Written by Peter G. Sánchez
On May 18 in the Church of Saint Ann, Bishop Dennis Sullivan, with Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski, State Chaplain, and Father Joseph D. Wallace, pastor of Notre Dame de la Mer Parish in Wildwood, celebrated the Knights of Columbus’ New Jersey State Council’s opening Mass for their annual state convention.
The bishop of Camden got a laugh at the beginning of his homily when he brought up the recent changes in the Knights’ new Fourth Degree regalia. “I’m not a fan of the beret but in the rain, it works better than the plumes,” he joked on the rain-soaked Friday morning.
Speaking of the day’s Gospel reading, when Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him, Bishop Sullivan noted that the passage describes “the rehabilitation of Peter, whom Jesus brings back to life.”
Just as the Savior did with his disciple, “Jesus gives us many opportunities to show our love to him, and renew our love for him,” he said, urging each Knight to be “a good father, grandfather, husband and supporter of your order. You have been given a mission — to be a man of faith and action.”
As in past years, the Knights Mass included a May Crowning. A few hours later, Bishop Sullivan visited students at nearby Cape Trinity Catholic School for their annual May Crowning.
He greeted students individually as they arrived in the auditorium, and praised them for their love and devotion to the mother of Jesus.
The school’s student council president, Gavin Rosenello, and vice president, Oscar Catanese, were heartened and encouraged by the bishop’s visit,
“He’s our spiritual leader,” Oscar said, adding that, “at a stressful time for the school right now (with the end near and exams coming up), he was a major influence.”
Gavin agreed, saying that “it was good to connect with the bishop on a personal level, when he shook our hands and asked us our names.”
A more intimate and spiritual encounter between the bishop and school students took place later in the day, when he presided over confirmation at Notre Dame de la Mer Parish.