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 CNS Story:

ALITO-PARISH Nov-1-2005 (400 words) xxxn

Trenton parish joins Alito's mother in celebrating his nomination

By Lois Rogers
Catholic News Service

TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) -- The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 31 was big news around Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in the Trenton suburb of Hamilton, the parish where Alito grew up, received the sacraments of first Communion, confirmation and marriage, and served as a lector.

If Alito is confirmed, he will become the second native son of Trenton to serve on the highest judicial bench in the land. The other is Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who is also a Catholic.

The 55-year-old Alito was baptized at Sacred Heart Parish in Trenton.

Alito's mother, Rose, who will turn 91 later this year, remains an active member of the parish, now known as Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony.

Early Oct. 31, the atmosphere around Fenwood Avenue, where Alito and his sister, Rosemary, grew up and his mother still lives, began to hum with excitement.

Rose Alito said she had learned the news earlier from her son, and found out that President George W. Bush had made the announcement when the first of countless telephone calls came in.

"Someone called me and told me about the president's announcement," she said. "I've been getting so many telephone calls and there are so many people here, it's wonderful."

Rose Alito told The Monitor, Trenton diocesan newspaper, that she expects her son to excel during the confirmation process. "He's very strong. I know that he'll do a very good job because he does a good job wherever he goes."

Msgr. Thomas N. Gervasio, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish, said that by the time he called Rose Alito to offer his congratulations "news photographers were already there taking her picture."

"People were descending on the house," he said. "Even here at the parish, I'm getting calls from The Associated Press and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"This is really an exciting honor for the parish and we just hope the process goes well for him," Msgr. Gervasio added. "Some worry that it will be a tough process but people here are really proud of him. There's a real sense of pride that there soon may be two native Trentonians on the Supreme Court."

If Alito is confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, it would be the first time in history that the nation's highest court would have a majority of justices who are Catholic.


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