Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc., is registered with the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau. The organization’s first annual report will be filed with the Charities Bureau by November 15, 2016 and, once filed, may be obtained from Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc., 1173-A Second Avenue, New York, New York 10065, or the NY State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10271.
Directors of the Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc.
Shane Dinneen, President
Shane Dinneen is the founder and President of Friends of Our Lady of Peace Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and preserving Our Lady of Peace church. Mr. Dinneen has been a parishioner at Our Lady of Peace for nine years. He and his wife, Megan, were married by Father Bartholomew Daly, pastor/administrator of Our Lady of Peace, and he was confirmed through Our Lady of Peace’s RCIA process. Since 2013, Mr. Dinneen has served as a member on the Our Lady of Peace Finance Council. In addition, Mr. Dinneen created the Immaculate Conception Fund, a scholarship program that has supported 43 students with tuition at Immaculate Conception, a Catholic school in lower Manhattan that had been at risk of closing. Partially as a result of the scholarship program, Immaculate Conception was able to reverse its downward trend in attendance and increased enrollment from less than 200 students to approximately 300. Professionally, Mr. Dinneen has worked in the finance industry for ten years. He received his A.B. from Harvard College in 2005 with a degree in economics.
"I can think of no greater shame than to stand by idly as the Archdiocese closes the church that welcomed me with arms wide open. I proposed to my wife inside Our Lady of Peace. Father Daly flew down to Texas to wed my wife and me. And I was confirmed through Our Lady of Peace’s RCIA process. If you too have been blessed by our church, then I implore you to join with me in donating to Friends of Our Lady of Peace to help us reach our goal of raising $500,000 to keep our church open."
- Shane Dinneen, Fundraising Campaign Letter of October 7, 2015 Download REVISED Friends of Our Lady of Peace Letter (02-25-16)
Joseph Sciame, Vice-President
Joseph Sciame serves as Vice-President of Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc. Professionally, Mr. Sciame is the Vice-President for Community Relations at St. John's University, and has received papal honors on several occasions. Mr. Sciame is the Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations, the President/Chair of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, NY, Inc. since 2006, and a National/State Past President of the Order Sons of Italy in America. Born in Brooklyn and fully educated in Catholic schools at all levels, his interest and connections to Our Lady of Peace go back to the founding years of the parish in 1918. Mr. Sciame's maternal grandparents, Giovanina Blanda and Andrea Pintacuda were married at Our Lady of Peace and were dear and close friends of Father Filippo Leone, the founding pastor. They were all immigrants from Prizzi, in the province of Palermo, Sicily. Mr. Sciame's grandfather was a noted barber at the International Barber Shop Second Avenue and 78th Street. His immigrant grandparents and their extended family, the Blanda cousins, supported the parish to the best of their ability at that time. This was important in those days, especially when other nearby churches did not tend to the needs of a bi-lingual community. Mr. Sciame's current leadership interest is that the parish remain open, because it has been fiscally sound, attracted a good attendance at its daily and weekly masses, and serves a local community in need of what it has and could continue to provide. His hope is that the establishment of a special and dedicated endowment fund will keep the preservation of the Church in good hands, until such time when it is reopened for services and becomes again the vibrant church community that once existed.
"We well know the story, we know the hardships that our parents and grandparents had, the changing of names, the ridicule at times for the inability to speak the language, the appearance of tanned skin and then the rejection of being able to pray in churches, but in basements of lower levels. That is what drove them to the erection of National, or ethnic, churches. This parish exists today because of the strong traditions and heritage of the children, grandchildren and perhaps in some cases the great grandchildren of those heroes, and for that we walk in the footsteps of giants."
Elizabeth Granville-Smith, Treasurer
Elizabeth Granville-Smith serves as Treasurer of Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc. Ms. Granville-Smith has been a parishioner at Our Lady of Peace for more than ten years. She joined the parish when she moved to the Treadwell Farms Historic District neighborhood from Boston. Together with her husband, she has two sons. Her younger son was baptized by Father Bartholomew Daly at Our Lady of Peace. While her sons are active in after school religious education within the Archdiocese of New York, they love going to Mass at Our Lady of Peace. They feel a sense of belonging when they enter the building. Ms. Granville-Smith has significant corporate and non-profit board experience. Her non-profit interests have largely been in education and charter schools. Professionally, she has worked in the finance and private investing industry for more than 22 years. She earned her college degree (B.A.) from University of Pennsylvania in economics and history and her MBA from The Wharton School.
“I am devoted to our mission of saving Our Lady of Peace because the church and its community of people are a vital part of my neighborhood. My children benefit from being a part of this loving community; the positive role models within the community help me as a Catholic mother.” - Elizabeth Granville-Smith
Nancy Sepe O'Donnell, Secretary
Nancy Sepe O'Donnell serves as Secretary of the Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc. She is a life long resident of the East 60s neighborhood, whose family members have been parishioners of Our Lady Of Peace Church for several generations. Her grandfather, Anthony Giaimo, had nine brothers and one sister, and they all immigrated during the early 1900s from Borgetto, in the Province of Palermo, Sicily. The citizens of Borgetto donated the chapel dedicated to the Madonna di Romitello on the east side of the church. Mrs. Sepe O'Donnell's mother, Angelina Giaimo, donated to the recent renovation of the church in 2008-2009. Mrs. Sepe O'Donnell was married to her husband, Gene O'Donnell, by Father Bartholomew Daly at Our Lady of Peace. She is a real estate broker and property manager, and the owner of Manhattan Best Realty, Inc. Mrs. Sepe O'Donnell is an active member of the East Sixties Neighborhood Association. She has served on Special Events Committee at Our Lady of Peace.
"This church is home to us and has brought my entire family so much comfort and joy. We have so many memories at Our Lady of Peace and we want to continue to make more. I will do all I can to help reopen Our Lady Of Peace Church." - Nancy Sepe O'Donnell
Edward Greason, Director
Edward Greason serves as a director of Friends of Our Lady of Peace, Inc. Mr. Greason graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Doctor of Law degree from Fordham University School of Law. Professionally, he practiced as a patent attorney for a major New York City law firm for more than forty years and retired from the firm as the senior partner. Mr. Greason served on Fordham's Law School Alumni Board of Directors for more than thirty years, where he has been active in the Feerick Center for Social Justice. He has have been a member of many Bar Associations. He has been been a parishioner of Our Lady of Peace for approximately eight years, following his move to Manhattan from Forest Hills Gardens in Queens.
"From my first attendance at Our Lady of Peace, I have felt a warmth and welcome and friendship not seen in other parishes. In addition to my attendance at Our Lady of Peace, family members have long been associated with the parish. My daughter-in-law's mother was baptized and married in the church, and her grandparents were also married in the parish and were early supporters of Our Lady of Peace."
- Edward Greason