On Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. at St. James Cathedral-Basilica in Downtown Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will ordain three men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Brooklyn: Father Michael Bruno, Father Alonzo Cox, and Father Nixon Francois.
“I have come to know them well during their period of preparation” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. “These young men are dedicating themselves to a life of service and sacrifice, not the least of which is a commitment to celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom. They also see themselves as acting as “other Christ” and in the person of Christ for the sake of the Church. It will be an honor to welcome them to the priesthood.”
Father Michael Bruno, 25, is the only child of Rosalie and the late Michael Bruno. Baptized in St. Frances de Chantal Church, Borough Park, he has been a parishioner at St. Rosalia-Regina Pacis, Bensonhurst, since his infancy. He attended Regina Pacis School, Xaverian H.S., Bay Ridge, and Stonehill College, Easton, Mass. Since 2006, he has been studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he received his STB from the Gregorian University and will receive an STL from the Lateran University.
Reflecting on his ordination Father Bruno said. “I am filled with immense hope for the future of the Church and my faith has continually been strengthened by seeing God’s providence unfold in my life and the lives of those around me.” He will be celebrating his first Solemn Mass of thanksgiving at Regina Pacis Shrine Church on Sunday, June 27, at noon. The homilist will be Msgr. Ronald Marino, pastor of the parish.
Father Alonzo Cox, 27, was born and raised in Brooklyn in Queen of All Saints parish, Fort Greene. He is the son of Virginia and James Cox and the brother of 24-year-old Kanique. He attended P.S. 20 and the Metropolitan Corporate Academy before beginning his studies for the priesthood at the Cathedral Seminary Residence in Douglaston and the
Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York where he received a M.A and an M.Div. Father Cox will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving at Queen of All Saints Church on Sunday, June 27, at 2:30 p.m. A reception will follow in the lower hall.
Growing up in Queen of All Saints, he was very active in the life of the parish. It was here that the seeds of his vocation were planted and began to grow. In anticipation of his ordination Father Cox reflected “Seeing different aspects of church life really moved my heart to do something about it. I’m convinced this is what God wants me to do.”
Father Nixon Francois, 36, embarked on a long and winding road to the priesthood. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised as a Baptist, he is the first member of his family to become a Catholic. But when he celebrates his first Mass, his mother, Mercite, and aunt, now also Catholics, will be seated in the front row.
The first priests he ever met in Haiti were Father Paul Mercius and Father Jean Julien Ladouceur. It was their concern for people and dedication to the Church that inspired him to become involved. “The priests that were part of my life growing up played a major role in my answering the call of God,” said Father Nixon. “I saw they were faithful men of God, striving to follow the Lord. They made me feel like I wanted to do the same.” Father Paul befriended Nixon, taught him about the Church, and eventually baptized him at the age of 12. Father Jean encouraged him to enter the seminary and will be present in Brooklyn as he is ordained a priest. Father Francois completed his seminary formation in Haiti and his pastoral formation has included ministry at St. Therese of Lieseux in E. Flatbush and St. Augustine, Park Slope. He will offer his first Mass of thanksgiving at St. Augustine’s Church on Sunday, June 27, at noon. Father Thomas Ahern, pastor, will preach. A reception will follow in St. Monica’s Hall.
Bishop DiMarzio called on the people of the Diocese of Brooklyn to join him “in praying for all priests, especially the newly Ordained this week, that we might show the priesthood truly for what it is, a gift from God for the service of His Church.”