Donival Brown Received into the Church-Called by the Lord,
A Priestly Silver Jubilee
The parish staff underwent significant changes in 2007. The community mourned the untimely death of the long serving and very popular Director of Music Ministry, Mr. Donival Brown on June 5. Just weeks before, his reception into the Catholic Church was celebrated at Easter! There was ‘standing room only” at Our Lady of Sorrows Church when a Mass was offered on June 21 in suffrage for the happy repose of his soul. Msgr. Gervasio was principal celebrant of the Mass while Msgr. Sam Sirianni concelebrated and delivered the homily. Deacon Jeffrey Pierfy was one of those who delivered a special remembrance prior to the Mass. Many friends and former students of Donival augmented the parish choir in providing the music for the liturgy. Two months later, Mr. Michael Amantia was appointed as Director of Music Ministry. Shortly thereafter, the parish appointed its first full time Director of Youth Ministry in the person of Karen Craven (nee Proulx).
The Lenten Season brought Passionist Father Dominic Papa to the parish for a mission on The Compassionate Love of God. The Water Only Wednesdays Project for Uganda continued the parish’s commitment to give drink to the thirsty. During the month of May, the parish held its first May Crowning at the newly dedicated Marian Shrine in front of Our Lady of Sorrows School—an initiative of the School Alumni Committee. A new statue of our Lady was erected to replace one removed many years ago. The celebration on May 6 enjoyed the participation of the year’s First Holy Communicants and the Rosary-Altar Society.
The year was also marked with a view to improve the condition of the buildings of both campuses. The first step in this plan was to undertake a Buildings and Systems Study which prioritized the needs of our parish ‘infrastructure.” The results of this study was shared with the parishioners who then participated in a “feasibility study” which sought support for the needs identified. A Capital Campaign was begun in October.
The parish was accorded three honors during 2007: The Nostrum Ecclesiam Tempus Medal, a personal recognition of Bishop John M. Smith was awarded to Donival Brown (posthumously), for Music Ministry; Mollye Carroll and Deacon Dennis Slavin for services to the Diocese; and Frank Wrobel in recognition for his service to the parish as trustee, sacristan, and moderator of the St. Vincent DePaul Conference. On March 24 the parish was inducted in the Interfaith Caregivers of Trenton Hall of Fame in recognition of the many hours of volunteer ministry to the needy of the area. On a lighter note, our Cheerleading Squads both (Junior Varsity and Varsity) won first place honors in the annual CYO diocesan competition.
On Sunday, October 28, the family, parish and friends, honored Msgr. Gervasio on the occasion of his 25th anniversary in the Holy Priesthood. A Solemn Mass was celebrated at 3:00 pm at St. Anthony Church. Fr. Robert C. Pasley, Rector of Mater Ecclesiae Chapel, Berlin, NJ and a seminary classmate of Monsignor Gervasio was homilist. The Diocesan Festival Choir provided the music. A Silver Jubilee Banquet followed at Mariott at Lafayette Yard, Trenton.
The final months of the year were marked by a Alumni Association sponsored Greaseband concert for the maintenance of the Marian Shrine, the annual Golf Classic, and the beginning of the Parish Capital Campaign. Shortly after Thanksgiving, the parish welcomed Bishop Gennaro Pascarella of Pozzuoli, Italy who celebrated Mass in St. Anthony Church for the Italian speaking community of the area, especially those who hail from Monte di Procida.