May 21, 2020

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Update of Bishop’s Annual Appeal, pages 12-13

Spirit atholic C THE


MAY 21, 2020 • VOL. 25 NO. 6 • $2.00

Christian Charity Sister Mary Martha Garzon, of St. Cecelia Parish, Iselin, sews masks for donation to religious who serve the elderly in assisted living facilities, at motherhouses and in hospitals in New Jersey; and the residents, patients, families of patients and staff. Sister Mary Martha is among dozens of volunteer religious and laity in the diocese who have sewn thousands of masks for donation as of mid-May. For more information, see our website — Christian Charity Sister Anna Nguyen photo

INSIDE Perspectives Our Faith

First Communion

4 16-17



Diocesan Events


Catechist writes prayer for children prepared to receive sacrament. . .8 This issue was mailed on May 19 Your next issue will be June 25


Bishop invites all to join diocese to prepare for Pentecost



My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

cost of discipleship. Mercifully, He is must open ourselves to the power and also clear about its rewards. the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Is In our day, too, our Lord needs God who is everywhere really deep the Spirit to have the same effect on within us? Or do we keep the Lord on us, brothers and sisters in Christ. We, the surface level, like oil floating on too, know Jesus. We have followed water? Him attentively, listening to His word, What would it take for the Holy hearing of His miracles in the Scrip- Spirit to really penetrate us? We pray tures. We have encountered Him in the each Sunday, each day in fact, that the In our Gospel passages in these Sacraments of His Church. These next Lord send His Holy Spirit to come last weeks of Easter, we start to see a weeks are a critical time in the life of upon bread and wine at Mass, to make shift from the Resurrection appearanc- the Church. it His Body and Blood; and so He es of Jesus, to meditations about the On May 31, we will celebrate does. Consider that prayer. If God’s ongoing presence of the Risen Christ Pentecost. The Holy Spirit, the Com- Spirit can penetrate inanimate matter in the life of His Church through the forter, the Paraclete, that Jesus prom- -- bread and wine -- so that it becomes Spirit. We hear Jesus promise the ises in the Gospel the genuine presApostles the Paraclete, the Comforter, will come upon us. ence of the Lord the Holy Spirit. This Gospel beckons Are we ready? How Jesus Christ given us back to the Last Supper and Jesus’ do we prepare? The for us, what would The Holy Spirit, the last words with His disciples before oldest novena in the it take for the Holy Comforter, the Parabeing arrested and put on trial. How Church starts on Spirit to penetrate long Jesus must have thought about May 21, the day the clete, that Jesus prom- deep within us? what He wanted to share with His Lord goes to HeavBrothers and ises in the Gospel will dearest friends at this last chance to en….and nine days Sister in Christ; all speak privately with them. He knew later… The Holy we have to do is come upon us. Are what was ahead for Himself with His Spirit comes…Penask. Until we actucrucifixion, and what was ahead for tecost. As a diocese, we ready? How do we ally open up to God, the disciples and their ministries. He we will have a spethe Spirit will only prepare? The oldest must have wanted to reassure them cial virtual prayer be on the surface that even though things might not ap- day from our Caof our thoughts, our novena in the Church pear to be so in the eyes of the world, thedral on Saturday, desires and our aspistarts on May 21...and all would work out well in God’s plan. May 30, to specifirations. But the day As they watched His arrest, torture cally prepare ourthat we dare to truly nine days later...The and crucifixion, the Apostles must selves for Pentecost. open up ourselves to have felt that evil did have the upper This is an opportuthe Spirit, the day Holy Spirit comes... hand, but Jesus did not want them to nity being prepared we allow God to Pentecost. believe this. by a team of priests, take the lead in our When Jesus is killed, it appears brothers and sisters lives, that will be the Apostles panic and become fear- and lay people to the day we realize ful. It will be the coming of the Holy give witness to and just what Pentecost Spirit on Pentecost, while they are encouragement for living fully in the is all about. On that day, God will gathered in that upper room in fear new life that Jesus promises to those change not just bread and wine, but He and in prayer, that everything changes who will live by the Holy Spirit. will change us too! Yes, God wants to for them. They become fearless folWe know that God is everywhere; change us, just as He did the Apostles, lowers of Jesus after they receive the but the Lord never forces Himself to make us fearless followers and His Holy Spirit. They come out of hiding upon us. He respects our boundaries witness in our world. Our world needs and go out and evangelize the whole and our choices; He respects our free- this witness especially now. So many world. With the Holy Spirit they know dom. For the Spirit to intimately enter are feeling lost, aimlessly making their they have no reason to fear anything. into our lives, to enlighten our minds, way through each day. Jesus wants to But living by the Spirit is no small to enrich our hearts, we must invite fill us and our lives with His direction task and Jesus is realistic about the Him in. We must call out to God; we and guidance, giving us His peace, love and mercy; giving our lives true meaning. We have the example of so many THE faithful who have done just this. They have changed their lives and the life THE OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF METUCHEN of our Church and world, too. Starting Serving the Catholic community in Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties with the Apostles at that first Pentee-Mail: cost, but also throughout the challengThe Catholic Spirit Subscription and advertising deadlines: Tuesday, 1 p.m. ing times of the early Church persecuP.O. Box 191 • Metuchen, NJ 08840 PHONE: (732) 562-2424 • FAX: (732) 562-0969 The acceptance of advertising by The Catholic Spirit tions, and down through the centuries, for print or online publication, does not constitute an PUBLISHER faithful people who turned to the Lord Bishop James F. Checchio endorsement of any product or service. The Catholic Spirit reserves the right to reject any advertising it in their need, and trusted with faith EDITOR considers objectionable. that indeed, God would be faithful and Father Timothy A. Christy, V.G. The Catholic Spirit is a member of the will do what He promised. He would Catholic Press Association and the MANAGING EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR New Jersey Catholic Advertising Network Father Glenn J. Comandini, STD Chris Donahue send his Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, to (732) 562-2461 (732) 529-7935 The Catholic Spirit (U.S.P.S.#14-804) is pray within us, to lead us and guide us, published every other week, by the Roman ADVISOR to make His home in us; so we, too, Catholic Church, Diocese of Metuchen, 146 Metlars Joanne Ward Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Subscription price is $30 would have absolutely nothing to fear, BUSINESS MANAGER GRAPHIC DESIGNER per year. Periodicals postage paid at Bellmawr, NJ and Judy Leviton • (732) 529-7934 Jill Gray • (732) 529-7956 so we, too, would truly know why we additional mailing office. ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT are here and how we should live as His POSTMASTER: Send change of address notice to Nanette M. Kubian • (732) 765-6444 Laura Ferreras • (732) 529-7932 The Catholic Spirit, 146 Metlars Lane, disciples.

Bishop James Checchio

Catholic Spirit

Piscataway, NJ 08854.

Gratefully, since our diocese was founded the faithful have persevered in faith building our wonderful Church and schools, keeping the faith amidst the challenges they had to face. Now, you and I are called by our Lord to do the same even amidst the challenge of this worldwide pandemic; to remember that God will never, ever forget us. We are to turn anew to Him with faith and trust so His Holy Spirit will come to us anew. Throughout these next weeks, if we take time each day, to truly open ourselves to this great gift; it will change us. Just as Jesus changes bread and wine into His own body and blood He will make us anew into temples of His Holy Spirit. He will renew us and our local Church. I thank you today for your continued witness even during this pandemic: it’s inspiring to me as your Bishop. You are keeping the faith, continuing to trust that God and His Blessed Mother are with us and guiding us. The only way the Church is going to be renewed in our day, is by our witness, by others seeing us living with such faith, on fire with the confidence of the Holy Spirit, that they want to join us. I thank you for this witness and for the inspiration you are, trusting more in God and giving yourselves more fully to Him alone. This Eucharist is our pledge, our thanksgiving to Jesus, who tells us “I will be with you until the end of time. I will not leave you orphans. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Our Gospel reminds us to place our trust and faith in the Lord, to truly open ourselves up anew to the Holy Spirit; holding nothing back, but rather completely listening to Him, trusting in Him, who is always for us and with us! God bless and keep you all! I look forward to the day, pray God soon, that we can gather again together to celebrate our pledge of eternal life, the Eucharist. I look forward to joining in prayer with you during our upcoming novena to prepare for Pentecost, especially during our May 30th day of prayer: The Great Vigil of Pentecost! I invite you to please join in through our Facebook page or the diocesan website. The Risen Jesus walked through looked doors, for sure He will find a way with the power of His Spirit to renew us even as we are in lock down today --nothing stops the Kingdom of God!

Most Reverend James F. Checchio, JCD, MBA Bishop of Metuchen

of the


Where in the diocese can it be found?


Image Week

Students raise more than $23,000 for hospital workers By Anthony Salamone Correspondent The goal was $19,000 — a play off COVID-19 — so named for the coronavirus disease that emerged during late 2019 in China. Students in the Campus Ministry at Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen, raised that amount within two days of launching a fundraising challenge via a social media blitz to help health care professionals dealing with patients amid the coronavirus pandemic. And after the campaign ended May 6, the total pledges among 295 donors broke past the mark — to $23,275 — according to an online tally. The proceeds are going to JFK Medical Center in neighboring Edison toward personal protective equipment (PPE) used by nurses and other frontline workers trying to save lives while protecting themselves and preventing the spread of the killer virus, which led to a lockdown throughout New Jersey and a pandemic worldwide. “It makes you hope more people

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The image, which was featured on page 3 of the April 30 issue of The Catholic Spirit, can be found at Our Lady of Peace Parish, Fords.

The winner is...

Nancy Gaide, parishioner at Our Lady of Peace, Fords. To be a winner, you must call (732) 562-2424 after 9 a.m. Monday. The first caller to correctly identify the image and its location will receive a one year subscription, renewal or gift subscription to The Catholic Spirit. Those who correctly identify an image are not eligible to take another guess for 90 days.

MAY 21, 2020

On May 6, Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted his thanks to the contribution made by the students at Saint Joseph High School. He also mentioned the fundraiser in a press conference. — photo courtesy of Twitter

Last issue's image...


will start other fundraisers, so we can Dekovics and Anthony Altobelli IV turn the curve on this pandemic,” said — and their peers from the ministry Alyssa Davis, the Metuchen school’s launched a social media campaign to solicit donations for the hospital's COcommunications director. Tracey Coudriet, the school’s VID-19 Response Fund. Campus Ministry director, recalled “They designed the entire thing from beginning to representatives from Saint Joseph’s ad“For the alumni and end, with what they wanted from videos vancement and alumni current students, and how they wanted relations office apget people from JFK proached her with the especially those four to Medical to do videos fundraising idea. “They came to students who initiated for us,” Coudriet said. online presme and asked, ‘Is this this fundraiser, to get enceThe included a messomething you think your campus ministers recognition from the sage from Jim Ziemba, a 1979 St. Joseph alumwould be interested governor makes you nus and a registered in doing?’” Coudriet said. “I said abso- feel even better about nurse at JFK. Posted at lutely.” Reaching out to the fact you were able covid-19k-challenge, junior students inspoke about to raise that amount Ziemba how the work has been volved in Campus hard and sometimes Ministry, Coudriet of money.” discouraging. said she received —Alyssa Davis Symptoms of COmany fundraising suggestions. She also said VID-19 can include four students assembled an “impres- fever, cough and difficulty breathing. sive campaign.” The quartet — Patrick While most people develop only mild Keefe, Alessandro Pugliese, Andrew symptoms, other people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. Ziemba also said he and other hospital workers have been encouraged by people’s concern and fundraising efforts such as the undertaking at Saint Joseph. “It’s a great comfort knowing that we have the equipment to keep us safe while we’re caring for those patients safely,” Ziemba said in his thank you video message. The appeal began at midnight



These matter: community, sacraments and church Body & Soul By Father Glenn J. Comandini, STD Over the past months, Catholics of our diocese have been tuning in to the virtual liturgy of their choice every Sunday. While the benefits of the virtual Mass cannot be denied, it does have its limitations. First and foremost is the fact that watching Mass and being there are two different things. The participation of those watching the liturgy on YouTube, Facebook or TV is done in isolation, not in community. From apostolic times, what distinguished Christians from their neighbors of other religions was the emphasis on community. Religion was never perceived as an individual affair, albeit does contain an individual component which we call “personal prayer.” From the earliest records, we have learned that Christians gathered in groups for worship, whence arose the concept of “Assembly of the faithful” or “Ecclesia” in Greek. From this term, the German “Kirche” translates into the English word “Church.” In Acts of the Apostles, we are told: “They [the Christians] devoted them-

selves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) As Christians grew in their understanding of the faith, they became accustomed to an incarnational spirituality. In other words, a religion grounded in sacred matter. When we enter church, we normally bless ourselves with holy water. Near the Tabernacle, there burns a candle reminding us that Christ is tangibly present in the Eucharist. Candles adorn our altars. Think about the sacraments, which St. Augustine described as “sacred signs instituted by Christ to effect grace. These involve matter and form, that is, prescribed things and words. Water is used in baptism. Unleavened bread and wine are necessary for the Eucharist. Holy oils are needed for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, anointing of the sick and holy orders. While certain heretical groups throughout history have frowned on our reverence for “matter,” the Church has, in her wisdom, defended matter as good. The human body is matter, created by God and, although it was wounded by original sin, the body would later be redeemed by Christ, through his passion, death and resurrection. The Church teaches that matter is mediated to God through Christ, who is the perfect juncture of form and

matter, body and spirit, the transcendent and immanent, the infinite and finite, the temporal and eternal. Jesus Christ is the head of his body, the Church. As such, he continues to mediate salvation every time we gather to celebrate Mass, the source and summit of which is the Eucharist. At Mass, as the priest re-presents the sacrifice of the Cross in the sign order, he calls down the Holy Spirit as his hands are outstretched over the gifts of bread wine. This is called the “Epiclesis.” It is the beginning of the consecration. Then, as the priest repeats the words of the Last Supper, the Holy Spirit transforms the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. What occurs on the altar is explained through the doctrine of transubstantiation. The substance of bread and wine are completely transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ with the accidents of bread and wine remaining. In other words, it still tastes like bread but it is the Body of Christ. It still tastes like wine but it is the Blood of Christ. While transubstantiation explains what happpens in the consecration, it does not say how this happens. The “how” is a mystery, which is why another name for the Eucharist is “Mysterium Fidei.” Our reception with this sacred matter affects us in many ways. We grow in holiness. We grow in our communion with God and with each

other who are the Church. The reception of the Eucharist strengthens our corporate personality, but we can only receive the Eucharist in person, not virtually but actually, in church. Virtual liturgies were a blessing because the COVID-19 pandemic required us to keep social distance and prohibited gathering in groups larger than 10 people. With our parishes preparing to resume its public liturgies in our churches, we should avoid the temptation of believing that watching Mass on TV, You Tube, Facebook is good enough. These platforms of social media served their purpose but now is the time to do what Christians before us have done, what we ourselves were doing prior to the onset of this pandemic. We should, when the “all clear sign” is given, get back to church, and be counted among the faithful. The liturgy is the public work of the Church. So, let us take advantage of this graced opportunity to offer God the sacrifice of reconciliation and atonement, to be renewed, to engage in fellowship through each other’s presence, and to be fed through the Word of God and Bread of Life. When the governor gives the “green light” to return to church, let us go and give God the glory, honor and praise that he deserves through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Father Comandini is managing editor of “The Catholic Spirit.”

