MADISON, NJ - Wondering why the flags in Madison are being flown at half-staff today, December 5?

All flags will be flown at half staff today per Executive Order 94  in recognition and mourning of a dedicated and tireless public servant, Monsignor Philip A. Lowery, who tirelessly served the people of the Catholic Church and the State of New Jersey, announced the Governor's Office.

According to the order, Monsignor Lowery was appointed pastor of St. James Church in Red Bank and concurrently director of Red Bank Catholic High School and Saint James Grammar School for 29, making him the longest serving pastor of the parish. He was the New Jersey State Police Chief of Chaplains for nearly 25 years and stood next to Governor Murphy when he was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Germany in 2009 and then as Governor in 2018.

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"It is with great sorrow that we mourn the passing of Monsignor Lowery and extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends, and colleagues. It is appropriate to honor the exemplary character, selflessness, and cherished memory of Monsignor Lowery and to mark his passing", states the executive order.

The order continues by stating:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT: 1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Thursday, December 5, 2019, in recognition and mourning of a dedicated and tireless public servant, Monsignor Philip A. Lowery.