Father John J. Scully
Father John J. Scully
Father John J. Scully, a retired priest of the Diocese who celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination on May 20, died July 30.

Funeral services will begin with a wake Aug. 4 from 5:30-9 p.m. in St. Clement Church, 172 Freneau Ave., Matawan. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Aug. 5 at 11 a.m. in St. Clement Church.

Born in Trenton in May 1944, Father Scully attended St. Philip Neri School, Boston, and St. Charles College, Catonsville, Md. He prepared for the priesthood in St. Mary Seminary and University, Baltimore, where he received his Master of Divinity degree and was ordained a priest May 20, 1972, by Bishop George W. Ahr in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

After ordination, Father Scully’s first assignment was as parochial vicar of Corpus Christi Parish, Willingboro. Three years later he moved to St. Mary Parish, Middletown, where he was parochial vicar and his responsibilities included both St. Mary Grammar School and Mater Dei High School (which became Mater Dei Prep, now closed). Further assignments included two years in St. James Parish, Woodbridge (now in the Metuchen Diocese), followed by time in St. Barnabas Parish, Bayville.

His first assignment as pastor came in 1982 when he moved to Holy Innocents Parish, Neptune. While ministering there, he also served as chaplain of the Neptune Police Department for 15 years, looking forward to the Blue Mass celebrated in the diocesan Cathedral each year.

While ministering in Holy Innocents, Father Scully formed a committee in 1990 to determine interest in and support for the construction of a new church building – and 88 percent of parishioners agreed it was a worthy investment. The parish raised $1.2 million in pledges; following its construction, the new worship space was dedicated by Bishop John C. Reiss in 1992.

Father Scully served on the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal along with Msgr. Edward Strano, who later recommended Father Scully to replace him as pastor of St. Clement Parish, Matawan, upon his own retirement.

Father Scully served as pastor of St. Clement Parish for 18 years, retiring from active ministry in 2015. Notable accomplishments during his pastorate included the establishment of House of Hope, a property converted into a meeting space for various support groups; structural improvements to St. Clement Parish property, and intentional involvement in the spiritual development of young parishioners, regularly inviting children to come to the altar following the Gospel reading to talk about Jesus’ message in the Scriptures.

During his time in St. Clement, he served as chaplain of the Aberdeen Police Department and witnessed firsthand the devastation at Ground Zero. St. Clement Parish lost six parishioners in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In January 2011, Father Scully was honored by the Matawan Borough Council as “Citizen of the Year” for his years of faithful service to the community. St. Clement Parish also honored him by naming the religious education building after him, in recognition of his support for religious education and youth of the parish.

In retirement, Father Scully served in various parishes and lived in Villa Vianney, the diocesan residence for retired priests.

Father Scully will be buried in St. Gabriel Cemetery, Marlboro.