Governor Phil Murphy

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Press Pool Coverage: Governor Murphy Visits St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral Community Vaccination Site in Paterson



Governor Murphy visited the St John the Baptist Cathedral community vaccination site where he was met by Monsignor Gino Silva.

Also on hand were-

  • Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh
  • Senator Nellie Pou
  • Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter
  • Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly.
  • Passaic County BA Tony DeNova.

Together with Commissioner Judith Persichilli the group was immediately escorted into the gym where they first stopped at the registration table and then made their way to four vaccination booths.

First to be vaccinated was Reverend Kenneth Darryl Ray Clayton of St Luke’s Baptist Church.

Following receipt of the vaccine patients are escorted to a third area where they are monitored for 15 minutes. 

The mega sites are important, Murphy said, but getting into the community, especially to Black and Brown residents is critical.

The partnership with FEMA, and reaching out across the spectrum of faiths, has been a “home run.”

“We’re going to see more of this,” Murphy predicted.

Last week the Historic Calvary Baptist Church opened as a vaccination site for Paterson. 

Following a quick visit to the first four individuals being vaccinated where he offered elbow bumps and encouragement to both those being vaccinated and the military personnel administering them, Murphy asked to be directed into the church to say a prayer.

Inside the sanctuary Monsignor Silva described that the church was constructed between 1865 and 1870 and has, since this time, served every ethnic group that has come through Paterson. Their location, including the sanctuary and other space, is referred to locally as the “block of mercy.”

More than 1600 parishioners registered for, and are expected to receive vaccines, Silva said. 

“The church takes care of human needs,” Silva said when asked why offering their space as a vaccination center made sense. “It opens people up to faith.” 

Steve Lenox
TAPinto Paterson

PIX 11

TAPinto Paterson

Photos from the Governor's Office are available here.