Humanitarian of the Year
Monsignor John E. Hart
Pastor, Assumption Parish, Morristown
The Humanitarian of the Year is given annually to a person who exemplifies the ideals of Catholic Social Teaching. This person displays kindness and a willingness to help those in need. This individual has contributed to the advancement of the Department for Persons with Disabilities, Catholic Charities, the Diocese of Paterson and/or her/his individual community. This year we are proud to honor Monsignor John E. Hart as our Humanitarian of the Year.
A native of Brooklyn, and parishioner of St. Philip Parish in Clifton, Monsignor. John E. Hart attended Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in Clifton and graduated from the former Neumann Prep in Wayne. After graduation, he attended college seminary at Seton Hall University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in French in 1977. During his senior year he participated in the University's Theatre in the Round. Msgr. Hart completed his priesthood studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Darlington and earned a Masters of Art in Theology with a concentration in Sacred Scripture.
Msgr. Hart's deacon internship was served at Annunciation Parish in Wayne, where his responsibilities included assisting the youth program and adult education. He was ordained to the priesthood at Annunciation Parish by Bishop Frank J. Rodimer on May 9, 1981. After ordination, Father. John was assigned to Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham Township. As a parochial vicar, his responsibilities included moderating the youth ministry, especially SEARCH retreats and days of recollection, the parish's Young Actors' Guild, and Junior and Senior CYO Basketball. He taught religion to both junior high and high school students at the parish and implemented the RCIA program with a team of parishioners and religious. He also conducted Bible Study classes.
In 1987 Father John was assigned to full-time service in the Diocesan Tribunal with a residence at St. Ann Parish, Parsippany, where he lived until 1990. In 1988 he began advanced studies in canon law at St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada where he earned his J.C.L. (licentiate in canon law) in 1990. He wrote his thesis on a topic of matrimonial jurisprudence and co-dependency, entitled: "The Effects of ACOA Syndrome and Matrimonial Consent." Upon his return to the tribunal he was appointed defender of the bond and a judge in 1991. Monsignor Hart served as Bishop Rodimer's priest secretary and master of ceremonies from September 1990 until September 1996. During that time, he also served as a full- time member of the Diocesan Tribunal and a week-end assistant at St. Christopher Parish in Parsippany. Monsignor Hart was named an Adjutant Judicial Vicar in 1995.
Bishop Rodimer appointed Msgr. Hart as Pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Rockaway, effective on September 16, 1996. He succeeded Rev. Msgr. Charles F. Powers, who retired on September 1 of that year. Bishop Rodimer also appointed Msgr. Hart Administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Rockaway in 1999, remaining as Pastor of St. Cecilia and working full-time in the Tribunal as Adjutant Judicial Vicar.
Msgr. Hart served as the Chancellor of the Diocese of Paterson from February 25, 1999 to June 24, 2005. During this time he also served as a member of the Diocesan Review Board. Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli appointed him Chairperson of the Presbyteral Council and Chair of the Diocesan Theological Commission
Msgr. Hart is a diocesan representative to the New Jersey Catholic Conference Public Policy Committee. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus (Third Degree) and a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He is also a member of the Canon Law Society of America, the Canadian Canon Law Society and the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Pope John Paul II appointed him a Chaplain to the Holy Father on August 14, 2003.
Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli appointed Father John pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Morristown on September 8, 2009. Monsignor Hart was later appointed director of clergy personnel for Paterson Diocese on in 2012 and was appointed a Missionary of Mercy by our Holy Pope Francis in 2016.
Msgr. John's father, John H. Hart died on January 2, 1992. His mother Vivian lives in Clifton. His brother Tim and his sister-in-law live nearby with their children Michael and Lori. Father John's hobbies include movies, golf, exercising, singing, reading, theatre, dining in restaurants, doing impressions and telling jokes. His favorite movies are "A Man for All Seasons" and "Beckett." He enjoys spending time with family and friends. He likes Italian, American, French, German, Chinese and Japanese cuisine (sushi) and will try almost any kind of food (except liver!).
Through the years, Monsignor Hart has been a dedicated supporter of the Department for Persons with Disabilities, Catholic Charities and the Knights of Columbus. Monsignor Hart is an exemplary role model who cares deeply about the poor, sick and underserved. We are proud to call him a friend and supporter and look forward to honoring him on June 26th!
Knight of Columbus of the Year
DPD Board Member
The Knights of Columbus are the world's largest Catholic, fraternal service organization. Since our inception, the Knights have raised over $3,000,000 for DPD through their Disability Drives and other charitable endeavors. Our Knight of the Year Award is a tribute to the Order's many good works. This award is presented to a "Catholic Gentleman" who embodies the Knight's four core principles: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. This year, we are proud to honor DPD Board Member, John Butler as our Knight of the Year.
John is an active member of the Morris County community; a trustee of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick (FSSP) of Morris County; a member of the Irish American Association of Northwest New Jersey (IAANJ); and is the past president of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade of Morris County, Inc, the Non-Profit 501(c) (3) organization that runs the parade.
