Long-time Pompton Lakes Parishioners Honored in NYC

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

NEW YORK – Ellen and Vincent Buccellato’s years of service at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., were acknowledged in a special way – when on Nov. 24, the same day as the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary – Michael Carnevale, OFM, presented them with the Province’s Francis Medal. The ceremony took place in the chapel of St. Francis Friary on West 31st Street.

The HNP Francis Medal, established in 1998 by then-provincial leader John Felice, OFM, is presented to individuals who have displayed an uncommon contribution to the advancement of the ideals and values of St. Francis. Michael said the Buccellatos were honored with the medal “for their years of dedication to the work and mission” of the Pompton Lakes parish.

“Their charity and generosity in service has helped the community in many ways,” Michael said of the long-time St. Mary’s parishioners. “They have been a couple – a family – that is an example of Christian concern for their fellow parishioners and brothers and sisters in the community.

“They have always been willing to assist those in need, and have been an example of Franciscan joy and peace – beacons who have led others to the Lord,” added Michael, who served at St. Mary’s Parish at various times between 1973 and 2004, and has worked at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi on 31st Street since 2005.

Though they live in Oakland, N.J, the Buccellatos made St. Mary’s their home parish, where they raised their sons, Tom, Scott and Kevin.

“The family has always been very involved in many parish ministries,” said Michael. “Vince served on the finance committee and Ellen was a member of the Women’s Cornerstone, while their sons attended CCD and were members of the youth group.”

Vincent is a graduate of Notre Dame University, as are the couple’s sons. Kevin and his wife, Amy, are architects and teach in the architecture school at Notre Dame, according to Michael, who served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City from 1987 to 1989.

Earlier this year, eight other St. Mary’s parishioners were honored with the Francis Medal for their involvement with the parish, and dedication to service and the Franciscan message. Also in 2018, friars in Butler and Newark, both in New Jersey, as well as in Western New York, recognized partners-in-ministry with the Province’s medal.

Jocelyn Thomas is communications director for Holy Name Province.

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