I was at the final service offered by Rev. Allan Ramirez at the Brookville Reformed Church over the weekend. The place was packed and the choir was rocking and the expected blue ribbon guests were in their pews. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Tom Suozzi, Ed Mangano, Rick Montano, Dave Mejias all spoke, as did folks who had been baptized or married by Allan.
All very impressive.
But the most heartfelt expressions of love for the departing pastor came from immigrants whom Allan has reached out to over the years. Cleaning ladies and the families of hate crime victims, Latino organizers and women who work with the victims of domestic violence. When they spoke they could often hardly choke back tears at the thought of losing a man who has helped them find their voice.
My question for Long Island’s religious leaders: Which of you is willing to assume the prophetic role Allan had to fill?