Gibbsboro pastor enters ‘Local Hero’ contest

Msgr. Louis A. Marucci, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Gibbsboro, has entered a “local hero” contest sponsored by the National Mobility Awareness Month with the grand prize of a new wheelchair accessible van that will be awarded to the person who receives the greatest number of votes from the community.

In 1987, six months after Msgr. Marucci had been ordained a priest, he learned that he was stricken with Multiple Sclerosis.

“I never anticipated that suffering would play such a significant part of my priestly life, but I have been blessed with great faith that has helped me to endure the trials, which have been very severe throughout the years,” Monsignor said.

The Monsignor has endured numerous flare ups of Multiple Sclerosis, some which have required hospitalizations lasting nearly eight months. At times he has been ventilator dependent, quadriplegic, and survived a struggle with endocarditis, an infection in his blood that lodged onto his heart valves.

His condition has stabilized, but he remains wheelchair dependent and endures a variety of trials related to secondary symptoms of the disease.

Monsignor often states that his disability is both a cross and a crown. It is a cross because suffering is difficult; it is a crown because it taught him the important role of interdependence beyond independence.

As a priest, he made a declaration of dependence upon God to assist him daily.

Eight months ago Monsignor was informed that the adaptive equipment in his 13-year-old van is no longer serviceable, and he must obtain a new adapted van. The van allows him to continue to minister to and serve others not only at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish but also to those in local hospitals and area nursing homes.

Msgr. Marucci is asking for support in his quest to win a new adapted van by logging onto, clicking on Local Heroes, entering “Marucci” in the search field, entering promo code 999 and casting your vote for him. Voting ends on May 13 and you may vote once every 24 hours.

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