Queens Church Remembers Their Fallen Hero

Tags: Currents Uncategorized

By Katie Engesser

The 102nd precinct in Queens turned to prayer to remember a colleague they loved so well. The officers gathered at Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill Saturday to honor Detective Brian Simonsen.

The Catholic NYPD veteran died in the line of duty on February 12th while responding to reports of an armed robbery in the neighborhood. When he arrived on the scene, bullets started flying and the detective was cut down by friendly fire.

A mass of Christian burial was celebrated for Simonsen in his home parish of St Rosalie Church in Hampton Bays, Long Island on Wednesday. In Richmond Hill, the people he served and protected for nearly his entire police career wanted to honor the man who was nicknamed ‘smiles.’.

Father Christopher Heanue, who serves as parochial vicar at Holy Child Jesus Church, said “Detective Simonsen was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we arrived with some food to the precinct. It was there that  one of the officers told me ‘Father, thanks for the food but we need flowers, we need candles, we need balloons.’”

Then the precinct received a heartfelt response from the youngest parishioners. The students from Holy Child Jesus Catholic Academy drew cards of condolences and hand delivered them to the 102.

Officer Brandon from the precinct said “Honestly it’s just a wonderful thing to have the support of the community. All the love is greatly appreciated at this difficult time.”

Now parishioners joined police officers to remember their hero, offer a blessing to their protectors, and pray for every officer who serves.

“We just got to stay strong,” said Officer Ornella from the 102, “and pray every day that everything goes well and we get to go home safe.”