My Nana moved to Woodside, Queens from Dublin, Ireland in 1960, and it was no surprise that she found her community at St. Sebastian’s Church. Woodside used to be predominately Irish so many people gathered on Sundays for mass and all the events after at the Parish Center. In Ireland, almost everyone goes to Sunday mass. Partly for the religious aspect but mostly for the social. I think it was split down the middle for my Nana. She was always a talker but the church was her life until she got sick.
My Nana passed away this summer so my mom had a lot of her stuff. I choose the crucifix she used to always carry around. My mom thinks it’s the oldest out of all her Catholic paraphernalia. St. Sebastian’s is still a big part of our life. My two sisters and I made our communions and confirmations there and we still attend mass. When I was younger though, I thought my Nana was a little obsessed with the church. I thought being religious was just all about making sure you got into Heaven but my Nana had such a strong community there. The amount of love and support we got from her church friends this summer (even though my Nana has been in Dublin for the past 20 years with an annual visit back here) was indescribable.
– Darragh Kilgallen