Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Father Emmett Carroll

Father Joseph Emmett Carroll was born in Toms River on August 31, 1925 to Mollie Murphy and Joseph Emmett Carroll. His parents were devout Catholics and instilled in young Emmett a profound love for the God they so dearly revered. This family commitment to the Church certainly influenced the path that Father Emmett would elect to follow in the pursuit of his innate vocation. It is a path that has led him on a journey that has spiritually impacted so many people in a positive manner.

Father Emmett Carroll graduated from Toms River High School in 1946. Upon graduating, Father Emmett pursued further studies at St. Francis College in Staten Island, New York. Subsequently he embarked upon the study of philosophy and theology at St. Anthony-on-Hudson. He further conducted his undergraduate work at Sienna College, Laudenville, New York. Father Emmett concluded his formal studies earning his B.A. from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. He made his first profession of vows on March 19, 1948, and was solemnly professed on August 19, 1951. Three years later, in 1954, Father Emmett was ordained to the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Albany, New York. His desire to help guide and mold future generations was realized during the more than 25 years he sewed in parochial ministry as a conventual's Franciscan. Father Emmett was certainly an incredible blessing for the students he so painstakingly inspired at the Immaculate Conception Boys High School throughout his incredible tenure.

Father Emmett is held in incredible esteem and affection by those he has aided and guided through truly difficult circumstances, as well as by his peers and the communities his ministry has touched. A prime example of Father Emmett's passion to help those in distress is exemplified by his steadfast commitment to the Samaritan Shelters for Juveniles. The Samaritan Shelter opened its doors on June 6, 1972, as a non-profit organization, located in Glenmont, New York. Contemporary society organizations of this type are readily accessible thanks to the efforts of trail blazers such as Father Emmett Carroll. In 1972, the Samaritan Shelter was considered a novel idea to Members of the Order. Happily, for so many, Father Emmett was the embodiment of initiative and desire to help the troubled youth of society.

Father Emmett's ability to rally so many willing participants from various organizations and his parish aided in funding an oasis for juveniles. A shelter was provided for both male and female individuals experiencing conflict, whether emotional, physical, legal or mental. The agency's mission was, and continues to be, to provide optimum care on a 24-hour basis. The "Emmett House" was dedicated in September 1971 and continues to be a sanctuary for males in crisis. Young men are facilitated in receiving positive ongoing community based treatment and activities.

Father Emmett is admired and loved as the pastor to care for the little people, the people so easily overlooked amid the turmoil so often found in an increasingly complicated world. Father Emmett certainly touched the lives of many young students during the five years he taught at Trenton-Catholic Boys High School. This assignment was no easy task. These young boys hailed from all over the city of Trenton. This was a group that demanded much attention, care and discipline. These were certainly anxious times for said community. Father Emmett was in Trenton during the years of racial tension during the riots of the sixties and certainly provided hope and a steadying influence for those in need.

On June 12, 1976, Father Emmett was assigned pastor at St. Catherine of Sienna in Seaside Park. Twelve years later he became the pastor at Immaculate Conception in Trenton, NJ, where he was an active member of TEAM, an ecumenical endeavor for peace and justice. In 1991, Father Emmett returned to St. Catherine's in Seaside Park.

Currently, Father Emmett continues to touch the lives of so many fortunate enough to benefit from his nurturing spirit and compassion. He is presently the pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The transient nature of housing during the tourist season can certainly be a disruptive source in the lives of many who are annually displaced due to rental demands during the summer months. These affected individuals are certainly fortunate to have the steady guidance of Father Emmett. Father Emmett has ever been a champion for the underdog. So many lives have been redirected and enhanced as a result of his zeal and ceaseless efforts to extend a hand and lend an ear to those in need.

The Toms River Hall of Fame is proud to honor Father Joseph Emmett Carroll for his humanitarian contributions unselfishly offered to those in need from all walks of life during the last 50 years. The world is a better place as a result of the vision of this selfless advocate for those who've stumbled and need a hand. We, who will all benefit from the young lives Father Emmett has impacted and set upon a positive course, most humbly and gratefully, salute this kind and compassionate man!

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