MAY 21, 2020


Christian faith, hope meant for times such as these

One of my favorite hymns is a recent addition to our Easter repertoire, “Three Days.” It begins with an expression of despair — “Three days our world was broken; the Lord of life lay dead,” but then builds to a triumphant conclusion: “Though still Christ’s body suffers, pierced daily by the sword, yet death has no dominion: the risen Christ is Lord!” As the coronavirus death toll continues to rise, daily media coverage in our country is a mixed bag. Along with a preponderance of ominous and depressing news reports, there have also been many uplifting stories about human generosity and connectedness as well as the power of music, art, and humor to uplift spirits.

How to report abuse

As Christians, we should infuse the national narrative with powerful stories of faith in God’s providential care and the hope flowing from Christ’s resurrection. In the midst of so much sickness and fear, our brothers and sisters need us to reassure them that “death has no dominion because the risen Christ is Lord” and really does walk among us! I have been helping out at our Home in Delaware, which has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus. By the end of Holy Week, we had lost 11 elderly residents to the virus. I asked God how it was possible to maintain a spirit of hope in the face of so many seemingly untimely deaths. I say “seemingly” because through prayer I realized that these deaths were untimely only in our eyes — not in God’s. If God saw fit to take these individuals to himself through this pandemic, he must have known that their lives had fulfilled his plan and they were ready to return to him. Our Christian faith assures us that

If you were sexually abused by a member of the clergy or anyone representing the Catholic Church, or you know of someone who was, you are encouraged to report that abuse to local law enforcement, the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency at 1-877-NJ ABUSE (652-2873) or 1-800-835-5510 (TTY/TDD for the deaf), and also the Diocesan Response Officer at (908) 930-4558 (24 hours/7 days a week). For more information on how to report abuse, visit our diocesan website:

suffering always has value and that those who die believing in Christ will live with him forever. It has struck me that these words must not remain mere platitudes. Christian faith and hope are meant for times such as these. As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all” (1 Cor 15:19). I’ve been thinking a lot about the example of our foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan, in response to a situation not unlike our own. In 1857, five novices at our motherhouse died of typhoid fever in a short span of time. Those who remained were heartbroken. Jeanne Jugan tried to help the novices overcome their sorrow and see their situation as a way of growing stronger in faith and more resolute in hope. After one funeral she comforted the novices, “Come along now, little ones, be brave! One of us has left for Glory; our own turn will come. We must be prepared.” One of us has left for Glory; our own turn will come — generations of Little Sisters have shared this unshakeable faith in the reality of our heavenly destiny. It has sustained them through good times and bad. The influenza epidemic of 1918, to which our present situation has been compared, came on the heels of World War I. As 1918 came to a close, our

Mother General spoke of “the cross of a universal illness added to the sufferings caused by the war.” She praised the Sisters for their generosity and spirit of sacrifice as they spared no effort in caring for the elderly despite the most precarious circumstances. The Congregation also underwent severe trials during World War II. In 1944, our novitiate in Marino, Italy, and a Home in France were destroyed during Allied bombings, killing 32 Little Sisters and 70 residents. A plan to evacuate the novices to a safer location in Rome fell through and just hours later 28 Sisters were buried in the rubble when a bomb fell on them during the community’s lunch. One of the survivors later wrote, “We came to realize that what God wanted was not a few departures for Rome, but numerous departures for Heaven.” As we mourn the loss of our dear residents, I’ve tried to think of their deaths as departures for heaven, their passage to Glory. During this Easter season, I pray that the contemplation of Christ’s victory over sin and death will help us to rise above the cloud of tragedy hanging over us and renew our faith in the power of the resurrection to lift us all to Glory. Sister Constance Veit is the director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

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Cursillo Movement promotes faith-filled, lifelong learning and does not bring us closer to God. We are tricked into misusing it, and there is no room for silence. Satan HILLSBOROUGH — “We should hates silence.” Don’t be tempted by the way of never stop learning about the mysteries of our faith,” asserted Deacon Sal- the world, for it is fading away and a vatore Bonfiglio during the Diocese of bigger prize awaits us, he said. The Metuchen Cursillo Movement’s 11th Scriptures are our weapons against the annual Encounter with Christ work- powers of darkness, and Jesus’ spirit shop at Mary, Mother of God Parish. within us can conquer the devil. “The devil cannot go where he’s “Some people’s faith stops at an elementary level, but we must convert not wanted. He will confuse us, use daily. We need the Scriptures and to Scripture against us,” the deacon continued. “We are here to serve God, not continue to open our eyes.” Deacon Bonfiglio, who ministers the other way around. Only in that we in the parish, and Franciscan Father can realize our true purpose in life and Glenn Sudano of New York, served as have peace.” God sent his angels to minister to keynote speakers at the annual gathering, which this year explored the his Son, and we must call upon them theme “One Does Not Live on Bread to guide, protect and support us during Alone” and the importance of prayer the Lenten season. “Jesus opens the and contemplation way for us to eternal during the Lenten “When we go into life. He prepares the season. way,” Deacon BonfiCursillo is a the desert, we go glio concluded. “It’s lay apostolic moveprepared or else you a narrow gate into ment of the Church that emphasizes the don’t come out. This heaven. We must be a Lenten people. importance of a balis why you are here Lent needs to be our anced life of piety, way of life, not just a continued spiritual today: a day of remoment in time.” study and action to Father Sudano keep Christ as the flection is no longer built upon the theme center of life. A nice, it is necessary of riches in one’s Cursillo weekend desert experience. consists of prayer, . . . There is life, there The priest was one talks by lay leaders is hope. Walk in joy, of the eight clerics and clergy, and small founded the group discussion. because the light of who Franciscan Friars of Follow-up reunions of members, known the Lord is in us, it is the Renewal in 1987 in New York City’s as ultreyas, reinforce South Bronx, where and strengthen the the tree of life which they work with the bonds of members. bears abundant poor. Spanish for fruit in every Father Sudano, “short course,” a native of Brooklyn, Cursillo began in season." N.Y., asserted chilthe late 1940s and — Franciscan Father Glenn dren today are often was brought to the Sudano cut off from nature United States in the and reality, instead late 1950s. The first relying on their imEnglish language Cursillo was held in 1961 in Texas; the mersion in electronic devices. “Vox Dei, the voice of God, is Cursillo movement was introduced in speaking to them and to us, and we’re the diocese in 2009. During his presentation, Deacon not listening,” he said. “There are seaBonfiglio read from the Gospel of sons in life, and if we are not exposed Matthew, which told of the devil’s to nature, we won’t get the message of temptation of Jesus in the desert. He what life is about. “We are experimenting with a compared it to a boxing match with whole generation and it’s not going the grand prize of mankind’s soul. “Satan’s most powerful and well,” the priest asserted. “We’re livcommonly used weapon against us ing in the Jetsons [world], but at what is temptation,” he said. “The devil price? What does it do to the underdoes not come to us like a monster. standing of ourselves, of eternity, of He makes himself very attractive to life?” Father Sudano sang the chorus us, then leads us away from God with small baby steps. We are the prize in of the classic Bob Dylan tune “The Times, They are A-Changing,” and the battle.” Noting “God is in the silence,” noted, “Institutional religion is out, Deacon Bonfiglio added, “Technology spirituality is in. The common good is brings us comfort and convenience, out, individual rights are in. When it By Christina Leslie Correspondent

Above, Franciscan Father Glenn Sudano and Deacon Salvatore Bonfiglio, right, were the keynote speakers at the Cursillo Movement's 11th annual Encounter with Christ workshop at Mary, Mother of God Parish, Hillsborough. The workshop explored the theme "One Does Not Live on Bread Alone." — Christina Leslie photos

comes to morality, we are sliding. We are now in a season where we have to be very strong, have deep faith.” Reinforcing the day’s Scriptural message, he continued, “When we go into the desert, we go prepared or else you don’t come out. This is why you are here today: a day of reflection is no longer nice, it is necessary.” Father Sudano concluded, “Here we are in the desert. If this is where God wants us, we will make the best of it. [But] there is life, there is hope. It is not a time for complaining and doubt. Walk in joy, because the light of the Lord is in us, it is the tree of life which bears abundant fruit in every season.” Cursillo members sang, prayed the rosary, adored the Blessed Sacrament and continued the conversation during their lunch break.

Marianne Joy, a member of the host parish, serves as the movement’s communications chair. She explained, “Our motto is ‘make a friend, be a friend, bring that friend to Christ.’ “There are so many distractions that we need to focus on God.” Eileen Lishinsky, a member of the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Metuchen, attended the Cursillo program with her husband, Howard. “We have to keep the torch of truth, the one that we received during our baptism, burning brightly,” she said.

nition from the governor makes you feel even better about the fact you were able to raise that amount of money.” Hardly anyone, it seems, has been untouched by the coronavirus, whether it’s been family members who have lost loved ones, relatives who have lost their jobs, or merchants who have been forced to shut down their businesses. Saint Joseph alumnus Karl-Anthony Towns, an NBA all-star who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, lost his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, because of complications from the coronavirus. Closer to home, retired Sacred Heart Brother Ronald Cairns, who

spent decades at St. Joseph, died April 17 from coronavirus-related complications, Davis said. With schools such as Saint Joseph’s being shuttered well into the third month, it’s even more noteworthy what alumni, faculty and staff — and especially students — accomplished as one small measure to help slow down the rapidly spreading virus. “The boys were beyond impressive,” Coudriet said of the four student leaders. “They were focused, they were driven, they were committed. I can’t give them enough credit.”

To keep his team connected and motivated, Ryan Licht, the boys lacrosse team coach at Immaculata High School, Somerville, meets with his 27 players via Zoom every Wednesday. They discuss keeping in shape and game strategies and Licht also has guest speakers (college coaches and professional players and coaches) discuss lacrosse with his players. During one such session, the question arose: What can we do as a team to help the community during this crisis? Senior Nick DiPaolo and sophomore Jack Morris did some research, which they presented to Licht. “I found an article about Canadian Boy Scouts creating ear bands from 3D printers,” DiPaolo said. “We couldn’t do that, but we could easily and remotely work on specially designed headbands.” Morris asked his mother, Erin, who is a clinical care technician at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, if the headbands would be helpful and her response was an overwhelming “Yes.” Licht and the Spartans embraced the idea. The headband kits, which involve sewing strategically placed buttons to hold the elastic band from the face masks worn by the hospital staff, were distributed (with social distancing) at the school. A high school, college, and professional lacrosse player, Licht had never called

upon his sewing skills, learned at middle school in Bridgewater. But in a team Zoom session, Licht taught his team the art of sewing buttons. Morris joked about learning this life skill: “We now know how to sew buttons. That may come in handy one day.” Within a day of their sewing lesson, the team had produced 200 headbands. “We enjoyed it,” said DiPaolo. “It felt good to give back to the community.” Erin Morris contacted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which enthusiastically accepted the donation. “I put the box of headbands at the employee check-in at the hospital,” Morris said, “and they were gone in just over an hour. Our staff was so grateful to the Immaculata team.” Alumna Jennifer Miller Weidemann ’91, one of the headband recipients, was excited about the Spartan connection. “The staff and I were so grateful to receive the donations of headbands from the IHS lacrosse team. It was like Christmas!” she exclaimed. “Once the word got out, staff were coming down from their units to check them out. Wearing a mask for eight, 10, 12 hours a day really irritates the sensitive skin on the ears. Thank you for the support, Immaculata.” Athletic director Tom Gambino noted, “Immaculata is based on four pillars: Faith, Scholarship, Service and Friendship. This was a perfect blend of

service and friendship and a terrific way to thank our medical personnel and essential workers.”

