Saint Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church
979 Avenue C - Bayonne, New Jersey 07002 (201) 436-2222   Fax:(201) 437-5235
Founded 1894
New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places
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The History of Our Church and Parish

A PROUD DAY FOR THE PARISH - The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has officially announced that the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul was placed on the State and National Register of Historic Places on August 24, 2011. The project which led to the designation began in 2007 and was spearheaded by parishioner Priscilla Ege, a local historian. She was assisted by Peter Keenen O’Brien, photographer and ecclesiastical historian, and Dr. Carmela Karnoutsos, also a local historian. The church dates back to the late 1700s when a German Jesuit priest served the people in this area. During the early and mid 1800s, visiting priests served the people. During the mid to late 1800s, people worshiped at St. Mary Star of the Sea and St. Henry Church. In 1894, a charter was issued for the parish of St. Vincent de Paul. The first church was in a rented hall at 12 West 48th Street, presently Altamura’s bakery. The second church was built in 1905. Construction of the third and present church began in 1927 under the leadership of Father Joseph Dolan, who was buried on the ground. The church qualifies for local, state and national designation because: it represents the Lombard-Romanesque style of architecture and is one of a few Lombard-Romanesque basilicas in Hudson County; it was designed by the well-known ecclesiastical architect, Charles Maginnis; and it is the only church in North America to contain original stained glass windows by the renowned Irish stained glass artist Harry Clarke, who died in 1931 while the church was being built. Visit for more information on the artist and read the Jersey Journal article here and view the beautiful photos at Look for an upcoming feature on the church in a November edition of the Advocate. And here are screen shots of 3 pages from the extensive Historic Landmark status application that include the pertinent dates about the founding of the church [Page 21] [Page 22] [Page 23]

The Saint Vincent de Paul Church that we all enjoy today was designed by the ecclesiastical architectural firm Maginnis & Walsh of Boston.  It was built in 1930 in granite as the main material.  The Romanesque Revival style replaced the now impractical Gothic style.

There are more than 40 stained glass windows in the Church and the Rectory that were made in Dublin, Ireland in the Harry Clarke Studio.  There are no other surviving examples of his work anywhere in North America.  These windows tell the history of this parish in their brilliant splendor which give the Church the touch of serenity in which to come together to pray and praise our Lord. 

As a tribute to the early Irish parishioners that were the cornerstone of the Church the workers carved a Celtic cross in a cut-stone found at the top of the Church’s front facade.

(New info) The top photo shows what was erroneously described as the old rectory house a Victorian turn of the century building. The exact date of this photo is unknown. Today, April 27, 2014 We've received the following information from a former parishioner that lived here between 1933 and 1957 that clarifies information about the building on the corner of 46th and Ave C that we had erroneously described as the old rectory house. She writes: “The picture that I am referring to is the one that shows the old Victorian style wood house directly next to the church on the Avenue C and 46th street corner. The caption identifying the building as the old rectory attracted my attention. As a small child growing up about a block from the church I believe the building in question was used as the convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill. I also tend to remember that there was an old wooden house on the 47th St. side of the church which was more modest in size. In the late 1930's and possibly early l940's this was the rectory I remember. Subsequently the new rectory was built further back on the property I identify as the old convent on the corner of 46th St. and Ave. C and that building was torn down. The Nuns moved across 47th Street to a home on the corner of Ave. C which I believe had been the home of a doctor. Also, the old rectory I mentioned above was also torn down.” Read more

Timeline of the founding history of Saint Vincent de Paul Church and the advent of Catholicism in Bayonne:

We'd like to know more about the construction and history of the Church and when the old rectory was demolished and the new one built.

We are also interested in any old photos you'd like to share with this website so that it'd be included in this page

If you have that info; kindly let us know by contacting the Website Administrator

Thank you in advance for any help in this endeavor.

Saint Vincent's history is engraved with the National fame achieved by the St. Vincent Cadets Corps

The St. Vincent Cadets Corps were founded in 1941 as a Boy Scout group by a young, energetic, good, wholesome priest, Rev. Edward Wojytcha. He is also a member of the Drum Corps Hall of Fame. From humble beginnings they grew into a mighty giant-"THE BIG GREEN BAND."  At one time, St. Vincent's had three distinct Corps yes, three at the same time.  They fielded an All-Girls Corps, a Junior Corps, and The Big Green Band. In fact, the Junior Corps had its own identity and own following, and was a good competitor. This went on for a few years, but in order to survive, we had to merge the two corps into one Big Corps, and from then on the Junior Corps was a feeder corps for the Big Corps.

St. Vincent's engraved a history unique in drum corps circles. They were always well-known for their originality in drill and music throughout the nation.

