By Francesca Norsen Tate
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Salma Vahdat, Parishioner, Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral
Feb. 2 was a very special and illuminating evening for approximately 75 married couples, members of the Community of Faith at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral.
The Pastoral Council’s Spiritual Life Committee sponsored this evening, which included a Divine Liturgy and renewal of marriage vows. A romantic candlelight dinner with dancing followed the liturgy.
What a beautiful evening it was! The Cathedral’s dynamic rector, Monsignor James Root (affectionately named Aboona Jim), working with Tresa Van Heusen and Joan Napolitano, organized and executed a poignant and memorable event for the participants. Midway through the liturgy, we were guided through the recitation of our vows and re-exchanged our wedding rings. White roses were distributed to the ladies and boutonnières to the gentlemen. The finale was the distribution of certificates of participation in the Marriage Enrichment evening. Couples married for the longest time, as well as those whose weddings were the most recent, were recognized with applause. The longest-married couple, at 53 years, is Dr. Massoud and Salma Besheer Vahdat. Married three years are Roger and Vera Shamas.
Msgr. Jim greeted us with a lovely letter of congratulations tendered by Sayedna Gregory. He lauded us for our commitment to each other citing that it took a great deal of humility and selflessness to meld into the one unit required to make marriage and home life a viable reality. Msgr. Root reinforced those sentiments also.
The dinner following the Liturgy was sumptuous… The multi-talented Msgr. Jim and his staff comprised the team of chefs. The Cathedral’s Maronite Youth Organization (MYO) served the meal. Around 10 p.m. the couples were treated to dabke music and the Hall erupted in song and dance which continued for hours.
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Neighborhoods Unite: Canned goods drive will help First Presbyterian Church’s pantry
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carroll Gardens is teaming up with the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights to stock a food pantry that is seeing increased use.
The Carroll Gardens parish is sponsoring a food drive to help the First Presbyterian Church’s ongoing food pantry. Food is distributed to the church on Henry St. near Clark on Thursday mornings. More than 100 families receive food on a given Thursday. St. Paul’s Church reports that its last food drive was an overwhelming success.
Parishioners and worshipers at St. Paul’s will contribute a different food item each week. Starting this past Sunday, on the First Sunday in Lent, they donated canned vegetables. Upcoming categories will be pasta and spaghetti sauce (Lent II-February 24); canned tuna, salmon, chili and other protein meals (Lent III-March 3); canned soup (Lent IV-March 10); one-pound bags of rice (Lent V-March 17); and cereal on Palm Sunday (March 24.)
Donations will be accepted at St. Paul’s Church donations on Sundays after the 11 a.m. Mass, Tuesdays between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturdays between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Donation boxes are located just inside the church. St. Paul’s Church is at 199 Carroll St, with the church’s front entrance on Clinton St.
Food Bank for New York estimates that 1.4 million New Yorkers — the majority of whom are women, children, seniors, the working poor and people with disabilities — rely on soup kitchens and food pantries. The food pantry volunteers have also seen growing numbers of middle class citizens. For more information about hunger in the city, visit the website: http://www.foodbanknyc.org.
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Interfaith peace groups sponsor film examining Israeli-Palestinian relations
The Dialogue Project, which has been bringing together Jews, Christians, Muslims and New York Palestinians and Israelis together to find common ground, co-sponsors the screening of a poignant movie that premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Along with the Arab American Association, Brooklyn for Peace and Salaam Arabic Lutheran Church, the Dialogue Project invites Brooklynites to view My Neighbourhood, this Sunday, Feb. 24.
This film follows the story of a Palestinian boy who loses half of his home to Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, and then joins his community in a campaign of nonviolent protests. Efforts to put a quick end to the demonstrations are foiled when scores of Israelis choose to stand by the residents’ side.
Hosting the film showing is the Beit El Maqdies Islamic Center, 6th Avenue and 62nd Street in Sunset Park. A light supper will be served after the 4:30 p.m. screening.
Readers interested in attending need to send an email RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com so that enough food can be prepared. For more information, contact The Dialogue Project at 718-768-2175 or Brooklyn for Peace at 718-624-5921.
The Dialogue Project is a non-profit educational organization that has been gathering people for intimate, face-to-face encounters since March 2001. The Dialogue Projects creates a safe-space environment where people learn to move beyond stereotypes and myths about the “other.” Hundreds of people throughout New York meet monthly to explore issues surrounding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: Right of Return, Resistance and Self-Defense, the Separation Wall, for example. Participants share readings, personal experiences of life and break down the walls of silence that have grown around neighbors and co-workers throughout New York.
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Rabbi Potasnik begins new segment of popular ‘Talking Talmud’ series
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, spiritual leader of Congregation Mount Sinai, will lead another segment of “Talking Talmud: Timely Questions/Timeless Answers,” next Tuesday, Feb. 26.
“Talking Talmud” consists of a series of four monthly classes, with additional sessions taking place March 19, April 9 and May 21. All begins at 7:15 p.m. Interested participants may attend any or all classes.
RSVP is necessary: call or email the synagogue office: 718-875-9124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Musical Newsmakers: Heritage ensemble founder premieres new work for strings
The New York Composers Circle presents a world premiere of Concord Village resident Eugene Marlow’s fourth string quartet, titled, La femme d’un temps passé au present” (“The Women from the Past in the Present”). This eight minute piece moves through several moods ranging from pensive to highly animated.
This premiere is part of a “Mostly Strings” concert at St. Peter’s Church-Citigroup Center, on Friday, Feb. 19. The concert begins at 8 p.m. at the church on Lexington Ave. and 54th St. A $20 suggested donation will be accepted at the door.
Marlow will also be performing at St. Peter’s Citigroup as part of the church’s Midtown Jazz @ Midday, next month. That program, part of the Midtown Arts Common, takes place on Wednesday, March 20 at 1 p.m. A $10 donation is requested.
Eugene Marlow and his Heritage Ensemble also perform regularly at the Nyorican Poets Café on the Lower East Side. Upcoming performances are “We Got Rhythms” this Friday, with one set starting at 7:30 p.m.; on March 29, and April 26. The Nyorican Poets Café is at 236 East 3rd Street (between Ave B & C). Tickets: $15; $7 Students with valid school ID.