Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village
The new Our Lady of the Snows church has been built in Floral Park, which has led to a great jubilation of the whole parish. I was at Mass Aug. 10 for the first Sunday in the new structure.
I found it beautiful. Pews go around the altar to give an expression of family. The music comprised of a piano, played by the music director, Lisa Kelly. A guitar, harp and cello also added to the Mass' beauty. What I found nice was that we sang a hymn by Robert Weigel called “Our Lady of the Snows.” This new hymn was also sung the week before in the old church.
All of this took praying and planning. There was also fund-raising and a devotion to a dream. Many people were involved, like Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), who helped with some of the red tape involved with any new building.
I had been away for a few years because I had moved and been attending St. Anastasia Parish in Douglaston and lived in Little Neck. I have moved back to Glen Oaks Village and go back and forth between the parishes. I found it heartwarming to worship that morning again in my old parish.
The Rev. Raymond Chappetto and I had spoken a number of times. I could not help but feel that he sees the hopes and dreams of a parish fulfilled, which has brought him a great sense of accomplishment.
The parish was founded in 1948. For 55 years, the church gymnasium was used as a place of worship. Now there are many at Our Lady of the Snows that have a personal history here. Mine goes back to 1992, where, then 43, I had converted to Catholicism and had religious studies under the late Rev. Tugwood. Soon afterward, I served as a lector.
It was here that my faith was restored and a spiritual rebirth achieved. There are many at Our Lady of the Snows who have a history and found a spiritual home here because of its warmth and love. This new church building is a blessing to a growing community.