From what I have heard, the Priest who is retiring, is Italian and the people that are currently in the Parish, would like either a Hispanic or Black. I don't know for sure, but that is what I have been told. There is an Italian Priest who works with the current Monsignor and they would like him to take over after the current Priest leaves. This is just hear say.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PASTOR: Dear Parishioners & Friends, I hoped and prayed that the day would never come when I would have to make this announcement. But it has come, so here goes.
I wrote to the Archbishop in early December and respectfully requested that my assignment at St. Lucys be renewed for another year. I mentioned that my health was excellent. I even listed the results of my last check-up in October which was excellent.
I have received the Archbishops response. He was happy that my health was good. But since Im going to turn 80 in 2009, the Archbishop will renew me only until this coming June. At which time he expects me to retire and resign the parish. I do not know the exact date yet, but I will keep you informed. I have no idea who the new Pastor will be. I implore you not to take any action. This letter had a tone of no ifs, ands or buts about it. So please do not try anything.
I know full well that it was you and you alone who bought me three extra years. So we dont want to start a mess now. I am most grateful to you for 54 years of a most fruitful, happy and productive priestly life at St. Lucys. I would not change it for the world. For some Ive been a son, for some Ive been a brother or an uncle, for some Ive been a father. But for all of you, I hope in spite of my faults, feelings and sins, I have been a worthy parish priest, confidante and friend.
In today's paper there is a column regarding the StLucy debate. I don't remember the First Ward at all - only that most of our Italian neighbors on Second St always went to St. Lucy - and the statue of St.Gerard came down our block every year.
After reading the article, I get the impression all is well, except for the naming of a new pastor. From the article:
Within days, Genevrino [a protest leader] announced the archdiocese offered Granato assurances he could continue to live in the parish rectory -- the alternative was a home for retired priests -- and that his replacement would respect the church's traditions.
Archbishop John Myers called Granato, Genevrino says, and told him the church's traditions were "devotions he shared and would not want to see changed."
Jim Goodness, an archdiocese spokesman, confirmed Granato would stay as pastor emeritus.
So if the protest continues, it seems to me it's all about getting another Italian pastor. Too bad they wouldn't prefer an Irishman. Remember how much fun we had with Monsignor Carney?
As a life long member of the parish i can tell you all it wasnt the fact that they made him retire he's been there since 1955 he came the year i graduted St Lucys he married my sister christened my 3 kids and with the help of fr joe native they saved the church from being ruined like the rest of newark i hope you will all take a sunday go to 11:00 mass hear a mens chior thats been singing there since the 50's most are old guys now me included i recently lost my mom father gee gave a homely that was very personal i dont think theres another priest in newark that is as personal with his people as fr gee is he's been my confessor ,friend ,father ,priest n has been my personal mentor most of my life he's been treated pretty bad by the powers that be GOD BLESS MONG. GRANATO AND GOD BLESS ST.LUCYS
There will be a vigil in front of the church from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm NEXT SUNDAY. Then there is a scheduled march up 7th avenue to the Cathedral. The letter is signed by Joseph N. Divencenzo, Jr. Essex County Executive and was paid for by JOSEPH N. DIVENCENZO,JR. FOR ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE, INC.
He wants a meeting with the Archbishop to discuss Father Granato being allowed to remain in the rectory.
Father Granato supporters are invited to attend the vigil and the march. According to the letter, the Archbishop has refused to return phone calls since June 3rd to discuss a meeting.
The archbishop's reign is that of a monarch. Typically his decision is final and cannot be appealed. Unless there are violations of Canon Law (or violations of the pastor's manual) an effort like this is often useless.
If the archbishop were to give in now, he'll have to 'give in' with every future unpopular decision he or his staff makes.
The County Executive can only try...you never know!
Wouldn't it be great if the legendary ST. LUCY'S CADETS could reassemble from all over the country and lead the march up 7th Avenue? Msgr Granato did so much for the corps. Also great if some of our local celebrities like Joe Pesce and Frankie Valli could lend their support. I taught with Joe D;s sister Marie at two different schools 30 years apart. What a great family.!
A lot of distorted information is being passed around. Monsignor Joseph Granato has been a priest at St. Lucy's for 54 years now. He kept a poor parish alive and well (against all odds) through the failure of urban renewal, the riots in the 60s and numerous other trials that, in the hands of a lesser man, would have left our community to wither and die. He is a good man...a kind man...a holy man...a humble man...an honorable man...the likes of which are rarely seen in this day and age.
In the last 112 years, St. Lucy's has had only three pastors (the latest of whom is Monsignor Granato), each of whom trained for the position by assisting his predecessor. Archbishop John Myers has not seen fit to use this tried and true method to train Monsignor's replacement. Indeed, throughout all this, the Archbishop has refused to even sit down with the man he is about to evict from the only church Monsignor has ever belonged to, much the less tap into his years of wisdom and experience.
St. Lucy's is a successful, well-integrated, self-supporting city parish, yet another way in which it departs from the norm. At a time when Catholics are leaving the church in large numbers, the parishioners of St. Lucy's remain fiercely loyal to the parish that is our spiritual home, traveling from far and wide to attend the 53 masses scheduled each week, in English, Italian, Latin and Spanish, sitting in the very same pew our grandparents and great-grandparents sat in decades ago.
