Fire-Damaged Union City Church to be Rebuilt

Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, today announced to the people of Ss. Joseph and Michael Parish in Union City that their church building, which was damaged severely from a fire that also caused the death of a 2 year-old boy, injured many others, and ravaged homes and the church in the area surrounding Central Avenue and Summit Avenue on the night of March 4, will be rebuilt.

In a letter written in English and Spanish and distributed to parishioners at Masses this weekend, the Cardinal stated: “I know that the Union City community continues to feel pain from the events of March 4. I met many of you the night of the tragedy and we shared our fears, asking Christ the Redeemer for guidance and support. Today, I am happy to report that we will rebuild Ss. Joseph and Michael.”

The project, estimated to cost some $5 million and take about 16 months to complete, will restore the interior and exterior of the Church, and replace the liturgical vessels, vestments, statuary and other items that were lost in the fire. Funds for the project will come from insurance coverage.

The Cardinal also referenced in his letter the contributions of many individuals in the government and administration of Union City for their support on the night of March 4 and the months since the tragedy. “I wish to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to Mayor Brian Stack and Martin Martinetti of the city government, as well as Police Chief Richard Molinari and all of the members of Union City’s Emergency Management and Public Safety staffs, for their caring, professionalism and dedication to the people of the community,” he wrote. “We could not announce this new start for St. Joseph and Michael without their energy, cooperation and steady support.”

Concluding his message to the people of Ss. Joseph and Michael Church, Cardinal Tobin wrote “We have all prayed strongly and fervently during the past four months for this day. Our prayers have been answered.”