It’s never too early to start planning an anniversary party.
Our Lady of Angels parish in Bay Ridge has set Sept. 24, 2091 as the date for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of its founding. On that day, the time capsule that was entombed last weekend in the wall of the church will be opened by parishioners to get a glimpse at what parish life was like in 2018.
The sealing of the box containing mementoes of parish life was the final act of the Bay Ridge parish’s 125th anniversary year. Msgr. Kevin Noone, pastor and native son of the parish, pointed out that it was providential that the time capsule rests only a few feet from the church’s cornerstone. For it was on that same day that the Gospel reading was about Jesus being the cornerstone, rejected by the builders, that became the cornerstone of our faith.
Tom Jablonski, who wrote the history of the parish that was published in the 125th anniversary journal, directed as committee members packed artifacts into the stainless steel, waterproof box on the day before it was blessed and placed into the niche in the east wall of the bell tower vestibule.
Among the items preserved for the future was an album of 75 photos of the parish’s anniversary celebrations; a set of 8 x 10 color photographs of each class in Holy Angels Academy; a copy of the parish’s anniversary year journal; personal thoughts and reflections of priests, parishioners and students written on archival acid-free paper; a diorama of the sanctuary with the parish priests celebrating Mass; a specially engraved chalice and pyx; and copies of The Tablet covering the jubilee year.
“There’s a lot of good stuff for future parishioners to look at,” said Mike Cholewka, a member of the history committee.
“It’s going to detail for parishioners in 2091 how we came this far from faith,” added Jablonski, echoing the theme of the anniversary year.
“It’s going to offer to them a unique insight into the spiritual life of Our Lady of Angels. It will show what makes OLA special. This is a very faith-filled community and we helped build Bay Ridge into what it is today.
“Hopefully they will get a good idea of what we were like and that they can get some ideas on how to keep the parish going like we have been able to do.”
A bronze plaque, donated by Bill and Kitty Sullivan, life-long parishioners, in memory of their daughter Susan, marks the space where the capsule rests. The location once served as a coin drop beneath a pamphlet rack.
“I hope they (parishioners of the future) will realize that people sacrificed to make Our Lady of Angels the parish that it is,” said Kitty.
Arnie Fusco, who oversaw the anniversary year activities, was proud that his grandson, Lucas Amatore, was one of the seventh- graders who wrote a piece to be preserved. In the note, the
seventh-grader wondered whether, when the capsule is opened, people will still be writing on paper.
Other members of the time capsule committee included Maria Fusco, Todd Goodale, Margaret Jones and Yakir Arteaga.