In 2016, we begin our ninth decade celebrating the life of St. Patrick on the streets of Newark!

To kick-off our 81st year, we’ll gather for a Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Reception at Kilkenny Ale House next Friday, September 18 at 7:00 pm.

Our Guest of Honor will be Rev. Msgr. Neil J. Mahoney, Pastor of Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral.  Msgr. Mahoney is retiring in October after more than 30 years at Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral and after leading both Saint Patrick’s and Saint John’s Parishes as Pastor for many years.

Eamonn Ryan will provide entertainment and our host, Rob Lynch, will provide a great dinner as he always does.

Parking in the lot across the street from Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral has been expanded as has parking in the lot on Central Avenue between Halsey Street and Broad Street.

Rev. Msgr. Neil J. Mahoney

Rev. Msgr. Neil J. Mahoney

A Man, a Priest, an Inspiration
by Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Wister

Cornelius Joseph Mahoney entered the world in Bayonne, New Jersey, on December 17, 1945, the son of John William and Mary Helen Mahoney. He joined his brother John, and sisters Geraldine and Claire, to form a close-knit family. Raised in a devout Catholic household, he attended Saint Mary Star of the Sea Grammar School and Marist High School in Bayonne. Hearing a call to the priesthood, he entered the Divinity School of Seton Hall University and, after two years, moved on to Immaculate Conception Seminary, then in Mahwah, New Jersey. After receiving his B.A. degree in 1967 from Seton Hall, he was assigned to theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, residing in the North American College. After priestly ordination in Saint Peter’s Basilica on December 18, 1970, he returned with an S.T.L. degree to the Archdiocese of Newark in July 1971.

Father Neil began a series of pastoral assignments in 1971 at Saint Leo’s Parish in Irvington for two years and then transferred to Queen of Angels Parish in Newark, continuing a lifelong commitment to urban ministry. While fulfilling his parish responsibilities, Father Neil received an M.A. in Counseling from Seton Hall University and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology from Fordham University. Recognizing his skill and expertise, the Archdiocese assigned Father Neil as Staff Psychologist to the Mount Carmel Guild and then as Director of New Jersey’s Boystown in Kearny, New Jersey, and, in 1984, as Campus Minister at Kean University, with residence at Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral.

After the death of Monsignor Jack Maloney in 1989, Father Neil was named Pastor of Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral, a pastoral ministry that would last for more than a quarter-century. In 2000, Saint John Paul II named Father Neil a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor. In 2005, Father Neil was also named Pastor of Saint John’s Parish. There, he has continued and reinforced the parish’s apostolate of feeding the hungry. This assignment has allowed Father Neil to continue his support of the pastoral care of the deaf, which began more than thirty years earlier when he received a Certificate in Advanced Sign Language from Mount Carmel Guild Special Services.

Throughout his priestly life, Father Neil has shown a great devotion to urban ministry and to an ever-changing population of parishioners at Saint Patrick’s. He gave equal attention to all groups with a special regard for the disadvantaged. He strove to link the past, present, and future of the parish. In 1999, Father Neil supervised the restoration and renovation of the Pro-Cathedral in preparation for the observance of its 150th anniversary the following year. As a proud Irish-American, he rejoiced in the annual celebration of the Easter Rising in Dublin every Easter Sunday. He strengthened Newark’s links to its original cathedral through his participation in the Annual Memorial Mass of the Newark Fire Department. He continued Monsignor Jack Maloney’s ministry to the African-American and Latino communities. He welcomed new Latino communities, and was thrilled as the magnificent statue of Nuestra Señora de la Divina Providencia, Patroness of Puerto Rico, became part of the Pro-Cathedral, and later welcomed the Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Quinche, Patroness of Ecuador.

As Father Neil retires from the ministry of administration, he retains happy memories of three decades at Saint Patrick’s and holds all of the parishioners of Saint Patrick’s and Saint John’s in his heart as they hold him in theirs. God Bless you, Father Neil!

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