Parish History

“Part of the Oldest Parishes in Sussex County”

The Catholic faith in Sussex County was introduced by some of the early settlers from Ireland in the now know town of Newton, before the Revolution of 1776. “During the early colonial times priests were scarce. Therefore, the spiritual needs of the early Catholic settlers in northern New Jersey had to be attended to by the sporadic visits of priests from distant cities such as New York and Philadelphia. These priests were known as the "circuit riders" who came through the area every year or two. There was a small brick building on the farm of Samuel McKernan, a Catholic of the area, where these priests said Mass in Ogdensburg. This building by the 1800s became the site of one of the early Catholic churches in Sussex County. This building served as the home for the St. Thomas of Aquin parish. From 1881, St. Thomas was served by the resident pastors of Immaculate Conception in Franklin, but on May 28, 1940, Rev. George A. Brown was appointed the first resident pastor of St. Thomas.”
To read more about our past, click here.


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