After two decades, Maimonides gears up for Celebration of Lights

November 28, 2014 Jaime DeJesus
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The light shines on as this year marks the 20th annual of the Celebration of Lights. On Wednesday, November 19, Maimonides Medical Center once again hosted the kickoff, where staff, representatives of dozens of local parishes and local dignitaries gathered to enjoy an afternoon of food and presentations. The parishes were presented with checks for Christmas decor.

“This program, this gift that was started 20 years ago by Maimonides Medical Center, has continued and we’re very happy that we can come together and celebrate this day,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, who recollected the history of the event. “It’s hard to believe 20 years have come and gone.”

The program began in 1995 at Visitation Monastery. “The Sisters of Visitation contacted [State] Senator [Marty] Golden and me,” said Morrish who made the opening remarks during the ceremony. “They said, we want to be a part of the community and we’re reaching out to the public. The rest is history.”

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This year, the list of parishes participating has increased to 33. “What really impresses me about this event and what makes it great is what makes Brooklyn great,” said Executive Vice President and COO of the hospital Dominick Stanzione. “It’s about communities coming together, seeing a need and working together to fulfill that need, and we see that around here today: Parishes, the NYPD, community leaders, coming together to make a difference. We at Maimonides are blessed to be partners with you in this.”

Golden made his annual appearance, and discussed the significance of the tradition. “This celebration of lights is something that gives us all that hope and opportunity. It gets smiles on children’s faces. It gets the families out. It gets people encouraged,” he said.

Every speaker praised President and CEO of Maimonides Pamela Brier for her continued dedication to keep the tradition strong. “Pam has been a lightning rod not only for this hospital but for the communities that surround it,” said Golden.

Brier, for her part, reminded everyone that organizing the holiday event is a team effort. “I really hope you’re all smart enough to know I don’t run this hospital alone,” she said. “We are blessed to have many wonderful people.

Saturday, November 29

St. Gregory the Great Church, 224 Brooklyn Avenue, at 6 p.m.

Sunday, December 2

Good Shepherd Church, 1950 Batchelder Street, at 8 p.m.

Thursday, December 4

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 440 Ovington Avenue, at 10 a.m.

Saturday, December 6

St. Agatha’s Church, 702 48th Street, at 5 p.m.

St. Anselm Church, 356 82nd Street, at 6 p.m.

St. Mark’s Church, 2609 East 19th Street, at 6 p.m.

St. Bernadette Church, 8201 13th Avenue, at 6 p.m.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7201 15th Avenue, at 6:30 p.m.

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 8401 Ridge Boulevard, at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 7

Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, 414 80th St, at 12 p.m.

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 414 80th Street, at 1 p.m.

St. Brendan Church, 1525 East 12th Street, at 5 p.m.

Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, 2530 Church Avenue, at 5 p.m.

Visitation Monastery, 8902 Ridge Boulevard, at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 13

St. Cecilia’s Church, 84 Herbert Street, at 6 p.m.

Regina Pacis Church, 1258 65th Street, at 6 p.m.

St. Athanasius Church, 2154 61st Street, at 6:30 p.m.

St. Finbar Church, 138 Bay 20th Street, at 6:30 p.m.

Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 108 Carroll Street, at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 14

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway, at 5:30 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Church, 9511 Fourth Avenue, at 6 p.m.

Holy Innocents Church, 279 E 17th Street, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, December 17

St. Ephrem Church, 929 Bay Ridge Parkway, at 8 p.m.

St. Bernadette Church, 8201 13th Avenue, at 7:30 p.m.

Dates to be determined: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Mary Mother of Jesus Church, St. Andrew the Apostle Church, Fort Hamilton Army Base Chapel, St. Catharine of Alexandria Church, Holy Name Church, Redeemer St. John Lutheran Church, Our Lady of Angels Church

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