LOOK: The Oldest Roman Catholic Church in Ocean County, New Jersey
I came across the information for this church and being a Catholic myself, I thought I need to visit this historic church and I need to write about it. For myself, I began my church life at St. Joseph’s in Toms River where I made my Communion and attended my first of many CCD classes. I continued by making my Confession at St. Mary’s in Barnegat/Manahawkin. I was married at St. Theresa’s in Tuckerton and my kids made their early Sacraments at St. Theresa’s as well, so this story seemed like destiny.
According to Lakehurst, the church was built circa 1874 by Irish immigrants who were working on the railroad and it’s the oldest Roman Catholic church in Ocean County. It sits along Center Street in Lakehurst. There were historic walking tours prior to COVID-19 but check with them now to see what the status is for visiting. I took a walking tour of my own around the church from the outside...yes I walked the sidewalk and took some photos. The church is very cool to see in person. The church is now 147 years old, a true piece of Ocean County history and you may never have known it existed. The first mass was in May of 1874. Ulysses S. Grant was President of the United States When St. John’s was built.
Along with Old St. John’s Church, is the accompanying graveyard. Many of the church's parishioners I’m sure are buried here. Many of the tombstones date back to the late 1800s. Check out some of the photos below in the gallery.
Once again it’s great to bring you history of our area and as the great Maya Angelou said “If you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going.”