June 12, 2016


As Sr. Chris transitions from Official ministry and continues her vocation and life of service, we celebrate her 36 years of ministry to the people of St. Philip’s. We can see how the charisms of her Religious Community are manifest through her life and work.

“The Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary were founded in Ireland in 1775 by Nano Nagle. She felt she was called by God to bring the light of faith to the poor children of Cork. The Penal Laws of the time forbade any form of Catholic instruction in Ireland, but Nano Nagle was willing to risk imprisonment and disgrace for the sake of the Gospel. Visiting the sick and homebound by night along Cork’s cobbled streets, she became known as the “Lady with the Lantern”. In time she gathered other women to form a new society of women religious dedicated to the service of the poor. Nano Nagle’s small band of women, originally named the Society of Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, later became known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

The Nagle family Motto: Non Vox Set Votum, Not words but Deeds

Sr. Chris reflects on her ministry of deeds.

“I have been nourished and am grateful for the many growth filled and spiritual experiences while serving the people of St. Philip’s. I was hired by Msgr. Gallo as the Director of Religious Education which had eight hundred children and some eighty teachers and aids in the program in 1980. Having been a public school student, I had a dream. In 1982 I developed a summer religious education program under the advice of Msgr. Gallo and Brother Luke Pierce from the Religious Education office for the diocese. The program ran every day for two weeks and for forty hours. Grade level lessons were covered, each morning began with prayer on the front school lawn by the teachers for fifteen minutes, a music minister was hired so children could learn hymns, grade level liturgies were prepared by each class – parents were invited to attend. In addition to the weekday summer classes, classes were held on Saturday for Eucharist, Penance and Confirmation preparation. We had sessions for all other children with a focus on Advent, Lent and Holy Days four times a year. The program was called “Rainbow over the Mountain”. I had no trouble getting teachers and attendance was 100% in the summer.

In 1984 having studied to be a certified spiritual director for two years I decided to leave Rel. Ed., which I had done for seventeen years. At this time Msgr. Gallo asked me to write a job description for being a spiritual director. I was responsible for Spiritual Direction, setting up our yearly parish retreats and then my job evolved over time. Most memorable and well received and well attended was a Passionate priest, Isaiah Powers. Our parish theme was “Let us Build the City of God”. The hymn City of God could be heard ten blocks away by the retreatants at the close of each evening. Another retreat given by Brother Jack Mostyn was a contemplative experience. People were sitting all over the lawn near the church and bell tower, walking the grounds in silent prayer.

I personally did Saturday morning retreats about three or four times a year. Seventy five to one hundred people attended those days.

Having gone to Norte Dame I invited John (Jack) Shea from Chicago and had a Saturday/Sunday experience in Scripture for the parish.

Each year we had “Come to the Waters” ministry retreat/workshop to nourish those in ministry.

I attended a two week workshop in RI with Christanne Brusselmans on the RCIA and then began it in the Parish with Fr. Chris DiLella. Meetings went every week from September to Easter and then follow up for about three meetings. Cliff Muddell who is in our choir was one of the first candidates.

I started the Cornerstone Retreat with Fr. Peter. Joe Cece handled the men and I the woman. Over four hundred women made the retreat and were on team training for months and giving talks. We started at six PM Friday evening and finished Saturday evening with Liturgy and dinner. We used the gym with cots for sleeping. That went on for years until we ran out of women.

I also began the At Home Retreat for married couples and did that more than five years.

I had the wonderful experience of working with Msgr. Gallo and Fr. Peter on our special penance celebrations called “Welcome Home to the Father”. Our first goal was to get the college folks back to the sacraments. This service was done in Advent and Lent. People today still talk about the themes of each service. I can share stories of people who came back to church and how prayerful and powerful the services were.

I started a prayer scripture group that met monthly in church. That group also went on for years.

A book group was started and we met monthly. We used Henri Nowen, Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiedekehr books.

I started a Liturgy committee and was responsible for decorating for Christmas, Easter, Lent and Advent.

I was invited by the diocese with another sister to take a two week course at Princeton University on “Calling Ministry” an evangelization program for parishes. I did workshops for parishes and at St Philip’s thirty people were trained. We went out in pairs and visited people we knew who had fallen away from the church.

I was part of the Interfaith Hospitality group and stayed overnight with our homeless guests until seven AM when they were picked up by vans.

Having met Bishop Ken Untener at a conference I learned about his Advent and Lenten books and ordered them for the parish.

Over the years, I visited sick people in the hospital and at home. I started a Visitation ministry with Fr. Paul and trained people to visit the homebound. I was privileged to be with four people in the last hours of life.