Some of their accomplishments:
VFW State Champions 1944-45-46-48-49-50-51-52-54-55-56-57;
American Legion State Champions 1949-51-52-53-55-57-59;
VFW National Champions 1946-47-50-51-52-53-55-56-57;
American Legion National Champions 1951-52-53; (only corps ever to win the Round Robin twice, 1951-52 VFW State, Legion State, VFW Nationals, and Legion Nationals);
Lions International Champions 1946;
Philadelphia Open Champions 1950-51-52;
Northeastern Champions 1951-52;
Pennsylvania Dutch Champions 1951-52;
New York State Fair Champions 1952-53;
New York State Open VFW Champions 1951-52;
New Hampshire Open VFW State Champions 1956.

Tidbits of History and Parishioners Traditions:
The Christmas Wafer - Oplatky
By Father George M. Franko
Holy Name Church, Youngstown, Ohio

Christmas wafers have been part of our Slovak Christmas Eve supper, Vilija, as long as we can remember!  We recall that God sent manna to His people as they sojourned in the desert. We also recall that Jesus said that He was "the bread of life," and that He left us His Body and Blood under the appearances of bread and wine in the Eucharist.  Christmas wafers are called oblatky and this name indicates their purpose and origin.

Blessed bread, associated with Mass and yet distinct from the Eucharist, has been used as a sacramental in both the Eastern and Western Christian traditions.  In the West, the custom has survived in the pain benit (blessed bread) given in some French churches after High Mass.  In the East, the use of blessed bread developed into the practice of antidoron. Some of the bread prepared for Mass (prosphorae-offerings) was not consecrated, spiritual communion. This practice still continues in the Byzantine Rite, but usually, only on major feasts.

In the Latin Rite, the bread and wine offered at Mass are referred to as oblata (offerings). What the Byzantine call prosphorae, the Latins call oblata. It is from the Latin Oblata that our Slovak word oblatky is derived.  While the word oblatky is derived from the Latin, the religious custom of oblatky at Christmas is nurtured by both the Latin and the Byzantine traditions.  Slovaks are fortunate in preserving this custom at Christmas, as an aid to a worthy reception of Holy Communion as well as a family spiritual communion on this most joyous of feasts!
The tradition -
a website editorial
The start of a Slovak traditional Christmas eve meal was always Oplatki, or Bread of Love, a thin Communion-like wafer stamped with a Christmas scene and served with honey spread upon the wafer sheet.  The Oplatki is passed from person to person along with a wish and a kiss. With this each person offers a piece of the wafer to all others sitting at the table wishing the other a "Merry Christmas" and a "Happy New Year". The symbolism of sharing the wafer to everyone back and forth was to symbolize giving and sharing in their lives.  It’s understood that the wafer although the same as the Eucharist wafer in Mass is not consecrated and therefore not the Body of Christ but rather just sharing and breaking of bread as in the last supper.

It’s customary to have the Oplatki wafers blessed by the parish priest prior to Christmas Eve. Oplatki is followed by a mushrooms and potato soup that is followed with Fish and potatoes. The potatoes are cold with onions in a vinegar and sugar solution. This meal menu has passed from generation to generation and has been the same each Christmas, plain and simple by today’s standards, but a virtual feast for poor ancestors. The meal was made from what was available to them in the old country. After the main course some families may have Kolachi and coffee.

The order in which the courses were served signified the order of life. Remember honey on wafer, then sour potatoes and fish, then pastries; sweet - sour – sweet; as the order of real life.  Some families might have also had walnuts in a big bowl on the table and the father would always throw a couple of them into the corners of the room. They were taught this was the way to insure good luck for the coming year by the head of the family.

These family traditions are very important that need to be taught to generations to come so that beautiful customs like this one never end and continue to be alive and a source of inspiration for the children of their children. Thank you to all the Slovak ancestors for giving us this wonderful custom and Merry Christmas to you and your family and to all Slovaks around the world.

How to Report Abuse:  The Archdiocese of Newark takes very seriously any and all complaints of sexual misconduct by members of the clergy, Religious and lay staff of the Archdiocese.  We encourage anyone with knowledge of an act of sexual misconduct to inform the Archdiocese immediately so that we may take appropriate action to protect others and provide support to victims of sexual abuse.  Although we will report all allegations of abuse immediately to the appropriate County Prosecutor, we encourage anyone with an allegation of abuse also to reach out to the prosecutor.
Individuals who report an allegation of sexual misconduct may do so by calling the Victim's Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection at (201) 407-3256.
The phone numbers for the County Prosecutors within the Archdiocese are:
Bergen - (201) 226-5689
Essex - (973) 753-1121
Hudson - (201) 795-6400
Union - (908) 965-3879
For more information on the Archdiocese's Policies dealing with sexual misconduct by clergy, Religious and lay staff and volunteers, and for information on sexual abuse awareness training for both adults and children/youth, click here.

Mass Schedule:  (Weekday 7:AM and 8:AM) - (Saturday 8:00AM) - (Saturday evening 5:PM)
(Sunday 8:AM, 10:AM, 12:PM and [7:PM
Spanish]) - (Holyday of obligation 7:AM, 8:30AM, 12:PM, [6:PM Spanish], and 7:30PM) (Federal/Civic secular Holiday 9:AM)
Sacrament of Reconciliation:  Saturday 4:PM to 4:45PM - The Order of the Mass

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