Parish History

  • October 10, 1951 Saint James parish was officially founded under the leadership of its first pastor, Fr. William A. Delaney in a place called Plainedge. “Where some saw a field, God saw a Church.”

 

  • The three acres of land to build a new church included large chicken coop and a farm house which became the first church and rectory.

 

  • October 12, 1955, a new church/auditorium was dedicated and the first mass held there do to the generosity of the growing post-World War II families who moved into the surrounding communities.

 

  • September 17, 1957, four Sisters of the Cross and Passion arrived at St. James to create a catechetical center for the over 2,000 children in need of religious education.

 

  • Mother Concepta, Sister Margaret Mary Laffey, Sister Ellen Downes and Sister Peter Joseph, along with volunteer catechists established the Confraternity Program. Sister St. Gerard arrived to conduct the special education program, along with adult conversion classes.

 

  • May 3, 1962, St. James Parish School and new convent were dedicated by Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg. The Bishop also confirmed over 300 young people that day. The first students in grades 3-5 entered the school in September, 1961 which was staffed by 24 Sisters of the Cross and Passion.

 

  • Parish organizations thrived and helped form the parish community including the Holy Name Society, Rosary Society, Catholic Youth Organization, Legion of Mary, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Pre-Cana Program.

 

  • July 25, 1966, one month after the first class graduated form St. James School, Msgr. Delaney died after having suffered a stroke few days earlier. The pastors that followed were: Fr. Thomas Manning, Fr. Andrew Gallagher, Father Patrick Young, Fr. Brendan Riordan (Administrator), Msgr. Richard Hendel, Msgr. Daniel Picciano, Fr. Robert Hewes and our current pastor Fr. John Derasmo.

 

  • Fall, 1991, groundbreaking took place for new Church building and a building campaign began. Subsequently during a Saturday evening Mass on July 25, 1992, the roof of the auditorium section of the church began to collapse.

 

  • The church building and rectory were demolished. The new convent was converted to the rectory and the original convent became home again to the Sisters. The convent chapel was converted to a parish chapel with access from the street.

 

  • In 1993, the “chicken coop” was lifted from its foundation and moved to Manorville where it became the new house of worship for the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul.

 

  • May 1, 1994, a dream was realized through the faith, generosity and sacrifice of St. James parishioners when the new church was dedicated and the first Mass celebrated there.

 

  • Saint James School was closed in June 1992. We joined the parishes of St. Martin of Tours, St. Kilian’s and St. Pius X parish schools to form LaSalle Regional School. LaSalle remained open for twenty years.

 

  • The school building became the Parish Center and the hub of most parish activities with the installation of an elevator.

 

  • 2001, the parish celebrated its 50th anniversary with the updating of the shrine to the Blessed Mother for a place of contemplative prayer and reflection. A Children’s Memorial Rose Garden was established to commemorate the loss of a child.

 

  • October 17, 2011, the parish celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the parish with the installation of Fr. John Derasmo as its eighth pastor, and the blessing of the Statue of the Good Shepherd.

 

  • October, 2016, St. James Parish marked its 65th Anniversary reflecting on the on-going story of the presence of Jesus in our midst through our sacramental and social life. Along with the time, talent and treasures that the community of James parishioners share, the parish has been blessed by the faithful service of the following men who serve in the ministry of Permanent Deacons: Deacon Robert Haley, Deacon Anthony Briganti, Deacon Carl Johnson, Deacon John Leahy, Deacon John Lynch, Deacon Jim Beirne,

Deacon Rick Brunner, Deacon Charles Kammerer, Deacon Chris Daniello.