My sister mentioned the church we used to attend on holidays in her post today. So off to Google maps I went, intending on linking to a street view of the church. Spoiled by Philadelphia, I forgot good old Newark, NJ may not have street view. Got just the overhead:

So on to an image search, and what did I come across, but a site for the church itself! Who would have thought that place would be tech savy? There are some wonderful archival photos on the site. I searched the stern looking faces for my Grandfather, but I don’t know when they started attending that church, and could not find him.

The church was apparently on a tour of churches in newark, and on a blog about Newark, I found this quote “he said that hoped-for immigration from Russia after the fall of Communism didn’t pan out, and the church’s membership continues to dwindle.” Yeah, thats one way to put it.

A site devoted to the park across the street from St. Michaels’ said this:

“Today the Ironbound is a Portuguese and Latin American neighborhood, St. Michael’s is a reminder of the Ironbound’s ethnic past, and that immigrants congregate and then disperse. The Ironbound once had a very large Eastern European community, in addition to St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church, there is also St. Casimir’s Catholic Church (located around the corner on Pulaski St and associated with the Polish community) and St. George’s Byzantine Catholic Church.

St. Michael’s was founded in 1906 by the Brotherhood of St. Michael, Russian immigrant factory workers had to save their pennies and give generously to construct this pleasing 1910 edifice. Notice the angled crosses, a sign of Eastern rite Christianity.

The best years for St. Michael’s parish were the 1930s, when parishioners stood shoulder to shoulder during mass. Today, St. Michael’s is a small congregation, with only 100 members. There is some concern that St. Michael’s may have to close one day.”

I actually drove by the church a few years ago, with my boyfriend and his family, after visiting their old house. Funny to be sitting in the car, part of the old Russian heritage of the Ironbound, with the new generation of Portuguese.

I’m sure I could go on about all my memories of the church, but I need to get back to work, lunch break is over.

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