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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Upcoming Events

The Upcoming Week's Lenten Confession schedule can be found in the bulletin OR by clicking here: Monthly Calendar.  By appointment only. Call or email Fr. David(dfmg@aol.com). Please do not wait until Holy Week!

The Sacrament of Holy Unction will be celebrated on  Thursday, Apr. 22, at 7:00PM, followed by Oil Annointment for healing. NOTE: Those who are not regular communicants must prepare to receive Holy Unction by first going to Holy Confession.

Church Cleanup Days:

In preparation for Pascha, there will be two Church Cleanup Days. (1) Thursday April 22nd from 2-6PM and (2) Lazarus Saturday, April 24th after Liturgy at about 10:30AM. Please chip in to help beautiful the Church before Pascha. We will also need help putting up the tent, chairs and AV equipment. Many hands make for light work! Thank you!!! Please contact Fr. David if you can come either day.

Upcoming Parish Live-Streamed Services:

(1) Wed. Apr. 21st @7:00PM    Presanctified Liturgy

(2) Thurs. Apr. 22nd @7:00PM   Sacrament of Holy Unction

(3) Fri. Apr. 23rd @7:00PM    Matins of Lazarus Saturday

(4) Sat. Apr. 24th @9:00AM   Divine Liturgy - Lazarus Saturday

(5) Sat. Apr. 24th @7:00PM   Vigil of Palm Sunday w/Blessing of Willows

(6) Sun. Apr. 25th @9:00AM  Divine Liturgy - PALM SUNDAY

KEY DATES: 

Archbishop MICHAEL's Paschal Visitation will be on Bright Monday, May 3rd.

Memorial (Soul) Saturdays: Jun 19, and Oct. 23.


Wednesday, April 21st
6:00 Confessions (By Appt)
7:00 Liturgy PreSanctified Gifts
Thursday, April 22nd
6:00 Cpnfessions (By Appt)
7:00 Sacrament of Holy Unction
Friday, April 23rd
6:00 Confessions (By Appt)
7:00 Matins of Lazarus Saturday
Saturday, April 24th
Lazarus Saturday
5:00 Confessions (By Appt)
7:00 Vigil of Palm Sunday
Sunday, April 25th
PALM SUNDAY
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Monday, April 26th
HOLY MONDAY
7:00 Bridegroom Matins
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church / South River, NJ / 732-257-0102