Saint Barnabas celebrates centennial

St. Barnabas parish in Woodlawn celebrated its centennial with a salute to civil servants and the legal community.

The parish held a mass and community breakfast on Friday, August 20 to recognize the contributions of police officers, fire fighters, lawyers and judges on what was the 100th anniversary of the church’s incorporation. St. Barnabas, located at 409 E. 241st Street, was visited by Senator Jeff Klein, members of the NYPD and Yonkers Police Department, and Fr. Richard Gorman, a lawyer who serves as a city official as the chairman of Community Board 12, where the parish is located.

“Today’s event was to thank the civil community, especially our civil servants, for protecting and serving us over the past 100 years,” said St. Barnabas pastor Monsignor Edward Barry. “One hundred years ago on this day we became a legal entity, and fell under the protection of the laws of New York State and New York City. So we sent out an invitation to the City of New York, civil servants and the legal community to say thank you to the people who have helped make the parish the vibrant place it is today.”

St. Barnabas parish includes an elementary school and high school, and four senior programs. Monsignor Barry said the church serves between 10,000 and 11,000 people weekly at daily and Sunday mass, church and civic groups, CCD, school, and for baptisms and funerals. He said that the parish, which also hosts the Woodlawn Taxpayers Association, is always bustling with activity.

“I think what is unique about St. Barnabas is that the spirituality is evident not just on Sunday, but every day,” Barry said. “We have 300 people attending our daily masses. At any given point during the day you will see a handful of people in the church who have stopped in just to pray.”

Senator Klein said that the parish serves not just vital spiritual needs of the community, but is also successful in bringing people together for civic functions.

“There are not many institutions that can say they have been around for 100 years,” Klein said. “The parish does more than provide spiritual guidance. St. Barnabas is always here for the community. It is a focal point of civic life, the place all people know they can go to. For example, when our concert in the park got rained out recently, St. Barnabas was the rain location.”

St. Barnabas’ 100-year celebration is far from over, said centennial coordinator Pat Brazil. The parish will hold its annual street fair on Saturday, September 18 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at East 241st Street and McClean Avenue. Then on Friday, October 15 the parish hosts a centennial dinner-dance fundraiser at Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester, N.Y. The celebration concludes with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan at the church on Sunday, October 17.

For more information, call the rectory at (718) 324-1478.

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