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90th anniversary celebration

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Pastor’s Message

It is truly a privilege for me to be the pastor of St. Michael’s Parish during this important milestone in her history as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of her existence in Union, New Jersey- ninety years of being a power-house for the spiritual and corporal needs of this local community. St. Michael’s Church is not just a building and an address; No! It is a people of faith together with their pastoral leaders, who have provided leadership and governance; their ministers that have provided ministration during the celebration of liturgies and sacraments, the office staff who work in the background to keep the church going.

I therefore, want to express our deepest gratitude to all previous pastors, Parochial Vicars,Stewards of various Committees—Members of the Board of Trustee, Finance Council, Parish Council, Ministers of the Word, Ministers of the Eucharist, Ministers of Hospitality, Catechists, Music Ministers, Youth and Young Adult Ministers, Altar Servers, Liturgical Environment Ministers, Baptismal Ministers, Principals and Teachers at St. Michael School, and Parish Staff. Also, I wish to thank all past and present members of this parish who have given and continue to give of their talents, time and treasure to keep the doors of this church open.

In a very special way, I want to thank Fr. Miles for all his support and ministry, the leadership of our Parish Social Events Committee (Mrs. Cynthia Grandeza), the Secretary to the Parish Social Events Committee and to the 90th Anniversary Celebration Committee (Mrs. Lucy Sefia), the chairs of the different Sub-Committees—Mrs. Cheryl Thompson (Chair of the Dinner Dance Committee); Mr. & Mrs. Romeo and Teresa Palencia (Chair of the Ad Journal Committee), Mrs. Jean Perkins (Solicitor General of the 90th Anniversary Committee), Mrs. Risella Millora-Dilag, Mrs. Terry Dziedzic, Ms. Christina Dziedizic, Mrs. Madesa Espana, Mr. Stephen Veliakath and all other committee members who have worked diligently and untiringly to make this 90th Anniversary celebration a success.

We thank God for His blessings upon our parish and ask for the strength of commitment needed to keep it going. Today and as always, upon our shoulders lies the responsibility to carry on and to hand over this beacon of Catholicity to future generations. Long Live St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church!

Rev. Msgr. Anselm Nwaorgu, Ph.D

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Former Pastors of St. Michael’s Church

Rev. Fr. Thomas Larkin

Rev. Msgr Edward Begley

Rev. Fr. Thomas Grant

Rev. Fr. Thomas Tuohy

Rev. Msgr. Ronald Rozniak

Rev. Msgr. Francis Seymour

1928–1936

1936–1966

1966–1976

1976–1987

1987–1989

1988–1989

Rev. Fr. Kenneth Herbster

Rev. Fr. Mathias Conva

Rev. Fr. Charles McDermott

Rev. Fr. Robert Wolfee

Rev. Msgr. Anselm Nwaorgu

1989–1997

1997–2005

2005–2015

2015–2017

2017–present

Parochial Vicars Fr. John Duffy (1930 – 1936)

Fr. William Lynch (1933 – 1938)

Fr. Francis Fox (1936 – 1953)

Fr. Frederick Eid (1947 – 1962)

Fr. Joseph Driscoll (1953 – 1968)

Fr. John Palasits (1958 – 1979)

Fr. Raymond Waldron (1962 – 1981)

Fr. Raymond McKeon (1969 – 1972)

Fr. Joseph Barbone (1972 – 1975)

Fr. Alan Guglielmo (1978 – 1983)

Fr. Salvatore Palumbo (1979 – 1981)

Fr. John Tyks (1981 – 1990)

Fr. Robert Fuhrman (1981 – 1987)

Fr. John Gabriel (1988 – 1990)

Fr. Edward Gedrick (1988 – 1992)

Fr. Leonard Dembow (1990 – 1993)

Fr. John Martin (1992 – 1992)

Fr. Domenic Fuccille (1992 – 1996)

Fr. Anselm Nwaorgu (1992 – 1998)

Fr. Charles McDermott (1994 – 2006)

Fr. Gerald Sogliuzzo (1997 – 2002)

Fr. Christopher Ciccarino (1998 – 2002)

