In this 2014 photo, Father Rocco A. Cuomo greets parishioners following a Mass he celebrated in St. Leo the Great Church, Lincroft.  Rosemary Daniels Photo
In this 2014 photo, Father Rocco A. Cuomo greets parishioners following a Mass he celebrated in St. Leo the Great Church, Lincroft. Rosemary Daniels Photo
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will be principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial for Father Rocco A. Cuomo, a retired priest of the Diocese who died Nov. 21. The Mass will be at 11 a.m. Nov. 25 in St. Leo the Great Church, 50 Hurleys Lane, Lincroft, where Father Cuomo most recently served as a weekend assistant. Visitation will precede the Mass at 10 a.m. and all COVID-19 diocesan directives for indoor gatherings will be observed. Homilist will be Father John Folchetti, pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish.

Born in 1938 in Newark, Father Cuomo prepared for the priesthood at St. Charles College, Catonsville, Md., and St. Mary Seminary and University, Baltimore. He was ordained by Bishop George W. Ahr May 23, 1964, in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

As parochial vicar, Father Cuomo served in the parishes of St. Ambrose, Old Bridge (now part of the Metuchen Diocese); St. Anthony, Hamilton (now part of Our Lady of Sorrows–St. Anthony Parish); Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Maple Shade; Sacred Heart, Mount Holly; St. Mary, Colts Neck; St. Paul, Princeton, and St. Mary of the Lake, Lakewood (now part of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish).

Among the parishes where Father Cuomo served as temporary administrator were Sacred Heart, Mount Holly; Holy Family, Union Beach; Holy Spirit, Asbury Park (now part of Mother of Mercy Parish); St. Ann, Keansburg; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Seaside Heights (now part of St. Junipero Serra Parish, Seaside Park); St. Anthony of Padua, Red Bank, and St. Barnabas, Bayville.

Father Cuomo was pastor of St. Ann, Keansburg, from 1986 to 1990. He was appointed a parochial vicar at St. Barnabas, Bayville, in 1990 and was pastor there from 1994 to 2000. Following his assignment in St. Barnabas Parish, he was named a parochial vicar in St. Rose of Lima Parish, Freehold, and served there from 2000 until his retirement in 2008. He, however, returned to St. Rose of Lima Parish in June 2009 to serve as temporary administrator until May of 2010. In retirement he was a weekend assistant at St. Leo the Great Parish.

Among other positions in which Father Cuomo had served include the Continuing Education Committee of the Council of Priests and moderator of the Burlington County Catholic Young Adult Club. Bishop John C. Reiss permitted him to be the first priest to establish a full-time Catholic chaplaincy in a secular hospital: Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune.

Following the funeral Mass, Father Cuomo will be buried in Newark. Burial arrangements are private.