Saint Joseph’s Campus Ministry consists of about 80 members at the all-male school who help lead the 500 students in spirituality, service and social outreach. The ministry is involved with planning monthly Masses during the academic year, conducting food and clothing drives that benefit the local community, and supporting local nonprofits. The nonprofit JFK Medical Center, which was founded in 1967 and is part of Hackensack Meridian Health, includes a 498-bed community health care facility serving residents of Middlesex, Union and Somerset counties.


May 4 and ended May 6. The group reached the $19,000 goal 38 hours into the campaign, Davis said. The effort drew media stories and kudos from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “In just two days, the students of St. Joseph High School in Metuchen raised more than $20,000 for PPE for our health care heroes at JFK Medical Center in Edison,” the governor tweeted. “#NJThanksYou!” Said Davis: “For the alumni and current students, especially those four students who initiated this fundraiser, to get recog-

Continued from page 3


Saint Joseph High School makes donation to ‘health care heroes at JFK’

Student athletes sew up school’s latest service project Erin Morris, the mother of sophomore Jack Morris, one of the boys lacrosse team members at Immaculata High School is a clinical care technician at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. She is shown recently at work wearing one of the headbands that the student athletes sewed buttons on to make the masks more comfortable.

— photo courtesy of Immaculata High Family Care Placement, School

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Catechist has special message to children waiting for sacrament of a host and chalice and showed them where it was on a window in her home May is the month many eagerly await be- office. “Every time I come in here, it cause it is the time many children receive reminds me to pray for you,” she said. Speaking again about her challengfirst holy Communion. Sadly, this year the coronavirus has made pastors postpone es to them, D’Amato asked the children this momentous milestone in the spiritual to send her a picture of their artwork, telling them if they wanted, they could lives of waiting first communicants. Not wanting her young students to be in the picture. She said she plans on think they have been forgotten, Coleen doing something special with the artD’Amato, who has been preparing her work and would share it with them the 78 boys and girls to receive Jesus into next time they were together. She ended their hearts sacramentally, decided to her special message saying, “Be patient, know that Jesus loves you, know that we talk to them via social media. In a heartwarming message to the all miss you at church, and we’ll see you children, D’Amato, who has served for soon to celebrate. God Bless.” Asked how she decided to send her the past three years as parish catechetical leader (PCL) at Immaculate Concep- special message, D’Amato said once tion Parish, Annandale, told her class, parishes were closed and public Masses and events cancelled, “I know that you have waited and longed to “Jesus, I trust you and I she began thinking about her students receive our Lord’s will be patient while I who were to receive Most Precious Body and Most Precious wait to receive you in sacraments this year. “One of the blessings Blood in the Holy EuFirst Holy Communion. of parish catechetical charist and you will.” She acknowl- Jesus I love you, Jesus I leaders is that we are always happy to share edged that they had done a lot of preparaadore you. Jesus I trust our ideas with each other. My message for tion for the sacrament you. Amen." my Facebook post and and that many parents —prayer written by prayer was a compilahad planned parties tion of ideas gleaned and family get togethColeen D'Amato from other PCLs, and ers for their special e-mail discussions day, but now everything was put on hold with Carol Mascola, director of the because of the coronavirus. Continuing, D’Amato said, “Some- diocesan Office of Discipleship Fountimes it’s hard to wait for something we dation for Children, as well as through really want, but you are going to have to various national and international faith be patient.” She then posed a question, formation and youth ministry groups on Facebook,” she explained and added, “I “Being patient can be hard, can’t it?” “I struggle with that, too,” she put all of the ideas together, and shaped them into what I wanted to get across added. Having gotten the attention of her to my own first Communicants, through boys and girls, D’Amato then told them. my own personality and my own per“The good news is as much as you’re sonal relationship with Christ.” A catechist for more than 20 years, waiting to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, Jesus can’t wait to meet you there D’Amato noted that in addition to talking either.” She said that while they are to her first Communion class, she hoped waiting they should pray to Jesus and to evangelize their families as well as others who might see her message which she ask him to help them be patient. The catechist then went on to give shared on her personal Facebook page the children some challenges. She had and was posted on her parish’s and even sent their parents links to pictures of the diocesan Facebook pages. She wanted chalices and hosts. “Pick the one you people to know they were loved. The relike best and color it as best as you can, sponse was unexpected. “I was surprised by how much I cut it out and hang it on your bedroom window,” she instructed. “When you touched people that were not getting wake up each morning and see your pic- ready to receive communion for the first ture, I want you to say a special prayer time,” she said. “Many told me ‘I really to Jesus, and each night before you go to miss Jesus. I really miss receiving Jesus bed I want you to say that prayer again,” in the Eucharist.' “I, too, really miss receiving Jesus she added. D’Amato had sent the prayer and I think that’s true for all of us that to the parents. “Jesus, I trust you and I will be are Catholic,” stated D’Amato. From the reaction she has received patient while I wait to receive you in First Holy Communion. Jesus I love to her heartfelt message viewed by far you, Jesus I adore you. Jesus I trust you. more than just her first Communicants, Amen,” was the prayer D’Amato wrote it seems that once parishes are opened for the children to keep by their bedside and the faithful return to Mass, many may receive Jesus as if it were their first and say daily. She said she had colored a picture time, too.

Left, Coleen D'Amato, parish catechetical leader (PCL) at Immaculate Conception Parish, Annandale, is shown in a computer screenshot. D'Amato prepared 78 children to receive the sacrament of first holy Communion, but the event was postponed to a date to be determined because of the coronavirus pandemic. While they werer waiting, D'Amato asked the children to color a picture of a chalice and cross and say a prayer — written by her — to Jesus each morning and night. The children could also send her a photo of them with their art work. Below, one of the children who responded was Constantin Marquez.

By Joanne Ward

— photos courtesy of Coleen D'Amato and the Marquez family

Other children waiting to receive the sacrament of first holy Communion at Immaculate Conception Parish and shown with their art work are: Crosby Harris (right), Siena Canavan (below right) and Jason Murawski. D'Amato, a catechist for more than 20 years, ended a special message given to her students via social media by saying: “Be patient, know that Jesus loves you, know that we all miss you at church, and we’ll see you soon to celebrate. God Bless.” — photos courtesy of the Harris, Canavan and Murawski families

PERTH AMBOY — Reflecting on the effects of the coronavirus in Perth Amboy, Claretian Father Gilles Njobam, pastor, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, said many of his parishioners are experiencing pain, fear and stress. It is difficult for them, he stated, to be away from the parish, which is their second home. To keep connected, some call him with problems or just to talk. “Due to the pandemic, Candidates preparing to receive the sacraments must wait to receive them. All the groups in the church can no longer meet and the priests can only attend to the sick under critical conditions and with a lot of caution and protective gear,” Father Njobam said. “Unemployment is on the rise in Perth Amboy, because although it has a very hard-working population, many have either been laid off or are obliged to stay home. They have to choose whether to put food on the table or risk infecting their families. “Another large percentage of our residents are essential workers employed in healthcare systems, food supply factories and warehouses. Many are at risk of losing their jobs.” The coronavirus or COVID-19 has also made life difficult for a certain considerable percentage of undocumented

workers who have not been able to benefit from relief measures, like stimulus checks, put in place by the federal government. Some families, however, are being helped through the Bread of Life Food Pantry, managed tirelessly by Carmen Inoa. The Food Pantry has been serving 50 families every week during the pandemic. Troopers United Foundation, United Dominicans Organization in Perth Amboy, and Goya, along with individuals, generously support the endeavor. For Redemptorist Father Slawomir Romanowski, pastor, St. John Paul II Parish, the most difficult thing for him during the pandemic is “preaching to empty pews.” “We are suffering by not being able to see and talk to each other,” he added. “It’s also difficult not to conduct normal funerals because of the coronavirus restrictions. We have lost eight members to COVID-19.” Father Romanowski said that many of his parishioners are unemployed, so he is grateful to those who mail in their donations because the church still needs to pay its bills. At present in Perth Amboy, Mayor Wilda Diaz’s administration, through the Board of Education and the Department of Human Services, is providing meals to school children and their families, the el-


By Marianne Zanko Komek

Above, Claretian Father Gilles Njobam, pastor, Our Lady of Fatima Parish (second from right), Perth Amboy, poses with volunteers at its Bread of Life Food Pantry. Right, volunteers pack items to distribute to the 50 needy families the ministry serves every week. — photos courtesy of Our Lady of Fatima Parish

derly, and homebound. However, Father Romanowski noted that there is a need to address the plight of the homeless. His parish’s monthly Table of Plenty, which served dinners to homeless and low-income individuals, was suspended because of the coronavirus. Addressing another problem caused Continued on page 15

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Pastors find ways to serve faithful affected by coronavirus pandemic


Faithful invited to participate in online Pentecost Retreat PISCATAWAY – In the midst of a global pandemic, the Holy Spirit is moving in the Diocese of Metuchen. Inspired by the impacts and fruits of last year’s all-night Pentecost Vigil, which was part of the Year of Awakening in preparation for the Dec. 12, 2019 diocesan consecration to Jesus through Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the diocese will offer “A Church of Mission and Purpose: Pentecost Retreat Day,” beginning May 29 at 7 p.m. and concluding May 30 at 5 p.m. with a Vigil Mass of Pentecost celebrated by Bishop James F. Checchio. Through witness talks, presentations, faith-sharing and music, the diocese’s first-ever virtual Pentecost Retreat aims to inspire participants, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, to be refreshed, to pray with expectant faith, and to know that God will do great things in their midst. Participants are encouraged to come with an open heart, ready to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, who gives personal knowledge of the heart of God and provides meaning, direc-

urrection of Jesus and officially endtion and purpose. Clergy and religious are expected ing the Easter season, Pentecost marks to share their wisdom and faith in a the descent of the Holy Spirit on the series of presentations throughout Apostles and the Virgin Mary in the form of tongues of the retreat. Speakers will give witness to Through witness talks, fire. It is observed this year on May 31. their own experiencpresentations, faithThe Paschal es in living the faith. mystery of the PasParticipants will also sharing and music, the sion, the Death, the have an opportunity and to connect with one diocese’s first-ever virtual Resurrection, the Ascension of Jeanother in breakout Pentecost Retreat aims sus culminates in the sessions. Like the Aposto inspire participants, sending of the Holy Spirit by the Father tles locked in the through the grace of at the request of His Upper Room, the Son on Jesus' disfaithful of the diothe Holy Spirit, to be ciples. Also known cese — still in their refreshed, to pray with as the birthday of the homes as a result of Pentecost the coronavirus panexpectant faith, and to Church, commemorates the demic — are invited know that God will do official inaugurato remember and tion of the Christian relive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on great things in their midst. Church by the apostolic preaching of St. the Apostles and the other disciples gathered in prayer with Peter, which resulted in the conversion the Virgin Mary in the Upper Room of 3,000 Jews to the Christian Faith. Participants who register for the during the virtual Pentecost Retreat. Celebrated 50 days after the Res- Pentecost Retreat will have the oppor-

tunity to listen to live presentations, witness talks and take part in small breakout sessions. To see the full schedule and to register, visit: www. There is no cost to attend. No registration is required to participate in the livestreamed Vigil Mass.


Independent resource available to survivors of sex abuse PISCATAWAY — A third-party reporting service is now in place to receive claims of abuse against United States Roman Catholic Bishops. The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting (CBAR) service was launched by the U.S. Bishops in March as part of their ongoing commitment to carrying out Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio “Vos estis lux mundi” — or “You are the light of the world” — issued in May 2019. A link to the reporting service can be found on the Diocese of Metuchen’s website: Reports can also be made by visiting or calling (800) 276-1562. “While this reporting service echoes the measures Bishop James F. Checchio had already implemented in our local Church, the nationwide service ensures independent reporting. This is available to survivors of abuse throughout the U.S. Catholic Church,” said Anthony P. Kearns III, Esq., spokesperson and chancellor of the Diocese of Metuchen. Prior to the release of the Motu Proprio, Bishop Checchio announced the formation of a senior team of lay men and women in August 2018. By this measure, Bishop Checchio established an independent reporting structure outside the Diocese of Metuchen to allow priests, deacons and seminarians to bring forward an allegation against anyone in authority in the Church, includ-

ing himself, without fear of retribution. of Newark, who will undertake the “No survivor of abuse should be responsibility of initially assessing the in a position where they feel a sense report. In the event the report concerns of fear or powerlessness to report their Cardinal Tobin, it would be forwarded abuser or those who to the senior bishop intentionally conof another diocese cealed their abuse,” in New Jersey. “No survivor of said Kearns. “By Cardinal Tothe implementation bin, with a team of abuse should be in a of this third-party competent experts position where they service, should a in the fields of law person be the survienforcement, law, feel a sense of fear vor of abuse at the counseling and huhands of someone man relations, will or powerlessness to in the hierarchy of conduct an initial report their abuser the Church, the surassessment and vivor is empowered forward that assessor those who intento report their abuse ment, along with tionally concealed to law enforcement the unedited report, officials and also to the Apostolic their abuse.” through this thirdNuncio in Wash—Anthony P. Kearns III party independent ington, D.C. The source, no matter Apostolic Nuncio who their abuser.” will then forward The CBAR serboth the report and vice is operated by Convercent, Inc., assessment to the Holy See for a deteran independent, third-party entity that mination about whether an investigaprovides intake services to private in- tion is warranted. stitutions for reports of sensitive topThe Catholic Bishop Abuse Reics such as sexual harassment through porting service allows individuals to a secure, confidential, and profes- report U.S. bishops who have: sional platform. • forced someone to perform If a report is received through the or submit to sexual acts through vioCBAR service about a New Jersey lence, threat, or abuse of authority; bishop, it will be forwarded to the • performed sexual acts with a local metropolitan bishop, Cardinal minor or vulnerable adult; Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop • produced, exhibited, pos-

sessed or distributed child pornography, or recruited or induced a minor or vulnerable adult to participate in pornographic exhibitions; • intentionally interfered with a civil or Church investigation into allegations of sexual abuse committed by another priest or deacon. The third-party service does not replace existing reporting systems for complaints against priests, deacons, religious brothers or sisters, or lay persons working or volunteering for the Church, which were established in 2002 with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The reporting of sexual misconduct by anyone in diocesan ministry should continue to be reported to local law enforcement and the Diocesan Response Officer at (908) 930-4558, in accordance with the Diocese of Metuchen’s child protection policy. “The implementation of the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting service reaffirms the commitment of Bishop Checchio and his brother bishops to live according to the Gospel and to place themselves under the same high standards applied to their priests, deacons, and lay personnel,” said Kearns. “This service is another step forward in ensuring accountability is maintained on all levels and is the latest in a long history of actions taken by the Diocese of Metuchen to combat the sins of the past.”

