A strong desire of the Polish community of Bound Brook to have a parish of its own worked to form an organization called St. John's Polish Catholic Organization. The organization purchased the property between Vosseller and Van Keuren Avenues for the sum of $3,000.
An American priest, Father John Pawloski of St. Mary's Church in South River, had met a young priest in Poland, Father Ceslaus Jasionowski. At. Fr. Pawloski's urging, Father Jasionowski came to America as his summer replacement. The Polish community of Bound Brook, determined to establish a parish of theri own, petitioned the Bishop of Trenton, Most Rev. James McFaul, DD, to institute a Polish parish with Father Jasionowski at the helm.
Their efforts were rewarded and in June of 1914, St. Mary of Czestochowa Roman Catholic Church was established. Father Jasionowski made many decisions during his first years as pastor aimed at building a more suitable structure for St. Mary's.
The purchase of a Settlement House on Vosseller Avenue and Pine Street, as well as two lots on Vosselleer Avenue and Second Street were approved with the latter being slated as the site for the new church. In September 1919 the cornerstone of the combination church and school was laid.
A home on the corner of Vosseller Avenue and High Street was purchased to serve as the rectory. In May of 1920, the property on West Second Street was purchased as a convent for the good sisters of the parish.
As the number of parishioners increased, St. Mary's saw an influx of Italian Catholics. The Rev. Doctor Jasionowski could speak fluent Italian with those parishioners and often invited Italian priests to preach to them in their native tongue.
In June of 1942, Father John J. Nowak came to St. Mary's as an assistant, later to become pastor.
A new school was built on the church grounds in 1958 and the mortgage was paid off in 1977. Father Jasionowski passed away in January of 1960 and after an interim administration, Fr. John Nowak returned as the newly designated pastor.
For many years, St. Mary's sponsored a carnival on the church grounds. By the time of Father Nowak's death in September of 1977, the parish debt of over $300,000 had been relieved and St. Mary's, under Father Nowak, was returned to financial health.
St. Mary's was again assigned a temporary pastor, Father Richard c. Brietske. After serving two months, our next pastor, Father Eugene J. Prus was installed. He was instrumental in reactivating the Holy Name Society, and his involvement with the children of the parish was one of his top priorities.
In April 1985, Father Stanley J. Walega was installed as pastor and served St. Mary's until June of 2003. Under his leadership, St. Mary's Youth Group was formed. A Polish Mass was established in addition to several Polish traditions, such as Gorzkie Zale during Lent. Our parish school opened its doors for Polish Saturday School, which has grown and flourished under the sponsorship of the Polish Falcons Nest 946.
On June 10, 2003, Father Leon S. Aniszczyk was installed as administrator of St. Mary's and on August 20, 2004, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski has appointed Father Leon as the fifth pastor of St. Mary of Czestochowa. Since becoming pastor, Father Leon has overseen renovations of the church, both inside and out.
The history of St. Mary of Czestochowa Church, Bound Brook, NJ begins with the influx of Polish immigrants to the Bound Brook area in the late 1890s and early 1900s. The story of the name chosen for the church begins long before any of these Polish immigrants stepped foot on American soil. As the history is told, the Polish immigrants came to America with little more earthly possessions than the clothes on their backs. However, they came rich in religious belief and tradition, as well as Polish culture. It was the weaving of these beliefs and traditions, as well as their culture into a bond that would provide the sustenance necessary for these Poles to not only survive in their new land, but to pass all that they carried with them in mind and heart onto their children and their children’s children. The religious bond which united the people to the Catholic Church of Poland where the love of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been deeply rooted in Jasna Gora (the shining hill), above the city of Czestochowa, was the inspiration for the parish name. Our Lady’s shrine at Jasna Gora is recognized as the most renowned shrine in central Europe. It is the place where pilgrims flock to see the wooden icon of Mary.
The story of this beloved wooden icon begins with St. Luke. It is believed that he originally painted the icon on a tabletop built by St. Joseph for the Holy Family in Nazareth. It was taken from Jerusalem to Constantinople, and in 988 the icon was given to Princess Anna, wife of Vladimir of Kiev and taken to Belz in the Ukraine. It is said that in 1382 the icon was moved from Belz by Prince Ladislaus Opolczyk and brought to Czestochowa. In 1656 Matka Boska Czestochowska was declared “Queen of Poland” by Jan Kazimierz, king of Poland.
The Polish people who settled in Bound Brook brought their devotion of Matka Boska Czestochowska with them. She was the Patroness of Poland, their beloved homeland, and she was their Queen. It is no wonder that they chose to name their new church in America St. Mary of Czestochowa; Mary would be the Patroness and Queen of their new Polish church in America.