The Roman Catholic Community of
Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

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 The 25th Anniversary of the Friars at Trinity

 


Our friars celebrated twenty-five years at Most Holy Trinity on Sunday, January 29, 2006.  The first friars to come, Fr. Anthony Lesniak and Fr. Ronald Roll, arrived on Wednesday, January 28, 1981; Anthony returned for the anniversary celebration.  Everyone had a wonderful time at the Mass and banquet that took place afterwards in the school gym; Brother Vincent and his decorating crew had transformed the gym into a dazzlingly beautiful banquet hall.  To the friars we say "Sto Lat" (a hundred more years)!   Please enjoy these photos!

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** Click here to read Fr. Russell's "homily notes" from the Anniversary Mass **

Please note:  If you are using a dial-up connection, it may take some time for all of the photos to appear


An area of the church near the statue of St. Francis was decorated several weeks before the celebration.

The poster with an announcement about the 25th Anniversary listed the names of all twenty eight friars who have served in the parish since 1981.


The following friars have ministered and/or lived at Most Holy Trinity since the community first arrived in 1981 (in the order they came):

Friars Anthony Lesniak, Ronald Roll, Julio Martinez, Ken Ward, Ross Syracuse, Larry Thorton, Edwin (Christopher) Lucas, Francis Lombardo, Dennis Grumsey, Michael Dean, Thomas Merrill, Russell Governale, Fred Wise, Stephen McMichael, Sam Savage, Jose Eduardo Medeiros, Vincent Imhof, Santo Cricchio, Timothy Dore, Edwin Mendez, Vincent Vivian, Joseph Kerwin, Michael Mendola, Marcel Sokalski, Pedro de Oliveira, Vincent Rubino, Edgar Ramirez and Michael Toczek

A number of seminarian friars have also lived and ministered in the parish during the summer-times over the years


Parishioners were invited to write about their memories of the friars in a special "memory book" that was displayed in the church.  The book was presented during the offertory procession of the Anniversary Mass.

Many people wrote their thoughts and comments in the memory book; one person wrote the following:

I have grown up with the Franciscans and feel so blessed that they have played such an important role in my life. I have learned so much from their kindness, humility, patience and acceptance of others no matter how they chose to live their lives. I will never forget Fr. Ross, Fr. Ronald, Fr. Russell, Fr. Santo, Fr. Timothy and so many others who have touched my heart and soul. Thank God for Franciscans!

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The Minister Provincials from both the St. Anthony of Padua and Immaculate Conception Provinces were present for the celebration.  The Very Rev. Michael Kolodziej, OFM Conv. and the Very Rev. Justin Biase, OFM Conv. are pictured together at the banquet.

The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi, who reside in the Bronx, came to join their Franciscan brothers for the celebration.  Pictured are Sr. Agnes, Sr. Theresa and Sr. Cordilia.


The Amityville Dominican Sisters first arrived at Trinity in 1853, one-hundred and twenty years before the friars.  They have been ministerial partners with the friars during these past twenty-five years; they continue to be a strong and vital presence in the parish.  Pictured are Sr. Pat DeMarco, OP, our Pastoral Associate, Sister Barbara Suessmann, OP, member of the Parish Finance Council, and Sr. Karen Lademann, OP, Principal of Ss. Joseph and Dominic Catholic Academy.

Sr. Mary Jane Fulton, OP, who served in the parish as director of the Human Service Center for many years, came back to celebrate with us.  She is pictured here with Sr. Margaret Kline, OP, who taught first grade for many years in Most Holy Trinity School.

It was wonderful to see you sisters!

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The Minister Provincial of the St. Anthony of Padua Province, Fr. Michael Kolodziej, OFM Conv., takes a few moments to chat with Fr. Conrad Salach, OFM Conv., who came for the celebration from New Britain, Connecticut, where he is a chaplain for a community of sisters.

Fr. Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, OFM Conv. (left), pastor of St. John Kanty Church, Clifton, New Jersey, and Fr. Herman Czaster, OFM Conv. (right), parochial vicar (and former pastor) of St. Adalbert Church, Elmhurst, Queens, New York, spend time with Fr. Justin Biase, OFM Conv., the Minister Provincial of the Immaculate Conception Province.


