First Mass at Our Lady of Hope

First Mass at Our Lady of Hope

Photos by Alan M. Dumoff

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Clockwise from above: Father Mark Cavagnaro and by Father John DelDuca unveil the Our Lady of Hope painting by Brother Mickey McGrath on the day of the first Mass of the new parish; Father Cavagnaro during the consecration; Father Cavagnaro receives the offertory gifts.

On Saturday, May 15, parishioners of St. Jude and St. Agnes came together for their first Mass of the new Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood.

In separate Rite of Leave-Taking ceremonies at St. Jude Church and St. Agnes Church before the Mass, the holy water, holy oils, sacred relics and statues, pastoral care and funeral registers, and candlesticks were taken out of the churches, and both church doors were ceremonially closed. After the 400-plus Catholics came together at St. Agnes Parish Hall, they all processed into St. Agnes Church, for the first Mass as the Our Lady of Hope Catholic community. Father Mark Cavagnaro, pastor, presided.

The holy water and oils were mixed together, and statues of St. Jude and St. Agnes, from the two churches, and the candlesticks, replica of the Holy Family Statue, a St. Jude icon, and a relic of St. Jude, were placed around the church. As well, a painting of Our Lady of Hope, protecting St. Agnes and St. Jude, was unveiled, that will hang in the church. Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS, whose studio is in South Camden, was commissioned by Father Cavagnaro, for the artwork.

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