MAPLEWOOD, NJ—St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Maplewood this year is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a parish and, this Saturday, parishioners and a church filled with guests, clergy and well-wishers welcomed the Rev. James Worth as he was installed as the 11th pastor of the township church.
Father Worth, a native of Ventnor, served as assistant pastor and parochial vicar at St. James the Apostle in Springfield for 11 years before being named by Archbishop John J. Myers to the Maplewood post.
Saturday's ceremony was highlighted by the celebration of the Mass of installation by Newark auxiliary bishop Thomas Donato, who read a letter from Archbishop Myers announcing the formal appointment of Rev. Worth and formally commended the new pastor to his flock.
In his homily at the installation Mass, the Rev. Worth noted that he had first visited St. Joseph's Church as part of his practicum shortly before becoming a priest in 2001. He said what had impressed him was the church's imposing baptismal font, which he compared to the Pool of Siloam, in which Jesus Christ directed a blind mind to wash as part of his cure.
The new pastor also instructed his new flock to “be what you need to be in Christ” and said together they would discover the strength in each others' weaknesses and, with Christ's love spread love, charity and forgiveness.
Father Worth was welcomed by a number of members of the church staff and parish trustees Jean Baranello and Ronald Murphy.
The combined choirs of St. Joseph Parish and St. Pius X Parish of Old Tappan performed hymns during the installation service.
A buffet dinner and reception followed in the church auditorium.