Final service held at Bayonne’s Assumption Church

BAYONNE – The final Mass at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Bayonne was marked with hugs and tears as the 113-year-old parish closed its doors after the 7 p.m. vigil service on Dec. 31 ​for the Solemnity of Mary, the Jan. 1 Catholic holy day of obligation.
More than 400 people attended the Mass, according to Joseph Doria, church trustee and former Bayonne mayor.
The Assumption Parish closing was part of the Newark Archdiocese’s plan to consolidate Bayonne’s seven parishes into four. Assumption and St. Michael/St. Joseph parishioners are to be absorbed into the new St. John Paul II Parish, at the site of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
Ludovico Nolfo, another Assumption church trustee, said the parish community was devastated by the closing.
“Everyone can see the tremendous attendance, the participation from the various ethnic groups, the great cooperation, and the obvious love and feeling among all the Assumption parishioners,” he said.
Assumption has large Italian, Spanish, and Filipino followings, and the final service was said in English, Italian, and Spanish.
Blanca Davilla said her 43 years of attending church at Assumption drew to a close. She was married there and her son was baptized there.
“It’s very sad,” Davilla said. “I see my community growing up suddenly just torn apart. It’s really bad.”
Frank and Jean Perrucci, parishioners since the 1940s, were equally dismayed.
“This should have never happened,” Jean Perrucci said.
Rev. Joseph Barbone, Assumption pastor, said the final Mass and asked parishioners not to be disheartened by the parish’s closing and to keep their faith.

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