Tablet TALK

A Beautiful Day for Bellanona

In Face of Horror Local Man Gives of Self

William A. Abell found himself confronted with evil while on vacation. He happened to be in Florida when 17 people were killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S. in Parkland. He read a newspaper article asking for donations of Type 0 negative blood. Although he was unable to make it in time for the pop-up blood center, he went to the local blood bank the next day to make the donation of the type of blood most needed. He said he believes he was obliged to share the blood God has given him with those in need.

Abell, who is the manager of facilities operations for Rocklyn Asset Corp. which handles the diocese’s real estate affairs, was in Florida after running a marathon in Alabama. He has a person- al goal of running marathons in all 50 states; Alabama was number 41. After the marathon, he and his wife traveled to Florida to spend time with friends.

George Weigel, whose column appears weekly in the pages of The Tablet, will offer a talk and book signing on St. John Paul II at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in Manhattan on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. “Lessons in Hope” offers firsthand accounts of the suffering and world-changing events that touched the John Paul II papacy. For tickets and information visit or call 212-925-2812.

The diocese will offer a Hundredfold Workshop on Parish Vocation Ministry for priests, deacons, sisters, parish staff, Catholic School Staff, youth ministers, DREs and anyone interested in helping to create a culture of vocations. The half-day retreat on April 14, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. will reignite focus on vocations to marriage, family, priesthood and consecrated life. The featured speaker will be Rhonda Gruenewald. Sessions also available in Spanish. For registration contact the Vocations Office, 718- 827-2454 or

Want to help the pro-life movement but don’t know how? Here’s an easy way to get involved. Take a trip into Manhattan on March 25 and join the International Gift of Life Walk at Foley Square at 9 a.m. To register and for information visit Individual registration is free but you must register in advance. Group registration is $35.

The African Community of St. Fortunata, New Lots, invites all to a spiritual pilgrimage to The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, Stockbridge, Mass., on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8.

Departure will be at 7:30 a.m. from in front of the church. Seats are $50 for adults and $30 for children. For reservations call: Gladys at 917-361-7445, Stephen at 347-223-9139, Ngozi at 914-564-7032, Jane at 347- 250-5540 or Maria, the parish secretary, at 718-647-2632.

Our Lady of Angelus, Rego Park, is also holding a Divine Mercy Pilgrimage on April 8. (Not on April 15 as previously published.) Call 718-897-4444.

Happy Birthday Bellanonna!

The family of Bellanonna Leonilda Catena congratulates her on her 100th birthday. Catena was born Feb. 6, 1918 and baptized April 6 of that same year on the Italian island of Ponza.

She emigrated to the U.S. in 1935 with her parents and was married to Vincent in 1939 in Our Lady of Pity Church. She yearned to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who owned a general store in Ponza.

At the age of 40, with the power of prayer and her husband’s help, she opened a Seafood Emporium in Whitestone. Leonilda and her husband worked long hours to earn enough money to give their three children a parochial school education and professions in education and medicine.

Now living in Nesconset, she previously attended Holy Trinity and St. Luke parishes in Whitestone.

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