The history of the Blessed Sacrament parish is written in the lives and good deeds of its parishioners over a period of sixty-nine years. This effort to record the major events in the annals of the parish was prepared on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Diocese of Trenton —from 1881 to 1981. It is organized around the pastorates of the six men whose ministries have led the parish from its origins to the present time.
The establishment of the Diocese of Trenton on August 11, 1881, can be traced to Pope Leo XIII who appointed Bishop Michael J. O’Farrel as the first shepherd of the diocese. It was his successor, Bishop James A. McFaul, the second Bishop of the diocese, who established the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in October, 1 912.
FATHER MICHAEL H. CALLAHAN
Bishop McFaul appointed Father Michael H. Callahan as the first pastor, giving him a plot of ground and a mortgage to start the new parish. He and his parishioners made progress quickly. Having rented a house at Stuyvesant and Hayes Avenues, he furnished it appropriately as a rectory. With permission of the Trenton Public Schools, the first Mass was celebrated in the Gregory Public School on Rutherford Avenue on October 13, 1912. Masses were held in the school until a small wooden church was built on the plot of ground which was owned by the parish. It was near the rear of the present rectory oh what was then called New Rutherford Avenue. The western section of the city, where the parish is located, was at that time growing by leaps and bounds. The small church and its property were soon free of debt.
Father Callahan did not stay long in the new parish but was transferred to a parish in Sea Bright, New Jersey, on January 15, l9l5. He died in 1947 while sewing as pastor of Saint Agnes Parish in Atlantic Highlands.
FATHER MARTIN F. CASEY
The second pastor of the parish, Father Martin F. Casey, was appointed on June 1 5,1915. Father Casey was to remain pastor for the next eighteen years. lt did not take Father Casey long to realize the needs of the growing parish. Within months of his arrival, he acquired property on Bellevue Avenue to build a rectory, the church—school building, and finally the convent.
The minutes book of the parish indicates that on September 1, 1915, permission was obtained from Bishop McFaul to build a rectory, the cost of which was not to exceed $9,500. Sadly, on June 19, 1920, the small wooden church was destroyed by fire. The Masses were transferred back to Gregory Public School.
According to the church minutes, Bishop Walsh, then Bishop of Trenton, gave Father Casey permission to build a temporary church and school building on October 20, 1920. This new church-school building was completed in October, 1921 at a total cost of $125,000. It was built of Raven Rock granite and contained fourteen classrooms. The new church-school building was dedicated on January 21, 1922. John H. Sines, writing in the Sunday Times Advertiser on that date, called the new building a beautiful and impressive house of worship which will stand as a splendid monument to the vision of a zealous people who have wrought great things with the leadership of the pastor, Father Martin F. Casey.
On lanuary3, 1922, the Blessed Sacrament School opened with 150 students. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, from West Chester, Pennsylvania, were on hand to greet the new students. After five years of service and teaching, these Sisters were recalled to their Mother house. Father Casey then requested Sisters from the Franciscan Community in Glen Riddle. On August 26, 1927, seven Sisters of Saint Francis were sent to live in the Temporary convent on the top floor of the school. Sister Mar Joan Schillow recalls those early days in this account:
It is the last evening of our annual retreat, August 25. Several of us are surprised by our new appointment to Blessed Sacrament, Trenton, for the coming school year. The next morning early, we are on our way, six of us from Glen Riddle. Sister Cecil will join us in Trenton. We arrive at the Church, the first floor of the present school building and there we pray for God’s blessing on our new year as we await the pastor’s joining us. He accompanies us to the third floor, two sides of which form the convent. The part that stretches before us as we reach the top step is a multi-purpose room which will serve as lunch room, gym, play room for the children, and meeting room for the adults. No one knew, but the Sisters had a good time there, too.
