The corner of Flatbush’s Church Ave. at Flatbush Ave now has a new namesake: Pierre Toussaint.
On Sunday, the section of the street was officially renamed Pierre Toussaint Boulevard, in honor of the renowned Haitian philanthropist and humanitarian.
Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, who sponsored the renaming legislation, held a ceremony in collaboration with a number of Haitian leaders and organization in Brooklyn to celebrate the occasion.
Eugene said Toussaint, who founded Catholic Charities in New York City, was dedicated to humanity.
“His ability to help those in need was a cornerstone of our city’s history, and his legacy is a testament to the historical significance that our immigrant community has served in the founding of The United States,” he said.
Prior to unveiling the new sign, church leaders led a prayer service outside of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, where politicians, local community leaders, organizations and religious leaders had gathered.
Eugene said the event was held “to pay tribute to a wonderful human being.”
“When I look at the life of Pierre Toussaint, I feel empowered and inspired because he was enslaved and came to this country as an immigrant like myself.”
He added despite the challenges posed to immigrants in America, Toussaint never gave up and became a venerable person to anyone who called New York City home.
“For those who were poor and for those who needed shelter, and for those who needed food, he did exactly what Jesus said to do, to be your brothers keeper,” he said.
“Pierre Toussaint opened his door for those who needed shelter. When you see that someone who was a slave bought the freedom of other people, this is something remarkable.”
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