Msgr. Edward Lucitt was born in South Amboy, N.J., and ordained a priest of the Diocese of Trenton on May 21, 1936, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Trenton. His first assignment was as assistant pastor of St. Mary Church in Gloucester City, then part of the Trenton Diocese.
The following year, on Dec. 9, 1937, the Diocese of Camden was established, and Msgr. Lucitt became a priest of the newly-formed diocese.
In 1943, he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, and served as a chaplain on the West Coast and in the Pacific Theatre, until his discharge with the rank of major, in 1946.
He returned to St. Mary’s as assistant pastor in 1946, and served there until 1951, when he was named pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Camden. Ten years later he was back at St. Mary’s as pastor, and he remained there until his retirement in 1983.
Msgr. Lucitt was often called upon by Camden’s bishops, who trusted his loyalty and leadership, to lead projects.
At Bishop Bartholomew J. Eustace’s request, in November 1956, Msgr. Lucitt organized a prayer rally at the Cherry Hill Garden State Racetrack, and 55,000 gathered for a procession and benediction to pray for the victims of the Russian invasion of Hungary.
After Bishop Eustace died, Msgr. Lucitt organized the welcoming parade for his successor, Bishop Justin J. McCarthy.
After Archbishop Celestine J. Damiano succeeded Bishop McCarthy, Msgr. Lucitt was asked by the new Camden leader to head the fundraising drive for a high school building program.
In the community, Msgr. Lucitt strived to improve the lives of his flock. While assistant pastor at St. Mary’s during the Depression, he and other members of the city administration started St. Mary’s Guild, which taught trades and local government, and organized recreational programs for boys.
In 1950-51, while at St. Mary, he led a building drive in the parish, which saw the creation of a new auditorium, 10 classrooms, a chapel and 12 classrooms in the convent for the school.
At Sacred Heart Parish, he expanded the school facilities, establishing three classrooms in the rectory, and another in the convent. He also rented two classrooms at the nearby Sts. Peter and Paul Church, and drove the bus each day.
In 1957, he was appointed the diocesan director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine by Bishop McCarthy, and began training school and night schools in the diocese. In this program, hundreds of children were able to receive religious education. Training centers to instruct lay teachers in religion were also begun for elementary and high schools.
In 1961, he established St. Mary’s Night School, which enrolled more than 1,000 students from all over the Delaware Valley, and offered self-improvement courses in business, arts and science, psychology and religion. It was affiliated with the International Correspondence Schools.
Msgr. Lucitt also served as director of the diocesan organizations of the Holy Name Society, and the Family Life Bureau; the Bishop’s Committee for Total Family Ministry; and the Committee on Pastoral Ministry.
On April 17, 1987, at the age of 78, Msgr. Lucitt died at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, following a brief illness.
Researched by Peter G. Sánchez and James A. McBride.
|< Prev||Next >|