STIRLING, NJ - The Shrine of St. Joseph announces the appointment of a new Director, Fr. Dennis Berry, S.T., a Missionary Servant of the Most Holy Trinity, the religious congregation that has staffed the Shrine for more than 90 years. Fr. Dennis comes to build upon the legacy of the priests and brothers that have preceded him. Originally from Washington, D.C., he grew up in the DC metropolitan area. When he was an adolescent, he lived near the Missionary Servant’s Seminary in Silver Spring, Maryland. Since he had considered a vocation to the priesthood from the time that he was a little boy, and he had met so many wonderful Missionary Servants along the way, it seemed like a natural step to enter their minor seminary in Monroe, VA, as a high school freshman.
Since his ordination in 1974, Fr. Dennis has served in many capacities including: a missionary outreach program on the streets of East Los Angeles; the first Director of our House of Studies in Santa Ana, California (and while there received a Ph.D. in Spiritual Theology from the Union Institute). For ten years, he was the international spiritual guide of the Missionary Cenacle Apostolate, the lay community first founded by Fr. Thomas Augustine Judge. Fr. Dennis also served as the US National Vocation Director for the Congregation; and Director of the Father Judge Apostolic Center, a center for missionary development of young adults here in Stirling. In 2007, he was elected to the General Council and worked as a pastor of St. Joseph parish in Ft. Mitchell, Alabama. He rejoices in returning to Long Hill Township as the Shrine of St. Joseph Director.
Fr. Dennis is grateful for all the many blessings he has received from God. As he states,
“Since arriving, I have been deeply impressed by the range of activities and people that call the Shrine their “home”. This so reflects the vision of the Shrine’s founder, Fr. Judge, who wanted to “encourage” among all a “family spirit” – this family idea that will engender the most beautiful fruits for the honor and glory of God and for the edification of the Church”
Fr. Dennis hopes to create new programs that will focus especially on the spiritually poore every to be an apostle in their daily life. As always the Shrine will remain – a place of healing, learning, celebrating, serving – a place where all may experience the joy of the Gospel and go forth as leaven for the world.