BOROUGHWIDE — Let the Christmas lights shine bright!
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the annual Celebration of Light, a month-long series of tree lightings held at 42 churches throughout the borough sponsored by Maimonides Medical Center.
On Tuesday, Nov. 26, the hospital held a kick-off event for the glittering celebration at which representatives of the parishes were given donations to help fund the expenses for the lightings as well as decorations.
The event was coordinated by Maimonides Executive Vice President Douglas Jablon and his office, It was hosted by Maimonides Board Chair Eugene Keilin and President and CEO Kenneth Gibbs in the boardroom at the Eisenstadt Administration Building at 4802 10th Avenue.
For 25 years Maimonides has awarded $1,000 grants to parishes to help light up their churches at Christmas.
Gibbs said that the hospital considers the community outreach an opportunity to carry out the Hospital’s mission to the greater Brooklyn area.
The co-sponsor of the annual program is Long and DeLosa construction firm in Sunset Park. Brian Long said that the program began 25 years ago with the construction of a crèche (nativity scene) on the lawn of Visitation Monastery, Bay Ridge, and has now expanded into the surrounding areas.
Long delivered the welcoming remarks before an invocation by Msgr. David Cassato, pastor of St. Athanasius Church, which was followed by a moment of silence in memory of local civic leader Larry Morrish, who started the program with former State Sen.Marty Golden, Long and his partner John DeLosa.
Long explained that the tradition began at Visitation Monastery and grew from there with many more churches being added yearly. “After Larry passed a few years ago, we set a stone at Visitation by the nativity scene in his memory,” Long told this paper.
He credited Maimonides Executive Vice President of Patient Relations Douglas Jablon with being an instrumental part of the program. “This has become a really important event for Maimonides,” said Long. “And Douglas Jablon has been behind this 150 percent. It just gets bigger and bigger every year,” he added.
The tree lightings began on Saturday Nov. 30 and will continue through Saturday, Dec. 21.
Celebration of Light Schedule:
Friday, December 6
St. Edmund Church, 2460 Ocean Ave., at 6 p.m.
St. Michael’s Church, 352 42nd St., at 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 7
Our Lady of Grace, 430 Ave. W, at 6 p.m.
St. Anselm Church, 356 82nd St., at 6 p.m.
St. Bernard Church, 2055 69th St., at 6 p.m.
St. Brendan’s Church, 1525 East 12th St., at 6 p.m.
St. Mary Mother of Jesus Church, 2326 84th St., at 6 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Church, 9511 Fourth Ave., at 6 p.m.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7201 15th Ave., at 6:30 p.m.
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church, 108 Carroll St., at 4:30 p.m.
St. Dominic Church, 2001 Bay Ridge Parkway, at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 8
Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 414 80th St., at 12 p.m.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 275 North Eighth St., at 7 p.m.
St. Agatha Church, 702 48th St., at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 10
Redeemer St. John’s Church, 939 83rd St., at 7 p.m.
St. Francis DeSales Church, 129-16 Rockaway Blvd., Belle Harbor, at 7 p.m.
Friday, December 13
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fourth and Ovington avenues, at 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 14
Basilica of Regina Pacis, 1258 65th St., at 5:30 p.m.
Our Lady of Angels Church, 7320 Fourth Ave., at 6 p.m.
St. Cecilia’s Church, 84 Herbert St., at 6 p.m.
St. Ephrem’s Church, 929 Bay Ridge Ave., at 6 p.m.
Sts. Simon & Jude Church, 185 Van Sicklen St., at 6 p.m.
Holy Name of Jesus Christ Church, 245 Prospect Park West, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Athanasius Church, 2154 61st St., at 6:30 p.m.
St. Finbar’s Church, 138 Bay 20th St., at 6:30 p.m.
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 1072 80th St., at 7 p.m.
St. Frances Cabrini Church, 35 Bay 11th St., TBD
Sunday, December 15
Visitation Monastery, 8902 Ridge Blvd., 5 p.m.
St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 249 Ninth St., at 6:30 p.m.
St. Mark’s Church, 2609 East 19th St., TBD.
Wednesday, December 18
St. Bernadette Church, 8201 13th Ave., at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 21
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway, at 6 p.m.
Holy Innocents Church, 279 East 17th St.
Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, 414 80th St.
St. Catharine of Alexandria Church, 1119 41st St.
Six parishes held tree lighting ceremonies last weekend: They were Good Shepherd Church, St. Gregory the Great Church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church and St. Andrew the Apostle Church.