As soon as Father Casey left us, we run excited from room to room. Sister Jacoba calls us to order. Yes, it is almost noon. We are young and hungry. A small group, perhaps two, label themselves the cooking crew. The rest of us are the cleaning crew. Dismay overtakes us as we open cabinet after cabinet, closet after closet. There is no silverware! A few unmatched dishes and a scant supply of canned goods l The gas is not connected. There are no cleaning materials. This absence of material possessions gives rise to our pioneer courageous spirit. We launch into the year ahead with great interior peace and joy, determined with God’s help to have a happy year. Our prayerful wishes are to be realized. Sister Jacoba joined our pleasantries. Father Casey, or a good mother of one of the students, or perhaps both, acted as the guardian angel who supplied our picnic lunch.
After a brief meeting with Father Casey, Sister Jacoba goes shopping for the greater part of the afternoon. We charge down upon the janitor literally demanding the use of his cleaning materials. While we clean, Sister Lillia prepares a delicious meal — the gas is now connected — and a hungry, tired, happy seven Sisters eat. Dishes are washed, the table reset, our prayers are offered in the Church which also serves as our chapel. Then we are only too glad to go to our rooms and rest. That first day is so vivid in my mind.
During the days that followed, Father Casey was kind, thoughtful, and generous. Many Sister friends visited us. The parishioners were able to discern our immediate needs, and they were ever ready to help us. We began to get our classrooms ready. Sister Jacoba invited Sister Sopatra and a companion from Saint Anthony School to help us decorate our blackboards. Blackboard decorations were so important at that time.
Sister Basilia was assigned to Grade T, Sister lrenita to Grade 2, Sister Evangela, Grades 3 and 4,
Sister M. loan, Grade 5 and part of 6, Sister Cecil the remaining section of Grade 6 and 7, Sister Jacoba, Grade 8. The parents of the children of Grades 5, 6, and 7 were unhappy because of the heavy numbers in the classroom and because Grade 6 with such a beautiful class spirit had been
divided. Father Casey begged for patience until Christmas vacation when this condition would be remedied. He was true to his word.
September l 1, the eve of the opening of school, about 4 P.M., we sat together in our convent too tired to speak, and to be truthful, a bit fearful about the next day. We knew the children already missed the good Sisters that had been teaching them, the Immaculate Heart Sisters. We were a bit "down". Suddenly, true to our spirit, a voice piped out, "Let’s have a party." That is exactly how we made our final plans for the next day. By nine P.M, we were refreshed, eager for the bell to ring on September 12, calling the children to class. We were a group of dedicated, devoted teachers.
My memory of September 12 carries a vivid picture. As I began the Sign of the Cross, my fifty plus pupils knelt on the newly oiled floor. This had been their way of saying their morning prayers in school. Yes, beautiful children. So many I can call by name even now after fifty years. The boys of Grade 6 often played ball with their friends from the nearby public school. From this latter group, several times I heard the praises of "my" boys sung. And they deserved it.
The Church remained our chapel. But our community prayers after a short time were recited in our convent lest we distract and disturb the parishioners, men and women, who visited the Church on their way home from work. To this day, these people remained an inspiration to me. Their children were so much like their parents. the Holy Spirit was dynamically present in the parish. Father Casey had a change in assistant pastor during this year. Both Father Hannon and Father Hayes were loved by the students.
True to his promise, Father Casey arranged to have another teacher for the second semester. After Christmas, for a short time, the Fifth Grade had a substitute teacher, first Sister Catherine Bologna, then Sister Charlotte. Within about two weeks, Sister Angelona became the permanent teacher for the remaining months. Grade 6 and 7 were now each in separate rooms.
A picnic in a nearby park ended the school year. There I see my students at play and can still call them by name: "Harry,""Jim," "Agnes, "William," “Sandy” "Elizabeth” "Eileen/’ "Evelyn” "Loretta” "Raymond," “Edward”... And I pray “God bless them, each one, their parents and the Sisters, and the priests, and all the parishioners of Blessed n Sacrament, Trenton... or wherever all these good people who were touched by the Sister of Saint Francis may now be...
