Pastor Bonus Volume II Issue 2

Page 1

Volume II, Issue II

PASTOR B ONUS Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

FIFTY DAYS OF REJOICING Holy Week brings bishops, priests, deacons and the faithful around the world together to celebrate the institution of the priesthood in the most solemn and significant liturgies of our Church tradition. On March 30, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Newark gathered for the Chrism Mass in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. More than two hundred priests of the archdiocese were present to renew their commitment to service and to receive the prayers and support of the faithful. Archbishop John J. Myers blessed the Oil of Catechumens – for those preparing for baptism, the Oil of the Infirm— for anointing the sick, and the Sacred Chrism —for baptism, confirmation and ordination of priests.

Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save what was lost.

On Easter Sunday, April 5, the Church entered the Easter season, a 50-day period of rejoicing in the Resurrection of Jesus and our new life in Him. This joyful season of Easter culminated in the Solemnity of Pentecost when we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles.

The Paschal Candle in the Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd.

Concurrently with the Easter season, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology celebrated the accomplishments of its students, beginning with the Mass of Blessing and hooding ceremony and concluding with ordinations. This year, we celebrated eight ordination ceremonies in four dioceses. These ceremonies included men ordained to the permanent diaconate, transitional diaconate and priesthood.

— Rite of Ordination


Fifty Days of Rejoicing

Pg. 3

Last Supper Window

Pg. 6

Ordained to Serve

Pg. 10 Ordination to the Priesthood Pg. 12 Move In Day Pg. 14 Welcome Lay Students Pg. 15 An Enduring Path

Monsignor Joseph Reilly congratulates Deacon Hermes Diaz at the hooding ceremony in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.


September 2015

Dear Friends of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology:

Monsignor Joseph Reilly Rector/Dean

Peace in the Lord Jesus! The new academic year always brings with it a sense of excitement and enthusiasm. This year more than ever, as we welcomed sixteen new men to our Seminary community, our hearts were filled with gratitude and joy! There was also a mounting sense of anticipation, as we prepared to greet our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to our nation. What a tremendous time of excitement! There is much to be grateful for and excited about right here at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. This issue of Pastor Bonus provides you with a glimpse into the manifold ways that the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts and lives of our faculty and seminarians, our deacon candidates and lay students. The lively, vibrant faith is evident in each of the stories contained herein, each of which is a testimony to the gentle work of God and the generous cooperation of those who put their trust in Him. This life-giving dynamic can be seen at commencement and at the priestly ordinations of the men who have been formed in these hallowed halls. In a particular manner, we rejoice at the first cohorts from our Center for Diaconal Formation being ordained as permanent deacons for the dioceses of Metuchen and Paterson. What a gift it is to be a part of this wonderful work of our Loving God! Please be assured of our prayers and gratitude for the gift that each of you are for our Seminary School of Theology community. May Our Lord and His Blessed Mother accompany us all in the journey of faith!

Yours Truly in the Lord, Monsignor Joseph Reilly

“ No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself...a vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people.”


—Pope Francis

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

THE LAST SUPPER WINDOW Symbolic to the institution of the priesthood and positioned above the altar in the Seminary’s Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd, this window depicting the Last Supper clearly is Renaissance-inspired. However, it is quite unusual in a number of ways. Compared to DaVinci’s famous The Last Supper, perhaps the greatest fresco of the period, it has a completely unfamiliar presentation of the setting and of the figures. First, there is no supper table. Second, Jesus, regally robed, is depicted standing and distributing the Holy Eucharist, a small wafer of bread, from a ciborium. Our Lord is standing on a platform framed by two columns, with the armrests of a throne barely visible at his sides. He is thereby presented as a king, the Lord of Creation, the Son of God. Only six of the 12 apostles are shown. Three can be identified. On the upper left is Peter, whom we recognize by the short beard that has become his most recognized feature in art. On the bottom left is John, shown, as is customary, as a young man with flowing hair. The apostle between them, who is about to receive Holy Communion, cannot be known for sure, but perhaps it may be Andrew. On the upper right, we see the infamous apostle, Judas Iscariot. He is scowling as he prepares to leave the supper, clutching the bag containing his 30 pieces of silver. Who is the apostle in the middle? We do not know, but perhaps it is Thomas, whose doubt of the Resurrection would be resolved when Jesus invited him to place his fingers and hands in his wounds. The final figure at the bottom is quite interesting. With his tonsure and cowl, he resembles a medieval monk more than an apostle. A final feature of this window is the large branch of palms at the bottom left, clearly a memento of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem just a few days before the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. How fitting to have this depiction of the Last Supper accompanying the image of Christ the Good Shepherd in our Chapel as inspiration to men preparing for the priesthood.