Office of Communications and Public Relations – Tara Smith, Associate Director

The faithful look to the Church for a sense of confidence and hope. Now, more than ever before, the Office of Communications and Public Relations has been encountering and engaging the faithful, those in our diocese and beyond, using digital media. As a result of the pandemic, the Office launched the #OneChurchTogether initiative to offer spiritual support, a digital community and an opportunity for people to deepen their faith and friendship with Jesus, even in the midst these challenging times. In light of all of the tragic news in the media sparked by the coronavirus, the Office is also responding to an increased need for good news with the #GoodNewsGrowing program. To help the Office communicate a message of faith, hope and love, people from across the diocese are invited to share information about everyday heroes, inspiring work and stories that make people smile which is then highlighted on our social media. Information about #OneChurchTogether and #GoodNewsGrowing can be found on the diocesan website www., along with an extensive listing of parish livestreaming services.

Office of Family Life – Cristina D’Averso-Collins, Director

Office of Human Life & Dignity – Jennifer Ruggiero, Director

On March 25, 2020, the Office of Human Life & Dignity launched a nationwide USCCB initiative called, “Walking with Moms in Need – A Year of Service,” with the purpose of accessing, expanding and communicating resources that are available on the local parish level for pregnant and parenting moms in need. Because of the pandemic, the initiative has been modified and the program along with many resources has been shared in an online #OneChurchTogether session, which is available on the diocesan website. The Office also has collaborated with the Office of Family Life, hosting a virtual Mini-Retreat for Moms on May 16 featuring a keynote address by Colleen Carroll Campbell entitled, “No Perfect Moms in a Pandemic: How the Saints Can Help Us Practice, Choose Joy and Find Freedom Even in Lockdown.” The Office has also helped to communicate important information about the need for the development of an ethical vaccine for the COVID-19 virus as well as other public policy issues.

Office of Hispanic Evangelization & Pastoral Ministry – Allan Caballero, Director

The Office of Hispanic Evangelization and Pastoral Ministry works to preserve, enrich and strengthen the faith of Latino Catholics – some who have been here for many years and others who have arrived recently and are not fully integrated into the Church and society. Despite the pandemic, the Office continues to be an active and fruitful presence to the Hispanic community through live-streamed classes and conferences, worship nights and various devotions. In an effort to maintain a sense of continuity and connectedness, the Office adopted a missionary mindset, personally calling more than 400 members of the Hispanic Community to offer prayers and fellowship. In a time of social distancing, the Office continually finds ways to creatively go out to find lost sheep.

series of reflections that are being offered throughout the Easter season. Each reflection is offered by a pastoral musician of the Diocese of Metuchen and is meant to provide spiritual encouragement to cantors, choir members, accompanists and music directors. The Office is also hosting a weekly discussion called, “In the Time of COVID-19: An Online Conversation.” Tony Varas is joined by Thomas A. DeLessio, coordinator, diocesan Liturgical Music; and Barbara Sanderman, director, Metuchen Chapter for Pastoral Musicians, to offer support as well as an opportunity to dialogue about our current situation with those who prepare liturgical celebrations.

Office of Discipleship Formation for Children – Carol Mascola, Director

The Office of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) provides a weekly newsletter with resources and upcoming virtual events to help enrich the parish RCIA teams. The goal is to share ideas on how best to keep the Elect and Candidates engaged during these restrictive times. The Office of RCIA will be collaborating with the Office of Worship to host virtual workshops on “How to do Initiation outside of the Easter Vigil.” In addition, the office’s director conducts a weekly online Lectio Divina prayer session that is open to all. Editor’s Note: The above information was compiled by Jennifer Ruggiero, Secretary, diocesan Secretariat for Family and Pastoral Life. Your support of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal makes it possible for the diocese’s ministries to continue their important work. Our prayer is that we will, once again, gather around the table of the Lord, reunited as a family of faith. Until then we remain, in solidarity -- One Church Together -- united in faith, hope and love.

The Office of Discipleship for Children continues to remain active by providing religious education guidance to parish catechetical leaders, catechists, and pastors as needed. Resources, including religious formation support for parents, prayer experiences, free subscriptions and webinars and catechetical lessons and sacramentals for those preparing for first holy Communion and confirmation, are sent out through a weekly newsletter. Special arrangements can also be made for those families without access to computers, emails and other technology by contacting the Office.

Office of Worship – Tony Varas, Director

Recently, the Office of Worship launched, “Reflections from the Upper Room,” a

Office of RCIA – Sara Sharlow, Director

Special Delivery

— photo courtesy of Catholic Charities

MAY 21, 2020

Mary McKenzie Hayes, a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul chapter at St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, Edison, recently delivered a second donation of food and gift cards from the ministry to Edison Family Service Office Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen (CCDOM.“We’re blessed to have a wonderful team [chapter] at St. Matthew’s,” said Hayes. “Alice Donahoe takes care of our pantry and packed all the food, our president, Mike Rohal, is a great leader and keeps us all connected.” The donation will be distributed to local families impacted by job loss during the coronavirus pandemic. “It is donations like these that help Catholic Charities serve the most vulnerable,” said Jessica Polizzotto, Service Area Director, CCDOM. “Many of the families we serve were already experiencing financial challenges prior to the pandemic so the loss of income during this time has resulted in us seeing a spike in food insecurity.” CCDOM is one of the many ministries and organizations supported by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.


Through the crisis, we are finding that family and community are very much alive, even in social isolation. Recognizing that family life remains forever the building block for a healthy society and the secure path to spiritual well-being, the Office of Family Life continues to work to strengthen the domestic church. While many weddings have been postponed because of the social distancing order, the “God’s Plan for a Joy-filled Marriage” Preparation Program has been adapted to virtual sessions. Various professionals and married couples are part of an online presentation which includes interaction through a question and answer panel. A one-on-one mentoring opportunity for engaged couples is also being offered, if needed. In an effort to address specific areas of concern during this unprecedented time, the Office of Family Life recently hosted a

#OneChurchTogether session which was both live-streamed and recorded, entitled, “Is COVID-19 Changing How we View Family, Work & Rest?” The session featured a licensed therapist who addressed many of the challenges that families now face with people working and learning remotely. Another session is being planned which will address “How to Cope with Grief During in the Age of COVID-19.”


Together, as one family of God, we are experiencing a pandemic which is gripping the entire world. In late March, with mandated “shelter-in-place,” our diocesan offices were compelled to make swift changes and find creative ways to continue to carry out the Church’s transformative mission. Our diocesan staff continues to meet remotely on a regular basis to share ideas and access those areas of ministry which are most critical during this anxious and trying time. Working as “One Church Together,” here are some highlights of the many ways the ministries of our diocese, supported by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, have adjusted to the current crisis, stepping forward in faith and putting grace into action.


Bishop’s Annual Appeal helps ministries continue work

MAY 21, 2020


A c t i o


FAith: 28 28

Stepping Forward in Parish Name

Parish City

Pastor Name

Goal Amount Total Pledged % Pledged

MARCH 5, 2020


Saint Luke Church North Plainfield Monsignor Corona $ 32,000 $ 35,990 112.47 Most Holy Name of Jesus Perth Amboy Monsignor Gordon $ 19,000 $ 20,982 110.43 Saint Stanislaus Kostka Ch urch Sayreville Father Murphy $ 48,000 $ 49,123 102.34 Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church Th ree Bridges Father Serafin $ 130,000 $ 132,096 101.61 Saint Helena Church Edison Father Sirianni $ 150,000 $ 150,000 100.00 Saint Bartholomew Church East Brunswick Fath er Walsh $ 173,000 $ 173,000 100.00 Sacred Heart Church South Plainfield Fath er Alvarado $ 95,000 $ 92,400 97.26 Saint Elizabeth-Saint Brigid Church Peapack Monsignor Puleo $ 230,000 $ 220,095 95.69 Our Lady of the Mount Church Warren Fath er Kenney $ 378,000 $ 359,692 95.16 Saint Frances Cabrini Church Piscataway Father Considine $ 35,000 $ 33,179 94.80 Queenship of Mary Church Plainsboro Father Paderon $ 158,000 $ 149,275 94.48 Our Lady of Mercy Church South Bound Brook Fath er Lee $ 35,000 $ 31,720 90.63 Church of the Annunciation Bloomsbury Father Coruna $ 13,000 $ 11,711 90.09 Saint Cecilia Church Monmouth Junction Father O'Connor $ 72,000 $ 64,589 89.71 Our Lady of Fatima Church Piscataway Father Da Silva $ 80,000 $ 71,546 89.43 Saint Charles Borromeo Church Skillman Monsignor Malovetz $ 124,000 $ 110,856 89.40 Saint Joseph Church North Plainfield Father Farrell $ 33,000 $ 29,328 88.87 Saint Mary's-Stony Hill Church Watchung Monsignor Benwell $ 312,000 $ 277,237 88.86 Saint Rose of Lima Church (Oxford) Belvidere Father Sabella $ 11,000 $ 9,760 88.73 Saint Thomas the Apostle Church Old Bridge Father Johnson $ 87,000 $ 76,818 88.30 Saint Peter th e Apostle Parish New Brunswick Monsignor Celano $ 50,000 $ 43,608 87.22 Saint Joseph Church Bound Brook Father Pringle $ 32,000 $ 27,867 87.08 Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Church Bridgewater Monsignor Vashon $ 135,000 $ 117,184 86.80 Saint John the Evangelist Church Lambertville Fath er Kolakowski $ 125,000 $ 107,951 86.36 Saint Mary of Ostrabrama Ch urch South River Father Gromadzki $ 42,000 $ 36,261 86.34 Saint Matthew the Apostle Church Edison Father Targonski $ 59,000 $ 49,692 84.22 Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi Metuch en Monsignor Zamorski $ 338,000 $ 283,768 83.95 Saint Matth ias Ch urch Somerset Fath er Orapankal $ 172,000 $ 144,278 83.88 Saint Joseph Church Wash ington Fath er Selvester $ 27,000 $ 22,343 82.75 Mary, Mother of God Church Hillsborough Fath er Rozembajgier $ 166,000 $ 136,170 82.03 Saint Mary Church South Amboy Fath er Weezorak $ 49,000 $ 39,923 81.48 Saint Ambrose Church Old Bridge Father Grimes $ 80,000 $ 65,054 81.32 Our Lady of Peace Church North Brunswick Father Krull $ 124,000 $ 100,770 81.27 Saint Anthony of Padua Church Port Reading Father Smith $ 24,000 $ 19,137 79.74 Saint Augustine of Canterbury Church Kendall Park Fath er Lynam $ 146,000 $ 115,779 79.30 Sacred Heart Church South Amboy Father Gromadzki $ 55,000 $ 43,095 78.35 Our Lady of Victories Church Sayreville Father Pinnisi $ 91,000 $ 71,076 78.11 Parish of the Visitation New Brunswick Father Chittilappilly $ 46,000 $ 35,831 77.89 give online Saint Catherine of Siena Church Pittstown Fath er Zalubski $ 38,000 $ 29,571 77.82 Saint Ann Church Hampton Father Saharic $ 33,000 $ 25,610 77.61 Saint Cecelia Church Iselin Fath er Naduviledath u $ 64,000 $ 49,168 76.83 Our Lady of Fatima Church Perth Amboy Fath er Njobam $ 14,000 $ 10,680 76.29 Our Lady of Lourdes Church Whitehouse Station Fath er Rusay $ 110,000 $ 83,552 75.96 Saint John Paul II Parish Perth Amboy Father Romanowski, C.Ss.R $ 23,000 $ 17,312 75.27 Saint Joseph Church Hillsborough Father Hilton $ 135,000 $ 101,144 74.92 Saint James Ch urch Woodbridge Monsignor Cicerale $ 63,000 $ 46,891 74.43 Saint John Vianney Church Colonia Father Gloss $ 120,000 $ 88,743 73.95 Blessed Sacrament Ch urch Martinsville Fath er Nolan $ 150,000 $ 109,999 73.33 Most Holy Redeemer Ch urch Matawan Father Carina $ 65,000 $ 47,657 73.32 Saint Andrew Church Avenel Father Kosmoski $ 41,000 $ 29,691 72.42 Saints Peter & Paul Church Great Meadows Fath er Podsiadlo $ 15,000 $ 10,860 72.40 Saint Bernadette Church Parlin Fath er Hagerman $ 58,000 $ 41,943 72.32 Good Sh eph erd Perth Amboy Father Burdzy $ 24,000 $ 17,288 72.03 Saint John the Evangelist Church Dunellen Father Kariuki $ 32,000 $ 22,831 71.35 Immaculate Conception Church Somerville Monsignor Brennan $ 179,000 $ 126,243 70.53 Saint John Neumann Church Califon Father Rusk $ 38,000 $ 26,751 70.40 Saint Ann Church Raritan Father Odorizzi $ 70,000 $ 48,759 69.66 Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Church Middlesex Father Skoblow $ 74,000 $ 51,404 69.46 Saint Theodore Church Port Murray Fath er Tomiczek $ 7,000 $ 4,813 68.75 Saint Lawrence Church Laurence Harbor Fath er Keh oe $ 30,000 $ 20,411 68.04 Holy Trinity Church Helmetta Father Wieliczko $ 15,000 $ 10,140 67.60 Our Lady of Lourdes Church Milltown Father Czarcinski $ 59,000 $ 39,622 67.16 Our Lady of Peace Church Fords Father Paratore $ 64,000 $ 42,616 66.59 Saint Mary of Czestochowa Church Bound Brook Father Stec $ 33,000 $ 21,699 65.75 Saint Joseph Church Carteret Fath er McGuffey $ 32,000 $ 20,950 65.47 Saint James Ch urch Basking Ridge Monsignor Cronin $ 342,000 $ 222,884 65.17 2020Fath Bishop's Update Immaculate Conception Church Spotswood er O'Kane Annual Appeal $ 85,000 $ 54,909 64.60 Saint Jude Church Blairstown Father Jandernoa $ 42,000 $ 26,827 63.87 Corpus Christi Church South Fath er Breen $ 33,000 Total $ 20,997 % Pledged 63.63 Parish Name ParishRiver City Pastor Name Goal Amount Pledged Saint James the Less Church Jamesburg Father Fragoso $ 80,000 $ 49,994 62.49 Saint Magdalen de Pazzi Church Flemington Father Brighenti $ 158,000 $ 98,592 62.40 Transfiguration of the Lord Highland Park Father Lotha $ 48,000 $ 29,796 62.08 Church of the Holy Trinity Bridgewater Father Calia $ 65,000 $ 40,331 62.05 Our Lady of Victories Church Baptistown Father Kaczynski $ 34,000 $ 20,662 60.77 Ch rist th e Redeemer Parish Manville Father Slaby $ 52,000 $ 31,405 60.39 Divine Mercy Parish Carteret Father Shallow $ 25,000 $ 15,041 60.16 Assumption of Mary Church Hackettstown Father Arockiadoss $ 45,000 $ 26,936 59.86 Saint Philip & Saint James Church Phillipsburg Father Barbella $ 78,000 $ 46,656 59.82 Nativity of Our Lord Church Monroe Township Father Flanagan $ 88,000 $ 52,525 59.69 Saint Mary Church Alpha Monsignor Lawler $ 54,000 $ 32,203 59.64 Saint Edward the Confessor Church Milford Father Kaczynski $ 27,000 $ 16,075 59.54 Saint Patrick Church Belvidere Father Sabella $ 29,000 $ 16,952 58.46 Saint Joseph Church Raritan Father Kolibas $ 25,000 $ 14,200 56.80 Saint Joseph Church High Bridge Rev. Kyrpczak $ 37,000 $ 20,384 55.09 Holy Family Parish New Brunswick Father Ryan $ 14,000 $ 7,640 54.57 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church Bernardsville Father Siceloff $ 188,000 $ 100,258 53.33 Our Lady of Czestochowa Church South Plainfield Father Tran $ 34,000 $ 18,103 53.24 Immaculate Conception Church Annandale Father Toborowsky $ 167,000 $ 81,854 49.01 Saint Stephen Protomartyr Church South River Father Szczepanik $ 19,000 $ 8,400 44.21 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church New Brunswick Father Nacarino $ 37,000 $ 15,695 42.42 TOTAL: Diocesan totals include gifts with no parish designation $ 7,200,000 $ 5,910,886 82.10


