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.


Home | Back | Print | Top

Latest News
Recent Photos
Recent Weekly Bulletin

May 30, 2021

Upcoming Events

The General Confession schedule will resume in August on the first and third Saturdays of the month following Vespers. (Aug7 and 21). Those of you who regularly commune can participate on whichever weekend is more convenient. You are NOT  required to go twice each month. If you desire a private confession before then, Father is available on Saturdays at 6:00PM.  Confession schedule can be found in the bulletin OR by clicking here: Monthly CalendarAppointments are no longer necessary. 

Upcoming Parish Live-Streamed Services:

(1) Sat. July 31st @7:00PM    Vespers

(2) Sun. August 1st @9:00AM   Divine Liturgy - 6th Sunday after Holy Pentecost - Beginning of Dormition Fast

It is time to start planning for St. Andrew's Camp. The Camp season started on Mon. July 5th, with five glorious trips on Lake Oneida, NY. Remaining weeks are Horse Week II, and Teen Week. To register, go to saintandrewscamp.org or call the office at (315) 676-9771. email (saintandrewscamp@aol.com)

Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC)  has planned  11 Mission Trips  this summer and fall. Our assistance is needed in the form of both clergy leaders and hard-working laity. A poster is affixed to the church bulletin board with openings in Albania, Guatemala, Indonesia, Alaska and Ghana. See the OCMC website for details.

25 Week Club Tickets  are now available from any  Men's Club member. A $25 contribution enters you into 25 weekly drawings for a cash prize. And you can win in multiple weeks. The fundraiser is capped off by the 25-Week Club Nite, held in mid-January where all participants are invited. Purchase tickets for you and your family! Click 25weekclub for full details.

An Atlantic City Bus Trip,  sponsored by the Senior R Club, will take place on Tuesday, September 28th. See Janice Meade for details and registration: (732-257-8671 or janicemeade@aol.com)

Save the date! The  Senior R Club will be hosting an Oktoberfest Party, featuring delicious German cuisine and great live music, on Saturday, October 2nd, in the church hall. Tickets will soon be available from any Club member. 

Annual School Supply Drive:  This drive, to benefit "under-resourced" youth attending South River Schools, will kick off on Sunday, Aug. 1st thru Aug. 15th. Allison Steffaro is chairing the initiative. Please bring backpacks, notebooks, binders, folders, pencils/pens, lined paper, glue sticks and scissors, or a check and drop them off at the Candle Desk. or church hall.

Pysanky Decorating Workshop: Learn the time-honored art of creating intricately patterned Easter eggs on Sunday, Aug. 15th at 11:00AM and Monday, Aug. 23rd at 7:00PM. Cost is $10.00 / person, which includes supplies. Coffee and refreshments will be served. To register, call or email  Barb Kaminsky at (609)-902-1790 or barbarakaminsky199@gmail.com .

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 at church or at jznaiden@optonline.net.


Parish Council: Tues. July 26th @ 7:30

Saturday, July 31st
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, August 1st
Procession of the Cross
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Thursday, August 5th
7:00 Vespers with Litiya
Friday, August 6th
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saturday, August 7th
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers and General Confession
Sunday, August 8th
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church / South River, NJ / 732-257-0102