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RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS – Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or If you or anyone you know is interested in membership in the Catholic Church, please contact the parish office.

INFANT BAPTISM - Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
Parents are to call parish office after the birth of their child, to begin the baptismal preparation program.

MARRIAGE – 973-763-5454
Arrangements for a Church marriage must be made with a parish priest at least one year before the wedding.

Please call the Rectory to have a priest administer this Sacrament to one who is seriously ill. Also, please call the Rectory to have a priest visit you or a sick relative in the hospital.

CONFIRMATION - Christopher Kaiser 973-763-5454 or
Confirmation will be conferred in the 10th grade after a two year preparation

Contact the Vocations Office of the Archdiocese of Newark at 973-497-4365, or speak to one of the priests or sisters


Food Pantry – Kate Cahill (973.220.8495 or and
Rebecca Rowell (973.879.7928 or

Established for over thirty years, the Food Pantry is a volunteer-led effort supported by the Church and many individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations from the communities of South Orange and Maplewood. The Pantry is a member of MEND (Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity), a support network of 18 interfaith food pantries across Essex County.

The Pantry is open every Saturday morning where approximately 80-100 families are provided with a full bag of food each week as a supplemental enhancement to their food security. Primarily, we give non-perishable foods (cereal/oatmeal, pasta, sauce, mac & cheese, tuna, canned fruits, vegetables, and beans, peanut butter & jelly, soup, and shelf-stable milk), although at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter we provide special items, such as turkeys or hams, bakery breads, and holiday foods. During the summer months, community gardens supply fresh vegetables.

Food donations can be dropped off at the Food Pantry from 7am to 4pm Monday through Friday and left just outside the Pantry door or on Saturdays during pantry hours. If you have a large food donation or a monetary donation, please contact Kate or Rebecca.

In order to ensure our shelves remain full, we rely on a team of dedicated volunteers as well as food and monetary donations and food drives. Our volunteers shop, transport, and shelve food, monitor food levels and client volume, organize client intake, schedule volunteers, pack food bags, and serve clients.

Giving Tree – Nicole Walton 908-462-4006 or
A wonderful opportunity for parishioners to share their Christmas spirit with the underprivileged families of St. Rocco’s School, Newark. Starting in mid-November, and running through mid-December, committee members perform the following tasks: writing gift tags with name, age, gift request (mid-November); setting up he Giving Tree in the church vestibule; putting out written gift tags on the Giving Tree before Sunday Mass (both of these tasks are done the first Sunday of Advent); and collecting returned gifts after on Sunday Mass (third Sunday of Advent). Giving Tree volunteers share in that true Christmas feeling of love, and embody the spirit of our parish community.

Habitat for Humanity – Russell Pace, 973-986-6766
OLS parishioners have been volunteering to build/rehabilitate homes with Habitat for Humanity, Newark (HHN). HHN is an affiliate of Humanity International, an ecumenical housing ministry.
OLS participates in HHN because we believe that this program helps people to help themselves. Through HHN, home ownership becomes a reality for working low income families. We build/rehab homes in partnership with families working to amass “sweat equity” hours as a down payment to buy their own homes.

Helping Hands – Jane Cushing, 973-763-2963
A volunteer program in which parishioners drive seniors to medical appointments or provide hot meals on a temporary bases, whenever there is a need, regardless of age.

Interfaith Network for the Homeless (IHN) of Essex County – Anna Nelson 973-378-3136 or An interfaith ministry of volunteers that provide temporary overnight shelter, meals, and assistance to homeless families in Essex County. Congregations participate as a host or support group.

OLS has volunteered as a host congregation, hosting families for a week, about once every three months. A support congregation provides financial support and/or volunteers. The Salvation Army screens guests for physical and mental health before assigning them to IHN, while the Apostles Houses in Newark provide day-care, shower facilities, and counseling to assist the guests in finding affordable housing, and, if needed, jobs. Volunteers from participating churches and synagogues prepare food, help set up space, launder bedding, spend time with guests, and stay overnight.

Pro Life Ministry – Linda Shea, 973-736-0305 or
Members of the Ministry develop programs to educate the OLS community on the compelling principle of respect for human life. The primary topics are abortion, euthanasia, and care for the chronically or terminally ill, assisted suicide, capital punishment, and warfare. Educational and pastoral aims are carried out through bulletin insert articles, annual lectures, regular membership mailings detailing recent developments and significant writings, maintenance of church book-rack materials, and service projects to help women with crisis pregnancies.

