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Letter to Parishioners

Introducing Fr. Phillip Max Johnson

After serving many years as a Lutheran pastor, Fr. Johnson, with his wife Janet, was received into full communion with the Catholic Church in August of 2006. Shortly after that, Phillip was invited by Bishop Galante to become a candidate for the Catholic priesthood. In October of 2009, Pope Benedict XVI signed the rescript, granting the exception to the rule of celibacy and approving the ordination, which took place in May of 2010. Since then Fr. Phillip has served in the University Parish of St. Bridget as the chaplain to Catholic students and faculty at Rowan University.
Fr. Johnson was educated at Harding College, Princeton Theological Seminary, Kings College in London, and at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute at the Catholic University of America, where he earned a pontifical license in sacred theology (S.T.L.). His priestly formation took place at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore.
From 1979-85, He and Janet served on the staff of Disciples House in London—a residential Christian community and ecumenical resource center for inner city churches. Upon returning to the U.S. he was called to serve in Jersey City, first as the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, and then of St. Paul Church, where he remained until he was released from the Luther ministry in order to enter the Catholic Church.
Father Johnson has taught theology at the Selly Oak Colleges in England and later at the John Paul II Institute. He has been a frequent speaker at retreats and theological conferences in the U.S. and Canada and is the author of a number of articles and book chapters on theology, spirituality, ministry, and ecumenism.
Janet’s vocation outside the home has been that of a teacher—first in high school, later in Kindergarten. She and Fr. Phillip have two daughters and two sons, and seven grandchildren (counting the one in the womb).

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