Father William T. Halbing, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and an international leader in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for nearly 40 years, died Feb. 21 in St. John the Apostle Parish, Linden, where he was parochial vicar. He was 65.

Funeral services were held Feb. 25 in St. James Church, Springfield. Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover.

“Father Bill worked tirelessly to advance the Kingdom of God because he wanted everyone to experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Father Jeffrey Kegley, Trenton Diocesan liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and pastor of St. Mary Parish, Middletown. 

“He loved Jesus and wanted everyone to know this love.”  

Father Halbing was born in Orange and was raised in Union. He graduated from Seton Hall University and Immaculate Conception Seminary, both South Orange, where he earned a master of divinity degree; a master’s degree in Jewish-Christian Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. He was ordained a priest Oct. 30, 1982, by Archbishop Peter L. Gerety.

Throughout his priesthood, Father Halbing served in numerous parish communities including Divine Mercy, Rahway, 1983-1984, and then as parochial vicar of St. Paul of the Cross, Jersey City. He was named pastor of Sts. Joseph and Michael Parish, Union City, in 1997, later transferring to St. Antoninus Parish, Newark, where he was pastor until 2012. After a brief time at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Scotch Plains, Father Halbing served in St. Mary Parish, Middletown; St. Matthew Parish, Ridgefield, and St. John the Apostle since 2020.

Along with his parish assignments, Father Halbing was well known for his passion for Biblical/Scriptural exegesis and his rare teachings of in-depth, line-by-line Bible studies. Since 1975 he was in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and was a much sought after Bible teacher and preacher. He had been a guest speaker at national Charismatic Conferences throughout the United States, Canada, Guyana, Philippines and Eastern Europe, and he was also a frequent speaker at Charismatic events in the Trenton Diocese.

“There was no day off for him,” Father Kegley said, noting that he first met Father Halbing in the mid-1980s at a New Jersey Catholic Charismatic Conference. “He traveled from parish to parish offering Bible studies almost every day of the week. He was single-focused on the Lord and the call for all of Christ’s faithful to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. He totally surrendered himself to the Lord and emptied himself in serving God’s people.”

Debbie Gaudino of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank, shared similar sentiments about Father Halbing as she recalled knowing him more than 15 years through her work with the Diocese of Trenton-Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

“I have heard him say many times that his role as a priest was to get us, the people he ministered to, to heaven,” she said. “One great lesson I learned from Father Bill was the importance of the Word of God in the life of everyday Catholics. He devoted countless hours toward leading Scripture studies and his knowledge of Hebrew added great depth to those studies.”

Similar to Father Kegley, Gaudino said Father Halbing’s “entire life and priesthood was oriented toward a deep, reverent and total praise of God.

“His desire was to lead others into this life of praise through is preaching and teaching, not only in this life but forever in eternity,” Gaudino said.

Father Halbing was predeceased by his parents George and Bernadette Mulligan Halbing. He is survived by two brothers, a sister-in-law, and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.