Diocesan News

Interfaith Prayer Service Brings Together Mill Basin Community

By Thomas Sorrentino Jr.

St. Bernard Church and Temple Sholom participated in an interfaith Thanksgiving prayer service in the Mill Basin/Bergen Beach community. Amid the prayers, St. Bernard Catholic Academy seventh graders sang “Fire in My Soul” while the Hebrew School Choir sang “Let There be Peace on Earth.” (Photos: Rita Damato)

The annual Bernie Catcher Memorial Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service which is now going 10 years strong was held at Temple Sholom in Mill Basin/Bergen Beach.

This event has become a staple of the Bergen Beach and Mill Basin community and between the parishioners of St. Bernard Church and the congregants of Temple Sholom.

This year’s interfaith community prayer service had over 300 people in attendance to celebrate all that we have in common and all that we have to be thankful for in this country.

Various elected officials, religious, civic and community leaders as well as children and young adults from St. Bernard Catholic Academy and Temple Sholom Hebrew School were present.

Keeping with the theme of “civility,” the service featured readings and music to highlight the themes of gratitude and community, and to reinforce the ideal of mutual respect and embrace our diversity as a strength of our global community.

In that spirit of support and love, and in recognition that we are all brothers and sisters, the St. Bernard Knights of Columbus Council, led by Grand Knight John Piccirillo and Deputy Grand Knight Anthony Patrizio, gave an “Offering of Trees” to be planted in Israel in honor of the lives lost and those injured in the recent synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa., and in memory of the recent passing of Sheldon Durst, a longtime congregant of Temple Sholom.

St. Bernard’s pastor, Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi, along with Father Michael Tedone, parochial vicar; Deacon Frank D’Accordo; and  Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, pastor of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, Williamsburg, led the service with Rabbi Eliseo Rozenwasser and June Koutros, president of Temple Sholom.

Also in attendance were Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, State Attorney General-elect Letitia James, State Senator Roxanne Persaud, State Assemblywoman Jaime Williams, City Councilman Alan Maisel and Kings County Democratic County Chairman, Frank Seddio, along with Co-District Leader Sue Ann Partnow.

The service was organized by members of St. Bernard and Temple Sholom, including Seddio, Thomas Sorrentino Jr., Audrey Durst and Frank Carone.


Sorrentino is a member of St. Bernard Church, Mill Basin, and past grand knight of St. Bernard Knights of Columbus Council No. 14269.

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