G r2020ABishop's c Annual e Appeal i nUpdate A c t i o n

Estimated Total Donors Rebate

$ $ $ $

1,995 991 561 1,048

70 121 187 343 7 6 308 175 226 133 150 128 44 182 283 211 102 143 31 349 90 117 315 146 133 251 517 give online 294 105 387 216 298 175 151 383 198 268 131 97 136 258 53 281 114 286 228 351 275 192 180 73 176 115 124 290 79 173 246 36 106 62 214 207 97 155 401 260 90 Estimated 125 Total Donors Rebate 179 313 134 161 83 230 101 1) Parish results as of May 14, 2020 99 233 319 2) St. Helena, Edison and St. 209 Bartholomew, East Brunswick have 85 guaranteed goals due to parish 102 60 capital campaigns 75 49 3) Parish rebates will be 50% of the 157 92 amount collected over goal 270 32 100 $ 4,596 16,083


Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen

Bishop’s 2020 Bishop’s AnnuAl AppeAl

Annual Appeal Stepping Forward Update Stepping Forward

CALL THE OFFICE OF STEWARDSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT AT 732-562-2436: OR GIVE ONLINE: diome diometuchen.o Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen

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MARCH 5, 2020




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are being lived every day and how the dignity of every person is brought forth to others through a message of love, unity and hope. The Corporal Works of Mercy are the teachings of Jesus as to how we should treat others and help those in need. To read more about Catholic Charities in action and their response to COVID-19, all are encouraged to read the article by Tara Smith on page 14. It is impressive and motivating to see how Catholic Charities has continued to address social concerns and be an intentional example of the Corporal Works of Mercy by way of feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, providing child care, counseling, and emergency relief services even through the pandemic. The Bishop’s Annual Appeal also provides the opportunity to serve the Spiritual Works of Mercy so that we can guide our neighbors on their spiritual journey. This comes in many forms. The Bishop’s Annual Appeal ensures the continuation of the evangelization and catechesis programs in the Diocese of Metuchen and within our parishes. Other vital needs the Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports are seminarian

formation, youth and young adult related ministries and diversity ministries. On page 11, Jennifer Ruggiero writes about how our ministries, have responded through these pandemic days. All funds raised through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal are used to support the ministries and programs of the Diocese of Metuchen. Please consider a sacrificial gift to this year’s appeal. By that, please consider a gift of sacrifice through prayer and reflection, to the best of your means. With so many people negatively impacted because of COVID-19 it is important to bring people the opportunity to be a part of this mission, our faith and the work of God. There is still opportunity to participate by responding to the most recent mailing or by making an online pledge at ways-to-give. Please know we are praying for the safety of you and your loved ones as well as all impacted by the pandemic crisis. Prayer intentions can be sent at: https:// Smith is director, diocesan Office of Development and Stewardship


The very excitement of the Easter season is that God wants us to cultivate and understand that he is breaking into our hearts right now. He is walking with us through this journey we are all experiencing - the impact of COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic. These are days where we can find moments of real connection with others and the true value of what life really means comes alive in all of us. There are so many examples of how we can be aware of God’s goodness. Even through these challenging and uncertain days God and His great works are among us. One example of this is the fact that this year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal is at an astounding 82 percent of its $7.2 million goal. Thanks to all of you; the Disciples that embody the Church of Metuchen; the members of our parish communities. Your sacrifice, generosity, and participation in this effort is a sign of your renewal to our commitment to live the Gospel message through our ministries and service to others. Because of your continued support through

your resources and prayer, we are able to work together to accomplish great things in our parishes and in our Diocese. We believe that giving is rooted in spirituality. When speaking with fellow parishioners it is comforting and inspiring to hear them say that giving is also part of our discipleship. We believe, too, that giving is prayerful. Realizing that God is the source of all of our blessings, it is our discipleship to receive these blessings gratefully and to share these same blessings with others. Now more than ever, the needs and the call to mission has expanded. When we work towards meeting those needs, we are loving and serving Jesus and those who need Him the most. Undoubtedly, the ministries funded through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal are so relative in present day. It is through these ministries that we are able to serve, thus being led to the mission of Jesus Christ. It is through our appeal efforts that we live the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. The ministry of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, is an intentional example of how the Corporal Works of Mercy


Generosity of faithful helps diocese accomplish ‘great things’

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— photos courtesy of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen

MAY 21, 2020

Above clockwise, Tarum Maheshwar from the Edison SAI Center donated 25 handmade masks, 15 pizzas, a case of bananas, and bottled water to the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen’s (CCDOM) Ozanam Family Shelter, Edison, April 23. Diaper donations received from Immaculate Conception Parish, Somerville, and St. James Parish, Basking Ridge, for CCDOM’s child care centers in New Brunswick (and St. Joseph Parish, Hillsborough, donated $500 to buy diapers). They will be distributed to all families at both YES St. Ladislaus and YES ELC in New Brunswick. A woman from one of the families CCDOM YES child care programs serves in New Brunswick receives a food donation from the End Hunger Partnership. Through a generous food donation from MCFoods (Food Bank), East Brunswick, along with 400 reusable bags provided by UnitedHealthcare, families were able to pick up food at the YES St. Ladislaus Site, or in cases where that was not possible, have food delivered to their door by YES family workers. Mary McKenzie Hayes and Ron Hayes deliver food to the Ozanam Family Shelter on behalf of St. Matthew School, Edison May 8. Care packages full of activities and family fun ideas donated by Catholic Charities staff members sent to youth in Catholic Charities programs. Catholic Charities Family Workers Marlon Osuna and Lemnis Kirchmeier sort food and essential supplies donated by Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish, Middlesex. The child care centers received more than 20 bags and boxes of food and baby supplies.


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STEPPING FORWARD Catholic Charities provides vital services during pandemic

Children extend care to military veteran in California

By Tara Smith

When Catholic Charities’ Care PISCATAWAY — For many in the DioceseChild of Metuchen, Easter was different this year, but for some, the day was Site Supervisor Jenelle Clauson read business as usual. a Staff Facebook post about a 104-year-old of the Ozanam Inn, a men’s shelter in New Marine’s special plea Charities, for Valentine’s Brunswick, operated by Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, served to their 40 residents who would wishes, shedinner gathered her colleagues otherwise be homeless, much like they do every day. atWhile Hatchery Hill Elementary School, much of the state remains at a standstill beHackettstown, organized a Charities project cause of the coronavirus,and the work of Catholic cannot halted, according JulioCatholic Coto, acting Chariexecufor bethe children intothe tive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen. ties’ after school child care program to “If anything, we have seen an increase in requests to the oldest living Marine’s forrespond basic services,” said Coto. “Our staff members, as they always have, but with even greater sacrifice now, request. leave behind families of their own on holidays to come Maj. Bill White, a World War II to work because they recognize that if they don’t, there veteran and people Purple Heart recipient, will be many, many without access to the food, shelter and help need.” shared his they wish during an interview with The Corporal in Works of Mercy — Calif., among them KTXL-TV Sacramento, and feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless — unthe request went viral. He told the telefold every day through the outreach of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen. agency, vision hosts that oneBut of the hisCatholic favorite hobwhich last year provided 117,967 meals and shelter for bies is scrapbooking, which has helped 585 people who otherwise would have been homeless, keep trackhasofbeen hisdrastically extensive life. likehim manytoother agencies, impacted by Now the coronavirus pandemic. he wanted to add some Valentine As of to April 10 percent of U.S. labor force cards his23,collection ofthemementos. was out of work because of the closure of most essenOnceandword got out about White’s tial businesses their timeline for reopening remains uncertain. As astaff result, the for basic services even request, andneed children from isBenegreater now, Coto reported. dict A. Cucinella Elementary School, “We are still providing remote services and face-toChildren in the Catholic Charities' after school child care program, students at Long Valley, and Willow Grove Elface essential services, though some have been modified Hatchery Hill Elementary School, Hackettstown, send their love and support to in ementary order to accommodate additional safetyHatchery measures experience joy even in the midst of challenges and trials in face-to-face outreach to families in crisis. Schoolthejoined with likeMajor those we’re facing now.” Outpatient counseling services are still being proBill White, a World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient. needed protect our clients they and staff,” saidthree Coto. “ConHilltoand together sent large As a result of the generosity of donors and the vided. The independent living continues to — photo courtesy ofprogram Catholic Charities sidering the widespread impact the coronavirus has had dedication of its staff, Catholic Charities, Diocese of provide coverage and comfort to youth and the immiofproviding hand-made Valentine on envelopes the state of Newfull Jersey, the services we regable to keep its services operational. gration program continues to take on new cases. ularly offerand underwishes normal circumstances cards to honor White and to Metuchen has been The agency is still providing help to cliChildren in New Jersey’s child protection and child hasbring becomelove somewhat a monumental child care for 1,500 children in select support to ents Maj. White andassistance we are toallkeep re- welfare andofjoy to the retired Marine. “I am so proud of the in need of rental agency programs are still monitored through teletask, but through the selfless service of school districts The in Catholic Middlesex, minded of ahow important is topermanent provide phonic roof over their head.itTheir case management. Charities’Morris, program arehave sobeen thrilled about the response our“We staff, we able to maintain work Catholic Charities and supportive housing programs conof assertive community treatment teams is still providing Somerset and Warren counties. recognition to those who have served ourwe standard of service.” received from the school district,” services and delivering food and medication to as well as the tinue to provide case management to psychiatricFor CotoChild added, “so much is chang-Areadoes, more information about Catholic said Care Service Director our country.” their tenants and their shelters remain their clients with serious and persistent mental illness. ing during these trying times, but the work of all our religious Charities’ child for care visitand www. Last year, Catholic Charities, Diofully staffed and equipped to provide “I am so grateful the programs, work by our staff the Krista Glynn.Charities “The and staff mission of Catholic the and children lodging, meals, crisis counseling and personal sacrifices they make to come to work in these cese of Metuchen provided affordable and clergy, and our lay Church in each encounter.” werelives soonexcited to send their love and case management services to their challenging times,” said Coto. “They are the true heroes With funding from the Bishop’s faithful, who provide residents who would otherwise be for our clients and we could not be doing all that we are Annual Appeal, Catholic Charities without them.” serves the community with compasfunding for their im- homeless. The Catholic Charities’ food pan“I am so proud of the work Catholic Charities does, sion, dignity and respect, and continutry, one of the largest food pantries in as well as the work of all our religious and clergy, and portant ministries by ally adapts to the growing and changWarren County, is providing curbside our lay faithful, who provide funding for their important ing needs in the Diocese of Metuchen. supporting our Bish- food delivery to its clients and is mak- ministries by supporting our Bishop’s Annual Appeal,” “On Holy Thursday, this year esop’s Annual Appeal.” ing home food deliveries to seniors, said Bishop James F. Checchio. “What a difference they pecially, I was struck by the words of who are categorized at high-risk of make and what a blessing they are for the people in need the Gospel reading, in which Jesus says, —Bishop James F. Checchio contagion for the coronavirus. in our diocese!” ‘I have given you a model to follow, so The mobile response and stabiliFor more information about Catholic Charities, that as I have done for you, you should zation services program, which dispatches crisis staff Diocese of Metuchen, visit For inforalso do,’” Coto said. “His is the model we follow in our work — we love one another as he loves us and we live to homes, schools or other safe locations where youth mation on how you can support its ministry, visit https:// with a spirit of Easter joy year-round, offering that to our between the ages of five to 21 are experiencing a behav- Tara Smith is associate director, diocesan Office of clients, too, because we know that his suffering is trans- ioral or mental health crisis that jeopardizes their immediate and overall safety and well-being, is still engaging Communicaitons and Public Relations formed through faith and with this faith, we are able to

