The Catholic Foundation of Brooklyn and Queens hosted its Annual Bishop’s Christmas Luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 8, in Howard Beach raising $300,000 to support its scholarship fund for Catholic education and youth ministry programs throughout the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens.
The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, the newly appointed Bishop of Brooklyn, hosted the event, which took place at Russo’s on the Bay, located at 162-45 Crossbay Blvd., with nearly 900 guests.
“People like you make a difference. You make an enormous difference in the lives of so many children and so many families. One of the things I often say is that Catholic education is about a partnership. Certainly a partnership at the level of the school, but it is a much broader network of partnerships that involves the support of the parishes, the work of the Diocesan education office, but it also involves a network of people who really believe in our children,” Brennan said in his welcoming remarks at the event. “It takes people like you who love God, who love the Church, and who love Catholic education.”
Three honorees were also recognized at the luncheon for their dedication to education:
Bishop Emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio, received the St. John Paul II Distinguished Stewardship Award
The Tablet’s Editor Emeritus Ed Wilkinson, received the Emma A. Daniels Benefactor’s Award
Robert Schirling, board chair of Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, received the Spirit of Hope Award
Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, vicar for Development for the Diocese of Brooklyn, noted the Catholic Foundation’s support for the youth and Catholic schools in the Diocese.
“Our supporters make it possible for more than 95 parishes to have youth ministers on staff, to build the future leaders of our church, and provide scholarships available so that all who want a Catholic education can have that chance,” Gigantiello said.
The event included a performance by Christopher Macchio, one of the three New York tenors at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, who sang “Ave Maria” and “O Holy Night.”
Students from Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in Douglaston reenacted the nativity scene at the event. Juliet Papa, a 1010 WINS reporter, served as the mistress of ceremonies.