The holy presence of many priests from different parishes in the city kicked off the 18th annual Celebration of Light at Maimonides Medical Center (MMC) on November 14 in the board room on the fifth floor of the hospital.
Twenty nine representatives attended the program , each receiving a $1,000 donation to help pay for Christmas trees and decorations that will brighten the holiday season at churches around the borough.
It started out with a modest little thing, at Visitation Monastery in 1995, remarked Pamela Brier, president and CEO of MCC, and it has grown since then to 29 parishes. Its a happy example of how were practicing in life what we talked about, she continued, saying that although the medical center is fundamentally Jewish, its exciting, to cross boundaries and help others in the community.
This event is the living embodiment of the community of many cultures that Maimonides deals with, Brier stated. The number 18 is a special sign, in the Jewish religion, she continued, it stands for hay (chai) which means lifeand thats what were celebrating today.
Eileen LaRuffa sat at the table listening attentively. She accepted checks for Visitation Academy, for the monastery and the school, and also on behalf of St. Finbar Church, remarking that Visitation has been the leader for tree lighting.
Its very healthy for the parents that would like to keep everything going, she concluded.
Father Gerasimos Makris, from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, said he is very grateful for the donation. It has become a big event, he added.
Fill us with light, so we can be light to others, said Reverend Monsignor David Cassato from St. Athanasius in his invocation.
Celebration of Light Schedule
Tuesday, November 27
Good Shepherd Church, 1950 Batchelder Street, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 30
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 497 Pacific Street , at 10 a.m.
Saturday, December 1
St. Gregory the Great Church, 224 Brooklyn Avenue, at 6 p.m.
St. Anselm Church, 356 82nd Street, at 6 p.m.
Sunday, December 2
Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, 2530 Church Avenue, at 6:15 p.m.
St. Brendan Church,1525 East 12th Street, at 7 p.m.
Visitation Academy, 8902 Ridge Boulevard, at 6:30 p.m.
Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, 414 80th Street, at 11 a.m.
Tuesday, December 4
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 526 59th Street, at 8 p.m.
Friday, December 7
Regina Pacis Church, 1258 65th Street, at 7:30 p.m.
Fort Hamilton Army Base Chapel, 101st Street and Fort Hamilton Pkwy, at 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 8
Holy Name Church, 245 Prospect Park West, at 6:30 p.m.
Our Lady of Angels Church, 7320 Fourth Avenue, at 6p.m.
St. Athanasius Church, 2154 61st Street, at 6:30 p.m.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7201 15th Avenue, at 6 p.m.
St. Marks Church, 2609 East 19th Street, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Andrew the Apostle, 6713 Ridge Boulevard, at 6 p.m.
St. Agathas Church, 702 48th Street, at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 9
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 8401 Ridge Boulevard, at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 12
St. Bernadette Church, 8201 13th Avenue, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 15
St. Finbar Church, 138 Bay 20th Street, at 6:30 p.m.
Mary Queen of Heaven Church, 1395 East 56th Street, at 6 p.m.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway, at 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 16
Our Saviours Lutheran Church, 414 80th Street, at 2 p.m.
St. Patricks Church, 9511 Fourth Avenue, at 6 p.m.
St. Ephrem Church, 929 Bay Ridge Parkway, at 8:15 p.m.
By press time, the schedules for the following parishes had not been announced: Holy Innocents Church, St. Mary Mother of Jesus Church, St. Catharine of Alexandria Church, and St. Cecilias Church.