New Jersey Parish Celebrates Canonization of Saint Justin Russolillo

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St. Michael’s Parish in Newark, New Jersey is served by priests of the Vocationists, an order founded by St. Justin Russolillo.

On May 15, 2022, Pope Francis canonized 10 saints, including Saint Justin Russolillo, founder of the Society for Divine Vocations (Vocationists).

The Italian priest founded his new order in 1927, hoping to spark vocations among the faithful. The order’s official website explains its unique mission.

Prof. Justin established the Vocationist Fathers and their special charism to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood, religious life and holiness among all the people of God. To continue this vocational work, Fr. Justin established the Vocationary, a special formation house that would provide vocations to both religious orders and diocesan seminaries.

His work was not limited to Italy, as it began to expand around the world.

In particular, Saint Justin began a mission in the United States, while Fr. Louis Caputo explained to JerseyCatholic.org.

We Vocationists have come to the United States and this region because Josephine, sister of Saint Justin, lived in Asbury Park, and it was the saint’s desire to open a mission here … As such, St. Michael of Newark became the first parish to welcome Spanish speakers in 1964, and later immigrants from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Today, we still maintain the only Catholic school in the region.

Prof. Louis also gave a brief summary of St. Justin’s mission and how it is still relevant today.

The figure of this saint must be known not only in our Archdiocese but throughout the United States because he is a universal soul. Based on the principle that we are all called to be saints and that it is through the church and the priests that universal holiness is promoted.

To celebrate the canonization of St. Justin, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, celebrated a special Mass for the diocese and vocationists serving in the region.

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