Saint Mary's Parish
426 Monmouth Street, Gloucester City NJ 08030
Phone: (856) 456-0052
(GLOUCESTERCITYNEWS.NET)(February 18, 2007)GLOUCESTER CITY NJ --The idea of making Gloucester City a parish took shape in 1848 when a petition was presented to Bishop Kenrick of Philadelphia and the Rev. E.Q.S. Waldron was appointed.
Mass was first said in a private house, but the accommodations soon proved too small for the growing congregation. The superintendent of the school hall, though a non-Catholic, gave the use of the hall to Father Waldron, who for a time said Mass there every Sunday. Bigotry and ignorance soon deprived the little flock of this privilege.
In 1849, a Protestant, a Mr. Robb, donated the ground for a church. The pastor and people immediately made every effort to erect a suitable edifice. The first and second cornerstones were stolen, but the third, laid by Father Matthew, a famous Irish temperance priest, was buried 10 feet underground. The new church was finally erected and had a seating capacity of 400.
The Rev. Thomas J. McCormack was appointed pastor in the spring of 1886 and soon found there was more work to be done as the number of Catholics increased with the growth of the town.
In the autumn of 1886, he secured 12 lots bounded by Somerset, Atlantic, and Monmouth Streets.
The present parochial residence was built at a cost of $14,000. In March 1888, Father McCormack moved into the rectory. The lots and rectory were paid for, a few old debts were wiped out, and on March 24th, 1888 ground was broken for the church.
On July 15th, Bishop O'Farrell laid the cornerstone. The church was brought to completion without delay and dedicated on November 24th, 1889. The cost of the structure was $65,000. In the spring of 1893, the last dollar of debt on St. Mary's property was paid.
St. Mary's Church, one of the most beautiful churches in New Jersey, is built of hard sandstone of a bluish-gray color. The stone trimmings are tool-dressed and the front has a fine stone gable cross. The style of architecture is early Gothic.
The church is 140 feet in length by 70 feet in width; adding to the beauty of the structure is a tower and spire, together 160 feet in height.
The chimes were purchased from the McShane Bell Foundry, Baltimore, Md. They are composed of 10 bells, the largest 3,085 pounds and the weights gradually decreasing to the smallest, which weighs about 200 pounds. The total weight of all the bells, exclusive of the frames and attachments, is 10,673 pounds. The entire value, including delivery and putting in the tower, was $3,200.
The Playing Stand is oak. It is almost square, having 10 levers on brass hinges, a silver plate on each lever bearing the letter denoting the tone of each respective Bell, and above the levers is a music rack.
The chimes were of great importance to the parish as the people pledged what was then a great deal of money from their weekly earnings. The Dedication of the Bells was held on Sunday, November 1891, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and continued well into the evening.
The following names are engraved on each Bell: St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Thomas, St. Micheal, St. Patrick, St. Dominic, St. Alphonsus, St. Ignatius, St. Benedict, and St. Vincent de Paul.
The Stations of the Cross were first requisitioned March 1909 from Germany and installed January 1911, at which time the remaining balance of $2,100 was paid. The total cost was $9,600.
The windows in St. Mary's new church from the art studios of Megnen, Clemens and Bordereau, Paris et Augers, established 1882, have been pronounced by critics to be some of the finest ever imported. Many of the faces are authentic portraits of the Saints represented.
There are twelve windows in the church proper. Those on one side of the church contain pictures of the Twelve Apostles, viz: St. Peter, St. Paul, St. James the Greater, St. Andrew, St. Phillip, St. Bartholomew, St. James the Less, St. Thomas, St. Simon, St. Jude, and Ireland's patron saints St. Patrick and St. Bridget.
On the other side are the Doctors of the Church: St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Gregory, St. Anselm, St. Chrysostom, St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, St. Theresa and St. Elizabeth.
The sanctuary contains three large windows. In the center, one, is the true copy of Murillo's "Immaculate Conception," the original of which is in the Louvre Gallery, Paris. On either side are the four Evangelists.
In the chapel on the epistle side of the sanctuary is a window containing a representation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the gift of the pastor, Rev. Thomas J. McCormack, and in the chapel, on the opposite side, the Sacred Heart of Mary, the gift of the "Young Men's Catholic Beneficial Society."
The 12 side windows in the church were donated, one each, by Jos. O. Kane, Sr.; John Goan, Sr.; James J. Foster, in memory of his parents; James McLaughlin, Mrs. McMonagle, in memory of her husband; Patrick J. Kelly, Ferdinand McWilliams and sons, Mrs. E. Taylor, Patrick McGlade, Sisters of St. Dominic, Mary Bierly, in memory of her uncle, Francis Hughes, St. Mary's Cadets and Mrs. Mich O'Brien, in memory of her daughter.
Those in the front atrium were donated by Martin Coyle, Sr., and Michael Coyle: those in the tower entrance by Martin Coyle, Jr.; the three windows in the front gable, over the main entrance, were donated by William J. Thompson, Hugh Fitzpatrick, and Catherine McElwee, in memory of her parents; one of the tower windows by Mrs. Mary O'Brien, in memory of her husband, and the window over the side entrance opening into the aisle, by James McConnerby, in memory of his wife.
Besides the windows, nearly all the necessary altar furniture, etc., were donated by different members of the parish. The side altar Blessed Virgin Mary, donated by A.O.H. Division, No. 3; St. Joseph's altar, by St. Mary's Society and the Lady of Lourdes Society; a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Henry McBride; a statue of St. Joseph, Mrs. Thomas Brennan.
Two angels on the high altar, Catholic Social Club; altar cross, James McGlade; credence table, Mary F. Phepoe; large candlesticks high altar, Frank Fath; large candlesticks St. Joseph altar, Mrs. Bridget Hughes, baptismal font, St. Mary's school children; sanctuary lamp, Miss McFadden; ostensorium and thabor, a gentleman and lady of the parish.
Three plush chairs for sanctuary, Joseph J. Gallagher, of Camden; tabernacle lining, Mrs. Howarth; missal cover, Mary E. Gorman; vases for side altars, Mary Kelly; vases for the high altar; Mrs. Julia Maloney, candelabra; Mrs. Hines, another set of candelabra; Mrs. Cloran, vestment; Henry Farrelly, cruets, cut glass, gold-mounted; Charles A. Lenny, smaller candlesticks for the high altar.
Mrs. Henry McIntre, smaller candlesticks, Blessed Virgin Mary Altar; Mary A. Lenny, smaller candlesticks St. Joseph's altar; Mrs. Annie Whittington, a chime of altar bells; Mary Campbell, paschal candlesticks; Mrs. James McGlade, a brass missal stand, a lady of the parish, and a pair of brackets candlesticks for the high altar, William Whalen.
Besides these donations, many gave sums of $5.00 towards paying for the high altar.
Posted by CNBNewsnet on Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 05:00 PM in COMMUNITY EVENTS, Gloucester Catholic High School, Gloucester City NEWS, New Jersey , New Jersey CENTRAL, NORTH JERSEY, PHILLY & PA. NEWS, Religion, South Jersey, St. Mary Grammar/Parish, THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE | Permalink | Comments (0)