Pallottine Fathers coming to serve at St. John the Baptist in Fairview
Next weekend, St. John the Baptist parishioners will meet the Pallottine Fathers, who will now be serving as pastoral leaders of the Fairview church, according to an Archdiocese of Newark statement welcoming the priests.
Fr. Edvaldo Betioli Filho will serve as administrator, and Fr. Antonio Santana Dos Santos as the parochial vicar. Both priests have traveled from their home country of Brazil and are “honored” to serve in the parish, according to the Archdiocese.
“They bring years of fruitful pastoral ministry in both Brazil and Spain. They expressed their desire to serve the people of the parish and to get to know the community,” the Archdiocese said in the Aug. 18 statement, calling it a new chapter in the life of the mostly Spanish-speaking parish family of the church.
The church has been without permanent leadership for about a year, with Fr. Herman Kingzler filling in as temporary administrator and Fr. Fernando Diaz as parochial vicar, said the Rev. Timothy Graff, Secretary for Parish Mission and Vitality – New Energies/Parish Transition with the Archdiocese.
Fr. Graff said the transition took longer than expected due to the priests having to relocate from Brazil.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR., said in the statement that he is grateful for their willingness to serve.
Fr. Betioli Filho and Fr. Dos Santos will be introduced to the parish community on Aug. 27 and 28, according to the Archdiocese.
Fr. Graff said the Pallottines have a “historic connection to the town.”
St. John the Baptist members are already familiar with the Pallottine Fathers from “their long and faithful ministry” at the neighboring parish of Our Lady of Grace, also located in Fairview.
“It is very generous of them to step in and serve the parish,” Graff said.
The founder of the Pallottine order was St. Vincent Pallotti, born in 1795 in Rome and ordained in 1818, according to pallottines.org.
Pallotti believed that all people — laity, clergy and religious — are called to be Apostles of Christ.
The Society of the Catholic Apostolate is the international community of priests and brothers, founded by Pallotti. Currently, it has approximately 2,300 members, residing in 300 local communities in more than 40 countries, according to the site.
“The members, priests and brothers, bind themselves to the society by the promises of chastity, poverty, obedience, perseverance, the sharing of resources and the spirit of service,” according to the site.
The Archdiocese thanked the Pallottine Fathers for taking on the new ministry in Fairview, and welcomed Fr. Esvaldo and Fr. Antonio to the Archdiocese.
“While St. John the Baptist Parish will be served by members of the Pallottine Fathers, the parish will remain an active part of the Archdiocese of Newark,” according to the statement.