Religions and Spirituality

Hundreds Attend Part One of Faith Quest Lenten Series at Caldwell's St. Aloysius Parish


CALDWELL, NJ — Nearly 200 people attended the first part of Faith Quest’s Lenten series of adult spirituality presentations on Wednesday after it was rescheduled from March 15 due to the snowstorm. Guests came out to St. Aloysius parish in Caldwell to hear speakers talk on topics of prayer and spirituality, understanding Sacred Scripture, and faith in practice.

Faith Quest is a four-week Lenten adult spirituality forum introduced in 2007 as a result of the New Energies initiative of the Archdiocese of Newark.

Trish Macaluso, Loretta Dremel and Karen Mazepa, West Caldwell residents and parishioners of St. Aloysius, came to hear Ginger Grancagnolo, Ed.D., DMin., speak on “The Way of the Cross: How to Bring Problems to Peace.”

Sign Up for E-News

The women said they felt the program was “uplifting and inspirational” and that Faith Quest gave them time during Lent to do something positive. They added that so many times people give something up for Lent, but Faith Quest gave them an opportunity to “do something” for Lent.

The decision to attend the program began when Macaluso heard about Faith Quest through church and asked her friends to join her. Something as simple as extending an invitation to a friend can make a difference, the friends explained.

The women said now that their children are older, it is easier to get out at night and participate in such events—and they are thinking of attending other programs as well.

“Don’t think your problems are bigger than your God,” said Dr. Ginger.

This statement really resonated with Macaluso. Dremel took with her the message that “miracles can and do happen.”

Dr. Ginger’s discussion was intended to not only lead one on the “Way of the Cross” and to the “foot of the Cross,” but to also encourage one to take the next step, which she said is stepping directly onto the Cross with Christ, “where His heart simultaneously beats with yours.”

Dr. Ginger also talked about her new book, entitled, “How to Find Your Joy in a Crazy, Upside-Down World.” Quoting from her book, she said, “Life requires us to P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens.”

Christopher Pasternak, a parishioner from St. Thomas More (STM), attended the talk given by Pastoral Minister Mary Bertani, who spoke on “To Love without Tiring - Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Making of a Saint.” Pasternak said he came away knowing not only the calling and life story of St. Teresa of Calcutta, but also an awareness of her experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul for 50 years.

According to the presentation, it is known that throughout 1946 and 1947, Mother Teresa experienced a profound union with Christ. Soon after she left the convent and began her work among the destitute and dying on the streets, the speaker explained, the visions and locutions ceased, and Mother Theresa experienced a spiritual darkness that would remain with her until her death.

Father Roger Haight, SJ spoke on the topic “An Easy Method of Prayer for Difficult Times.” He is currently assigned in New York City and has early roots at St. Aloysius. He has taught on five continents and is a published author.

Father Haight spoke about praying with the Bible and meditating with the Scriptures. He suggested putting oneself into a scene from the Bible and becoming part of it.

According to Haight, the praying person uses all his senses to place himself in a Bible scene and sees himself as part of the story. He said this immerses the whole person in Scripture, which is a springboard to living and praying in the reality of God.

“Father Haight told us to get into a dialog with God telling Him what we want in relation to the Scripture,” said Priscilla Cole, a West Caldwell resident and STM parishioner.

Peg Johnston, one of the original Faith Quest team members, said that Faith Quest is the perfect way for adults to be fed on the Word of God. She stated that it is also very inexpensive and is conveniently located.

“What could be a better way to deepen and strengthen our connection with God than by attending the Faith Quest presentations that are given by some of the most esteemed members of the Catholic Church?” said Mary Ann Durantino, another Faith Quest team member.

Johnston encouraged attendees to get together in small groups outside the scheduled series to discuss and share the knowledge of what they learned.

She said that she knows of a group of people who decided to have all sessions attended by at least one member of the group so that when they have small group gatherings, all Faith Quest topics can be discussed.

Faith Quest came out of the New Energies parish initiative program that began in 2004. The program divided the Newark Archdiocese into clusters of parishes. The West Essex cluster includes Notre Dame in North Caldwell, St. Aloysius in Caldwell, STM in Fairfield, and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Roseland.

These four parishes developed Faith Quest, which is in its eleventh year. There have been close to 100 speakers over the program’s history with hundreds of parishioners attending annually.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

West Orange Restaurant Week Heads Into Weekend; Don't Miss These Offers

March 16, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Restaurants and eateries from throughout West Orange are currently participating in the Downtown West Orange Alliance’s (DWOA) second annual Restaurant Week, which wraps up on Saturday.

There will also be an opportunity to win $250 in restaurant gift certificates for purchases made during Restaurant Week.

For every purchase made at ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, March 19, 2:00 PM

Fairfield Free Public Library, Fairfield

Pre-K Storytime

Arts & Entertainment Education


Mon, March 19, 2:00 PM

Livingston Town Hall, Livingston


Community Calendar Government


Mon, March 19, 6:30 PM

Fairfield Free Public Library, Fairfield

Crochet & Knit Club

Arts & Entertainment Education

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Anyone at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m. might have been exposed to measles and should contact their health care provider, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH).

The NJDH has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles—a highly contagious ...


- Mar 14, 2018
Obituary for Anne M. Gaeta (Corona) Anne M. Gaeta, nee Corona, 86, of Roseland, NJ, beloved ...
Read more
- Mar 11, 2018
Walter E. Hanley, Jr., 82, of Fairfield, New Jersey, passed away on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Beloved ...
Read more
Dec 11, 1941 - Mar 13, 2018
Roslyn Elaine Prosperi (nee Flexer),76, of Fairfield, NJ, passed away on Tuesday March 13, 2018.
Read more
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - The Honorable Robert L. Reiher, 83, of Bonita Springs, FL and Ocean Beach, NJ, ...
Read more
  WEST CALDWELL, NJ - After a long illness, 6 years old Juliana Rose Donnelly died ...
Read more
WEST ESSEX, NJ - Thomas (Tom) A. Callahan Sr. passed away at the age of 73 at his home in ...
Read more
William Francis Verhaegen, Jr., of Aliso Viejo, California, died suddenly at Saddleback Memorial ...
Read more

Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party Set For March 16

March 12, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - The annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party fundraiser affair is coming up.

The event, which will be held Friday, March 16 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, is focused on raising funds to support Komen’s BOLD GOAL:  to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% by the year 2026, by improving access to quality and ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...