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Volume I, Issue I

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

A message from the Rector/Dean

“KEEP ALWAYS BEFORE YOUR EYES THE EXAMPLE OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD” These words conclude the homily taken from the Rite of Ordination of priests. The very same words are at the base of the center stained glass window in our Seminary Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd, below the image of the Pastor Bonus. Each visit to the chapel is a reminder: Christ is indeed at the center of our life, our calling and all growth in our faith! Monsignor Joseph Reilly 2014 commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Rector/Dean Seminary’s return to the Seton Hall campus in 1984, after 57 years at Darlington. The original Seminary newsletter, The South Gate, began in 1975. It was followed by Cornerstone newsletter in 1985, after the move back to the University. The current newsletter, whose name is taken from our Chapel and from the majestic window at its center, is the first issue since our Seminary’s sesquicentennial celebration.

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. — Rite of Ordination

We are “re-launching” the Seminary newsletter under a different name, Pastor Bonus, which translates to “The Good Shepherd.” Its purpose remains unchanged: to maintain close ties with alumni and friends of the Seminary School of Theology and to share the hope and enthusiasm of the Church as seen in her dedicated priests, faculty, seminarians and lay students. As we move now into our 154th year, please accept my personal appreciation and that of the entire Seminary School of Theology community for your ongoing support. I invite you to come and see the wonderful works the Lord is bringing about at ICSST. You are most welcome! Finally, I promise you my prayers and those of our seminarians. May Christ, the Good Shepherd, keep us always in his tender care. May Our Lady, Mary Immaculate, assist us through her loving intercession.

IN THIS ISSUE Pg. 2 Vocations Office News Pg. 3 Institution of Acolytes Pg. 4 A New Altar Pg. 6 Candidates for Holy Orders Pg. 7 Student Spotlight

OPEN HOUSE FOR PRIEST ALUMNI Sunday, March 2, 2014 3-5:15 p.m. 5:15 p.m. Evening Prayer with the Seminary Community

PASTOR B ONUS EXCITING NEWS FROM THE VOCATIONS OFFICE Every diocese and religious order has an office, or at least a person, designated for the fostering of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The Archdiocese of Newark is no different, providing our local Church with an entire office dedicated to helping men discern God’s call to the priesthood in their lives. During summer 2013, a personnel shift took place within the Vocations Office. Archbishop Myers has appointed Father James Chern, chaplain and director of the Newman Catholic Center at Montclair State University, as director of vocations. His primary role is to oversee the ministerial and administrative work of the office and to direct the processing of potential candidates. Matthew Higgins M.A. ‘10 was hired to fill the newly created role of “assistant to the director” and will not only handle day-to-day office management, but also will be developing a greater online and social media presence for the office. The Vocations Office website,, blog, and Facebook pages are up and running.

Fr. James Chern Director of Vocations

Archbishop Myers also approved the transition of former assistant vocations director, Sister Theresia Maria Holtschlag, to director of religious vocations as part of the Delegate for Religious Life Office, which is located in the Archdiocesan Center. These appointments will hopefully prove to be advantageous to the vocations ministry of the archdiocese. ICSST WELCOMES VOCATIONS OFFICE Another major shift that took place this past summer was a physical move of the Vocations Office from the Archdiocesan Center in Newark to Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange. In attempts to bring about a more collaborative and fruitful relationship between the two offices, the Vocations Office is now located on the first floor of Immaculate Conception Seminary. While the Vocations Office is in constant contact with all three seminaries located in the archdiocese (Immaculate Conception Seminary, Redemptoris Mater Seminary and St. Andrew’s College Seminary), it makes sense that it would call the Archdiocesan Major Seminary “home.” The Vocations Office is not simply a recruitment office for the seminary. While it does have the responsibility to host events and provide outreach to those discerning a vocation, it is not and cannot be viewed as an admissions office. Instead, the Vocations Office is responsible for fostering someone’s vocation to the priesthood from initial inquiry to acceptance into the seminary, through ordination. By moving the office to Immaculate Conception Seminary, the archdiocese hopes to develop that relationship between the vocations director and those men studying to be priests for Newark. “Have you had any desire to be apostles of Jesus? Ask Jesus what he wants from you and be brave! Be brave, ask Him!” —Pope Francis, April 21, 2013 2

