Parish History

1920 to 1949

Oct. 12, 1927 – St. Matthew Parish founded. Rev John J. McMenamin Pastor
Nov. 6, 1927 – First Mass offered in parish (rectory) – 3406 Cottman Ave.
Jan. 29, 1928 – First Baptism
Oct. 14, 1928 – First Mass offered in St. Matthew Chapel (a pre-fab from Hog Island)
Oct. 4, 1929 – First Confirmation
Feb. 8, 1934 – Fr. John McMenamin transferred to St. Francis Xavier
Feb. 8, 1934 – Fr. James Rice becomes the second pastor of St. Matthew Parish
Oct. 4, 1936 – Cornerstone of first school is laid
Aug. 26, 1937 – Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary arrive. The convent was located at 3201-03 Englewood St.
Sept. 1937 – St. Matthew Parish School opens.
Oct. 1939 – Rectory moved to Southwest corner of Cottman and Rowland Ave
Nov. 1941 – Rectory moved to 3103-07 Cottman Ave
Mar. 8, 1942 – Cornerstone of the lower church is blessed
Apr 30, 1946 – Fr. Rice died
May 29, 1946 – Fr. Laurence A. Maher is appointed third pastor
Sept. 1, 1949 – School addition (Middle building) is blessed. Addition includes 16 classrooms, kitchen and cafeteria

1950 to 1979

Sept. 1954 – Second floor of original school building is completed and opened
Sept. 1954 – New convent (current location) is completed
Oct. 12, 1960 – Upper church is consecrated
Nov. 1961 – New rectory (current location) is completed
Dec. 14, 1962 – Gym and 16 additional classrooms (rear building) are completed
Feb. 13, 1963 – Fr. Maher died
May 7, 1963 – Fr. John O’Melia appointed fourth pastor
Aug. 23, 1968 – Fr. O’Melia died
Sept. 4, 1968 – Fr. Francis J. Gaughan appointed fifth pastor
May 4, 1970 – Air conditioning for both churches installed
May 28, 1971 – First Sunday evening Mass

1980 to 1999

Nov. 27, 1983 – First Saturday evening Mass permitted
Dec. 8, 1985 – Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers begin service
June 3, 1987 – Msgr. Francis J. Gaughan retired
June 3, 1987 – Msgr. Charles E. McGroarty appointed sixth pastor
Oct. 25, 1988 – Arson fire in school auditorium
1988 – Cross aisle in lower church opened
1989 – Baptismal font moved from Cottman Ave, entrance of church to middle of upper church
1991 – Mother’s Group, Bereavement Group, & RCIA began
1991 – Archdiocesan Catholic Life Campaign announce – St. Matthew Parishioners contributed over $800,000 – the second highest contribution in the Archdiocese
1993 – Parish school accredited by Middle States Assoc. of Colleges & Schools
1994 – Elevator construction blessed – handicapped entrance to church completed
1994 – First time boys CYO varsity basketball team went to State Finals
1994 – CARES began
1995 – Girls allowed to be altar servers
Nov. 19, 1996 – Msgr. Francis Gaughan, Pastor Emeritus, died
1996 – Computer labs expanded with $100,000 matching grant from Connolly Foundation
June 2, 1996 – Rev Mr. Jack Gravlin ordained first permanent deacon from St. Matthew Parish
1997 – Formal Stewardship Program started in St. Matthew
Sept. 1997 – 60th Anniversary of the school celebrated
1999 – Homebound ministry started

2000 to Present

Jan. 10, 2000 – Rev. James Gough died
Jan. 2000 – Upper Church repainted
2001 – Lower Church painted
Jun 10, 2001 – Mr. Robert Burns ordained permanent deacon
Oct. 14, 2001 – Opening of 75th Anniversary of the parish
Oct. 13, 2002 – 75th Anniversary Mass
Jun 11, 2006 – Mr. Edward Hanley ordained permanent deacon
Jan 28, 2007 – Msgr. McGroarty named “Pastor of the Year”
Jan 2008 – Msgr. McGroarty receives NCEA Award
August 9, 2014 – Father Roland Slobogin installed as Pastor.