Statement of Cardinal Tobin on the Fire in Union City

On behalf of the people of the Archdiocese of Newark, I express my sorrow at the tragic loss of life and the injuries that numerous residents and firefighters suffered in the fire that ravaged several buildings, including the worship space at Ss. Joseph and Michael Church, in the early hours of Saturday, March 4.  

We also are thankful for the efforts of the fire and public safety workers who battled the blazes on such a frigid and icy night and day, as well as Union City Mayor Brian Stack as we have sought to maintain a sense of parish life at this time.

While it will take some days for officials and staff of the Archdiocese of Newark to evaluate the extent of damage to the worship space and other buildings at the parish, it is certain that we must find alternative sites for liturgies and other parish activities for a significant length of time.  

For now, the priests of Ss. Joseph and Michael Church will take up residence at nearby St. Anthony of Padua Parish. Masses will be celebrated at Mother Seton School on New York Avenue and, through the courtesy of the City of Union City, Veterans Memorial School on Central Avenue.

I ask everyone to keep in your prayer all who have been affected by this terrible accident.