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Garden Club service at Union Chapel: Fr. Peter DeSanctis to preach

Union Chapel in the Grove will host Garden Club Memorial Sunday on Aug. 8 at 10:30 a.m. This is the 85th annual Garden Club service, a tradition that began in 1936.

Fr. Peter DeSanctis of Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church will preach about “Recharging in the Faith.” Guest musician and Chapel Trustee Christopher Herman will play cello.

Co-President Barbara Hayes will chair the service that honors the work of the club. Garden Club officers, family and friends of the deceased will present roses and remembrances for Beverly Cahill and Joan Russo, Garden Club members who passed away in the last year. Co-President Suzanne Louer will read the Scripture. The flowers will be arranged by Co-President Joan Buonocore.

The Garden Club is a chapter of Federated Garden Clubs, a national organization that promotes interest in horticulture. The club beautifies our island by planting flowers in public places, like the post offices and on Route 114, as well as sponsoring flower shows and educational workshops. This summer, the Garden Club and the Shelter Island Historical Society joined together to host garden tours at private homes on the Island, homes that boast spectacular and “secret” gardens.

Our guest preacher, Fr. Peter DeSanctis, known as “Fr. Peter,” is a familiar face around the Island. He has been associated with Our Lady of the Isle in various capacities since the 1970s and has been pastor for 10 years. The son of Peter and Gloria DeSanctis of Shelter Island, he has other family members on the Island.

He holds two master’s degrees. He completed basic Army training at Fort Dix; served in the 8th Medical Brigade of the U.S. Army; trained in Walson Army Hospital, the Veterans Administration and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. He assisted the New York City Medical Examiner’s office and was appointed liaison to the New York Police Department. He also graduated from the Suffolk County Fire Academy.

He is an attending chaplain at Southampton Stony Brook and Eastern Long Island Stony Brook hospitals, and assists at Our Lady of the Hamptons Regional Catholic School.

On the Island, Fr. Peter is an active volunteer, working as assistant coach for the Shelter Island School’s varsity golf team, clergy consultant for the All-Faith Youth Group, and a member of the Fire Department, American Legion and Lions Club Foundation.

Music will be performed by Chapel Organist Linda Betjeman and guest musician and Trustee Christopher Herman on cello.

Mr. Herman joined the Union Chapel board of trustees last year and has played at the Chapel for many summers. He lives in Washington, D.C. and has summered on Shelter Island since the 1960s. He is a retired EPA policy analyst and studies cello with Hrant Parsamian in Washington.

Please join us outdoors in our leafy grove for Garden Club Memorial Sunday on Aug. 8 at 10:30 am. In case of inclement weather, the service will move indoors.