Tradition is alive at Bensonhurst’s Good Friday Procession

Nine Catholic parishes in southwestern Brooklyn came together for the area’s annual Good Friday Procession on Friday, April 3 – an event that, this year, turned out over 3,000 people who walked almost two miles in honor of the time-tested tradition.

The procession — that Father Michael Gelfant, pastor at Saint Finbar Roman Catholic Church, says dates back to old-time Italy — was organized by the Parishes of St. Athanasius, St. Bernadette, St. Dominic, St. Finbar, St. Francis Cabrini, St. Mary Mother of Jesus, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Rosalia/Regina Pacis and Sts. Simon & Jude.

“Each year the nine parishes come together on Good Friday [and] we have a procession with the statue of dead Jesus and sorrowful Mary,” said Gelfant. “This dates back to processions in Italy and [this is] the 32nd year this has taken place in Brooklyn.”

The walk begins at 16th Avenue and 65th Street and ends in a different parish each year. This year, it was the turn of St. Finbar’s (Benson Avenue and Bay 20th Street), stretching the walk to 1.9 miles.

“The immigrant Italian community brought something from their home into the neighborhood,” said Gelfant of the procession. “It’s an annual tradition that continues and we get a lot of people that still return. Those who have moved to Staten Island or Queens, they do come home for this celebration to really be with the community.”


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