On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter
The Nuptial Mass for Mary Frances Dever and John James Kelly was celebrated on Friday June 21 at St. Frances de Sales Church in Belle Harbor. The Celebrant was Msgr. Martin Geraghty. The Rev. Peter Meehan was also present.
The ecumenical and multicultural congregation attended from as far away as Japan and England and around the U.S. "Denny" Fulton played the bagpipes on the steps of St. Frances as the throng of guests arrived to witness and wish the much beloved couple well.
Under the Direction of Organist Herman Schmitt, music for the mass was performed by Michael Schmitt who played the Trumpet; Flautist Sr. MaryAnne, O.P., and Soloist Eileen Schmitt.
MaryAnne Ford served as Maid of Honor and John O'Connor served as Best Man. The Flower Girl was Samantha Lomax, the adorable eight-year-old granddaughter of the groom. The Bride was given away by her son, the handsome Michael Dever.
During the Liturgy of The Word, the Groom's daughter, Ellen Kelly, gave the first reading from Ecclesiastes: For Everything There is a Season. The Responsorial Psalm, "I Have Loved You", was sung by Eileen Schmitt; and Michael Dever read from Corinthians: The Meaning of Love. The Gospel Acclamation was the Celtic Alleluia.
Msgr. Geraghty gave the Homily, in which he mentioned the couple's deceased spouses, whose presence was felt in spirit. Prayers of the Faithful were read by the Bride's twin sister, Sr. Peggy Tully. O.P., and the Presentation of Gifts were presented by Mrs. Julia Higgins, Ms. Catherine McNally, Miss Genevieve Browne, and Lt. Sarah Bradwisch.
The Offortory Hymn, The Irish Wedding Song, was performed by Eileen Schmitt. The Communion song was "There is Love", and the Meditation Hymn was the Ave Maria mellifluously sung by Sr. MaryAnne Euring, O.P. The Recessional was Mendelssohn's Wedding March.
Mary looked radiant in a custom gown designed by Entoto Couture of Great Neck, Long Island. The bodice was Chantilly Lace with Silk Organza that layered to the floor.
The Mass Program, entitled, "Celebrate Our Joy", concluded with a personal message from the couple in which they thanked God for the blessing of bringing them together and expressed their love and gratitude for their families and friends.
The couple requested that they be photographed at the Pat Brackley Memorial Park at Beach 124 Street and Beach Channel Drive. Mary has fond memories of Pat, The Gardening Angel, who was a personal inspiration to her, as well as a role model for many women.
A reception followed at The Silver Gull where invited guests dined by its oceanfront setting and were treated to the impeccable service and culinary talents of The Silver Gull staff. Guests joined the Dever and Kelly clans and danced to an eclectic collection of American and Traditional Irish music, including jigs and reels, provided by D.J. Tim Tubridy.
The newlyweds honeymooned on the original Princess Love Boat to Bermuda. Since they were so pleased with the itinerary arranged for them by Serenity Travel, they have since booked another cruise and will embark next year to Alaska!
The couple will reside at Surfside and attend St. Camillus Parish. They will continue to volunteer at the Tabor Retreat House in Oceanside, Long Island where they met; and Mary will continue to hold yearly retreats on Pain and Loss at St. Paul's Center in Douglaston. The couple wish to extend their gratitude and the spirit of the Claddagh to all those who shared with them their special day. They will continue to share their blessings with others and offer themselves as an example of the limitless possibilities of love and hope.
Mary and Jim Kelly exchange vows at St. Francis de Sales Church in Belle Harbor.