Four years after the Sisters of Saint Francis arrived in the parish, they moved from the top floor of the school into the new convent on November 22,1931.The new convent was constructed of the same stone as the school building, Raven Rock granite. The interior was so well planned by Father Casey that it has been imitated by many other parishes throughout the years. It contains sleeping quarters for eighteen and has all the other appointments necessary for such a building including a beautiful and devotional chapel.
After serving the parish so well, Father Casey died of a heart attack in the rectory on Sunday, April 24, 1933. The Trenton Evening Times carried the following article of his life and death: "Father Casey had been in robust health for years but it was not until about ten days ago that he was seriously affected. At that time, he consulted his physician, Dr. James I. O’Rourke, and was told to rest. A specialist was called in by Dr. O’Rourke and the findings of a serious heart condition were verified. His condition improved gradually through last week, but on Friday, Father Casey suffered a slight relapse and, on Saturday, he was confined to his room. After returning on Saturday night, he was stricken and died before his physician could reach his bedside. His sister, Miss Flora Casey, and his associates, Father McKeon and Father Sullivan,
were with him when the end came.
The following editorial appeared in the Trenton Times about Father Casey after his death: "In point of priestly devotion and spiritual zeal the career of the Reverend Martin F. Casey, who died early yesterday morning, was one of rich significance. For the past eighteen years, Father Casey had administered the affairs of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament with marked ability. His kindly, helpful interest in the members of his congregation will be a matter of undying memory.
The effective manner in which Father Casey furthered the material development of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament is altogether noteworthy. The institution, in its present form, is a monument to more than a decade and a half of tireless effort and wise direction of church activities.
A man of deep humility and religious ardor, Father Casey made a lasting influence upon all those with whom he came in contact. He will be remembered with love and veneration by a host of people, both within and without his congregation, who had come to look upon him as an unfailing source of friendly counsel and spiritual strength.
Reverend Monsignor Spillane, administrator of the Diocese of Trenton, celebrated Father Casey’s funeral Mass and, after the Mass, arrangements were made for interment in Cathedral Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire, beside the grave of his mother, the late Isabella Casey, who died in 1928.
Bishop Moses Kiley, the fifth Bishop of Trenton, appointed Father John P. McKeon as temporary administrator of the parish until a new pastor could be selected.
FATHER THOMAS A. KEARNEY
On September 24, 1934, Bishop Kiley appointed Father Thomas A. Kearney as pastor of
Blessed Sacrament parish. Father Kearney was to serve as pastor for only seven years. He was not in good health when he was appointed pastor, and his sickness grew worse as time went on. Father Kearney celebrated Mass on Easter I Sunday, 1941, for the last time in the church. Following the ` Mass, he was taken seriously ill and spent several months in the hospital. He stayed with his sister at Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Two months later he returned to the hospital where he died in November, 1941. A patient and mild man, Father Kearney provided strong spiritual leadership for his flock until his death. He cleared the parish debt during his pastorate and made many substantial improvements on the church property. During his pastorate, the membership of Blessed Sacrament grew steadily. Father Kearney had the joy of seeing several members of the parish begin studies for the priesthood.
Bishop William A. Griffin, the sixth Bishop of Trenton, was a classmate of Father Kearney. He personally celebrated his funeral Mass and talked about their years together. In a simple but stirring eulogy, Bishop Griffin characterized Father Kearney as a "true priest of God and apostle and teacher and a moulder of spiritual life." Referring to the fact that they were classmates while studying for the priesthood and were ordained together, he said; “We who have known him for so many years—thirty— eight, since he was a young man of twenty—one and I a little more than seventeen—have assembled here this morning to pay tribute to his deep spirituality, extreme honesty, keen sense of humor, frankness and apostolic zeal. Until a new pastor could be chosen, Father Bernard C. DeCoste served the parish as temporary administrator at the request of Bishop Griffin.
