Some 1,000 faithful  gather with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., for the first Mass  that Cohort 19 hosted at the Belmar Beach gazebo in August, 2017. This year, the Mass with the Bishop will be celebrated Sept. 8 in Maclearie Park, Route 35, Belmar.  Joe Moore photo
Some 1,000 faithful gather with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., for the first Mass that Cohort 19 hosted at the Belmar Beach gazebo in August, 2017. This year, the Mass with the Bishop will be celebrated Sept. 8 in Maclearie Park, Route 35, Belmar. Joe Moore photo

For the third consecutive year, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will join faithful from the parishes that comprise Cohort 19 for the celebration of Mass in Belmar.

The Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 8 in Maclearie Park, Route 35, Belmar.

Expected to concelebrate the Mass with the Bishop will be priests from the Cohort 19 parishes, which are St. Rose, Belmar; St. Mark, Sea Girt; St. Teresa of Calcutta, Avon; St. Catharine-St. Margaret, Spring Lake, and Holy Innocents, Neptune, which recently joined the Cohort.

The Mass was first celebrated in 2017 at the Belmar Beach gazebo; last year it was moved to St. Rose Church due to rain.

Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, called the annual event “exciting” and a wonderfully unifying gift to Cohort parishes.

“‘Gathered as One’ is the theme that we gave this Mass when we first started it three years ago,” he said, “and I think that says it all. We need occasions like this to meet one another from neighboring parishes and to share talents and gifts at this Eucharist.”

Working together was key, stated Cohort 19 chair Tom Mullooly, who revealed planning and publicity for such Masses begins in January.

“One of the points we have repeatedly reminded ourselves in Cohort meetings is our mission to collaborate,” Mullooly said. “Instead of simply inviting the other parishes to come to a parish event, we have worked in collaborative fashion to put this together. [It] is a great opportunity to evangelize.”

During the Mass, individuals and groups from all Cohort member parishes will be represented. A choir composed of members from the Cohort 19 parishes will share their talents singing in English and Spanish. Readers will represent the Cohort parishes, as will Knights of Columbus, altar servers and youth serving as greeters. Catholic school youth will present the gifts of bread and wine during the Mass.

Families from the three schools of the Cohort (St. Catharine Grammar School and St. Rose Grammar and High schools) are encouraged to attend. A free-will donation at the Mass will be divided to benefit the three schools.

Maclearie Park is located at 905 Route 35 near the Belmar Marina. The Mass begins at 10 a.m., but attendees are encouraged to bring beach chairs and arrive by 9:30 a.m. for the choir prelude. Parking is plentiful in and around the park. In case of inclement weather, the Mass will be celebrated indoors at the St. Rose High School gymnasium, 607 7th Ave., Belmar.