Obituary: Brooklyn Heights community mourns Jerry Slaski, 84
Jerry Slaski pictured at one of his favorite dining spots. Photo courtesy of Assumption Church-Brooklyn Heights
Assumption Parishioner Tended To Abandoned Babies at LICH
By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 21, 2014
Jerry Slaski may have been a member of Assumption Roman Catholic Church, but the whole neighborhood shared him.
Members of Assumption parish, his family, friends and neighbors filled the church last week for a Mass of the Resurrection. Slaski, 84, died earlier this month after a brief illness.
Concelebrating the Mass were Fathers Edward P. Doran, pastor/administrator of St. Charles Borromeo and Assumption parishes, Joseph Gaspar Hugo and James W. King. Fr. King, who served as pastor of Assumption for five years before being named as Spiritual Director at the Douglaston Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and Director of the House of Discernment there, returned to the Heights for this occasion. Also concelebrating the Mass with them was Fr. Kevin Abels, pastor of St. Sebastian Parish in Woodside.
A native of Saginaw, Michigan and graduate of Central Michigan University, Slaski moved to New York City as young man for a career in the performing arts. He soon adopted Brooklyn as his home. But a career and vocation are different from each other, even for laypeople. And Jerry discovered that his true calling was being a valued member of the Assumption family. His fellow parishioners say that he “gave of himself with open arms and an open heart. He worked tirelessly over the years at Assumption’s many fundraising events...His baked goods, his hard work and his cheery disposition were always in demand,” according to the printed service leaflet.
Slaski brought his theatrical experience to liturgy, as the daily lector, proclaiming the Scriptures at Assumption’s weekdayMass. He also led the Rosary Prayer Group. He faithfully volunteered for and attended every church function—religious and social. And that social bonding stretched beyond the boundaries of the church sanctuary to local restaurants, where he and fellow parishioners regularly shared breakfast after Mass.
Slaski’s love for children inspired him to volunteer at Long Island College Hospital, where he helped care for the “boarder babies,” those who had been abandoned there without anyone to show them love. In many cases, the newborns received their first feeding bottle from Jerry.
Slaski’s fellow parishioners, through a remembrance booklet, describe him as a good listener and gifted evangelist, especially in how he welcomed newcomers and made them feel at home. He was also a raconteur and opera lover.
Surviving him are his niece, Patricia Cody, her husband Patrick and daughter Julia; and several other nieces, nephews and grandnieces.
Interfaith clergy group leads Sept. 11 prayer service on Heights Promenade
Eagle photo by Francesca Norsen Tate
By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Father Joseph Hugo, parochial vicar at St. Charles Borromeo and Assumption Roman Catholic parishes, reads a prayer by the recently-canonized St. Pope John Paul II at the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith September 11 memorial service on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. With him, left to right, are Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons of First Unitarian Church (in background, wearing green dress); and Monsignor James Root, rector of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral (wearing black and magenta clericals). At foreground-right are Dr. Ahmad Jaber, and Imam Abdallah Allam, both representing the Dawood Mosque on State Street.
This 13th annual service, which began at dusk at the Montague St. entrance to the Promenade. was packed with members of several congregations and local neighbors. Participants in the 11th annual Children of Abraham Walk were also present. Many of the prayers that were chanted or read from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith traditions focused on the need to examine one’s heart and replace anger with love and unity.
The Rev. John E. Denaro, rector of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church and Deacon Kate Salisbury, Assistant Rector, read prayers from their faith tradition during the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith September 11 memorial service on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. In background left are Pastor Julie Sløk of the Danish Seamen’s Church (wearing black) and the Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons of First Unitarian Church (wearing green dress). This 13th annual service, which began at dusk at the Montague St. entrance to the Promenade, was packed with members of several congregations and local neighbors. Participants in the 11th annual Children of Abraham Walk were also present. Many of the prayers that were chanted or read from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith traditions focused on the need to examine one’s heart and replace anger with love and unity.
May 3, 2014
As was previously announced the two Brooklyn Heights Catholic Parishes, St. Charles Borromeo and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are now working together to share resources in order to grow us as a unified Catholic Brooklyn Heights community.
Fr. Ed, currently the Pastor at St. Charles Borromeo will be the administrator of both parishes and responsible for overseeing both Pastoral and Sacramental duties. Fr. Jim, Pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be moving on to his new assignment at the end of June. This collaboration between both parishes will result in changes in how we manage many aspects of this on-going effort. Both Churches will remain open. As members of the parish transition team we are committed to keeping each parish vibrant, active and growing.
This transition is being initiated as a result of the priest shortage that is well documented and the subject of much debate. During this process, volunteer members from both parish communities have been planning to ease this process and assisting Father in this challenging transition. We as members of the transition team are trying to balance the needs of both parishes and are faithful to keeping both locations viable and energized as a faith community.
Father will be given an additional priest to help cover the masses that are currently scheduled between the two parishes. Arrangements are being solidified to help Fr. Ed meet the necessities that each parish has come to expect. Once the final details are worked out, we will announce the priest who will be contributing to our community.
In order to continue to meet the spiritual needs for both locations there needs to be recognition that the realities of the available resources warrant changes. There are many questions and procedures as to how it will work out and we are seeking your input.
Next week we will ask you to participate in a survey regarding Mas schedules for both parishes. We are asking for your opinion so that you are involved in this collaboration. You will be able to participate in the survey either on-line or paper submission that will be collected at the end of the Masses.
Below are the proposed Mass Schedule changes involving both parishes that would be implemented beginning in September 2014. We are trying to make the necessary adjustments without having to be too inconvenient to you and your schedules.
St. Charles Borromeo
Monday thru Friday weekly 12:10 Mass (no change)
Sunday 8:30 am (currently 9 am)
11:15 am (currently 10:30 am)
7:00 pm (no change)
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Monday thru Saturday weekly 8:00 am (no change)
Sat 5:00 pm (no change)
Sun 10:00 am (no change)
(the 12:15 Mass will no longer be offered)
Once again, we want to reiterate that we as committee members are committed to the task of keeping both parishes open and actively seeking to increase the attendance and programs that we can offer to our members and others as a faith community.
Listed below are the members of the transition team. If you would like additional information, we welcome your input.
The Transition Team
Tom Amon, Patricia Briggs, Bob Buckholz, Kerin Coughlin, Fr. Ed Doran, Alex Gallardo, Fr. Jim King, Chris Leykam, Mary Macchiarola, Philip Murray, John O’Malley, Maureen Pond, Michael Towers