Fr. Anthony Onyekewlu (2001 – 2008)

Fr. Bartley Baker (2002 – 2007)

Fr. Wilson Paculan (2007 – 2013)

Fr. Ward Moore (2011 – 2016)

Fr. Ranulfo Docabo (2011 – 2016)

Fr. Luke Duc Tran ( 2013 – 2014)

Fr. Emmanuel Agu (2014 – 2017)

Fr. Robert Wolfee (2009 – 2011) Fr. Camilo Lopez (2016 – Present)

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Historical Photographs

Mr. Begley & William Baur Jr. - Kelly Street

Church under construction

Aerial view of St. Michael’s - 1938

First Mass - Fr. Carl Young

The Rectory - 1938

Class of 1936 Proposal announcement for the new convent

St. Michael’s 50th Anniversary

Cornerstone for the convent Altar in St. Michael’s first church

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History of Saint Michael’s Church On November 28th, 1928 Bishop Thomas J. Walsh of the Diocese of Newark established the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Union. This was in response to a need arising from the very quick growth of the township as a new suburb of the City of Newark. Father Thomas Larkin, the pastor of the parish of St. James the Apostle in Springfield, was given the charge of both parishes. St. Michael’s quickly grew to be a much larger parish than St. James. Through the generosity of the Kelly Family, the property which constitutes the block on which the current parish buildings were constructed was given with the stipulation that the new parish would be dedicated to St. Michael, the patron saint of Michael A. Kelly, the first Unionite to give his life in the First World War. One of the streets making the boundary of the property was renamed after the young Kelly. Until a church could be built, Masses were said in the Union Movie Theater on Stuyvesant Avenue. In 1930 the cornerstone for a church/school combination was laid. It was the time of the Great Depression and it seems that construction was slow. The records show that weddings, baptisms, etc. didn’t take place in this structure until 1934. What are now the principal’s office and two classrooms on the middle level of the building was the housing for the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell. The priests lived at St. James and traveled back and forth. Shortly after the church/school opened, a wooden house, which would serve as a convent, was built by the men of the parish on a lot across the street on Orange Avenue. This structure still exists as a private home. Finally, in 1936, the rectory was completed and the first resident pastor, Father Edward Begley, took charge of the parish. Father Larkin was made pastor of St. Mary’s in Elizabeth at this time, but it was said that “he left his heart” at St. Michael’s. During the 30’s the parish grew in leaps and bounds as farmers sold their land and developers built new modern homes in what was considered a very fashionable community. The Second World War in the early 40’s slowed down construction as men and material went into the war effort. But at the end of the war, Union experienced huge growth as returning soldiers married and with their wives and children marched out of the cities into the burgeoning suburbs. In the 1950’s, St. Michael School had so many students that grades four to eight went into half-day sessions. There were many sisters available to teach in those days, but the convent was too small to hold them. In 1952 Father Begley started a campaign to raise the money needed to construct a new brick convent next to the church/school and behind the rectory. The church, too, had become totally inadequate for the huge numbers of Mass attendees. It was not unusual to have people standing in the hallways and staircases inside the building in order to attend Mass. Sometimes they even spilled out onto the lawn in front of the Orange Avenue entrance. So, in 1954 the cornerstone was set for a new large church which serves us to this very day. The church was built originally to

