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Retired Deacon – “Servant of People” – Dead at 92

Deacon Lionel Knight, 92, a retired deacon from St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica, died March 17 at Jamaica Hospital.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 22 at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church.Deacon Lionel A. Knight

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto was the main celebrant. Father Thomas Pettei, pastor, preached the homily.

Deacon Knight was ordained to the diaconate on May 15, 1993 at the age of 71.

He was a public high school English teacher, with his last position being at Franklin K. Lane H.S., Cypress Hills.

Even before he became a deacon, he was a lector and an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at the parish. He also served as a catechist in the parish’s religious education program until age 88.

He retired from the diaconate in 2011 but often still visited the sick and the parish’s homeless shelter.

“He’ll (Deacon Knight) be remembered as a real servant of people and parishioners, certainly with a joyful smile and someone who was always enthusiastic in serving the Lord,” said Father Pettei.

“He was really very energetic and very willing to serve. He was always willing to help others and visit the sick. He was very committed to his family, education and his community.”

He is survived by four children, Lionel Jr., Kevin, Renee and Alicia Knight-DeBrady.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside.


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Irish Parades Celebrate Family and the Faith (with slide show)

By Ed Wilkinson

The celebration of the month of St. Patrick has come to an end.

The Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade was the final event of the observance of the patron saint of Ireland. Like the other parades, the day began with Mass, this one at St. Patrick’s Church with its new pastor, Msgr. Michael Hardiman, delivering an insightful homily on Irish spirituality.

Parade chairman Frankie Marra promised this would be the second largest Irish parade in the city, and it lived up to its billing. With pipers, parishioners and pageantry, the march made its way along Third Avenue for a mile and a half as residents filled the sidewalks along the way.

New to the Bay Ridge event this year were floats that carried Catholic school students and the members of the Moloney family, the parade’s “Family of the Year.” Marra also announced that next year the committee would begin awarding scholarship money to students in local Catholic schools.

“The attendance is phenomenal. Bay Ridge really supports this parade,” said Marra. “We have the biggest bands – the New York Police Emerald Society, the Fire Department, Sanitation and Clan Eireann.”

Transit Police Chief Joseph Fox led the parade as grand marshal. He was ably assisted by deputy marshals Mary Kay Higgins, Catherine Toolan Gearity, Danny Woods, Kevin Fay, Cathy Harkin, Denise Benardello-Frederick and Brian Cassidy. All worthy honorees!

Proud of his Irish heritage, Chief Fox pointed out that “the Irish people bring to policing what all people bring to lives of service – care and compassion for helping others.”

Boycotting Brewers

As the month of celebrations came to a conclusion, Catholic League President Bill Donohue promised that Guinness’ decision not to support this year’s New York Parade would not be forgotten. He called for a boycott of Guinness, Heineken and Samuel Adams beer as a way of responding to the brewers’ slap at the Catholic faith.

Guinness et al. pulled their support at the last minute under pressure from gay and lesbian groups who claim that they are being discriminated against because they cannot wave their banners in the parade.

Donohue has asked the Gay Pride Parade to admit him to its line of march with banners of his own proclaiming his heterosexuality. He was denied unless he attends some gay pride training sessions, which he says he has no intention of doing.

But it just proves the point that every group is entitled to practice its beliefs as long as it brings no harm to the larger community. New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, being a Catholic event, has the right to stand by its faith principles.

It’s helpful to repeat once again that people who identify themselves as gay are not prevented from marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The only thing banned is any kind of banner identifying opposition to Church teaching.

The plethora of St. Patrick’s parades in New York City is a source of continued ethnic and religious pride.

Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, chaplain to the Bay Ridge parade, pointed out that “this parade is a family celebration of our faith and our neighborhood.”

The Irish, and anyone else who wishes to join, celebrate their homeland and their faith. Thank God that in America, that’s still permitted!


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Preparing to Join the Church (with slide show)

More than 1,100 people were formally greeted by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio during two sessions of the Rite of Election March 9 held at Christ the King R.H.S., Middle Village.

The participants, known as catechumens and candidates for the sacraments, are in the final weeks of their preparation to be baptized or to receive the sacraments that will bring them into full union with the Catholic Church. Those ceremonies will be taking place at Easter Vigil services in their home parishes. The Rite of Election is part of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program that trains and welcomes new members of the Church.

