Church Renovation 2015

Dedication sign welcoming Bishop MurphyA three year effort aimed at ”Renewing and Restoring the House of God” came to joyful fruition on April 12, 2015 when Bishop Murphy dedicated and consecrated our new church and altar.

We also renamed the Parish Center after our founding Pastor, Fr. Donohoe, and we renamed the Chapel located there the IHM Chapel in honor of the religious Sisters who taught at the former St. Boniface School.

In 2011 our Parish began a discussion as to whether to renew, restore and update our church building. After positive discussion with parishioners, the first phase, a Capital Campaign began. This phase was designed to confirm that we plan had sufficient support to move forward. An overwhelming response to the Capital Campaign saw pledges of over $1,230,000.00.

With monies pledged we began the design stage of our church renovation. Thirty-five people signed up to be part of the committee. They worked very hard with liturgical designer, Lawrence Hoy, to develop five alternative designs which were presented to the parish after Mass on two weekends. In addition, groups of our younger parishioners from among our Youth group, altar servers and First Communion families were asked for their input.

These designs gave rise to some wonderful discussions and excitement among the Parishioners. The committee used their suggestions, ideas and comments and developed a design proposal incorporating the three designs which had received the strongest support, and then presented that design to the Parish.

We celebrated Mass for the last time in the “old” Church on the Sunday after Christmas.  Following Mass a number of parishioners, young and old, pitched in to move sacramental elements and furniture next door to the St. Boniface Gym where we celebrated Mass on New Year’s Day and on all weekends while the church was being renovated.

Enough of the work was completed to allow the first Mass in the newly renovated church to take place on Holy Thursday and we are able to celebrate the Triduum and Easter in the renovated building. During Easter Week, the new altar, ambo and many of the final design elements were completed by a construction crew working day and night so that everything was in place when Bishop Murphy arrived for the re-dedication and consecration of the church at 10:15 Mass on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

This was a very wonderful time for our parish which will continue to generate excitement and renewed devotion to our worship of Jesus Christ as Lord!

Photos taken at the dedication ceremony for our newly renovated church on April 12, 2015.  On the same day Bishop Murphy helped us rededicate the Parish Center, which has been renamed the “Fr. James Donohoe Parish Center” in honor of our Parish’s founding Pastor, and also the chapel contained in that building, which has been renamed “Our Lady of Mercy Chapel” in honor of the Sisters of Mercy, who taught at the former St. Boniface School.

Click here to read about various statues installed in the renovated church.

Reredos and Narthex April 2014

Designs for the reredos and tabernacle (top) and a view of the narthex wall from the nave of the church (bottom).

"Overhead" view of proposed floor plan.

“Overhead” view of proposed floor plan.

 

Next Page:  Renewing and Restoring the House of God by Carol Griffin Gold Coast Gazette January 12, 2012

Pages: 1 2

Confirmation 2013

Confirmation logoThe Sacrament of Confirmation was celebrated on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 4pm at St. Boniface Martyr Church.

Confirmation photo gallery

Confirmation video of recessional

Confirmation Dinner photo gallery

 

YouTube video of the Confirmandi recessing from Church led by Bishop William Murphy:

A week before Confirmation, our 7th Grade Religious Education Students followed our St. Boniface tradition of serving a delicious meal to this year’s Confirmation candidates.  The 7th Graders have been preparing for their own Confirmations, to take place next year.  See photo gallery below:

 

 

 

Fr. Bob featured in Long Island Catholic

SEA CLIFF — While still very young, Father Bob Romeo recalls, “I knew that God was calling me to the priesthood, but I tried to run from it.“I wanted a typical life,” said the pastor of St. Boniface Martyr Church here. “I wanted to be married, to have children, but God had other plans for me.”In April, Father Romeo celebrated his 25th anniversary as a priest when his parishioners threw a surprise party for him.Father Romeo, son of Fran, a homemaker, and Gabriel, a banker, grew up in Plainview, one of four boys. They attended St. Pius X Church. “My parents were really involved in the life of the church,” participating in groups like the Holy Name Society and the Altar-Rosary Society.“We had priests who were friends and visited our home,” Father Romeo said. Msgr. Jim Kelly was associate pastor. “He was a great friend” and an influence on young Romeo.

Later the family moved to Dix Hills, where they belonged to St. Matthew’s Church. Among the priests who influenced him there was Msgr. James McDonald “who was in love with the priesthood and in love with the Eucharist. He saw God in everything.”

Though he felt the calling, Father Romeo said, he went to Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania to study business. After one semester he left. Eventually, he entered the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington. “The academics were great. I was opened up to the teachings of the Fathers of the Church.”

He also valued his pastoral year at St. Joseph’s, Ronkonkoma, both for the experience of living and working in a parish and for knowing the pastor, Father Charles Kohli.

“He is one of the most spiritual men I know, but also very human. Fun,” Father Romeo said. “He’s been a powerful influence on me and my priesthood.”