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accommodate 1000 people. But, almost as soon as the doors opened, it was inadequate for the parish. So, after waiting just a couple of years, the large basement of the church was turned into a complete Lower Church. Simultaneous Masses were said upstairs and downstairs. In the early 1960’s it was recognized that there really was an absolute need for another Catholic parish in Union, and Holy Spirit Church and parish were established. Even still, St. Michael’s remained a huge parish. In August of 1966, the now Monsignor Begley died after a lengthy illness and was buried next to the church building on its North side. He was succeeded by Father Thomas Grant who became as beloved as his predecessor. During his pastorate the township stabilized somewhat in its growth and St. Michael’s reflected this stability. When Father Grant retired, he was succeeded by Monsignor Thomas Touhy. It was the 70’s with all the turbulence of the times and this too affected the parish. Attendance at Mass dropped off enough that it was no longer necessary to use the Lower Church for Mass on any but a couple of Sundays a year. So, the Lower Church was reconfigured in such a way that it could be used as a parish hall as well as for Mass when needed. Monsignor Touhy retired in 1987 and Father Ronald Rozniak was named pastor. He served here for a short time before being sent to St. Joseph’s in West New York. Before Father Kenneth Herbster was appointed as His successor in 1988, Rev Msgr. Francis Seymour served as the Pastor for a short period of time as well (1988 -1989). During Father Herbster’s pastorate, the Upper Church was reconfigured and redecorated in line with the liturgical requirements of the Second Vatican Council. Father Herbster stepped down as pastor in 1997 and was replaced by Father Mathias Conva. During his term, the slow and unending process of maintenance and repair of aging buildings began. In February 2006, Father Charles McDermott succeeded the retiring Father Conva. Father McDermott had already served as parochial vicar for twelve years, and in a rare move, was made pastor, not only of the parish where he had been serving for such a long time, but also of his home parish where his family was one of the earliest families in the parish. In July 2015, Father Robert Wolfee succeeded Father McDermott as Pastor. Health issues forced Father McDermott to take early retirement. Father McDermott was named Pastor Emeritus by Archbishop Myers for his many years of service to our parish. In July, 2017 Rev. Msgr. Anselm I. Nwaorgu succeeded Father Robert Wolfee as Pastor. When the parish was founded, Union was a sleepy town of farms and new housing, usually just off the main streets. The ethnic population in 1928 was predominantly English and German. But many Irish families were moving in from Elizabeth and Newark, to live in the new suburb. Later on Italian, German/Hungarian, Polish, and Slavic families became a noticeable presence. In the last 20 years, huge numbers of Portuguese, Asians and Africans, as well as Afro-Americans have replaced many of the older population in the township. This is reflected in the congregation at St. Michael’s, which may be one of the most ethnically diverse parishes in the Archdiocese of Newark.

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Rev. Charles B. McDermott The “ Patriarch” of St. Michael’s Parish, Union, N.J Fr. Chuck as he is known, comes from a family that was part of St. Michael’s Parish even before he, his twin brother, and two sisters were born. He was Baptised, made his First Communion, Confirmation, entered the Seminary, was Ordained and said his first Mass here. After his priestly ordination, he has served as Parochial Vicar and then Pastor of St. Michael’s Parish. He is retired and named Pastor Emeritus of this Church. He actively contributed to designing and selecting liturgical elements during the church restoration and donated the church candlesticks in honor of his beloved parents. As Pastor, he partitioned the lower Church and created two additional classrooms for the school. He also furthered Fr. Matt Conva’s vision to convert the former Baptistry into a beautiful All Saints Chapel filled with icons and statues from various cultures. Our parish is blessed to have benefitted from his legacy of loyalty, service and ministry. We offer ongoing thanks as we celebrate together our 90th anniversary and so, within St. Michael’s Church community we have (unofficially) named him “Patriarch of St. Michael’s Church”.

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Joseph and Carol Furnari Extraordinary Ambassadors of St. Michael’s Church Joseph and Carol Furnari have three children. They moved to St. Michael’s in 1991 and have been very active parishioners, serving as Eucharistic Ministers, providing visitation to the homebound and to the South Mountain Nursing Home. Further, their valuable assistance and tireless optimism was felt each season as they actively participated with the Liturgy Team, Advent Giving Tree and what some have lovingly named “the coffee ministry,” which became Joe’s expected task which he faithfully performed at a moments notice. Most notably for the past twelve years they have been an integral part of the CYO Youth Ministry program bringing their wisdom of years and beautiful faith example to countless teens and their families at meetings and retreats as well as Vacation Bible School. They have given generously both of their time and talent, and without reservation, have shared their loving humble spirit and attitude of welcoming acceptance with us all, They have lived out their commitment to the parish both individually and together and we, at St. Michael’s Church, are richer for it. We are grateful and wish them many more years of God’s blessings.

