Rivera officially installed
The Very Reverend Dennis Sullivan and the Reverend David Rivera have signed the necessary documents to officially install Rivera as pastor of the parish. (THG / Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)
HAMMONTON — The Right Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan was the principal celebrant of Rev. David Rivera’s Installation Mass as Pastor of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish on December 11.
Rivera was assigned to the parish in July 2018 as parish vicar and became its administrator in July 2019. He assumed his pastoral duties on July 15, 2020 and noted the delay by addressing the congregation before mass.
“It’s a beautiful ceremony, and symbolic. Unfortunately because of COVID it was pushed back, but we have it today, ”Rivera said.
During mass, Sullivan spoke about the ceremony itself.
“I’m very happy to be here to do the ceremony, but the ceremony has no power. The power was when he was appointed parish priest … but we will do the ceremony this evening because it is important for the life of the parish and the history of the parish. I am delighted to be here with you, ”said Sullivan.
Presenting the homily, Sullivan began Rivera’s formal installation.
“My brothers and sisters, because I am aware of your pastoral needs and because I am very confident in the qualifications of Father David Rivera, who – has certainly shown these qualifications over the past two years – I recommend him to you as your pastor. “Sullivan said.
Sullivan told Rivera that as a pastor he has three duties: preach, teach, and sanctify.
“Preach Christ, not yourself, teach Christ, not yourself, and sanctify in the person and in the name of Christ. Yes, there are a million other things you need to do, and you’ve been doing them – I know them – over the past two years. This is all important, but not the essence of what you are going to do here. Preach the word of God. Preach it faithfully. Preach it prepared, ”Sullivan said.
Sullivan advised Rivera to teach “what our church teaches and to help people understand those teachings.”
“Don’t push them away; bring them. Sanctify this flock of God which has been entrusted to you mainly by the sacraments and all the other wonderful traditions of our Catholic Church, as here in Hammonton, the great devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and, this weekend, the great devotion to the virgen guarana, Our Lady of Guadalupe, ”said Sullivan.
Sullivan told Rivera to lead and guide.
“Be with them as a father. Encourage them in their faith. Encourage them to be missionary disciples who reach out to others so that the church can grow. In this way, as you’ve been doing for two and a half years, build the church up. Build this community of faith that I have entrusted to your pastoral ministry. By the way, do it with a big, huge smile and laughter imitating the joyful, singing, joyful God we have heard of in the scriptures tonight, ”Sullivan said.
Archbishop Dennis Sullivan — center, flanked by (left to right) Deacon Michael Kubiak, Reverend David Rivera, Reverend Jerold Mariastanislaus, Reverend John Rocks and Reverend Neal Dante — was the main celebrant of the Mass installation. (THG / Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)
During the installation, Sullivan called in ward staff and clergy, including Rev. Jerold Mariastanislaus and Rev. Neal Dante.
“David, my brother, Father Jerold, Father Dante, with all these women and men of the parish staff, assist you in the pastoral care of the people of the parish. Share this ministry with them in a spirit of mutual trust, compassionate prayer, and genuine concern, ”said Sullivan.
Sullivan then spoke about the pastoral and financial board members of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish.
“They are the voice of your people who will assist and advise you in your ministry in this parish. Always be attentive to the needs expressed by the pastoral council and the financial council, ”said Sullivan.
Rivera went directly to the advice.
“My friends, I pledge to seek your guidance, guidance and guidance in the spiritual and temporal care of my pastorate,” said Rivera.
Reverend David Rivera and Right Reverend Dennis Sullivan posed after Installation Mass. (THG / Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)
Sullivan then called the civil trustees of the parish, Joseph Giralo and John Lyons.
“As lay officers of the parish corporation, they share with you the responsibility for the corporate and legal affairs of the parish. The corporate structure of the parish is, I am the president, the vicar general is the vice-president, Father Rivera is the secretary and Joseph and John are the other two members. Let me tell you, the role of civil administrators in the church in America is more important than ever in our country’s history and in how the church came to be legally… They’re chasing us. Let me tell you. They are after us. In particular, this structure has to be very solid in place so that they do not catch us, because they are after us. So I want to thank Joseph and John for being the civil administrators of the parish, ”said Sullivan.
Sullivan reiterated his advice for Rivera.
“Remember, my brother David, always be a loving father, a gentle shepherd and a wise teacher to your people so that you may lead them to Christ, who will strengthen all that you do. As a teacher of this faith, I ask you to lead your people in the profession of our faith, ”said Sullivan.
After leading the congregation in the Nicene Creed, Rivera continued his oaths.
“With firm faith, I also believe everything that is contained in the word of God, written or transmitted in the tradition and proposed by the Church, whether in the solemn judgment or in the ordinary and universal magisterium, as divinely revealed and calling to faith. I also firmly accept and definitively support all that is offered by the Church with regard to the teaching of faith and morals. In addition, I adhere with a religious submission of will and intelligence to the teachings that either the Roman pontiff or the college of bishops state when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they proclaim these teachings in an act that does not ‘isn’t final,’ Rivera said.
Sullivan then ordered Rivera to take the oath of loyalty, which is required of any individual when performing a function to be performed on behalf of the church.
“I, David Rivera, in assuming the office of pastor, I promise that, both in my words and in my conduct, I will always preserve communion with the Catholic Church. I will exercise, with the greatest care and the greatest fidelity, the duties incumbent upon me both towards the universal Church and the particular Church in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to perform my service, ”Rivera said.
Sullivan and Rivera walked to the church altar, where they signed the paperwork needed to officially install Rivera as pastor.
“So here we have it, brothers and sisters, signed and sealed and delivered … Pray now for the church, its leaders, especially the pastor of our parish, and for the needs of all,” Sullivan said. .
Before the conclusion of mass, Sullivan addressed Rivera once more.
“One of my old bosses – the late and great John Cardinal O’Connor of Philadelphia – always said to things like this, ‘The pastor has the last laugh,'” Sullivan said.
Reverend David Rivera introduced clergy, parish staff, pastoral council, finance council, and parish administrators during mass (THG / Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704 -1940.)
Rivera went to the ambo, where he expressed his gratitude to Sullivan.
“Thank you for the trust you have placed in me to be able to first be administrator and now pastor of this parish. It has been an interesting period of over two years. I started my pastorate in the midst of COVID, and we are still not at the end of it. I guess that’s a very unique way of being a pastor; it was very difficult, and yet I found, Bishop, in this parish, extremely devoted, loving, faithful and hardworking parishioners who support their parish priest, even if they are very hard on their parish priest. There is great love, ”Rivera said.
Rivera thanked everyone who was present in the congregation, as well as those who could not attend.
“Thank you for all your support, your trust, your love and even when there is a little directional challenge, I welcome it. I am committed to you. Never be afraid to talk to me about anything. I am here for this reason, ”said Rivera.
Rivera then thanked the ward staff, volunteers and clergy, as well as her family members, especially her parents.
“I just thank my parents for raising me as a Catholic, a faithful Catholic, and for their wonderful example to me. Ultimately, they are the reason I am here. I want to thank them for their love, ”said Rivera.