Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Election of Pope Francis & Closing the Year of Faith
The year 2013 began on a stunning note when Pope Benedict XVI announced tthat he would denounce the papacy at 8:00 pm on February 28 citing his declining health. The last pope to resign the Petrine Office was Gregory XII in 1415. He was succeeded by Pope Francis of Buenos Aires—the first pope from the Americas.
The first months of the year also saw the passing of three prominent parishioners: Mrs. Rose Fradusco Alito, mother of Samuel Alito, Jr. Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court and Rosemary Alito, Esq. (February 7); Mrs. Donna Mule’ Bacsik, former principal of Our Lady of Sorrows School (February 17) and Reverend Severin Dietrich, OFM, Conv. a native of St. Anthony Parish and teacher of Trenton Catholic Boys High School, Trenton (March 29).
As the summer began, the position of parish secretary was assumed by Mrs. Doris Cordero upon the resignation of Mrs. Doreen Griffin Gallway who had been on the parish staff since 2004.
During the summer, the parish hosted numerous teens who were involved in “Justice Works” a program that provides young people with an experience of helping the poor and marginalized of the community. Eight groups stayed at the Our Lady of Sorrows Campus for meals and lodging. Together they prayed and were immersed in the meaning of Catholic Social teaching.
The Religious Education Program resumed its annual “Summer Bible Camp.”in the church hall at Our Lady of Sorrows Church Hall.
A pastoral council initiative came to fruition during the summer of 2013—a new website. Many hours of work were offered by Vincent Peroni and Lea Novak. This was built upon the pioneering work of Mr. Angelo Milioto who oversaw the website for many years.
This year’s summer project was conducted from July 1 through September 1. With the support of the finance council, the parish undertook rather ambitious project goals: the installation of air conditioning units for our school’s classrooms and hallways as well as the design for a new parking area adjacent to St. Anthony Church.
During the fall, former convent of Saint Anthony which also served as the Center of the Diocesan Haitian Apostolate was demolished to make room for needed parking at the Saint Anthony Campus.
The Year of Faith was given a solemn closing with a Eucharistic Procession following the 11:00 am Mass on the Feast of Christ the King. During the Year of Faith, the parish began the “Awakening Faith” Program devised by the Paulist Fathers. This involved small group faith-sharing as well as catechetical and spiritual formation.
Citing security concerns and the need to preserve respect for the Most Blessed Sacrament, the parish moved Eucharistic Adoration from the Chapel of Mary’s Haven at Our Lady of Sorrows to the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. The church would be opened for visits during regular office hours and Thursdays were designated as Days of Solemn Eucharistic Adoration.
In addition to the improvements made through the summer project, work continued on completing the vestibule renovations of Our Lady of Sorrows. Plaster repairs and needed painting was also undertaken at St. Anthony Church.