PASTOR B ONUS FIFTY DAYS OF REJOICING (continued from cover article) Cardinal O’Malley Receives Honorary Doctorate On April 22, Immaculate Conception Seminary hosted His Eminence Cardinal Séan Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, for a brief visit, which included his presiding at evening prayer with the seminarians in formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary and the College Seminary at St. Andrew’s Hall. Following this visit with the seminarians, Seton Hall University President A. Gabriel Esteban conferred an honorary doctorate upon Cardinal O’Malley in Jubilee Hall, where the Cardinal delivered a lecture on “Pope Francis and the Hispanic Presence in the Church.” The lecture was sponsored by The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and the Office of the President.

Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, Seton Hall University President, confers the honorary doctorate upon Cardinal Séan Patrick O’Malley.

Cardinal Séan Patrick O’Malley at evening prayer in the Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd. 4

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

FIFTY DAYS OF REJOICING Mass of Blessing and Hooding Ceremony Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology held its Mass of Blessing and graduate hooding ceremony on May 13, 2015 in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Degree and certificate recipients from both the graduate and undergraduate programs were in attendance, along with family, friends, faculty and staff.

The accomplishments of our lay men and women, deacons, seminarians and undergraduate students were celebrated in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, following the Mass of Blessing.

Monsignor Joseph Reilly places the hood for a Masters of Divinity over the shoulders of Deacon Paul Importico during the hooding ceremony for graduate students. 5

PASTOR B ONUS ORDAINED TO SERVE On April 20, during the celebration of Mass in the Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd, 12 seminarians preparing for ordination to the Order of Deacon confirmed their individual readiness for ordination. The men striving for the priesthood made the Profession of Faith and took the Oath of Fidelity together. Then each man placed one hand on the book of the Gospels while invoking God’s help to uphold the promises, and signed the document professing his belief in all tenets of the Catholic Faith and indicating his readiness to proceed with ordination. Transitional Diaconate

Seminarians sign the Oath of Fidelity with one hand on the book of the Gospels.

Twelve seminarians from Immaculate Conception Seminary were ordained to the Order of Deacon for the Archdiocese of Newark, the Diocese of Paterson, and the Diocese of Metuchen. Ordination to the transitional diaconate is one of the final steps before ordination to the priesthood. Through the transitional diaconate, men preparing for the priesthood develop practical experience in active service to the faithful in a parish setting. Paterson On May 8, Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli ordained ten seminarians to the Order of Deacon at St. Philip the Apostle Church, Clifton. Jeider Barraza, a resident seminarian of Immaculate Conception Seminary, was ordained to serve in the Diocese of Paterson.

Diocese of Paterson: Bishop Arthur J. Seratelli hands the book of the Gospels to Deacon Jeider Barraza during the rite of ordination. 6

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

Transitional Diaconate Metuchen On May 16, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski ordained three seminarians to the Order of Deacon at Our Lady of Peace Church, Fords. Immaculate Conception Seminary resident seminarians among those ordained to serve the Diocese of Metuchen: Mhonchan Ezung and Roy Quesea.

Diocese of Metuchen: Three transitional deacons during the rite of ordination in Our Lady of Peace, Fords.

Newark On May 17, Archbishop John J. Myers ordained twelve seminarians, including nine from Immaculate Conception Seminary, to the Order of Deacon at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark. Ordained to serve in the Newark Archdiocese: Gabriel Curtis, Vincent D’Agostino, Richard De Brasi, Juan Esteban, Francisco Mendonca, Bogumil Misiuk, Daniel Peterson, Jesus Ramos, and Danny Rodrigues.

Archdiocese of Newark: Twelve new transitional deacons are introduced to the faithful who gathered for the ordination in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.


