Father Edward “Ed” Hinds, the pastor of Saint Patrick Church in Chatham, New Jersey, was found slain early Friday morning by parishioners in the rectory when he failed to celebrate the 8:00am Mass.
This morning there was a congregation of roughly 300 parishioners that attended the 8:00 am Mass the day after the slaying. It was a somber and quiet mood as the parish remembered their dear priest who was the only pastor at the church and he also worked at the parish school.
“He was a gentle, compassionate priest,” said Theresa Kenworthy, who comes from Madison with her husband, Charlie, to regularly attend the Saturday morning Mass. “He welcomed everyone.”
“There’s sadness, but there’s joy too. He didn’t want us to be sad. He was always a joyful person,” said Charlie Kenworthy, adding that Hinds faith and generous nature would have overcome the trauma he went through. “I’m sure he forgave the person who did this.”
This afternoon police have charged a suspect by the name of Jose Feliciano, the church janitor. So far what I have heard is that there was an argument between the janitor and Father Hines while he was preparing coffee. The argument ended with Father Hinds slain after 32 stab wounds.
May Christ support us all the day long, till the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may he give us a safe lodging, and holy rest and peace at the last.
To read the latest updates from the Associated Press click here.
To read more on this story by Jim Lockwood of the Star-Ledger (New Jersey) click here.
Update I: I misspelled Father Edward Hinds name. It is Fr. Hinds, not Fr. Hines.
Update II: For funeral and more information concerning Fr. Hinds click here.