Today, I had the honor of being present at a Mercy Dinner in memory of a man who obviously was deeply loved by a great many people. Although I did not know Kenneth Falvo personally, I did have the opportunity to meet his sister Judy and her husband and his brother-in-law John a couple of weeks agoat the Italian Cultural Center, when they were making arrangements for Ken's Mercy Dinner. We got to talking and I was happy to learn so much about this man who touched the lives of everyone in his family and extended family so positively and thoughtfully. We talked about the many things that were dear to Ken, espcially his love for family and children. During the course of our conversation I told Judy and her husbnad about the Cathedral parish's work with the children of Head Start and how we were in the midst of our annual Toys for Children Christmas project. It was then that they said they would like to be a part of the project and asked if they could do something in memory of Ken. I was very humbled and very honored that they saw merit in our small efforts and graciously accepted their generous offer. It was discussed and decided that they would ask all those who were going to attend Ken's memorial dinner to bring one or two unwrapped new toys to donate to the children of Head Start in his memory. When I walked into the Italian Culural Center earlier tonight after Great Vespers and Jody showed me all the toys that had been donated, I was awe-struck! A colorful assortment of toys and games were piled high on one of the tables and also on the floor. It was a very uplifting and moving sight to say the least. I am very grateful to Judy and her husband John for this generous act of kindness. We will be wrapping the presents after Western Christmas and continue our gift distribution right up to our celebration of the Nativity on January 7th, when we begin our Twelve Days of Christmas celebration.
I would also like to thank Diane Piazza, President of the Santa Rosalia Society who, on behalf of the Society, made a generous donation to our children's annual Christmas project in Ken Falvo's memory.
To Judy and her husband John, to Ken's family and friends, and to Diane and the Santa Rosalia Society, who have always been dear friends and supporters of the Cathedral, I wish to thank you all for your kindness, generosity and love. I wish all of you the grace, peace and blessings of the Nativity and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May Almighty God keep you in His love and under His mercy always and forever.