Mr. Christopher Leone, a candidate for the friars' community, sits with one of his formation directors, Fr. Stephen King, OFM Conv.; they had traveled from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the six other members of their friary.  Christopher and four other candidates served as altar servers during the Anniversary Mass.

Sr. Eve Gillcrist, OP, who resides in the convent at Most Holy Trinity, is pictured with Msgr. Kevin Noone, the Diocesan Vicar for our area of Brooklyn.  Msgr. Noone was also the last Diocesan curate to reside and minister at Trinity; he spent his last four days at Trinity living with the friars until he moved out in February of 1981.


Lucy Deras, our parish secretary, celebrates with Elena Rodriguez.  Both are long time and dedicated parishioners.

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Family members of Ludovina De Los Santos, who is pictured second to the right, enjoy the party;  to her right is her sister, Delores Diaz, who teaches first grade at Ss. Joseph and Dominic Academy.


Pictured are Anthony Lesniak, Michael Dean, Larry Thornton and Julio Martinez, the "former friars" who returned to Trinity for the celebration.  They continue to be dear to our hearts and are our brothers forever!

Some came from Chicopee, Massachusetts to join us for the day.  Pictured are Agnes Olbrys, Maryfrances Peters, and Kathy Shelb, all parishioners of St. Stanislaus Basilica in Chicopee, another great Conventual Franciscan parish.


Many helped to prepare and serve the food, all of which was donated by parishioners. These are some of our most faithful volunteers who helped to feed the three hundred people who came for the fiesta.

Anthony and Allan worked in the kitchen and helped to keep the food and deserts coming out to the banquet floor.

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Anthony and Julio, two of the very first friars to come to Trinity. share of moment of comradery. Msgr. Keven Noone, who had been stationed at Trinity as a young man, is pictured in the background. Msgr. Noone had noted during the Mass that he remembered taking Anthony around the parish plant to show him how to open locks, etc, during the few days that they lived together at Trinity.

Mr. Victor Robles, a long time City Councilor for our area, and present New York City Clerk, is pictured with Ms. Sonia Rosa, a former member of our parish staff; Sonia had worked in the Human Service Center for a number of years; she now teaches catechism to our children on Sundays.


Mr. Robles speaks to the people about his good memories of working with the friars over the years. He noted that his roots are at Trinity and that he has always felt welcomed by the friars. In addition to supporting the parish in many ways, Mr. Robles presently serves on the Parish Finance Council.  Brother Michael Toczek, OFM Conv., director of the Trinity Human Service Center is seated in the background; he was the Master of Ceremonies for the banquet.

Fr. Russell  Governale, OFM Conv., the current pastor, listens intently as Mr. Robles shares his thoughts about the presence of the friars at Most Holy Trinity.  Mr. Thomas Aycott, a long-time parishioners stands in the background.

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Mr. Mario Deras, Sr., provided the music for the evening's celebration. He played a variety of types of music that reflected the great cultural diversity of the parish.

Mario's son, Mario Jr., and his granddaughter, Destiny, are close by as their father/grandfather entertains the crowd with his next musical selection.


Members of our parish's youth group (the Jornadistas) came to celebrate with the friars. Their youthful enthusiasm is always appreciated by the people of the parish.

Fr. Timothy Dore, OFM Conv., the parochial vicar of Most Holy Trinity, is pictured here with two of the Franciscan Sisters who came from the Bronx, Sr. Agnes and Sr. Theresa.


Pictured here are members of our parish's Polish Community; they have always been strong supporters and have appreciated the Franciscan presence at Trinity. Many of the Polish people brought special Polish foods to share with everyone.

The Mass in the afternoon, and the banquet in the evening were a great success, and all seemed to have a wonderful time. Thank God, and our many good and generous parishioners, that there was lots of joy and plenty of food for all at the banquet!


 

 

 

The statue of St. Francis of Assisi, spiritual father and patron saint of the Conventual Franciscan Friars, is kept in a place of honor inside of Most Holy Trinity Church.  May his sons remain at Trinity for many more years to come. 

St. Francis of Assisi . . . pray for us!

 

 

 


 

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