FATHER J. ARTHUR HAYES
Seven months later, on June 11, 1942, Bishop Griffin appointed Father j. Arthur Hayes as pastor. For Father Hayes, coming to Blessed Sacrament was like coming home for he had served as an associate pastor under Father Casey and had made many _ friends in the parish. For the next twenty—four years, Father Hayes gave outstanding I leadership to the parish and, under his guidance, fulfilled the dream of every parishioner, a new church building. Father Hayes was ordained a priest on September 1, 1918, and had served as an associated pastor at the parish at from January 29, 1925, to October 6, 1927.
The first years of Father Hayes’ pastorate were sad years. The world was embroiled in wary with no end in sight. Some 698 men and women from the parish were on far-flung battlefields. Hundreds more were separated from their families by reason of government positions, away from their homes. As the war dragged on, sixteen were called upon to make the supreme sacrifice of giving their lives. The war finally came to a close in mid—1945. Then Father Hayes started to look ahead to the building of the church he had been commissioned to build after he had been appointed pastor.
Before the building could be undertaken, Father Hayes was faced with a new problem: the parish was divided in 1947, with almost half of the families in the parish assigned to the new Church of the Incarnation under the pastorate of Father Edward J. McAndrews. This was actually the second division of the parish, the first having occurred when the Parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel was established. Nevertheless, the members of Blessed Sacrament rejoiced in the growth of the church in the Trenton area and were pleased when Father Hayes announced the church was making a substantial donation to Incarnation Church.
Even with the loss of members through the division of the parish, the cozy little church on the first floor of the school building was becoming inadequate. Masses were crowded to the doors. The parish was growing rapidly.
Accordingly, plans for the new Blessed Sacrament Church were made. Ground was broken on the chilly morning of January 1, 1950, with over a hundred parishioners present as Father Hayes turned the first spadeful of frozen earth.
Twenty-two months later, the majestic church was completed to the honor of God and was dedicated on November 10, 1951. Appropriately, the Solemn High mass on the day of dedication was sung by Father Hayes, following the laying of the cornerstone by Bishop George W. Ahr, S.T.D.
With the children of the parish as a guard of honor, Bishop Ahr walked to the cornerstone at the stroke of ten on a nippy November morning. After blessing the cornerstone with Holy Water, he scarred the stone with the Sign of the Cross, using a common mason's trowel. Then Father Hayes placed a stout copper box inside the cornerstone into which he had put newspaper descriptions of the church, a half-dozen coins and a typewritten account of the dedication program. Finally, the copper box was sealed inside the cornerstone, and the stone itself cemented into place.
Next Bishop Ahr blessed the outside of the church, making a circuit of the structure, sprinkling Holy Water on the stone walls as he progressed. This procedure was repeated inside the church as the clergy chanted the Litany of the Saints. Finally, the Mass was ready to begin. The parishioners had stood in the crisp weather for the better part of an hour, waiting to be admitted to the church.
The church itself is a selection of modern and Romanesque features in its architectural design. It seats 750 people comfortably, is 165 feet long and 62 feet wide. The tower measures 65 feet in height.
To break the external lines of the building and to create a contrast, cut and dressed limestone was used to trim the Raven Rock granite. Granite used for the door sills was quarried in Vermont, and the green, gray, and purple slate for the slanting roof came from New York State.
To a stranger, the Church should be identified easily as that of the Blessed Sacrament from the finely carved Ostensorium of the Blessed Sacrament adorning the facade between the center doors.
Two former assistants at Blessed Sacrament Church, the Reverend Bernard C. DeCoste and the Reverend Joseph W. McLaughlin, were deacons to the Bishop during the dedication.
Another former assistant, Monsignor Francis j. Sullivan, assisted the Bishop.