PASTOR B ONUS ORDAINED TO SERVE Permanent Diaconate The Center for Diaconal Formation celebrated the ordination of 31 individuals to serve in the permanent diaconate for the dioceses of Paterson (13) and Metuchen (18). All Christians are called to serve others; the deacon is an official sign of this service and he solemnly promises to be a living example of such service. The deacon is ordained and commissioned by Christ through the bishop to minister to the needy and the poor and to be a minister of Word and Sacrament, working in obedience to his bishop and in close fraternal cooperation with priests. These men and their families have spent much of the past 5 years with Immaculate Conception Seminary in academic preparation for a ministry to serve God’s people. We are blessed to support their commitment to serve the church, and rejoice in their achievements.

Diocese of Paterson: Bishop Arthur Seratelli lays hands on a permanent deacon in the ordination celebration in St. Peter the Apostle Church, Clifton.

Diocese of Paterson: Permanent deacons lie prostrate during the Litany of the Saints, in St. Peter the Apostle Church, Clifton.

Paterson On Friday, June 5, the faithful of the Diocese of Paterson joined Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, many diocesan priests and the families of the 13 men ordained to the Order of Deacon. Permanent Deacons for Diocese of Paterson: Deacon William Aquino, Deacon Nicholas Ardito, Deacon John Brandi, Deacon William Devizio, Deacon Dennis Gil, Deacon James Jones, Deaon Vincent LoBello, Deacon James McGovern, Deacon Kevin McKeever, Deacon Jose Padron, Deacon James Rizos, Deacon Elliott Stein, Deacon German Vargas. Metuchen On Saturday, June 6, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski, surrounded by family, friends, priests and deacons of the diocese of Metuchen, ordained eighteen men to the permanent doaconate for the Diocese of Metuchen. Permanent Deacons for Diocese of Metuchen: Deacon Peter Barcellona, Deacon Salvatore Bonfiglio, Deacon Thomas Bresnan, Deacon Vincent Brigande, Deacon Peter D’Angelo, Deacon Kenrick Fortune, Deacon Thomas Griffoul, Deacon Patrick Gutsick, Deacon Mark Hennicke, Deacon Stephen Kassebaum, Deacon Kevin Kilcommons, Deacon Roel Mercado, Deacon Anthony Pepe, Deacon Gregorio Rios, Deacon Patrick Smith, Deacon Thomas Sommero, Deacon Scott Titmas, Deacon David Waguespack. 8

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

Diocese of Metuchen: 18 Permanent Deacons lie prostrate during the ordination celebration in St. Francis Cathedral, Metuchen.

IN MEMORIAM — FR. WALTER LUCEY “For All Seminarians” With these words every day at morning prayer Father Walter Lucey expressed the deepest sentiments of his heart – that our Lord would protect, sustain and nurture the men He has called to formation as his holy priests.

Fr. Walter Lucey

For the past eight years, Father Lucey graced the Immaculate Conception Seminary community with his prayerful presence. As we mourn his passing, we offer prayers of thanksgiving for the impact he had in the formation of hundreds of priests. Father Lucey received a B.A. in American Literature from Ramapo State College. He served for three years in the U.S. Army before entering St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT. After four years, he left the Seminary and was employed by the IBM Corporation, where he was a marketing executive. After working for 25 years, he retired and entered Immaculate Conception Seminary. He was ordained in 1998 and was assigned to Queen of Peace Parish, North Arlington, NJ, where he served until 2006 when he was named a member of the formation faculty at Immaculate Conception Seminary. 9

PASTOR B ONUS 2015 ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD On Saturday, May 23, the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart was filled with thunderous applause, a joyous sign of approval for 12 new priests ordained to serve the Archdiocese of Newark. In a letter published by New Jersey Catholic Magazine, Archbishop John J. Myers, said, “We rejoice because it is ‘another 12.’ First, we were blessed to see the same number of men ordained last year. And there is a symbolic reminder that the closest followers of Jesus numbered 12. Closeness to Jesus is what brought these new priests to the altar. Now they will strive to live up to their dignity as another Christ – the alter Christus— living their call from the Lord by serving God’s people…” Please pray for all new priests. Each of them embrace a new beginning. Pray for strength, courage, and holiness that they will need to continue in their formation, as happy and holy priests who will shepherd us, and bring us closer to Jesus Christ through the Holy Eucharist.

