PASSAIC Bishop Serratelli made a pastoral visit to St. Nicholas Parish here March 29 and celebrated Mass to mark Palm Sunday, also known as the celebration of the Lord’s Passion or Passion Sunday. The day also marks the beginning of Holy Week. Following the celebration, Bishop Serratelli also blessed the new tabernacle in the church and a new chapel next to the sanctuary following renovations, which began in January.
The parish’s history began in the early 1860s, when Franciscan Friars from St. Bonaventure’s in Paterson, began attending to the Catholics in Passaic. In 1868, Bishop Bayley appointed a pastor for Passaic and a combination church and school was built on Prospect Street. After the building was destroyed by fire in 1875, the church was rebuilt in the same site. The present church was built on Washington Place in 1885. Through encouragement, assistance and loan of facilities, the pastor of St. Nicholas have been instrumental in the establishment of many ethnic parishes in Passaic, as well as St. Paul’s in Clifton. The parish also organized the first St. Mary’s Hospital. Father Ruiz recently donated the convent building, which now houses the Neighborhood Center for Women in Passaic.