Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Immigrants Honored as Our Shining Stars

Deacon Chris Barber, who serves at St. Clare’s parish in Rosedale, is a special guy.

You could say he was special because he was the only boy in a family that included nine sisters.

You could say he was special because he once thought of being a priest and studied at Cathedral Prep Seminary, Elmhurst.

You could say he was special because after high school, he got a chance to serve in the U.S. Navy, doing a tour of duty in Lebanon and then with the U.S. armed forces in Iraq.

You could say he was special because he married his wife Joyce Romain in Our Lady of Victory Church, Bedford-Stuyvesant, in a ceremony that was officiated by Msgr. Joe Nugent.

You can say he was special because the couple has been blessed with two daughters and one son.

You could say he was special because he has a good job in the IT department in Mayor Bloomberg’s Office.

And you could say he was special because he was ordained as a deacon in 2009 and is blessed to serve the people of his Eastern Queens parish.

Obviously, people think Deacon Chris Barber is very special and that’s why he was chosen to be one of the honorees at this year’s Shining Stars Dinner sponsored by the Diocesan Migration Office.

Deacon Chris Barber represented the West Indian Apostolate as members of the 29 different ethnic apostolates were honored at two separate dinners at Gargiulo’s, Coney Island.

The annual Shining Stars Dinner celebrates the great gifts of immigrants to our diocese and has quickly become one of the highlights of the diocesan social calendar.

Deacon Chris was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1968. He moved to the United States when he was only seven. He relished the opportunities he was given and made the most of his talents in service to the wider church and community. He’s not someone who looks for recognition and would be the last person to tell you about all he has accomplished in garnering his Shining Star designation.

Everyone honored as a Shining Star is special. Others included a computer operator, a Con Ed worker, an assembly line worker, a systems engineer, a construction worker, a priest, a police officer, a former prisoner of war, a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, a former member of a European Parliament, a taxi driver, a dialysis technician, a college professor, a stay-at-home mom, a journalist, a psychiatrist and a transitional deacon.

They serve the Church as cantors, lectors, members of charismatic prayer groups, fundraisers, Marriage Encounter coordinators, parish council reps, immigration counselors, religious education instructors, greeters of hospitality, priest, deacons, chorus members, evangelizers, and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.

Immigrants to this diocese have contributed greatly to the life of the Church and their respective neighborhoods. The Shining Stars Dinner is a public way of acknowledging their achievements and thanking them for their service.

“Each one of the honorees has a special story,” said Father Patrick Keating, diocesan director of the Catholic Migration Office. “We are fortunate to have such shining examples to represent the Church of Brooklyn and Queens.”

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