite people to walk by and pray on our sidewalks during these hours.  At all times—of course—we will adhere to safe social distancing practices.  Come by to the front entrance of our churches.  In addition to Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, we will offer—if requested—Confession.  Again, we will use the safe distancing practices used on past occasions (priest and penitent wear a mask and keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet).  As your pastor, I have decided to continue this outreach and encouragement to our community.  We must never forget that in the darkest hours—our God is with us and present to us offering us the help and grace we need to face this difficult times.

Recent Deceased Members of our Parish or Community

  • Louis & Angela Baricelli (RIP 4/2020)
  • Ralph Pastina (RIP 4/2020)
  • Jorge Ortiz & Gioacchino Basile (RIP 4/2020)
  • Anna Riccio (RIP 4/09/20)
  • Nancy Porcelli-Gonzalez (RIP 4/10/20)
  • Deacon Emilio Arteaga (RIP 4/10/20)
  • Adnel Burgos (RIP 4/11/20)
  • James “Jimmy” Long (RIP 4/12/20)
  • Marcella Purpura (RIP 4/12/20)
  • Vito Brancato (RIP 04/15/20)
  • Theresa Gianacopoulos (RIP 4/18/20)
  • George Gianacopoulos (RIP 4/21/20)
  • Gennaro Adamo (RIP 4/22/20)
  • Charles Lovejoy (RIP 5/01/20)

Certain families in particular have had many multiple illnesses in their families—please for them and all our sick:

  • Alexandre Morard whose father Charles is near death.
  • Brancato Family (especially Dominick Brancato)
  • Giglio & Adamo Families
  • Marty Family (especially Gladys Marty)
  • McKay Family (especially grandmother)
  • The O’Keefe & Lovejoy Family
  • The Paul Family
  • The Munoz Family
  • The Tortora-Washack Family

A Message from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, May 2020



To the Faithful of the Diocese in Brooklyn & Queens: As you read this letter, we are in the midst of the Easter Season. We rejoice in the risen Jesus and in what that Resurrection means for us who are members of His Body. By His Cross and Resurrection, Christ has set us free.

Yet, as much as we believe and rejoice in that Paschal mystery, we are celebrating in a very difficult and challenging time. Our observance of Lent this year was marked by unexpected and unwelcome penances for which we did not ask. Easter is marred by the same. We always trust in Jesus and His promise to be with us always and His command to us not to fear.

The pandemic we are experiencing has done many things. It has, first of all, taken from us some of our loved ones. Many of us have experienced the suffering of so many sick people. At the same time we have also seen the strength and resilience of many of our first responders, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel, and so many more who are considered to be essential workers. This has moved us to feel and express a gratitude which we perhaps should have expressed previously. So we mourn our beloved dead, we continue to pray for the sick among us and we thank those who help bravely.

Our spiritual lives have changed, too. We have experienced the closure of our churches. How painful this is to us, who feel that the Church is a “second home” in so many ways. We have been unable to receive the sacraments. I am thinking most especially of the Sacrament of Penance and Eucharist.

Please allow me to reflect on that for a moment. The sacraments are indeed the way that Jesus chose to remain in our lives and the way that we continue to experience His presence and work among us. Nothing can replace that for us. It is most especially true in the Eucharist where Jesus is truly and substantially present to us that we experience Him in a unique and irreplaceable way. However, this experience has also taught us that Jesus cannot be limited. He cannot be contained. We can and do experience Him in many different ways. A sincere Act of Contrition and a Spiritual Communion, while not replacements for the sacraments, are ways to allow Jesus into our lives. We have even been unable to mourn our dead in the ways we are accustomed to doing. While this is heart breaking, we know that God’s mercy is overwhelming and we can pray for our loved ones at all times.

The closing of our churches has been unavoidable, as Brooklyn and Queens has had nearly 60% of all cases of Covid-19 in New York City. Though there are many who doubt and even publicly speak out against the decisions made to close churches and maintain social distancing, please know that decisions like these have not been taken lightly, especially in this Diocese where Brooklyn and Queens are literally at the epicenter of the crisis in New York City, which is the epicenter of the United States. We have had to resort to these desperate measures to prevent the further loss of life and spread of disease. Life is God’s great gift and we must protect it.

That is why our churches will remain closed until it is safe to reopen them, a decision that will be made by Diocese of Brooklyn with the assistance of Mr. Joseph Esposito (former Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management for New York City) in conjunction with public health authorities. When our churches do reopen, unfortunately, we will not be able to resume church life as we enjoyed it before. There will be changes to keep everyone healthy and safe. We will respond as always, as faithful People of God, to the challenges placed before us. I ask that we all strive to understand, to adapt and to rise up to these challenges.

