Among the volunteers for the Diocese’s Anniversary Blessing Masses were those from Bukas Loob sa Diyos (Open in Spirit to God), a multi-cultural community based in St. William the Abbot Parish, Howell. Also shown are diocesan staff. Courtesy photo

Among the volunteers for the Diocese’s Anniversary Blessing Masses were those from Bukas Loob sa Diyos (Open in Spirit to God), a multi-cultural community based in St. William the Abbot Parish, Howell. Also shown are diocesan staff. Courtesy photo

By Jennifer Mauro | Associate Editor

As hundreds of couples from across the Diocese were honored by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., priests, deacons, family and friends during two Anniversary Blessing Masses in October, more than a dozen volunteers were working behind the scenes to make sure those moments would become perfect memories.

“What a difference it makes to have help,” said Josue Arriola, director of the diocesan Department of Youth, Marriage and Family Life.

Diocesan staff was joined by parishioners, hospitality ministers and faith groups from around the Diocese in serving as greeters, ushers, parking attendants and even as helpers during the anniversary blessing during the two Masses. Those celebrating one, 25, 50 or more years were honored Oct. 2 in St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Freehold, and Oct. 16 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

“We’re always looking for ways for people to volunteer so that they can feel like they’re a part of what we do at the Diocese,” Arriola said.

Volunteers came from many parishes, including St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Mary of the Assumption, among others, as well as the Bukas Loob sa Diyos (Open in Spirit to God) multi-cultural community based in St. William the Abbot Parish, Howell.

Those in the Department of Youth, Marriage and Family Life stressed the importance of volunteerism, saying it falls in line with the overall mission of the Church – evangelization, discipleship and togetherness in mission.

“We rely on people from the parish to help us,” said Peg Hensler, the department’s associate director.

Anyone wanting to join the support staff in the Department of Youth, Marriage and Family Life can call Jossie Ramos, bi-lingual assistant to program coordinators, at 609-403-7151.