DECREE- For Publication to Each and Everyone

Among the most important responsibilities of the Bishop’s pastoral office is assurance that there is suitable provision of divine worship and Catholic community life for Christ’s faithful people who are committed to his care. At the same time the pastor of each parish needs to be able to satisfy without undue difficulty the parochial responsibilities assigned to him by his Bishop.

The following just causes support the establishment of a consolidated parish in the Ocean City area of Cape May County, New Jersey:

1) to provide more effectively for the pastoral needs of the faithful of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Cape May County, New Jersey, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini in Cape May County, New Jersey and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Cape May County, New Jersey;

2) to assure the vitality of parish life in this area;

3) to provide for a better stewardship of resources; and,

4) to provide for the optimum use of clergy, religious, and lay personnel.

For the reasons listed above as well as the Core Team’s belief that the unified community is one anchored in God’s love; because of the communality of the parish communities of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 13th Street and Wesley Avenue, Ocean City, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini, 114 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 3948 Central Avenue, Ocean City; in response to the request of the pastors of these communities, Reverend Michael P. Rush (St. Augustine’s Catholic Church), Reverend Edward R. Kolla (The Church of St. Frances Cabrini) and Reverend Massimo S. Fasciglione (The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel) to unite these parishes; the favorable advice of the local Vicar Forane; and having listened to the opinions of the Presbyteral Council about the needs of the Catholic Faithful in this area of Cape May County, I have determined that the pastoral care of these communities will be fostered best by consolidating these individual communities and uniting them as one new parish.

Accordingly, in virtue of the prescripts of canon 121 and canon 515, §1 of the Code of Canon Law, in order to provide more effectively for the spiritual welfare and the salvation of souls, having judged that sufficiently just causes are present, and having consulted the Presbyteral Council in accord with canon 515, §2, I hereby DECREE, ANNOUNCE and PUBLISH:

The merger of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 13th Street and Wesley Avenue, Ocean City, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini, 114 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 3948 Central Avenue, Ocean City; and the establishment of Saint Damien Parish.

Reverend Michael P. Rush will serve as the Pastor of Saint Damien Parish for a term of six years commencing on the effective date of this decree.

The parochial church of Saint Damien Parish, which retains its proper title and the name St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, is located at 13th Street and Wesley Avenue, Ocean City, New Jersey. The Church of St. Frances Cabrini and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel will retain their own proper titles and will be maintained as worship sites to be used by the merged community.

The territorial boundaries of Saint Damien Parish will be the same as the combined boundaries of the former parishes of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel. The establishment of these parish boundaries is duly recorded at the Chancery Office of the Diocese of Camden, as:

Start at the point where the Ocean City corporate line intersects the middle of Corson Inlet.

1. West then north through Corson Inlet then northerly along Crook Horn Creek

following the Ocean City corporate line to Peck’s Bay

2. North through Peck’s Bay then north through Great Egg Harbor Bay followingthe

Ocean City corporate line to its intersection with the Cape May – Atlantic County

line in Great Egg Harbor Bay

3. Northeast then east through Great Egg Harbor Bay following the Cape May –

Atlantic county line to the point where the Ocean City – Longport Bridge crosses

the middle of the Great Egg Harbor Inlet

4. South along the Ocean City shoreline to the point where an imaginary (straight)

line drawn to extend the shoreline meets the Ocean City corporate line in the

middle of Corson Inlet (point of origin)

The goods and property of the parishes of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, including their real estate and buildings, as well as their debts and obligations, shall be assigned to Saint Damien Parish. Further, the voluntary offerings of the faithful, as well as other grants, pledges and gifts which have been or will be made to either of these predecessor parishes will constitute revenue to Saint Damien Parish for the benefit of the pastoral life of this community of the faithful as well as the rightful support of those who minister to them.

As of the effective date of this DECREE, the sacramental registers of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 13th Street and Wesley Avenue, Ocean City, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini, 114 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 3948 Central Avenue, Ocean City will be closed and moved to the seat of Saint Damien Parish, 13th Street and Wesley Avenue, Ocean City. All sacraments administered from that date forward will be recorded in new sacramental registers of Saint Damien Parish.

I approve the statutes of Saint Damien Parish as submitted.

As of the effective date of this DECREE, the financial accounts of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 13th Street and Wesley Avenue, Ocean City, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini, 114 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 3948 Central Avenue, Ocean City will have been closed and transferred to the financial account of Saint Damien Parish.

As of the effective date of this DECREE, St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 13th Street and Wesley Avenue, Ocean City, The Church of St. Frances Cabrini, 114 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City and The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 3948 Central Avenue, Ocean City will be civilly consolidated under the laws of the State of New Jersey as Saint Damien Parish, Ocean City, N.J.

This DECREE becomes effective on March 23, 2011.

I instruct that this DECREE be communicated immediately to the parishioners of Saint Damien Parish by Reverend Michael P. Rush whom I have herein named their Pastor. This DECREE is likewise to be published immediately in the Catholic Star Herald and on the diocesan website.

Given in Camden, on this 18th day of February 2011, at the Diocesan Center.

 

Joseph A. Galante

Bishop of Camden

In cujus fidem…

 

David J. Klein

Chancellor

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