St. Bridget to serve Glassboro and Rowan University communities

Bishop Galante has announced that St. Bridget Parish, Glassboro will be established June 1, 2010 as both a territorial parish for the Glassboro community and as a personal parish to serve the particular needs of the Rowan University community.

With an expansion of Rowan University and the related redevelopment of Glassboro now underway, Bishop Galante last July wrote to parishioners stating that “the University’s development plans may present a unique opportunity for the Church to address a fundamental pastoral concern in this area of the diocese, in particular, the spiritual and pastoral needs of the growing student population here.”

The University has 11,006 undergraduate and graduate students with projections that it may grow to 15,000 students within the next ten years.

St. Bridget’s originally was intended to consolidate with Saint Catherine of Siena (Clayton) and Nativity (Franklinville). However, Bishop Galante decided to modify that configuration in order to more fully explore the possibility of establishing the university parish.

Given the various approaches that exist for campus ministry at universities, as well as logistical questions that required further study, Bishop Galante last summer directed that a task force be commissioned to explore the feasibility of the university model. The task force began its work last September under the direction of Mr. Larry Farmer of the diocese’s planning office.

“The study group consisted of people in all walks of life from St. Bridget Parish, the Glassboro community and Rowan University. They all generously and earnestly applied their skills to the work of examining the best ways to respond to the pastoral needs of the people in this area of the diocese,” said Larry Farmer.

“This is a diverse parish community in that it serves the people in its geographical area, as well as the Rowan University students and faculty, and the Hispanic community of northern Gloucester County. I applaud the study group’s unwavering interest in the project and know that their creativity and hard work has established a foundation that will ensure a very promising future for the parish and strengthen Catholic ministry in the entire community,” he added.

Serving on the task force were Andres Arango, Director of Evangelization and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Camden (including campus ministry); Keith Goren, Rowan alumnus and St. Bridget Parish Council member; Leo McCabe, Mayor, Borough of Glassboro and St. Bridget parishioner; Patricia Mulutzie, St. Bridget parishioner and member of the merger Core Team; Father Terry Odien, Vicar for Clergy; Nick Petroni, CPA, Rowan University Trustee and St. Bridget parishioner; Ann Polo, Director of the Catholic Campus Ministry on the Rowan University Campus; Larry Reader, Director of Temporal Affairs for the Diocese; Rocco Rossi, Facilitator, St. Bridget Parish Council, Rev. Matthew R. Weber, Administrator of St. Bridget parish, Glassboro; Thomas Gallia, Ed.D, Rowan University Vice President of University Relations and President’s Chief of Staff and a St. Bridget parishioner. Larry Farmer served as chair of the committee.

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