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Bidding adieu to Father Jack Kennealy draws crowd [Montpelier/South Laurel]

Parishioners and community residents gathered at St. Nicholas Church on July 1 to bid a fond farewell to Father Jack Kennealy. Father Jack, as he is known in the parish, has been pastor at St. Nicholas since 2011. He dealt successfully with many challenges facing the parish, including establishing a building fund dedicated to the addition of a parish center adjacent to the current church. Father Jack is a "local boy," having been born in DC and growing up in Takoma Park. He holds bachelor's and MBA degrees, as well as a Master of Divinity. Prior to his ordination as a priest in 2004, he worked as a corporate accountant, which enabled his approach to streamlining parish finances. The large crowd at his farewell gathering gave testimony to Father Jack's impact on the lives of those present, including performing many baptisms, marriages and visitations to parishioners who are ill. Father Jack is off to his new dutiesat St. Mathias parish in Lanham. We all wish him the best, and hope to see him visit later on this year when St. Nicholas parish celebrates its 50th anniversary!

Save the date! County Councilwoman Mary Lehman is once again hosting the District 1 Community Family day at Fairland Regional Park, adjacent to the aquatic and fitness center, 13950 Gunpowder Road. The activities will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, from noon to 4 p.m. Activities include local group performances, moon bounce, obstacle courses and face painting. The event will be held rain or shine. Let's all take the opportunity to enjoy the fun and chat with Councilwoman Lehman regarding concerns or issues in our neighborhoods. Hope to see you all there!

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Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith reminds us that Prince George's County is in the process of re-writing the Zoning Ordinance which may have substantial impact on our community. View key proposals of the proposed plan at www.zoningpgc.pgplanning.com. Share your thoughts on the new ordinance at www.pgplanning.civicomment.org.

On a separate and important issue, the delegate points out that the IRS has changed debt collection procedures. It is now using private debt collections services, but debtors will always be contacted first by the IRS using U.S. mail. Debts will always be paid directly to IRS, not to the debt collector. This an important distinction given the prevalence of various scams. People who call claiming to be from the IRS and asking for payments over the phone are scammers. The authorized debt collectors will always be live on the phone, rather than pre-recorded messages. They will reference the authentication number that the client can find in the letters from the IRS. For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission web site: www.consumer.ftc.gov.

If you are looking for a great hobby and group of like-minded folks, consider the Laurel Senior Photography club which meets at the Laurel/Beltsville Senior Activity Center on the fourth Friday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Contact Norman Paratore slrshooter@comcast.com for information. Photographs from club members are often on exhibit at the "Avenue" of art at the center.



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