by Antonina Zielinska
Posted on 21 March 2013.
by Antonina Zielinska
Posted on 24 January 2013.
Posted on 24 January 2013.
Posted on 24 January 2013.
In July, 2012, our faculty began to take a leadership role in developing our curriculum around the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), adopted as an unprecedented national set of education standards, to provide all students access to a high-quality education that would prepare them for college and future careers. Our initial participation in St. John’s University’s Curriculum Leadership Program facilitated our development of rigorous instructional unit plans of study in both English Language Arts and Math. Since that time, our faculty has continued in this program and translated these common core grade-specific standards into daily teaching practices. In a school wide effort, we have continuously focused our attention on redesigning our instruction so that our students are engaged in more cognitively challenging tasks and are actively involved in gaining the mastery and proficiency of the skills required to prepare them for competitive postsecondary education and the global arena. Our teachers’ desire to advance their own learning, as evidenced by our involvement in Catapult’s Literacy Coaching Program, has had an invaluable effect on our students’ achievements. Our goal is to teach so that our curriculum supports our students’ strengths and helps them develop to their highest potentials. As education researcher, Maxine Greene, reminds us, “Our children are poised to reach towards what is not yet, towards a growing that cannot be predetermined or prescribed.”
We at St. Francis of Assisi School believe that we must create a learning environment in which every child can succeed and fulfill his or her potential. We want our students to have true intellectual grit, defined by Angela Lee Duckworth (Harvard Education, Vol. 29) as qualities like diligence, hard work, sustained effort, and the ability to focus on a goal without getting discouraged by setbacks. Our goals are to convince our students that they can succeed and then guide them to success.
In addition to the CCSS, there is another evolution-taking place called the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII). The CCCII will infuse more Catholic teachings, principles, values, and social justice themes into the curriculum content and instructional activities according to the National Catholic Educators Association (NCEA). At St. Francis of Assisi School, we believe that this will further develop in our students a “way of life” rooted in Christ and a Catholic vision that will provide inspiration and identity to all the members of our school community. It is the mission of St. Francis of Assisi School to form, inform, and transform ourselves through Christ to be active members of our Catholic community and dedicated scholars who serve all of society. We believe in the dignity of all human beings and support a Christian value-laden environment that builds respectful relationships throughout our school community. During this 2012-2013 school year, our students are thinking much more of others and have joined in several fundraising efforts to support families in need. More students are joining our parish Youth Group and Children’s Choir and becoming Altar Servers and Student Council members. They are determined to make the world a better place.
In this Year of Faith, our school has been more focused on learning about the life of St. Francis of Assisi and his teachings. In Affair of the Heart, by Patricia Jordan, we learned that, “One winter morning in 1208, St. Francis of Assisi heard the words of the Gospel not only with his ears, but with his heart, and it changed his life forever.” It is our hope that our students’ Catholic educations at St. Francis of Assisi School will greatly change their lives for the better too. To learn more about our special school please call (718) 726-9405 or visit www.sfaschool.org.
Posted on 19 September 2012.
On Sept. 11, 2012, the students and faculty of St. Francis of Assisi School, Astoria, gathered together in the schoolyard to salute the American flag and pray for peace in remembrance of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Photo courtesy St. Francis of Assisi School)
So which world famous Irish tenor will be in concert at a local parish this fall? Ronan Tynan is scheduled to perform a Classic Tenor Concert at Blessed Sacrament Church, Jackson Heights, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $25. Following the concert, a festive cocktail reception will be held, and the admission fee is $20. Tickets are going quickly so make your reservation today. Call 718-639-3888.
And dear Brooklynites, we have a special treat for you too. Regina Opera Company is presenting its Opera and Pops Concert on Sunday, Oct. 7 at its new venue, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Sunset Park. The two-hour show, which will feature arias and ensembles from operas and Broadway plays, begins at 3 p.m. Sing along with soprano Patricia Vital, pictured, and her fellow performers. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for teens and children are admitted for free. For tickets, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-259-2772.