I worked thirty four years and organized the Cornerstone women to work the kitchen and serve at the Carnival. We had teams for each night.

After Hurricane Irene, Joan Herrman brought to my attention that many of our parishioners were flooded out of their homes. Joan and I visited the people of West Paterson to see what their needs were. We met with Fr. Paul and got moving on collecting food, cleaning supplies and gifts certificates from Home Depot. We got people to help fill their cars and deliver on the weekends; Fr. Paul, the Knights and lots of people helped us out. Baby cribs and furniture were delivered due to the fact that lots of furniture floated down the river. We begged for six hundred sheets of sheet rock and they were delivered to each home with the exact amount the person needed. Leeson learned: These people were the most unselfish people I’ve ever met. All the workers had lots of human stories and were most touched by the victims.

I have had the joy and privilege of working with the Baptism parents in sharing their roles as parents with the importance of faith with their child.

With Fr. Paul I started the ministry Consolation; I trained thirty people (six teams). They met with the person and consoled and helped plan the liturgy. The team visited the funeral home and met the family for any last minute questions. They set up for the liturgy, served and then put everything away and locked up. The parish has received many thank you notes from the people.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed working with the Prime Timers. I’ve visited many who got sick or were in the hospital or rehab center.

During Fr. Paul’s time, I ran two fund raisers. May goal was to create community and have a wonderful time and what money came, came. Thirty one hundred dollars were raised after all bills were paid. I was happy with all the results and everyone enjoyed themselves. We had a sellout out both years.

I have been so blessed to minister at St. Philip’s. I’ve grown to be a “Giant” in the process. I know I have touched many people in this parish BUT, they also have touched me more for sure.

I leave with a huge gift of gratitude in my heart for all the priests and people I served with and truly knew.

For what spiritual purpose am I here for? Yes, I know the answer and have been very BLESSED.

Many Thanks,

Sr. Chris

St. Philip Carnival


Thursday June 16 6-10 PM
Friday June 17 6-11 PM
Saturday June 18 6:30-11 PM
  • FOOD
    • Worker Volunteer sign-up sheets are available in the vestibule of the Church or on our website. We want to thank all workers in the past and hope they can work again this year. New faces are always welcome.
    • Sponsor flyers are available in the vestibule of the Church or on our website. Business Sponsorship – $50.00; Family Sponsorship – $30.00; Booth and ride sponsorship – $100.00.
    • A CRAFT FAIR will be held in the gym during all Carnival hours. More Crafters welcome! Information and contracts available by calling the parish office at 973-779-6200 or click here for online booking.
    • Last chance to purchase discounted ride tickets and bracelets. On sale through June 13th. Purchase your discounted Carnival Ride tickets at the Molloy Center Office between 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM or click here for online booking.

All-Ride” Bracelet – $20 per night Sheets of 15 tickets -$12

If you purchased ride tickets LAST year, an additional saving may be available to you THIS year. Contact Barbara Salzer at the Molloy Center.

    • Soda/Water Donations Name brand soda and bottled water for the Soda & Water booth can be left at the Molloy Parish Center. Hours are 9 AM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.
    • Confirmation Service Hours: Current grades 8, 9 & 10
      Please contact Doreen Germain at home: 973-667-1982 or Email: dgermain@stphilip.org
    • Plant Baskets are needed for the Plant Sale. Please drop off at Plant Stand any night of the Carnival.
    • Please donate cookies, brownies (no nuts) and cupcakes with sprinkles, if possible, for the Cake & Coffee table. May be dropped off any night during carnival hours in the auditorium.



      • The Monday Night Group: June 13th & 27th at 6:30
      • The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, June 8th & 22nd at 7:00 PM.

Prime Timers
Atlantic City Casino Bus Ride

      • Trip to Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Thursday, June 23rd; Must be 21 years old and over
      • Price is $25.00 with a casino bonus of $25.00.
      • Must show picture ID from Resorts or get one there, free of charge
      • Call Barbara Rzepecki early to reserve your bus seating at 983-278-1566.

St. Philip’s Players

Come join us offstage. We welcome and will train parishioners for ALL technical positions, stage managers, and scenic designers. Call us at 973-607-1924 or stphilipsplayers@aol.com.

Nunsense! Coming in September.


The 6th grade classes had a wonderful time visiting the Newark Museum. The students explored the Ballentine House, the 27-room mansion built by the famous Newark brewing family. They also voyaged through time and space and discovered seven ancient wonders by examining their locations and the cultures who built them. Finally, the classes had an amazing time exploring many rooms and exhibits that the Newark Museum had to offer.

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