By Tom Momberg
St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church in Douglaston is hosting its centennial celebration in October, but the parish will kick things off this weekend with a special Sunday mass which many past clergy and church members were expected to attend.
The Sunday mass is slated to begin promptly at noon. Church volunteer and events organizer Susan Cerezo said the mass will be a great way to reunite the extended church family.
“The pastors here only serve so many years, and everybody in the parish has had their favorites,” Cerezo said. “Many have told me they would love to meet with the clergy members who they had when they were growing up.”
Current pastor Monsignor Anthony Sherman and his associate the Rev. Dariusz Strzelecki will lead the mass. And former clergy members who plan to attend include Pastor Emeritus Monsignor George Ryan, Pastor Emeritus Monsignor Michael Cantley, Rev. Edward Kachurka, Rev. William McLaughlin, Rev. Chris Piasta, Rev. Matteo Rizzo and Rev. Anthony Rucando.
The 100th anniversary events will officially take place in October, however—following the centennial of the dates on which the church opened: Oct. 17 and Oct. 18.
The church has scheduled a cocktail hour on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. in Friar Smith Hall, followed by dinner and dancing. Cerezo said the event would be limited to the first 150 people due to space constraints. Those interested should call the rectory at 718-631-4454 and submit payment by Tuesday, Sept. 15. The tickets cost $75 for couples or $40 per person.
The Centennial Closing Mass is slated for noon on Sunday, Oct. 18, led by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn. Following the mass, St. Anastasia has planned a full afternoon of family-friendly events, including an antique car show, face painting, jugglers, clowns, balloon making and door prizes. In addition to food supplied by church volunteers, there will also be hot dog, popcorn and cotton candy vendors.
Those coming to the afternoon celebration Sunday are being encouraged by organizers to dress in circa 1900s fashions.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb