Church bells toll in Brooklyn amid coronavirus outbreak

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Church bells around the borough will ring out at 3 pm everyday during the coronavirus pandemic.

Church bells across the borough will ring out every afternoon during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as part of the new “Bells of Hope” initiative from the Brooklyn Diocese, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio announced on Thursday.  

“As our city, and especially our boroughs, remain the epicenter of this Coronavirus pandemic, each day we will ask Almighty God to bring an end to this illness which has caused great pain and suffering for many people,” said DiMarzio. “The ringing of the church bells will inspire us as New Yorkers and citizens of the world, of all faiths, the strongest of believers and the nonbelievers, to unite in prayer against this virus.”

Beginning on April 3, churches in Brooklyn and Queens will chime at 3 pm daily — a time that corresponds with the hour in Catholic literature that Jesus Christ died on the cross.

“The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest instance of love and hope in the history of the world,” said DiMarzio. “We may or may not know for whom these bells will toll, however, we will pause to honor those who are suffering, who have died, and give thanks to God for those putting their lives at risk for others.”

The 185 operating churches in Brooklyn and Queens were all closed on March 20 out of precautionary measures to combat the novel virus, leaving 1.5 million Catholics without church service for the near future. 

Earlier this week, the Diocese mourned the loss of Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay of St. Brigid’s Church in Wyckoff Heights, who became the first Catholic priest to die of the novel coronavirus in the United States.