Sts. Peter and Paul Parish History
Sts. Peter & Paul Church was founded on Aug. 22, 1973. Fr. Timothy Ryan, the founding pastor, began his work from a rectory in the Wedgewood section of the township. Services were held in the Birches School & the Grenloch Fire Hall. On November 26, 1974, Saints. Peter & Paul was divided into two parishes; Whereby, Holy Family Church was started. On that date, Fr. Ryan and his associate, Fr. Jack Bernard, moved to a newly purchased home on Ganttown Rd. On Dec. 4, 1976, our first church across the street from the rectory, was dedicated by Bishop Guilfoyle.
Fr. Ryan's successor Fr. Joseph Shannon, arrived in Apr. 1981. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament brought about 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration every Thurs., starting after 9:00 AM Mass. In March 1988, Fr. John Clarke became pastor of this still-growing parish; He soon implemented tithing, and developed a parish "vision" with accompanying goals for improved parish programs to meet the needs of all different segments of the parish community. He had a new church built, which was dedicated on Oct. 1, 1994. On (July 16, 1995), he was named Prelate of Honor of His Holiness, Pope John Paul 11, and given the title of Monsignor.
The parish has had strong support from many associate pastors and resident priests. Fr. Jack Bernard ('73-'77), Fr. Marjan Bober ('77-'82), Fr. William Eckert ('82 '84), Fr. Edward (Jay) Sobolewski ('84-'87), Fr. Kevin Hanaway ('87 '90), Fr. Howard Muhlbaier ('90-'92), Fr. John O'Leary ('92-'93), Fr. Michael Field ('93-'96), Fr. Joseph Newell SJ ('96-'97), Fr. Richard Regan ('97-'98), Fr. Michael Bourke ('92-00), Fr. Muhlbaier ('98 to present), Fr. Meaney ('98 to '05) and our current Associate Pastor - Fr. Danilo M. Quiray (2005 to present).
Assisting the priests for many years was permanent deacon Ed Guidotti, ordained 1988, Ed was very active in liturgy and social action. His witness has been a reminder of how necessary full involvement is for the community. Deacon "Libby" Tumolo had also been deacon for many years until his passing in 2000.
Both Deacon Ed and Deacon Libby will be sorely missed.
We have continued to participate in the Catholic parochial school system as part of St. Jude's Regional School, but the CCD program in particular has expanded as a reflection of the increase in the elementary-school-age population.
As our old church building has been converted into a chapel, offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms, we will be able to accommodate the many and varied activities of this large, active parish. This community has been blessed with the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love, which have made it possible for a group of strangers to become as St. Peter has said: "Be you yourselves as living stones built thereon into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."