North Haledon (United States). On 19 August 2022, at North Haledon, New Jersey, the new St. Joseph Chapel of the Province of St. Joseph (SEC) was inaugurated. This new Chapel was built to replace the one made completely unusable by a fire in 2018.
The Eucharistic Celebration was preceded by the Rite of Dedication of St. Joseph Chapel, presided over by the Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco of St. Philip the Apostle Province (SUE), Fr. Timothy Zak, with the participation of three Bishops: Msgr. Kevin Sweeney, Bishop of Paterson, New Jersey; Bishop Emmanuel Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, New Jersey; and Bishop Robert Brennan of Brooklyn, New York.
Present at the ceremony were Sr. Phyllis Neves, Visiting Councilor of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; the Provincial of SEC Province, Sr. Joanne Holloman; the Province Councilors; FMA of Mary Help of Christians Community of North Haledon, some Sisters of St. Joseph Community of Haledon; the Provincial of Mary Immaculate Province (SUO), Sr. Rosann Ruiz; as well as numerous benefactors and civil authorities. More than 300 people were present in the Chapel and more than 1,000 attended the event in live streaming.
The fire, which broke out at dawn on 18 May 2018, had for 51 months left the FMA and the students of Mary Help of Christians School without the Chapel for community prayer and for adoration and visits to the Blessed Sacrament that the young women were accustomed to. The Chapel, built in 1976, had recently been renovated with some interventions on the main altar and the audio and video systems completed in 2016.
The fundraising for reconstruction was coordinated by Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA of the Development Office of the SEC Province, and supported by many benefactors who immediately took action with generosity to support the FMA. The construction site, supervised by Sr. Margaret Wilhelm and Sr. Frances De Grossa, oversaw the planning and the work, and dealt with contracts and permits, was slowed down by the pandemic, requiring four years to build instead of two.
The Celebration was solemn with attention to every detail, from the Liturgy to the singing by various FMA and young people in formation, coordinated by the Provincial Secretary, Sr. Maria Colombo. It was lived with emotion and gratitude, contemplating the beauty of the Chapel, the result of the sacrifices of the FMA and all those who participated in the project with donations and prayer. The evening ended with a celebratory dinner.
The festivity continued on Saturday 20 August, in the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Institute and the 5th anniversary of the erection of the SEC Province (19 August 2017). The young people and families of the School could not be missing. They were able to take their children to play, swim in the pool, and enjoy the celebrations cheered by the ice cream trucks, food, and music all together, with the possibility of meeting the Sisters and visiting the new Chapel.
Expressing their gratitude for the successful project, the FMA of St. Joseph Province continue to nourish prayer through the intercession of this great Patron, so that the sisters, young people, and families may continue to joyfully experience many celebrations in this new House, which God Himself built among them in North Haledon.