Tag Archives: celebration

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.


Officials announce events to mark World’s Fair anniversary

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The “world’s borough” is ready for its six-month-long anniversary party.

Officials unveiled a long lineup of Queens events and cultural exhibits Friday to celebrate the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the 1964 and 1939 World’s Fairs held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Festivities begin in April and include 50-cent rides on the historic carousel and a rare tour of the iconic New York State Pavilion.

“Both [fairs] were seminal events that had wide impacts locally, nationally and internationally,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “As borough president, there isn’t anybody I speak to about the World’s Fair that doesn’t have a story about it.”

An official opening ceremony will take place at the Pavilion April 22. Visitors will be given a rare chance to slap on hard hats and tour the fair icon.

Revelers in the borough can also visit the park, near the Unisphere, May 18 for a full day of festivities and the Queens Museum for a peek into Andy Warhol’s controversial project, which was painted over before the 1964 fair’s opening day.

“With these anniversary events, we will take a look back at the fairs and a look forward to the future of Flushing Meadows – the world’s park and Queens’ backyard,” said Liam Kavanagh, the Parks Department’s first deputy commissioner.

For a full list of borough-wide events, click here.



P.S. 203 rings in Year of the Horse with Lunar New Year celebration

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

The majestic horse was the star of the show Friday at P.S. 203’s Lunar New Year assembly.

Students from the Bayside school shuffled into the auditorium, under the cover of the 12 Chinese zodiac calendar animals.

One by one, each ornately decorated animal paraded down the halls, before giving center stage to the mare with the pink bow.

“It takes a whole school — parents, teachers, children, everyone — to really make this event happen,” said Principal Carole Nussbaum.

Planning for the hour-long assembly began in October, Nussbaum said.

Students celebrated with Chinese and Korean dances and songs, and a buffet of cultural treats.

“I am always impressed by the talent and passion of the students of P.S. 203,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, “and that is a reflection of the excellence of the staff and administration here.”