The parishes with the highest totals were St. John Vianney, Flushing; St. Leo’s, Corona; Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sunset Park; and St. Athanasius, Bensonhurst. Joining Bishop DiMarzio for the ceremony were the territorial vicars, Bishop-elect Edward B. Scharfenberger, vicar for Queens, and Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi, vicar for Brooklyn, and Father James Massa, moderator of the Curia. The master of ceremonies was Father Frank Tumino, executive director of the diocesan Liturgical Commission. Sister Alice Michael, S.U.S.C., shown at lower right, is the diocesan coordinator for RCIA. Members of the RCIA have been attending catechism classes for several months in their home parishes to prepare for their entry into the Church. This year, 120 parishes in Brooklyn and Queens participated in the Rite of Election.  For more about the Rite of Election, see The Editor’s Space.

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Obituaries – March 15

Father Matthew C. Flood, S.J., a Jesuit for 67 years and a priest for 53 years, died March 7 at Murray-Weigel Hall, the Bronx. He was 85.

Father Flood, S.J.

Father Flood, S.J.

Born in the Bronx, he attended Xavier H.S., Manhattan, and entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in 1946.

He attended Woodstock College, Woodstock, Md., and Bellarmine College, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

As a scholastic, he taught German back at Xavier. He was ordained to the priesthood at the Fordham University Church on June 17, 1961 by Bishop Joseph Pernicone.

Father Flood began a long career of teaching at Fordham Prep in 1962, teaching theology, German and Spanish. For many summers, he traveled to St. Otto parish in Nuremburg, Germany, to assist there as well as improve his German.

He continued at Fordham Prep, 1999-2010, as well as serving there as assistant librarian and assistant alumni chaplain. In 2012, he was assigned to the Jesuit infirmary, Murray-Weigel Hall, also on the Fordham campus.

He is survived by his brother, Msgr. William Flood, who resides at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament parish, Bayside.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 11 at Murray-Weigel Hall. Burial was at the Jesuit Cemetery in Auriesville, N.Y.

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Xaverian Men Find Poverty Hits Close to Home

Juniors from Xaverian H.S. learned that money is not necessary to help those in need. They lived on $3 for a day while volunteering in Camden, N.J., as part of a school service trip.

Juniors from Xaverian H.S. learned that money is not necessary to help those in need. They lived on $3 for a day while volunteering in Camden, N.J., as part of a school service trip.

Six juniors from Xaverian H.S. Bay Ridge, left their Brooklyn homes to better understand those who live in poverty just over the Hudson River.

They traveled to Camden, N.J., to participate in the Romero Center’s Urban Challenge Program, a service-learning, immersion retreat experience.

Raysean Marin, Michael Paparelli, Marvel Tranquille, Francois Naaman, Patrick Saint-Amour and Giuseppe Costanza, along with Campus Minister John Dormer and faculty member Brian McCartney, stayed for two nights at the Romero Center. They participated in various service projects with the homeless, young children and individuals infected with HIV/AIDS while volunteering at MLK Jr. Developmental Center, Abigail House, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Thrift Store and St. Francis House. 

Here are the students’ reflections:

Francois Naaman

When Mr. Dormer told us about this retreat, I immediately raised my hand to participate, thinking that this would be the perfect chance to live out the Catholic social teachings which are a part of our curriculum this year. We are all made in the image and likeness of God, and it is our responsibility to represent that among our society as Catholics.

As we entered Camden, the extreme level of poverty I saw was unbelievable. More than half the houses were vandalized or evicted. My friends and I were shocked, especially when this neighborhood is only a couple of hours away from where we live. We entered the Romero Center and were introduced to the history of Camden and ways in which we could help.

Mr. Dormer and I, along with two of my fellow students, were assigned to work at an AIDS Hospice in Camden.  This was my favorite experience: comforting those with companionship who have been basically shunned from society for this disease. We had lunch with our new friends, talking to them about their lives and providing them with a form of love.

Sue, the women who started this hospice, called us out to take a trip to a nearby park. As we entered the park, we saw a shopping cart filled with dirty canned goods, a wide piece of wood, garbage bags and broken tree branches. This was the shelter of a homeless man who had moved on to live in an abandoned house. As we were cleaning up the rigid wood on which he had slept, the dirt-covered garbage bags which he used as covers, and the tree branches which helped deflect the rain, we all realized how lucky we are to be living the way we are. This was one man of the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of homeless people living in the nearby “tent city.” This one experience changed my view on life completely. Always be thankful for what you have. Ever since my friends and I came back from the service trip, all that is talked about is going back and what we can do to make a bigger difference in Camden.

