ROXBURY, NJ — Members of the St. Therese Catholic Church community were joined by government officials last week at a groundbreaking ceremony for the parish’s long-sought new rectory, scheduled to be finished before Christmas.

The Aug. 24 event took place at the site in Succasunna where the building is to be built, a piece of the St. Therese property at 145 Main St. that once held the first St. Therese church. The old church was razed in 2008.

The new rectory, based on modular construction, will replace the current one situated at 7 Hunter St. in Succasunna. It is expected to be ready for use before Christmas, said St. Therese Rectory Building Committee Chairman Michael Calabrese.

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'Proud Moment' for St. Therese

The Rev. Richard Kilcomons, the head pastor at St. Therese, said he was pleased that the construction will soon begin.

“I’m happy we’ve been given the final stamp of approval from the Township of Roxbury and the Diocese of Paterson to begin construction,” said Kilcomons. “When construction is completed, we will have a house-warming mass and get-together where everybody will be invited to help celebrate this proud moment in St. Therese history.”

The groundbreaking event was mentioned by Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo during the Aug. 25 meeting of the Roxbury Mayor and Council.

“It was an honor to participate in the ceremony along with Councilwoman Jaki Albrecht, Councilman Rich Zoschak as well as state Sen. Anthony Bucco and county Surrogate Heather Darling,” DeFillippo said. “Congratulations to the church on beginning this new project in our community.”

The new rectory will be a 3-story, 3,400-square-foot structure featuring four bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a breakfast nook, family room, an office/study and a 3-car garage, said Daniel Sehnal of Dynamic Engineering, representing St. Therese at a Roxbury Zoning Board meeting last year.

The current rectory is 74 years old and only 2,300 square feet.

The new building would make St. Therese's priests "more accessible to the parish's church community and public and members of church and school as they engage with the church and school communities," said St. Therese’s lawyer, Robert Griffin, at the zoning board meeting. He said other benefits of the new rectory are increased efficiency and security for the pastors.

The new rectory will be funded in part with $350,000 raised from the sale of six acres by the church to the owners of the Merry Heart senior care complex for a proposed annex on Commerce Boulevard.

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