Actors' Chapel Names New Non-Denominational Child Care Center
After ten years in preparation, St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel today named its new non-denominational day-evening child care center dedicated to the children of entertainment industry professionals in honor of the legendary Bob and Dolores Hope, according to an announcement from Rev. Fr. Richard D. Baker, pastor of St. Malachy's.
"We are thrilled that Linda Hope, eldest of the Hopes' four children and President of The Bob Hope Legacy and Bob Hope Enterprises, has given her blessing to the child care center and agreed to name it after her late parents," Fr. Baker said.
Linda Hope, in a very rare public appearance, will travel to New York from her home in California to receive The Father George Moore Award saluting her involvement in the establishment of The Bob and Dolores Hope Broadway KidCare at a special star-studded benefit, Voices United www.voicesunited.com, at Radio City Music Hall on February 20. The Hopes were close friends of Father George Moore, the late, revered former pastor of St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel,
"While most Americans are familiar with Mr. Hope's career as an actor, comedian, film and TV star and leader of countless USO shows for more than half a century to entertain our men and women in uniform around the world, they might not be as familiar with the fact that both he and Mrs. Hope began their careers as entertainers on the Broadway stage," Fr. Baker added. "Mr. Hope was the leading man in Roberta before Hollywood beckoned and Mrs. Hope understudied Kate Smith and worked on the New York stage before joining Mr. Hope in his vaudeville act. Then, when they moved to Hollywood, Mrs. Hope retired and spent her life raising their four children and devoting herself to philanthropic works, chiefly for the Catholic Church and as a founder and guiding force behind the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs."
The Hopes met Fr. Moore through the old Catholic Actors Guild. Whenever they visited New York together, the Hopes would stay at a nearby hotel and visit with Fr. George. They could not have known that this friendship, begun so many years ago, would one day be preserved for all future generations as the Hopes become a permanent part of their old friend's parish. It seems a perfect fit that the award their daughter will receive bears the name of Father George Moore.
"In a special way, Bob and Dolores Hope epitomize the finest tradition of Broadway," Fr. Baker concluded. "Talented and hardworking, they were blessed in life but never hesitated to share their blessings with the world. That's what actors do. We are all honored to have Bob and Dolores Hope back home at St. Malachy's and on Broadway."
Voices United, one of the largest choral events in history featuring 1000 voices singing in Radio City Music Hall, is set for Monday, February 20, at 7:30pm as a ground-breaking benefit for the newly established Broadway KidCare, to be forever known as The Bob and Dolores Hope Broadway KidCare center, a project of St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel to create a non-sectarian day-and-evening care center for the children of actors, stagehands and all performing arts professionals in the entertainment industry. The concert will also benefit the Mother and Child Program at Covenant House which provides support services to young, homeless single mothers and their babies.
Voices United www.voicesunited.com will include choral groups from around the country, the casts of Broadway's Memphis and Sister Act, guest organists Peter Edwin Krasinski and Jonathan Ortloff, and a cavalcade of stars soon to be announced.
Actor-producer Martin Sheen is chair of Voices United. The concert will be conducted by the award-winning Eric Knapp
Broadway is a magical world of entertainment which contributes greatly to New York City's economic base and world identity. Yet, workers in the entertainment industry face an on-going challenge for quality care for their children during their unconventional work hours. The goal of Voices United is to promote and sustain the social, educational, and cultural outreach ministries of The Actors' Chapel.
St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel has for over 100 years been the spiritual home of actors of any faith who work on Broadway
In 2007, a Needs Assessment Study conducted by The Actors Fund and Actors' Equity determined that there is a crucial need by families who work in the entertainment industry for a quality, affordable child care center in the Times Square Area with flexible hours. Hence the Broadway Child Care Project also known as Broadway Kidcare.
Regular Tickets for Voices United are $255.00, $115.00, $97.50, $77.50 and $47.50 and are available through Ticketmaster via the web at www.ticketmaster.com, via phone at 866-858-0008 or at the Radio City Music Hall box office, 1260 Avenue of the Americas. Patron tickets are $1000 and $500 and can be purchased at www.voicesunited.com or by calling Suzanne Katusin at St. Malachy's, 212-489-1340.
St. Malachy's - The Actors' Chapel
Located on West 49th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, St. Malachy's Roman Catholic Church www.actorschapel.org was founded in 1902. And although the years have seen many changes in the neighborhood of the church, St. Malachy's today remains an active, integral part of its most unusual, most dynamic community.
St. Malachy's service to its community was comparable to that of most other Catholic churches in New York City up until about 1920. Then the Theatre District moved in. Suddenly, actors, dancers, musicians, craftsmen, and tourists were filling the seats, replacing the types of parishioners St. Malachy's had seen in previous years.
Fortunately, the priests and leaders of St. Malachy's have all been men and women of their times, and so, adapted St. Malachy's to meet the needs of its new parishioners. Masses, confessions, missions were all rearranged to accommodate the rigors of theatre and nightclub schedules. And finally, with the construction of the Actors' Chapel below the main church in 1920, St. Malachy's became famous as a haven of worship for the entertainment community.
Douglas Fairbanks married Joan Crawford at St. Malachy's. Herb Shriner's children were baptized here. Thousands jammed West 49th Street outside the church in final tribute to Rudolph Valentino. George M. Cohan, Spencer Tracy, Perry Como, Irene Dunne, Hildegarde, Florence Henderson, Elaine Stritch, Lawrence Luckinbill, Rosiland Russell, Danny Thomas, Bob and Dolores Hope and Ricardo Montalban, all worshipped at St. Malachy's. Fred Allen, Don Ameche, Cyril Ritchard, Pat O'Brien and Jimmy Durante served many a Mass.