UNION, NJ – The unveiling of an honorary street name for Father Charles “Chuck” McDermott occurred yesterday, Monday, August 31, on the corner of Kay and Orange Avenues. Street signs bearing his name will also be installed at all intersections on Kay Avenue. Father McDermott, known endearingly to all as Father Chuck, has had a great impact on the residents of Union, said Mayor Manuel Figueiredo. “Father Chuck has been an integral part of our community. His parents bought their house here on Kay Avenue in 1941. Father Chuck was a priest with the Archdiocese of Newark for 42 years and here at St. Michael’s for 21 years.”
Father Chuck, surrounded by family, friends and members of the township fire department, talked about his deep roots in Union. “My mother’s family has lived here since 1929, and they were one of the original families of St. Michael’s parish. My roots are really, really here. This is home.” Father McDermott was baptized and received his first communion at St. Michael’s and graduated from St. Michael’s Elementary School in 1961. He attended Roselle Catholic High School and entered Seton Hall Divinity School. Two years later, Father McDermott joined the Seminary. He was ordained as a deacon in 1972 and a year later became a priest.
Father Chuck retired from St. Michael’s in June, but has remained the Chaplin for the township fire department and the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “My mother and father would have been so incredibly proud”, said Father Chuck. “For me, it’s nice; I like it. But, for them, I’m absolutely, utterly delighted and very, very happy. Union will always be my home.”
Father Chuck continued, “I always think of my mother each time as I drive into town, and I say out loud every time the same thing she always said when she drove into town: ‘Ahh. Good old Union’”.