Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn helped to usher in the Christmas season in Downtown Brooklyn Dec. 18 as he joined the community at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn for their annual Christmas tree lighting.
Brennan joined Father Bryan Patterson, members of the Bishop Daily Council No. 17000 of the Knights of Columbus, and parishioners of the church for a brief prayer service inside the church — then headed outside to illuminate the tree for the first time this season. The event was part of the 200th Anniversary celebration of the Cathedral, as well as a celebration of the upcoming Christian holiday.
“The Christmas Tree stands in the garden of Brooklyn’s Cathedral shining brightly Downtown,” said a Brooklyn Diocese spokesperson on Dec. 20. “As the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James continues, this special event was the start of a new annual parish tradition. May the splendor of this Christmas tree defy the darkness of these days as we prepare for Our Savior Jesus Christ, born to be among us and bring light and salvation to the world.”
About 50 parishioners and members of the Knights of Columbus were in attendance during both the prayer service and the tree lighting itself, and were afterwards treated to hot chocolate and cookies in the Cathedral’s basement.
Father Patterson, who serves as the Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, expressed his gratitude to be a part of the tree lighting ceremony and prayer service.
“Light produces every kind of goodness, right living, and truth,” Father Patterson said, citing scripture from Ephesians 5:9. “Lighting the tree at the Cathedral, especially as we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the first parish on Long Island, demonstrates our solidarity with all that is good within humanity. Our Creator made us all to be good, to share our lives, and to help each other to be the best we can be. We wish everyone in this Christmas and holiday season every blessing now and in the year to come.”