Sacred Hearts–Saint Stephens church is lighting the way to Christmas

Starry night: Carroll Gardens church brightens up BQE commute

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With bated breath: A crowd gathers for the star lighting ceremony at Sacred Hearts-St. Stephens Church in Carroll Gardens on Dec. 7.
Doggone holiday fun: Kim Lacqua of Carroll Gardens and her dog Cosmo wait to see the star light up.
Santa’s biggest fans: Kids get a visit from Old Saint Nick.
Star bright: The star atop Sacred Hearts-St. Stephens Church.

A star light, star bright went up above Sacred Hearts–Saint Stephen church on Dec. 7.

The parish in Carroll Gardens lit an aluminum Star of Hope atop its massive tall steeple, which is visible from the Brooklyn Bridge and a landmark along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, for hundreds of people who gathered from all over the tri-state area despite the arctic chill. The five-foot star and four cascading beams of light are a hit so far, according to the clergy.

“A lot of people that grew up in the area or Brooklyn know the star from passing it on the highway,” said John Heyer, pastoral associate for the church. “A lot of new people who lived in the area loved it, and we got a lot of positive feedback from people who just moved there.”

The annual star-lighting ceremony began in the 1950s but fizzled out after 2001, when a pastor decided not to put up the decoration in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The ornament sat in storage until Hurricane Sandy, which inspired Rev. Guy Massie to bring back the tradition and invite everyone — not just Catholics — to watch the new celestial body light the sky.

“Lighting the Star of Hope this year is just another thing that makes Brooklyn so special,” Heyer said. “This is a place where everything is celebrated and everyone can find a home.”

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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