Parish History

St. Andrew's Church History:

Along Monmouth Road, in the bucolic center of the Jobstown section of Springfield Township, lies a picturesque little white wooden church that stands as a testament to the historic faith community of Northern Burlington County. The simple architectural appointments of the church provide us with a glimpse to its founding members and the rich history of the church. These founding members were straight-forward, devout Catholics despite their relatively limited means, banded together to build a church that reflects these attributes.

As we embark on the twenty first century, we rely on the childhood memories of our eldest members who can recall their parents talking about the jocular red-headed Irishmen whose faith, sacrifice, generosity and initiative made possible this wonderful house of worship that is the church of St. Andrew.

The Rahilly family of today can recall their grandparents, the Thomas and Mary Beakey, who had emigrated to Burlington and eventually Jobstown from Ireland. The right to worship God was a major force in these hard working farmers. However, the closest Catholic church at the time was located in Bordentown, and about twice a year the family would walk from Georgetown to Bordentown on Saturday, spend the night with friends, worship on Sunday and walk back to Georgetown.

The Original Families

As with most of history, very little is recorded at the time of its occurrence. Unfortunately, the early days of St. Andrew’s history are no different. We relied on memories of many parishioners and family bibles to try to establish the lineage of the founding families to today. We have found that eleven families that were either original members or became members shortly after the founding of the church still have ancestors in the community today. These eleven families are:

The Harts
The Engles
The Rahillys
The Cochrans
The Tuteks
The Koenigs
The O’Connors
The Durrs
The Sheedys
The Connors

These families provided the means, dedication and spirit that allowed St. Andrews to form, develop, expand and flourish to the community that you see today. These families produced every Lay Trustee of the church from its inception through 1976. There was even a priest from one of the families, Father Peter J. Hart, who served as pastor of the church from 1901 to 1908.

The History

Reverend Hugh McManus, a native of Ballyshannon, Ireland, was pastor at Sacred Heart in the 1870’s and was very concerned about the Irish farmers from Jobstown who needed a house of worship of their own. He worked with Thomas Beakey and friends to establish the church on a piece of land formerly owned by Pierre Lorillard. A handwritten certificate of incorporation of St. Andrews is signed by Bishop Corrigan, Fr. McManus, Thomas Beakey and James O’Neill. That certificate was dated February 23, 1880.

The church was built in 1880 by John A. Lane of Camden for a total of $2400. Mr. Lane was paid half of the amount in 1880 and a mortgage of $1400 was held by Philip Barr. The mortgage was liquidated in 1885.

During the construction of the church, Fr. McManus had returned to visit his native Ireland and died while there, never taking part in the dedication ceremony. The dedication of the church was officiated by Bishop M. A. Corrigan, Bishop of Newark, on Sunday, September 19, 1880. About 150 people attended the dedication.

From 1880 to about 1920 the church was a mission of Sacred Heart. Around 1920, the church became a mission of St. Mary’s in Bordentown until it returned to Sacred Heart in 1945, where it remained until 2008, when it became an independent parish of the Diocese of Trenton.

The original church had an L-shaped barn to house the horses and carriages of parishioners during Sunday services. The barn was removed around 1930.

The first recorded marriage at the church took place on August 4, 1882 when James Stuart married Eliza O’Neill, daughter of James O’Neill, one of the first Trustees of the Church. The other original trustee was Thomas Beakey.

The stained glass windows, doors and statues were donated by individuals and families mostly from the original ten families. The church bell was donated by Pierre Lorillard in 1883. The bell had been manufactured in Jersey City. The tabernacle was donated by the William G. Helis family. The wooden exterior doors were donated by Catherine Riley. The Baptismal font was provided by Hanna Cochran, daughter of Mrs. Hulehan who lived next door to the church. Mrs. Hulehan was remembered for providing breakfast for the priest every Sunday as well as feeding small children for their long rides back home by horse and carriage.

Early in the formation of the community, families would often sponsor picnics, bake sales and dances to support the church.

The church added the hall area in 1988 when it became apparent that the community had grown beyond the capacity of the original church building. The outhouse was removed and replaced with indoor plumbing in 1979 in preparation for the Bishop’s visit for the 100th Anniversary.

Pastors of St. Andrew’s

1880 Rev. Hugh McManus
1880 - 1885 Rev. R. E. Burke
1885 - 1891 Rev. P.J. Connolly
1895 – 1901 Rev. D. J. Duggan
1901 – 1909 Rev. Peter J. Hart
1909 – 1912 Rev. Edward A. Cahill
1912 – 1916 Rev. Edward J. Whalen
1916 – 1920 Rev. John J. Sweeney
1920 - 1922 Rev. Joseph McCorristan
1922 – 1923 Rev. J. J. Leonard
1923 – 1929 Rev. J. H. Farrington
1929 – 1944 Rev. Edward J. Whalen
1945 – 1946 Rev. George Duff & Rev. E. Kreger
1946 – 1951 Rev. James S. Foley
1951 – 1957 Rev. Joseph V. Kozak
1957 – 1960 Rev. Francis P. Gunner
1960 – 1968 Rev. Gerald T. Calentana
1968 – 1971 Rev. James A. Thompson
1971 – 1973 Rev. Michael A. Clark
1973 Rev. Rocco A. Cuomo
1973 – 1993 Rev. Justin J. Herbst
1993 – 2004 Rev. Robert J. W. Schecker
2004 – 2008 Rev. John P. Czahur
2008 – 2017 Rev. Joseph Hlubik
2017 – Present Rev. Joseph Farrell