July, 2013 – Welcome for Fr. Stephen Saffron
Saint Anselm Parish Welcomes
Fr. Stephen Saffron
This July parishioners were delighted to welcome Fr. Stephen Saffron to Saint Anselm, taking the opportunity at the conclusion of his first Masses to meet and greet our new Parochial Vicar.
Rev. Fr. Stephen A. Saffron, M.A., M. Div.
Fr. Saffron was born and raised in the city of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He is the only son of the late William and Janina Saffron. Father started his schooling at St. Stephen’s School which became Perth Amboy Catholic. He is a graduate of Perth Amboy High, Class of 1997. After graduating high school Father went to Middlesex County College and transferred to Seton Hall University where he entered the College Seminary at St. Andrew’s Hall and earned his B.A. with a major in philosophy. After completing St. Andrew’s Hall he started his theological studies at the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall where he earned two M.A. degrees, one in Pastoral Ministry and the second in Theology with a concentration in Systematic Theology.
Fr. Saffron’s higher education years were interrupted by the death of his father and a long period of illness and death of his mother. Although those times were sad and difficult it was a blessing for him to take care of his mother who suffered with diabetes. “As a child and young adult, I spent much time in the hospital with one parent or the other.” It was during this time that he worked for two years as a permanent substitute teacher.
Fr. Saffron is proud to be the son of an immigrant mother and grandparents. His grandfather Antoni was in the Polish army during World War II, after the fall of Poland to the Nazi forces in 1939 Antoni ended up in a work camp in Altenstadt, Germany where he met his future wife Maria. His mother was born is the camp and the family was moved the Augsberg, Germany were his aunt Emily was born and then they immigrated to the United States in 1950 coming into pier 52 in Manhattan, New York.
From his father’s side of the family Fr. Saffron gets some more Polish blood but also German and Irish as well. He is proud of his heritage and enjoys the cultural traditions, music, and folklore of his heritage. Father spent five weeks at the Catholic University of Lublin (K.U.L) in Poland; Bl. John Paul II was a professor at this university, where he participated in a Polish language and culture course during the summer of 2007. “Although, I cannot speak Polish fluently my heart and spirituality are very much Polish.”
Father received his sacraments at St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Father was an altar-boy from his First Holy Communion up through college. St. Stephen’s was founded by Polish immigrants in 1892 and was at St. Stephen’s where Father learned and grew to love many of the ethnic, cultural, and devotional practices he cherishes. In recent years St. Stephen’s has been merged with two other parishes and is now the parish of Bl. John Paul II.
Fr. Saffron also enjoys playing the organ and worked as a church organist during his college years. Along with his love of organ music he is also enjoys classical music, old standards, Big Band, Gregorian-Chant, and many other forms of music. Some other activities he enjoys is reading, especially in the subject area of history, and cooking.
Fr. Saffron served as a transitional deacon at St. Matthias Parish in Ridgewood, Queens before being ordained a priest on 23 June 2012 at St. James Cathedral by the hands of Bishop DiMarzio. After ordination to the priesthood he served for one year at St. Mark Parish in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. On 30 June 2013 Father began his priestly serves at St. Anselm. He is excited to be here and minister in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.