“ Priestly joy is a priceless treasure. Not only for the priest himself but for the entire faithful people of God”

—Pope Francis

Archdiocese of Newark Reverend Johan Betancourt - Our Lady of Peace Parish, New Providence, NJ Reverend Hermes Diaz Vargas - Saint Vincent de Paul, Bayonne, NJ Reverend Luis Fernando Diaz Romero - Saint Joseph Parish, Bogota, NJ Reverend Paul Importico - Holy Spirit Parish, Union, NJ Reverend Cesar Augusto Infante - St. Joseph of the Palisades, Palisades Reverend Jason Makarow - Saint Stephen Parish, Kearny, NJ Reverend Oliver Nilo - Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Verona, NJ Reverend Thomas P. Quinn - Saint Michael Parish, Cranford, NJ Reverend Antonio Sarento -Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish, Bloomfield, NJ Reverend Brian Gonzalez (RM) - St. Aloysius Parish, Newark Reverend Jose Ortiz (RM) - St. Mary Parish, Plainfield Reverend Kevin Kilgore - continuing studies in The Pontifical North American College 10

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology


Archdiocese of Newark: The congregation asks all of the saints to intercede for the ordinandi as they lie prostrate in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark.

Diocese of Trenton On Saturday, June 6, Bishop David M. O’Connell ordained 5 priests, including two who studied at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Fr. Jarlath Quinn and Fr. James Grogan to serve the Diocese of Trenton. Reverend Jarlath Quinn – St. James, Pennington; St. Alphonsus, Hopewell, and St. George, Titusville Reverend James Grogan – Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown, NJ Fr. James Grogan, was our spotlight story, From Dad to Father, in Pastor Bonus Volume I, Issue I available online at

Archdiocese of Newark: At the Cathedral Bascilica of the Sacred Heart, Archbishop Joseph J. Myers ordained these 12 men to the priesthood on Saturday, May 23, 2015. 11

PASTOR B ONUS MOVE IN DAY On Saturday, August 22, Immaculate Conception Seminary welcomed 16 new men to our seminary community. The seminarians arriving from the Archdiocese of Newark (4), the Diocese of Metuchen (6), the Diocese of Camden (5), and the Diocese Paterson (1), will call Immaculate Conception Seminary home for up to 6 years. The new men were greeted by returning seminarians and members of the priest faculty who provided assistance moving the seminarians into their rooms. The new men bring our total number of resident seminarians to 47 for the 2015-2016 academic year. Please remember our seminarians in your prayers and continue praying that many more men answer the Lord’s call to serve Him as priests and religious.

Deacon Vincent D’Agostino, Deacon Juan Esteban and Anthony De Stefano lend a hand to new seminarian Christian Scalo.


Nicholas Sertich pushes a cart of his belongings into Lewis Hall, his new home while in formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary.

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology


The sixteen new seminarians who were welcomed to the Immaculate Conception Seminary community on August 22: (from back to front) Robert Pinnisi, Andrew Prickel, Nicholas Sertich, Dailon Lisabet, John March, Anthony McCullough, Christian Scalo, Anthony Infanti, Christopher Myers, Timothy Eck, Gilbert Starcher, Kamil Belling, Jae Joo, Steven Bertonazzi, Jun Joseph Alquiros, Gregory Zannetti