Father Hayes was assisted at the Mass by two priests who received their elementary school training in the Blessed Sacrament School; The Reverend James j. Loughery, O.P., served as deacon, and the Reverend Donald M. Endebrock, served as sub-deacon. Another Blessed Sacrament "boy," Monsignor Theodore A. Opdenaker, delivered the sermon.
Monsignor Opdenaker called the new church "an esthetic jewel and a sign of real Christian living for all to see. At another point in his sermon he said, "This church is the consequence of our faith in Christ in the Blessed Sacrament."
The first baptisms and first marriage in the new church occurred the day after it was dedicated.
After the dedication, Father Hayes undertook to repair and finish the parish hall which had been the church under the school building. The work was begun in 1952.
In 1 955, the beautiful new Casavant pipe organ was installed in the church. ln 1960, the school was enlarged by an addition of three new classrooms and a teachers’ room. ln 1962, the church sanctuary and church cross were redecorated. Also in 1962, Father Hayes had the privilege of organizing the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1912 establishment of the parish. A Solemn High Mass was followed by dinner at the Trenton Country club on November 12.
In l963, Father Hayes under took the work necessary to make an addition to the rectory and to completely renovate it. One of the great joys in the last few years of his life was to attend the ordination of a young man, Father John Wessel, whom he had baptized when he was pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Mt. Holly. Father Wessel was ordained on May 22, 1965, by Bishop Ahr in Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Trenton and celebrated his first Mass the following day in his home parish in Mt. Holly. Father Wessel was later assigned to Blessed Sacrament as an associate pastor under Father Hayes.
In declining health, Father Hayes died at Saint Francis Hospital on January T4, T 966.
Bishop Ahr celebrated his funeral Mass with Father Thomas Ryan, J.C.D., a close friend and former associate, preaching the sermon. He summed up his life in these words: "There are few, if any, priests who know their parish as Father Hayes knew his. He knew every street in his parish, block by block, with an amazingly accurate knowledge, where each family lived by street umber and location. This knowledge came not from a study of parish census cards nor a parish map, nor from curiosity, but rather from a genuine interest in, and a sense of responsibility for, the people committed to his care. As the various priests who had the pleasure of sewing under Father Hayes can verify, his interest was incredible and I am certain that many of the subjects of this interest were completely unaware of it and would be amazed to find out what an account Father Hayes had kept of them. He would often remark with joy and pride that so and so was high in their school class, or someone else had gained entrance to college, or that another was about to be married or had received a promotion, become a lawyer or doctor, or had entered public life or perhaps had another child. And he would also remark with obvious disappointment or regret when some failed to take advantage of their potential or had turned their backs upon Cod or His church. Though many, particularly those who had moved away from Trenton, did not know Father Hayes was following their careers, many others did and went out of their way to keep in touch with
him." Father Ryan continued:
The results of this spiritual concern Father Hayes had for his parish and parishioners are manifest in many ways. Perhaps the most striking is religious vocations. There are currently four priests from this parish serving in the Diocese. There are also ten priests in the Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, and Mary knollers who were ordained from this parish during the pastorate of Father Hayes, and there are ten others studying in various seminaries preparing to follow the footsteps of their late beloved pastor. Many young women who were raised under the spiritual hand of Father Hayes have turned their backs upon the material blessings of life to dedicate themselves to the service of God, and at the present time there are forty-five nuns from this parish in ten different religious orders who have given up worldly things and chosen Christ as their spouse. One of Father Hayes’ parishioners, Governor Richard Hughes, became the first Catholic Chief of State in New jersey.
The number of communions received in this parish gives mute but awesome testimony to the
spiritual head of the parish. Long after the physical beauty and present make-up of this parish have vanished, the souls of those who have been influenced by Father Hayes will be an indestructible monumentto this priest who spent twenty—six of his forty-eight years in the priesthood in Blessed Sacrament parish. Other parishes that Father Hayes served in felt his spiritual influence, and this past year he had a unique satisfaction when he saw two young men, whom he baptized in Mt. Holly, Father Dubel and Father Wessel, elevated to the sacred dignity of the priesthood; and he had the further joy of having Father Wessel assigned to him. It would almost appear that Almighty God hesitated in calling Father Hayes to Himself until this cycle was completed.