Giuseppe Costanza

My service in Camden opened my eyes to what was happening in our own country. I never thought that poverty in such a country as ours would be this drastic.

It also made me wonder why there are not more people willing to help out another fellow citizen.

So much emphasis is put on the financial situation of other countries that it almost blinds us to our own economic distress.

One of the services that captivated me was when I, along with two other Xaverian students, went to visit a hospice home for HIV/AIDS patients. The way the patients interacted with one another, with the caretakers and even with us was what really amazed me. The patients treated each other like family. They had the biggest smiles on their faces and were so appreciative of our company and the service of the caretakers.

The fact that these people are suffering from such a horrible disease but are still able to remain upbeat made me more aware of all the blessings I have.

Michael Paparelli

For my service project, I went to the Martin Luther King Jr. pre-school. When I was there, I saw how these kids were emotionally unstable due to hunger and financial/shelter problems at home.

I felt honored to be there and put a smile on their faces. To simply make a difference in these kids’ day was probably the best feeling I’ve ever felt.

My experience at Camden made me realize how much I have to be thankful for and how blessed I am. When I was in Camden, I was shocked to see how high the poverty level was and how these people live every day. When I got home, I was more appreciative toward everything my parents do for me. I was totally changed by the sights I saw, and these aspects definitely woke me up and made me realize just how lucky I truly am.

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Youth Views: What is a decision you are proud of?

Analia Acevedo, senior Cristo Rey Brooklyn

Analia Acevedo, senior
Cristo Rey Brooklyn

I made the decision to study at Cristo Rey Brooklyn. This decision shaped my life and molded me into the person I always want to look back on. My school has made me a responsible and caring individual, with an education and work experience that will help me succeed.






Kathleen Corbett, freshman
Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.

The best decision I made so far was to go to summer camp last summer. It gave me the chance to meet new people and experience new things.







Ralph Meristil, junior
Cristo Rey Brooklyn

Deciding to attend Cristo Rey Brooklyn has been a life-changing decision. The curriculum and working component helped me in developing a determined and focused mindset. The staff, students and co-workers motivate me to stay on track and strive for success.





Anthony Fanelli, junior Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.

Anthony Fanelli, junior
Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.

One decision I made that I am proud of is choosing McClancy H.S. I can handle all the work and still take part in extracurricular activities.






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St. Saviour H.S. Joyfully Remembers Jasmine, Helps Family

SDC18258The gospel choir at St. Saviour H.S., Park Slope, performed a benefit concert for the family of their late classmate, Jasmine Guillaume. The St. Saviour H.S. junior passed away in a house fire with her two sisters on Dec. 20, 2013. Performing in front of a packed house, the choir sang new songs and old St. Saviour favorites. The choir is led by Marlon Huie, head of the music department. Above left are members of the choir standing proud in the choir uniforms. Above right, members of the school’s boosters committee, who performed at intermission in memory of Jasmine, wear shirts commemorating their departed classmate.


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Our Youth: The Year of Marist Vocations

By Joe Sommo 

Photo © Laura Sawyer

Photo © Laura Sawyer

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto joined the Archbishop Molloy H.S. community in praying for those who  have devoted their lives to religious vocations and for members of the lay community who do God’s work in other important ways.

“Who does God call you to be?” he asked the students in Briarwood.

To help them answer this question, Bishop Chappetto asked the students to reflect on the dreams they held when they were young and encouraged them to continue the pursuit of those dreams through their faith in God. He reminded them that part of that pursuit is performing the works of the Church, and as lay people, they play a significant role in God’s plan.

“We were honored to have Bishop Chappetto celebrate Mass at Molloy,” said Richard Karsten, president. “The Year of Marist Vocations has provided a special opportunity for our religious leaders to teach students that their work as young Catholic Marists has only just begun. We hope that this Mass and other events throughout the year will continue to inspire them to think about their faith more deeply now as well as beyond high school.

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Obituaries – March 1, 2014

Sister Ann Dyer, C.S.J., a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, L.I., for 74 years, died Feb. 13.

