Church and community joined forces for a night of celebration.
Saint Finbar Roman Catholic Church celebrated its 135th anniversary at its annual dinner dance on Thursday, October 15. The event was held at El Caribe Country Club, 5945 Strickland Avenue.
In keeping with the theme of celebration, several members of the community were honored. Father Luke Wei was presented with the Richard Catarelli Award. The Caritas Award was presented to a number of people including Detective Stephen Agosta, and two couples — John and Antonella Eramo, and Domenick and Rosalie Mineo.
All of the honorees have been important to the church community, said parishioner Eileen LaRuffa, Agosta, she explained, “helps in our parish and in processions.” Both the Eramos and the Mineos have been longtime parishioners, LaRuffa added, and ”continue to support the church.”
As for Wei, LaRuffa said, “He retired but came back to be with us.” The award he received, she noted, is in honor of a man who was “an example of someone that is a true Catholic.”
Father Michael Louis Gelfant, St. Finbar’s spiritual leader, concurred. Catarelli, he said, was a teacher who always promoted Saint Finbar’s Church and “in honor of his memory, the award is given out every year to someone who matches Catarelli’s caliber.”
Each of the honorees, Gelfant said, has been supportive and involved in the parish over the years, helping to create a partnership between religion and community.