16 Jefferson Street
Nyack, New York 10960
ST. ANN'S OFFICE HOURS
16 Jefferson St., Nyack
11AM - 12 PM, Mon. thru Thurs.
ST. ANN’S MASS BOOK
Open for the remainder of 2016. There are immediate openings for weekday masses. Also candle requests for the Church & Chapel are available. Please call St. Ann’s Rectory at 358-4707—or stop by the office.
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St. Agnes, one of the earliest Roman martyrs, was put to death at a very young age (12 or 13) around 305 AD.
She is usually portrayed holding a lamb, which signifies her innocence. Also, her name sounds like the Latin word for lamb, "agnus." The palm branch in her hand is a symbol of her victory as a virgin martyr, remaining faithful to Christ unto death.
Each year on St. Agnes' feast day, Jan. 21, the Pope blesses two lambs. Their shorn wool is used to make the white woolen stole called a pallium, which is worn by archbishops.
Here's a video of Pope Benedict XVI blessing two adorable little lambs, who wear flower wreaths in honor of St. Agnes. Listen carefully and you'll hear one greet the Pope with a bleat the moment he steps into the room.
A TRIBUTE TO JULIE
If it were somehow possible to bring together all the children whose lives have been touched by Julie LePore over the years, how many would there be?
Churchfuls of them probably -- a vast flock of squirmy, whispering, wondering, lovable, and sometimes exasperating little souls -- enough to pack St. Ann's many times over.
It’s no small thing to be the one God has chosen to be the “Shepherd” of so many of such as these.
It was after her graduation from college that Julie found her calling to the children of St. Ann’s. She began as a religious ed teacher in 1971. This June marked the culmination of her 45 years with the program, 25 as Director of Religious Education.
During that time, she was the leader of an apostolate of teachers who fervently believed that drawing young minds and souls to God was the most important task any Catholic could undertake. Under the guidance of Julie and her staff, the children learned about Jesus, prepared to receive the sacraments, memorized their prayers, and celebrated the great feasts of the Church in arts and crafts and song.
They learned how much Jesus loves them and that the essence of being one of His followers is showing that same love to others. In Julie’s program, the children helped collect food for the hungry and Christmas gifts for those who expected none. They wrote letters to soldiers serving their country far from home. They helped out in the parish.
Such a program could only work on a foundation of spiritual strength, practical administrative skills, serious catechetical training, “can do-never give up” leadership, a good sense of humor, and good sense, period. Julie brought all of these to the job.
And that made her the respected leader of her religious education team -- all the ones she loved and encouraged and supported in the not always easy work of teaching our children.
So going back to that image of our great mega-church filled with Julie’s children, those kids aren’t the only ones whose lives Julie has touched. Add on an extra balcony or two for all the teachers and their assistants and the program staff – 25 years’ worth.
And last, but not least, don’t forget the parents -- thousands of them! All coming to St. Ann’s with the same deepest desire for their little ones. That they know, love, and serve Jesus and be safe with Him forever in Heaven. They brought their children to Julie – and she showed them the Way.
Some of these parents were the children here at St. Ann's decades ago when Julie first started teaching. And the little faces that once looked to her for assurance when they marched down the aisle for their First Holy Communion are the same who now look on with such wonder as their own children go up to receive Jesus for the very first time.
There's a beauty in such continuity -- and in the presence of those, like Julie, in whom God has embodied such continuity among us.
Julie opened her heart to the little children and all of us.
And such is the kingdom of heaven.
Retiring Director of Religous Education Julie LePore and her teachers at the reception honoring her 45 years of service.
More photos are in the photo album section below or click here. Click on a photo to enlarge it, and then scroll through the slide show.