A “beloved” Brooklyn priest has become the first U.S. Catholic cleric to die from the coronavirus, the Diocese of Brooklyn announced Saturday.
Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, 49, an immigrant who served the Mexican community at St. Brigid’s Church in Wyckoff Heights succumbed to the virus Friday.
“This is a sad day and a tremendous loss for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Father Jorge was a great priest, beloved by the Mexican people and a tireless worker for all of the faithful in Brooklyn and Queens,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in a statement.
Ortiz-Garay had coordinated the popular Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day traditions in the Diocese of Brooklyn, an annual event that included a mass and a parade through the streets of Brooklyn and Queens.
The priest was born in Mexico City and was ordained in Newark in 2004 before making his way to the Dioceses of Brooklyn in 2009.
A memorial mass will be held at a later date.
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