Thursday, July 24, 2014

Salesians Withdrawing from Elizabeth, N.J.

Salesians Withdrawing
from Elizabeth, N.J.

Fr. Tom Dunne, provincial, announced in letters dated July 12, 2014, that the SDBs will withdraw from pastoral ministry at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Elizabeth as of Aug. 17.  The 2 letters were addressed to the confreres of the New Rochelle Province and to the parishioners of St. Anthony, to be read at all the weekend Masses.

The SDBs have served the parish community of St. Anthony, and the wider community of the city of Elizabeth, for 91 years.  Fr. Tom said that the decision was made with much thought and prayer; the bottom line "was the effect of a gradual decline of Salesian personnel available for ministries in our province," he wrote.

Fr. Tom thanked the people of St. Anthony for the honor of serving them and for their collaboration of so many decades.  He also thanked the confreres who served in pastoral ministry there.

Four SDBs made up the final community assigned to St. Anthony and await new assignments:  Fr. Pat Angelucci, the pastor; Fr. Javier Aracil, assistant pastor; Fr. Tom Brennan, in residence and Salesian liaison to the United Nations; and Bro. Craig Spence, youth minister.

In his letter Fr. Tom also noted that the SDBs have withdrawn from 5 parishes in the last 8 months (Montreal, 2 in Birmingham, Washington, and Elizabeth).  In each case, it was a matter of available personnel to carry out the Salesian mission effectively (which means not only sacramental ministry but also significant youth ministry).

The letter addressed to the SDB confreres also noted an adjustment in the pastoral arrangements for the 2 parishes that the SDBs staff in Harvey, La., on the West Bank of the New Orleans metro area.  Fr. Larry Urban, who has been pastor of St. John Bosco Church, will also serve as pastor of St. Rosalie Church.  Another SDB priest will serve as parochial vicar for St. Rosalie but reside with the SDB community as Archbishop Shaw HS in Marrero (Shaw is about a mile from the church, tho in the next town over).  The New Orleans Archdiocese will assign another priest to live at St. Rosalie and assist in pastoral work.  The 2 parishes remain distinct in all respects except sharing the pastor.  The change is effective Aug. 1.
Students of St. Rosalie School assembled in the playground/parking lot
in October 2005 for a visit of the SDB provincial one month after Katrina.
The church roof, behind them, shows some hurricane damage.
Fr. John DiFiore, pastor of St. Rosalie for the last 4 years, awaits a new assignment.  Since Fr. George Hanna, erstwhile pastor of Nativity in Washington, was assigned to Abp. Shaw's community later in July (province newsletter, July 17), it seems that he'll be the priest designated for ministry at St. Rosalie.

No comments: