The Diocese of Brooklyn’s story of immigration is built into Sacred Heart and St. Stephen’s statues in Carroll Gardens.
Those same statues still greet newcomers, many who now come from different states, people like Christian Kauffmann.
Kauffmann moved to Brooklyn from Kentucky in 1986 and has made himself at home at Sacred Hearts and St. Stephen’s, whether it’s in the pews during Sunday Mass or in his workshop in the church basement.
Kauffman isn’t a carpenter by trade, he’s just handy, something church leaders noticed.
“He’s downstairs, whatever we need he can do right there,” said Msgr. Guy Massie pastor of Sacred Heart and St. Stephen’s. “He has hands of gold really.”
Kauffman said he’s happy to share his talents with the church.
“I do believe in God very strongly,” Kauffman said. “This is a way to, I guess, it’s a way to say thank you to express gratitude.”
“I don’t generally build from scratch. I just take what I can find and create something for the church,” Kauffman said.
He’s now working on a backdrop for a saint shrine and when this project is done, he will take on another project.
“There will be something else,” Kauffman said. “I noticed that one of these kneelers is broken as I’m sitting here so I’ll fix it.”
Christian Kauffmann, of Sacred Hearts and St. Stephen Church is The Pulse Of The Parish.