Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Parish
The Pallottine Priests and Brothers came to serve here in the late 1930’s. There was another local Pallottine community at All Saints’ Church, only a few blocks away. Although Pompeii Parish never had a school, the Sisters of St. John the Baptist lived in the convent part of the complex and taught Sacramental preparation classes and made home visits to the people.
Through time the Italian community dispersed to other boroughs and towns. Hispanic people moved into the area, changing the face of all the local parishes. Most came from Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. These changes bring new challenges to the Parish staff, dealing with economic, social, and religious questions. Both the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Pallottines responded to this challenge, providing services in Spanish, preparing clergy and religious as needed and in as much as possible. Most recently a new “gentrification” has gotten underway as many of the old factories and warehouses are being converted into loft apartments. Their residents are of a completely different social and economic background and in many cases are the children of un-churched parents.
Due to the many years of fewer vocations, some Religious Communities had to leave their apostolates in this area, including the Sisters of St. John the Baptist. Our own Community had to withdraw from All Saints’ Parish. Some Communities entered this section of Brooklyn to take up the new challenges, among them the Conventual Franciscans.
The Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, like so many others, has embarked on a renewal and reorganization process called, “Christ Jesus Our Hope”. Our Lady of Pompeii Parish is collaborating with the diocesan efforts. We have formed Evangelization Teams that have visited most of the addresses in our area and in one year added 95 new registrations to the Parish community, most of them families. This is consonant with the New Evangelization, the Year of Faith, and has been the constant aim and goal of the Pallottines as an expression of our charism.
The Diocese has combined many of its schools into “Catholic Academies”. Pompeii Parish is aligned with St. Joseph and St. Dominic Academy, which the Diocese classifies as a “mission school” because of the difficult economic situations of its families and the social problems in the local community.
For the faith life of the community and the building-up of the Body of Christ the Parish offers many diverse activities: RCIA, CCD-Sacramental Preparation, Cursillo, Charismatic Prayer Group, Sacred Hearts Society, Divine Mercy Devotion, St. Jude Novena, Youth Group, Holy Hour every Friday evening, and Fatima Holy Hour every first Saturday morning. The Parish celebrates each year the particular feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary typical of each national/ethnic group. The Evangelization Group is preparing another round of outreaches. There is an adult faith formation group that meets weekly in Spanish. A major event each year is a Broadway musical performed by the “Pompeii Players” troupe of adolescents and young adults that has been active for decades now.
Essential to the realization of our charism is life of the Union of Catholic Apostolate – the full foundation of St. Vincent Pallotti. Our UAC group is an essential part of the Parish and the spirit of the Union pervades all the Parish activities. This is also seen in our collaborative efforts in collaboration with the Diocese and the other Religious Communities present.
Trying to stay open to the Spirit and to the needs of the parish and local Church the staff of the parish strives together – lay faithful, religious, and clergy – to “revive faith, rekindle charity, and to spread them to others as apostles of Jesus Christ”.