Bishop issues decrees establishing parishes in Hammonton, Mullica Hill and North Cape May

Bishop Joseph Galante announced today that three new parishes will be established on June 23, 2010 through the consolidation of eight existing parishes, the boundaries of which extend into all six counties of the diocese.

 

The announcement establishing the new parishes was made in three formal decrees, which are published in the May 21 edition of the Catholic Star Herald, the diocesan newspaper.

 

·                    In Hammonton, Saint Joseph, Saint Martin dePorres and Saint Anthony of Padua will unite to form Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Parish.  The new parish will be located at St. Joseph Church.  St. Anthony of Padua and St. Martin dePorres churches also will serve the new parish as worship sites.  Father Thomas S. Donio, Priest Convener for the consolidation, has been named pastor of the new parish for a six year term.  St. Mary of Mount Carmel Parish, whose boundaries will be those of the existing parishes, will serve about 3,000 families in Camden and Atlantic Counties.   

·                    Holy Name of Jesus (Mullica Hill), Saint Ann (Elmer) and Saint Joseph (Woodstown) will unite to form The Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit.  The new parish will be located at Holy Name of Jesus Church.  St. Joseph Church also will be used as a worship site by the new parish.  Father Anthony R. DiBardino, Priest Convener for the consolidation, has been named pastor of the new parish for a six year term.  The Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, whose boundaries will be those of the existing parishes, will serve about 2,680 families in Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland Counties. 

·                    Saint John of God (North Cape May) and Saint Raymond (Villas) will unite to form The Parish of Saint John Neumann.  The new parish will be located at St. John of God Church.  Saint Raymond Church also will be used as a worship site by the new parish.  Father Ernest R. Soprano, Priest Convener for the consolidation, has been named pastor of the new parish for a six year term.  The Parish of Saint John Neumann, whose boundaries will be those of the existing parishes, will serve about 1,900 families in Cape May County.

 

“I am so encouraged by the dedicated work of our clergy, religious and laity in all of these parishes who have come together in a common mission to strengthen these parish communities for the sake of the faithful in South Jersey.  This points to a most hopeful future for our Church,” said Bishop Joseph Galante. 

 

“It is my fervent prayer that the enthusiasm that is so evident today and the spirit of collaboration and unity that already have been demonstrated will only grow in time, so that our people not only will be served more effectively, but will themselves be encouraged to respond affirmatively to their baptismal call to serve the mission of the Church.  By doing this, we will help transform a world that so desperately needs to hear the Gospel and help people of all ages to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus, which is the very motivation for all we are doing at this time in the diocese,” he added.

 

Since last June, eighteen decrees have been issued by Bishop Galante in a diocesan-wide reconfiguration of parishes, with 20 consolidations remaining that now are being prepared for by Core Teams and their Priest Conveners. 

 

The reconfiguration announcement in April 2008 followed more than a year of study by parish and deanery planners, who considered population and demographic trends, the number of diocesan priests available for ministry, Mass attendance and trends in religious practice. 

 

Planners through their recommendations sought ways to strengthen parish life in each area of the diocese and to address the priorities expressed by the people at “Speak Up” sessions that were held with Bishop Galante in 2005 and 2006.  The priorities identified included the need to engage laity more actively in parish ministry, more opportunities for faith formation for all age groups, expanded ministry to youth and young adults, the fostering vocations to priesthood and religious life, well-celebrated liturgies, and compassionate outreach to inactive Catholics and those in need throughout the diocese.

 

The study by deanery and parish planners found that while many parishes individually lacked the means to address key pastoral priorities, improved pastoral care could be achieved by uniting certain parishes through consolidation. 

In conjunction with the parish reconfiguration process, additional efforts are underway to more effectively respond to the needs of parishioners.  With the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI calling on lay people to assume responsibility with clergy for the life and mission of the Church, the diocese in January 2009 instituted the Lay Ministry Formation Program, an initiative formed in conjunction with nationally-recognized institutions to educate laity in parish ministry through college-level certificate and degree programs, with most delivered at satellite locations within the diocese. 

More than 300 parishioners now are enrolled in the program, many of whom serve in religious education, youth and young adult ministry, adult faith formation, Hispanic and Black Catholic ministry, parish life, family life, ministry to seniors, and liturgy.   Programs also are offered for lay persons involved in pastoral administration, Catholic schools, and parish business management. 

The Program has been undertaken in partnership with the College of St. Elizabeth (Morristown, NJ), Georgian Court University (Lakewood, NJ), the Center for Ministry Development (Naugatuck Conn.), the Northeast Hispanic Catholic Center (New York, NY), St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (Philadelphia, Pa.), Neumann University (Aston, Pa.) and University of Dayton (Dayton, Ohio).  

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OTHER DECREES ISSUED

 

June 26, 2009: Bishop Joseph Galante issues the formal decree establishing The Catholic Community of Christ Our Light from the consolidation of Queen of Heaven and St. Peter Celestine in Cherry Hill. The decree is effective July 29, 2009.

 

July 3, 2009: Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of Saint Mary, Williamstown and St. John Neumann, Sicklerville will consolidate and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Our Lady of Peace, will be established August 5, 2009.

 

September 18, 2009: Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of Saint Francis of Assisi and Immaculate Heart of Mary, both in Vineland, will consolidate and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Divine Mercy Parish, will be established October 21, 2009.

 

October 2, 2009: Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that Saint Simon Stock parish will be created through the consolidation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Berlin and Saint Edward Parish, Pine Hill, effective November 4, 2009.

 

October 2, 2009:  Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that Mary, Queen of All Saints parish will be created through the consolidation of Saint Veronica, Delair and Saint Cecilia, Pennsauken, effective November 4, 2009.

 

November 6, 2009: Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of Saint Luke (Stratford), St. Lawrence (Lindenwold) and Our Lady of Grace (Somerdale), will consolidate and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, will be established December 9, 2009.

 

November 18, 2009: Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of St. Pius X and Holy Rosary, both in Cherry Hill, will consolidate and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Holy Eucharist Parish, will be established December 23, 2009.

 

December 11, 2009     Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of Saint Margaret, Woodbury Heights, and Saint John Vianney, Deptford, will consolidate and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Infant Jesus Parish, will be established January 13, 2010.

 

January 15, 2010   Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of St. Ann, Wildwood and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Wildwood Crest, will consolidate and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Notre Dame de la Mer, will be established February 17, 2010.

 

March 19, 2010   Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of St. Patrick, St. Patrick, Woodbury, Most Holy Redeemer, Westville Grove and St. Matthew, National Park will consolidate and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Holy Angels Parish, will be established April 21, 2010.

 

April 1, 2010  Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that  that the parishes of Saint Peter, Pleasantville and St. Bernadette, Northfield will unite and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Parish, will be established May 5, 2010.

 

April 9, 2010  Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of St. Jude and St. Agnes, both in Blackwood, will unite and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Our Lady of Hope Parish, will be established May 12, 2010.

 

April  16, 2010  Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of Mary, Mother of the Church (Bellmawr), St. Francis de Sales (Barrington) and St. Gregory (Magnolia) will unite and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, St. Rita, will be established May 19, 2010.

 

April 23, 2010  Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of St. James (Ventnor), Epiphany (Longport) and Blessed Sacrament (Margate) will unite and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Holy Trinity, will be established May 26, 2010.

 

May 7, 2010  Bishop Joseph Galante formally decrees that the parishes of Sacred Heart (Mount Ephraim) and Holy Maternity (Audubon) will unite and the new parish resulting from the consolidation, Emmaus Catholic Community, will be established June 9, 2010.