In 1841 on the corner of Grand (later renamed
Howard Street) and Court Streets a small wooden German catholic
church was built. It was called Saint Mary's. In 1846 it was decided
to move the old wooden church to the corner of High (formerly Bellevue)
and William Streets. The contractor who was responsible for moving
the church quit during the move. For three weeks the church sat
in the middle of High Street; however, services continued until
a new contractor could be hired. The old wooden church can be seen
on the abpve map from 1853.
In 1856 the old wooden church no longer met the growing needs
of the parish. A new (the present day church) church was built.
This church was dedicated on December 20, 1857. Benedictine monks
came from Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1857,
to take over the care of the German immigrants who made up the community
of Saint Mary's parish.
The Abbey is to the left of the church going down High Street towards
Springfield Avenue. Saint Benedicts Prep is to the left of the Abbey.
To the right of the church is Saint Mary's School. The parish school
was founded in 1863. If one chose to visit Saint Mary's School today
they would see the footprints of yesterday. Directly above the entrance
to the building its name is carved in stone. Saint Mary's Schule
( which is school in German).
Saint Benedict's College was founded in 1868, with 20 students,
a faculty of four. In 1917 it became Saint Benedict's Preparatory
The aerial picture below shows my beloved Alma Mater, Saint Benedict's
Prep. Springfield Avenue is on the top of the picture. Upper left
is South Orange Avenue and Kearn's Korner. High Street is in the
center of the picture and William Street in the lower portion.
here to see photo.
This is what our students and alumni refer to as the "Bee