Tag Archives: Holy Family R.C. Church

Star of Queens: Catherine Donohoe, president of the board of directors, Bridge to Life

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Catherine Donohoe is president of the board of directors of Bridge to Life, an organization that works to provide parents with food, clothes and other items necessary for raising a child. The organization, Donohoe says, has only one part-time employee, an accountant. The board is made up entirely of volunteers. “We have doctors, lawyers and accountants on our board,” she said. “They all come from different religions.”

In addition to providing supplies, Bridge to Life also provides services for those who might be pregnant. “We have free pregnancy tests, we provide sonograms,” she said.

The organization was started in 1992 with one location on Bell Boulevard. Today, the organization has two locations with one in Flushing and the other in Astoria. Bridge also has a 24-hour hotline.

BACKGROUND: Donohoe is a lifetime resident of Queens. She works as a professor at Nassau Community College and is a parishioner at Holy Family R.C. Church in Fresh Meadows.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Donohoe told the story of a volunteer from Holy Cross High School who came to volunteer at Bridge to Life. The student asked his mom where he should volunteer to fulfill his service hours for school and she had chosen Bridge to Life herself and recommended it. Both mother and son were recently honored at the organization’s annual dinner dance.

INSPIRATION: When Eleanor Ruder, the founder of Bridge to Life, came to speak at Donohoe’s parish, she said she was inspired to start the work that Bridge does today.  But Donohoe said her inspiration continues beyond that single event. “You get inspiration when you continue to do the work day after day,” she said.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Donohoe says her biggest challenge is the current “culture” that she sees through the experiences of her daughter who is currently in college.



Queens faithful celebrate Ash Wednesday

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


In a time when the Roman Catholic church has been thrust into the national spotlight following Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, local parishioners gathered for the somber celebration of Ash Wednesday— the beginning of the holy season known as Lent.

The 3 p.m. service at Holy Family R.C. Church in Fresh Meadows was packed with faithful of all ages. Despite the fact the day is not a holy day of obligation, Father Casper Furnari couldn’t help but notice the church on this day, and in years past, has been more full than a regular Sunday service.

“Every Lent is a season of renewal and rededication,” he said.

Catholics traditionally attend Ash Wednesday services to have ashes in the form of a cross applied to their forehead. While it is being applied, the priest utters the phrase “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

During Lent, Catholics traditionally sacrifice a material good for the 40 days of the season.

Parishioner Theresa Sheehan said she would be giving up chocolate. Sheehan’s sacrifice, she said, reminds her of how fortunate she is in life.

“It makes me think I am fortunate enough to have all this stuff,” she said. “It makes me appreciate my life more on a daily basis.”

Joseph Healy said instead of giving up something for Lent, he would look to do something positive.

“Doing something positive for someone else, I think, is better than giving something else up,” he said, summarizing the season of Lent as a time to do good deeds. Healy said he hadn’t even thought of a sacrifice until that morning.

Furnari said this Lent would be historical considering the pope’s “shocking” announcement on Monday.

“Pope Benedict celebrated Ash Wednesday but toward the end of Lent we’ll have a new pope, whoever that might be, celebrating mass,” he said.

“It takes humility and courage to make that decision.”