SPRINGFIELD, NJ – In a beautiful night service Tuesday, His Eminence Joseph William Cardinal Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark celebrated a Deanery Mass at Saint James the Apostle hosted by Reverend Joseph E. Barbone, Pastor of Saint James.
Parish priests from Little Flower of Berkeley Heights, Our Lady of Lourdes of Mountainside, Our Lady of Peace of New Providence, St. Rose of Lima of Short Hills, and St. Teresa of Avila of Summit helped celebrate the Mass.
At the end of the Mass Father Joe Barbone thanked Cardinal Tobin and invited the celebrants to attend a reception and Town Hall meeting. Most of the celebrants did just that and proceeded to the school auditorium for dessert and the meeting.
Cardinal Tobin accepted a scroll presented to him by Reverend Barbone on behalf of the parish containing messages of well wishing. Then Mayor Stampoulos with the members of the Township Committee presented the Cardinal with a Proclamation. After that Cardinal Tobin took questions from those assembled.
Questions were wide ranging and included “Do you support having woman serve as Deacons?”, “What is your definition of marriage?”, “How do we get out our message of inclusiveness?”, “How do we increase participation in the church?”, and "What is going to happen to Catholic schools?".
One parishioner asked “Why are Catholics distant from the Church?” Cardinal Tobin cited a recent study that showed, “That particular reason is no particular reason at all.”” That is good news.” “We can get them back at some point.” He went on to state that "...although the pews may be a little empty at Saint Rose of Lima, 1700 people received into the Church at the Archdiocese on Easter.“ He noted that the Church is growing globally and that growth is coming from the southern hemisphere.