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Basilica's 106th Anniversary Celebration A Sold-out Success

Edward Callaghan
John Wegorzewski

Joan Heinz, Father Mike Vetrano, Gina Arresta and Pat Corrigan. (Photo: Davis Gaffga)

The Basilica Parish of Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary's annual end of summer tent party to celebrate the 106th anniversary of the dedication of the landmark church was a sold-out affair with over 500 parishioners and friends from near and far. The event, which is very popular with not only the year round residents but the summer colony as well, is a lovely opportunity to mingle with friends or say goodbye to those heading back to the city or to warmer climes down south.

Beau Hulse belts out a little Sinatra. (Photo: Davis Gaffga)

Well before the band had even tuned up or the bars opened, guests were pouring into the airy white peaked tent on Hill Street. As soon as Doug Dwyer and his band played the first tune, the dance floor was flooded with folks.

There was much to celebrate. Charlie Mottern and his committee members had completely sold out the Super Raffle tickets days before and Father Mike Vetrano, who just launched the first capital campaign for the restoration and modernization of the magnificent basilica, was thrilled to tell the crowd that the In Nomine Domini Fund was half way to the goal of $1,000,000, which would cover installation of air-conditioning, restoration of the pews and lighting fixtures inside and out, new restroom facilities and repairs to the bell tower. Father Mike also had the pleasure of introducing His Excellency Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez, Rockville Centre's newest and first Hispanic bishop.

The party, which is always a big family affair with several generations of parishioners dancing and mingling, is notable for its cross generational appeal with teens to elders such as Ruth Lynch, who at 100-years-old is the oldest living parishioner who was baptized and married in the very same church. A big hit of the evening was realtor Beau Hulse doing his incredible portrayal of Frank Sinatra. Hulse, too, was celebrating his merger this week with national firm of Coldwell Banker.

To learn more about activities at the Basilica of Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and the In Nomine Domini Fund please visit www.SHJMBasilica.org. Tours of the historic church are given every Sunday following the 9:30 a.m. Mass. The Basilica Parish of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary is located at 168 Hill Street in Southampton.


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