offerings from our diocese, some are by COVID-19, Father Krystian watching the devotions of the rosary Burdzy, administrator, Good Shepherd and Divine Mercy; but most of all Parish, Hopelawn, said, “Our elderly thank you for sharing in the Mass each members are isolated because they do week from your homes.” not have access to social media. They To help their flocks during the call me on the phone.” pandemic, other Perth Amboy pasThe pandemic tors also have online has also been stresslisted on “We are suffering by resources, ful for parishioners their websites, which who are nurses, and not being able to see can be used for evanspeaking of one of gelization at home. and talk to each other St. John Paul II Parhis challenges, Father Burdzy emphasized, [clergy and parishio- ish has a link on its “It’s difficult not to website to the diocners]. It’s also difficult esan website, as does be with my flock at Good Shepherd.” Good Shepherd ParMsgr. John B. not to conduct normal ish. Through the webGordon, pastor of funerals because of the site, individuals can Most Holy Name of participate in Lectio Jesus Parish, noted coronavirus restrictions. Divina, place prayer his website has a intentions and parWe have lost eight link to the Liturgy of ticipate in devotions the Hours and other members to COVID-19.” and programs, as well prayers, including as view livestreamed —Redemptorist Father one to Our Lady of Masses. Slawomir Romanowski Guadalupe. In a reThe St. John Paul cent parish bulletin II website also has a online, he wrote to his parishioners, link to “Catholics Come Home.” Al“As we continue to wait for the open- though its aim is to reach out to foring of our churches, I want to thank mer Catholics, the website serves as a you for participating in prayer as primer for the average Catholic who families and as faithful. I know some wants to understand his or her faith are sharing the Word of God online, better. The parish’s Vatican News link some are participating in the course has 23 Catholic prayers and its “The


Parishioners face challenges of COVID-19 pandemic with charity, prayer Continued from page 9

OUR DIOCESE Members of the Troopers United Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by New Jersey State Police Officers, volunteer at the Bread of Life Food Pantry operated by Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Perth Amboy. — photo courtesy of Our Lady of Fatima Parish Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception” link has a place to request prayers. Our Lady of Fatima Parish livestreamed its prayer service of the re-consecration of the Church to the Blessed Mother, each day live-streams a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, and has prayer resources on

its website, including stations of the cross. “We need prayers, moral support and financial support in order to serve our people in Perth Amboy, which is the city most affected by the coronavirus in Middlesex County,” said Father Njobam, adding, “We pray for an end to the pandemic.”

Virgina Tech student giving back to hospital of birth the place where she was born, and that’s when the family’s friend, Cernadas, made it happen. Cernadas ships boxes of the discarded fabric to Kleintop, who has since sewn and donated more than 300 masks to Saint Peter’s. The staff at Saint Peter’s is grateful for the supply and Kleintop and Cernadas hope others are inspired to do the same.

— photos courtesy of Calista Kleintop and Dr. Maureen Cernadas

MAY 21, 2020

Above, Calista Kleintop (right) of Yardley, Pa., then an infant, is held by her mother, Teresa, next to family friend Dr. Maureen Cernadas, who delivered Calista 20 years ago at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick. Cernadas, who is still practicing at the hospital, holds her son, Anthony Gutierrez, who was also born at Saint Peter’s. Anthony is now a unit secretary at the diocese-sponsored hospital, training to be a nurse. Left, Calista is shown recently sewing masks for the staff at Saint Peter’s. Since she began sewing masks out of Halyard H600 fabric, a material used in operating rooms, she has donated more than 300.


Twenty years ago, Dr. Maureen Cernadas delivered Calista Kleintop at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick. Kleintop, of Yardley, Pa., who is a junior at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., majoring in material science and engineering, is using recyclable material provided by Cernadas to create surgical grade masks for the diocesesponsored hospital, where Cernadas still practices. As part of her Senior Design Project, Kleintop was researching alternatives for the material currently used for N-95 surgical masks, which are in short supply. Her research uncovered documentation from an anesthesiologist at the University of Florida, Gainesville, showing that Halyard H600 fabric, a material used and discarded, in virtually every operating room across the country, could provide the closest thing to N-95 protection. Halyard is used to wrap and sterilize surgical instrument trays. (While not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, Halyard is thought to be superior to the common surgical mask in its ability to block aerosols and droplets, including water, bacteria and other particles.) Kleintop wanted to give back to



Christ's crucifixion/Faith-based marriage Q

Pope Francis

Question Corner


May 6, 2020 Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we begin a new series of catechesis on prayer. Prayer is the breath of faith, a cry arising from the hearts of those who trust in God. We see this in the story of Bartimaeus, the beggar from Jericho. Though blind, he is aware that Jesus is approaching, and perseveres in calling out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mk 10:47). By using the phrase “Son of David”, he makes a profession of faith in Jesus the Messiah. In response the Lord invites Bartimaeus to express his desire, which is to be able to see again. Christ then tells him: “Go; your faith has saved you” (v. 52). This indicates that faith is a cry for salvation attracting God’s mercy and power. It is not only Christians who pray but all men and women who search for meaning on their earthly journey. As we continue on our pilgrimage of faith, may we, like Bartimaeus, always persevere in prayer, especially in our darkest moments, and ask the Lord with confidence: “Jesus have mercy on me. Jesus, have mercy on us!”

This year during Holy Week, I was particularly troubled by the traditional teaching that Christ had to die that painful

By Father Kenneth Doyle death to atone for our sins. This seems to me to contradict Jesus’ identity as a loving savior. Upon Googling the topic, I came across a column you did several years ago that seemed to give a straightforward and common sense answer. (I also benefited from reading a magazine article by the theologian Elizabeth Johnson, which explained that St. Anselm’s 11th-century “satisfaction theology” was a product of the feudal society of his time; if you broke a law in those days, you had to pay something back to the feudal lord to restore order to society.) Do you have any further thoughts which could help comfort me on this issue? (Murphy, N.C.) I could not agree more with your discomfort at the view of St. Anselm. Anselm believed that the sacrificial death of Jesus was necessary to restore humanity’s communion with the Father, that the blood of Jesus was “payment” to God for human sin. This theory, though, has been chal-


lenged by other theologians over the centuries. In fact, one of Anselm’s contemporaries, the scholar Peter Abelard, insisted that Christ's death on the cross had been an act of love, not payment. And even 700 years before that, St. Augustine had indicated his reservations about such a theory; Augustine asked, in his “De Trinitate.” “Is it necessary to think that being God, the Father was angry with us, saw his son die for us and thus abated his anger against us?” St. Thomas Aquinas, too, criticized Anselm’s theory, saying that it took away God’s freedom to be merciful. Theologians in our own day have also found difficulty with Anselm’s view. In the article you mention, Elizabeth Johnson speaks persuasively; she reminds us that, in the biblical story of the prodigal son, the father would not even let his son apologize, saying instead, “It doesn't matter now. You’re home. Let’s have a party.” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, wrote in his “Introduction to Christianity” that Anselm’s attempt to blend the divine and human legal systems can “make the image of God appear in a sinister light.” And so — thankfully — none of us is compelled to believe that God deliberately willed the suffering of his Son.

on issues of faith. It is easy to move toward hopelessness, believing that I may never find anyone who will meet my standards (being Catholic, desiring an active faith life and willing to accompany me on that faith journey). I do still believe that God hasn’t forgotten me, that I can put my trust in his timing and persevere in the midst of doubt. But can you offer any words of encouragement for someone in my position? (Sioux City, Iowa)

I am 28 years old and over the past 10 years, I have been in three serious romantic relationships, one of which reached the point where I became engaged. All three relationships ended for the same reason — the inability to find common ground

Well, right off the bat here is one encouraging thing: I just looked up the average age of people getting married in the U.S., and it is your age or above. So, you still have time! But seriously, I am impressed and edified by the values you prize in a marriage; if the ultimate goal of each of us is to, one day, be with God in heaven, then we want every major decision in our life to lead us in that direction. And since you put such a premium on faith, I can’t believe that God does not have something good in store for you — and his timing is always better than ours! On a practical level, there are several dating services that invite users to comment on the role the Catholic faith plays in their life, and I have known couples who have found success in this way. Among such services are: CatholicMatch, Catholic Singles, Catholic Chemistry and Ave Maria Singles. Questions may be sent to Father Kenneth Doyle at and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, NY 12203

on display for anyone to see. The evidence took the form of men and boys constantly crossing that busy street, from Paolino’s to Campbell’s, from Campbell’s to Paolino’s. I was one of the boys. If a customer of ours asked for, say, a can of cut green beans, and we had run out, one of us, man or boy, would take a can of cut wax beans across the street and trade it for green beans. Transactions such as that were the rule rather than the exception, especially on Saturdays, which were the busiest days on both sides of the street. I was young when I was a part of this practice, and I didn’t think anything of it. With time, however, I have come to appreciate the values of the store owners who in this way not only shrugged off competition but proactively helped each other do business. I have described this bartering to many people, and they invariably react to it as though it were remarkable. And yet, knowing them as well as I did, I don’t believe those who engaged in it thought it was remarkable at all. They were content to share the marketplace, as it were — “share and share alike,” as the legal expression goes — and one had no ambition to have more, much less all, of the trade. They conducted themselves, I think, as Jesus would have us conduct ourselves in everyday life, not by being patsies or martyrs but by seeing life as

something to share, not something to grasp. We all have heard many stories about how the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the surface in some folks selfishness, greed, and cruelty. I won’t dwell on that here. We also have heard many stories about how the pandemic has brought to the surface in some folks generosity and self-sacrifice, folks finding ways to make sure that others are not lonely or afraid or hungry or ill — folks taking care of themselves but saving some care for those who would otherwise be neglected. When news reporters have spoken to some of this latter group, the folks frequently describe their behavior in a matter-of-fact way, as though to say, “I helped distribute meals to shut-ins? Well, of course.” We see in what these people are doing examples of what Pope Francis, in his exhortation “Rejoice and be Glad,” describes as the holiness of everyday life, not heroism on a grand scale — which we are also witnessing — but holiness in the small details of life. In their empathy and generosity, these are what Francis calls “the saints next door,” and they provide a model for how we all should live, with or without a global crisis. Deacon Paolino exercises his ministry at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Whitehouse Station.



‘Saints next door’ shine as pandemic rages

I have mentioned several times in this space that I grew up hanging out and more or less working in my family’s grocery store and butcher shop.


