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Don Zirkel Publishes Memoir

Don Zirkel, of Farmingdale, has recently published, Couple Power: Conversations with Donny and Marie, a memoir of his life with his late-wife, Marie “Re,” weaving the affects of the changes in the Catholic Church over the past 60 years.

The book highlights the Zirkels’ family life in the area diocese, and parish ministries, including Hicksville and Farmingdale. Oral historian, Ed Thompson, of Farmingdale was the main contributor to the book.

The Zirkels were married for 59 years and are parents of nine children, 26 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. They worked with the Catholic schools, parish councils, adult education, liturgy, retreats, ecumenism, Pax Christi; and the Voice of the Faithful, a group critical of church hierarchy. Marie, a graduate of the Rockville Centre Pastoral Formation Institute, was a travel agent, leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Greece, Turkey, and Rome. Don was editor of the Tablet, official newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and an executive staff member of the New York State Division of Human Rights; he was a deacon for 33 years.

In the chapter, “Couple Power Starts,” the Zirkels recount their family’s start in St. Ignatius in Hicksville in the 1950s, their first impressions of each other, their wedding in 1952, their children’s education in the church. They examine the true differences in each of their nine children; all nine were graduates of St. Ignatius School.

In the fifth chapter, “Creative Liturgy: At St. Kilian’s” the couple explain their likenesses and differences from their transition from Hicks-ville to St. Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church in Farmingdale years later.

The book, Couple Power, is available for loan at the public libraries; it is not for sale. Limited copies are available for a donation of $30 or more to the Zirkel Memorial Fund, at Parish Outreach, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church, Straight Path, Wyandanch.

Christy Hinko contributed to this article.