A joyous Christmas season came to a close in our chapel Sunday night, the Feast of the Epiphany. The Glenn Mohr Chorale, in a now annual tradition, came to perform Did You See the Star?, a soaring and moving retelling of Our Savior’s birth in story and song. The concert was a fitting end to a beautiful Christmas!
Going back in time, the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 was celebrated here in a special way as we welcomed the newly ordained Deacon Sean Suckiel for Evening Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Sean and six other seminarians were ordained earlier that day at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in nearby Huntington, New York. A good friend of the Home, Sean had wanted to be able to thank God for his ordination with the Little Sisters and Residents. The novices and novitiate community, Sean’s parents and family, several priests and the seminarians also came to participate in Sean’s first Benediction as a deacon. After the reading, Sean, wearing a beautiful gold vestment adorned with an image of the Sacred Heart, gave a thoughtful homily about Our Lady’s love for us and how priests and religious imitate her in bringing Jesus to others through the service of His kingdom. Afterwards we gathered together over light refreshments to congratulate Deacon Sean and meet his family and the seminarians. He now looks forward to his priestly ordination in June.
Photo, left: Sean with seminarians and priest friends after his first Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
During the month of December so many of our “extended hands” worked together in so many ways to console and rejoice the Residents. Sr. Rose and her team of volunteers transformed the auditorium into a sparkling winter wonderland, complete with a large, hand-made Nativity placed against a backdrop of the New York City skyline. The Residents, as well as the staff and volunteers, enjoyed many parties in this festive setting! A favorite was the family Christmas dinner. During the week leading up to Christmas we hosted two evening Christmas dinners for the Residents and their families, first for the Residents of the 2nd and 3rd floors and then for those of the apartments. As they did throughout the month of December, our food services director, Donna Conrad, and her dedicated kitchen staff outdid themselves to create a delicious meal for the Residents and their families to share together. The dinners were especially meaningful to the Residents who are unable to go out to see their loved ones. Lively musical entertainment and a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus added to the fun.
On Christmas Day members of the Filopino Choir and their families came to animate the Christmas Day Mass and then sang carols in the Residents’ dining rooms. As their parents sang and played the guitar, the young children of the choir members presented Christmas gifts to the residents. This is one example of the outpouring of generosity we experienced at the Home this Christmas.
A few scenes of the holidays at Queen of Peace:
Above Right: Residents Dante and Corina Falcioni with their family at the family Christmas dinner.
Right: Resident Andree Casimir and family.
Below Right: Staff members celebrate the holidays at the employee Christmas lunch.
Below: New Resident Beryl Netto, with Sr. Mercy, brings forward the Baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Mass.
With grateful hearts we wish you a Happy and Blessed New Year! Glory to the newborn King!