Post Eagle Newspaper


Feb 25, 2024

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New Jersey

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Wallington Memory Garden Remembers
Lost Loved Ones – Tragic Passing
of Young Parishioner Inspired Project

Wallington, NJ – Members of the Wallington community recently joined together with members of the Polish National Catholic Church of the Transfiguration for the dedication of a memory garden on the church grounds.  The garden was inspired by the passing of Emily Desbiens, a 20 year old parishioner who was killed last year in a tragic auto accident.

The idea to create the memory garden came from members of Emily’s church family, Amanda Maciag, and Michael Mludzik, whose father is the pastor of the church.

“The memory garden is not to mourn the passing of our loved ones, but to celebrate their lives and the contributions they made to their families, friends, the community and their church,” said Reverend Gregory Mludzik.  “During her short lifetime, Emily did much to support our church, participating in many activities and fundraisers, including serving as a Sunday School teacher.  Her warm smile brought comfort to us all and her many good deeds inspired everyone she met.”

Emily was a varsity cheerleader and played softball at Wallington High School before graduating in 2015. She just finished her junior year at William Paterson University, where she was in the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.  

The original idea to create the memory garden was quickly embraced by the church’s congregation, as well as by Emily’s many high school and college friends.  Support soon grew to include a number of local merchants who provided materials and assistance to make the garden a reality.

“Our family has been deeply touched by the outpouring of kindness and caring that everyone has shown in their remembrance of Emily,” said her mother Beverly Desbiens.  “I know she would be grateful for the creation of this lovely spot where people from the community can come to meditate in a peaceful setting”

The memory garden is located on the grounds of the Polish National Catholic Church at 135 Hathaway Street in Wallington.  The memory garden was formally dedicated as part of church services on Sunday, September 8th, 2019.

Submitted by Bryan Jackson

In photo below, on right – Emily’s mother Beverly, her father Bernie, and her brother Paul.