Rev. Cesar J. Quiñones
Fr. Juan Carlos Velasquez-Ducayín
I am originally from Venezuela. I was always involved in the Church, as a Sunday Catholic but I never imagined that God would call me to be a priest. I was going to school and looking for my path in this world. After getting involved with the Neocatechumenal Way, a way of Christian Initiation, I began to understand my faith in a deeper way, and to change my life little by little into a more Christian way of living. My plan was always to get married and to become an engineer, but when I was invited by my pastor to a national youth conference, something changed. I felt that God was calling me to something greater than what I had planned for myself, for the first time I thought about the priesthood. I was initially scared, I didn’t know what to do, who to turn to, or even if this was really the Lord calling. But with the help of a youth discernment group at my parish I was able to understand that God was calling me.
I was invited to attend to the seminary in Venezuela for a year to see if it was something that I liked and to further discern. After a couple of semesters, I felt that God was definitely calling me, but calling me to be a missionary priest. I attended a vocation retreat in Porto San Giorgio, Italy, where about 300 young men just like me were to be sent out to missionary seminaries throughout the world. This was a very scary process because we were sent by lottery. Everyone who wanted to go to a missionary seminary placed their name on a piece of paper in a big basket. The retreat leader would name a seminary and a country and then pick out a name and asked if we accepted. I could have been sent to India or Africa or Europe but God sent me to the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey.
I attended the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary here in Kearny, New Jersey and I graduated from Seton Hall in 2018. I was ordained a Priest for the Archdiocese of Newark. I am very happy to serve this diocese and even happier to have been assigned to Kearny, which has been my home for these past few years.
Fr. Richard J. Mroz
Retired Priest in Residence
Fr. Dick is originally from Wisconsin. He served for 4 years in the USAF as a mechanic/crew chief on the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft in Tucson, AZ, Vietnam and Thailand. After military service he worked at Ford Motor Company for 5 years as a draftsman/designer in Dearborn, MI.
After some seminary study in Michigan, in 1985 he moved to New Jersey to join the Community of God’s Love in Rutherford, a Catholic Charismatic Community. While there he worked for 2 years at Mid-town Drugs in Kearny stocking shelves, delivering prescription drugs to residents in the area and serving as an all around “go-for”.
He entered Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University, completed his theological studies and received a Master of Divinity degree. He was then ordained a priest for the Archdioceses of Newark by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick in 1992.
Fr. Dick has served in St. Aedan’s in Jersey City, St. Philip the Apostle in Saddle Brook, St. Joseph’s in Oradell, St. Leo’s in Irvington, as well as for two years as a pastor in Wisconsin, and for three years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His last assignment was as a Hospital Chaplain at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, New Jersey.
Since retiring from his ministry as a Hospital Chaplain in 2016, Fr. Dick has been involved in the pastoral ministry of St. Cecilia and Our Lady of Sorrows parishes.