Memorare Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, Never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, Implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother; to you do I come; before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

The store was located for many years on a busy street, directly across from a similar store operated for decades by Murdoch F. Campbell. There were no Wegmans or Whole Foods or Aldis in those days; shopping was done in towns and cities, not on highways. The “supermarkets” that had started to appear were limited versions of what we’re used to now — and there were none in our town. In our part of town, folks were pretty much divvied up into Campbell people and Paolino people, and the choice sometimes lasted for two or three generations. Although that may sound like a competitive environment, it wasn’t. Quite the contrary, it was an environment of mutual respect and contentment. The nature of the relationship between those two stores and the people who owned them was regularly


Jesus ends his earthly mission SCRIPTURE STUDY By Msgr. John N. Fell This Sunday the Church marks the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. This becomes a special opportunity for us to celebrate the great truths that we proclaim so often in prayer — in the Apostles’ Creed we profess about Jesus that “he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty,” and in the Nicene Creed at Mass every Sunday we declare our faith that “he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” In the earliest eras of the Church, the Ascension was usually treated simply in the larger context of the Resurrection or Pentecost, but beginning in the late third century in the East and shortly thereafter in the West, the important message of this particular part of the salvation history became a topic of interest in its own right. The Ascension provides an important bridge between the Resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the apostles. The Ascension completes a loop, if you will, in which the Eternal Son of God, fully possessed of God’s own divine nature, is sent by the Father to assume human nature, becoming incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and working to reveal God’s goodness, love, and compassion to a humanity in need of redemption. Jesus, fully divine and fully human, completes this mission by his life and teaching, death and Resurrection, and then, after offering a great commission to his chosen apostles, he returns to heaven, to his place of eternal glory. The Ascension thus becomes an immense blessing for humanity in that (1) we can celebrate our God and Savior’s return to the place of worship and majesty that is rightfully his, (2) we can rejoice in the fact our human nature, fully possessed by Christ, is now ensconced eternally with the Godhead in heaven, (3) having assumed our human nature, Christ promised to be an effective Intercessor for us at the very throne of God, and (4) having returned to heaven, the Son along with the Father sent the Holy Spirit upon his disciples enabling them to remember Jesus’ teaching, to live it out and proclaim it faithfully it to all peoples, and to remain united with one another and with Christ the Lord in the Church. The Church places before us this Sunday two readings especially important for our understanding of Christ’s Ascension: in the First Reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we are treated to a glimpse of what those initial apostles themselves may have experienced on that day of the Lord’s Ascension, and

Acts 1:12-14 • Ps 27:1, 4, 7-8 • 1 Pt 4:13-16 • Jn 17:1-11a Acts 19:1-8 • Ps 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab • Jn 16:29-33 Acts 20:17-27 • Ps 68:10-11, 20-21 • Jn 17:1-11a Acts 20:28-38 • Ps 68:29-30, 33-35a, 35bc-36ab • Jn 17:11b-19 Acts 22:30; 23:6-11 • Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 • Jn 17:20-26 Acts 28:25:13b-21 • Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab • Jn 21:15-19 Acts 28: 16-20, 30-31 • Ps 11:4, 5, 7 • Jn 21:20-25 Acts 2:1-11 • Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34 • 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 • Jn 20:19-23 Gn 3:9-15, 20 • Ps 87:1-2, 3, 5, 6-7 • Jn 19:25-34 2 Pt 3:12-15a, 17-18 • Ps 90:2, 3-4, 10, 14, 16 • Mk 12:13-17 2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12 • Ps 123:1b-2ab, 2cdef • Mk 12:18-27 2 Tm 2:8-15 • Ps 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10, 14 • Mk 12:28-34 2 Tm 3:10-17 • Ps 119:157, 160, 161, 165, 166, 168 • Mk 12:35-37 2 Tm 4:1-8 • Ps 71:8-9, 14-15ab, 16-17, 22 • Mk 12:38-44

CNS file photo

Charles and 21 other Ugandan martyrs, ages 14 to 30, were officials and pages in the court of King Mwanga II of Buganda. The king, after first accepting Christianity among his people, began to insist that converts abandon their new faith. He also preyed sexually on the young men at court. As head of the pages and their chief catechist, Charles tried to protect his charges. But, when they would not reject Christianity, they were killed in 1885-86; some were speared to death and others, like Charles, were burned alive. These first martyrs from sub-Saharan Africa were canonized in Uganda in 1964 by Pope Paul VI; they are the patrons of African Catholic Youth Action, converts and torture victims.

Saints © 2014 Catholic News Service

SCRIPTURE SEARCH® Gospel for May 24, 2020 Matthew 28: 16-20 and John 17: 1-11a

Following is a word search based on the Gospel readings for the feast of the Ascension of the Lord and the Seventh Sunday of Easter. The words can be found in all directions in the puzzle. ELEVEN THEY SAW HIM ON EARTH NAME HOLY ALWAYS ETERNAL



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c. 1860 - 1886 feast - June 3



then in the reading from St. Matthew’s Gospel, we hear the Lord’s great commission — both to those early followers and to us. The first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles gives a brief overview of Jesus’ post-Resurrection activity with his disciples, and then, after 40 days, tells of Jesus instructing them to remain together until the promised coming of the Holy Spirit. He instructs them to “be [his] witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 b-c) at which point, “when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight” (Acts 1:9). St. Matthew’s Gospel offers further insight into the setting and more fully elaborates the commission that Jesus laid upon them and their successors. Significantly, St. Matthew introduces this vignette by telling us that when the Eleven saw Jesus, “they worshipped [him], but they doubted” (Mt 28:17); followers of Jesus, even those so committed that they would worship him are also imperfect, sometimes questioning, quite often slow to understand, maybe even sinful people. When modern day disciples recognize these characteristics in themselves, there is no cause for despair — Jesus has always chosen such people, and look at the good they have been able, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish over the past two millennia. Next, Jesus comes to the heart of his commission; he reminds them that “all power in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” (Mt 28:18b), that is, that the task he is laying upon them is the fruit of his divine power and an extension of the mission that the Eternal Father had bestowed upon him. He then commands them to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19a) — (disciples being those who will embrace his word with loving, rapt attention and then fully commit themselves to living it out) and to do this by “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” (Mt 28:19b) and by “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20a). With a final promise that “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20b), Jesus’ earthly time with those disciples, his words of commission, and St. Matthew’s Gospel conclude. History tells us both of the grandeur of the possibilities to which Jesus’s commission gives rise, and of the hopes for good that disciples in every age can accomplish as they set out to fulfill this commission anew. Msgr. Fell is a Scripture scholar and director, diocesan Office for Priest Personnel


Charles Lwanga and Companions

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord


Charitable heart is key to inheriting Kingdom of God Article 138 - Catechism of the Catholic Church Series Paragraphs 1846-1853

Journey of Faith By Father John Gerard Hillier


A friend of mine recently introduced me to an English word I had never heard before. The 34-letter word, hyperpolysyllabicsesquipedalianism, refers to the practice of a person who likes to use big words in excess. I couldn’t help but think that people could accuse me of this if I told them often that my first parish assignment as a newly ordained priest was in a town near a lake with a 45-letter name called Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. Just as using big words in excess can set us apart from most people, big sins (mortal or grave sins) without sorrow can set us apart from God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The Good News, or the Gospel, “is Word and by his Spirit, casts a living the revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s light on sin” (ccc 1848). mercy to sinners” (ccc 1846). In order What is sin? The Catechism tells “to receive his mercy, we must admit us: “Sin is an offense against reason, our faults” (ccc 1847). As Sacred Scrip- truth, and right conscience ... an utterture puts it: “If we say ance, a deed, or a desire we have no sin, we decontrary to the eternal ceive ourselves, and the law” (ccc 1849). The Just as using truth is not in us. If we paragraph that follows big words in confess our sins, [God] states simply: “Sin is is faithful and just, and an offense against God” excess can set us will forgive our sins (ccc 1850). apart from most and cleanse us from all Later, in the secunrighteousness” (1 Jn tion on the “Different people, big sins 8-9). Again, in Sacred Kinds of Sins,” the CatScripture we read about echism, quoting from (mortal or grave Jesus saying of himself: St. Paul’s Letter to the sins) without “I am the Way, the Truth Galatians (5:19-21), and the Life. No one lists the following sins: sorrow can set comes to the Father “fornication, impurity, us apart from except through Me” licentiousness, idola(Jn 14:6). A few verses try, sorcery, enmity, God's mercy and later, we read that one strife, jealousy, anger, of the names God calls selfishness, dissension, forgiveness. his Holy Spirit is the factions, envy, drunk“Spirit of truth” (Jn enness, carousing, and 14:17). How does all of this help us un- the like.” Then St. Paul continues with derstand God’s truth? We might answer this cautionary advice: “I warn you, as by relying on the Catechism, which I warned you before, that those who do says: “Like a physician who probes the such things shall not inherit the Kingwound before treating it, God, by his dom of God” (ccc 1852). The final paragraph in this section of the Catechism explains that sins can also be classified in three categories “according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself” (ccc 1853). It explains further than sins “can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission” (ccc 1853). Then the Catechism continues its teaching on sin telling us that “the root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord” (ccc 1853). Quoting from St. Matthew’s Gospel (15:19-20), it explains further that “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man” (ccc 1853). I couldn’t help but ask the question, after reading this, that if these sins and others like them

define what comes “out of the heart,” wouldn’t this place many in a no-win situation? The answer is probably “yes,” but, then, St. Matthew adds the following: “But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds” (ccc 1853). Thus, the option for us is clear — we choose a life of sin or a life of virtue; a life of evil deeds or a life of charitable works — both reside in the heart and both come out of the heart. A few paragraphs previously, the Catechism observed that “at the very hour of darkness ... the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly” (ccc 1851). In other words, we only have one Savior. Christ himself is the sole source who saves us from our sinful selves. Through his sacrifice on the cross, Christ gave his life in order to gain our salvation. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we became members of God’s family and took our rightful place as children of God. If we use God’s grace available to us as baptized Catholics, we will choose to live lives of charity. If we abandon God’s grace, we will soon pursue a life of sin and evil deeds. Just as using big words in excess can set us apart from most people, big sins (mortal or grave sin) without sorrow can set us apart from God’s mercy and forgiveness and from salvation itself. St. Augustine once said in one of his homilies, “God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us.” Therefore, to receive God’s loving forgiveness and mercy, we must admit our faults and failures or as St. John stated in his first epistle, “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 8-9). Father Hillier serves as Director of the Diocesan Office of the Pontifical Missions, the Office for Persons with Disabilities, and Censor Librorum

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Family Ties Valentine Red (left) has been a respiratory therapist at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, for 20 years. His daughter, Xanilyn (right), is an intensive care nurse at the diocese-sponsored hospital. Just before the coronavirus pandemic crisis, Xanilyn was planning to move from the family home in New Jersey, where she lives with her parents, to New York City, but the crisis changed that. Together, Valentine and Xanilyn are fighting the COVID-19 virus in the intensive care unit, where Saint Peter’s most vulnerable patients are being treated. — Michael Castronova photo

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Survivors of Nazi camp buried in Manville As New Jerseyans mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, numerous other anniversaries crowd around the final days of the War in Europe. One of them, April 29, was the 75th anniversary of the liberation by U.S. troops of the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. As we observe that anniversary, let us not forget about the connection between Dachau and the Church in New Jersey. Hitler was also an enemy of Christianity. The Nazis promoted a kind of ersatz Christianity, a strange concoction of some doctrines mixed with Nordic mythology, the Jewish roots of the New Testament and the Christian command of love of neighbor both amputated. The Nazis used the Church when they could and persecuted it when they had a chance. Catholicism in Poland, long associated with national identity, was a target of Nazi persecution: some dioceses in those parts of Poland annexed directly to the Third Reich lost more than 50 percent of their clergy. Many priests were sent to concentration camps, of which Dachau was the premier destination. More than 2,700 priests eventually passed through the camp in Bavaria, many of them Polish. And that’s where the New Jersey connection comes in. Father Alexis Lechański, a Capuchin priest from Lublin, was arrested along with 25 of his confreres in early 1940. In June, he was sent to the Nazi concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, near Berlin. By December, he would be transferred to Dachau, where he would remain until American troops freed him four years and four months later. After the War, some of those priests perhaps wanted to stay in the West as they saw an Iron Curtain descending on their country. Others wanted to return to studies interrupted by the war. Father Lechański, hoping to continue law studies in France, was asked by his superiors to travel to America to try to raise money to rebuild devastated monasteries in Poland. Eventually, 10 priests from the Polish Capuchin


By John Grondelski

The graves of five Capuchin priests, four of whom survived the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau during World War II then served at parishes in New Jersey, including the diocese, are shown at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Manville, in April. — Chris Donahue photo “Class of Dachau” reached America. All of them but one had reached Dachau via Sachsenhausen. One got there from Auschwitz instead. One Polish Capuchin (Father Z. Kozlowski) was never in Dachau. Father Lechański eventually learned English in Ireland, obtained a visa, and arrived in New York. While at St. John’s Church, the Capuchin parish across from what is now Madison Square Garden, he was introduced to the bishop of Oklahoma City, who needed priests for a parish in Broken Arrow. Father Lechański became pastor of St. Anne’s in 1948. Five of those priests eventually passed through Broken Arrow along with Father Alexis Lechański: Hyacinth Dabrowski and his brother, Robert; Wacław Karas, Jan Salwowski, and Rafal Nienaltowski. But while ethnic ies can be strong, there are few Catholics and even fewer Polish Americans in Oklahoma. So, over the course of time, the Dachau Capu-

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The grave stone bearing the Anglicized first name of Capuchin Father Rafal Nienaltowski, a survivor of Dachau, is one of several in the plot for the order at Sacred Heart Cemetery. After World War II, Father Nienaltowski lived in New Jersey and taught at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. — Chris Donahue photo

chins made their way back east, and many eventually served in New Jersey. In addition to the five “Broken Arrow” priests, Father Zdzisław (Stanisław) Kozłowski, Father Marian (Zygmunt) Klimowicz, Father Jan (Bonawentura) Stadnik, and Father Antoni (Benedykt) Drozdowski also came to New Jersey. The Polish Capuchins eventually began using and eventually bought the home of Alfred T. Ringling (of circus fame) in Jefferson Township, near Sparta, which became the St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Friary. The Friary served as the Capuchins’ community home, although many were then serving in Polish American parishes across the Garden State. The Polish Capuchins of Dachau eventually served in parishes such as St. Stephen, Perth Amboy; Sacred Heart, Manville; Holy Rosary, Passaic; St. Joseph, Passaic; St. Joseph, New Brunswick; and St. Hedwig, Trenton. Father Nienałtowski was a faculty member at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. The last of the Dachau Capuchins died in 2010, and several are buried in the Capuchin plot at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Manville. Brother Jerzy Krzyśków, administrator of the Friary, welcomes contact from those who remember the “Class of Dachau.” He can be reached at or (973) 697-7757. As we recall the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau, let us not forget that the priests freed from its notorious “Priests’ Barracks” (Pfarrerblock) later played a role in the life of the Church in New Jersey for nearly 50 years. Rest in peace, good and faithful servants! Grondelski is a former resident of Perth Amboy and member of St. John Paul II Parish. He taught theology at the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange.

