Rev. Garrett J. Fitzgerald

TRENTON - Reverend Fr. Garrett J. Fitzgerald, 57, died peacefully in the Lord at Capital Health Systems/Field Campus on Thursday [March 16, 2006] following a recent diagnosis of cancer.

Born in the Bronx, NY, Fr. Fitzgerald was educated at Saint Charles College, Catonville and Saint Mary Seminary, Roland Park.  Ordained a Roman Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Trenton, May 27, 1975 in the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, Trenton by then Bishop George W. Ahr, he served Saint Joachim, Trenton; Guardian Angels, Edison; Our Lady of Peace, Fords.

His Holiness, Pope John Paul II created the Diocese of Metuchen in 1981 and Fr. Fitzgerald continued his priestly ministry serving the Diocese of Metuchen at Sacred Heart, South Plainfield.  He served as pastor of Saint Anthony, Port Reading from 1985-1989.  He later served Saint Joseph, North Plainfield; Saint Joseph, High Bridge; Saint Ann, Hampton.

Returning to the Diocese of Trenton, he served Saint Joachim & Holy Angels, Trenton and Our lady of Sorrows-Saint Anthony Parish, Mercerville.  In October 2005, Trenton Bishop John M. Smith appointed Fr. Fitzgerald Administrator of the Holy Trinity Parish, Long Branch and was formally re-incardinated into the Diocese of Trenton March 10, 2006.

Fr. Fitzgerald was predeceased by his father Robert G.  He is survived by his mother, Mary J. Rofrano Fitzgerald; a brother, Timothy Fitzgerald and his wife Donna; a niece, Catherine Fitzgerald and her fiancÚ Mark Iaconus all of the Bronx, NY; an uncle, Fr. Peter Rofrano, SAC; an aunt, Angelina Mazzoni; and a cousin, Salvatore Mazoni and his wife Joyce of New York City.  He is also survived by his long-time friends, Benedict and Clara Gloe of Trenton and Michael, Francesca, Benjamin and Gabrielle Farrell of Farmington, CT.

Funeral arrangements have been made through the Brenna Funeral Home, 340 Hamilton Ave., Trenton, Frank Immordino, Owner/Director.

The Rite of Reception will be celebrated 3:45 p.m. Monday at Our Lady of the Angels Parish/ Immaculate Conception Church, 540 Chestnut Ave.

Viewing will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m.  Evening Prayer for the Dead will be prayed at the conclusion of the public viewing time.  There will be no viewing at the Brenna Funeral Home.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of the Angels Parish/Immaculate Conception Church.  His Excellency, The Most Reverend John M. Smith, DD, JCD, Bishop of Trenton will be the principal celebrant.  Priests of the Diocese of Trenton and Metuchen as well as Priest Friends of the deceased will concelebrate the mass.

Viewing will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the church.

A private burial will be in the family plot in Queens, NY at the convenience of the family.

Floral arrangements will not be accepted.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Fr. Fitzgerald's name to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 448 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10029 or Our Lady of Angels Parish 21-23 Bayard Street, Trenton, NJ 08611.

Remembrances of Reverend Fr. Garrett J. Fitzgerald

I kind of replaced Fr. Garrett Fitzgerald here at Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony parish. He left here in early November 2005 to be the administrator (and probably pastor) of Holy Trinity parish in Long Branch.

Fr. Garrett P. Fitzgerald was raised in the Bronx, NY, but studied for the priesthood for the Diocese of Trenton, being ordained in 1975. He served in several parishes in the Diocese of Trenton (the first being St. Jochiam in Trenton) prior to being “caught” in the split of the Diocese in 1981. He served the Diocese of Metuchen for 19 years, but then asked to return to his original diocese.  A few days before I was ordained a priest I ran into Fr. Garrett Fitzgerald outside the Pastoral Center, and we had such a wonderful conversation. He was so joyful about my ordination, and joyful about being back in Trenton.

Fr. Garrett Fitzgerald became suddenly ill in the beginning of March, and they discovered a large, inoperable tumor in his liver. The doctors gave him only days to live, and much of it in pain. I, and many priests, visited him while in the hospital — he just loved being with his brother priests. In his suffering he was filled with grace. The final step for his being incardinated again into the Diocese of Trenton was finalized a few days before he died. He died a week ago at the age of 57 on March 16, 2008; survived by his mother, a brother, many friends, and of course his brother priests.

Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord, and may the perpetual Light shine on him. Rest in peace Fr. Garrett J Fitzgerald.

Fr. John C. Garrett
March 23, 2006

Fr. Fitzgerald was the assistant pastor of St Ann's of Hampton while I lived there, serving under Fr. William J Hewitt.  After the events of September 11, 2001, Fr. Fitzgerald arranged a special mass at the parish, and he asked me to play Amazing Grace on the bagpipes to begin the service.  During that mass, Fr. Fitzgerald delivered the best sermon that I ever heard.

Michael F. Bell, Galloway, NJ