Tag Archives: Catholic Church

Astoria church to celebrate 90 years of faith

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

One Astoria Catholic church will soon be celebrating nearly a century of serving the community.

The Immaculate Conception Church, located at 21-47 29th St., will be marking 90 years since it held its first Mass in 1924.

There are two celebratory Masses planned for this fall, followed by a party in the new year.

“It’s wonderful. It’s a great way of marking the accomplishments of the parish,” said Monsignor Fernando Ferrarese, the current pastor of the church, about the celebrations. “When you see the accomplishments of the parish over 90 years, you see the possibilities for a future as well.”

The Rev. Michael Lopez held the church’s first Mass in the Immaculate Conception School, which will also be celebrating its 90th anniversary, on Oct. 4, 1924. The church’s current building, located on the corner of 29th Street, was fully completed in 1951.

OLD PHOTO school

An old photo of the Immaculate Conception School (Photo courtesy Immaculate Conception Church)

The National Organization of Catholic War Veterans was started in the parish by the Rev. Edward Higgins in the 1930s and Post 1 is still located at the church as various other posts have become established throughout the nation.

“[The church] has been a unifying factor and the celebration of diversity that people from all different countries, all different walks of life, all believe in God and believe that God is the best thing for community,” Ferrarese said. “It brings us together, it gives us the virtues and values that we need as a city and it is a real anchor for people.”

The Astoria church now offers Mass in four languages — Spanish, English, Italian and Tagalog — and Ferrarese said he has seen the community and parish itself grow and bring a “wonderful mixture of people.”

Other programs and services the parish offers include a homeless shelter in the winter, a food pantry throughout the year, an introductory opera course, an active school, a religious education program and spiritual courses.

For the past five years, the church has also been holding film festivals every fall and spring. This fall’s festival, which begins on Oct. 17 and is free to the public, will surround the topic of “hate,” and screen three movies including “42.”

“We want to be able to give our people a real sense of growth of development on all levels,” Ferrarese said. “It also is a kind of way to introduce people to issues of faith.”

The first celebratory Mass of the church’s 90th anniversary will be on Oct. 4 at 5 p.m., and the second Mass will be on Dec. 7. The gala reception is expected to be held on Jan. 18, 2015, at Russo’s on the Bay.

For more information on the Immaculate Conception Church, visit www.immacastoria.org.


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Friday: Cloudy with light rain developing this afternoon. High 58. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Friday night: Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. Low 43. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: An Evening with Groucho

Award-winning actor Frank Ferrante recreates his highly acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx at Queens Theatre. The two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs, such as “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.” March 29 shows at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., March 30 show at 3 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Two fatally shot inside Ridgewood home

A man and a woman were shot to death inside a Ridgewood home Thursday night, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

MTA bus crashes into dump truck

An MTA bus driver rear-ended a dump truck on the 59th Street Ed Koch Bridge Thursday, tying up traffic during rush hour, authorities said. Read more: New York Post

Longer 911 response times bring dismay to pols at City Council

City ambulances are taking nine and a half minutes to get to the scene of life-threatening emergencies, new data show. Read more: New York Daily News

Sources: State lawmakers reach deal with demands on city for charter schools

The battle between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over charter schools has led to a tentative deal on a reform package from state lawmakers, sources told CBS 2 News. Read more: CBS New York

Poll: More Catholics say church is in touch since Pope Francis

Catholics appear to be feeling more of a connection to the church since the beginning of Pope Francis’ papacy, according to a new CBS News poll. Read more: CBS New York

Local Monsignor witnessed Dolan’s elevation

| brennison@queenscourier.com

A caravan of worshipers, including many local religious leaders, made the pilgrimage to Rome for the elevation of New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan, along with 21 others, to Cardinal.

Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, director of the Brooklyn Diocese’s Office of Parish Giving and Vicar for Development, attended the February 18 ceremonies in Rome that saw Dolan named Cardinal — the second highest rank in the Catholic Church.

“It was a wonderful experience to be there in Rome, the center of Catholicism,” Gigantiello said of the trip. “In St. Peter’s Basilica, to be there to celebrate Mass with the Holy Father with almost 10,000 people, every time you walk in, it gives you goose bumps.”

On January 6, the Pope announced that Dolan was to be appointed to the College of Cardinals — the exclusive electors of the Pope.

“I am honored, humbled and grateful, but, let’s be frank: this is not about Timothy Dolan; this is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York, and to all our cherished friends and neighbors who call this great community home,” said Dolan upon hearing of his elevation.

At the consistory, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love for God, love for His Church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters.”

As the Archbishop, Dolan is the spiritual leader of the more than 2 million Catholics in New York. Dolan was named archbishop in 2009.

The newly-minted Cardinal presided over his first public Mass on Sunday, February 26 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Gigantiello, who is also the pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven in Brooklyn, praised the youth and diversity on display in Rome during the ceremonies.

“To see cardinals from all around the world celebrating our faith is special,” he said. “It’s good to see the church alive like it is in Rome. There are so many young people taking part in all of the services. It’s very encouraging to see them taking part.”

Aside from enjoying the celebratory nature of the events, Gigantiello is pleased with the choice of Dolan, whom he believes can help the local church reconnect with the community.

“I think [Dolan] was an excellent choice. He is a leader, a theologian, but also has a great charismatic personality,” he said. “He’s approachable, people can relate to him and he can relate to people. He’s very inviting. I think this is what the church needs today.”

In praise of Dolan

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

I would like to praise Pope Benedict XVI for elevating Archbishop Timothy Dolan to Cardinal. I feel Dolan truly is a priest who has served the people. He has been outspoken on important issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, Catholic education and family values. He has not been afraid to speak his mind, communicates from his heart and has possessed the common touch. He feels deeply for the poor and the sick. He has a voice that he has used well to defend and promote the priniciples of the church, and he will be stronger still as a Cardinal.

As a Catholic and a Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston, I feel this is a very proud moment for many New Yorkers. I firmly believe Dolan can make a profound difference on the Catholic church in America and the world. May God bless you Dolan, and bless you in your work as Cardinal.


Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village, N.Y.