Five priests set to retire next month

Father Dennis W. Bajkowski
Father Dennis W. Bajkowski
Msgr. James P. Curran
Msgr. James P. Curran
Father Albert E. Harshaw
Father Albert E. Harshaw
Msgr. Victor S. Muro
Msgr. Victor S. Muro
Father James P. Rush
Father James P. Rush

Five priests, who combined have devoted some 220 years of service to the people of the Diocese of Camden, will retire July 1.

Bishop Dennis Sullivan announced the retirements of the priests:

— Father Dennis W. Bajkowski, parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish, Camden

— Msgr. James P. Curran, pastor of St. Mary, Gloucester

— Father Albert E. Harshaw, chaplain, St. Mary Catholic Home, Cherry Hill

— Msgr. Victor S. Muro, pastor of Divine Mercy, Vineland, and

— Father James P. Rush, pastor emeritus of Blessed Sacrament, Margate.

Father Bajkowski, 70, was born in Philadelphia and attended Drew University, Madison, N.J.; St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, Pa.; and St. Francis Seminary, Loretto, Pa. He holds a doctorate in ministry and was ordained May 22, 1971.

He has been parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Camden, 1971-72; St. Martin de Porres, Hammonton, 1972-74; St. Augustine, Ocean City, 1974-77; St. Andrew, Gibbsboro, 1977-85; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 1985-88; and St. Edward, Pine Hill, 1996-2001. He was administrator and then pastor of Queen of the Apostles, Pennsville, 2002-10.

He also was campus ministrer at Georgian Court College, Lakewood, N.J., and chaplain at Bishop McCarthy Residence, Vineland. He has been a member of the Diocesan Liturgical commission.

Msgr. Curran, 77, has been pastor of St. Mary Parish, Gloucester since 2003 and previously was pastor of St. Matthew, National Park, 1981-92, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Glassboro, 1992-2003.

He was parochial vicar of Christ the King, Haddonfield, 1963-69; St. Matthew, 1969-74; St. Margaret, Woodbury Heights, 1974-80; and St. Joan of Arc, Camden, 1980-81.

He was moderator of the diocesan PTA in the 1990s and served on the Presbyteral Council and Priest Personnel Board.

He was born in Ireland where he attended St. John College and was ordained June 13, 1963.

Father Harshaw, 68, was born in Ventnor and was ordained at St. James Church there on May 18, 1973.

Father Harshaw, who has been involved with diocesan scouting for many years, has divided his years of active ministry between parish work and chaplaincy.

He was parochial vicar at St. Stephen Parish, Pennsauken, 1973; St. Aloysius, Oaklyn, 1974-75; Annunciation, Bellmawr, 1975-79; Incarnation, Mantua, 1979-83; St. Maria Goretti, Runnemede, 1983-87; Immaculate Conception, Bridgeton, 1987-92; and St. Cecilia, Pennsauken, 1992-95. He was pastor of St. Casimir, Woodbine, 2000-06.

The following year, Father Harshaw was appointed chaplain to Cooper Hospital, Camden. He also served as chaplain at Ancora State Hospital and spiritual director of the South Jersey Medical Association.

He attended St. Charles College, Catonsville, Md.; and St. Mary’s Seminary, Roland Park, Md.

Msgr. Muro, 74, was born in Spain and has spent much of his ministry ministering to Hispanic Catholics in the Diocese of Camden. He was director of the Spanish Apostolate for many years, director of the Spanish Catholic Center, and in 2000 was named episcopal vicar for Hispanics.

Msgr. Muro was ordained July 17, 1966. He attended the University of East Manila, Philippines and Villanova University. He began ministry in the Diocese of Camden in 1976 as administrator of Holy Name Parish, Camden.

He has been pastor of Divine Mercy, Vineland, since 2009 and perviously was pastor of Immaculate Conception, Vineland, 2001-2009.

He was parochial vicar at St. Edward, Pine Hill, 1980-82; Immaculate Conception, Bridgeton, 1982-86; St. Mary, Williamstown, 1986-88; St. Isidore, Vineland, 1988-93; and St. Francis of Assisi, 1993-2001.

Father Rush, 69, was born in Philadelphia and attended St. Bonaventure Seminary, N.Y. He was ordained on May 19, 1972, and served as pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Margate, 2006-10, Immaculate Conception, Bridgeton, 1998-2006, and St. Joan of Arc, Camden, 1993-98.

Father Rush was parochial vicar of Sacred Heart, Vineland, 1972-75; Corpus Christie, Carneys Point, 1975-76; St. Peter Celestine, Cherry Hill; St. Luke, Stratford, 1977-83; St. John, Paulsboro, 1983-84; and St. John Neumann, Sicklerville, 1984-93.