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Pastor at St. Brigid’s Church is Dead, Succumbs to Coronavirus

Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, pastor of St. Brigid’s Church in Wyckoff Heights, died Friday (Photo: Courtesy of Diocese of Brooklyn)

March 30, 2020 By Christian Murray

A Brooklyn pastor died Friday from coronavirus—the first priest in the U.S. known to have succumbed to the virus.

Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, 49, pastor of St. Brigid’s Church in Wyckoff Heights, died Friday at Wyckoff Hospital Medical Center from complications relating to COVID-19.

“This is a sad day and tremendous loss for the Diocese of Brooklyn,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. “Father Jorge was a great priest, beloved by the Mexican people and a tireless worker for all of the faithful in Brooklyn and Queens.”

Ortiz-Garay, who was born in Mexico City, was ordained to the priesthood at the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. in 2004.

He arrived at the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2009 and first ministered at St. Joseph’s in Prospect Heights while also serving as the chaplain for the mission Ad Gentes in Brooklyn.

In 2014, he began serving at St. Brigid’s and was installed as the pastor in 2019.

Ortiz-Garay is survived by his parents, Jorge and Estella Ortiz, siblings and nephews.

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