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

INSTITUTION OF ACOLYTE The Institution of Acolyte is the second of the formal steps toward ordination. An acolyte is appointed to minister to the priest in the celebration of the Eucharist, give Holy Communion to the faithful at Mass and to the sick. Acolytes may also expose the Eucharist for public adoration in the abscence of a priest or deacon. In his homily Bishop Flesey stressed the importance of “cherishing and fondly remembering” in the years to come this joyous day when you were formally invited to serve at Mass. ACOLYTES: Leandro Pedro Alves

Francisco Mendonca

Adam Cichoski

Bogumil Misiuk

Gabriel Curtis

Daniel Peterson

Vincent D’Agostino

Roy Quesea

Juan Jose Esteban

Danny Rodrigues

Mhonchan Ezung

Johnnie Albino Villalba-Prieto

Bishop Flesey and 2013 Acolytes

These seminarians go forward in their new ministry, in anticipation of diaconal ordination and, God-willing, ordination to the priesthood. We pray that they may be faithful to the Word, proclaim Christ to the world and so give glory to the Father in heaven. Bishop Flesey

VOCATIONS OUTREACH The Archbishop has appointed nine assistant vocations directors. These priests will conduct promotional outreach to schools, universities, youth groups and parishes. Keep an eye out for one of these priests at your local parish or school. The Vocations Office is planning on undertaking a media and video project that will include promotional videos, interviews with current priests and seminarians, and visual information about the priesthood. The office has an active website (, blog, Facebook page (“Newpriest NJ”), and Twitter feed (@NewPriestNJ_com). Feel free to check them out for more information. 3

PASTOR B ONUS A NEW ALTAR FOR OUR CHAPEL Through the generosity of benefactors and the support of Seton Hall University, the transformation of the Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd to a place of worship rich in the tradition of the Catholic Church has been drawing close to completion. Renovations, which started in May 2013, included the addition of a wooden sanctuary screen, hardwood flooring, ceiling and lighting, pews, stained glass windows and stations of the cross. Our most recent phase included the fabrication of an altar with onyx, one of the semi-precious stones mentioned in the Bible. The completion of this phase was marked by the installation and dedication of the magnificent altar, the heart of the chapel, on November 1, 2013. Archbishop Myers presided at the the Rite of Dedication, which included anointing the altar with Sacred Chrism, the sacramental oil used in the rites of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders, a symbol of Christ, “the Anointed One.” Following the altar dedication, the altar was prepared for Mass as the table of the sacrificial banquet. The dressing of the altar clearly signifies that it is the Lord’s table at which all God’s people joyously meet to be refreshed with divine food, namely, the Body and Blood of Christ. The candles are lighted to show that the Light of Christ shines in the Church, and through it, to all of humanity. Johan Betancourt, a third-year theologian, who participated in the preparation of the altar for the Sacrifice of the Eucharist expressed his sentiments: “The table is the centerpiece of family. It is the gathering place in our homes where we share our meals, and exchange stories of daily accomplishments and challenges encountered throughout the day. On special occasions the table is meticulously prepared to promote a feeling of unity with those we love. There is a similarity between that table and the altar.


Archbishop John J. Myers annoints the altar with Sacred Chrism

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

“Gathering as brothers and sisters around the altar, we give thanks to God, reminded of our vocation to imitate Christ and share in His Body and Blood which is at the center of our faith.” Monsignor Joseph Reilly, Rector/ Dean, delivered a homily prepared by Monsignor James Turro, prayerfully reflecting on the splendor of the chapel renovation.

Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd with new altar

Many, many centuries ago when the foundations of Notre Dame in Paris were being laid, an architect who was passing through the city went to have a look at the work in progress. To his surprise he saw an artisan carving a figure into the wall of the sub-basement. The architect was puzzled and a bit annoyed. He had to say something to the artist. With some irritation he said, “When this Cathedral is built, who will see what you’ve done down here?” Without missing a stroke, the artist replied, “Our Lady will see it.” This is the hope we entertain this morning: that Our Lord and Our Lady will see the artistic splendor of this refurbished chapel and be pleased with it and with the love and devotion on our part that made this chapel take its color and shape.

