Blessing of the river

Father Neal Dante, a retired priest of the Camden Diocese, blesses a wreath of locally grown flowers to be placed in the waters at the Blessing of the River and Flag Day celebration at Saint Mary’s in the Pines Cemetery in Pleasant Mills, Atlantic County. The 17th annual event was held on June 15 at the site of the original church and cemetery. The church, which was destroyed by fire around 1900, and cemetery were built on a land donation in 1826, more than 110 years before the founding of the Diocese of Camden. Some 100 people attended the ceremony, which included guest speaker Tony McNichol giving a talk on “Privateering on the Mullica During the Revolutionary War.” Members of Mullica Townshhip VFW Post 5043 served as the color guard. —– Photo by Alan M. Dumoff