Tablet TALK Quote of the Week: “Have great confidence in God’s goodness and mercy, and He will never abandon you; but don’t neglect to embrace His holy cross because of this.” — Padre Pio in honor of his feast, Sept. 23.
Voting is one of the great rights and responsibilities of being an American citizen. If you’re not registered to vote, you can register online or download a registration form at www.vote.nyc.ny.us. Forms must be delivered to the Board of Elections Office in your borough at least 25 days before the general election on Nov. 6. To learn more, call 212-VOTE-NYC (868-3692).
This week’s Tip of the Tablet TALK Top Hat goes to Arlene Figaro, headmistress of the all-girls Catholic elementary school, Visitation Academy, Bay Ridge, who will serve as grand marshal for the 46th annual Children’s Ragamuffin Parade on Sept. 29. The parade is set to begin at 1 p.m. from 76th St. and Third Ave. and will continue along the avenue to 92nd St. Children who attend area public, Catholic and private schools will march in the parade, which was founded in 1967 by Father James McKenna, then-associate pastor of Our Lady of Angels parish, Bay Ridge. Colleen Golden, wife of State Sen. Marty Golden, serves as president of the parade committee. Be sure to wave to Figaro and the children marching!
The Newman’s Own Foundation recently awarded a $200,000 grant to Calvary Hospital, which has campuses in the Bronx and Sunset Park, to expand the hospital’s bereavement support programs for school-age and teenage children in the Bronx and Brooklyn. One of those programs is Camp Compass, a unique summer camp offering hope and healing for children, ages six-17, who have lost a parent or loved one. Last month, Camp Compass hosted its 15th annual session, which was held for the first time at Kingsborough Community College, Manhattan Beach. Seventy-five campers, like Jonathan, above, enjoyed swimming, fishing, basketball with the Harlem Wizards and making memory videos and boxes honoring their deceased loved ones. (Photo courtesy Calvary Hospital)
Posted on 21 July 2011.
by Marie Elena Giossi
Last Saturday, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Msgr. Sean Ogle openly confessed the sin of pride – pride in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, the mother church of Queens, as the Astoria parish marked its 170th anniversary and patronal feast day.
“I am very proud of this parish. I know the effort you put into staying together,” the bishop announced to a multilingual, multiethnic congregation who filled the church to capacity for the 5 p.m. anniversary Mass on July 16.
Bishop DiMarzio was the main celebrant of the Mass. Special concelebrants included Msgr. Ogle; parochial vicars, Father Joseph Pham and Father Peter Nguyen; pastors emeriti, Fathers Ed Brady and Frank Lynch; former pastor, Msgr. Paul Sanchez, episcopal vicar, Queens; former parochial vicar, Father Josephjude Gannon, now-pastor of St. Gerard Majella, Hollis; Father Ray Roden, in residence; Father Peter Nwadimkpa, summer assistant; Father Michael Kerrigan, whose mother resides in the parish; and Msgr. Jim Hunt, a native of the parish.
Deacon Jaime Varela, the bishop’s assistant; and parish Deacon Manuel Barahona, assisted on the altar.
Representing the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, who ran the parish school for 114 years, was Sister Barbara Buckbee C.S.J., the parish’s Catholic School promoter.
A Knights of Columbus color corps led the entrance procession followed by Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre and parish trustees, Jane Ann McGettrick and Marilyn Gazzara, and about 20 parish groups and ministries carrying elaborate banners, which were displayed in the parish center at a dessert reception following the liturgy.
Existed Before the Diocese
“Today we celebrate the 170th anniversary of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish. It is truly remarkable this parish existed before the diocese itself existed,” the bishop said in his opening remarks.
In the mid-1830s, nearly two decades before the Brooklyn Diocese was established, Irish-born Father Michael Curran, who would become the first pastor, wanted to open a Catholic church to serve Irish immigrants moving to northwestern Queens. On two plots of land at 21st St. and 26th Ave., donated by John Shea, a teacher, a wooden church was built in 1841 to serve 118 people, including 16 non-Catholics.
