December 2, 2023 – Lighting the Advent Trees

St. Anselm Parishioners joyfully gathered at the conclusion of the 5 pm Mass on Saturday evening, December 2nd to observe the start of the season of Advent and to take part in the Lighting of the Advent Trees surrounding the church.

Fr. John led the parish in a brief prayer of blessing and then declared – “Let there be light” and the more than 100 trees, festooned with strands of bulbs, were illuminated.

The joyous celebration began and concluded with our wonderful Adult Choir, under the direction of Therese Panicali, singing 2 beautiful carols: “People Look East” & “Joy to the World”. And, the joy was apparent – on the faces of parishioners as they joined in singing, “Joy to the World” and then looked for “their” special tree.

This year the Tree Lighting ceremony was made even more special by a group of Bay Ridge Catholic students, members of St. Anselm Parish: Daniel McKenna, Jack Gallagher, Vincent Palmisi, Thomas Manto, Michael LaFerlita and Liam King, who set up a table to sell hot cocoa and cookies, raising funds for the restoration of the bell tower. What a great way to express the spirit of giving that is at the heart of Christmas – thanks guys!

An event, such as the Advent Trees, takes much time, planning and commitment. And so, we say “Thank You” to the Committee Chairs Phyllis Arlia and Kim Parker, who made the Tree Lighting happen.   

Volunteers are the heart of a parish and St. Anselm’s “heart” is strong.  Thanks also to Fr. John for his lovely blessing and to our wonderful parishioners for sponsoring the trees, that support the parish, and joyously grace our garden during the holiday season.

All the best, 

The St. Anselm Publicity Committee

(Click here for photos.)