New Community Extended Care Facility Welcomes Cardinal Tobin to Bless Chapel

Watch a video of the event:

New Community Extended Care Facility, 266 South Orange Ave., Newark, welcomed Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark, for mass on March 27 where he blessed the facility’s newly finished chapel.

New Community Interim Board Chairman Edgar Nemorin welcomed Cardinal Tobin, priests, New Community Board members, NCC staff members and Extended Care residents and staff to the inaugural mass.

“As we gather today for this blessing at this holy sanctuary, we are honored and appreciative to have Cardinal Tobin celebrate the first mass here,” he said. “Let this place be a safe place for peace and reflection for all because we are all God’s children.”

New Community CEO Simone Gagneron said Cardinal Tobin’s visit to Extended Care was very meaningful.

“Cardinal Tobin’s presence was inspirational and impactful for both residents and staff at Extended Care,” she said. “We thank him for holding mass and blessing the facility’s chapel, which will serve residents of all faiths.”

Cardinal Tobin first visited Extended Care in February 2018 and conducted mass in the facility’s then smaller chapel. New Community founder Monsignor William J. Linder invited Cardinal Tobin to hold mass in the chapel, which was dedicated to Pope Francis. At the time, plans were in the works to expand the chapel to what it is today. At the end of that visit, Cardinal Tobin promised to return to bless the renovated chapel. Monsignor Linder passed away in June 2018, but the chapel renovations were completed and New Community staff members reached back out to Cardinal Tobin to invite him back.

“I’m delighted to return here and to feel the spirit of Monsignor Linder,” Cardinal Tobin said.

Extended Care Administrator Veronica Onwunaka was present in 2018 when Cardinal Tobin first visited. She said for his most recent visit to occur during the most holy week of the Catholic calendar was remarkable and that she was blessed to be leading the facility during the spiritual visit.

“It is something that will forever remain in our lives and in the history of this facility,” she said. “The Cardinal’s visit continued to strengthen our faith and continued to give us that zeal to get up every day and do the best we can to better the lives of our residents and everyone who comes into our building.”

A group of Extended Care residents sang during the mass, including solo performances by Evone Wooten and King Percy.

To ensure Extended Care all residents and staff members could participate, video of the mass was streamed in the Activity Room.

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