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Brooklyn reverend 1st Catholic priest in the U.S. to die from the coronavirus

Virus Outbreak-Religious Deaths
Posted at 2:09 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 14:09:28-04

BROOKLYN — Holy Week is a time of sadness that turns to hope and renewal Easter Sunday.

For the congregation of St. Brigid Church in Wyckoff Heights, the sadness will linger Easter. Their pastor, the Rev. Jorge Ortiz-Garay was the first Catholic cleric in the U.S. to die from the coronavirus.

Born in Mexico, the 49-year-priest died March 27. His role was outsized, from coordinating the Diocese of Brooklyn’s annual ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day,’ and its Ministry to Mexican immigrants to helping lead youth groups.

Parishioners are remembering his devotion and how he gave them hope through his favorite word: “Animo!” (Courage!)