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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July 25, 2021

Upcoming Events

Confession schedule can be found in the bulletin OR by clicking here: Monthly Calendar 
- General Confession has resumed on Sat. Jan. 15th following Vespers, and will continue on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.
- 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.
- House Blessings will begin in February and be scheduled by appointment only.  To have your house blessed, please leave a message       with Father via phone or e-mail.

Our 2022 Church Calendars, courtesy of the Maliszewski Funeral Home, are now available for pick-up in the vestibule.

2021 Donations Statements  will be issued this year By Request Only.  Please put your name on the sign-up sheet located at the Candle Desk. Or contact Jay Pelleriti at (poetheart7753@aol.com)

Due to concerns about the rising spread of the Covid virus, the  Men's Club 25-week club Dinner (originally scheduled for Thurs. Jan. 20th) has been Cancelled, and postponed to Thurs. Feb. 24th. On, or about Feb. 10th, based on the current environment, a decision will be made to either keep this Feb. 24th date, or cancel the dinner altogether. Thank you for your patience.

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.

A Midwest US Tornado Relief Fund  is being directed by The IOCC.  They have been responding to disasters since 1992. Proceeds will provide aid like food, water, medicine and shelter. Please consider participating in this appeal. Send your gift to the IOCC US Emergency Response Fund, 110 West Rd - Ste 360, Baltimore, MD 21204

A 10-Day Academic Summer Institute, hosted by CrossRoad, is being offered to high school Juniors and Seniors to prepare them in making big life decisions, and to connect with other Orthodox Christians in a deep and meaningful way. Three sessions are being offered: Boston (June11-22), San Francisco (July 2-12), and Chicago (July 23-Aug 2). Details are on the church bulletin board, or can be found at www.crossroadinstitute.org   Application deadlines: Mon. Jan 10 (priority) and Tues. Feb 22 (regular)


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

Choir Rehearsal: TBD (Church)

Men's Club: January meeting is cancelled (Hall)

Altar Society: TBD (Hall)

Saturday, January 22nd
6:00 Confessions
6:30 Panihida for Thomas and Helena Christie
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, January 23rd
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saturday, January 29th
6:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, January 30th
Three Holy Hierarchs
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church / South River, NJ / 732-257-0102