~M  sgr. Turro Homily – Mass of Dedication of Altar, Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd, Nov. 1, 2013

Monsignor Joseph Reilly, Rector/Dean


PASTOR B ONUS OUR LATEST CANDIDATES FOR THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS Seminarians of Immaculate Conception Seminary, together with those of Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary, gathered on November 3, to present themselves as candidates for the Sacrament of Holy Orders for the Archdiocese of Newark. The Rite of Candidacy ceremony was held at the Church of St. Bartholomew the Apostle in Scotch Plains during the noon Mass. Admission to Candidacy is for seminarians who have been recognized by the Archdiocese as prepared for ordination as transitional deacons. The men are called individually before the congregation with the words, “come forward and declare your intention before the Church assembled here.” After stating their intention, the Archbishop accepts, signifying the end of their period of discernment and the proximity of their ordination as transitional deacons.

“Come forward and declare your intention before the Church...” —Rite of Candidacy

Paul Importico, one of the candidates, reflected on the celebration: “In his homily Archbishop Myers stressed that the time of our discernment was over. Now is the time to prepare to receive Holy Orders. From now until ordination must be a time for deeper reflection and concentration on being a disciple of Christ and preparing to serve others and their needs. “ I give thanks to God for having had this opportunity to study here at Immaculate Conception Seminary and to all those who have made it possible. It has been a great joy and I look forward to serving the Archdiocese one day as its priest.” CANDIDATES: Arturo Ortiz-Bedoya Johan Betancourt Hermes Diaz Luis Fernando Diaz Brian Orlando Gonzalez Paul Importico Chungyeol Andrew Jung Jason Makarow Joseph Pavone Thomas Quinn 6

Antonio Sarento

Candidates for the Sacrament of Holy Orders

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminar y School of Theology

FROM DAD TO FATHER While each of us whose journey toward priesthood takes us through Immaculate Conception Seminary (ICS) have unique stories, mine is, perhaps, different from the perspective of the years before ICS. Entering this past August as a “new man” in the house, I also immediately became the “old man”—in age at least. My vocation story includes having been married for 25 years, raising three sons, becoming a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Trenton, and holding my wife’s hand as she battled cancer, a battle that took her from my embrace to the arms of Our Lord in 2007. As part of my subsequent discernment to the priesthood, I took on the challenge of completing a graduate theology program at Rev. James Grogan La Salle University while continuing to work full-time and guide Transistional deacon and ICS my sons off to college. With lots of prayer, incredible spiritual ordination candidate guidance from my vocations director, Monsignor Vaughan, and my pastor, Father Damian McElroy, I asked myself (a) was God really calling me, (b) when should I respond to Him, and (c) am I crazy? That last question kept coming up when I considered what it would mean to change worlds: secular to Church, the business world to full-time ministry, from Dad to Father. After completing the formal application, Monsignor Vaughan counseled me as to the “when” and “where.” Choosing to enter the seminary in parallel to my younger two son’s college years seemed more complicated than it actually turned out. I could not be more proud of how these three young men have matured over these past few years, making me, and I am certain their Mom, happy with the young men they continue to become. In a fateful conversation with my spiritual director, a soul friend who has known me since before my diaconate ordination in 2004, Sister Marcy simply stated as a fact that I had “waited long enough.” And so, on August 18, my sons moved me into my first-ever college dorm room here at Immaculate Conception Seminary. In the midst of layers of complicated questions, the choice of ICS was easy for me: my faith life matured within the Church in the Diocese of Trenton, and now as a transitional deacon, I could easily minister within my home diocese on weekends while being formed by the remarkable formators, professors and administration here on the Seton Hall campus. With much of a semester behind me already, the practical reality of community living has validated the decision to study here, to join this community of men who share a vision, a dream, a vocation to serve God and the Church as His priests. While there remains time ahead of me in formation, each day I thank God, my sons, family and friends, and this extraordinary community for their support and encouragement. As seminarians we’re told that the goal of ICS is to develop happy, holy priests. I don’t think I could be happier or more comfortably welcomed into this community, and daily thank God for the remarkable benefactors who have provided this home and community where I can, hopefully, continue to grow in holiness.


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

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS • March 2, Open House for Priest Alumni of ICS • March 18, Lenten Day of Recollection at ICSPriest Alumni Welcome • May 18, Ordination of Deacons - Cathedral Basilica, Newark • May 24, Ordination of Priests - Cathedral Basilica, Newark


June 19, 2014 Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology Seton Hall University

34th Annual Judge Breslin Cornerstone Golf Classic Reservations and information (973) 275-2479

Pastor Bonus Volume I Issue I  

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University

Pastor Bonus Volume I Issue I  

Newsletter of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University