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Gloucester City: St. Mary’s 160th Anniversary Mass

By Charles Reed

NEWS Correspondent

  Sunday June 7 in Proprietors Park on the Gloucester waterfront was a time for remembrance, reverence, fun, eats and games.

  The celebration was highlighted by Mass and Eucharist under the gazebo and surrounding lawns.

  The principal celebrant was Monsignor Curran assisted by Father Goyete and Deacon Crosson.

    The 160th Anniversary Mass was attended by approximately 300 people.

    The first Mass in St. Mary's Parish was celebrated way back in January of 1848 when Bishop Kendrick of Philadelphia assigned the Rev. Edward Waldron to be pastor of the first Catholic Parish in South Jersey.

    Services were conducted in a Mill block house at the corner of King and Hudson Streets. It was not long before larger facilities were needed and moved to the School Hall for a short time and then to Washington Hall on N. King Street.

    The cornerstone of the first St. Mary's Church was laid in September of 1848 at the present location of St. Mary Grammar School.

    The new church had a seating capacity of 400 and was used until the completion of the present St. Mary's Church on Monmouth Street at Atlantic Street in December of 1889.

    Back 160 years ago the Catholics in Gloucester had to make their way across the river to Philadelphia to attend Mass, now we can worship in our own beautiful church here at home

    After Mass was celebrated, everyone was welcome to attend the barbeque picnic in the park put on by the parishioners of the parish.

    Barbequed chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers with all the trimmings were served without limit.

    The dessert table was well stocked with all kinds of goodies.

    Soft pretzels and water ice was enjoyed by all. To burn off the calories the kids played ball and threw Frisbees.