The cornerstone was put in place 150 years ago

The cornerstone was put in place 150 years ago

 

stnicholas150th1-webLeft photo: Nettie Pinto, 95, is helped down the aisle by Pat Donnelly and her mother, Agnes Ade, 93, who are the earliest baptized members of St. Nicholas.

On Sunday, April 25, the parish community of St. Nicholas Church in Egg Harbor City commemorated its 150th anniversary with a Mass and buffet luncheon.

In 1860, the cornerstone of St. Nicholas Church was put into place with permission from Bishop James R. Bayley of Newark. Officiated by Redemptorist Father Michael Dausch, the ceremony was the beginning of a plan by Egg Harbor City Catholics to have their own place of worship.

Construction of the church was delayed due to the Civil War, and resumed a few months after the arrival of Father Franz Lucas Junker, in May 1864. The church was dedicated on Nov. 9, 1873.

In attendance at the April 25 ceremony were priests, past and present, who have served St. Nicholas: current pastor Father Michael Matveenko; Father Grace Manano, In-Residence; Father Ronald Falotico, part-time, Hispanic Ministry; Msgr. Joseph Stoerlein; Msgr. Michael Coyne; Father Bernard Gannon; Father Robert Fritz; and Father Alvaro Diaz.

Also in attendance were deacons who have served the parish, Deacon Michael Guerrieri, Deacon Jose Cruz, and Deacon Joseph Becker, and religious sisters who previously served at the former school: Sister Dorita Slaughter, Sister Elizabeth DeWahl, Sister Dorothy Joseph (Sister Eileen Doherty), and Sister St. Margaret (Sister Margaret Apel).

The day included the recently married St. Nicholas parishioners (Jose and Tiffany Cruz, one year); long-married parishioners (Bus and Edith Will, 65 years); the early baptized (Nettie Pinto, 95 years); and the newly-baptized (Gary William Minissa, one day).

After Mass, church bells tolled 150 times.

Currently, St. Nicholas is in the process of merging with Assumption Parish, in Galloway Township. The priest convener is Father Matveenko.

He thanked the Catholic faithful in Egg Harbor City over the past 150 years who have practiced their “Catholic faith and service…that has kept (the church) going all these years.”

Important Dates

— 1864: Father Franz Junker, from Bavaria, was sent as the first resident priest to minister to Catholics in Egg Harbor

—   Bishop Bayley of Newark had laid the cornerstone of the church in 1860, but it was delayed by the Civil War; construction went back on a few months after Father Franz Lucas Junker arrived, in May 1864; church was dedicated on Nov, 9, 1873.

— May 1941: church renovations began, and the widening of the sides of the church was done by parishioners and citizens of Egg Harbor. On Oct. 19, 1941 the renovated building was consecrated by Bishop Eustace.

 

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