She entered the congregation from Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, Sunset Park, and she studied at Manhattan College, and Rivier College, Nashua, N.H.


Sister Ann

Formerly  known as Sister Catherine Elizabeth, she taught at Transfiguration, Williamsburg, 1942-46; St. Francis de Sales, Belle Harbor, 1946-50; St. Anthony of Padua, Greenpoint, 1950-53; Queen of All Saints, Fort Greene, 1953-55; Holy Family, Flushing, 1955-60, and St. Martha, Uniondale, L.I., 1960-62.

She then taught on the secondary level at The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates, 1962-69; Fontbonne Hall Academy, Bay Ridge, 1969-70; and Bishop McDonnell H.S., Crown Heights, 1970-73, before serving as principal at St. Thomas Aquinas, Park Slope, 1973-79.

Next, she served at St. Angela Hall Academy H.S., Clinton Hill, 1979-80; Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, 1980-81; St. Agnes Seminary, Marine Park, 1981-84; Academy of St. Joseph H.S., Brentwood, 1984-87; and Sacred Heart, North Merrick, L.I., 1987-90, before becoming secretary of the religious education office at St. Anne, Brentwood, 1990-91.

She ministered at Maria Regina Residence, Brentwood, 1991-94; Brentwood Education Center, Brentwood, 1994-95; and Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, 1995-97.

In 2006, she retired to St. Joseph Convent.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Brentwood.

Sister Mary Richard DiGiacomo, C.S.J., a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, L.I., for 75 years, died Feb. 3.


Sister Mary

She entered the congregation in 1940 from Holy Cross parish, Flatbush. She then studied at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., and Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.

She taught at St. Brendan, Midwood, 1942-45; St. Philip Neri, Northport, L.I., 1945-50; Academy of St. Joseph H.S., Brentwood, 1950-58; St. Teresa of Avila, Prospect Heights, 1958-61; Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, 1961-73; served at St. Frances de Chantal, Wantagh, L.I., as a clerical assistant, 1973-78, and St. Stanislaus Kostka, Maspeth, 1976-86.

In 1986, she returned to the Academy of St. Joseph, where she stayed until 1992.

In 2007, she retired to Maria Regina Residence, Brentwood.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Brentwood.

Sister Angela

Sister Angela

Sister Angela Hearne, R.S.H.M., died at Marymount Convent, Tarrytown, N.Y., on Feb. 19.

A member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary for 80 years, she celebrated her 100th birthday on Feb. 6.

Born  as Bridget Carmel Hearne in County Waterford, Ireland, she entered the community in 1931 and made her final vows in 1938.

She spent 75 years teaching, including assignments at St. Mary’s School, Long Island City, 1935-1950, and at St. Catharine of Alexandria, Borough Park, 1950-54.

In 1954, Sister Angela was sent to minister in Sag Harbor, L.I., where she taught for the next 54 years at the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Mary School and at St. Andrew’s School, which became Stella Maris Regional School.

For 20 years, she ran the Sacred Heart of Mary Summer Camp at Cormaria in Sag Harbor.

Burial was in Mount Calvary Cemetery, White Plains, N.Y.

Remembering Bishop Catanello

A memorial Mass observing the first anniversary of the death of Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius A. Catanello will be celebrated at Holy Family Church, Flushing, on Sunday, March 2, at noon.

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Student Easter Art Contest: Christ is Risen

(See text version below image.)


The Tablet, in collaboration with the John Hughes Council of the Knights of Columbus, invites local youth to express their faith through art by participating in this year’s Easter art contest.

Eligibility: Students, grades one to 12, residing in Brooklyn or Queens.

Judging: Entries will be judged based on adherence to the theme, Christ is Risen; originality of work; and demonstration of artistic ability.

Winners will receive cash prize­­s and have their work published in The Tablet.

Entries without the following will not be considered: Name; grade; school or parish program; contact phone number; return mailing address. Please make sure all the information is either written on the back of the work or is securely attached to the work. No paper clips. Phone numbers and addresses will not be published.

Deadline: April 16, 5 p.m. (received not postmarked)

Submit entries to: Christ is Risen Art Contest, 1712 Tenth Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215. E-mail entries will not be considered.

For more information, contact Antonina Zielinska: 718-517-3132 or

For a .pdf version of the flyer please click on the link to the right, below. (on the ride hand side below the ads)

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