New Jersey Church Honors Leaders

HNP Communications Around the Province

POMPTON LAKES, N.J. — Faith formation was the theme when Kevin Downey, OFM, pastor of St. Mary Church, honored five parishioners with the Province’s Francis Medal. At the Oct. 3 Feast of St. Francis Mass, the five, all strong supporters of faith formation, received their medals.

Kevin said he chose these five parishioners because they had a “profound effect on the faith formation of our parish from youth to adults.”

The recipients are:

• Tom Brown, director of religious education for the Diocese of Paterson. He has held the position for 44 years and has helped St. Mary’s enlarge its religious education program.

• Joe Cece, director of the parish RCIA program. Under his leadership, the program has expanded to better meet the needs of people seeking to join the Church.

• Tom McKenzie, director of the English Language Learning Program. He has helped many newcomers adjust to life in the United States.

• Stanley Maticka, adult leader in the St. Mary’s youth ministry program. He also works with retreat teams, Justice Walking, HOPE, and the Alma Banta Peace Camps.

• Marcia Stamboulian, adult leader in the youth ministry program. She works with HOPE retreats and the SAT prep program. She also leads the church’s Third Order community.

A reception followed in the parish’s Carnevale Center where parishioners thanked the recipients “for all they have done and are still doing to bring the spirit of St. Francis to St. Mary’s,” Kevin said.

Other autumn events at the Pompton Lakes parish include:
· Reception celebrating Sr. Arlene Kollar’s 50th anniversary of religious life
· People of Peace’s Stamp Out Despair program
· Adult spirituality series

— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer living in Danbury, Conn., is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.

Editor’s note: The photos were supplied by Lawrence Anderson, OFM, of St. Mary’s Church.