Parishes Commemorate Thanksgiving

HNP Communications Features

The Thanksgiving holiday was commemorated in many ways at parishes throughout Holy Name Province.  A sampling of activities is below.

In Wood-Ridge, N.J. an ecumenical Thanksgiving service was held at Assumption parish on Nov.  21, Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving.  Clergy from the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches were represented at the service.

“The choir performed impressively,” according to Brian Cullinane who added that a collection was held for the Center for Food Action and the Inter-Religious Fellowship organizations.  Donors were very generous, he said.

“With only about 75 people in attendance, we collected $286,” Brian said.

On Thanksgiving morning, 9:00. Mass was held at which Paul Sinnema celebrated and Brian, Tom Kelly, and Cassian Miles concelebrated.  A great crowd gathered to give thanks, Brian said.

At The Poverello Center in Providence, R.I., more than 400 gift cards to local supermarkets and 400 gift baskets were distributed, according to Frank Sevola.

“In all, we made sure approximately 800 families had something for the holiday table,” Frank said.  “In addition, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving Day Mass at St. Mary Church with about 300 people in attendance.”

In the Albany, N.Y., area, more than 150 students, faculty and staff from Siena College volunteered to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner in the Capital district as part of the Equinox program which feeds more than 7,000, Kevin Mullen said.  Equinox Inc., a 37-year-old agency with which Siena has been working for more than five years, offers community services that provide a safe and supportive environment to individuals and families in crisis.

Several thousand volunteers joined in this effort which began the week before Thanksgiving, Kevin added.

Dan Dwyer offered the opening prayer and blessing on Thanksgiving morning at the Capital Plaza where the food is prepared. The food is served in several churches and is also delivered to people’s homes.

In Camden, N.J., three Thanksgiving events at St. Anthony of Padua Parish were held, according to Jud Weiksnar.  On Monday, at an annual school Thanksgiving dinner, parents and volunteers came in to feed 153 students, he said.  On Tuesday, Francis House, a ministry for those infected with or affected by HIV, held its annual Thanksgiving dinner in the church basement.  Approximately 60 persons attended.

On Thursday, Francis House opened to serve people who had no place to go on Thanksgiving. Jud and John Coughlin participated and approximately 25 people attended.   During  Thanksgiving week , the parish celebrated the birthday of Francis House director  Sue Piliro, SFO.

“We also gave out innumerable turkeys and food baskets the week before Thanksgiving, including hundreds of cans of chicken noodle soup donated by Campbell’s Soup, which is headquartered in Camden,“ Jud said.

Photos of the Camden events are available in the Yahoo! Gallery, according to Jud.

Editor’s note:  Readers are encouraged to submit to communications@ descriptions of Advent commemorations being held at their ministries and parishes.