One of Brooklyn’s holiest is going on to serve New York’s bravest.
During a service at FDNY Headquarters earlier this month, renowned Kings County faith leader Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello was sworn in as chaplain for the New York City Fire Department.
Currently pastor of both Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Williamsburg, Gigantiello was ordained in 1995. Prior to his time in North Brooklyn, he primarily serviced the borough’s southern-most worshippers, having served as parochial vicar at St. Patrick’s Parish in Bay Ridge, and at Mary Queen of Heaven Parish in Old Mill Basin, where he was installed as pastor in 2002 and remained until 2013
He then served as pastor of St. Bernard on the border of Mill Basin and Bergen Beach, where he remained until 2017, when he was appointed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel amid the unveiling of a historic renovation.
“I am very honored and humbled to be part of one of the greatest fire departments in the country. The fires I will put out will not be the fires that destroy buildings and take lives, they will be the fires of suffering and loss,” Gigantiello said in a statement. “Right now, we may be a divided city but when it comes to tragedy we are so united, we come together as a city and we come together as a church because we all believe in one God and we let them know they are not alone.”
Gigantiello joins seven other chaplains serving the FDNY’s 17,000 members. He also ministers as chaplain to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission and Transit and Corrections Officers, as well as local chapters of the Knights of Columbus, the Columbiettes and Lions Club.
His new role comes on the heels of two particularly tough months for city firefighters.
Early into the new year, on Jan. 9, more than a dozen people were killed — including nine children — in a harrowing five-alarm blaze in the Bronx, earmarked one of the largest infernos the city has seen in decades.
On Feb. 16, 33-year-old Far Rockaway firefighter Jesse Gerhard collapsed while on duty inside his Ladder 134 firehouse, during what authorities referred to as a “medical episode,” likely heart failure.