Secret Santa – Laura Ksenak, 973-313-9787 or
The OLS Secret Santa program provides holiday cheer for local families in need who are connected with our parish through the church, school or food pantry. Sometimes the presents Secret Santa buys are the only presents a family opens on Christmas morning. Volunteers/Secret Santas can help with contacting the families for their wish lists, buying, wrapping, and delivering presents to their homes. Donors may choose to buy for one child or adult, or for an entire family, or donate money for needed gifts and supplies. Please contact Laura Ksenak at (973)313-9787 or by Mid-November.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul – contact the parish office 973-763-5454
The Society is organized into basic units called “Conferences.” A Conference such as Our Lady of Sorrows Conference normally consists of from six to ten parishioner-members, including President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The purpose of the Society is to bear witness to the love of Christ by acting as the group through which the Parish gives economic assistance to individuals and families temporarily unable to meet their current living expenses. Every effort is made to provide this assistance in ways which respect the dignity of the recipient and the confidentiality of the relationship between the recipient and the Society.

Busy Fingers – Ann Stuart 973-675-9373
A group of volunteers who meet weekly to make Rosary beads and to knit and crochet items for Veterans, Red Cross, and other needy organizations.

Peace and Justice – Anna Nelson 973-378-3136 or
OLS Peace Committee was formed in 1983 to study the American Bishops’ Peace Pastoral. Each year it has grown in membership and in deeper awareness of the need for the Gospel message in today’s violent world. We work with the Newark Archdiocese Office of Peace and Justice and with other peace groups and churches in our area. Our main purpose is to bring Christ’s message of peace to the signs of our time through prayer, study, and presentation of programs for discussion, and to initiate political action when necessary. We hop to change weapons into ploughshares. We invite all interested parishioners to join with us in our efforts for a more peaceful world. We meet the second Sunday of the month after the 9:30 a.m. Mass.

Ecumenical / Interfaith Relations Committee  - Ray Van Dyke 973-761-0070 or
The mission of this committee is to foster understanding and cooperation among Catholic, Jewish, and other religious organizations. Help organize and/or participate in Holocaust Observance, Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service, Peace Vigil, and other ecumenical services.

EVANGELIZATION COMMITTEE – Ray Van Dyke  973-761-0070 or
Works to help educate all of us about our mission to evangelize and spread the Gospel. We take to heart Christ's message to "go and make disciples". We also work to reach out to inactive Catholics to invite them to come home.

Stewardship Committee – Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
This committee meets 3-4 times a year to ensure that our parish community is understanding and living out the stewardship way of life.

Altar Servers – Michele Schwartzbard 973-378-8008 or
Grammar school aged children (grades 4 and up) serve at Sunday and Hold Day Masses in Church. Training is provided. Those adults who regularly attend daily Mass in St. John’s Chapel are invited to serve.

Children’s Liturgy of the Word Ministry – Drew Bauman 973-763-5300
Serves elementary age children at the 9:30 and 11:00 Masses. The children hear the Work of God in a joyous atmosphere of music and are guided through discussion of liturgical themes, terminology, and symbols. The children leave the adult assembly to listen to and celebrate the day’s Gospel story, rejoining their families and community for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Volunteers share in this spiritual experience by co-teaching and assisting.

Eucharistic Ministers – Deacon John Inguaggiato 973-763-0382
Serve us at the Table of the Lord and bring the Eucharist to those who are unable to attend Mass because of illness or advanced age.

Flower Arranging/Decorators – Dottie Iantosca 973-763-3075 or
Committee is responsible for the decorating and floral treatments done in the church for Advent, Christmas, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and other important days during the year. Ordering of all flowers and materials, design, and installation of all decorations is done by this committee.

Healing Mass Committee – Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
Plan the Liturgy Celebration for the Sick

Proclaimers of the Word of God - Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or Proclaim the Word of God and offer words of welcome and instruction, lead us in our prayer intentions and make announcements.

Ministers of Hospitality (Ushers) – Joel Ziegler 973-763-3149
Parishioners who welcome and greet others coming to celebrate the Liturgy. They are the community’s delegated hosts at the Eucharistic Assembly. They are also responsible for the physical preparation of the place of worship, for seating the congregation, guiding them at times of movement, preparing the Offertory procession, taking up the collection, and distributing the church bulletins.

Music Ministry - Current Schedule

Glenn E. Devitt Director of Music/Organist – 973-763-5454 or
Jackie Alworth Assistant Organist

Parish Choir
The Parish Choir is the principal liturgical choir at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows for the Sunday, 11:00 AM Mass. An ensemble of 35 to 40 professional and volunteer musicians, the Choir sings approximately 50 services per year, between September and May. The Parish Choir sings music ranging from Gregorian chant to Renaissance polyphony to music of contemporary composers. This choir is open to adults and also to high school choristers. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings, from 7:30 – 9:30 PM in the Upper Church

Canticum Novum Singers
The Canticum Novum Singers is the principal liturgical choir at Our Lady of Sorrows for the Sunday, 9:30 AM Mass. An ensemble of 12 to 15 volunteer musicians, the Choir sings approximately 40 services per year from September to May and also combines with the Parish Choir for special liturgies and Holy Days. The Canticum Novum Singers’ repertoire is drawn principally from the contemporary sounds of today’s religious composers. This choir is open to adults and also to high school choristers. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings, from 6:30 – 7:30 PM in the Upper Church.