Within 30 years, the faithful outgrew their humble church and began fundraising for the present building, on the corner of Newtown Ave. and Crescent St. The cornerstone was laid Sept. 9, 1871, and the church was dedicated Aug. 7, 1873. It was enlarged and embellished with a limestone facade, deeper sanctuary and stained-glass windows in 1915.
A school and convent, church basement, rectory and parish center, called the Institute, were added in the 1880s and ’90s.
With 300 children and six Josephite Sisters from Brentwood, the parish school opened at Astoria Blvd. and Crescent St. on Sept. 14, 1891. A new school adjacent to the rectory was erected in 1954.
Massgoer Mary Horan Doran recalled attending seventh and eighth grade in the parish school, where she dutifully studied the old Baltimore Catechism. “I learned my faith there. I love Mt. Carmel and I owe Mt. Carmel my catechism,” she said.
Although the school closed in 2005, youth continue to be catechized through the religious education program, which enrolls over 350 students.
In 1965, as the parish joyfully marked its 125th anniversary, changes were on the horizon. The late ’60s and ’70s brought the addition of Saturday and Sunday evening Masses and the celebration of Masses in the Czech and Slovak and Spanish languages to accommodate new residents. To serve the population, Masses were celebrated in the upper and lower churches and in a rented movie theatre on Broadway.
In the 1980s, the parish began offering more comprehensive religious education and pastoral care programs; expanded lay ministries; added Folk and Italian Masses; and provided space to job training and social service programs, including Flowers with Care and Catholic Charities.
Through the years, as more Catholics settled in the area, at least 10 parishes were carved out of Mt. Carmel’s territory.
St. Margaret Mary Church, Long Island City, was created in 1961 at Ninth St. and 27th Ave., five blocks from Mt. Carmel. In 2006, as part of the diocesan reconfiguration plan, St. Margaret Mary was reintegrated into Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, which is now one parish with two active worship sites.
Eleven Masses, Five Languages, Two Sites
“We have 11 Masses every weekend (nine at Mt. Carmel and two at St. Margaret Mary) and that includes five languages” — English, Spanish, Czech-Slovak, Italian and Vietnamese, said Msgr. Ogle. He noted that 1,800 people attend Mass on the average weekend.
“We have diversity in languages and cultures, but also in age groups,” said the monsignor, who was appointed pastor in 2008.
He praised the “large and devoted” Hispanic and Filippino populations, whose mature members add vitality to the parish’s Diamond Carmel Senior group and whose younger members stay active through service with the Jornada movement, and social activities.
He admires the piety of the Italian, Vietnamese and Czech-Slovak communities. He also values the long-established parishioners and the young American professionals, newcomers to the trendy area, whom he calls “a wonderful addition.”
What impresses Msgr. Ogle most about his parish family is their “extreme generosity with their talents. These are service-oriented people,” as is evident from the strong base of lay volunteers who organized the procession and reception and also participated in the Mass.
“There is a lot going on and the people are encouraging,” Msgr. Ogle said. “It’s a great place to be.”
That has been particularly true during this anniversary year, when the focus has been “to reflect and celebrate and challenge the people to the New Evangelization,” Msgr. Ogle said.
Parish Renewal Plan
Parish renewal has been a major effort with the appointment of a new pastoral council, the creation of a three-year pastoral plan, and significant repair work underway on the exterior of seven parish buildings.
The Filippino community initiated weekly line dancing nights to draw parishioners and visitors, and a lecture series offered insights into parish history and art, upcoming changes to the liturgy and spirituality.
Future goals include boosting Mass attendance, involving more parishioners, having greater integration and interface among parish groups, and increasing youth and young adult participation.
“Diversity is truly our strength,” shared Neida Martinez, new parish council member and parishioner for nearly 30 years. “Msgr. Ogle has done a great job of getting a lot of parishioners involved. I hope we can help people feel fellowship in our faith. I want us to continue to progress and be unified.”
“This parish has had a long and glorious history under the patronage of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,” the bishop acknowledged.
“Keep up the good work,” he said, and encouraged the parish to continue to “flourish and grow.”