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OBITUARIES Sister Rose Mary Barrood, formerly Sister Anne Rosaline, a Sister of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, died April 20 at Saint Joseph’s Healthcare and Rehab Center, Cedar Grove. Sister Rose Mary was born in New Brunswick, the daughter of William and Nezebe (Fahart) Barrood. She attended Sacred Heart Elementary School, New Brunswick, and New Brunswick High School. During her senior year, Sister Rose Mary earned a real estate license and worked with her brother, Edward, selling homes. But, after graduating, she entered the Sisters of Charity Sept. 8, 1944 and was a member for 75 years. Sister Rose Mary earned a a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at College of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station. She taught at St. Antoninus School, Newark; St. Cecilia Elementary School, Englewood; St. Mary School, Nutley; Our Lady of Grace School, Hoboken; Sacred Heart School, Newark;

St. Mary Elementary School, Elizabeth; St. James High School, Newark; and St. Mary of Mount Virgin and St. Ladislaus schools, both in New Brunswick. She was a caretaker at Talmadge Street, New Brunswick. She then served as a volunteer chaplain at Robert W. Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick. She is survived by the Sisters of Charity; her sisters Lulu Thompson, Jennie Meseroll. Marie Kerekees, Grace Forrest and many nieces and nephews. Sister Rose was predeceased by her sister Adele Antonios, and her brothers Louis, Abraham, Edward, David and Phillip. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Sisters of Charity Development Fund, P.O. Box 476, Convent Station, NJ 07961-0476. Funeral arrangements were handled by S.J. Priola Parsippany Funeral Service and interment at Holy Family Cemetery was private by necessity.

Deacon Samuel J. Damiano, 85, of Leesburg, Fla., who had served at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Whitehouse Station, died April 6 following a long illness. Deacon Damiano, who was serving at St. Paul Parish, Leesburg, as director of Pastoral Care, was born Dec. 21, 1934 in Irvington, to the late Antonette and Joseph Damiano Sr. Deacon Damiano attended public school in Newark; Rutgers University, New Brunswick; and New Hampshire College. He achieved Certified Chamber Executive status in 1977 and received a certificate in ministry from the College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, in 1996. He was ordained to the diaconate May 5, 1996, by Bishop Edward T. Hughes at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen. He was a Veteran of the United States Army, serving as a Sea-Tac Airport Air Transportation Officer stationed at Camp Otsu, Japan; a former Newark city

detective, vice president of the Newark Chamber of Commerce, executive vice president of the Plainfield Central Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and executive vice president of the Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Mass. He was also a member of the Board of Director’s at Haven Savings Bank; chairman of the Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital, Glen Gardner; and chairman of the Emeritus Center for Great Expectations. In 1978, he was appointed executive vice president of the Savings Bank Association of New Jersey, later being elevated to president, where he remained until his retirement in December 2005. He was invested as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; was a Fourth degree Knight of Columbus, a Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen Honoree for Service, and a Trustee for Catholic Charities. Continued on next page


OBITUARIES He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Linda (nee Kaufman); his children Joanne Gianduso (nee Damiano), Samuel Damiano Jr. and Salvatore Damiano; his brothers Jo-

seph, William, Anthony, and Michael; his sisters Patricia and Antoinette; his grandchildren Jessica, DJ, Dominick, Samantha, Michael, Danielle, Tyler and Olivia; and his great grandchildren Olivia and Michael.

In addition to his parents, Antonette (formerly Esposito) and Joseph Damiano; he was predeceased by his brothers Frank, Donald, and Robert Damiano; and his sister Julia Depack.

Entombment was at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Annandale. Arrangements were handled by Brandon Cremation & Funeral Services, Brandon, Fla.; and Kearns Funeral Home, Whitehouse, N.J.

Father Richard Kevin Crowley, who retired in 2002 as pastor of Guardian Angels Parish, Edison, now Transfiguration Parish, died of natural causes April 13 in Bradley Beach. Father Crowley also served as pastor of St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, Edison. A memorial Mass, with no congregation present, was celebrated by Bishop James F. Checchio April 18 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen. Father Crowley was born April 26, 1931, one of six children of the late Mary and Jeremian Crowley in Cork, Ireland. Father Crowley attended elementary and high school in the North Monastery in Ireland, and seminary training in Mount Melleray, Ireland; St. John, Wonersh, England; and St. John, Waterford, Ireland.

He was ordained to the priesthood June 9, 1968, in Waterford, Ireland, by Bishop Michael Russell. He celebrated his first Mass June 10, 1968, at Ascension Church, Cork. After moving to the United States, he began his ministry in the Diocese of Trenton, serving as parochial vicar at St. Ann Parish, Keansburg, for four years and at St. Joseph Parish, Keyport, until 1976. Father Crowley then served as pastor of St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, Edison, for eight years, after which he was named pastor of Guardian Angels Parish. Burial was at Resurrection Cemetery, Piscataway. A memorial service will be held at a future date. Arrangements were handled by Orender Family Home for Funerals, Manasquan.

Sacred Heart Brother Ronald Cairns, who served in a variety of roles at Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen, including principal, teacher and athletic director, died at the Care One Assisted Living and Health Care Community, Whippany, April 17. Brother Ronald, 86, was born to the late Patrick Cairns and the late Elizabeth McCusker of Verdun, Quebec. He is also predeceased by his younger brother, Kenneth Cairns, of LaSalle, Quebec, Canada. He is survived by his sister, Maureen Cairns MacDonald, of Victoria, British Columbia, and his sister-in-law, Helga Cairns, of LaSalle, Quebec. As a pre-novice, Brother Ronald entered the formation program for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart on July 20, 1948, at Metuchen, where he professed first vows Aug. 15, 1952.

Brother Ronald studied at Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala., where he majored in history. He completed his degree during the summers because he was called to full-time ministry after two years of collegiate studies. Brother Ronald returned to Metuchen for the profession of his final vows Aug. 15, 1958. A professional educator for most of his life, Brother Ronald earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Spring Hill College (1960), a master’s degree in guidance at Fordham University (1962), Bronx, N.Y.; and a master’s degree in business at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind. In addition to principal, teacher and athletic director, Brother Ronald also served as local religious superior, prefect, cook, counselor, Father’s Club


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moderator, provincial councilor, and general chapter delegate during his years of active ministry. He also served young people at both the elementary and high school levels in Huntington, Long Island, N.Y.; New Orleans; Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Bronx; Kendall Park; and, almost exclusively after 1963, in Metuchen.



A statue at Saint Joseph High School, epitomizing the ideals of a Brother of the Sacred Heart, bears his likeness. Brother Ronald was buried in a private service. A public Memorial Mass and celebration for Brother Ronald will be held in Metuchen once the pandemic has passed. Arrangements were handled by Costello-Runyon Funeral Home, Metuchen.

Rev. Patrick C. Maccarone June 13, 2008

Rev. Patrick S. Rhatigan June 22, 1992

Rev. Vincent J. Nebus June 5, 2009

Rev. Lech A. Idzkowski June 24, 1995

Rev. Msgr. George M. Brembos June 15, 2011

Rev. Louis J. Eldridge June 7, 1998

Rev. Msgr. J. Nevin Kennedy June 27, 2015

Rev. Louis A. Laplante June 8, 1999

Rev. Herbert J. Stab June 7, 2017

Rev. Florian Gall June 28, 2003

Rev. Msgr. John B. Szymanski, PA June 28, 2018

Rev. John D. Murphy June 13, 2006

Rev. Stanley Jarosz June 22, 2019

Message of Hope Mary Erath, principal, Immaculate Conception School, Spotswood, and staff of the parochial institution recently sent this photo to their students.

— photo courtesy of Mary Erath


Thanks to the generosity of the St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) volunteers members of St. Ambrose Parish, Old wore masks and gloves and observed Bridge, some families in need because social distancing recommendations of the coronavirus pandemic have to accept donations of items such as food to eat. peanut butter, pasta, canned goods, Father Jack Grimes, pastor, con- paper products, personal hygiene tacted parishioners supplies, milk, eggs, and parochial school butter, bread and fresh Recipients were families through the vegetables. Honeywell Instant Items were stored, given a number, Alert System and from separated and inventoasked to remain in the pulpit, asking for ried to prepare for dishelp in restocking the their cars, and items tribution to the many shelves of its Society clients that SVDP were distributed of St. Vincent de Paul serves on a regular Food Bank. The facility basis and those most with every attempt had experienced fewer recently affected by the coronavirus. donations because of made to satisfy the In addition, donathe coronavirus and the personal requests tions of money were closing of its campus. used to buy grocery Although parishoften made regardioners faithfully supstore gift cards rouing specific items port the work of SVDP tinely distributed to its through monthly families and clients. a family or an indicollections, Father On May 3, through Grimes stressed the the cooperation of the vidual may need. importance of continuvolunteers, who were ing to serve its parish guided by Jan Martin, family and community, reminding Sue Erickson and Donnay Kingston, them that God commands the faithful groceries and supplies were distributed to give generously to the less fortunate to clients and community residents afand speak on their behalf. He encour- ter the live-streamed noon Mass. Recipients were given a number, aged them to “share our own good fortune” and invited each to do their part. asked to remain in their cars, and items At St. Ambrose Church April 29, were distributed with every attempt


Parish conducts drive-by food distribution for needy

From left, volunteers Donnay Kingston and Sue Erickson hold a thank you sign intended for those who donated items to restock the Society of St. Vicent de Paul Food Bank at St. Ambrose Parish, Old Bridge. — photo courtesy of St. Ambrose Parish made to satisfy the personal requests often made regarding specific items a family or an individual may need. There were many positive messages of thanks and appreciation from those who participated. SVDP is committed to continuing to spread the Good News of the Gos-

pel of Jesus Christ through service and stewardship. Plans are already being made for another drive by distribution in the near future. For information or to speak to a member of SVDP, call (732) 679-5666/ option 4, or visit its website at


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MAY 21, 2020

On April 19, Divine Mercy Sunday, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion from St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, Bridgewater, showed signs expressing God’s love for those in various health care facilities served by the parish, including a group shown at Avalon Assisted Living, Bridgewater. The sixth-, seventhand eighth-grade catechetical formation students at the parish recently made more than 30 signs of greetings, love, support and prayer. Deacon Patrick J. Cline, who exercises his ministry at St. Bernard’s and held one of the signs, said those who participated would normally be in the facilities at that time doing communion services of distributing the Eucharist. Deacon Cline received a text from Gayle Wied, recreation director, Complete Care at Green Knoll, Bridgewater, that said: “Deacon Patrick, thanks again SO much to you and your volunteers who came on Sunday with your signs of support. Staff and residents really appreciated it.” Some signs will be given to Rivers Edge health care facility in Raritan for display in its halls. —John Batkowski photo

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Signs of Support




By Jennifer Ficcaglia Catholic News Service

After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to his followers several times. The first time was at the site of his empty tomb, when he appeared and spoke to Mary of Magdala and had her deliver a message to the apostles. Afterward, he twice appeared to his friends in a locked room in Jerusalem. And he also walked with two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. “He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God,” Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, said in describing these events to a person named Theophilus. “While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for’'the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” Luke went on to explain that Jesus gathered with the apostles on Mount Olivet. The apostles had a question for Jesus. “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” they wanted to know.”It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority,” Jesus replied. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When Jesus finished speaking, he was

lifted up, and a cloud took him from the apostles’ sight. The apostles craned their necks toward the sky, trying to catch a glimpse of where Jesus went. As they did so, two men dressed in white clothes suddenly appeared beside them. “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven,” the men said to the apostles. Afterward, the apostles descended Mount Olivet and returned to Jerusalem, which was a day’s journey away.

"The apostles craned their necks toward the sky, trying to catch a glimpse of where Jesus went." --Artwork, courtesy of CNS

Read more about it: Acts 1

Q&A 1. What was the promise of the Father of which Jesus spoke? 2. Who appeared to the apostles after Jesus was lifted up? TRIVIA: Who gave a speech after the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit? (Hint: Acts 2:14) PUZZLE: Unscramble the letters in each word and arrange them to form a quotation from the children's story.

rof risepom twai rethfa het, fo, eth

Trivia Answer: Peter Puzzle Answer: for, promise, wait, Father, the, of, the Wait for the promise of the Father.


Kids Corner: Jesus returns to his Father in heaven