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
Category: Recent Events
Last updated: 2022-11-06 14:23:34

March 13, 2022


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Upcoming Events
Category: Recent Events
Last updated: 2024-05-19 13:02:14

Confession schedule can be found in the bulletin OR by clicking here: Monthly Calendar For those who are hesitant to worship in person, Fr. David is available to meet with you, either at home or in church, to participate in the Sacraments of Holy Confession and Communion. Please email or call Fr. David to set up an appointment.  
 
Schemick-Tolls Scholarship - Please click here for --> DETAILS <-- and information regarding scholarship money available to your child!!!
 
The Men's Club  invites you to join them for an Atlantic City Bus Trip to the Resorts Hotel & Casino  on Tues May 21. Cost is $35, which includes $18 free slot play, as well as refreshments on the bus. Departure is from the Whitehead Ave. parking lot at 9 a.m. For reservations, contact Peter Silowka (732)735-6540.
 
The Annual Memorial Day Panihida, honoring all of the departed veterans of our parish will be served at our Cemetery on Monday, May 27th at 8:00AM sharp.  If you know of any recently deceased or forgotten servicemen/women who should be included on the memorial list, please contact Fr. David at the rectory.
 

Summer Concert, presented by the South River Balalaika Orchestra,  will be held in the auditorium of South River High School on Sunday, June 2nd, beginning at 2:00PM. An afternoon of Old World music will be offered. Tickets are $20/person; $10 for children under 12. Additional info is posted on the bulletin board in the vestibule, or contact Mike Steffaro (michaelsteffaro@comcast.net) or (908)812-3671. Deadline for advanced tickets is Fri., May 24.

The Men's Club is pleased to host its Annual Spaghetti Dinner on Sat. June 15th. This delicious fundraising event will be held in the church hall from 5-8pm.  (Note: Vespers will be served at 4pm.) Come and enjoy good food and fellowship! Cost is $15 per dinner for adults, and $8 for children 14 and under. The meal will include spaghetti with meat sauce, sausage, meatball, salad, dessert and coffee/tea. Soda and water will be available for purchase at this BYOB affair. There will also be a small basket raffle. Tickets are available from any club member, at the door or by contacting Phil at (908)331-1297. All are invited--- Mangiara!

Church School Closing/Graduate Recognition Exercises will be held after Liturgy on Sunday June 16th.

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:

Church School: TODAY

Altar Society: May 20th @6:30 (Hall)

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

Choir Rehearsal: May 21st @7:00PM (Church)

Men's Club: Thurs June 20th @ 7:00 (Hall) - 


Saturday, May 25
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, May 26
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saturday, June 1
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, June 2
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church / South River, NJ / 732-257-0102