Born in Bayonne, NJ, Hudson County, on February 21, 1951, to Stanley and Irene (Konopka) Cembor, I am the youngest of my siblings, Joanne and Bob. The Felician Sisters and Marist Brothers not only educated me, but helped form my vocation which goes back as far as I can remember. Seton Hall University afforded me my B.A. in sociology; Immaculate Conception Seminary did the same for my M. Div.; the Doctor of Ministry degree in ministry came about in 1984 from Drew University in Madison, NJ.
Archbishop Peter L. Gerety ordained me to the diaconate in 1978 and assigned me to the Bergen County parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Ridgewood. A year later I was blessed with the Sacrament of Holy Orders at his hands as a priest and found a home in St. Mary’s Parish, Nutley. Eight years later, I left Essex County for Union County and Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Mountainside. I spent 1993-1994 in Hudson County at St. Aloysius Parish in Jersey City at then Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s request. The following year I returned to Essex County and for nine years I served as pastor of St. Leo’s Church in Irvington. From 2003-2006 I served at St. Raphael’s Church in Livingston. After twenty-seven years of parish life, I followed my vocation to Montclair where I have been serving and continue to serve as Catholic Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care at what is now called Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center.
I am the brother to Joanne in Lake Mary, Florida, and Bob in Marlboro, NJ, and their spouses, Craig and Mary. Daniel, Jennifer, Jill, Rob, and Bill call me uncle; Isaiah, Kenan, Brenden, Carsyn, Hayley, Cody, Hannah, Connor, Caroline, Abby, and Ella call me grand uncle. My interests are as selective as close friends. I enjoy reading mysteries and fiction, and faith and religious news as it comes across the internet. Days off are sacred as a 24/5 hospital schedule is demanding, so a Pocono retreat or time with friends, and occasional Broadway shows and movies are highly valued. I’ll never starve as cooking and baking relax me as well as fill me.
After living for ten years at Mt. Carmel Rectory on Pine Street, I was extended hospitality here at Immaculate Conception Rectory, as St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish continues to find its identity.