In 1883, the increasing Catholic population in the Sea Bright and Rumson area cited the need for the formation of a new parish. In May of that year, Bishop Michael J. O'Farrell commissioned the Reverend John H. Fox of St. Joseph's Church, Bound Brook, to organize a parish in Sea Bright, New Jersey.
The recently organized parish was incorporated on March 3, 1884, with papers filed on March 4th. The corporate name was "The Church of the Holy Cross, Sea Bright, N.J.;" a name which continues to this day, even though the church itself is now located in Rumson. The contract to build the church was awarded to John Burke of Asbury Park for the sum of $8,440 and the architect was Charles Keely. On August 30, 1885, the cornerstone was laid and while the initial cost was only $27.87, the enthusiastic pastor received donations amounting to $626.00 from a collection taken right at the ceremony!
The new church was dedicated on June 27, 1886 by Bishop O'Farrell, who saw the fruition of his first commission to Father Fox only a few years previous. Shortly after the dedication, the Bishop made another visit to the Parish of the Church of the Holy Cross; this time to administer the sacrament of Confirmation.
Holy Cross Today
Today, Holy Cross Parish continues to be an extraordinarily vibrant community. The Parish is blessed with a community of over 2,000 families at the present. In addition to fostering Catholic education through its elementary school and numerous religious education programs, the parish continues to expand as a faith community, a sign of God's kingdom here on earth. The new school addition was dedicated on December 16, 2006. Holy Cross is blessed with over 25 ministries, including the Altar Guild, Lectors, Respect Life Committee, Elizabeth Ministry, Ushers, School Advisory Council, Bereavement Ministry and Social Concerns Committee to name a few. Over 400 parishioners donate their time and talents to serve the Holy Cross Parish family throughout the year.
A Time to Build
It is an exciting time for Holy Cross Parish. Our dream of building a church large enough to accommodate the needs of our growing parish are coming to fruition after nearly 20 years of planning. Our A Time to Build capital campaign continues to collect building pledges from parishioners. A good sense of stewardship of resources and some creative thinking has made it possible for Holy Cross to obtain beautiful stained glass windows and church furnishings at a fraction of the cost to purchase these items new. This will ensure that our church is not only spacious but beautifully appointed for worship.