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St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish - Sayreville NJ

A parish history from the 1964 Golden Jubilee Book

The accomplishments of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish are a product of two administrations, namely that of Rev. John Pawlowski and that of Rev. Alexander Maciejewski, During the administration of the former i.e. Rev. John Pawlowski, the major portion of the Real Estate in the vicinity of the Church and Cemetery were purchased and a Combination Building of a church and school, the Rectory and the Convent were erected, During the administration of the latter i.e. of Rev. Alexander Maciejewski, additional purchases of property at the cemetery site and in the vicinity of the church were made, the debt liquidated and a very substantial capital, nearing one half million dollars accumulated, making possible the erection of the latest accomplishment, the New St. Stanislaus School.

Thus briefly can be evaluated a half century of the material progress of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish. It would not be a fair analysis to state that the administration of Rev. John Pawlowski was the beginning and that of Rev. Alexander Maciejewski was the fruition of a noble project. It would be better to state that Rev. John Pawlowski is the organizer and constructor of St, Stanislaus Kostka attainments and the Rev. Alexander Maciejewski, the developer of the acquirements inherited, substantially improving particularly the cemetery project, in a very large measure the vicinity of the church, with realistic provisions for the future,

Both former Pastors possessed a unique talent and ability to organize their parishioners, inspiring them to unite their efforts and sacrifices so as to provide facilities for themselves and for posterity. Rev. John Pawlowski provided the buildings, adequate to meet the needs of his congregation, first for religious services, for social functions, for the education of the youth, then the accommodations for the required personnel, and finally procuring an everlasting resting place for the departed.

Father Maciejewski, foreseeing the future potential of this congregation continued this noble work by additional acquisitions of properties and improving the facilities, trusting that he would climax his tenure with the erection of a new, more spacious church and or school, which however did not materialize because God designed otherwise. On the brink of beginning a new project of either a new church or school or both, supported with sizeable assets, his stewardship was terminated and the Rev. Ladislaus Madura was assigned by the Most Rev. Bishop George W. Ahr to undertake and continue the program of these illustrious predecessors.

About the time when such stable industries as Sayre Fisher Brick Co., Crossman Clay Co., and Such Clay Co., were augmented by the major expansion of E. I. DuPont Powder Co., the Hercules Powder Co., the California and Gillispie Shell Loading plant, Sayreville came into prominence. At the time of this turn of events, St. Stanislaus Kostka Church was established. The immigrants from Poland comprised a sizeable percentage of the population of this Township.

Factually, the presence of polish immigrants dates back to the latter part of the 19th century and parallels the growth of Sayreville. The Borough of Sayreville extends over an area of 14 square miles, and her history of any prominence, begins with the latter part of the 19th century. Endowed with natural resources of rich deposits of clay and sand, invited industries which would capitalize on these resources.

Keeping in mind the transportation of that era, we can well understand how the people settled near these industries and thus created a natural division of Sayreville. Thus too, we can visualize how the immigrants from Poland as the numbers g r e w proportionately affiliated themselves with Sacred Heart Church, South Amboy and again others associated themselves with St. Mary's Church, South River,

In each event, since Sacred Heart Church, South Amboy was established in 1898, that part of Sayreville, known a s Melrose Mechanicsville, Burts Creek and Pegtown formed an integral part of that Church and because of its proximity continues as a member of that Church, I n order to b u i I d a church in 1898, reasonably presupposes, that for a number of years prior, these people were settling in this area. One of the fundamental organizations of Sacred Heart Parish, namely the Rosary Society is recorded as having banded together in 1892 in the Melrose section of Sayreville.

Those who lived in Parlin, Lower and Upper Sayreville, in time were to form the nucleus of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish. They leaned toward St. Mary's in South River, in fact joined with their compatriots in the formation of St. Mary's Parish in the year 1903.

Records reveal that the first to settle in Sayreville were Felix Lapa in 1886, Joseph Lis in 1888, and John Lapa in 1889, parent of the former councilmen John and Frank Lapa. As the numbers grew a beneficiary Lodge was organized, known as the St. Joseph's Society, of the Polish Roman Catholic Union, National Chapter No. 20. It is worthy to note that by 1900, the population of the Township of Sayreville was 4,000, It is likewise worthy to note that in the prime industries of Sayre Fisher Brick Co., Crossman Clay Co., and Such Clay Co., the immigrants from Poland comprised a major role in the labor ranks. These and later industries depended on the reliable and able immigrant from Poland and their offspring. Currently these play a major role in the progress of Sayreville, in each industry and sphere of public activity.

