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: 2024-06-16 12:07:56

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

The Patronal Feast Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 29th. Divine Liturgy with Procession will be served at 9:00AM, followed by a festal meal in the church hall. There is a sign-up sheet at the Candle Desk for those who plan to bring something (covered dish, salad, dessert) to the repast.  Please make every effort to attend this joyous occasion as we honor the heavenly protectors of our community, SS. Peter and Paul.

The Senior R Club is now accepting reservations for its Atlantic City Bus Trip on Tues, July 16th, to the Resoerts Hotel and Casino. The cost is $35 with $10 returned in slots. The bus will depart from the main parking lot on Whitehead Avenue at 9AM. Refreshements will be served on the ride down. For more info, contact Janice Meade (732-257-8671) or (janiceemeade@aol.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 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: June 12th @7:00PM (Church)

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


Friday, June 21
7:00 Matins for the Departed
Saturday, June 22
Memorial Saturday
9:00 Liturgy
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, June 23
PENTECOST
9:00 Divine Liturgy followed by kneeling prayers, then Taste of the Parish
Monday, June 24
Nativity of the Baptist
9:00 Divine Liturgy

Saturday, June 29
Ss. Peter & Paul
9:00 Divine Liturgy followed by Potluck Luncheon
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, June 30
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church / South River, NJ / 732-257-0102