Tag Archives: Wilmington

BRIEF: On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Wilmington premiere of “Promised Land” at local church

Northside Baptist Church and the Wilmington Women’s Club will show a free Wilmington premiere of “Promised Land,” a movie about building bridges in Israel through surfing. The movie is  at 5:45 p.m. today (April 19) at 2501 North College Road. Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Details: 910-791-6053.

– Amanda Greene



BRIEF: Local Catholic school principal to spend the day on her roof in her pajamas – for reading

Joyce Price, principal of St. Mary Catholic School in downtown Wilmington. Image courtesy of St. Mary.

St. Mary Catholic School students have driven their principal up the wall and out onto the roof of their school this morning (March 19).

But it’s all in the name of reading motivation.

St. Mary Catholic School Principal Joyce Price will spend today sitting on the roof of her Fourth Street school wearing her pajamas because of a challenge she gave her students – read 20,000 pages in a week.

Last week, during Book Fair week, the students did that and more, reading 67, 392 pages.

Stay tuned for more. WilmingtonFAVS will be there, camera in hand.

– Amanda Greene

“Look! It says Happy Hanukkah! And it’s as big as Merry Christmas!”

By Blogger Karen Bender

I always like driving into Brentwood (a district of western Los Angeles, Ca.), after we come off the plane from Wilmington in December. I feel a sense of relief when we pass my parents’ neighborhood market, Vicente Foods. The car passes the big glass windows of the supermarket, where two greetings are written in giant letters.

And this week, Jonah and Maia yelled, “Look! It says Happy Hanukkah! And it’s as big as Merry Christmas!”

I do like Wilmington, but at those moments I feel like I’ve arrived in LA from Communist Europe, stepping foot into a new world where most people know what a dreidel is, where there aren’t any conflicts about how long the menorah should remain in the park, where Maia might not be the only girl in her class who has to pretend Santa is a real person, where you go into a store and there are books about several winter holidays, etc.

Not to sound bitter, but in Wilmington, the Christmas tree gets to stay a month by the Cape Fear River, while the menorah is only allowed up for a few days.

Not that my parents’ home in Los Angeles is a site of uncomplicated Hanukkah knowledge or celebration. My parents, who were Jews who wanted to assimilate during the 1950 and 1960s, scheduled our main Hanukkah night on Dec. 24.

Why not? The stores were closed, everyone else was busy with the same intent present-giving. We had our frozen latkes,we lit the menorah, but we didn’t really know much about the story.

My mother once suggested we get a Hanukkah Bush, but my sisters and I, sent to our Reform Jewish Sunday school, were appalled–if we were Jews, we were Jews, and we weren’t going to be fake Christians.

What would be next?

But now, in their sometimes embattled status as the only Jews in their class (or, at one point, for our son, in an entire elementary school of 600), our kids know Hanukkah cold.

They know the name of the mean king who told the Jews they had to worship these other gods. They know the meaning of the Hebrew letters on the dreidel, and they actually know how to play the game. They were thrilled when they saw on the Disney channel a movie about a Jewish basketball team that (surprise) won the game when the scoreboard light was about to go out, and they were excited when they saw that “Phineas and Ferb” had an episode involving latkes.

They are like little Hanukkah scholars, looking on You Tube for various Hanukkah songs.  Their favorite is Smooth-E’s rap about chocolate coins, which is hilarious:

They lecture their grandparents about Antiochus and Mattatias, and they nearly got into a rumble to be the one who started the sweet but vaguely arson-like activity of lighting the candles on the menorah. They were interested in making homemade latkes, which we have tried, to varying degrees of structure and success, and which we’ll try again.

And when we were in Williams-Sonoma looking for presents for family, they said, “We want to get you and Dad something,” so they picked out a couple of fancy food items and told me not to look, while I paid for the gifts they wanted to give us.

Hanukkah can be a complicated time of year–it’s a time when as a Jew, you can feel like the .2% of the population that we actually are. It’s a time when you both want to sing the lovely Christmas carols but feel guilty singing them.

And it’s a time when you really want to be the one who gets to light the menorah–standing around with the people dearest to me, seeing the pale flames reach up, fragile, determined, into the dark.

A nun’s reward – Sister Mary Isaac Koenig brings home highest papal honor

By Amanda Greene
Religion News Wilmington

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Arriving late to Wilmington from Cary Tuesday night didn’t slow Sister Mary Isaac Koenig down one bit.

After receiving the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice – or the highest award the pope gives to laity in the Roman Catholic Church – Sister Isaac was again serving the capacity crowd as director of Tileston Social Outreach at St. Mary Parish Wednesday morning.

More than 35 people were waiting for her at the doors of the ministry when she arrived to serve their needs for temporary food, clothing or utility assistance.

Despite the high honor, Sister Isaac waved away the praise with her characteristic self-effacement.

“It’s still a little embarrassing,” she admitted. “My name is out there, but it’s still about all of the people doing all of the work. It wouldn’t happen without them.” Sister Isaac is speaking of the 150 committed volunteers and more than 50 regular financial supporters that help with the ministry four days a week.

Always leading a group of faithful volunteers, Sister Isaac founded St. Mary’s Social Outreach in 1985, then a medical clinic in 1991 and a program for diabetics in 2004. She also helped start Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard food assistance program and Hadden Hall Apartments, HUD-sponsored housing for low-income senior citizens.

Those Sister Isaac has accepted many awards including the Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholars Award at UNC-Wilmington, this one was the most humbling.

St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church (Car...

Image via Wikipedia

Sister Isaac was among four members of the diocese to receive the award at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Cary Tuesday night. Sixteen others received the Benemerenti Medal, which means “well-deserved,” in recognition of their dedicated service to the church.

It was the largest number of papal recognitions given at one time that the diocese had seen in many years, said Frank Morock, diocesan spokesman.

About 1,000 people crowded into St. Michael’s for the high church vespers service. More than 100 people came in buses and cars from Wilmington for the service.

“I was really touched by the large number of people who came from our area,” Sister Isaac said. “People said it was such a nice spirit there, as if everyone was getting an award.”

Before the service, priests mulled in the foyer helping each other don white vestments. Two thick eggplant purple candles were lit for Advent at the front of the full sanctuary. In front of the first row of seats were 20 papal medals in white boxes with rolled paper proclamations from Pope Benedict XVI.

Photo by Rich Reece

Bishop Michael Burbidge, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, officiated the ceremony and referenced the honorees’ humility in his homily.

When each got the call about the recognition, “without exception, they all said about the same thing – ‘Bishop, are you sure you have the right number?'” he said. “And second, they said that they are not deserving of it. . . We are so very proud of you.”

Bishop Burbidge noted that the service coincided with the feast day of St. Nicholas, the gift giver in Catholic tradition.

“You too, dear recipients of papal honors, are known for your gift-giving,” he said. “You are gifts to this church, this diocese and to your bishop.”

St. Mary church member Kelly Sanderson didn’t know what to expect from the service.

“I actually feel honored I was able to come,” she said during a tent reception afterward. “She’s an institution.”