Maplewood Priest to Perform at Music, Murals & Mercy Fundraiser, June 26

From the Archdiocese of Newark:

At a time when many families are still grappling with the economic impact of COVID-19, the pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Maplewood and the director of communications for the Archdiocese of Newark are combining their artistic gifts for a fundraiser unique fund to help those in need.

“Music, Murals, & Mercy” – taking place Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Church – will see Father Jim Worth put his musical talent to good use performing songs about love and compassion on his piano. At the same time, patrons will be able to admire the art of Maria Margiotta, who will feature an eclectic mix of landscapes, religious paintings and other exhibits. All donations generated from the event will go to The Mercy House, a non-profit referral and resource center run by the Archdiocese’s Respect Life office.

“It’s a great event to unwind and kick off the summer, but definitely worth attending as it helps so many people,” Fr Worth said. “Many families have been hit with financial hardship, including due to COVID, and many live below the poverty line. Through this event, we use our donations to support The Mercy House, which greatly benefits those in need. And hopefully people will feel inspired to use their own gifts for good.

In addition to “Music, Murals, & Mercy,” Father Worth will host “Mercy Weekend” at St. Joseph’s during the masses preceding the concert and art exhibit. During these two days, the parish will organize a second collection for The Mercy House so that those who cannot attend the event can make a donation. Father Worth will also perform uplifting songs for his parishioners, and a Mercy House representative will be on hand to speak about the nonprofit organization’s mission.

Father Jim Worth regularly uses his musical ability to help others, such as when he performed a fundraising concert for Ukraine in April 2022. (Photo courtesy of Father Jim Worth)

These fundraising efforts follow a 2022 UNICEF-World Bank report that found that at least two-thirds of households with children have lost income since the COVID-19 pandemic began two years ago. , resulting in adults in one in four households with children going a day or more without food. The Mercy House aims to help these people by providing food, clothing, baby supplies, furniture and helping find work and housing for anyone in need. The center, located at 620 Clinton Ave. in Newark, is open every Tuesday and Friday year-round.

“I support and am in awe of The Mercy House’s mission and frontline support to communities in need, and am grateful to have the opportunity to bring such a worthy cause to the spotlight through my works of art,” Margiotta said. “I hope visitors will enjoy listening to Father Jim’s performance and exploring my paintings. But, above all, I want visitors to leave with an appreciation for all that The Mercy House does to serve God’s children. Mercy House is a perfect example of how the Archdiocese of Newark shares the saving mission of Jesus Christ every day.

The Mercy House will then host a “Christmas in July” event providing toys to underprivileged boys and girls. It will also continue its expansion plans in the other three counties served by the Archdiocese of Newark – Bergen, Hudson and Union.

Maria Margiotta (left) once created a painting especially for The Mercy House and its manager, Cheryl A. Riley. (Photo courtesy of Maria Margiotta)

“We are so grateful to Father Jim and Maria for using their donations to help The Mercy House,” said Cheryl A. Riley, director of the Archdiocese’s Respect Life Office. “This is a great example of what happens when talented people join forces. The funds raised through this event will be a great help to us, and we appreciate the chance to teach the community about our mission.

For more information on The Mercy House, visit