Retirement for three priests


Bishop Dennis Sullivan announces the retirement of three priests of the Diocese of Camden:


Father James Francis Betz, who had been serving as an Army chaplain, retired May 30.


John T. Frey, pastor of Saint Brendan the Navigator Parish, Avalon, will retire July


Father Calogero N. LaVerde, senior priest at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Linwood, will retire July 1.

Father Betz, 70, was ordained May 22, 1971, in Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden, and served as a parochial vicar and chaplain in the diocese until 1990 when he began nine years of military service including Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Father Betz returned to South Jersey in 1999 and served as pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, Swedesboro, until 2002, and Saint Nicholas, Egg Harbor, 2002-2008. Also during that time, from Feb. 17, 2003-May 25, 2004, he served as a military chaplain in Iraq.

He was called back into the military as an Army chaplain in 2008 and served in Heidelberg, Germany.

Msgr. Frey, 73, was ordained May 23, 1970, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden, and has served as pastor of several parishes of the diocese: Saint Isidore, Vineland, 1995-2002; Saint Rose of Lima, Haddon Heights, 2002-09; Maris Stella, Avalon, and Saint Paul, Stone Harbor, 2009-10; and Saint Brendan the Navigator, Avalon, since 2010.

He also has served as diocesan clergy personnel director, vocation director, episcopal vicar for priestly life and development, and spiritual director of the South Jersey Cursillo Movement.

Father LaVerde, 74, was ordained May 18, 1968, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden, and was parochial vicar at a number of parishes and hospital chaplain at several health care institutions.

He was pastor of Saint Nicholas Parish, Egg Harbor, 1993-2000, and Saint Margaret, Woodbury Heights, 2000-09. He spent the next four years as chaplain at Kennedy Health System, Washington Township, and has been senior priest at Our Lady of Sorrows, Linwood, since 2003. He was also moderator of Project Rachel.