There are occasions, which are happy; and occasions, which are sad, and sometimes occasions – which are both. The Mass and Farewell Party, which the parish held on Sunday, September 24th for Fr. Anthony, was such an occasion – both happy and sad – as we both celebrated and said goodbye to a much-loved member of our family – Fr. Anthony.
Fr. Anthony first came to us in 2005 as a substitute priest during the summers. Despite sometimes, extended stays back in Nigeria for his order, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, he returned to St. Anselm again and again, and we were always happy to welcome him back, with his warm smile, to St. Anselm, his “home parish” in Brooklyn. We were delighted in 2018 when he was appointed a Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm. And both he and the parish were delighted in 2021 when he proudly became a United States citizen.
But, as the saying goes – “All good things must come to an end”, and the parish learned in June that Fr. Anthony was being reassigned to Blessed Trinity Parish, Breezy Point, where he now serves with another St. Anselm alumnus – Fr. Michael Gelfant.
September 24th began for us at St. Anselm with a Mass at 12 noon celebrated by Fr. Anthony, with concelebrants: Fr. Martin Kull – looking very fit and in good spirits, and Fr. Ray, assisted by Deacon Tom. The special solemnity of the liturgy was enriched by the beautiful music offered by our Adult Choir, under Ms. Therese Panicali, the parish Director of the Music Ministry.
At the conclusion of the Mass, the congregation and the clergy moved to Meletia Hall, in the Academy building, where Fr. John spoke about Fr. Anthony’s service and how he would be missed. Then, everyone enjoyed a delicious selection of sandwiches, snacks, cookies and cake, with the crowd happily chatting with Fr. Anthony and wishing him well.
Celebrations like this don’t just happen – our thanks to Eileen Loughlin and Fr. John, and a wonderful group of volunteers: Jeanine Condon, Danique, Florence & Ossie Diaz, Chris Gallagher, Bob Kassenbrock, Danielle & Patrick Long, Peter Loughlin, Linda Naradovy, Judy Savarese, Mary Jane Tunny, Josephine Volpe, and Suzanne Whiteaker.
Fr. Anthony, we wish you many blessings, as you embark on this new chapter in your priestly ministry. Thank you for your years of service here with us at St. Anselm. We will miss you.
All the best,
The Saint Anselm Publicity Committee
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