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Here’s ‘2023 – The Year in Pictures’ through the lens of Jeffrey Bruno, an extraordinary photographer…

Here’s ‘2023 – The Year in Pictures’ through the lens of Jeffrey Bruno, an extraordinary photographer…

It’s been a year.

And what a year it’s been. If there were one word to describe it, I would have to say it’s this: Revival.

Definitely because of the incredible resurgence of Eucharistic Processions and Eucharistic Congresses throughout the nation, but in other ways too.

Until this year, I had no idea that consecrated virgins really existed until photographing the beautiful Rite for Laurie Power, who now enters a literal marriage as a bride of Christ but without an affiliation to a religious order.

And then there’s the ubiquitous Witness for Life events that permeate the City. There have never been so many participants and interest in the beautiful witness they lead.

Add to those Ordinations, Profession of Vows, both First and Solemn, and there you go.

It’s been a year of revival.

I’ll just say this. I read the headlines. I know what the statistics say. I know what the experts say. But they clearly haven’t been anyplace that I’ve been. Perhaps they should drop in sometime. Because I see a church that’s entering a Renaissance. I see passionate Faith. And I see an absolute reason for Hope.

That’s not optimism. That’s reality.

And I’ve got the pictures to prove it.

And on that note…

I was in town for another event when someone asked, “Are you going to the procession in Times Square?” to which I dumbly asked, “What procession?”

What procession in deed!

It was on the Vigil of Pentecost Sunday. Bishop Espailliat delivered an incredible address to the crowd that you can see a sample of below!

READ ABOUT IT HERE: Thousands gather in Times Square for eucharistic procession in New York City

It was breathtaking….And, it was the largest Eucharistic Procession on record!

The March for Life

Faith, joy, and passion are never in short supply at the March for Life.

And this year the 1st Annual Life Fest was held. It was incredible. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus and Sisters of Life for bringing the event to life! (No pun intended)

While the March itself is truly ecumenical, the Mass for Life at the Basilica Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is where thousands of Catholics gather to join in prayer on the eve of the big day.

The big day…


Even Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus on the TV series ‘The Chosen’, popped in to offer a few words of prayerful encouragement.

And if you’re reading this before January 19, 2024, come to DC for the March for Life this year!

The Journey

Whereas the March for Life has been running for 50 years, ‘The Journey’ is a new youth-oriented event in Southern Maryland. It’s held on St. Clement’s Island on the Potomac. The location where the first Mass was celebrated in the colonies in 1634 by Father Andrew White.

Fr. Peter Pomposello, US Army Chaplain and Jumpmaster arrives on the island to deliver the keynote and concelebrate Mass. (You can only get to the Island by boat)

Activities are wide-ranging and include The Living Rosary, talks, games with 1st Responders, Confession, Adoration, Benediction, and Mass. All of which is incredible as this tiny island is the birthplace of Religious Freedom in the United States.

READ ABOUT IT HERE: Maryland youth rally commemorates the first English Mass in America

READ ABOUT IT HERE: Eucharistic procession passes through the heart of New York City

Señor de los Milagros

And, once again, traffic is shut down for a grand procession. Personally, I think that any day the streets get closed for a procession is a great one!

The image of Señor de los Milagros is processed out of St. Patrick’s after the Celebration of Mass. You see all the phones out? People sharing the event with the world 🙂

The Feast of the Assumption

Chinatown’s own. It’s an amazing story of what began as a tradition in the underground Catholic Church in China, became one of the largest Marian events in the City.

And this year’s Mass, on this great feast, was celebrated by none other than Timothy Cardinal Dolan at the Church of the Transfiguration in Chinatown.

A joyful, young, Catholic rides on one of the floats in the procession!

And after Mass and the Procession, Fr. Roger Kwan ends the days events with Adoration and Benediction.

READ ABOUT IT: From Forests to Freedom-The Amazing Story of New York City’s Feast of the Assumption Procession.

…and, of course, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

Soldiers from the ‘Fighting Sixty-Ninth’ attend Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral before leading the 263rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The FDNY presents this banner to honor their fallen brothers who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack as they march in the parade.

And FYI, the 2024 St. Patrick’s Day parade will be held on March 16, 2024, because the Feast of St. Patrick falls on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, Missouri

It’s probably the largest gathering of its type. The CMSWR (Counsel of Major Superior Women’s Religious) gathers for their annual conferences.

Fr. John Burns leads Adoration, Benediction, and a Eucharistic Procession for the Sisters at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Answering the Call

Ordinations and Vows of all sorts are incredible to witness. In it, you’re seeing a person surrender their life to Christ in a very specific and very total way.

You are also witness to the unbroken chain of Apostolic succession.

The men who answer The Call will one day bring Christ’s Mercy in Confession, and His Body, and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament to us. Pray for them.

Solemn Profession of Vows

The Sisters of Life gather at St. Patrick’s for members to make their Solemn Profession of Vows.

All Solemnly Professed share in the reality that they become Brides of Christ.

Mother Mary Concepta, the new mother superior, taking over for Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, hears the perpetual vows of Sister Zelie Maria.

