On Saturday evening, August 15th, a 5:30 Mass will be held at the Church of the Assumption to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the dedication of the church and the sanctuary. Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Coadjutor Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese Newark, will be the main celebrant to lead the Parish in its 3,130th Saturday Evening Mass since the dedication in 1955.
Since the incorporation of the Church of the Assumption in 1907, there have been three structures erected to serve the Roselle Park Parish. In 1953, after the parish grew to serve over 1,400 families – according to parishioner Leona Seufert – property was purchased to make way for a new rectory. In 1954, Newark Archbishop Thomas A. Boland granted permission to build where the current house of worship stands. The new church and rectory were dedicated on Saturday, August 20, 1955.
Assumption Parish is adorned with works of faith that are considered esteemed works of art. The sculpture of the image of the Crucified Christ along with its canopy, known as the reredos, was fashioned in Germany and was constructed of three types of wood: white oak, red oak, and black walnut.
In the summer of 2014, work began on the restoration of the entire sanctuary space. After almost six decades of being exposed to smoke from candles and incense as well as the wear of time, it became dulled and lost the vibrancy of its color. The restoration efforts restored the original color along with the new addition of gold leaf to certain areas. The artists for the entire restoration project were Andrzej and Bozena Praszczyk of Chester, New Jersey.
Two new biblical images were also added to the sanctuary space. The ceiling image portrays the descent of the Holy Spirit with its tongues of fire represented by glass sconces on the rear panels which were installed this year. The sculpted and painted Seraphim Angels on either side of the reredos are inspired by the words found in the Book of Isaiah 6:1-3, which reads,
“In the year that King Uzzi’ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered His face, and with two he covered His feet, and with two He flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Commenting on the upcoming anniversary, Father James Spera, Pastor of the Church of the Assumption, said, “Many of our parishioners descend from the relatives that were a part of the building committee in the early 1950s. On August 20, 1955 they gathered to invoke God’s blessing on the newly-built Church and on the faith community that called this Church its home. This year we will remember all that wonderful, prayerful history as we gather at the 5:30 Mass.”
Church of the Assumption is located at 113 Chiego Place right off of Westfield Avenue. Anyone requesting more information can visit their website (link) or call (908) 245-1107.