2005-09-16 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

Nativity Church Celebrates 100 Years
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader


Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey On Sunday, September 11, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish opened its 100th anniversary celebrations. The church and the school are planning many activities in connection with the anniversary to take place during this year.

The festivities began with a beautiful Mass, which was presided over and celebrated by the Regional Bishop, Bishop Ignatius Cantanello. At this solemn inaugural Mass, Bishop Catanello blessed a new diocesan plaque which symbolizes the unity between Nativity parish with the Brooklyn Diocese led by Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio. The celebration coincides with the Parish Patronal Feast of Mary’s Nativity on September 8th. (These facts were shared by Monsignor Thelan in his parish newsletter.)

Reverend Monsignor Robert Thelan is the outstanding spiritual leader of the Nativity parish. He is caring, concerned, energetic and charismatic. Under Monsignor’s leadership the parish has expanded and grown. His warm personal style and his sincere love of people are contagious. He is a born leader. He has the ability to articulate a common goal and the talent for bringing people together to achieve that aim. Each of the events in the parish is a special occasion because Monsignor Thelan is there.

The solemn Mass was con-celebrated with six diocesan priests. The statue of the Madonna de Caltavuturo was featured during the Mass symbolizing the parish organizations commitment to honoring Mary, their patron Saint.

The Mass was followed by a wonderful procession. Even the weather cooperated by providing a beautiful sunny day. The statues of Saints Cosma and Damiano led the parade.

These saints have a special place in Nativity Church. They are honored and revered each day. These twin saints studied medicine, were physicians and are credited with many miracles. During their lives they served rich and poor people without remuneration. They are credited with helping many people to heal.

Today people who are ill pray to Saints Cosma and Damiano for help.

In Rome, there is a church dedicated to Saints Cosma and Damiano. The church contains a beautiful mosaic in which Christ is flanked by Saints Cosma and Damiano who stand with the arms of Saint Peter and Saint Paul around their shoulders. Under the mosaic there is a reference to Saints Cosma and Damiano who aid the faithful in the quest for salvation, according to internet site: Churches of Rome: Saints Cosma e Damiano.

The procession from Nativity carrying the statues and banners continued to Saint Stanislaus Parish where a wreath was laid symbolizing the contributions of Nativity’s past congregants who provided a firm foundation on which to continue the parish’s important work in today’s community.

Bishop Catanello ended the celebration with a special blessing at the World Trade Center and Catholic War Veterans monuments situated in front of Nativity Church. Special prayers were offered for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Monsignor Thelan invites the community to enjoy the many wonderful activities which will take place during the 100th year celebration at Nativity.

Kudos’ go to the dynamic team at St. Rose of Lima Parish, which organized their annual golf outing. Special thanks go to Michael and Betty Keller. They are an outstanding couple. They are always reaching out to help everyone in our neighborhood. Michael Keller was a dynamic force behind the golf outing. I was very happy to make a donation and sponsor a hole at the golf tournament. Betty Keller dedicated her expertise to organizing the luncheon following the outing at the Harbor Light Restaurant. Mike and Betty Keller are to be congratulated for all their successful contributions to the community.

Next week is Restaurant Week in Queens. Be sure to take advantage of the dinners which will be priced at $19.64 in remembrance of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens. Support your local restaurants. (Call before you go to make sure that the restaurant is participating in this event.)

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