FATHER EUGENE V. DAVIS
On March 18, 1966, Father Eugene V. Davis was appointed pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish. Father Davis became pastor during the great changes and renewal that the Second Vatican Council ushered into the church. During his pastorate, he renovated the Sanctuary of the Church, according to the directives of the Council. He also made major renovations to the school to bring it up to modern standards. He began to organize and establish the parish council and continued to devote his time and energy to visiting the sick and trying to encourage parishioners through the changes that the Council ordered.
In 1969, Father Davis conducted an extensive survey of the parish which has been of great assistance to the subsequent administrators of the parish.
During Father Davis' pastorate, two of the parish boys, Father Ronald A. Bacovin and Father Raymond A. Schroth, S.J., were ordained to the priesthood and celebrated their first Mass in the church. 1 Father Davis was transferred to Saint Alphonsus Parish, Hopewell, New Jersey, on September 13, 1971.
Monsignor Joseph C. Shenrock
Father Joseph C. Shenrock was appointed pastor by Bishop Ahr on September 13, 1971, and was installed pastor by Father Thomas C. Ryan, J.C.D., Episcopal Vicar of Mercer County, at the Saturday evening Mass on September 25, 1971.
Born in Oxford, New Jersey, Father Shenrock was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1953, at the old Saint Mary’s Cathedral by Bishop Ahr. Before coming to Blessed Sacrament, he had served as associate pastor at the following churches: Sacred Heart, Mount Holly; St. Paul’s, Burlington; St. Many of the Lake, Lakewood; and St. Joseph’s, Toms River. In June, 1970, Father Shenrock was appointed permanent administrator of St. Pius X Parish, Forked River, and on December 12, 1970, he was appointed pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, Colonia, New Jersey.
Three months after his arrival in Blessed Sacrament Parish, Father Shenrock, with all his parishioners, suffered great sadness in the sudden and untimely death of Father john Wessel, a former associate pastor. Father Wessel died after he was shot by a distraught young man in Toms River on December 17, 1971.
The following year, a native of the parish, Father john j. Scully was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, l972, and celebrated his first Mass in the church the next day.
Before arriving in the parish, Father Shenrock had been pursuing graduate studies in the theology of ecumenism at the Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, and on May 30,1973, received his Master’s degree. On August 29, 1972, Bishop Ahr had appointed Father Shenrock to the Ecumenical Commission in the diocese and on March 20, 1973, appointed him to serve as director of the Commission.
Mr. Raymond A. Schroth was elected a member of the lay trustees on January 4, 1973, succeeding Peter Walsh who had moved from the parish.
On January 25, 1975, Father Shenrock went to Rome for additional studies in theology at North American College and to pursue a degree from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas. On June 4, he was awarded a Licentiate Degree in Theology from Saint Thomas University. During his absence from the parish, Bishop Ahr appointed Father Raymond Farré as administrator.
When Father Shenrock became pastor in 1 971, there were over one thousand families registered in the parish. By 1981, due to people moving from the city, the number of families registered had decreased to seven hundred forty.
Nevertheless, during Father Shenrock’s pastorate many repairs and improvements were made to the parish buildings and property. New furnaces were installed in the school, church and convent. The interior of the church was painted, and improvements were made on the Casavant pipe organ. St. Helen’s Chapel was created in an area near the sacristy of the church and dedicated to the memory of parishioner Helen Barrett.
On November 6, 1976, the parish celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the dedication of the church with a Mass celebrated by Father Donald M. Endebrock and with a homily by Monsignor Bernard C. DeCoste, a former associate of the parish. Following the Mass, a party was held in the War Memorial Building, Trenton. The booklet printed for this occasion was dedicated to Mr. James J. Moonan, Sr., who has been a member of the parish Board of Trustees for thirty-five years.
