Bishop William H. Stokes of New Jersey will lead a “Celebration of New Ministry” on Saturday, Nov. 8, for the Rev. Victoria Pretti, as she formally assumes her duties as rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stone Harbor. The service will begin at 11 a.m. at the church, which is located at 95th Street and Third Avenue.
Pretti, or “Mother Victoria” as she prefers to be called, was selected by a Search Committee last March following a nationwide search process. She succeeds the Rev. John Sosnowski, who served as St. Mary’s rector for nearly 15 years and was well known throughout the county. The Rev. Susan Osborne-Mott was interim rector during the search process.
“I am delighted to begin this new journey with God’s people at St. Mary’s in Stone Harbor,” said Pretti. “This is a very special place filled with people who are joyfully serious about living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am eager to work with our wonderful parish members, my colleagues in ministry, and the people of Stone Harbor and those throughout Cape May County to proclaim the Gospel in both word and action.”
Formerly the vicar of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Milton, Massachusetts, and All Saints Episcopal Church in West Newbury, Massachusetts, Pretti also has many years of experience in the fields of healthcare and social services. She was previously on staff at Boston’s Pine Street Inn, one of New England’s largest homeless shelters and social service organizations. It was this background that made her particularly attractive to St. Mary’s, which has over the past 10 years established an active outreach ministry.
“We feel truly blessed to have been able to find someone like Mother Victoria to help us in trying to realize God’s call to us,” said Lawrence Schmidt, senior warden of St. Mary’s. “She has many outstanding gifts and together we believe we can do great service in Christ’s name.”
Pretti is married to Anthony Pretti. She and her husband moved from Boston to Cape May County in June and have been residing in Cape May Court House while renovations are undertaken at the parish rectory.