An amusing story is told of what happened one day, in the era before mechanized transportation, The Polish people are staunch Catholics and they do not work on a Holy Day. One day a man tried to harness a mule on a Holy Day; the animal would not budge, the cause - very simple - Mr. Cebulski was in charge of the animals, to which, he gave orders in the polish language. Since the Polish people did not work that day, neither could the animals because they too could not understand orders in an other language.

For a short time, around the turn of the century, Rev. Julian Zielinski, the pastor of Sacred Heart Church, South Amboy, would occasionally visit the people of polish ancestry in Sayreville, extending spiritual consolation and at times even conduct services at Our Lady of Victories Church. This appeased them somewhat, but, did not suffice. South River did not have a Church as yet, so they negotiated there. At that time it was seriously considered to purchase property on Washington Road, not too far from the dividing bridge and thereby serve both communities. Thus, not in South River but in Sayreville, the Church would be erected. However a concession was made and Sayreville again assisted in the forming of a church in another community, namely South River.

This state of affairs could not continue indefinitely. About the year 1910, a committee was formed with the expressed purpose of gaining more convenience and more adequate spiritual and educational facilities. Thus St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish was seeded.

A committee comprising of Stanislaw Gilewski, Wladyslaw Lajewski, Jozef Lis, Alexander Popowski, Ludwik Szafarz, Konstanty Popowski, Wojciech Gorka, Michal Osuch, Piotr Wodarczyk, Michal Surdej, Lucyan Golaszewski, Szczepan Mozdzen, Sylwester Olender, Jozef Liszewski, Zygmunt Popowski, Jan Garbowski, Wojciech Drogon, Andrzej Szczepanik, Antoni Lewandowski, Wojciech Gawron, Konstanty Ksepka, Leon Grubowski, Jan Bernas, Jozef Derent, Stanislaw Czernikowski, Szczepan Grubowski, Boleslaw Jablonski, Franciszek Brajczewski, Wladyslaw Zarembski and Piotr Merski formed a resolution and sent a delegation to Most Rev. Bishop James McFaul with a petition of forming a Church. Bishop McFaul was sympathetic to their appeal giving it serious consideration. He designated Rev. John Pawlowski the pastor of St. Mary's. South River to investigate and report on his findings.

To choose a location, not too near Our Lady of Victories Church (advice of Bishop McFaul), yet accessible and convenient was not a simple task. One proposal was a site along Main St., near the present Borough Hall, and another was on Washington Road near Quaid St., (Clark's Corner). The people residing on Jacobsen, Canal and Sandfield Road (MacArthur Avenue) prevailed and through Wojciech Gorka, the land, presently covered by the convent, church and rectory, was legally donated by Mr. Fisher.

The property was deeded to St. Mary's Church, South River, N. J. April 6, 1912 and recorded in New Brunswick October 14, 1912. As soon as St. Stanislaus Kostka R. C. Church, Sayreville, N. J. was incorporated June 8, 1914, the same property was deeded to this corporation on June 30, 1914.

Resolution to Convey Lands

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary's Church, South River, New Jersey on this the 9th day of June in the year of Our Lord 1914, it was resolved and passed that the Rt. Rev Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, President of this Board of Trustees sign and execute under corporate seal and deliver a deed of conveyance to be made by this Corporation, St. Mary's Church, South River, New Jersey to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Sayreville, NeV: Jersey for Certain property deeded by Sayre and Fisher Co., to Corporation of St. Mary's Church ,South River, New Jersey.

Approved: Rev. John Pawlowski, Treasurer
               James A. McFaul, Bishop of Trenton

Jozef Lewandowski and John Zdrodowski  - lay trustees

Jubilee Project

The services of an architect, Mr, Edward McCarthy, Jr. were engaged, and after a year of planning and designing …. work was started .... the general contract awarded to William Connolly & Sons, the plumbing and heating to Richardson Engineering and the electric to Dorson Electric & Supply Company. In the year of this Golden Jubilee of the Parish, a stately school of 12 classrooms, a spacious auditorium and cafeteria, with the progressive construction, stands as a monument to the predecessors and a pride to posterity, An expensive project, nearing in cost to a million dollars, but through the generosity of the faithful …. no debt burdens the Parish ..... Truly a remarkable group of people constitute this St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish.

