Buddhists, Catholics join to realize Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto, Brooklyn

28 April 2022

April 28, 2022, inauguration day of the Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto, Brooklyn, NY, was the culmination of years of planning and vision, including an element of interreligious dialogue and cooperation.

In 2018, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York led a Buddhist-Catholic delegation to meet with Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue. After that meeting, the delegation attended the general audience of Pope Francis, who met with the delegation afterwards. Bishop DiMarzio presented Pope Francis with a formal plan to build a large housing project for the poor and elderly. After completion, Buddhists and Catholics would work together to provide care for the residents. Pope Francis was pleased with the plan and encouraged the delegation to proceed with his blessing. 

In 2022, when the new housing project was completed, Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn dedicated the Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Cardinal Ayuso Guixot’s message on the occasion of inauguration.

This $48 million development provides 135 apartments for the homeless, the poor, and the elderly.

Buddhist nuns now provide Tai Chi for exercise and health, mindfulness practice for mental improvement, and Chinese food for balanced nourishment.

Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens provides free meals, healthcare, and counseling services, as well as funding for prescription drugs and other basic needs, payment of bills, and funeral and burial arrangements.