St. Mary, Gloucester City

St. Mary's Parish is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Camden in that it is the oldest parish. It was founded on January 1, 1848 by Bishop Kenrick of Philadelphia. He appointed his secretary, Father Edmund Waldron as its first pastor. The present church was built in 1888. St. Mary's also has the oldest parochial school in the Diocese and the present school dates from 1893, staffed for the past 129 years by the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, NY (now Dominican Sisters of Hope).

There are presently, as of 2002, 1,603 families in the parish, as well as the secondary school, and Gloucester Catholic High School, with an enrollment of 852 students. There have been seventeen pastors to date with Msgr. Maurice Bric serving the longest, from 1913-1950, thirty-seven years. The stained glass windows are from Germany and France and the ten bells in the tower, dedicated in 1891, play every day, ending each night at 8:30pm with "The Bells of St. Mary". In 2002, the parish is 154 years old.


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