Monday, June 17, 2024

Father Seán is leaving the East Village

Photo and reporting by Stacie Joy

After three years in the East Village, Father Seán Connolly is moving to a new parish.

During his time here, he served both St. Brigid-St. Emeric on Avenue B at Eighth Street and Most Holy Redeemer-Nativity on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

"These parishes have become a true spiritual family, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together in both uniting and growing these two communities," he wrote in a recent church bulletin. "Yet, the needs of the Church extend beyond the limits of our neighborhood, and our archbishop, Cardinal Dolan, along with his priest personnel board, must look for new and creative ways to meet the needs of the faithful with fewer priests able to serve."

He said that he has been tasked with a new mission to be the pastor at the Parish of St. Margaret of Cortona – St. Gabriel in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. Wednesday is his last day here.

Msgr. Kevin Nelan, the pastor of Immaculate Conception on 14th Street at First Avenue, will become the administrator of St. Brigid-St. Emeric and Most Holy Redeemer-Nativity, "taking on the responsibility of providing priests to serve the sacramental needs of these two parish communities."

I appreciated Father Seán's kind, thoughtful presence in the neighborhood. He did what he could to help cut through the city's endless maddening bureaucracy at the former St. Brigid School on Avenue B and Seventh Street, which NYC has been leasing from the Archdiocese of New York for incoming asylum seekers. 

In a most memorable adventure last fall, Father Seán took me on a tour of Most Holy Redeemer's 232-foot tower, up a steep spiral staircase to see the restoration work of the clocks.

Father Seán will be missed here.

In his letter in the church bulletin, he said the feeling is mutual.

"I wish to thank all of you for your kindness to me ... I will miss you."


Anonymous said...

Omg I’m going to miss him! What an amazing, easy going, approachable, down to earth priest who upon his first word “hello” gave me tranquility and a sense of calm.

Anonymous said...

Always seemed very pleasant and relatable. good luck!

Anonymous said...

Truly one of a kind! He will be missed!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to learn he is leaving

Anonymous said...

I didn’t know him but I admired and appreciated his work on behalf of the asylum seekers. I wish him well in his new parish, which surely comes with challenges of its own.

Anonymous said...

I will miss him!!!