By Tim Harfmann
It was a time for Christmas cheer while providing the next generation with a Catholic education.
Students from Saint Michael Catholic Academy, Flushing, performed the nativity scene as hundreds packed Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s Christmas Luncheon on December 11.
The gathering in Howard Beach, Queens, raised over $350,000 so children can receive a Catholic education in the Brooklyn diocese.
“We have to remember them, and pray for them, and help them to do better,” said Bishop DiMarzio.
“It gets us into the Christmas spirit of giving and to let people know that whatever they do, the gifts that they have are to be shared,” added Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Vicar for Development in the Brooklyn diocese.
Bishop DiMarzio also acknowledged several people for their dedication to Catholic education.
The honorees pointed out how important the scholarships are.
“It gives the children a safe environment of learning; and also we don’t have the public-school pressure of learning, and we help the children to pray and the value of family,” said Veronica Tsang, who serves on the Board of Directors for St Michael Catholic Academy and is a trustee for Futures in Education.
“Vocations are nurtured in Catholic schools. So, the more we can have students in those Catholic schools, then obviously we’re helping with vocations,” said Monsignor John Strynkowski, former rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington.
“Without the scholarships helping our families stay in Catholic education, we would not be able to provide the consistency of keeping our enrollment relatively stable,” said Thomas Chadzutko, the superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The over 700 people in attendance agreed, the bishop’s Christmas luncheon is a great way to promote the future of catholic education.