Ozone Park Food Fest Assists Parish Unity

Parishioners from St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr parish, above, line up to taste the ethnic delicacies of the International Food Festival.

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary-St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr, Ozone Park, hosted an International Food Festival on Sept. 15 under a tent set up in the schoolyard of the Divine Mercy Catholic Academy, Ozone Park.

Over 400 parishioners of Polish, Italian, Filipino and Spanish descent attended the festival, and many cooked and donated the ethnic foods that were featured at the event. Volunteers from the parish council took shifts serving the food.

The two Ozone Park parishes merged on Sept. 1, 2011. The first-ever food festival was a way to commemorate the merger between the parishes.

The festival began with Fathers Reinaldo A. Saladarriaga and Andrezj Salwowski, both parish priests, blessing the site of a time capsule, which will be buried at St. Stanislaus church. The time capsule includes photos of past parish events.

Parishioners said a prayer at the site before Boy Scouts led a procession to Nativity B.V.M. church four blocks away. From there, the procession continued to Divine Mercy, where Father Paul C. Palmiotto, pastor, greeted attendees with a welcoming prayer.

The day featured a variety of entertainment, including games, pony rides, arts and crafts, raffles, a DJ, Bingo games and free Latin American dance lessons.

Father Paul C. Palmiotto, pastor of Nativity B.V.M-St. Stanislaus, with parishioners Betty Scipione and Ida Brasile, whose families have been parishioners at Nativity B.V.M. for four generations.