Bishop Sullivan announces the retirements of two pastors, effective July 1.
• Msgr. William A. Hodge, Pastor of Saint Mary, Gloucester City.
• Father Ernest R. Soprano, Pastor of Saint John Neumann, North Cape May.
Born in Atlantic City, Msgr. Hodge, 74, attended Glassboro State College (now Rowan University); Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., and the University of Dayton, Ohio. He was ordained May 25, 1974, by Bishop George H. Guilfoyle.
His first assignment was as Parochial Vicar at Saint Francis de Sales Parish in Barrington (1974-76).
Other assignments as Parochial Vicar included Saint Raymond, Villas (1976-77); Resurrection, Marmora (1977-81); Saint Lucy, Blue Anchor (1981-83); Saint Vincent Pallotti, Haddon Township (1983-90); Saint Edward, Pine Hill (1990-91), and Saint Patrick, Woodbury (1991-94).
In 1998, he became Pastor of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in Atlantic City after serving as Administrator for a year. In 2015, he was appointed Pastor in Gloucester City. He previously served as Administrator of Saint James, Penns Grove (1994-1997), and Saint Michael, Atlantic City (2007-2008).
Msgr. Hodge has also served as director of the Marian Commission and the World Apostolate of Fatima for the Diocese of Camden, was chaplain at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, and taught religion at Wildwood Catholic High School in the late 1970s.
Father Soprano, 70, studied at Immaculate Conception in Darlington, N.J., and was ordained in 1979 in Mantua by Bishop George H. Guilfoyle.
In addition to serving in Saint John Neumann since 2010, he has been Pastor at Our Lady of Victories, Landisville (1996-2000), and Saint Francis of Assisi, Vineland (2000-2009).
In 2009, he became Parochial Vicar of Saint John of God, North Cape May, and soon after became its Administrator, and later the Priest Convener for the merger of Saint John of God and Saint Raymond, Villas, into what would become Saint John Neumann Parish.
Father Soprano has also been Administrator of Saint Michael, Gibbstown (1987-1993). He was Parochial Vicar at Christ the King, Haddonfield (1979-1981, 1993-1996); Saint Thomas More, Cherry Hill (1982-1985); and Saint Teresa, Runnemede (1985-1987).