NEW YORK — As part of the Outreach programs offered by St. Francis of Assisi Church here, Timothy Shreenan conducted a tour of the Church last week for members of Renew, the group publicized as being for “younger retirees.”
In his 90-minute tour on April 18, Tim described many historic features of the complex including the windows that were constructed in Munich, Germany, and New York, the organ, and the vestibule sculpture. Manhattan’s St. Francis of Assisi Church, considered by some to be the Province’s flagship church, was built in 1844.
Tim highlighted the mosaics, providing details about the Great Mosaic that covers the surface of the sanctuary and depicting the theme of Mary, Queen of the Order of Friars Minor. The tour was followed by a reception in the friary dining room for Renew members.
This is just one of many programs offered to Renew members, all of whom are over 55 years of age and retired. Recent activities included a Lenten Day of Prayer with Anthony Carrozzo, a tour of the Museum of Modern Art, a lecture by Miguel Loredo, about “The Inspiration of God in Art,” and a free lecture titled “Legal Considerations After Retirement.”
Because if its current large membership – 225 men and women from more than 45 parishes from the N.Y. metropolitan area (including towns as far away as the New Jersey shore and Centerport on eastern Long Island) — the Renew group is not accepting new members,according to Marie Harrington, director of Outreach Programs for St. Francis. She said the group plans to reopen membership in the fall.
The Renew group was established in 2002 by Marie, who said that it offers members a chance to socialize, a way to participate in excursions, and an opportunity to give back to the community through service projects.
After joining the parish staff that year, Marie recommended the formation of this group to meet the unmet needs of younger reitrees in the archdiocese of New York. This program is currently the only one of its kind in the archdiocese.
The name Renew was chosen for the program because “retirement is a time of transition and renewal, when people look at their lives and decide what they want to do with the second part of their lives,” Marie said The organization is run by an advisory committee of volunteers.
Information about Renew is available through Marie Harrington at 212-736-8500 ext. 354.