Meet The Staff
Msgr. Joe was born in Newark, NJ and grew up in the New Brunswick area. He attended the University of Scranton while residing at St. Pius X Seminary in Dalton, PA, and was awarded a B.S. in Human Services and Counseling in 1983.
Monsignor completed his priestly formation at Mount St. Mary`s Seminary in Emittsburg, MD where he received both his M.Div. and M.A. in Biblical Studies in 1987. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Metuchen on May 30, 1987. On October 13, 2011, Msgr. Joe was named Chaplain to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI with the title of Monsignor.
Since his ordination Monsignor has served in a variety of assignments – Associate Pastor to St. Mary Church in South Amboy; St. Cecelia Church in Iselin; St. Frances Cabrini Church in Piscataway; and Blessed Sacrament in Martinsville. Before his assignment as pastor here at St. Bernard, Msgr. Joe served as campus minister and Chaplain to the Catholic Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
In addition to these principal assignments, Monsignor has also served as Director of the Department of Pastoral Life, Advisor to the Diocesan Office of the Catechumenate, Member of the Commission for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs, Associate Director of Vocations for College Awareness, and Director of Zacchaeus House for vocational discernment.
Msgr. Joe may best be known as the former program host of Proclaim The Good News, the award winning radio talk show of the Diocese of Metuchen. Among his different personal interests, Msgr. Joe is an avid scuba diver!
The Pastor can be reached by phone with any spiritual or personal needs you may have, or by calling his Assistant, Ginny Hayden at extension 802 to set up an appointment.
Fr. Andrew Smith, O.S.B. is a Benedictine who lives and works at St. Mary`s Abbey, Delbarton in Morristown, NJ. Fr. Andrew teaches high school French at the Delbarton School and serves our community on the weekend.
Having been a Deacon for 30 years has some perks, not the least of which has been the opportunity to baptize our two younger children, our grandchildren and a decent percentage of the under 17 crowd in the Parish. I also have some very special memories of the couples in the Pre-Cana groups that my wife, Vivian and I have worked with over the years and especially those couples whose weddings I have witnessed.
An area of special interest to me has always been the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Program. I have been involved with this program for the last 22 years, which includes the 18 years our family have been part of the Faith Community at St. Bernard. The RCIA program is for people who wish to become Roman Catholics and journeying with them to reach this goal has allowed me to see our faith through new eyes over and over again.
I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and allegedly have not lost my accent. Vivian and I have been married for 35 years and have happily survived the raising of our 4 children. I have worked for Deloitte Consulting since 1987 as a consultant and in Human Relations. I am currently pursuing a Masters degree in Theology at Seton Hall University. Previously I received my undergraduate degree in business and a Masters in Counseling.
Besides doing nothing, my other hobbies are traveling, reading and reading about traveling.
Deacon Pat Cline can be reached by e-mailing PJCJR123@yahoo.com or by calling 908-526-5019.
My wife, Debbie, and I have been members of St. Bernard for over 20 years. We have three children – Carmella and her husband Chris, our oldest Ian and his wife, Angela and Luke, who is our youngest. It was with great pleasure that I presided at both Ian and Angela’s wedding and at Carmela and Chris’ as well. I was also privileged to baptize my son, Luke, 15 years ago.
After 30 years practicing law as a private attorney and a State’s prosecutor I retired in 2003. Hallelujah!!!!
I was ordained a deacon 16 years ago and have been assigned to St. Bernard ever since. My diaconate ministry has been very enjoyable and fulfilling. In addition to performing baptisms, weddings, prayer services and assisting and preaching at mass, I am on the parish Stewardship Council and facilitate both our baptism preparation program and our welcoming program for new parishioners, known as New Beginnings, New Friends. I also take communion to the local senior residences and periodically drive the SHIP truck which brings hot meals to the less fortunate.
It’s hard to choose, but I’d say the parts of my ministry I enjoy the most are probably marriage preparation of couples for their wedding and meeting young couples through my baptism preparation ministry. I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 908-725-3288.
Our Deacon Paul is a retired businessman. Sadly, Paul recently lost his lovely wife of over 50 years, Merle. Paul and Merle have been the proud parents of seven children, thirteen grandchildren, six of which have been baptized by their grandfather.
In 1996, shortly after his ordination to the diaconate, Paul had the joy of presiding at the wedding of one of his children, his son Matthew to his wife Cheryl.
Deacon Paul is dedicated to bringing the Eucharist to those members of society who cannot participate in regular weekly liturgy. He has facilitated an extensive Eucharistic Ministry, complete with inspiring Communion services to Nursing Home and Assisted Living residents. Some of the facilities served by this ministry are Harborside – Woodsedge Extended Care Facility and the Avalon and Centerbridge Assisted Living Facilities in Bridgewater, as Well as Raritan Health and Extended Care in Raritan.
Paul loves the “great outdoors.” His hobbies are all things having to do with sun, surf, or snow.
Deacon Paul Anderson is a retired deacon who is still a member of the parish. We thank Deacon Paul for his many years of service.
Office of Catechetical Formation
Parish Catechetical Leader and Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation
Karen has been involved in faith formation ministry for over twenty years, prior to joining St. Bernard, Karen served as PCL at Our Lady of the Mount in Warren for fourteen years. She possesses a Master Catechist Certification from Felician College, Lodi, NJ, and a Catechist Accreditation in Religious Education through the Diocese of Metuchen. Karen is passionate about welcoming children and their families to the traditions and beauty of our Catholic faith and fostering a closer, more personal relationship with Jesus.
In addition to directing the faith formation program at Our Lady of the Mount, Karen has been active in several parish ministries, forming a faith-sharing group for catechists, singing in the Contemporary Choir and serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Together with her husband, Eric, they served as Pre-Cana and Baptismal preparation facilitators.
