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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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May 12th, 2019


Upcoming Events

A Memorial Day Panahida honoring all our departed veterans will be served at the cemetery on Monday, May27th at 8:00AM. If you know someone who should be added to the list, please contact Fr. David.

The Annual Parish Council Conference will be held in our Church hall on Saturday, June 1st from 10:00AM - 3:00PM. Bill Marianes will be speaking on the topic of Discipleship thru Stewardship , and how we can become closer followers of Christ  thru the use of our time, talents and treasure. 

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held in the hall on Sunday June 2nd following coffee hour. Please make every effort to attend,

The R-Club Riboff has been brought back! After the Annual Meeting, stay for the wonderful smells ( and tastes) of BBQ ribs as the R-Club members compete for bragging rights of best ribs. VOTE for your Fav. (June 2nd at 3:00PM) $20 for adults and $10 for kids under 12. BYOB!

On Ascension Day, June 6th, Archbishop Michael will present Fr. Sergius Kuharsky with the priestly miter, after six decades of faithful service.  After Liturgy, a luncheon will be held in his honor at the Church Hall. 

The 24th Annual Run/Walk for the Church will be held on Saturday, June 8th at 9:00AM.  IIt;s a good day out: a 5 mile walk or 8 mile run. Please bring the kids and help raise money for the Church. Contact Hank Dziemian for details (732)690-7461


Saturday, June 1st
10:00AM - 3:00PM Parish Council Conference in Hall
5:00 Confessions
6:30 Panahida for Joseph Rock and Paul & Sergei Rudenia
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, June 2nd
9:00 Divine Liturgy
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING following Coffee Hour
3:00 Rib Cook off Dinner
Thursday, June 6th
ASCENSION OF THE LORD
9:00AM Divine Liturgy and miter presentation to Fr. Kuharsky followed by Lunch in the hall
Saturday, June 8th
9:00AM 24th Annual Run for the Church
5:00 Confessions
7:00 Vespers
Sunday, June 9th
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Church School Graduation Recognition after Liturgy
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church / South River, NJ / 732-257-0102