First look
“Out of the Ashes Came Hope”

To debut Spring 2013

A very young Linder with his father.

A young Father Linder works with youth on a voter education drive.


"50 People I Admire"
by Monsignor William J. Linder
(third in a series)

In my nearly 45 years here at the helm of New Community, I have met some most interesting and influential people. Many of these individuals are mentioned in a book I am currently working on about my life.

Special recognition will be given to all 50 at New Community's 45th Anniversary Gala taking place on March 9, 2013.

Sister Catherine Moran

Sister Catherine Moran, a Dominican Sister of Sparkill, became the first non-ordained woman, in September 2000, to offer the opening prayer of the daily session of the House of Representatives. The late Rep. Donald Payne, Sr., a long time friend of NCC and Monsignor Linder, nominated her to offer the prayer. Sister Catherine was a long time employee of New Community, commuting 3 hours a day for over 20 years, to serve in the Human Resources Department, where she assisted in many areas of the NCC network. When discussing her experiences at NCC, she would recall, "Monsignor has a really soft heart on many issues, but he is far from weak when it comes to justice, greed, and helping children and the poor and he always found a way to get things done for their sake. He never accepted "no" for an answer and had a way of finding or attracting the right person to get exactly what he needed. He had a true gift of knowing when to present 'The Ask,' which was a common term among development directors when asking for financial assistance."

"Sister Catherine is the only person who can put me in my place and keep me quiet. She always found a way to make things work for us at NCC. She was passionate about her service to the community and I could not help but respect her true nature as an honest and decent person. I really can't say enough good things about her."

Monsignor William J. Linder

The Most Reverend Peter Leo Gerety, D.D. Archbishop Emeritus of Newark

It was Archbishop Gerety who assigned the distinguished title of "Monsignor" to "Father" Linder in an effort to protect him during a time when "Father" Linder was challenging the Newark Catholic Archdiocese. The title of "Monsignor" gave Linder more power and clout. He would need it, as Monsignor was a leader among a coalition of "Twenty Priests" who formed a movement in which they raised questions on behalf of their urban, black parishioners. For example, the priests confronted the Archdiocese about its neglect of urban parishes. The "Twenty Priests," as they were dubbed, held a press conference that was attended by a wide range of media, where they publicly accused Archbishop Thomas Boland of being racist for not supporting the needs of the black community. Their grievances ranged from education to housing and the allocation of funds when it came to meeting those needs of the black community. They also felt the black community should have some input as to what priests would be assigned to their churches. The Twenty Priests Movement received national attention with headlines that read: "Newark Priests Warn Church: Expel Racism."

"Archbishop Gerety kept me from going too far and hurting myself. My passion for helping Newark parishioners blinded me from the potential of being ousted from my own church. That would have been disastrous to not only my lifelong ambitions but to the work we were all struggling to accomplish."

Monsignor William J. Linder

Richard Joseph Hughes, 45th Governor of New Jersey

Governor Hughes was the only man to serve NJ as both Governor and Chief Justice. In his two terms as governor, he expanded state services for the handicapped, improved education and created the state's county college system. When Gov. Hughes took office in 1962, New Jersey was one of only a handful of states that had neither an income tax nor a sales tax. His tax bill negotiations played a key role in the enactment of the income tax several years later. After leaving the Governor's post, Hughes went on to serve as Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1973 to 1979. The court began prodding the Legislature to find a way to eliminate educational inequities.

"While in Trenton, I got acquainted with Governor Richard Hughes, who was a real activist. His appointment of Robert Lilly to the 'Lilly Commission' later proved to be critical in rebuilding Newark. Gov. Hughes was an advocate and was instrumental in helping establish the county college system and Essex County College. This made post-secondary education possible for many Newark families who otherwise would not be able to afford college for their young adult children."

Monsignor William J. Linder


James C. Kellogg

James C. Kellogg grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey in a Wall Street family active in public affairs. Jim has had three careers---as an attorney, from 1965 to 1970 and from 1973 to 1994; as an investment banker, from 1970 to 1973 and as President of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, from 1994 to 2002. He married his high school sweetheart, Gail Chambers, in 1962 and they have three children and nine grandchildren. Governor Byrne appointed Kellogg to the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and NJ Chief Justice Richard Hughes appointed him to the Board of Prudential Insurance Company of America. In the early 1980's, Governor Thomas Kean re-appointed him to the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency where he met Monsignor Linder, a fellow board member. In 1990, Governor Florio appointed him to the board of New Jersey Transit. In 1994, Kellogg left the practice of law to become CEO of the Community Foundation, where he worked with Florence Williams, a board member of the Community Foundation and Director of Human Development at New Community Corporation. The selection committee for the Community Foundation's new President told Kellogg that it had been impressed by his knowledge of inner city issues, which Monsignor Linder had helped him better understand.

"Jim helped us tremendously when we needed support for our Pathmark project. The project was a huge undertaking and Jim's leadership in this area really helped us bring the first supermarket into Newark since the 67' riots. Not only that, he has really been a long time friend of NCC and thinks of us often in his own philanthropy."

Monsignor William J. Linder

Robert Lilly, former CEO of New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

Robert Lilly was appointed by Gov. Richard Hughes as chairman of the commission to investigate the Newark riots and to make recommendations. Formally known as "The Governor's Select Commission on Civil Disorders," it became more widely known as the Lilly Commission. Six months later, in February 1968, the commission delivered a thorough report to the governor that pointed to a wide-range of factors that led up to the six-day war between the powerless black residents of Newark and its powerful white political structure. One of the many findings was the insidious culture of corruption that loomed large over Newark. There were three witnesses to the commission who shared the same message that had come to define Newark: "There is a price for everything at City Hall."

"The '67 Summer Disorders exposed the corrupt nature of the political power that ruled the city and I am thankful that there was an honest approach to shining a spotlight on this corruption, but more importantly presenting solutions. Later, Lilly was the first chair for the New Community Foundation and helped us to bring a tremendous amount of resources to the city and NCC."

Monsignor William J. Linder




Primary Bio source: Wikipedia
(Series to be continued in December)


© New Community Corporation, 2008