Tag Archives: mary

Virgin Mary statue beheaded at Ozone Park church

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Katelyn DiSalvo

A Virgin Mary statue was beheaded in Ozone Park and police are investigating it as a hate crime, cops said.

Monday morning the St. Mary Gate of Heaven Roman Catholic church discovered the headless statue outside its doors. It was removed from the property shortly after.

“If this is a hate crime against a church, I believe it’s demeaning and disrespectful toward the religion and the community,” said Alessandro Damico, a member of the St. Mary parish.

Church representatives said police are looking into the incident and have no further comment.

“This is not to be accepted, especially for an icon in our community such as St. Mary’s Gate of Heaven,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

The 104th Street church lacks outdoor security cameras, so cops will search the surrounding community for similarly reported incidents, said a police source.

The investigation is ongoing.

A bill to increase the penalty for hate crimes passed the state in 2000. A current bill to once more increase the penalties for criminal activity at places of worship passed the State Senate in June 2013, but did not pass in the State Assembly. It will most likely be reintroduced next legislative session, according to Addabbo.

-With additional reporting by Katelyn DiSalvo



Crown Princess of Denmark visits Queens

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo by Tina Buckman.

Queens received a royal visitor on Sunday, October 23.

Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark, made a stop in Queens during her recent trip to New York. The Princess honored the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, located in the New York City Housing Authority’s Queensbridge North development in Long Island City.

Riis Settlement House is a community-based nonprofit organization with historical ties to Denmark. It supports and provides service to more than 450 youths, adults, seniors and families a day, and approximately 10,000 during the course of the year.

While at Riis, the Princess met with staff, board members, program participants and local community leaders, including Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, State Assemblymember Francisco Moya, City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Riis Executive Director William T. Newlin, Riis Board Chair Michael Bingold and Riis Chair Emeritus C. Flemming Heilmann.

After meeting previous participants of the Danish Cultural Exchange program, the Princess spent some time with members of the Riis Academy Girls Inspiring in Real Life (GIRL) program, who set up a presentation for the Princess.

GIRL focuses on the emotional, physical, and academic development of 50 middle school and high school girls through discussion groups, health workshops, technology skills and visual arts.

The Princess interacted with both the instructor and students, as they discussed positive body images for young women.

As she said her goodbyes, the Princess received bouquets of flowers, hugs and well wishes from some of the settlement’s youngest participants.