Cemetery History
New Sign Facing Raymond Place
New Sign Facing Raymond Place
New Sign Facing Raymond Place
Cross on top of Hill
Cross on top of Hill
Cross on top of Hill
Original Granite Stone Sign
Original Granite Stone Sign
Original Granite Stone Sign

Our Church Cemetery was founded in 1910 - five years after the founding of our Church.

By 1910, the church was able to accumulate $800.00 through donations from the parishioners, and they acquired a two-story corner store next to the church for a rectory. The store was enclosed and a small wing was attached to it. The church school was housed in the store, and the wing became a library.

At this time , the Brotherhood had been working on a cemetery project. In May of 1910, they acquired five wooded acres from James Bisset, the first mayor of South River, for the sum of $300.00. To celebrate the signing of the deed, our parishioners walked through one and a half miles of marsh and woods until they found the hill where the cross now stands. There they exploded many firecrackers and then started to work on a road. Mr. Bisset had donated enough land for an access road, as well as the use of his horse and wagon, and gave our parishioners all the brickbats they needed to fill in the marshy areas. The parishioners had to do the loading and unloading, but their first task was to cut and clear about a mile of woods for their roadbed.

A local blacksmith, William Kelch, made and donated a 25 foot steel cross which, in time, deteriorated and was replaced by a smaller wooden cross. The cemetery grounds are approximately a quarter mile from the Church accessible through Raymond Place, off of Kamm Avenue.

The first parishioner buried at the cemetery was Mr. John Koval on October 7, 1910. As the story tells it, “Since there was no bridge crossing the river in Old Bridge to get to the glass factory, our people had tied a raft to get back and forth to work. During a torrential rain, the raft was swept away and John drowned.”

A number of individuals who were instrumental in the history of our Church are reposed here in our cenmetery including the V. Rev. Philip Pechinsky, V. Rev. Peter Semashko, and Professor Ivan Blonsky who was the director of the church choir for many decades.

In 1949, the church acquired an additional 10 acres for the cemetery from Marcus Wright (son of the builder of our church) at $50.00 an acre. The property remained wooded until 1962. This new addition was dedicated by Metropolitan Ireney on June 9, 1975, as it was needed for interment. Under the leadership of the Very Reverend Joseph Kreshik, the new ten acres were developed at the cemetery. Another strip of land was acquired from the town to include some old burials which were located on borough property, and the entire 15 acres were fenced in for the first time. At the same time, our Seven Acres Park was still mostly mud and swamp. French drains were put in, fill dirt from the cemetery was carted in, a barbecue area was built, a baseball field laid out, some trees removed and others planted, and the entire area was enclosed by a fence.

During the 2010 decade, trees were planted along either side of the road to the newer section of the cemetery as a beautification project. In 2016, some of the now rusting fencing was removed, and a Cemetery sign was added at the end of Raymond Place.

St. Thomas Sunday grave blessing services are vigilantly performed every year. Memorial Day services for those Parishioners who lost their lives in the service of our country are also kept every year.

 

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Recent Weekly Bulletin

July 25, 2021


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Upcoming Events

Confession schedule can be found in the bulletin OR by clicking here: Monthly Calendar.  (There will be no General Confession during the Advent season.)

Our parish will be hosting an Advent Retreat of the OCF on Saturday, December 11th, starting at 11:00AM  in the church. All young adults, ages 18-25 are invited to attend. More details are available thrugh Fr. David.

Our Annual Saint Nicholas Giving Tree Project helps seminarian families who need assistance at Christmas. There are ornamnent tags placed on two "trees" hanging in the entry way of the Church. Take one or more tags, purchase the item, snd return the item Unwrapped by Sun. Nov. 28th.  Bring a smile to someone at Christmas morning!

A Virtual St. Andrew's Day Celebration  will be hosted by the FOCA on Tues., Nov. 30, @ 8:00PM, where an Akathist to St. Andrew will be served by past and present spiritual advisors, followed by a Keynote Address by His Eminence, Archbishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest. For more details, see  www.orthodoxfellowship.org

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking Day is scheduled for Sat., December 4th. Beginning at 10AM in the Hall, parishioners are invited to help roll out, stamp and bake the loaves used for Holy Communion. Come and be a part of this blessed ministry. All hands are welcome!

The Holiday Cookie Sale of Holy Annunciation Church in Brick will be held on Sat., Dec. 11th  from 9:00AM-Noon. Cookies by the pound, dessert rolls, ethnic items and unique gifts will be available. Although there is No Admission Fee, free Parking, complimentary coffee and hot chocolate,  you sre asked to bring gently used coats, gloves and/or mittens to help those in need.  

A Virtual Tour of Bethlehem  will be led by Very Rev. Ilya Gotlinsky on Sun. Dec. 12th @7:00PM via Zoom.  If you are having difficulty finding the true spirit and meaning of Christmas, then join in on this journey thru the Holy City and relive the events and places of our Saviour's birth. To reserve a spot, simply make a tax deductible donation at www.eventbrite.com Proceeds will benefit the FOCA United Fund, which provides for youth activities, scholarships and charitable outreach.

FOOD CARD PROGRAM : Food cards are available for various supermarket chains after Divine Liturgy, and do not cost any more than the face value of the card. The church receives a percentage as a free fundraiser! See Judy Znaiden in church or at jznaiden@optonline.net.

MEETING DATES: 

Parish Council: Mon. TBD @7:30PM (Hall)

Choir Rehearsal: Tues., Nov.30th @ 7:00PM (Church)

Men's Club: Thurs. Dec. 16th @7:00PM (Hall)

Altar Society: TBD (Hall)


Saturday, December 4th
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers followed by Confessions
Sunday, December 5th
9:00 Divine Liturgy
7:00 Great Vespers w/Litiya followed by Confessions
Monday, December 6th
St. Nicholas the WonderWorker
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saturday, December 11th
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, December 12th
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church / South River, NJ / 732-257-0102