the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newark. When a crisis occurred in Garfield, in the Parish of Our Lady of Mount Virgin, Bishop Walsh immediately appointed Father Dooling as its Pastor. Since Father Dooling was not yet two years ordained, this action on the part of Bishop Walsh was extraordinary. Father Dooling found the parish in very strained circumstances, with deep ills dividing its people. He left it, some 15 years later, firmly established and in the midst of a period of great expansion. Indeed, it was to come to the aid of still another badly floundering parish that Father Dooling was transferred by the then Archbishop Walsh. This other parish, badly in need of a vigorous leader, was our own St. Francis Xavier Parish. Perhaps the two church buildings at the time of the transfer best illustrate the point being made here. In Garfield Father Dooling transformed an unfinished and poorly constructed building, embellished its exterior and
interior, and left the people of Garfield one of the finer church buildings in the Archdiocese. Here at St. Francis Xavier, Father Dooling found a church-school building which had outlived its usefulness, both as a church and as a school.
Father Joseph Dooling and Father Patrick Joseph Owens came to the parish on the same day, August 1. And thus they formed a team with the newly ordained Father Vito Dell'Orto (who had preceded them by a full month)- which was to revolutionize the parish. When he arrived with a direct mandate from Archbishop Walsh, Father Dooling had plans for a complete renovation and, eventu ally , a complete reconstruction of the parish buildings, a new church, rectory, school and convent. But it was the church that engaged his entire attention from the start. The beautiful lines of the psalmist express it best: "I will not enter the house I live in nor lie on the couch where I sleep; I will give my eyes no sleep,my eyelids no rest. Till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the mighty One ofJacob."
The first time that Father Dell'Orto administered the Sacrament of Baptism at St. Francis Xavier, on July 11,
1946, an even dozen babies became Christians. The first time Father Owens baptized, on August 11, 1946, two babies were brought to the font. And the first time Father Dooling performed the rite of Baptism, on September 22, 1946, he poured the saving waters over the heads of ten infants.
On August 18, soon after his arrival, Father Dooling joined in Christian marriage Joseph Nardone and Erma DelGuercio, and Vincent Marone and Margaret Nappi. The statistics, however, which no history can record, are those dealing with souls at Mass, in the confessional and those precious young souls in the school. Father Dooling's consuming interest from the very beginning was in the Mass and Sacraments and for the education of the youth in our parish.
History is often poorly written when it is written too closely after the events it records have taken place. The reason is obvious. The perspective that the distance of time provides is missing. Furthermore, judgments and decisions are easily distorted because prejudice and personal opinion inevitably become bound to the personalities and events involved. More was written, comparatively, of the Mission Era and the Loponte Era, precisely for this reason of distance and the perspective it affords, and not necessarily because of importance. Indeed, the Dooling Era is history still vivid and vibrant in the minds of even the
Fathers Scanlan (left) and McAdam flank Msgr. Dooling after assisting our pastor in the celebration of a Solemn High Mass marking their anniversary in the priesthood. The 10thanniversary of their ordination on May 29 was celebrated on May 31, 1964.