PASTOR B ONUS WELCOME ICSST LAY STUDENTS Msgr. Joseph Reilly, Rector/Dean of ICSST, welcomed 50 graduate students, including those in the Master’s in Theology and Master’s in Pastoral Ministry programs, as well as in the permanent diaconate program. Students also joined the day from our off-campus Catholic Evangelization program at St. Paul Inside the Walls, Madison and STEPS program (Seminary’s Theological Education for Parish Services) at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Ridgewood. Dr. Dianne Traflet, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Administration, spoke about how impressed she is with this year’s students and their reasons for undertaking graduate theological studies through ICSST. She explained that students expressed a deep desire to grow in relationship with Christ and to serve the Church in a committed and knowledgeable way. A very common statement among students was that they want to “step up to the plate,” grounded in solid Catholic theology, in order to evangelize and present the truths of the faith in a way that inspires a society often hostile to religion in general and to Catholicism in particular. Dr. Traflet quoted one student: “The Church needs courageous, educated [men and women] who will rise to the challenge of promoting counter-cultural beliefs and principles.” Dr. Traflet also acknowledged the students’ desire to grow as small faith communities and true friends, and she assured them that they are entering into a school that makes such friendships possible. “This is a place where individuals have an opportunity to discuss what means the most to them—what they are passionate about—with people who share the same passion. Ultimately, studying at ICSST is an opportunity to learn about and grow in a loving relationship with Christ—not on a solo journey but with a community of friends.” Msgr. Reilly echoed these themes in his homily during a Mass celebrated in the Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd at the end of the day. He recalled that it was exactly 26 years earlier when he had embarked on his journey in preparation for the priesthood. He encouraged the students and thanked them for their inspiring witness to the faith. Msgr. Reilly concluded his homily by encouraging all of the students to allow their studies to be nurtured by their own personal relationship with Jesus, quoting from the Confessions of Saint Augustine: “Say to me in the fullness of your love and mercy, my Lord and my God, who you are for me. Say to my soul, I am your salvation. Say it in a way that I hear and understand.”

Some of the ICSST lay and diaconate students who attended the welcome event. 14

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

AN ENDURING PATH Father Thomas Guarino was born in Newark, NJ, and raised in Belleville. He attended St. Peter’s School in Belleville and Essex Catholic High School in Newark. Reflecting on the timing of his answering God’s call to the priesthood, he recalls, “Essex Catholic was a particularly good school, offering an excellent, rigorous, all-around education. I was a student at Essex Catholic in 1969, which was the time race riots in Newark took place. These had some effect on my thinking.” “One reason I started to feel drawn to the priesthood was that the Catholic faith offered answers to the major questions of my life: What is the meaning of life? How are we called to live and to act? How can we offer our talents to God and to men? How can we better recognize the dignity of all men, as made in God’s image and likeness?”

Fr. Thomas Guarino

Prior to entering the seminary, he had entertained sports journalism and even the sciences as potential career interests. It was not until after the completion of his B.S. at Seton Hall University in 1973 that Father Thomas Guarino answered the call to the priesthood. Father Thomas Guarino earned an S.T.B. from Rome’s Gregorian University and an S.T.L. and an S.T.D. from the Catholic University of America. In 1982, he was named professor of systematic theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. His current research focuses on the area at the borderline of philosophy and theology – reflecting the questions that planted the “seed” which drew him to consider the priesthood. Father Guarino explains his ever-present and infectious smile, in a way that reveals the coexistence of his scholarship with his true personality: “’Rejoice in the Lord always’ (Philippians 4:4). This deep rejoicing should not be confused with ephemeral good feeling. It stems, rather, from the knowledge that God is deeply involved with our lives—that throughout the history of Israel, and then uniquely in Jesus of Nazareth, God has entered into a relationship with each of us. Every human being has his share of successes and sorrows in this life. But, through all of them, God is providentially present, never abandoning us. The secret of happiness, I believe, is grounded in the inner light of faith, in believing in God’s involvement with us in everyday life. Developing this inner light of faith comes from prayer, the sacraments—particularly the Eucharist and Reconciliation, and from seeking daily to conform our lives to God’s teaching as found in Scripture. These, I think, offer an enduring path to spiritual well-being.” After 33 years at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Father Guarino remarks, “I hope students find in me a priest and professor dedicated to teaching the Catholic faith in all its richness and beauty—and one eager to live it with them and to share it with them. As St. Paul says, ‘I passed on to you what I myself have received’ (I Cor. 15:3). I have been fortunate to be deeply involved in the theological and intellectual formation of generations of seminarians and lay students. So many committed students have passed through these doors!” 15

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 286 SEPA 19399

400 South Orange Avenue South Orange, New Jersey 07079

PASTOR B ONUS Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology


Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology Welcomes

Michael Novak Presenting “John Paul II and Francis on an Authentically Human Economy” Monday, November 16, 2015 7:00pm Jubilee Hall visit us at or call (973) 275-2440