Saint Cecilia Singers
The Saint Cecilia Singers is Our Lady of Sorrows’ program for young singers (3rd through 8th grades). They meet on Thursday afternoon from 3:45 to 5:00 PM for musical instruction and rehearsal, and sing for Sunday Mass (9:30 AM or 11:00 AM) approximately three times a month. The Saint Cecilia Singers also participate in special liturgies and Holy Days.

Sacristan – Liz Degnan 973-763-5454
Care for the House of the Lord, see to it that our Church is welcoming, clean, and beautiful.

Christian Initiation (RCIA)  Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
The rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the Church’s way for non-Catholics to become Catholics, and for Catholic adults who have not received their Eucharist and/or Confirmation to prepare for receipt of these sacraments. The RCIA is a process of faith which also involves the witness and support of sponsors from our parish community. Sponsors participate in this ministry by serving as companion, guide, and witness

RCIA - Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
RCIA adapted for children.

Baptism Preparation of Parents - Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
Baptism is a special time in the faith life of parents and families. And so the Church asks that parents are prepared for the commitment they are making on behalf of their children. At OLS, the priests visit with the new parents. Couples then share with priests in this preparation by leading a discussion on the Sacrament of Baptism, and sharing faith in a family setting.

Pre-Cana - Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
Our parish follows the common marriage policy for the
Dioceses of New Jersey , and so an engaged couple meet with a parish priest over a year-long period to prepare for this Sacrament. As part of this preparation, OLS sponsors a Day for the Engages, twice a year, in April and October. This day fulfills the guidelines for Marriage Preparation in the State of New Jersey. Team couples help to facilitate the day by giving talks in the areas of Communication, Lifestyles, Spirituality, and Sexuality.

Adult Education - Sr. Mary Selina 973-763-5454 or
Process of Adult on-going formation in the Faith which provides workshops, lectures and study groups.

Men’s Prayer Breakfast – Russell Pace 973-986-6766
A group of men who meet every Wednesday morning 6:00- 6:45, to pray and reflect on the following Sunday’s Gospel. There is a sharing of insights and/or experiences on the meaning of the Gospel. This time gives men the opportunity to place their lives in the context of the Gospel message and thus to grow spiritually.

Bible Study – Fr. Rich 973-763-5454 or
Study and reflect on a specific book of the Bible once a week for one hour and a half. Deepen your knowledge and love of God’s Word.

First Reconciliation / First Eucharist – Joan Csedrik 973-763-5454 or
At OLS, preparation of children for these sacraments is a cooperative effort between their parents and pastoral staff. Each candidate’s family is actively involved in a home-based program supplemented with parent meetings, Prayer Services, and a half-day retreat.

Youth Confirmation Ministry – Christopher Kaiser 973-763-5454 or
Teens who have celebrated Confirmation and who exhibit leadership qualities are asked to consider serving as Peer Ministers in the Phase I Confirmation Program. Meets monthly for public high school freshmen. These Peer Ministers receive leadership and group dynamic skills training.

Parish School Ministry – Sr. Judith 973-762-5619 or
(Pre-K to Grade 8)
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish School is a Catholic community of faith and love striving to afford the fullest and most comprehensive opportunity to realize the threefold purpose of Christian education-message, community, and service– to our students. Our school is committed to proclaiming and living the Good News of Jesus. We strive for the development of programs of current and future excellence, which prepare the students for life. Our educational approach is child-centered, thus giving the child an education that will be personally relevant and will contribute to his/her full development as a person. Through a well integrated curriculum program we offer classes in religion, mathematics, reading science, language arts and social studies, together with computer, foreign languages, music, art, gym and chess classes. We have a very fine sports program as well. OLS is a fully, Middle States Accredited School, offering enrollment from pre-school-3 yr. old through grade 8. An After Care Program is likewise provided. We admit students of any race, color, creed and national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally made available to students at school. For further information call: 973-762-5169

(Cubs) Kathy Shelffo 973-761-5951 or
(Boy) Peggy O’Shaughessy 973-378-3760 or

Scouting offers an opportunity for the youth of our parish to become more self-reliant, to serve God and their country, to help people, and do good deeds. Scouts learn the values of friendship and of preserving nature. OLS offers Cub Scouts for 1st to 5th grade, Girl Scouts from K to 8th grade, and Boy Scouts from 6th grade and beyond.

Youth Ministry - Christopher Kaiser 973-763-5454 or
Open to all high school students in our community. The Youth Group offers a whole range of social, athletic, and spiritual activities. It also reaches out to our community in service to those who may be less fortunate or to those who may need assistance. Anyone interested in finding out more our Youth Group is invited to attend the weekly meeting on Sunday nights from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Lower Church. Weekly meetings run along with the regular school year, with no meetings during school breaks. This meeting provides an opportunity to make new friends while discussing topics of interest in an open and honest atmosphere. If there are questions or comments, or you would just like to talk, please call Youth Ministry at 763-5454. Interested young adults are always needed to help and support the Youth Group.