Ever since his 2003 priestly ordination, Father Robert Holtz has been dedicated to serving the people in the parishes to which he has been assigned. And it’s being with the people, in the best of times as well as in times of challenges and sorrow that gives him the greatest joy and sense of fulfillment.

Father Holtz is happily continuing to be present and of service to his new community of St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, New Egypt, where he was installed as pastor during a Mass Sept. 26. Father Edward Blanchett, episcopal vicar of Ocean County and pastor of Visitation Parish, Brick, presided over the installation which was held in the Assumption Church worship site in Wrightstown. The parish actually has three worship sites with the other two being Assumption Chapel, hall and parish office located in New Egypt, and St. Andrew Church, Jobstown.

“I’m extremely happy and excited to be appointed pastor of St. Isidore the Farmer Parish,” he said. “In the few months that I have been here, I have experienced a faith-filled spirit, as well as a great dedication to the parish community.”

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Father Holtz described his new parish as having 2,700 parishioners; about 300 students in the religious education program, and a bounty of ministries that includes an Altar-Rosary Society, Knights of Columbus council; St. Andrew’s Youth Group; a St. Vincent de Paul conference; and a Loaves and Fishes program, among others. He is also grateful to his staff that includes two full-time and eight part-time employees for their assistance as he continues to learn about the community.

As he went table to table during the reception that followed his installation Mass, Father Holtz enjoyed chatting with the parishioners and keeping them company as they ate their lunch.

If there’s anything he’s hopeful for he said it’s to have “everyone returning as COVID recovery continues so that parish life, ministries and the various parish events that I’ve heard all about can resume fully in our community.

“I ask God’s blessing on myself and most importantly the people of St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, our Bishop and our Diocese,” said Father Holtz. “St. Isidore the Farmer, pray for us!”