You have seen the ornate, beautiful building. But, do you know much about the ? Morris Township residents Robert and Jeanette Fredericks seek to change that with the release of their new book, "We Built a Family Together."
The press release is below.
The 155-page hardcover book is lavishly illustrated with archival images as well as new pictures by photographer and parishioner Sergio Burani. The book details the growth of Assumption B.V.M. parish, the oldest Catholic church in Morristown, from the mid-19th century to the present. It will be available for a minimum $16 donation to Assumption Church until December 31; after that date, the requested donation will be $25. The book can be ordered online at www.assumptionparish.org; preordered copies can be picked up at the parish office beginning November 28 or shipped for an additional $5.
Dr. and Mrs. Fredericks, both long-time parishioners, began the task of writing the parish's history in 2009. The church's story had been recorded before: former pastor Rev. Joseph M. Flynn published The Story of a Parish, 1847-1892 in 1892, and Rev. Albert R. Miekam wrote a short piece for the parish's centennial. This is the first work to not only recount the events of the parish's early years, but to record the significant events of the past 60 years. Chapters are dedicated to the church, parish schools, Holy Rood cemetery, the convents, the ministry center, the rectories, the impressive collection of artworks in the church, and parishioners' reminiscences.
Mass was celebrated for the first time at Assumption B.V.M. on Christmas Day, 1848. Its new building was formally dedicated on March 5, 1849. The following year, what would become Assumption School was founded and subsequently staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. The cornerstone for the current Gothic Revival-style structure was laid on June 30, 1872. A devastating fire burned the church on April 10, 1985, but many important artifacts
including the 1892 Stations of the Cross, imported stained glass windows, and its crucifix survived. Bishop Frank Rodimer rededicated the restored church on February 29, 1988. The interior underwent another renovation in 2007, restoring much of its Victorian-era splendor, and on Palm Sunday 2011, a new hand-carved crucifix was unveiled. Assumption was the "mother church" to All Souls Hospital (now Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute), Bayley-Ellard High School, and several parishes in Morris County.
Assumption Parish is a dynamic Roman Catholic community comprising a multitude of liturgical, ministry, service, and outreach programs. It is dedicated to helping all those who need spiritual and material support. It offers 35 active ministries, including Assumption School and Holy Rood Cemetery, focused on bringing the Good News of the Gospel to help those in need. The church is located at 91 Maple Ave. in Morristown, NJ.