- Apr 9, 2020
With Passover and Easter just around the corner, leaders from New York City’s Catholic and Jewish communities expressed their mutual conviction that God is present in their people’s suffering and warned about complacency in Catholic-Jewish relations.
As the Easter holiday approaches, world leaders and health officials are fervently warning that the hard-won gains in the fight against the coronavirus must not be jeopardized by relaxing social distancing.
Acknowledging the pain that the world is experiencing as the novel coronavirus claims thousands of lives and disrupts everyday routines, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori said he wants nothing more than to open wide the doors to churches, but such a step is impossible given “the massive public health threat we are facing.”
In life, Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay would repeat the word in Spanish when he encouraged teenagers to stay in school, when he fed the homeless, when he consoled those who lost loved ones. The pastor of St. Brigid Church in Brooklyn was the first Catholic priest in the United States to die from the coronavirus outbreak. He was 49.
The Louisiana pastor who preached courage from his deathbed. The nun who always insisted that her order “get down to brass tacks,” and help people. The rabbi who made sure his students did not lack clothes or books. Even as parishioners, followers and the faithful seek solace and strength from religious leaders in a time of pandemic, the list of those who have died includes more and more clergymen and women.