Funeral Service For Our Lady of Loreto Church/Building

Oct 12, 2017 538

BY: Marialena Giampino

A Celebration of Life: Our Lady of Loreto Funeral Service. Saturday, October 14, 2017 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Our Lady of Loreto Church - 126 Sackman Street Brooklyn, New York 11233 (Between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street)

The Brownsville Cultural Coalition, Preserving East New York (PENY), Community Residents and Italian-American Organizations request the honor of your presence to mourn the fate of the beautiful Our Lady of Loreto Church. As too often over the last decade, the answer to gentrify, is to replace historical buildings and communities. The wrecking ball, once again demolishes an architectural beauty, that honor legacy of past traditions and sacrifices of the artisans/immigrants who helped to make America a great nation and a home to many.

This service is an opportunity for those who fought valiantly for nearly a decade for the life and perpetuation of this irreplaceable cultural icon to come together with others who cared as well, to mourn its untimely loss and decry its cruel demolition. Ironically, Our Lady of Loreto was consecrated to the representation of Mary as protector of sacred places, and had provided a temple of compassion, loving-care and faithful gathering for over a century.

Our funeral will celebrate the part this magnificent church played for this century of communities and their descendants. We consider ourselves now a family who join together at this terrible time in mourning for what we have lost and in tender caring for one another. We will share past glory and present sorrow for a magical place that should never have suffered this fate.
Please join us as we pay homage to the loss of a vestige of beauty and history.

*We have a permit and will be closing down Sackman Street between Atlantic Ave and Pacific Street to hold a funeral for Our Lady of Loreto church.

Brief Background:

In 2010, the Diocese of Brooklyn and their real estate arm, Catholic Charities, promised to preserve Our Lady of Loreto church building because of its national architectural, historic and cultural significance as a condition of receiving millions of dollars from public State and City funding sources to build affordable housing around it. The building had been built by Italian immigrants at the turn of the last century, people who were discriminated against even in their faith practices and forced to worship in the basements of Irish and German parishes. Our Lady of Loreto, funded by those immigrants and built with many of their own hands, was designed by Adriano Armezzani, a young immigrant architect whose sudden early death cut short the promise of a brilliant architectural career. It featured a Roman Renaissance style facade, precisely in order to celebrate the architecture of his homeland, and was decorated also in the Italian tradition by another young immigrant, Gaetano Federici, who produced the largest sculptural work of his lifetime for this site when he was only 27, and whose achievements as an artist are acknowledged by the Smithsonian Institution. A true landmark of Italians in America--as no tribute to Columbus could be--this once-glorious structure stood on land that had even been farmed and owned by the first Italian settler in the New World, Pietro Cesare Alberti.

Our Lady of Loreto has been in the Brownsville community since 1906. She served as a beacon of light and historical treasure and up until the Diocese of Brooklyn closed the doors on Brownsville and its surrounding communities. May the light of our tribute to her continue to enchant this struggling community and remind coming generations of the glory that is gone from here but lives in the minds and hearts not just of her Italian-American children but of her multigenerational, multiracial and multicultural family.

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