I want to thank our priests and deacons who have learned new ways to minister to you: for streamed Masses and retreats, homilies and talks, and various other engaging events on line which all help us remain close as the parish families we are and keep our spirits lifted as joy filled Christians.

We continue to pray for our beloved dead, may they rest in peace; and we pray for the sick that they will experience the presence of Christ the Healer; for our governmental leaders; for our dedicated first responders, doctors, nurses, medical personnel, funeral directors, and essential workers; for the clergy and religious of our Diocese and for us all. May the Lord, who is Mercy Itself, lead us out of this difficult time and into a time of good health and new life.

The month of May is dedicated in a particular way to our Blessed Mother. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has asked us to pray the Rosary most fervently this month for an end to this pandemic. We place our trust in the intercession of Mary and of her blessed spouse St. Joseph whose feast we celebrate today, May 1st. Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us! St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us!

With an assurance of my continued remembrance of you in prayer, I am

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D. Bishop of Brooklyn

A Message from the Holy Father, May 2020


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.

For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.

I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

Pope Francis

First Prayer to Our Lady
O Mary,
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.

We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

The Second Prayer
“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

Father Tom’s Easter Greeting, April 12, 2020

An Easter Message from Fr. Tom

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This is an Easter Sunday we will never forget! It is strange and disorienting for us all. The social distancing and isolation which is so necessary to combat the Corona Virus has deprived us of something so essential and beautiful to the Christian faith—the Sacraments and the sharing of community. Let us never forget the lesson that this teaches us. Our hearts are breaking that we cannot be in the Churches with people we love so that we may be together and give praise, honor and glory to God. This is a time that tries our souls—but if we remain determined and rooted in our Christian faith—I believe we will emerge from this time stronger and—I hope—more deeply grateful for the Sacraments and communal experience of the Catholic Church. As I have said on many occasions— no one says ‘yes’ to Jesus and then ‘no’ to a community. Therefore, let us be in solidarity with our Church and our brothers and sisters throughout this great city, as we continue to fight this dreadful disease with common sense practices and rededicating ourselves to personal prayer and acts of penance for an end to this plague.
Easter Sunday is the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. We celebrate the greatest event in human history. God revealed himself fully through his Son Jesus Christ, that he was born of woman, baptized by John in the Jordan, called men and women both to be his Apostles and disciples. He taught them. He proclaimed the arrival of God’s Kingdom. And, that they should hand on the Gospel they received.
I invite you to persevere in the practice of your faith—in the seed that God has planted within you, which brought you to read this message this day. Perhaps this tragic time reminds us of those times when we have remained far from Jesus—even outside the church for many complicated reasons. Perhaps because of laziness or indifference. Remember, the church is a bridge to our salvation. The Catholic Church serves as an essential bridge to something greater. Nothing else in this world, no institution, or ideology however attractive can take the place of the Church. Salvation comes to us only through Jesus Christ and to those who remain in his body which is the church. No other way is possible.
May the grace of this sacred time help us to stay rooted in and remain close to Jesus who is our light and the living water that renews our lives.

April 12, 2020

April 12, 2020

St. Theresa Guild Fundraiser – May 18, 2019

The St. Theresa Guild


“European Masquerade”

Saturday, May 18 at 6:15pm

St. Francis of Paola Auditorium, 200 Woodpoint Road

Food, Wine, Dessert, Live Entertainment and Fabulous Prizes!

Tickets are $35.00 per person

For ticket purchase, please call Marie Perrotto # 718-389-1073 or Annette Marino # 646-361-8467 or email arm718@aol.com

Divine Mercy Parish – Holy Week Schedule 2019

Holy Thursday, April 18, at 7:30pm we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at St. Cecilia Church.

Good Friday, April 19, at 1:00pm we will conduct the Stations of the Cross throughout the streets of our parish, beginning at St. Cecilia Church to St. Nicholas Church and ending at St. Francis of Paola Church.

After the Station of the Cross, at 3:00pm we will have the Good Friday Service of the Lord’s Passion in English at St. Francis of Paola Church.

Good Friday, at 7:00pm the Service of the Lord’s Passion in Spanish will be held at St. Nicholas Church.

Holy Saturday, April 20, at 8:00pm the Easter Vigil Mass will be celebrated at St. Nicholas Church.

Reconciliation Monday – April 15, 2019

All the parishes of our diocese will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Monday, April 15 from 3:00pm to 9:00pm in preparation for the Holy Days of Paschal Triduum.