Full of Grace – ‘Few words but much love’

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For 27 of his 41 years, Anthony Joseph “A.J.” Valle faithfully served the Diocese of Camden, first at the St. Pius X Spiritual Life Center in Blackwood and later in the Pastoral Center in Camden.

Born in Orange, N.J., Valle began working at St. Pius X Retreat House in Blackwood when he was 14. In 2008, Valle was honored for his 25 years of service. In 2010, he became facilities manager at the Pastoral Center in Camden.

He died unexpectedly just a year ago, in March 2011, at the age of 41. Three months later, in June, the “A.J. Valle Room” was dedicated on the third floor of the Pastoral Center. In the months before his death, Valle had been helping to create the lunchroom space for his fellow employees.

At the dedication, one of Valle’s work shirts, encased in a frame, was unveiled, to be hung in the room. On the frame is a plaque, that reads “A man of few words but much love, A.J. exemplified Christ in his daily interactions with others, always ready with a friendly smile, encouraging word or helping hand. In one of his last projects, A.J. was working hard, and utilizing his God-given talents, to complete this lunchroom, for his fellow co-workers. As we gather here each day, let us thank God for the gift of A.J., and for his lasting legacy to the Diocese of Camden, with the ‘A.J. Valle room.’”