Rev. Brian X. Needles, Pastor

frbrianneedles@gmail.com

Fr. Brian Needles was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the fifth of six children. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science (Finance) degree. Between 1987-1999, he worked in the real estate development business.


In 1999, Fr. Brian began seminary studies in Rome, Italy. He received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome in 2001; a Masters Certification in Bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in collaboration with the Centro di Bioetica dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome in 2003; a Bachelor in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2004; and a License in Sacred Moral Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome in 2006.


Fr. Brian was ordained to the transitional diaconate on October 6, 2005 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and he was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 2006 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ.
After his priestly ordination, Fr. Brian was assigned to parish ministry, first at St. Joseph of the Palisades Church in West New York, NJ and then at St. Philomena Church in Livingston, NJ. He was then appointed the Director of Campus Ministry at Seton Hall University, serving in that capacity from 2016-19.

In 2019, he was assigned as Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Fr. Brian has served on the Council of Priests and the Priest Personnel Board for the Archdiocese of Newark. He is an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Seton Hall University and is an Adjunct Spiritual Director at Immaculate Conception Seminary and St. Andrew’s Hall Seminary.

Father Andrew, Parochial Vicar

frlee527@gmail.com

Father JuHyun Andrew Lee was born in South Korea and moved to Fort Lee, where he was a parishioner of the Church of the Madonna. Father Lee has lived in four countries: South Korea, the Philippines, China, and the United States.

He entered college seminary right after high school. As a college seminarian at St. Andrew’s Hall, he studied philosophy and continued his study of theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary. He was named as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Sorrows in the Spring of 2023.

When asked what inspired him to become a priest, Father Lee said: “There was a time when my family struggled financially. Going through challenging moments like that prompted in me a desire to be with those people who may be struggling. Also, hearing confession and letting people know that we have a merciful Father in Heaven always present in our lives was one of the reasons why I wanted to become a priest.” 

Father Patrick Seo, Priest in Residence

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Englewood Cliffs, I was a parochial vicar and administrator at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Park Ridge and a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary / St. Michael’s in Elizabeth. Presently, I am the Director of Priestly Vocations for the Archdiocese of Newark.

I am in residence at Our Lady of Sorrows because of her proximity to Seton Hall University within which is Immaculate Conception Seminary within which is the Office of Priestly Vocations. However, because I live at Our Lady of Sorrows, I have the great blessing of participating in the life of the parish, e.g. celebrating Masses, hearing Confessions, and attending fun events at the parish like the St. Patrick’s Day party!

Deacon Walter Wiggins, Permanent Deacon

deaconwalt@outlook.com

Deacon Walter Wiggins was born in Belleville, NJ and grew up in Hillside, NJ. He attended Christ the King grammar school and parish in Hillside where he was an altar boy and played guitar in the parish. He attended Seton Hall Preparatory School in South Orange and continued on to Rutgers College in New Brunswick where he received a BA in economics in 1988.

In the summer of 1987, he met wife Patricia and they were married on November 18th, 1989. Together they raised their three children, Danielle, Sarah, & David in Maplewood.

Deacon Walter continued his education, receiving an MBA in Finance in 1997. Discerning a call to the diaconate, he was accepted into the diaconate formation program in the Archdiocese of Newark and received an MA in Theology in May 2016 from the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University. He was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese on June 4th, 2016.

In addition to his service to Our Lady of Sorrows, Deacon Walter has also served on the Archdiocese of Newark Deacon Council and Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.

Deacon Walter’s wife of 30 years, Patricia, passed away in December 2019. He and his children relocated to Westfield where he currently resides.

Deacon Walter has worked for the Department of the Army since 2004. He is also a member of the Holy Rosary chapter of Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic in Summit, NJ since 2008.

Stephanie Sonnick, Ministerial Associate

olschurchministries@gmail.com

Hello! My name is Stephanie Sonnick, and I am on the Pastoral team here at Our Lady of Sorrows. Like many of you, I’m a New Jersey native: I was born and raised in Ridgewood (Bergen County) and am one of four children. I grew up attending public schools, playing sports, and spending a lot of time visiting extended family in Queens and the Bronx. I left the area to attend college at the University of Notre Dame, where I encountered the faith alive in my classes and student life. I was getting to know Jesus more personally: for the first time in my life, Sunday Mass started to make sense to me, and I realized that God had a plan for my life! I felt called to grow in my faith and learn how to assist other people to do the same.