He has been an active participant in nearly all aspects of the parade activities for over 20 years, including coordinating the Line of March, interacting with the media, working with Morristown Administration and Police Departments to assure safe fun-filled parade day activities, serving on the Parade and Finance Committees, and co-chairing the successful parade ad journal that funds the parade each year. He has also been a volunteer at the Annual Irish Feis sponsored by the IAANJ (formerly at Waterloo Village and currently at Sussex County Fairgrounds each September). In addition, he marches in West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade each year with FSSP. John was honored as the Parade's Grand Marshall in 2010
John is also an active member of Saint Therese Church, Succasunna, NJ, where he is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and frequently visits Merry Heart Nursing Home residents so they can share in the Eucharist. He has served on various parish committees over the years; taught CCD and been a sponsor catechist for Confirmation; and regularly volunteers at St. Therese annual carnival. For the past 30 years, he has participated in the parish's involvement with Trinity Lutheran Church, Dover, NJ, as a regular server at TLC's Faith Kitchen that provides daily meals to those in need.
John is also an active member of the Knights of Columbus since he joined in 1969. He is a Past Grand Knight and the current Financial Secretary of Saint Therese Council Number 6320 in Succasunna. He was instrumental in establishing and leading the Council's Scholarship Committee that awards annual scholarships to Council members' children and grandchildren. In 1993 he developed, and continues to coordinate, the Council's annual three-week Project WARMTH (We Are Really Meant To Help) program that serves those in need locally and within the Diocese of Paterson. He also initiated and led the council support of the council's involvement and commitment to TLC's Faith Kitchen. John has served on most of the Council activity committees (Church, Pro-Life, Community, Youth, and Council activity programs) over the years. Note too that he is a third generation Knight of Columbus, with his father, Stanley, and grandfather, Thomas, having been long time active members before him.
In 2010, John joined DPD's Board of Trustees where he is active on Finance, Development and Golf Committees. John regularly supports our various group homes, most notably Calabrese House in Parsippanny, for which he annually helps run his council's Christmas gift drive and disability drive.
John and Joyce married in 1967 and lived in Parsippany and Dover before moving to Succasunna nearly 40 years ago. They are most proud of and close to their family. Their two daughters, Kelly and Teri, grew up in Roxbury, graduated from Roxbury High School and went on to graduate from Penn State University. Both girls have successful careers of their own and live in New Jersey. Kelly and her husband Al Musmanno have two sons, Jake and Zack, and live in Metuchen. Teri married Shawn Burke. They have one son, Colin, and live in Lake Hopatcong. As proud parents and grandparents, Joyce and John are thankful and feel lucky to have them all living close by.
We are blessed to know a "True Catholic Gentleman," John Butler and are looking forward to honoring him at our 43rd Annual Wiegand Farm Golf Classic!
Jack Kelly Community Leadership Award
The Sussex County State Police
The Jack Kelly Community Leadership Award is named in honor of Jack Kelly. Jack is the Committee Chairman and Founder of the Wiegand Farm Golf Classic. Jack is a veteran of the United States Navy, served as Chief and Fire Marshall of the Jefferson Township Fire Department and has dedicated his life to community service. This award is presented annually to a "public servant" (police, fire department, military, educator, etc) who has made a lasting impact on the community. This year we are proud to honor the Sussex County NJ State Police who serve our local community proudly and valiantly.
The New Jersey State Police is committed to protect, preserve, and safeguard the constitutional and civil rights of all citizens through impartial and courteous law enforcement with integrity and professionalism. They ensure public safety and provide quality service in partnership with our communities.
Their Core Functions are:
GENERAL POLICE SERVICES are all functions associated with the statewide enforcement of laws, the prevention of crime, the pursuit and apprehension of offenders, and the gathering of legal evidence to ensure conviction of such offenders. In certain municipalities, the division is the sole provider of these general police services. This function also includes the protection of state officials and properties, as well as the security of national and international officials while in the state.
GENERAL HIGHWAY AND TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT is the patrol of all state highways, the investigation of accidents and incidents on those highways, and the conduct of inspection and enforcement programs essential to the safety of citizens on those highways.
STATEWIDE INVESTIGATION AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICES are those unique functions essential to the identification and successful prosecution of criminal activities which, by their name, are so pervasive or complex that local police agencies are not able or equipped to pursue them effectively.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT is the statewide responsibility to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergent and disastrous incidents which occur beyond the capacity of municipalities and counties to effectively respond. In this capacity, the agency is also responsible for the coordination and support of emergency services at all levels, as well as the mitigation of the immediate damages from such incidents.
SUPPORT FOR STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS is the provision of scientific and technical services in the conduct of all state investigations. Where such services are beyond the ability or capacity of county and local agencies and are requested by such agencies, the state agency may extend these services within the limits of its existing resources.
MAINTENANCE OF CRIMINAL RECORDS AND IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS is the exclusive responsibility of the state agency in order to ensure a comprehensive, reliable and effective resource for all criminal, non-criminal and judicial related functions which, by law, require accurate identification.
REGULATION OF CERTAIN COMMERCE is the oversight of individuals and practices in businesses which the legislature has determined have a significant effect of the safety and welfare of the general public and, which by their nature, exert a statewide presence.
The DPD Family has 75 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in Sussex County through our Support Coordination Program, Wallace House Group Home, Gruenert Center and other support services. We are proud to stand by law enforcement as they put their lives on the line to keep us safe each day!
To sponsor the event take out an ad in support of Monsignor Hart, John Butler or the Sussex County State Police visit our Sponsorship Opportunities Page. To attend the banquet, silent auction and award ceremony visit our Registration Page. Please call our Development Office at 973-406-1104 with any questions.