Essentially, prostration during the making of perpetual vows is a rich and profound gesture that encompasses the totality of the individual’s commitment to a life of service, poverty, chastity, and obedience in the religious community.

And then the Joy!

And in a Diocese further south, Laurie Power, makes her Solemnly Professed Vow as Consecrated Virgin. Very similar to those of other women religious, but a Bride of Christ, without the affiliation to a religious order.

And Sister Anna Palka of the Sisters of Jesus Our Hope! This moment was particularly profound in that I photographed her first vows a few years back. It’s a privilege to accompany those who are discerning their vocation, and awesome when you get to see it come to this!

The Culture of Life

The front lines. New York City.

Pro-life warrior, Savanna Craven. One of those who inspires many.

The Witness for Life. I once asked Bishop Byrne when it began, and he said he didn’t know. But it’s been a while. All I know is that I started covering it about ten years ago.

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal have always been at the forefront, providing spiritual leadership and a healthy dose of fortitude.

But it was only recently that protesters began showing up, and the Police were needed to intervene.

But protesters or not, the faithful have been unwavering in their prayerful presence.

Because they’re driven by Faith and Love and Hope.

Faith that Christ will grant the Grace that’s needed, where it’s needed.

Love for the women, their unborn children, the people employed in the abortion industry, the protesters, and the abortionists.

And hope that one day, those who advocate for abortion will share in their Joy.

Bearing it all…

For the breathtaking, unrepeatable, gift of life.

The Catholic Life

Theeeeey’re baaaakkk! Every year Old St. Patrick’s on Mott Street brings in some sheep for a summer in the City. In exchange they keep the grass short in the cemetery 🙂

And then there’s the Wedding of the Sea. An age-old Venetian tradition where the Bishop Blesses the sea and tosses a wreath into the waters. In this case it was Bishop Sullivan from the Diocese of Camden who braved the surf in Atlantic City, NJ.

And in the basement of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City the Hillbilly Thomists bring down the house!

While Sister is serenaded by a street musician named David.

And on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Dominican Friars took to the streets themselves to bring Christ to the people.

And in Brooklyn, the procession for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel went on.

While in Harlem, on the same day, the procession was postponed due to rain. But the gathered Faithful were invested in the Scapular.

And in Little Italy, for the Feast of San Rocco, the community celebrated proudly!

And in the West Village, St. Joseph’s Parish, run by the Dominican Friars, Manhattan got its very first (you read that right) Perpetual Adoration Chapel.

Cardinal Dolan processed with the community, bearing the Blessed Sacrament to be everpresent in the Chapel.

And the Chapel and those who could fit, received the first Benediction to be offered in this Sacred space.

In St. Catherine of Siena Parish on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a Mass honoring St. Gianna Mollo was said for the intention of those hoping to become parents.

The New York State Eucharistic Congress

I had driven from Washington, DC, to Auriesville, NY, in what turned out to be a nine-hour drive in the rain to cover the Eucharistic Congress. And it was beyond worth it. It was stunning.

To Celebrate Mass with thousands of pilgrims, to have Adoration, and Benediction, on the very grounds where St. Kateri, St. Isaac Jogues, and St. John De Brebuef had lived, prayed, and died defies description.

The very Faith that they had fought to bring to the New World and were martyred for—now celebrated freely and openly, in a nation dotted with churches from coast to coast…

Thanks to their sacrifices; like Father Andrew White in Southern Maryland (see The Journey) THIS is possible today.

And lastly…

The time that I spent in college could be counted in minutes rather than years. But when I found myself at the Catholic University of America on a project to photograph college life, I realized that if I had it to do over, I would have loved to have gone there.

Yes. To learn at a higher level. And yes, to meet like-minded youth to grow, share, and study with. But at CUA, I found that they had the ‘one thing’ I cherished most at their very center.

And that’s why if I had it to do over. I’d start here.

In 2023, I covered 67 assignments, with 121 days of shooting, and this handful of photos barely scratches the surface of the great things that are happening in the Catholic Church.

So, be hopeful.

Be joyful.

And be Faithful.

Keep your gaze fixed on Christs’ and don’t sweat the rest.

The following two photos sum it up for me. I added the caption that I posted on Instagram at the bottom. It’s about the little girl.

I’ll just say this.

When I saw what she was doing, how carefully she was doing it, and who she was doing it for…well… 🙂

May God richly Bless you in this New Year.

And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of your prayers, messages, and support.

“She’s shy,” Her smiling mother told me. – Dominican Friars Corpus Christi Procession, NYC

As her daughter concentrated on casting rose petals on the city’s streets

As Christ would be carried through them.

Innocence, Beauty, and Divinity

All in one place.

A place called New York.

A place that seems to run from His Grace at every turn

Never realizing that it runs from the very reason for its existence.

Running from what it ultimately seeks

But none of these things were on her mind.

A handful of rose petals.

How to throw them.

How to get them to spread out

Over and over…

She may be shy, but through her humble, simple, innocent actions.

She’s an icon to us all.

How can we make beautiful the path of the Lord?

A young girl with King of the Universe behind her

Spreading rose petals for Him to walk on

Not sure how to top that…

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