St. Athanasius Church holds Christmas tree-lighting celebration

December 21, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
St. Athanasius Church holds Christmas tree-lighting celebration
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Though it wasn’t as big a program as in past years, St. Athanasius Church, 6115 Bay Parkway, held its annual Christmas tree-lighting on Dec. 12.

“Tonight we don’t have the big spectacular,” said Msgr. David Cassato during Mass before the lighting ceremony. “There’s no banjo coming out. There’s no Santa Claus. There’s no Disney characters. There’s none of that. But we have each other and we have that real Christmas spirit here with each other. Sing tonight with us.”

Joe Orlando of St. Athanasius sports helps to set up the lights each year. He acknowledged all the volunteers and thanked them for their work.

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“We are all involved in the sports program and the children lost out this year,” Orlando said. “We lost out as volunteers and coaches, with not having a baseball season, soccer season or basketball. Our motto this year was we are doing this for the kids and the parish.”

Following the Mass, attendees gathered outside the church for the singing of holiday tunes, followed by a countdown for the lights. The lights displayed the words “Peace” and “Love” on the church.

People then gathered at the church’s rectory for another tree-lighting, which was dedicated to those who died over the past year.

“If you feel low or brokenhearted, take a brisk walk around the property of the church and listen to the music and feel the Christmas spirit,” Cassato said. “I guarantee you’ll feel better.”

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