Anna and Gerard Succes are the parents of two adorable daughters. Alessia, their oldest, is one of Walker’s best friends, and earnest advocates. They met last year on the playground and they attend the same nursery school here in Astoria. They’ve been as thick as thieves since the first day they met. Alessia is an energetic, beautiful, strong-willed girl who knows how to enjoy life.
Ilaria, Alessia’s younger sister, is a delightful bundle of baby cheeks and giggles. She just started to walk a few months back. She has a sparkle in her eyes, and her giggle exudes joy. She’s a giving, bright young girl who’s easy to get to love.
I had the pleasure of taking Ilaria’s portrait to commemorate her first birthday recently at Rainey Park here in Long Island City, Ilaria’s family managed to get into a few of the photographs themselves. Both daughters are so fun to photograph. So are both parents. I’m hoping they invite to take their portraits some more. They are a great bunch of people and it’s a pleasure to know them.
On March 28th, a day after my 49th birthday, Bishop Mdimi Mogholo, a beautiful, compassionate and able man, passed away from complications of Pneumonia. Bishop Mhogolo was a vibrant man, full of energy and good humor. He exhibited amazing intelligence and compassion. He served his Diocese with great ability and energy. I got the joy of meeting him when I visited Tanzania in 2008. I was a last-minute replacement for a pilgrimage to Tanzania as liaison for the Congregation of St. Saviour to the Carpenter’s Kids Program in Central Tanganyika. (http://carpenterskids.net)
Even though I was one small member of a large contingent visiting the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Bishop Mhogolo made me fee at ease on the few occasions I got to talk to him. It was if I was a I was a life-long friend. That’s the kind of man he was. At the time I met him, I was in the earliest stages of discernment for the priesthood within the Episcopal faith. It was in Tanzania, strangely enough, that after having not picked up a camera in nearly 15 years my passion for photography was reignited. I had taken a small, Canon Point and Shoot along with me, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures every minute I was there. After I got back I put together a presentation about the Carpenter’s Kids Program that I was fortunate enough to present to other congregations in the Diocese of New York. It was during these presentations that I realized my true desire was to begin doing photography again.
What I experienced in Central Tanganyika transformed me profoundly and I will never forget my time there and the great people I met on the trip. I can thank Bishop Mhogolo for that. I pray to God I can serve my fellow man with one-tenth the ardor and ability that he did. We miss you already, Bishop.
I met the Reverend Lindsay Lunnum over a decade ago when I was seriously contemplating the vocation of priest within the Episcopal denomination of the Christian faith. She was a good friend of a friend in our parish who recommended her to me as a good source of guidance on the whole vocation process in our denomination, which can be a daunting journey. I remember her as always being wise with her words and gracious with her time. So when she asked me to photograph her installation at Zion Episcopal Church in Douglaston, New York I was thrilled. It was an amazing day. I got to meet her family. She has a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. On this Sunday the sun shined soft but bright. The congregation celebrated with hope and expectation, and Bishop Provenzano gave an amazing sermon.
By the way, she is the first female Rector installed in the Diocese of Long Island. Congratulations, Reverend Lunnum, and thank you for letting me photograph such a seminal event for the Diocese.