Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for March 19

March 19, 2014 By Francesca Norsen-Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Assumption Church’s Leykam Family Honored at St. Patrick-St. Joseph Dinner

Family is a central part of Assumption Church’s life. The entire parish considers itself a spiritual family. And this year, during the parish’s annual St. Patrick-St. Joseph Dinner Dance, the Leykam Family was honored earlier this month. The event is named for both the famous Irish missionary and saint as well as for St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, whose feast day, observed on March 19, is popular among Italians.

This family’s roots were formed at Assumption, including Heather and Chris Leykam’s courtship and marriage. Heather told the Brooklyn Eagle during the event, “I’ve been a parishioner here since before I was born!” She smiled, explaining that her grandmother was already a member of Assumption parish; and as soon as Heather was old enough to do so, they attended Sunday Mass together.

Fast forward to young adulthood: “When I graduated from college, I moved in with my grandmother and became a member of this parish.”

Heather became very active, serving first as a minister of the liturgy. She then became a Eucharistic Minister. “At the time they were getting the Millennial overturn (campaign to raise funds) that enabled them to eventually renovate the parish. I said to the pastor, who at the time was Father Michael Carrano, ‘We need to do something for the kids!’ We had just that year started our (Sunday) school, and I was helping out the catechist. I wasn’t married. This was in 2001; Sept. 11 had just happened. Thirteen years ago we did our first Christmas pageant, and that’s something that has stuck.”

Heather recalls, “my boyfriend at the time decided that this was his calling as well. He asked me to marry him. And he came into the fray. Chris is able to help out with so many of the things that Assumption was doing, and became part of the community. Chris—whereas I’m always onstage, he’s always backstage, making sets and doing things…Chris is an engineer; and he actually helped this time around figuring out the structural issues with the parish.”

The couple married at Assumption Church, with their reception taking place in the very parish hall where they were honored two weeks ago, on March 8. Chris Leykam has served for a number of years on the Assumption Pastoral Council. Their three children, Avril, Delilah and Finn (which was Heather’s maiden name) were baptized at Assumption parish.

The Leykams exemplify the spirit of loyalty and dedication of their fellow parishioners, many of them past honorees of the St. Patrick-St. Joseph Dinner Dance. Organizing two major annual successful fundraisers like this event and the parish’s Christmas Gala require much time and teamwork. And in the last two years, parish leaders point out, the monies raised have helped with the tremendous amount of work needed to repair the church from damage caused by recent hurricanes.

Assumption Church regularly holds special events as part of its ongoing ministries, for example: a senior recognition luncheon, family nights, movie nights, pot luck supper and lenten soup supper. Moreover, Assumption participates in the rotating Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Homeless Shelter. Each January, Assumption parish hosts the shelter, providing volunteers to serve as cooks and overnight chaperones for 12-14 male guests.
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Irish step dance was another special part of Assumption’s St. Patrick’s-St. Joseph’s Dinner Dance with the return of the O’Malley Irish Dance Academy. The popular and award-winning ensembles have performed to much glee at Assumption in recent years.

Established in 1994 and based out of Marine Park and Breezy Brooklyn (Breezy Point), the O’Malley Irish Dance Academy is celebrating its 20th year. Maureen O’Malley told the Brooklyn Eagle: “We currently have dancers who are competing in the Montreal Nationals this July. Some of our dancers in the older group are currently ranked national and world champions. We currently hold second place in North America for one of our teams, and third place in the region.”
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Irish Dancers Return By Popular Demand to Assumption Dinner

Irish step dance was another special part of Assumption’s St. Patrick’s-St. Joseph’s Dinner Dance with the return of the O’Malley Irish Dance Academy. The popular and award-winning ensembles have performed to much glee at Assumption in recent years.

Established in 1994 and based out of Marine Park and Breezy Brooklyn (Breezy Point), the O’Malley Irish Dance Academy is celebrating its 20th year. Maureen O’Malley told the Brooklyn Eagle: “We currently have dancers who are competing in the Montreal Nationals this July. Some of our dancers in the older group are currently ranked national and world champions. We currently hold second place in North America for one of our teams, and third place in the region. We’re on Facebook: O’Malley Irish Dance Academy.”

Maureen O’Malley “is a former champion dancer, who performed in Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and aboard Carnival Cruise Lines,” according to the school’s website. “She instructs over 150 children and adults in three locations in Brooklyn and Queens. The focus of the school has always been to promote the Irish culture and foster in her dancers a sense of pride in themselves.”
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Plymouth Sunday Forums Examines Slavery, 3 Abrahamic Faiths’ Views of the Messiah

Plymouth Church offers a set of forums: on understanding the book of Exodus in the context of slavery, and on the three Abrahamic traditions’ perspectives on the Messiah.

Ian Kinman will give an interactive talk “How to Understand Exodus in a Modern Context: A View of Modern and Ancient Slavery.” Participants will “walk” through the book of Exodus, focusing on certain key episodes in the narrative and inviting a discussion on the implications of slavery as part of one’s identity and of the possession and dispossession of land in the present day.

