Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., right, congratulates Msgr. Edward Arnister on his 40th anniversary of priestly ordination. Msgr. Arnister celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving and then a dinner was held in his honor. Courtesy photo
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., right, congratulates Msgr. Edward Arnister on his 40th anniversary of priestly ordination. Msgr. Arnister celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving and then a dinner was held in his honor. Courtesy photo
Msgr. Edward J. Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, marked the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination May 19 with a Mass of Thanksgiving and followed by a dinner. Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., was in attendance as well as scores of brother priests and parishioners from the various parishes where Msgr. Arnister has served..

Msgr. Edward J. Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, was born in 1953 in Trenton, and his home parish was St. Hedwig Parish, Trenton.

A graduate of St. Hedwig Grammar School and Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, Msgr. Arnister attended St. Mary College, Orchard Lake, Michigan, and later entered Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, also in Orchard Lake. He received a master of divinity degree from Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in May, 1979, as well as a master of theology degree from the University of Detroit. He was ordained a priest May 19, 1979, by Bishop George W. Ahr in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

Upon his ordination, Msgr. Arnister was assigned to Corpus Christi Parish, Willingboro, before being asked by then-Bishop John C. Reiss to further his education. He received his license in canon law from The Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1983, and upon his return to the Diocese of Trenton, Msgr. Arnister worked in the Chancery Office as assistant chancellor. He was later appointed vice chancellor of the Diocese and secretary and master of ceremonies to Bishop Reiss. In his service to the Diocesan Tribunal, Msgr. Arnister has served as advocate and defender of the bond, prosynodal judge and notary, and he was also judge, defender of the bond and advocate for the Interdiocesan Tribunal. He was named a monsignor in 1993.

On the parish level, Msgr. Arnister has served Holy Cross Parish, Trenton, in the capacities of parochial vicar, temporary administrator and pastor, a post he was named to in 1995. In 1999, in addition to his duties with the diocese and Holy Cross, Msgr. Arnister was asked to take on the pastorate for St. Stanislaus Parish, Trenton, and the administrator post for Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. In 2005, when the diocese conducted a study of parishes in the Greater Trenton area, the three parishes Msgr. Arnister headed were merged into Divine Mercy Parish, where he was then named founding pastor. Msgr. Arnister was named pastor or St. Rose Parish, Belmar, in 2011.