Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, coronavirus, priest, pastor, Bushwick, covid-19
Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay with members of the Ministry to Mexican immigrants at the end of Migration Day Mass, Dec. 7. Photo Courtesy: The Tablet.org

Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the pastor of St. Brigid’s parish located in Wyckoff Heights in Bushwick died Friday evening, March 27, at Wyckoff Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn from complications related to the coronavirus.

The Mexican-born Brooklyn pastor is the first priest in the United States to die as a result of COVID-19 on Friday. Ortiz-Garay was part of the Diocesan Coordinator of the Ministry to Mexican immigrants. Father Ortiz. He was 49 years old.

Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay

“This is a sad day and a tremendous loss for the Diocese of Brooklyn,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, said.

“Father Jorge was a great priest, beloved by the Mexican people and a tireless worker for all of the faithful in Brooklyn and Queens. It is unfortunate that he was overcome by the coronavirus because of underlying health issues,” he added.

Father Jorge, as he was known, was the driving force and main coordinator of the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day in the Diocese of Brooklyn, a celebration usually attended by thousands of pilgrims, followed by a torch-lit pilgrimage through the streets of Brooklyn and Queens.

Father Ortiz was also the director of the diocesan Mexican Apostolate and a revered figure within the large Mexican community in Brooklyn and Queens

He is survived by his parents, Jorge and Estela Ortiz, and his four siblings, nieces, and nephews. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.

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