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St. Agnes Church centennial celebrated – belatedly


After being delayed for two years due to pandemic restrictions, on Sunday, June 26, parishioners of Saint Agnes Church in Stockton, N.J., were able to celebrate the centennial dedication of the church.

The Most Rev. James F. Checchio, bishop of Metuchen, celebrated the Centennial Mass with co-celebrant, the Very Rev. Robert Kolakowski, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lambertville, N.J. The Mass was followed by a reception at the Stockton Fire House.

In 1919 the Catholics in Stockton bought a stone house on Main Street in the borough with the intention of converting it into a chapel. Thanks to the benevolence of Agnes Foran Shields, who financed the dismantling of the house and the purchase of additional stone, a new church was planned and built.

In appreciation, the grateful community requested the bishop name the church St. Agnes after their benefactor. On April 25, 1920, St. Agnes Church was dedicated by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Walsh, bishop of Trenton and the church was placed under the care of the parish of St. John the Evangelist.

In addition to weekly Mass, over the past 100 years until the present, baptisms, weddings and funerals continue to be celebrated at St. Agnes Church.

Responding to the pastoral needs of the Hispanic population of the parish and encouraging inclusive participation in the celebration of the sacraments, St. John’s Parish arranges for Masses to be celebrated by a Spanish-speaking priest on Sundays at St. Agnes. A Spanish-speaking liaison provides assistance to parishioners, keeps the lines of communication open for parishioners with a language barrier and fosters the spirit of unity between cultures.

St. Agnes Church is designated as a worship site of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lambertville. The church is located on South Main Street in Stockton, where Mass is celebrated on Sundays – at 9:30 a.m. in English and at 11 a.m. in Spanish.