Father Vidal Gonzales blessing Lake Hopatcong's fleet. The Blessing of the Fleet coordinated by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 67, and the Sail and Power Squadron of Lake Hopatcong, District 4, took place on Nolan’s Point Lake Hopatcong on Sunday, June 30, 2012. This ceremony has become a solemn and meaningful way to start the summer boating season on the lake. It is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. A blessing from a local priest helped to ensure a safe and bountiful season. The docks at Alice’s were filled with all types of boats, their owners eager to participate in the ceremony. The USCGA and the Sail and Power Squadron were pleased to be able to use the new facilities as they provided a wide-open venue with a great deal of maneuvering space. Father Vidal Gonzales gave the homily after which the boaters boarded their vessels and circled south to the Jefferson House. The boats proceeded northward passing by Father Gonzales on the dock. Each boat received an individual blessing and holy water.
Master of ceremonies Bill Hirshfeld, former Commander of the Lake Hopatcong Sail and Power Squadron, and Father Vidal Gonzales of St. Terese’s Parish in Succasunna.
"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep…." Psalm 107
Gus Furmato USCGA Flotilla 67 Division Vice Commander
US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 67 - Operations Officer Larry Orlans, Training Officer Annie Magliano and Public Education Officer Frank Federico.
Fred Simmons of the Air Program, Flotilla 10-20, Air Station Caldwell, USCGA, Division Commander Gus Furmato, Robert Zebick and Ray Atkinson of the USCGA Flotilla 67
Bill Hirshfeld and Father Gonzales make their way down the dock to start the blessing.
Al Friedrich of Martinsville and Linda Friedrich of Watchung in their Monterey, "Mary".
Clara Clara Bashall's Sea Ray Sundancer receives a dockside blessing.
Junior Member of the Jefferson Township Fire Department #2, Ryan MacDonald, 15, of Lake Hopatong and Captain Mickey De Loreto.
Captain Captain Mickey De Loreto and Assistant Chief John Tovo JTFD #2
At a luncheon following the ceremony, Bob Place Of Lake Hopatcong Marine was recognized for his support of the USCGA for meritorious service and promotion of boating safety.
Richard Carlson, Vice Commander Flotilla 67, USCGA,Gus Furmato USCGA Division Commander, Bill Hirshfeld and Joe Gibbons of the Lake Hopatcong Sail and Power Squadron, Annie Magliano, training officer of the USCGA, Ray Atkinson, UCGA, Frank Federico, Public Education Officer, USCGS, Lorraine Cannata, Commander of the USCGA Flotilla 67, Larry Orlans, Operations Officer, USCGA, Robert Zebick, Communications Officer, USCGA, Robert Montgomery, USCGA.