Presenter Ian Kinman left a career in architecture to become a remarkably knowledgeable Old Testament scholar and teaching fellow at New York Theological Seminary. He holds a Th.M. in theology from Harvard Divinity School, an M.A. from General Theological Seminary, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in theological studies at Fordham University.

Professor Dale Irvin of the New York Theological Seminary leads his talk on “The Messiah in Christianity, Judaism and Islam A Talk on World Religion.” Most people know that the Messiah is central to Christian faith. But how many realize that the Qur’an also teaches that Jesus is the Messiah, and says that it is Jesus (not Mohammed) who will return to earth on the Day of Judgment to defeat Satan and inaugurate the reign of God on earth? This talk will focus on the Messiah in the three Abrahamic faith traditions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam), and will examine how the Jewish and Muslim understandings can enrich our one’s own Christian understanding of Jesus as Messiah.

Dale Irvin is President and Professor of World Christianity at New York Theological Seminary. He earned his M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1981 and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in 1989. He is the author of several books including A History of the World Christian Movement: Volume I, Earliest Christianity to 1453 and Volume II, 1453 to 2000 (with Scott Sun Quist),

Both talks begin at 12:30 p.m., on Sundays, March 23 and 30, respectively, in Plymouth’s Reception Room. Plymouth Church is at 75 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights.

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‘Terrene Unbound’ Performs at St. Charles

“Terrene Unbound,” an ensemble formed last year at the Manhattan School of Music, gives a concert at St. Charles Borromeo Church this Saturday, as part of the parish’s music series.

The performers are includes Noor Sandhu, a mezzo-soprano originally from Mumbai, India; Eric Umble, a New York based clarinetist, soloist and chamber musician; and pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek, a native of Washington D.C. currently based in NYC, an active performer, educator and music director.

The date was changed from last week to Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door before the concert. The church is at Sidney Place and Aitken Place, just south of Joralemon St., in Brooklyn Heights.

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Program On ‘Successful Aging’ Comes to Heights Synagogue Coming to Brooklyn Heights Synagogue on March 23 at 1pm

Heights and Hills Community Council executive director Judy Willig and Russell Eisgrub, caregiver support program supervisor, will present what is expected to be an informative program on “successful aging.” It is geared for those who worry about loved ones as they grow older and perhaps live alone. The forum will include a discussion on programs and ideas to support older people. This meeting is geared to help seniors, family members and caregivers learn more about how to obtain health—with privacy and dignity—for those who might be in need of both information and services. This event is free and open to the entire community. Sponsoring the talk, on Sunday, March 23 at 1 p.m., is the Women’s Group of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue.

Heights and Hills was founded more than 40 years ago to help seniors in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill; and has since expanded to Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill. Now one of the most respected senior advocacy organizations in the city, Heights & Hills provides support in these communities with social and health needs,

Brooklyn Heights Synagogue is at 131 Remsen Street.

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Walk-A-Thon Across Brooklyn Bridge Aims to Educate on Teen Dating Violence

The Healing Center sponsors the third annual NYC Teen Dating Violence Awareness Walk-A-Thon on April 5.

Registration for the Walk-A-Thon begins at 9 a.m. at Cadman Plaza Park, in Brooklyn Heights starting at 9 a.m. A Rally begins in the park at 10 a.m., and participants will walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the steps of City Hall. A noon news conference concludes the event.

Walk-A-Thon partners include Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Caribbean Women’s Health Association, Center for Anti-Violence Education, CONNECT, DJ JuiceE, Forest City Ratner, Girls for Gender Equality, Health First, Brooklyn Nets, Assembly Members Felix Ortiz, Nicole Malliattakis, and the YWCA of Brooklyn.  

During the news conference, victims of teen dating violence will tell their stories of trauma and recovery. A featured speaker will be April Hernandez, a Bronx-born, Screen Actors Guild Award nominated actress who won acclaim in the film Freedom Writers and the television series “Dexter.” Hernandez is herself a victim of teen dating abuse and is a spokesperson with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Additional invited speakers include: Antonia Clemente, Executive Director of The Healing Center, which is sponsoring this walk-a-thon and news conference, Assembly Member Felix Ortiz, Council Member Mathieu Eugene, invited guest includes  Council Members Vincent Gentile, Carlos Menchaca and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
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Another kind of healing is being offered through the Charismatic Renewal Office of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

Using the theme, “As the Father has loved me so I love you. Remain in my love,” from the Gospel of John, Chapter 15, verse 9, the Charismatic Renewal offers a Women’s Day of Healing on Saturday, April 5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hosting the event is the Aquinas Center. The guest speaker is Nancy Arkin. Liz Normandia provides the music. Participants should bring a brown bag lunch. Registration is $10. For more information, contact the Charismatic Renewal Office at 718-377-4101. The Aquinas Center is at 2000 Flatbush Avenue, between Flatlands Avenue and Ave. M in Flatlands.