The Sisters of Saint Francis from Glen Riddle had served the school since 1 927, and the parish celebrated their50th anniversary on August 25, 1977. Bishop Ahr said a Mass of Thanksgiving in honor of Saint John Neumann, the founder of the Sisters of Saint Francis, Glen Riddle, who had recently been canonized.
The following year, on April 30, 1978, Father Shenrock celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving in the church followed by a reception in Casey Auditorium.
Father Shenrock was given permission by Bishop Ahr to study the theology of ecumenism for the fall semester of 1978, at the Ecumenical Institute in Tantur, Israel. On September 22, 1978, Father Shenrock left for his studies and, once again, Father Farre served as the administrator of the parish. On November1 7, 1978, Bishop Ahr notified Father Shenrock in Israel that the late Pope john Paul I had conferred on him the title of Honorary Prelate to His Holiness with the title of Reverend Monsignor. The parishioners were delighted to receive this news—the first pastor of Blessed Sacrament to be honored in this way by the Holy Father.
Monsignor Shenrock, on his return from Israel in january1979, stopped of fat Rome and was received in private audience by Pope John Paul ll. The Holy Father encouraged him to continue his work in ecumenism and sent his blessings to the parish.
Two days after his return to the parish, on January 25, 1979, Monsignor Shenrock was greeted by Bishop Ahr who conferred on him the robes of his new office during a special Mass. A testimonial dinner was given Monsignor Shenrock by the parishioners on March 18, 1979, at the Trenton Country Club. Chief justice Richard J. Hughes was among those who spoke on the occasion. The parish was overjoyed in honoring their new Monsignor.
Monsignor Shenrock has devoted much of his time planning and looking after the parish school. Despite declining numbers of parishioners, there continues to be one full class at each grade level. In 1976, a kindergarten was opened at the school, and in 1978, a nursery school was added, dedicated to the memory of Leo F. Hughes, IV, a former student and altar boy of the parish.
On July 7,1 977, Mr. Raymond A. Schroth died and, on August 25,1 977, Mr. T. Howard Waldron was added to the church Board of Trustees.
A special highlight of Monsignor Shenrock’s pastorate occurred with the ordination of three parishioners to the permanent diaconate. Deacons Joseph Caulfield, Joseph Hannawacker, and Louis Slee successfully completed a three-year preparation program and were among the first men in the diocese to be ordained to this restored ministry. It was also during Monsignor Shenrock’s pastorate that the first group of lay people were commissioned by Bishop Ahr to serve as special ministers of the Eucharist.
On April 22, 1 980, Bishop John C. Reiss was installed in St. Mary’s Cathedral as the eighth Bishop of Trenton.
Monsignor Shenrock will complete his tenth anniversary as pastor on September 24, 1981. In these ten years, he has spiritually and materially revitalized the parish.
Much has been accomplished in the years that are past, and the memories which the years have brought will ever be a source of pride to the parishioners of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. This reflection brings a deep sense of gratitude to the staunch and noble pioneers, priests and people, whose devotion to God and to the parish inspired them to lay so deeply and so well the solid foundations of Blessed Sacrament parish.
This brings to a close the eventful record of sixty-nine years of progress in the history of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Trenton, New Jersey.
The past we commend to His mercy the present, to His provident care the future, to His abiding love.
FATHER SEAN P. FLYNN
Father Flynn was born in Scotstown, Co. Monaghan, Republic of Ireland. He attended Urbleshanny National School; and the Christian `Brothers Secondary School in Monaghan.
He studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Carlow, Ireland, and was ordained on June 8th, 1965 in St. Mary’s Church, Urbleshanny. He was stationed at Sacred Heart Parish, Mt. Holly, New Jersey and was appointed Associate Pastor at Blessed Sacrament on June 12, 1981 by Bishop Reiss.
Blessed Sacrament-Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd
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