After graduating with degrees in Theology and Spanish, I did a two-year graduate program for ministry called Echo and worked in a parish in Indianapolis, helping with adult formation, women’s ministry, and lots of translating from English to Spanish. I moved back to New Jersey when that program concluded and started working in Campus Ministry at Seton Hall University where I stayed for over four years.

I’m excited to be a part of this great community and team here at OLS! I serve as your Ministry Associate to support this community to nurture and grow various ministries within the parish (retreats, women’s ministry, adult formation, young adults, etc.). I’m really looking forward to getting to know you and your families as we walk this journey of faith together. Please, never hesitate to reach out! You can message me at olschurchministries@gmail.com or call me at 201-470-2904.

Charles Noun, Bookkeeper

ols217so@msn.com 

Charles was born in Lebanon and moved to the United States in 1981. His first destination was Huntsville, Alabama – where he earned a degree in Computer Science and ended up meeting his wife, Jackie. In 1993, they moved to New Jersey to be closer to relatives. After a few years working for private companies, Charles began working as the bookkeeper at Our Lady of Sorrows in 2000. He later became the business manager and has been here on staff in some capacity ever since! 

Charles is grateful to have been working for so many years at Our Lady of Sorrows, and enjoys working for and serving the Church that has been so good to him. 

Mary Beth Zurat, Parish Secretary

marybeth.olschurch@gmail.com

Born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, Mary Beth crossed the bridge into New Jersey and settled in SOMA in 2005. She and her husband lived in Maplewood first before moving to South Orange in late 2015 with their daughter, who attends Our Lady of Sorrows School. 

Mary Beth was a stay-at-home mother before assuming the role of parish secretary in March 2024. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fordham University, which she likes to say qualifies her for everything and nothing simultaneously. Prior to motherhood Mary Beth worked in Development/Fundraising for several youth and family services nonprofit organizations in NYC. She has also done some freelance writing and performed stand-up comedy. 

Jennifer Noll, Coordinator of Religious Education

jennollols@gmail.com

Jen Noll and her husband Dave have been parishioners at OLS since 1999. Together, with the help of their parish family, they have raised three beautiful girls: Sarah, Sophia and Rebecca. Mrs. Noll first volunteered to help with the CCD program when her oldest daughter entered first grade. As her children grew, Mrs. Noll answered the call of her vocation and moved from catechist babysitter to classroom aide to team-teaching catechist to solo catechist – until she finally became program administrator in June of 2017.

As Catechetical Coordinator, Mrs. Noll primarily oversees the administration of the OLS CCD program for grades K-8 and the Sacramental Preparation Program for First Reconciliation and Eucharist. The best part of her job is when she sees the huge smiles on the faces of her students after they celebrate one of the sacraments for the first time. 

In addition to her roles as stay-at-home mom and Catechetical Coordinator, Mrs. Noll also worked as a classroom aide at Morrow Preschool from 2014-2017 and as a paralegal at Rogers and Wells from 1996-1999. She has a BA in political science from American University in Washington, DC.

Colleen McDonald, Religious Education

sorrowschurch@gmail.com

Colleen (Smith) McDonald has been a parishioner at Our Lady of Sorrows since she was 4 years old. She is the oldest of 9 children – 8 girls and a boy! Colleen attended Our Lady of Sorrows School and went on to the Academy of St. Elizabeth and then to Essex County College.

Colleen married Phil in 1991 and had their son Patrick in 1996. Patrick also attended Our Lady of Sorrows school. This is where Colleen became so involved in the school and church. She served on the Caritas Board (now Home School Association) and the School Advisory Board. Colleen was a stay at home Mom before becoming Administrative Assistant for Religious Education, Sr. Mary Selina and the Youth Group. She has worked at Our Lady of Sorrows for almost 16 years. A job she loves.

Colleen credits her parents – Eileen and Bill Smith for her love of OLS. Her parents taught her this by example as they were involved in OLS as much as she is now. If not for both of them and their love of their family and OLS, she may not have become so involved. They showed her how important the school and church are to all who belong here.

Chris Kaiser, Youth Minister

kaiserch@shu.edu

Chris Kaiser, originally of Maspeth Queens, has served on staff at Our Lady of Sorrows as Youth Minister since 1999. Christopher Kaiser also works with young people as the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences at Seton Hall.
He currently lives in Martinsville with his wife Maureen and their two daughters.