St. Finbar parishioners celebrate patron’s feast day

BATH BEACH — Priests and parishioners of Saint Finbar Catholic Church took to the streets to celebrate the feast day of their patron saint on Sunday, Sept. 29, taking part in a procession through Bath Beach with a statue of the Irish saint who gave the parish its name.

Led by the Rev. Michael Louis Gelfant, the church’s pastor, parishioners and members of the clergy celebrated mass and then walked for several blocks with the statue. In a nod to St. Finbar’s Irish heritage, the Clann Eireann Pipe Band took part in the procession.

The Feast Day of St. Finbar is Sept. 25. St. Finbar, who was born in 550 A.D., served as the bishop of Cork, Ireland.

The celebration of the parish’s patron saint also marked the start of the church’s 140th anniversary year. The church is planning to hold a dinner dance in March. St. Finbar Church was established by Irish immigrants in Brooklyn in 1880. The current church building, located at 138 Bay 20th St., was constructed in 1912.

When the procession was completed, the participants went to the parish center where they enjoyed a potluck lunch featuring international dishes made by parishioners.

In his homily at the mass, Gelfant sought to remind the parishioners that St. Finbar is their church and that clergy members come and go over the years. “It’s not me. It’s you,” he told parishioners, urging them to take pride in their church and carry their religious beliefs into the community.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by Paula Katinas
Parishioners placed a statue of St. Finbar on a platform adorn with flowers and wheeled it through the streets.

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