Pulse of the Parish, Our Lady of Sorrows Church

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

There’s always activity at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Corona, because it’s a community full of faith.

A faith that never falters, even when tested by COVID.

“It was a very difficult time because over 100 parishioners from this church died,” said Father Manuel de Jesus Rodriguez, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church.

Father Rodriguez was appointed pastor during the height of the pandemic.

Less than a year later, he dedicated this adoration chapel to the victims and says parishioners are here 24/7, but on Sundays, they fill the pews.

“Right now, we’re getting every week between 10 to 15,000 people,” Father Rodriguez said.

They’re mostly from Ecuador and Mexico, but when the parish was established in 1872, it was founded by 14 families, both German and Irish.

By the time the current church was dedicated in 1900, Italians had moved into what was now called Corona.

In the 1970s and 80s, people from the Dominican Republic moved into the neighborhood, including one particular little girl and her family.

“I remember when I used to go to catechism at Our Lady of Sorrows and it was the nuns that were teaching us at that time,” said Jenny Alonzo. “I dreaded getting up in the morning, I dreaded it.”

Alonzo is now a catechist herself.

Jenny grew up in Our Lady of Sorrows but, as an adult, moved away.

She was home for Christmas in 2019 and stayed because she got sick.

“I had COVID before I even knew it was COVID,” Alonzo said.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Alonzo and the parish, because not only does she teach religion, she’s also a lector, a parish trustee, and the head of the finance council.

“We love Jenny and we’re very grateful to her,” Father Rodriguez said. “She does an amazing job. The kids love her. They’re crazy about her because she connects with them.”

Alonzo is a fierce advocate for young people and works to keep them connected to their faith.

“There are a lot of crazy things happening in our world and our community,” Alonzo said. “That’s why I feel so passionate about catechism because those kids get for a moment to pull away from whatever is going on in their lives and hear positive things, hear hope.”

Even though her life hasn’t always been so positive, she always had hope and faith.

She gets emotional talking about it when she recalls how it lifted her out of a very difficult situation.

“My faith in God got me through the darkest moments during my marriage,” Alonzo said. “There were times I would go to bed that I wasn’t sure I was gonna wake up.”

But she persevered, because, she said, God had her back.

Now she wants the kids to know, God has their back too, and so does she.

“Don’t mess with my Saturdays because this is where I am as they say, come hell or high water,” Alonzo said. “This is where I’m gonna be.”

Now you know Jenny Alonzo from Our Lady of Sorrows and how she makes up the Pulse of the Parish.