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Roger & Kathleen Boetsch Extraordinary Ambassadors of St. Michael’s Church The story of these two extraordinary parishioners stands out among many others both in longevity and dedication. Kathleen began as a first communicant here at the parish, was a CYO member in 1945, and got married to Roger in this Church. Both were elected to the first Parish Council formed by Fr. Grant. They have remained involved in various activities and ministries. Namely,serving as Eucharistic ministers(Kathleen was the first lay woman of the parish to do so), leading the daily recitation of the Rosary, directing the May Crowning and First Communion events, cooking for visiting Bishops, decorating for and participating in the planning of numerous social events. Roger has served as a lector for over fifty years, opens the church every morning and sets up for the 7AM Mass. This he has done for well over 30 years. Together they have served on the altar for countless funerals. These many memories have enriched the fabric of St. Michael’s Parish and the current presence of this fine couple as members of the Senior Citizens group and of the Multicultural Ministry stands proof of this achievement. May God continue to bless them.

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Greetings to St. Michael the Archangel Parish on its 90th Anniversary and special congratulations to the distinguished Honorees.

The Pajarillo Family 12

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Mazi Edozie Iwirika

Congratulates St. Michael’s Church, Union and the Pastor, Very Rev. Msgr. Anselm Nwaorgu, as we celebrate 90 years of service and ministry in this local community.

May the good Lordcontinue to bless our efforts and the work of His hand in this parish family.

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The first six years of my priesthood (1981-1987) were spent at Saint Michael’s Church.

It was a wonderful foundation for all the years that have followed. They were great years of hard work and full enjoyment. I will always be grateful to the people of the Parish and the priests with whom I served. God bless Saint Michael’s Parish!

Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Fuhrman

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May God bless our Parish Community From

Cyriac & Alice Kunnath

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Congratulations to our friend,

Father Chuck,

on a well deserved honor! We would also like to congratulate the Boetsch's and Furnari's. Slainte,

Irish American Society of Union

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st. michael’s catholic church

Congratulations to all the Honorees 32


90th anniversary celebration

st. michael’s catholic church

Anniversary wishes From

Jose family 33


90th anniversary celebration

st. michael’s catholic church

We the family of

Mr. & Mrs. Bonaventure Durugo wish to congratulate

St. Michael Church for their 90th Anniversary

We also use this opportunity to congratulate the 3 honorees:

Rev. Fr. Charles McDermott Mr . & Mrs. Roger and Kathleen Boetsch Mr. & Mrs. Joseph and Carol Furnari

for their dedication and contribution to St. Michael Church. May God continue to bless them.

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st. michael’s catholic church

UNION INTERNAL MEDICINE GROUP 2027 Morris Avenue, Union NJ 07083

Congratulations to

St. Michael Church on your 90th Anniversary May God bless your parish with love, happiness and good health!

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st. michael’s catholic church

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St. Michael’s is a wonderful church community. Congratulations on your 90th Anniversary. We look forward to many more happy and blessed years as parishioners.

With love,

The Tantuico Family

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Congratulations to

My family would like to thank

St. Michael’s 90th Anniversary

Fr. Anselm

as well as

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for all his hard work and dedication to our church

Fr. Chuck Roger & Kathleen Boetsch Joseph & Carol Furnari

Mr. & Mrs. R. Boodhoo

Susan F. Rumohr 37


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All the very best to this wonderful parish of St. Michael the Archangel Church From

The Bergel Family 42


90th anniversary celebration

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We at Hope Alive Africa Charities (HAAC) heartily congratulate the honorees - Rev Father Chuck, Mr. & Mrs. Boetsch and Mr .& Mrs. Fumari for your selfless service. May God reward you abundantly. We also congratulate St. Michael’s Parish on its 90th anniversary of being a welcoming community. We wish you another 90 years of doing God’s work! • Hope Alive Africa charities (HAAC) is a parishioner founded 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. • Our mission is to mobilize volunteers, donors, and partners to meet the health, education, and employment needs of indigents in the farthest and hardest to reach areas of Nigeria. • We aim to transform Nigeria's potential and health outcomes through our health, education, labor, and poverty alleviation (HELP) projects. • Contact or visit us to learn more about our projects, impact, and how you can get involved.

