By Nicholas Loud
Students, parents, and dignitaries gathered at Cipriani’s Wall Street location for the 2021 Futures in Education Scholarship Fund Dinner. The annual event raises money for scholarships for Catholic school students throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn, which encompasses both Brooklyn and Queens.
The 2021 dinner raised $2.1 million. The scholarship fund currently stands at over $7 million.
“I am grateful on behalf of our students to the generous and committed Futures in Education donors,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, head of Development for the Diocese of Brooklyn. “As our supporters grappled with the devastating effects of the pandemic on our lives, they never gave up on our children or on Catholic education.”
This year’s Scholarship Fund Dinner included multiple notable attendees, including Lidia Bastianich, world-renowned Italian-American chef, television host, and author, and Brooklyn attorney Frank Carone of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf and Carone.
Rosanna Scotto, co-host of Good Day New York on Fox 5 New York and a Catholic school graduate herself, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Students from St. Stanislaus-Kostka Catholic Academy in Maspeth were also in attendance, and performed the song “I Lived” by OneRepublic. The dinner concluded with a special tribute to John Loconsolo, a longtime donor who sponsored over 100 students as part of the Angel Program, who passed away last year at the age of 101.
“Our Catholic schools have been a beacon of hope, and thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we can make sure that no student will be denied a Catholic education because of financial hardship,” Monsignor Gigantiello added. “The mission of Futures in Education continues because the children need you.”
The 2021 dinner was also the last time that Bishop Nichols DiMarzio would preside over the festivities. Bishop DiMarzio recently announced his retirement, and will be replaced by Bihsop Robert J. Brennan.
Bishop Brennan was born and raised on Long Island, where he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Lindenhurst and St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip.
He later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from St. John’s University in Queens before completing his studies for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington.
Brennan served as a parish priest for St. Patrick in Smithtown and was later ordained an Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In 2019, Pope Francis appointed him as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus in Ohio.
He is currently preparing to return to New York and take on Bishop DiMarzio’s current position at the Diocese of Brooklyn before the year ends.