All we have ever asked is that Monsignor's replacement be someone who understands and respects the longtime traditions of our parish, the very reasons why we all choose to be at St. Lucy's and why St. Lucy's is a thriving community today. In recent weeks, however, we have even stopped focusing on that. Our primary goal now is to keep the Archbishop Myers from going back on his word. He told Monsignor that if he retired, Monsignor would be allowed to live out his days as did his predecessors, in the rectory that has been his home for more than half a century. Monsignor took him at his word. Now the Archbishop intends to renege on his promise and summarily evict our quiet and unassuming pastor, without cause or justification.
On Sunday, June 28th, we will gather on St. Gerard's Plaza in front of St. Lucy's Church at 10:30 AM. We will then process up 7th Avenue to Clifton Avenue to Sacred Heart Cathedral, where we will be until 1:00 PM, joining in prayer that the Archbishop reconsiders his misguided plans.
Although the archdiocese prefers to put its own spin on all this, what it comes down to is very simple...What is the RIGHT thing to do? What is the Catholic thing to do? What would Jesus do? Stand by His word or 'reward' 54 YEARS OF GOD'S WORK with a shove out the door?
Frank, You can count me in! I've been practicing for a long time now. St. Lucy's does have an alumni corp! I'm sure they will support the Monsignor. If not, I will try to make it anyway.
John McCree, call me, I lost your number. Very Important!
Very well put, Rosanna. That was as clear as anyone could be! Although I was a member of St. Rose of Lima in Newark from 1959 to 1969, and attended the school from Kindergarten thru graduation from the 8th grade in 1968, I also spent 2 years as a member of St. Lucy's Cadets.
Those two years had a significant effect on my life. I could have chosen a different path in life and wound up dead like several of my friends, instead I am where I am now, alive and well. Part of the credit goes to Father Nativo and Monsignor Granato. The rest goes to my parents and my 8th grade teacher Sr. Rita Damien.
In recent years the Catholic church has been a major disappointment. This situation doesn't surprise me at all. Hopefully the Archbishop will wake up. Not likely though. BD
The StLucy's mens chior has been together for over 50 years now thanks to mong n father Nativo we also grew as men, catholics ,and loyal sons of StLucys .The idea of StLucy's without mong.G ee is unthinkable after 54 years of living there what a crime it would be for jjmeyers to trow him out lets all pray it never comes to that i wont be there on june 28 but my heart n prayers will be I wish every guy or gal that ever marched for Lucy's would show up liked they did in the 69 american legion championships
What a wonderful letter written by Rosanna. We who know Father G want nothing more than for him to live out his remaining years in the only home he has ever known as an adult. Once again we see an example of "if it ain't broke, why
fix it". Despite the turmoil that has occurred in the old First Ward in the last fifty years, St. Lucy's
has survived. Why? Because of the devotion of Father G, and the late Father Nativo. God has, and will continue to bless Father Joe.
Msgr Granato is moving out today. I remember reading a letter to the editor from Neil Melillo about twenty years ago blasting the arch diocease for closing Essex Catholic, East Orange Catholic, Boys Town,
and the CYO ending the basketball league, the baseball leagues, and the Snow Ball Dance.
The beat goes on...
Msgr Granato has retired and has moved away. St. Lucy's goes on as good as ever. A former Essex Catholic teammate of mine has just released a novel BLOOD OF MY BROTHER about two Newark boys growing up in Saint Lucy's Parish. Their friendship starts during the 1967 riots and continued until one of them was murdered. One became an attorney, the other a private investigator and much of the story takes place in familiar locales in Newark and Essex County. The author is James LePore, St. Lucy's 1961 and Essex Catholic 1965. Jim and Joe Mastracchio became Essex' first two all-state football players. Jimmy also was a great basketball player, playing with John Suminski. He received a scholarship and played football at Boston College. Jim retired from being an attorney in 1999 and became a successful photographer and author. This is his second novel and has been getting sensational reviews. I want to order it and read it myself.
Another friend has a book out there,too. Gene Hutmaker of the Newark Post Office wrote BANNED IN THE BRONX, MEMOIRS OF A YANKEE HATER 1953 to 2005. I bought several copies because he mentions me in the book, as well as Mr. Molinaro, Joe Sica, Bobby Molinaro, Rick Cerone, Mr. Cerone and a few Newark landmarks. Gene graduated Belleville High School, but his wife went to Barringer.
Jeanne's first book on her nook. She can't put it down and is now on chapter 15. Many flashbacks to Newark, Bloomfield, Montclair and local places we have all been to and know. Great reviews for the former St. Lucy's guy. Can not wait to read it. Love books with Newark as the setting, such as "Good-bye Columbus".
To Frank and all the others who had something to say in either 2009 or 2011. All good and well, but what happen after April of 2009. There was suppose to be a rally about changes to St. Lucy's. Did these changes ever come about? Where they stopped, or what?