Dr. Mrs. Ifeoma Egwuonwu Telephone: 908 267 0399 • Email: haacnigeria@gmail.com • Website:haacnigeria.org

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Happy 90th Anniversary to St. Michael Church

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Happy 90th Anniversary celebration to St. Michael’s Church

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ababababababab Congratulations and best wishes to

St. Michael’s Parish

90th Anniversary as it celebrates its &

to its distinguished Honorees:

Rev. Fr. Charles McDermott Roger & Kathleen Boetsch Joseph & Carol Furnari From

Fr. Bob Wolfee Pastor 2015-2017

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Happy 90th Anniversary celebration to St. Michael’s Church

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st. michael’s catholic church

Happy 90th Anniversary to

St. Michael The Archangel Church May God continue to bless our parish. From

The Mamaril Family

Ed & Alice Lodgie & Alison and Cilene Racho 54


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90th anniversary celebration

st. michael’s catholic church

Spanish Tavern would like to say congratulations to St. Michael The Archangel Church on celebrating its 90th Anniversary.

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90th anniversary celebration

st. michael’s catholic church

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Congratulations to

Fr. Chuck for your untiring service to

St. Michael’s Church, Union, NJ

Dr. & Mrs. Manuel Hugo

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90th anniversary celebration

st. michael’s catholic church

The Breakfast Club is proud to be part of

St. Michael’s Church, Union and its 90th Anniversary celebration

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Happy 90th Anniversary to

St. Michael’s Church

Amelia Roden

In Loving Memory of Our Mom

Paul and Jane Roden Neal Roden Karl Roden John Berg, Grandson

Happy 90th Anniversary and

Congratulations to the Honorees

From Maria Socorro Dagat 59


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Happy 90th Anniversary to St. Michael’s Church

I just love and I'm so happy to hear the bells ring again.

Greetings from

The Alba family

Congratulations to the parish ministry.

Stephen, Isabel, Judith and Jethro

Augusta Mahon and Elizabeth Carlino

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Achonye Family Wishing

on this 90th Anniversary congratulate our pastor,

St. Michael’s Church

Rev. Msgr. Anselm Nwaorgu Honorees: Pastor Emeritus Fr. Chuck Roger & Kathleen Boetsch Joseph & Carol Furnari

a blessed 90th Anniversary celebration

all the Clergy and the entire St. Michael Parish Community Happy celebration and very lasting memories. God bless us all!

Joan Browne Tucker

From: Clifford Achonye

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Father Chuck, Roger & Kathy and Joe & Carol.

Congratulations to

The Faraone Family

Gawel Family

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Congratulations

Congratulations distinguished honorees

Congratulations to

St. Michael’s Church

May God bless you and all of us in St. Michael’s Parish

on celebrating its 90th Anniversary.

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Fr. Chuck for your commitment to St. Michael Church and its Parishioners.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

From:

Eucharistic Ministers 5:30 PM Saturday Mass

From: Marie Sobka 61


90th anniversary celebration

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vvv

More Power to

St. Michael Church Congratulations for celebrating her

90th Anniversary From: DeLa Cruz Family Romy, Jo, JR & Ann

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90th anniversary celebration

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The Ekeh Family congratulates

Msgr. Anselm Nwaorgu, Ph.D and the entire members of St. Michael’s Catholic Church Union, NJ on its 90th Anniversary celebration

May God continue to bless us all more abundantly. 63


hghghghghghg Congratulations to

The Distinguished Honorees for all their dedication and service May God continue to bless St. Michael Church From

Joseph & Jeannette Cantalupo abababababababab May God continue to bless

St. Michael’s Church as it celebrates its

90th Anniversary

Rose Rinehart

abababababababab 64


90th anniversary celebration

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Happy Anniversary St. Michael’s Church 65


90th anniversary celebration

st. michael’s catholic church

hghghghg Happy

90th Anniversary to St. Michael’s Church May God continue to bless our parish

Bong & Angie Zoleta

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