Mary Porcello, a resident of South Amboy, has spent several years as the volunteer food bank coordinator at the First Presbyterian Church, South Amboy. In addition to volunteering over 35 hours per week at the food bank, Ms. Porcello has been an elder in the church for over 23 years.
Her dedication to the community is evident not only in the hours she spends overseeing the food pantry but in her outreach to families in need regardless of their circumstances. The pantry, with a staff of 10-15 volunteers, is open every other week on Monday and Thursday from 12 noon to 3:30pm by appointment only and distributes over 1625 bags of food a month with the help of various organizations throughout South Amboy and community donations of non-perishable food items. Those interested in donating to the food pantry may do so by texting 732-902-1172 or calling 732-721-4516 to arrange a drop off time for donations.
Ms. Porcello is also a past recipient of New Jersey State Governor’s Award for her record of service, leadership, and commitment to the residents of her community.
When told that she would serve as Grand Marshall for the 2023 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Ms. Porcello stated, “This is our community, one of which I am happy to serve. I am quite proud to have this wonderful honor bestowed on me.
Deputy Grand Marshal - Monsignor John Gordon
Msgr. John Gordon, a native of South Plainfield who earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at St. Pius X Seminary, Scranton University, Pa., and a Master of Divinity degree at Christ the King Seminary, Buffalo. He was ordained to the priesthood May 18, 1985, at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen.
Early in his priesthood, Msgr. Gordon served in the parishes of St. Bartholomew, East Brunswick; Guardian Angels, Edison; St. Magdalene de Pazzi, Flemington, and St. Mary, Perth Amboy. He is currently pastor for St. Joseph Parish, Carteret.
For five years, he served as multicultural director of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Metuchen. His ministry also included terms as chaplain for Bishop George Ahr High School, now St. Thomas the Aquinas High School, Edison; the now-closed St. Pius X High School, Piscataway, and the now-closed St. Mary High School, South Amboy. He was installed as Chaplain to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI with the title of Monsignor Jan. 29, 2012.
When told of his nomination as Deputy Grand Marshal of the 2023 South Amboy Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, he stated that he “is very humbled and honored to serve as Deputy Grand Marshal and congratulates all honorees for this year’s parade and all things Irish.”