Wonder Wand • A young member of St. Justin the Martyr Parish is fascinated with his soapy creation at the Sept. 17 picnic. Games and camaraderie made the picnic a joy-filled opportunity to celebrate 45 years of the Catholic faith community’s presence.
Wonder Wand • A young member of St. Justin the Martyr Parish is fascinated with his soapy creation at the Sept. 17 picnic. Games and camaraderie made the picnic a joy-filled opportunity to celebrate 45 years of the Catholic faith community’s presence.

Two faith communities of the Diocese of Trenton marked the sapphire jubilees of their founding as the parish families of St. Justin the Martyr, Toms River, and St. Mary, Colts Neck, celebrated 45 years with events designed to strengthen bonds while having fun.

“Love Thy Neighbor” was the exhortation of St. Mary Parish during its Sept. 15 gala benefit held in the home of parishioners and hosts, Juan and Marta Gutierrez. Food tasting, a gift auction and music enhanced the event, which, as Father Jeffrey E. Lee, pastor, commented, was intended “to stop and give thanks to Almighty God for the countless blessings we have received in building the Kingdom of God in our midst.”

A sea of red T-shirt-wearing revelers, including Father Mark A. Kreder, pastor, was present on the Toms River campus of St. Justin the Martyr Parish during the fourth annual parish picnic Sept. 17. Music by an upbeat disc jockey provided the crowd with a soundtrack for the family fun, games, kids’ activities and bake-off contest, while the laughter of hungry parishioners, as well as soap bubbles, rippled over the buffet tables of food.