1920′s Renovations

Over the next years the only improvements were in decorating the Sanctuary. By 1924, under the pastorate of Monsignor Felix DiPersia, the parish population has again outgrown the seating capacity of the Church. DiPersia advised his twenty thousand parishioners that there was a necessity to enlarge it. By 1926, a sharp increase in donations enabled the Parish to be financially secure enough to undertake expansion. Construction begun in late summer was completed by November 1927. The Vicar General of the Diocese of Newark, the Right Reverend John A. Duffy, rededicated the Church.

There had been an extension thirty feet long grafted to the rear of the basic structure. The total length of the church was now one hundred and thirty feet with a seating capacity of about one thousand. The new sanctuary was a half dome winged by two side altars. It had a round, stained glass foil window in the center of the rear wall immediately above the altar. On the two sidewalls were small stained glass arched windows. The main altar, made in Italy, was of marble. It included a mosaic of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Pompeii above the tabernacle. The marbleized altar in the right wing of the sanctuary had a picture of the last supper carved in its apron. The twin altar in the opposite wing had a carving of the souls in purgatory. Along with the altar a marble baptistery, oak pulpit and marble altar rail to replace the old one were added. A reconditioned organ was installed in the choir loft.

In 1933, Pope Pius XI consecrated Holy Rosary as the first Italian church in the diocese of Newark. The Liturgy of Consecration was not unknown to the early Church and has roots in the rite instituted by Solomon. Whether blessed or consecrated, a church is set aside and dedicated to the worship of God. The difference between consecration and blessing is that consecration imprints an indelible mark on the building. A consecrated church may never again be used for any other purpose but the worship of God.

Bishop Thomas Walsh presided at the Consecration Ceremony on October 6, 1934. The exterior, interior, statues, vestments, and vessels were blessed. Before the ceremony of consecration twelve gold crosses with candleholders were attached to the interior walls. The crosses may never be removed and the candles are only lit on the anniversary of the consecration. The purpose of the crosses is to serve as evidence that the church is a consecrated one.

Forty years passed before Holy Rosary Church began to show its age. The three cupolas on the façade were in danger of falling onto the street below. The surface of the brick was weather beaten, interior wall and ceiling plaster was deteriorating, wiring was faulty and the lighting no longer adequate for the congregation.

1950′s Renovations >>