By Marie Pfeifer
The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrating its 150th anniversary in Morristown. Robert and Jeannette Fredericks have chronicled the evolution of the town’s first Catholic church from a small wooden structure to the beautiful Gothic-style Revival building we know today in We Built a Family Together: The History of the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A prior history, The Story of a Parish, 1847-1892, was published in 1892 by former pastor Rev. Joseph M. Flynn.
The new book includes not only the history of the Church, but also the parish schools, Holy Rood Cemetery, convents, the ministry center and rectories, along with a comprehensive guide to the Church’s art (statuary and sculptures), stained glass windows and a section on parishioners’ reminiscences.
The 155-page hardcover book is lavishly illustrated with archival images and new photographs by parishioner Sergio Burani.
Photos copyright © Sergio Burani – Photos by Sergio. Please click icon below for captions.
The authors, long time parishioners, undertook the writing of the book because of their love of the parish. It was, they felt, a story that needed to be told.
Robert is past president of both the Morris County Historical Society and the Washington Association of New Jersey. He’s also honorary historian for Morris Township.
“Assumption Church has made many significant contributions to the community and we wanted to point that out to the reader,” he said. “Assumption was the first Roman Catholic Church in the area; in 1850 they were the first to provide education for children; All Souls Hospital was in existence before any other area hospital.”
The book is available online for a minimum donation of $16 until Dec. 31, 2011; after that date the requested donation is $25. Pre-ordered copies can be picked up at the parish office or shipped for an additional $5.