Our Parish History
H I S T O R Y O F T H E F A M I L Y
O F S T. P I U S X P A R I S H
1 9 5 5 - 2 0 1 3
PLAINVIEW, NEW YORK
DIOCESE OF ROCKVILLE CENTRE
My Dear Family,
By nature, I am curious. So when I was appointed pastor of this wonderful parish of St. Pius X, I immediately googled the parish name to see what I could find. So many questions I had - When did the parish start? Who was the first pastor? Was there ever a youth group? What is the meaning of this intriguing crucifix hanging in the sanctuary? Sadly, my searching did not result in much useful information. Little did I know then that the answers to my questions would be delivered with a more personal touch.
Shortly after I arrived in late June, this vivacious, white-haired, petite woman shows up on my door step wearing a beautiful hat. I think she really came out of curiosity to check out the new good looking pastor. As an active parishioner, she had questions of her own for this new pastor. Once my playful personality convinced her I was OK, it was my turn to ask questions. Well – was I surprised! That day to my delight, I met the walking historian of St. Pius X parish – Marion Celenza.
Marion Celenza and her husband now deceased were one of the founding families of the parish. As a young woman, Marion dreamed of a career in theater. Marriage and a family sidelined her dream, but only for awhile. In addition to being a mother and wife, Marion went on to be an accomplished educator, chef and author. In her books, she shares her wealth of recipes, stories and cooking tips. During this time, Marion was always an active contributor to the St. Pius X parish family. She was instrumental in starting the Pius Players – a small group of adults interested in theater. The group went on to entertain the parish with professionally prepared performances. So you see, God listened to Marion’s dream and with His help, it became a reality. Marion has given (and continues to give) most generously of her time and talents to our parish family. Along the way, she has befriended many and touched their lives. “I am very blessed,” Marion will tell you.
“We need to write the history of this parish,” I said to Marion. “Will you do it?” No stranger to challenges, Marion took pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and dumped all she knew into a beautiful story. Marion not only wrote the history of the parish, she intertwined the history with surrounding historical milestones and personal reflections. In addition to the written history, Marion has prepared a series of posters depicting the parish history and ministries in pictures.
History is a means to understand the past and present. The different interpretations of the past allow us to see the present differently and therefore imagine—and work towards—different futures. The history of St. Pius X provides us with a sense of identity to understand the collective past that has have made us who and what we are as a faith family today.
So I must add to the accolades of this talented and giving woman that of historian. I hope you will join me in giving thanks for Marion Celenza for the time and effort she has given to assure that our history is preserved. In each parish I have served, I seem to take on an adopted Mother. At St. Pius X, it is Mother Marion.
We have chosen Advent – the beginning of the liturgical year – to share the first installment of The History of the Parish Family of St. Pius X – Plainview in our bulletin and on our website. Posters with corresponding pictures will be displayed in the foyer of the church. As you read, maybe you have a story to share or a picture to contribute. Please let me know.
Our history is a living story – there are many chapters yet to be written. I wonder what they will say. I hope you enjoy reading the story of US!
God Bless You –