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Jan 31, 2017

Holmdel Historical Society Announces Restoration of St. Catharine’s Church

The Holmdel Historical Society (HHS), which researches, preserves, and interprets the history and architectural history of Holmdel, recently voted to move forward on its first order of business – a full restoration of the old St. Catharine’s Church. In a unanimous vote, led by president Peter Manieri and vice president Sylvia Allen, the society enthusiastically took its first step as a rejuvenated organization, kicking off the major restoration of the St. Catharine’s Church, located on Stillwell Road.

Founded in 1879, St. Catharine’s Church was initially built by Irish immigrant Father Michael L. Glennon on a one-quarter-acre plot of land off Stillwell Road donated by Thomas Meehan. The first Catholic church in Holmdel, the church is covered by a slate roof and its pews once seated about 100 parishioners. In 1975, the church’s property at 84 Stillwell Road was donated to the HHS by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Trenton, New Jersey.

Currently, there is significant structural damage to the church, causing the church to tilt. There is also extensive water and insect damage, loose slate roofing, and windows that need to be replaced. Additionally, the church has no heating, electric, or running water or sewage system, and is not handicapped accessible. The church previously had a wild animal infestation, which has since been taken care of. The HHS will embark on this extensive project to restore this nearly 140-year-old church property starting this month.

On February 15, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., the HHS will host its first church cleanup, focusing on a particular section of the church, weather conditions permitting. They will serve pizza and tackle the task of beginning to cosmetically and sanitarily revitalize parts of the church. They will also soon begin moving forward with various fundraising events to raise money to begin structural work on the church’s major deficits and damage.

If you would like to volunteer your time to help join in on this initial church cleanup day, please RSVP by contacting Peter Manieri or treasurer Rhonda Beck at (732) 768-7583 or (732) 685-4450, or by email at

To join the organization as a member, annual dues for the HHS are $25 and can be paid in person or by calling Mr. Manieri or Ms. Beck directly.