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Robert F. Garner papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ADN 0003-010

Scope and Contents

The Robert F. Garner papers primarily consist of correspondence indicating clergymen to be ordained by Garner, video recordings of an ordination, and a sick call box. This particular sick call box was created by Homan's Silver Plate Co. and contains a three piece crucifix candelabra, two silver communion plates, two cloth napkins, one spoon, one spoon cup, one glass holy water bottle and one sprinkler.

The collection was arranged by topic and format.


  • 1946-1998
  • Majority of material found within 1976 - 1987

Conditions Governing Access

Temporarily closed to research.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Francis Garner was born on 27 April 1920 in Jersey City, NJ to parents Michael Garner and Mary O’Keefe. He attended Seton Hall University and Immaculate Conception Seminary and was ordained a priest on 15 June 1946. His first assignment was Mount Carmel in Jersey City, NJ where he learned Italian to better communicate with the community. In 1951, he was sent to Blessed Sacrament in Newark, NJ where he directed the parish’s award winning Golden Knights Drum Corps. Garner was also interested in creating stronger ties with the local Jewish community and established his own apostolate to Jewish Hospital in Newark. In 1967, he became the administrator of Christ the King Parish in Jersey City where he devoted his time to religious education, formation of new converts, and most importantly, helping the poor. He established morning breakfasts for children, strategized to provide affordable housing and local employment for those struggling in the neighborhood. Garner was ordained a bishop on 25 June 1976 and served until his retirement in 1995. During that time, he continued his efforts of tying faiths together by participating in the Interfaith Brotherhood-Sisterhood Breakfast, an annual event since 1987 where various faiths and backgrounds come together. On 25 December 2000, Garner passed away at the age of 80.

Among the duties of priests and bishops is the visiting of the sick and performing the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick, sometimes called Unction or Extreme Unction, and the Eucharist. A sick call box was used when a priest visited a private residence or hospital to perform the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and to administer the Eucharist.


1.58 Linear Feet (7 containers)

Language of Materials



Robert F. Garner (1920-2000) served as priest and bishop in Hudson and Essex counties in NJ. This collection includes correspondence, video recordings, a sick call box, and memorabilia depicting his service to local communities.

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Related Materials

Charles J. McDonnell papers, 1965-2008 (1994), ADN 0003.019, in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University.

Jerome A. Pechillo papers 1927-1991 (bulk 1951-1990), ADN 0003.009, in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University.

Processing Information

This collection was processed and finding aid created by Luciana Cardona in 2014.

Robert F. Garner papers, 1946-1998 (bulk 1976-1987)
Luciana Cardona
May 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US