The greatest sorrow in the building of the church was the period of almost two years when the building of the half-finished edifice was at a standstill. Every day that Father Dooling descended from the precarious perch upon which his small, wooden rectory stood, and crossed over to the empty, incompleted and dormant building, added to this sorrow. But in God's good time work did begin again, and Father Dooling plunged into it with undiminished energy. When the smallest and last section of stained glass and mosaic, when the last wooden fixture and piece of marble had been put in place, then and only then did the pastor, priests and people of the parish breathe a sigh of thanksgiving and relief.

 

The entire parish rose with immense pride on Sunday, November 23, 1952, the day on which our new church was dedicated by Bishop James McNulty, the Administrator of the Archdiocese. Archbishop Walsh had gone to God before this glorious day, but he had blessed and laid the cornerstone in October, 1950, and he had insisted on blessing the foundation walls and basement, walking down the steeply inclined ramps despite the suggestion of Father Dooling that it was dangerous.

 

On the Dedication Day Father Dooling had the added pleasure of seeing his close friend, Bishop Boland of Paterson, come to his magnificent new church to celebrate the very first Mass - a solemn Pontifical Service. One half of his dream had been realized. God had a beautiful

 

house, wherein his people would worship Him with dignity. Father Dooling certainly did not subscribe to the offensive opinion that a church should not be ornate and beautiful. He did not fall victim to those who decry the marble that is placed in the House of the Lord, and then in turn applaud the embellishments of houses of their public officials.

 

The completion of half of his immediate goal for the parish brought Father Dooling the honor of being made a Domestic Prelate of the Holy Father, with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor. No one doubted that it was a tribute to his personal merits, yet he also insisted that it was an honor for his people as well.

 

A few brief sentences are needed to record a rather remarkable concomitant work which was done during this period of church construction. Before the church was completed work was begun on the new rectory, but due to a conflict with the construction company, Father Dooling organized his own construction crew and engaged subcontractors to finish the building. On the day of the church dedication the cornerstone of the rectory was also laid, and in less than four months - in March, 1953 - the priests of the parish were housed in their new parochial home. In 1954 Father Wells was transferred from St. Francis Xavier, after capably serving its people for five years. Due to the ill health of Father Owens, Archbishop Boland sent two newly ordained priests to the parish; Father Charles Scanlan and Father John McAdam. Some time later, Father Owens was reassigned to St. Rose of Lima in Short Hills. And in June, 1956, Father Vincent Bonelli came to us directly from his ordination to the priesthood. Thus it was that Father Dell'Orto, with the enthusiastic aid of three very young priests, strongly supported the program of activities that Monsignor Dooling planned with them and helped put into practice. A transformation took place in the church societies.

 

An intense activity developed in the teaching of the Faith to grammar school pupils, high school students, and adult Catholics. There was a vibrant interest in pub-

 

Parish trustees, the Honorable Anthony GiulianfJ(left) and Michael Walsh, Sr. (right), flank Mayor Ralph Villani and U. S. Representative Peter Rodino at the dedication service and first Mass.