The Catholic Advocate Vol. 66, No. 13 November 15, 2017 Vol. 66 No. 13 November 15, 2017 The community newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark After retirement, Bishop Flesey continues life of service, ministry S ince he was a young man, Bishop John W. Flesey, S.T.D., has always felt at home in the church. As a student at Saint Aedan’s Grammar School in Jersey City, he would often spontaneously stop into church to pray. “It was a bit unusual for a child,” he admitted. “I would just walk into the church and sit quietly. I guess you could say I was meditating, even though I didn’t know what that was at the time.” After 48 years of priestly min- istry and 13 years serving as auxil- iary bishop of the archdiocese and Regional Bishop of Bergen County, Bishop Flesey officially retired last month. At 75, he still has the same enthusiasm for the church that he did as young boy. “That’s the secret—being a priest has to be something that you’re passionate about,” he said. Although he has officially retired as regional bishop, Bishop Flesey will continue serving as pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Franklin Lakes and fulfilling epis- copal responsibilities. He calls this transitional phase of his ministry a “hyper-active existence.” “I do about 70 confirmations every year. I love doing it—I enjoy speaking to young people. If you don’t talk for too long and you are By Melissa McNally Editor CONCERN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, MIGRATION Page 4 BLUE MASS Page 7 AROUND THE ARCHDIOCESE Page 13 APPOINTMENTS Page 8 CLASSIFIEDS Page 14 Continued on page 2 nice to people, they keep asking you back,” Bishop Flesey said with a laugh. While presiding over a confirma- tion at his home parish a few years ago, he was reminded of a fond mem- ory from his youth. “At Saint Ae- dan’s, there is a marble seat reserved for the bishop,” he recalled. “We were told not to sit in the bishop’s chair. When I was in fourth grade, I was asked to run an errand in the church. There was no one there so I sat in the marble chair for about five seconds and then quickly ran away. And then, 60 years later, here I was, sitting in the seat as a bishop.” Bishop Flesey and his family were active in parish life; he was an altar server, his older sisters were members of the choir, and his father was a lector. In his senior year at Saint Peter’s University, he decided to pursue the priesthood. Bishop John W. Flesey, S.T.D. Coalition of religious leaders endorses DreamAct Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin was among 33 religious leaders who called for congressional support of the Dream Act of 2017 (S 1615/ HR 3440). In a Nov. 2 statement, the Coa- lition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey endorsed the bill that would protect almost 800,000 youth who entered the United States as chil- dren and know America as their only home. Tens of thousands “dreamers” reside in the Garden State. The group expressed concern and opposition to President Don- ald Trump’s plan to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. In Sep- tember, the President rescinded the program and asked Congress to find a legislative fix. The Trump administration released a 70-point immigration policy on Oct. 8, which includes 27 different suggestions on border security; 39 improvements to en- forcement on immigration laws in the U.S.; and four major changes to the legal immigration system. “We believe that this action is a clear violation of our faith prin- ciples of hospitality, compassion and justice,” the group stated. “We believe the President’s decision to end DACA threatens the emotional, social, and economic stability for millions of individuals and tears at the fabric of our country.” The young people who have been protected from deportation by DACA, the coalition noted, make significant contributions to the economy “attend our schools, serve in our military, are members of our faith communities.” The religious leaders con- demned the idea that undocument- ed immigrants are to “blame for the economic and social problems” in America. “It is for us a moral imperative that we call upon our representa- tives in Congress to support the Dream Act of 2017,” the statement read. “We call upon our member congregations to pray and advocate for the ‘dreamer’ and to uphold the dignity of every person and work for the common good. Let us exemplify our best ideals and beliefs.” CNS photo