Tag Archives: manhattan

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The light of Christmas still shines in a bastion of secularism — Midtown Manhattan . . .

living-nativityIn a culture that almost always prefers the term “holidays” to “Christmas,” there is one notable exception — and it’s right in the heart of a secular stronghold: Midtown Manhattan itself. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes, continues a 78-year tradition of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

Of particular interest to Christians is the “Living Nativity” scene, featuring live camels and sheep. Part of the show since its first performance in 1933, the depiction of Christ’s birth continues to be a highlight of the show. With narration from scripture and traditional Christmas hymns like “We Three Kings” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” the Living Nativity comes just before the show’s great finale.

With a nod to a now-secularized Christmas tradition, the show also features several appearances by the Jolly Old Elf himself. Santa takes the audience from New York City to the North Pole, where what appears to be a humble-looking toy workshop unfolds before the audience’s eyes into Santa’s gigantic and spectacular 25-foot high warehouse of Christmas toys.

The world-famous Radio City Rockettes, another staple of the long-running production, showcase their signature precision dance style. Along with re-imagined Rockette favorites, including the “12 Days of Christmas” scene, this year’s show features the Rockettes in routines within an unforgettable signature production number set in Times Square, lighting up the New York skyline with a glittering fireworks display onstage.

State-of-the-art technology, like the world’s largest flying indoor LED screen and 3-D film, creates an even more dramatic effect than ever. The show runs from Nov. 5-Dec 30 in New York City. The production’s national tour is playing in 25 cities across the country.


Chaplain has an ecumenical heart

Legatus’ Manhattan chaplain has a special heart for the Anglican community. . .

Fr. Joseph Wilson

Father Joseph Wilson
Manhattan Chapter

Even though he doesn’t have a business background, Fr. Joseph Wilson feels completely at home when rubbing elbows with some of Manhattan’s top CEOs. The New York native was ordained for the Brooklyn diocese in 1986 and now serves as curator at St. Margaret’s Parish in his home borough of Queens. He’s known for preaching missions and retreats — including some for non-Catholic organizations. He has a special heart for the Anglican community, which has recently expressed a strong desire to return to the Catholic Church.

Tell me about your call to the priesthood.

My parents were both teachers, as was my grandmother. There were four children in the family. We all felt called to some form of service. Both of my sisters were nurses, and my brother was a teacher. I felt called to do a number of things. Teaching was very attractive, but I had been around priests since I was very young. I served Mass, sang in the choir, and became sacristan.

How did you get involved with Legatus?

Father George Rutler was the chapter’s chaplain and the international chaplain at the time. He contact Bishop Dailey [of the Brooklyn diocese] and said, “I could use an assistant chaplain of Manhattan.” The bishop gave him my name. I first served as Fr. Rutler’s assistant for Manhattan, and then became the chaplain for a three-year term. That was around 1995, so I’m now in my fifteenth year of a three-year term!

How has your chaplaincy impacted you?

It’s been a wonderful thing. Wherever you are in the Church — whether you’re in parish life or chaplain of a group — the most rewarding thing is dealing with the faithful. And Legatus people are the most wonderful people — whether I’m with the folks in my own  chapter or with other chapters.

When I was first asked to do this, I didn’t know what on earth it could possibly involve. All I heard was that I was going to be chaplain of an organization of CEOs. I had no idea what they would be like. But I found that they were very much like the down-to-earth, good, solid, faithful Catholics that I had always worked with in my parish. Legatus is very much like an extended parish.

Tell me about your ecumenical outreach.

I’ve had a pretty expansive ministry of preaching missions and 48- hour devotions for parishes and for religious communities. I have an ecumenical ministry as well. In fact, some of my retreats and missions have been for non-Catholic groups. I was the founding chaplain of the Anglican Youth Society, and I have always kept up that interest as well, assisting people who were looking to become Catholics.

Many faithful members of the Anglican Church were always drawn to the full community of the Church. I’ve found it very rewarding to be of as much assistance to people like that as I could — and to help them to witness to the fullness of Catholic unity as they’re helping others to come into the Church.

The Holy Father has responded to Anglicans’ interest in entering the Church, so this is an exciting time for that kind of outreach.

Very much so. It’s rooted in the Second Vatican Council. The Council Fathers said that in the communities of our separated brethren, there are worthy elements of their patrimony of piety that will find a home in the future Church. The one community that was singled out for particular mention was the Anglican community. So there’s a special relationship there. It has been a very rewarding thing for me.