Karen and Eric have two sons, Evan, currently serving in the US Navy as an Ensign in Washington, DC, and Andrew, a junior at Seton Hall University. Just last year they added to the family when they adopted Lily, an adorable Chihuahua-terrier mix.
As Director of the PreSchool and Kindergarten Mrs.Barbara Turse is fortunate to work with an amazing staff of certified professionals, all of whom are dedicated to the Best Practices of Early Childhood Education!
Our school is licensed by the State of New Jersey. We also incorporate the Diocese of Metuchen’s “Positively Early Childhood Guidelines” into our daily curriculum!
Our Early Childhood and Kindergarten Programs not only offer young children developmentally appropriate ways to learn about colors, numbers, letters and sharing…but the children also learn about themselves, their family and friends, and the physical world around them in the context of a caring and loving Catholic educational environment. The very best educational and spiritual programs are presented by certified teachers who adhere to the highest standards of academic excellence. In addition to opportunities for independent, creative play, our school provides children with a developmentally appropriate program that is designed to promote a positive self image! Each day our activities are well planned to stimulate, satisfy children’s natural curiosity, develop skills and encourage socialization.
Our dedicated staff of certified teachers and assistants provide guidance and lots of TLC bringing years of teaching expertise to help guide parents in their children’s first years of school. Children will have weekly, special activities such as Religion, Physical Education, Music, and Cultural Arts. Holiday themes, hands on Science, Computers, Storytelling and Educational Class trips enrich our academic curriculum! Holiday parties and visitors from the library, dental office, police and fire departments all add to the fun!
Please call me to schedule a private tour for you and your child.
I look forward to meeting you and engaging your child in our school’s wonderful world of Early Childhood Education!
Christina Blalock is the Director of Sacred Music for St. Bernard Church. Christina plays organ and piano for liturgy and directs the Children’s Choir, Parish Choir and coaches Cantors. Anyone interested in participating in Music Ministry either as a singer or instrumentalist is encouraged to contact Christina. She also assists in planning music for particular liturgies, such as weddings and funerals. Contact Christina at (908) 725-0552 x 807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Manager & Administrative Assistant to the Pastor
Virginia (Ginny) Hayden, is our Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to our Pastor, Msgr. Joe Celano. She can be reached by phone at 908-725-0552 ext. 802, and by email at email@example.com. Please feel free to call upon Ginny with any of your parish needs, concerns, with any questions you may have, or if you have something you would like brought to the attention of the pastor. Ginny is also the person to call if you would like to schedule an appointment with Msgr. Joe.
Receptionist, Parish Registrar and Baptism & Wedding Preparation
Donna Blanton our Receptionist and Parish Registrar will be happy to greet you and to address or direct any needs you may have. Donna handles our registration process and sacramental preparation for Baptism and Matrimony. Please call Donna at 908-725-0552, ext. 800. Donna can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine keeps the parish calendar current and also is responsible for managing the parish website. In addition, Christine also prepares the parish weekly bulletin which is distributed after all weekend masses and is available online via the parish website. Please contact Christine regarding any parish calendar scheduling need and to also submit items for the parish bulletin. She can be reached at 908-725-0552 ext. 818 or via email at email@example.com. Please note all submissions for the parish bulletin are due no later than Noon Sunday for publication in the upcoming Sunday’s bulletin.
Bill Chmielewski, our Maintenance Supervisor is always hard at work fixing our small emergencies. If you or your ministry need to make any special arrangements for time or space which would involve the set up of an area or if you want to report an issue with maintenance, Bill can be reached at extension 819 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Curtis is in charge of accounting and bookeeping here at St. Bernard and is in the parish office at different times during the weekdays and some evenings as well. If you have any parish financial questions, you may reach Brian at 908-725-0552 x821.
Work Phone: 908 725 0552work
Evelyn Mutek is our Parish Sacristan, and is in charge of making our priests and our parish look good every Sunday by working behind the scenes to get everything setup and broken down in the church and chapel. She also makes sure that we have all the hosts, wines, etc. that are needed to ensure the smooth, reverent celebration of liturgy here at St. Bernard. Her association with the parish goes back many, many years, to when we were still located in Raritan. In fact Evelyn is the person who has been a part of St. Bernard longer than anyone else on staff. She can be reached by calling the parish office and leaving a message for her
Buddy is Msgr Joe’s Dog and is in charge of the Rectory when no one is around. He is a sweet, Golden Retriever who enjoys running through the grass, chasing anything that moves, attempting to get treats from everyone, and jumping over the creek. If you see what appears to be a big, fluffy polar bear running around the rectory property, you can be sure that it is Buddy. He is definitely a special member of our parish family.
St. Bernard Cemetery
Mark LaFleur, our Cemetery Director, has been employed with St. Bernard for over 25 years, managing and maintaining the mausoleums and cemetery grounds, as well as caring for our families before and after bereavement. Mark is available to meet with families and discuss all of the options St. Bernard has to offer, and the importance of choosing a Catholic Cemetery as a final resting place for themselves and their loved ones.
Mary Beth Hansen, our Cemetery Secretary, works out of the cemetery house office on Route 28. Her duties include assisting Mark with new and innovative ideas and programs to serve our families and the maintenance and updating of all cemetery records on computer. Mary Beth also handles all billing and administrative tasks.
If you need to discuss Cemetery business or have questions about St. Bernard Cemetery, including inquiries concerning the purchase or the location of grave-sites or mausoleum spaces, please contact Mary Beth, at 908-725-5566. She will also handle any billing or deed inquiries you may have. Mary Beth is generally in the Cemetery Office, located at 551 Route 28, adjacent to the cemetery, between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM each weekday. You may email the cemetery at email@example.com.