9-March-2013 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Brooklyn church made co-cathedral by retiring Pope

The Church of St. Joseph in the Brooklyn borough of New York City is slated to become a co-cathedral, thanks to one of the last acts of Pope Benedict XVI before retiring.

"To receive the decree from Rome, dated for February 14th, 2013 - Valentine's Day - in the midst of the Holy Father's resignation as Pope, makes this all the more historic for our diocese and for St. Joseph's," Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn said March 4.

The bishop had requested the elevation of the 163-year-old church in the neighborhood of Prospect Heights in 2012.

As a co-cathedral, the church will share in ceremonies and Masses presently held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James. St. Joseph's administrator Monsignor Kieran Harrington and transitional Deacon Dwayne Davis made the announcement to parishioners at Sunday Masses on March 3.

The Diocese of Brooklyn said that the elevation is "a sign of hope and unity during this Year of Faith."

Bishop DiMarzio told the diocese's newspaper, The Tablet, that since his arrival, he has seen that St. Joseph's Church is "at the heart of a new Brooklyn." He said the church's location is expected to be the most densely populated area in New York City.

The co-cathedral "should be a prominent fixture in the re-development at this exciting time in our borough," he said.

The church building had fallen into disrepair, but it has undergone extensive renovations and cleanings since 2006.

Msgr. Harrington said the church has a beautiful interior and a large seating capacity of 1,500 people, but he especially praised its parishioners.

"What is most precious are the people," he said. "The church is not a building. It is the people."

The church's parishioners are a mix of hipsters, families, professionals and Spanish-speaking immigrants, The Tablet reports.

The church is a block away from Barclays Center, an arena which hosts the home games of the NBA basketball team the Brooklyn Nets.

Archbishop John Hughes of New York City founded the Church of St. Joseph in 1850 to serve the area's large immigrant population.

The church is planned to be consecrated as a co-cathedral in 2014.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=7199#ixzz2NF1MqlhL

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