In the past 3 years, 1962 - 1964, an epochal venture was attempted and made a reality. Then there were many other essential projects materialized in this short span of years; 7 more acres of property purchased, trusses on the church reinforced, the church re-roofed, a new heating system installed in the church and convent, the 12 apartment building, known as the incubators, purchased, the church repainted and so many more projects.

The entire parish, the young ladies and the women of the parish rallied with the priests in numerous fund raising programs to help finance and to strengthen the Sunday contributions. These activities are reviewed in the history of the various organizations.

It would be amiss to omit the tremendous help of the men of the parish who unstintingly assisted and gratuitously offered their services. It was a series of projects. Some were spontaneous and some were planned. One day the pastor stood in the vestibule of the church and said to Frank Lajewski "Frank, this is a sad state of affairs. This is such a solidly constructed building ... we have reinforced the trusses, we have redecorated the church with such men as Edward Ostrowski, but these winding stairs are a problem, I had a picture taken of a funeral, and am surprised that in 50 years, no one has proposed a solution, An elevator would help, but aside from the cost, it still would not be a solution, "What if we opened that window and build a side staircase. Frank Lajewski looked at the side window and said "say the word and we start". Soon his son John and John Lis and some other men caucused resulting in the construction of a side entrance. then came the front entrance, then came other projects. Who master minded all this? It is a long list but worthy of publication. Teofil Baranowski Joseph Cannon, Paul Dockiewicz, Frank Genus, John Genus, Edward Jurkiewicz, John Jurkiewicz, Charles Klimek, Chester Krainski, Adolf Kuczynski Zygmunt Kruszewski, Frank Lajewski, John Lajewski, Raymond Lajewski, John Lis, Casimir Lis, Edwin Michalik, George Michalik, John Niewinski, Fred Palka, Joseph Prysak, John Skurka, George Wnek, Stanley Buczek, Bernard Dominik, Peter Florczak, John Garbowski, Louis Garbowski, Peter Garbowski, John Grabowski, Ben Gilewski, John Gawron, Jr. Charles Grobelny, Kevin Grodzki, Steve Grodzki, Joseph Jurkiewicz, Jr. Joseph Jurkiewicz, Sr. John Kaczorowski, Steve Klosek, Bernard Kro1ik, Alex Kruszewski, Frank Krzyzkowski, Chester Kuczynski, Frank Lis, Stanley Lis, Joseph Lajewski, Boleslaw Malanowski, Alfred Michalik, John Nalepka, Edward Ostrowski, John Pysno, Bernard Sekman, Michael Silvanovich, Raymond Stanjeski, Alfred Stelmaszek, Walter Synarski, Frank Szot, Stanley Wlodarczyk, Joseph Wojtaszek, Walter Wojtaszek, Michael Zaczek, Walter Zalewski, Adolf Zuczek, Ben Zygmunt.

There is work to be done. Such was the assignment. Some has been done, some more will be done, God Willing, and all parishioners with no respect for age or sex, who constitute St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish will further the glory of God and their salvation, continuing the program of such priest as Rev. John Pawlowski and Rev. Alexander Maciejewski, May they rest in peace.

The Lay Trustees of the Parish, who so faithfully rendered their services during the Half-Century of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish.

1914 - 1916 Jozef Lis, Alexander Popowski
1917 - 1918 Alexander Popowski, Stanislaw Marchut
1918 - 1919 Szymon Albin, Jan Wojcik
1919 - 1920 Szymon Albin, Felix Blaszka
1920 - 1921 Szymon Albin, Wladyslaw Tucholski
1922 - 1923 Pawel Karbowski, Sylwester Olender
1923 - 1924 Jozef Kruszewski, Jan Wojcik
1925 - 1929 Jan Wojcik, Alexander Blaszka
1930 - 1960 Alexander Blaszka, Sylwester Olender
1961 - 1962 Alexander Blaszka, Wojciech Wnek
1963 - 1964 Wojciech Wnek, Bolesfaw Gilewski

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Last Updated on October 20, 2011