Final Tributes to Pastor of Holy Name Parish
A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Gary P. Rogers, pastor of Holy Name parish, Park Slope, will be celebrated Saturday, July 23, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Flatlands, at 11 a.m.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will be the main celebrant. Special concelebrants will include Msgrs. Austin Bennett, Kevin Noone, Paul Sanchez and Father James Cunningham. Father Antonius Gopaul will preach the homily. Father Rogers died July 19 at Brooklyn’s Beth Israel Hospital after a long illness. He was 64.
Born in Brooklyn, he attended St. Anselm’s School, Bay Ridge; Cathedral Prep and College, both Brooklyn; and Christ the King Seminary, St. Bonaventure, N.Y. He was ordained by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero on May 27, 1972 at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.
He served as an assistant at Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill, 1972-79, and then began a 28-year ministry at St. Gregory the Great parish, Crown Heights. He was pastor there from 1987 to 2007 when he was appointed pastor of Holy Name. For the past two years, he has been on a sick leave. Most recently he has been residing at St. Thomas Aquinas Rectory in Flatlands.
“He was a good homilist,” recalled Msgr. Noone. “People appreciated his homilies because they were brief and to the point. And he enjoyed explaining the Scriptures. People always left Mass with something to hold on to.“He certainly suffered over the last two years. In his physical suffering, he did his best to celebrate Mass. I know he was always faithful to prayer. He revered the Franciscans of Holy Name Province who were our teachers in the seminary. And he kept in touch with other classmates around the diocese. “He enjoyed the experience of the exposure to a religious order.”
Msgr. Sanchez, another classmate, said he has known Father Rogers since the first year of high school. “I always found him to be intelligent, a joy to be with, a great conversationalist and a person who seemed to truly enjoy bringing people together,” he said. “All of our classmates were saddened by the long and difficult illness that Father Rogers had to endure. “The Franciscan charism influenced Gary’s love for the Eucharist and love for the poor. “He was very organized. He tried to respond to the needs of the people. And when he was able, he enjoyed teaching theology. “In addition to being responsive to the people, he was able to have a balanced view of life and to see the humor as well as the good in things,” he said.
Father Rogers is survived by his brother, Robert F. Rogers.
Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Flatbush.
This obituary appeared in The Tablet, 7/23/2011, p. 9.
Gary Rogers, Beloved B'klyn Priest
by Jill Klein
Gary Rogers, the pastor of Holy Name Church in Park Slope, died Tuesday. He was 64.
Roger's father worked as an usher in their church and trained him as an altar server when he was a boy. He became passionate about Catholicism from an early age and dreamed of becoming a priest.
Rogers was ordained in 1972 by Bishop Francis Mugavero at St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn.
"He loved his job. He was excellent and he taught through his understanding of scripture and the celebration of the sacraments of the church," said Father Antonius Gopaul, who worked with Rogers.
An advocate for peace, Rogers worked on his community board, volunteered to feed the homeless, had an annual clothing and food drive and was involved with a multitude of other charitable causes.
In his free time, he enjoyed going to ballets, operas, dining out and relaxing at his Pennsylvania home.
Father Gopaul described Rogers as clear-thing, organized and direct.
Rogers is survived by his brother, Robert Rogers, and nephew, Ciaran Rogers.
A funeral Mass was celebrated yesterday in St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Brooklyn. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery.
This article appeared in The New York Daily News , 7/24/2011, p. 38.