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Social Justice Champions to be honored at charity dinner

September 28, 2018

SOMERSET – Three Central Jersey community leaders – a married couple and a member of clergy – will be honored at the Diocese of Metuchen’s annual Champions for Catholic Charities Dinner to be held Thursday, October 18 at the Palace in Somerset Park, Somerset.

This year’s honorees are David and Debra Samuel, who are parishioners of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, and Rev. Msgr. John N. Fell.  They will receive the 2018 Champions Award in recognition of their selfless commitment and dedication to the betterment of all people – especially the poor and vulnerable – through works of charity, advocacy and service.

“The individuals to be recognized as ‘Champions’ this year are people who exemplify what missionary disciples in our Church should look like,” said Bishop James F. Checchio, who shepherds the Diocese of Metuchen. “Their exemplary faith in Jesus Christ and their ability to see Christ in all people they encounter, especially those who are most in need, is truly inspiring and life giving. I am most grateful for their great witness to our Catholic faith.”

As episcopal vicar for the Diocese of Metuchen’s Health Care Apostolate, Msgr. Fell for many years has served on the Board of Trustees and Ethics Committee of Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick. In July, he was appointed full-time director of the Office of Priest Personnel for the diocese. Before that, he most recently served for 16 years as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Bernardsville. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Metuchen 30 years ago, Msgr. Fell is a scripture scholar and regular columnist for the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, for over two decades.

David and Debra Samuel, Knight and Lady Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, have been involved in many civic and philanthropic endeavors over the years, including Flame of Charity, New Jersey Institute for Disabilities, Visiting Nurses Association of Middlesex County and Saint Stanislaus Kostka School. As Managing Partner/CEO of CME Associates, Consulting and Municipal Engineers, Mr. Samuel has been the recipient of multiple awards from both state and national engineering and environmental organizations. David also serves as a member and chairman of the Saint Peter’s Hospital Foundation Board.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen is one of the largest non-profit social service agencies in the state of New Jersey assisting all those in need regardless of race, religion or ethnicity through more than 100 programs.

The two-fold purpose of this annual event is to spotlight extraordinary service performed by individuals or groups while raising funds that allow Catholic Charities to provide direct assistance to the poor and vulnerable throughout Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties.

Tickets for the Champions for Catholic Charities Dinner are $250 per person and include a cocktail hour, full-course dinner and open bar. For reservations or to make a donation of any amount, go to or call 732-562-2432.

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