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Then & Now

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Upper photo courtesy Kearny Museum; bottom photo by Karen Zautyk

St. Cecilia Church in Kearny was founded in 1893 with the Rev. Thomas Kernan as its first pastor. The circa-1900 photo shows the original wooden church at the corner of Kearny Ave. and Hoyt St., with St. Cecilia’s Grammar School behind it. By 1922, it had been replaced by the current brick edifice on the same site, with funds raised by the parishioners. (A new grammar school also had been built on Chestnut St.) By the 1930s, St. Cecilia’s reportedly had the largest congregation in town, with about 2,000 members. Today, the church, responding to Kearny’s changing demographics, offers Masses in English, Spanish and

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