Parish History



Church of Our Lady of Pompeii

The idea of establishing a church was born on 1904 by four local farmers that immigrated from Italy around 1892.  After three years of raising funds, they were allowed to break ground at Dante and Cornucopia Avenues in East Vineland in 1908.  The first Mass was celebrated on July 5, 1909 and dedicated by Bishop McFaul.  One acre of land was purchased by the pastor for the cemetery on August 29, 1909; the lots cost $10.00 each.  The first collection on July 18, 1909 amounted to $7.00.  Over the years the property has been expanded to included "grotto of Lourdes" (1938), outside Stations of the Cross "Mount Calvary" (1946), Rosary Social Hall (1952), and a mission church, St. Mary's in Milmay was constructed in 1955 (sold in 1999).  A new church was built in 1968 and the old demolished in 1969.  The Augustinian Fathers were stationed here from 1928 through 1994.  The parish then went back to the care of priests of the Camden Diocese.  This church shows that through the dedication of a few, many have reaped the rewards of the parish community.
from A Glorious Past, A Brilliant Future: The History of the Diocese Camden by Monsignor Charles J. Giglio, PH.D

Saint Mary's Church

The early pioneers and founders of St. Mary's Parish, East Vineland, felt the importance to establish themselves spiritually as well as physically in the land they were clearing to farm.  Starting in the 1870's they dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to achieve their goal.  First masses were celebrated in a family's home.  Under the leadership of Reverend Eugene Procile and Reverend Peter Jachetti, Fathers of Mercy, St. Mary's became a reality in 1884 when a small church was built.  Unfortunately, the church was never used for public worship because the day after its completion it was destroyed by a violent storm.  The new St. Mary's Church was built in 1887.  The church served the parish for 35 years.  On April 3, 1922, St. Mary's Church was completely destroyed by fire.  It was rebuilt the same year.  As a strong community, St. Mary's which consists of descendants of the early pioneers and the settlers that followed as well as all parishioners at large, flourishes and continues to carry out the legacy of its forefathers.  In 1958, the parish built St. Mary's School.  It opened in 1960, became regionalized in 1971, and enjoys a fine reputation for its academic, social and spiritual values.
from A Glorious Past, A Brilliant Future:  The History of the Diocese Camden by Monsignor Charles J. Giglio, PH.D
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