They’ve been lighting up Brooklyn for over two decades, and the tradition continues this year.
Maimonides Medical Center (MMC) kicked off its 21st annual Celebration of Light on Monday, November 28, as 35 parishes, members of the military, and MMC staffers gathered in the board room of the Eisenstadt Administration Building for the presentation of checks for Christmas decor at churches across the borough. The day also was an opportunity to pay tribute to Larry Morrish, who played an instrumental role in starting the Celebration of Light at its inception in 1995. Morrish, a community activist and lifelong Ridgeite, died earlier this year.
“We treasure today to bring in the holiday spirit,” said Executive Vice President and COO of MMC Dominick Stanzione. “This is a very special event for a very special community. It’s become more and more difficult for folks to work together, talk and hear each other. This community is a model of how communities work together, bringing people together from all different places, religions and races to work together in harmony to move people forward.”
Douglas Jablon, senior vice president at MMC, discussed what the month-long event means to the community. “It’s one of the most precious things that we have at the hospital,” he said. “We really want to light up our area. It only brings happiness and there are people that need this, the lights. We get a lot of compliments from the patients of the hospital for doing this.”
“This event was one of the first things I did last year in anticipation of becoming CEO,” said Ken Gibbs, CEO of MMC. “We are grateful for the partnership with all of you as we go forward to try and be as effective as possible in serving this community. This is therefore one of our very important events because it celebrates the relationship with all of you, and, in that sense, the light you all shed.”
Attendees of the event had heavy hearts as they discussed Morrish’s impact on both the community and the event. “We lost Larry February 8 of this year,” said Brian Long, who also helped start the tradition. “He was the lifeblood behind this whole event. And he was the one who brought it to where it is today. It’s only a fitting tribute to thank him although he’s not here, to remember him and pay tribute to him.”
It was announced that during the lighting at the Visitation Monastery on Sunday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m., Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello will dedicate a stone in Morrish’s memory in the walkway right in front of the nativity scene.
At the end of the event, dozens of parishes were presented with their checks.
Saturday, November 26
St. Gregory the Great Church, 224 Brooklyn Avenue, at 5 p.m.
Friday, December 2
St. Edmund Church, 2450 Ocean Avenue, at 6 p.m.
Fort Hamilton Army Base Chapel, 219 Grimes Road, at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 3
Good Shepherd Church, 1950 Batchelder Street, at 6 p.m.
Our Lady of Angels Church, 7302 Fourth Avenue, following p.m. mass
St. Anselm Church, 356 82nd Street, following 5 p.m. mass
St. Mark’s Church, 2609 East 19th Street, following 5 p.m. ass
Sunday, December 4
St. Agatha’s Church, 702 48th Street, at 7 p.m.
Holy Cross RC Church, 2530 Church Avenue, following 5 p.m. mass
Holy Innocents Church, 279 E 17th Street, 5 p.m.
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 8401 Ridge Boulevard, at 6 p.m.
Visitation Monastery, 8902 Ridge Boulevard, at 6:30 p.m.
Redeemer St. John Lutheran Church, 939 83rd Street, at 12 p.m.
Thursday, December 8
St. Andrew the Apostle Church, 6713 Ridge Boulevard, following 7 p.m. mass
St. Mary Mother of Jesus Church, 2326 84th Street, at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 10
Regina Pacis Church, 1258 65th Street, following 5 p.m. mass
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7201 15th Avenue, following 5:30 p.m. mass
St. Bernard ‘s Church, 2055 East 69th Street, following 5 p.m. mass
St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church, 2001 Bay Ridge Parkway, following 5:30 p.m. mass
St. Ephrem Church, 929 Bay Ridge Parkway, following 5 p.m. mass
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church, 108 Carroll Street, following 5:30 p.m. mass
Holy Name Church, 245 Prospect Park West, following 5:30 p.m. mass
Sunday, December 11
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 414 80th Street, at 12 p.m.
Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, 414, 80th Street, at 12:30 p.m.
St. Brendan’s Church, 1525 East 12th Street, at 4:30 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Church, 9511 Fourth Avenue, following 5 p.m. mass
St. Athanasius Church, 2154 61st Street, following 6 p.m. mass
Thursday, December 15
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway, following 7:30 p.m. concert
St. Frances De Sales Church, 129-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Belle Harbor, at 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 17
St. Finbar Church, 138 Bay 20th Street, at 6:30 p.m.