Father Romeo was ordained May 9, 1987, and assigned to St. Christopher’s Church, Baldwin.

“I heard a priest say that you leave part of your heart at your first parish, and that was true for me,” he said. He cited Msgr. John Bennett, the pastor, and two other associate pastors, and how well the four worked together.

“We had different spiritualities, but we were united in ministering to the parishioners. I learned the meaning of unity,” Father Romeo said. They also served as chaplains at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, “which was a place that had special moments for ministry.”

In 1992, he was transferred to Curé of Ars, Merrick. “I served under two pastors, Msgr. James Swiader and Father James Mannion, and I learned from both of them.”

At Curé, he also became a volunteer firefighter and chaplain for a fire company. He said he was profoundly affected by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

“You could see that people needed Jesus in their lives,” Father Romeo said.

At Curé of Ars he also had more opportunities for ministry with adults. “I loved Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).”

Father Romeo became associate pastor of St. Peter of Alcantara, Port Washington, in 2002. He praised the pastor, Msgr. Dan Picciano. Father Romeo enjoyed visiting the parish school as well as working with the youth minister.

“We had about 80 to 90 kids” who were involved in a variety of activities, from regular meetings to such projects as “The Midnight Run,” where they go into Manhattan to offer food to homeless people.

“Most important we focused on Jesus,” Father Romeo said.

For years, he resisted becoming a pastor because, “in the words of one of my former pastors, I wanted to avoid ‘the Three Ls, leaks, locks, and ledgers.’” Yet in 2007, he was assigned to his first pastorate, St. Boniface here.

“I found that I love being a pastor” because it offers unique opportunities to serve.

An important element of leadership is working with groups of parishioners to call upon their expertise and insight for the direction of the parish.

Still, the pastor ultimately must make the decisions, Father Romeo said, “but he must come to it in prayer so that the Holy Spirit can direct us.”

One surprise he has found since becoming a priest “is how warmly people welcome you. I was once at a family’s house for a barbecue and realized after a while that I was the one person there who wasn’t part of the family.” His first reaction was that he didn’t belong, but soon realized: “No. I am a part of the family.”

One difficult aspect he sees is the fact that priests are regularly transferred from one parish to another. “You build relationships and then you have to move on,” Father Romeo said, “but I understand it because it involves the greater good of the diocese.”

What he likes best about being a priest is celebrating the Eucharist. “If you do more than say the words but actually pray them,” Father Romeo said, you can see the Eucharist for what it is — Jesus’ “great gift of self to us.”

Despite his past reservations, “I love being a priest and I’m amazed that I became one. I can’t imagine being anything else.”

 

 

Sea Cliff forum targets racist graffiti

Photo credit: Newsday/Jessica Rotkiewicz | Rabbi Irwin Huberman, from Congregation Tifereth Israel in Sea Cliff, addresses the community and clergy about the anti-Semitic/racist vandalism that has swept through Queens and parts of Long Island during a meeting at St. Boniface Chuch in Sea Cliff. (Jan. 16, 2012)

Newsday

Originally published: January 16, 2012 8:41 PM
Updated: January 16, 2012 9:31 PM
By EMILY NGO         emily.ngo@newsday.com

Gathering for a mass denouncement of recent racist graffiti, more than 100 Sea Cliff community members met Monday at a church that had been the target of what Mayor Bruce Kennedy called “anti-social behavior.”

Rabbi Irwin Huberman of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove emphasized commonalities among audience members, whatever their faiths, and said that hateful symbols cannot be taken lightly.

“The swastika can never, never be used — even in jest,” he said.

In recent weeks, swastikas have been found drawn on homes, mailboxes, a boat and playground equipment in Sea Cliff. Similar graffiti has been reported in Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey.

Nassau police said Monday that no arrests have been made over the graffiti in Sea Cliff.

The village has increased patrols of the area, Nassau Legis. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove) said.

Area leaders want to ensure that “no one in our community lives in any type of fear or hatred,” she said.

Sea Cliff resident Larry Weinberger, 59, said the incidents should serve as teachable moments.

“Education is the most important thing for our children and our children’s children,” Weinberger said. “Hopefully, in future generations, there will be no hatred and animosity toward others. . . . God willing, the world will be a better place.”

Felicia Lebou, 42, of Sea Cliff, who has a 3-year-old son, suggested parents teach their children about other cultures and religions from an early age to celebrate diversity. Many who attended the forum brought their children.

Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) called the vandalism “simply un-American.”

“We will not tolerate it, if we stand together as one community,” he said.

Swastikas, the words “white knights” and “anything and everything that could possibly outrage a community” were scrawled on St. Boniface Martyr Church late last month, Kennedy said. The site Monday hosted a forum where residents shared suggestions about ways to curb hate.

“Prejudice is not a prank and we will not tolerate this behavior in our village,” Kennedy said, adding that he believed the vandals to be mischievous, ignorant teenagers rather than “neo-Nazis.”