From staff reports
In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, the 33rd annual St. Patrick’s Investiture Mass will be celebrated March 3 at 10 a.m. by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in St. Rose Church, 601 7th Ave., Belmar.
Priests of the surrounding parishes are invited to concelebrate the Mass, which will invest the Grand Marshal and Deputy Grand Marshal for this year’s Belmar-Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade – the largest parade in New Jersey – set to begin March 4 at 12:30 p.m.
Mass will open with a procession including bagpipers and drums from the Shillelaghs of Belmar and Old Bridge; parade planning committee members; former Grand Marshals and Deputy Grand Marshals and Knights of Columbus. During the Presentation of the Gifts, four students from the D’Arcy School of Irish Dance will present the Bishop with the Irish gifts of water from Knock, potato, shamrocks and turf, as a member of the parade committee explains their significance.
Prior to the final blessing, the Investiture ceremony will take place for the 2018 Grand Marshal, Dan Reilly, Manasquan; and Deputy Grand Marshal Patricia Jenkins, Wall Township.
The Investiture Mass will also honor parade committee members, Grand Marshals and Deputy Grand Marshals who have died during the year: Charles and Kathleen Donnelly, Jackie Cavanagh, Janet McGrath and Jack Rea.
Of Irish heritage on both his mother’s and father’s sides, Dan Reilly is a member of St. Denis Parish, Manasquan, the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Friendly Sons of Shillelagh. He grew up in Woodbridge, singing in choir and playing various sports for Woodbridge High School. He received a full ride scholarship to play football at Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Mo., where he also became involved in chorus and track. Following graduation Reilly spent a brief time with the New York Jets, then went on to play for the Jersey Oaks.
He became involved in various service organizations and projects across the years, beginning in college with Special Olympics and continuing to support them for 22 years in the Polar Bear Plunge, and for the past 12 years in the Plane Pull. Other service ventures included benefits for Superstorm Sandy, tornado relief in Oklahoma, Rebuilding Warriors, Heart 9/11 Program, In the Line of Duty and Shillelagh members and families. He moved to Manasquan nearly 23 years ago, and lives there with his wife of almost six years, Eileen. Reilly has a son, a daughter, two step-daughters and six grandchildren. Currently Reilly is a self-employed contractor and owner of Masterpiece Construction Services LLC.
Descended from Irish grandparents who immigrated to Ellis Island, Jenkins is a member of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, of the Women of Irish Heritage and longtime supporter of the Belmar parade and committee, along with her husband, Robert. She was born in Jersey City and grew up in Union Township. She earned her nursing degree from St. Michael’s Hospital of Nursing, Newark and served as a registered nurse at Overlook Hospital, Summit; Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.; and Toms River Community Hospital, as well as in a local pediatrician’s office and as a school nurse. Patricia and Robert Jenkins married in St. Michael Church, Union, and moved to the Jersey Shore in 1965, settling in Wall Township the following year, where they raised three daughters and a son. They now have eight grandchildren.
Jenkins is a past president and former member of the St. Rose Grammar School Parent Teacher Association, and has served on numerous committees and chaired several events at St. Rose Parish. She is also an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in the parish, as well as in Care One Nursing Home, Wall. In 2011, after discovering she was a match, she became a stem cell donor for her sister, Maureen, who has since been nearly seven years cancer-free.
A luncheon will follow the Investiture Mass at Mike Doolan’s Shore Club, Rt. 71, Spring Lake Heights; donation for the luncheon is $35.
For more information and reservations, call 732-681-6171.