South Jersey Catholics Welcome New Leader

Dioceses faithful attend installation ceremony.

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    TK
    NBC10.com

    "Hallelujah to the faithful... for the people.. are the church whose faith a charity build up the church in our parishes and institutions."

    With that and the rest of his Homily, Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan made his first statements since becoming the leader of South Jersey's nearly 500,000 Catholics spread across 70 parishes in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties.

    Sullivan, 67, became the eighth Bishop of the Camden Diocese when he was installed today during a colorful and musical ceremony before a crowd of about 1,400 people inside St. Agnes Church in Gloucester Township -- an invite only ceremony that drew crowds from near and far as well as a heavy police presence.

    Sullivan is the third brother in his family to relocate from New York, telling the story of the moves drew plenty of laughs from the packed house. He also got a standing ovation from a group of New York Catholics after delivering part of his speech in Spanish.

    Sullivan, who is replacing Bishop Emeritus of Camden Joseph A. Galante, is seen as a personable priest who parishioners hope will spread the message of Christ across all of New Jersey.

    "He's very people oriented and that's what we need because the church is the people," said Dr. Chester Kulak a member of the colorful Knights of Columbus color guard.

    "I'm sure the goals of each of the bishops of the various dioceses in the state of New Jersey all parallel each other to build solidarity across to parishes," Kulak, who hails from the Trenton diocese said.

    Sullivan, a native New Yorker, is fluent not only in English and Spanish but also in Chinese, according to his bio. He has said he will use his language skills and people skills to lead South Jersey's diverse Catholic community.