One of the best things about our faith community is our prominent position in the town’s center. We have a beautiful creche that proclaims God’s love right on Tenafly’s busy street. We wanted to know more so we reached out to longtime parishioner and artist Bill Angresano to find out a little more!
How did you get involved with the OLMC Creche and how long have you been a part of the ministry of building it?
About a good 22 years ago, I thought I might get involved with the Christmas and Easter devotion of decorating the interior of the our Church. . This naturally led to working on the outdoor Nativity set up . At this time Father Ashley , with the help of many donations purchased our magnificent Fontanini Nativity figures, Martin Rogan graciously built an elaborate “stable” and of course many hands make light work, and even if I wasn’t a carpenter I knew I could assist, and still assist today. It was something I knew I could do, and related to both my art profession and our beautiful Catholic Faith. About 10 years ago my dear friend and Martin’s fellow parishioner, carpenter/craftsman Jim Golodik began erecting and subsequently RE BUILT the present wooden structure about 3 years ago and a great group of devoted men woman and some children continue this devotion to the present time.
Why is a public symbol like the creche important for you to be a part of? Can you give us a fun fact or insight that parishioners may not know about our beautiful creche?
To carry on a very beautiful tradition at Christmas , started by none other than the great Saint Francis of Assisi, drawing attention to our Lord and our Saviour at this , one of our most Holiest (Christmas) times of the year. Ironically anyone Catholic , paying attention to “culture” and world events through the years realizes an aggressive opposition to “public displays” of Faith and “religion” . So it is quite natural and important for all of us to respond, by simply acknowledging our right to celebrate , by showing our love of Christ, and beautifully displaying (actually recognizing) His historical birth. The Nativity at Our Lady of Mount Carmel may be the most elaborate and largest “presentation” of its kind in the State of NJ!
How can more parishioners get involved?
ANY parishioners who feel both the conviction and the joy of being able to continue this important devotion , (notice I say devotion as opposed to decoration) and up to the physical requirements (don’t have to be a weight lifter ) Man or woman please seek us out . A wonderful way to get off the, what I refer to the “merry go round” of the “real world” and spend some time with people of like devotion and love of Jesus. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
feel free to call me at 201 370 2698