Joe Zupo, dressed as St. Nicholas, is surrounded by (l-r) Angelica Aguilera, Elaine Borrelli, Jack Warner, Brendan Hughes, Allison Hughes and Courtney Hughes at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. Photo provided
The parishioners at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church participated in a Christmas toy drive for about 350 children, most the children of migrant workers. The children have been attending CCD classes with Sister Mercedes Ysabel Dominguez, a Claretian nun at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Delray Beach.
Parishioners chose names off an “angel tree” and fulfilled the children’s wishes, returning festively wrapped, brightly colored boxes and bags to the church. The children received their presents at a celebration Dec. 17 that included a Christmas play.
Angelica Aguilera, director of faith formation, said it was hard to tell who enjoyed the gift-giving more, but she thinks the givers did.
Giving tree at St. Lucy benefits four organizations
The “giving tree” at St. Lucy Catholic Church of Highland Beach was adorned with donation requests for needy people for the holidays and no wish went unmet. The project was organized by the Council of Catholic Women of St. Lucy’s.
Generous parishioners chose names from paper angels that covered the tree, then shopped for their recipient or donated the items requested.
CCW President Eleanor Hoffmann said this year’s recipients were AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse); Birthline/Lifeline, which helps pregnant women and their babies; Fisher House, a veterans assistance group; and St. Mary’s Church of Pahokee.
Candace Tamposi (right) at the Children’s Enrichment Center ground-breaking. Photo provided
Children’s Enrichment Center breaks ground
The First Haitian Baptist Church of Belle Glade staged a ground-breaking ceremony on the site of its Children’s Enrichment Center on Dec. 11. The existing building is crumbling and beyond repair, but each day a van transports children to the center, where they receive a hot meal, enjoy playtime and then sit down for tutoring, which incorporates Bible verses and character-building exercises. During the ground-breaking, community members gathered at the site where classrooms and a music room are planned. The 4,000-square-foot facility will provide after-school tutoring, computers and music and art space for children ages 5-12.
A playground and covered patio will be outside.
The project is gaining momentum thanks to South County businesses. Rick Gonzalez of REG Architects is on board as the architect. You may know Gonzalez as the leader of the West Palm Beach history walks for the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. The contractors — Messam Brothers, originally from Belle Glade — expect phase one, consisting of two classrooms, to be completed by spring.
Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller (Sovereign Order), Creative Waves Foundation, and foundation co-founders Ali and Candace Tamposi of Ocean Ridge are spearheading fundraising with a goal of $1 million.
The new enrichment center will also get a boost from Les Girls of Palm Beach. The multinational, multilingual women’s club will gather Jan. 24 for a luncheon to present a donation to the Creative Waves Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to provide funding for underserved children and programs that emphasize the arts and the environment. The luncheon will take place in Palm Beach and the check will be given to foundation President Candace Tamposi. Many of the club’s 43 members from 31 countries are expected to attend. For more information, call 561-762-3052.
Send religion news to Janis Fontaine at email@example.com.