Reverend Augustine M. Brady, was appointed by Bishop Wigger, Reverend Brady came to New Jersey from the New York Diocese. Father Brady initiated the building of the church in 1886. To accomplish this, six lots were purchased on the block between Morgan and Gardner Streets, Union Hill. These two blocks are now known as 39th and 40th Street, Union City.
In 1891 the construction of the two-story brick building began. The school was opened in September 1891, this beautiful two-story brick building was considered a model structure at that time. Sister Mary Lucina Boylan, a Sister of Charity, was named the first principal. The Sister of Charity from Convent Station has continued to staff the school during its 100-year history. The number of pupils in attendance at the opening of the school was 100 with a faculty of five teachers.
Due to ill health, Father Brady resigned in 1897. He was followed by Father Stafford and then by Father McLaughlin. The convent was opened on 40th Street with the purchase of the Forstman property. In 1913 Reverend Robert Byer became pastor and in 1938 he purchased the Hille house at 312-39th Street, which is the site of the present convent. Father Heavy succeeded Father Byer in 1940. During this period improvements were made on the school building. The towers and fire escapes, which disfigured the front of the building, were removed, the main entrance was re-built and the building painted. Fireproof stairways and new plumbing were installed, new rooms and corridors laid out, a library and principal’s office created and new classroom furniture and equipment installed. The school had an enrollment of 400 students and Sister Alma Mercedes served as the principal.
In 1951 Father James McAvoy became pastor and he was succeeded by Father James Healy in 1954. At this time, Sister Marie Elizabeth Taffed was principal of the school. Father Healy, later Monsignor Healy, started plans for a new addition including an auditorium / gymnasium to the school. The old church had to be moved to the edge of 39th Street to free ground space for the new school. During the construction of the school, Masses were celebrated in the old church and in Washington School.
The new addition was completed and occupied on September 9, 1957 with Sister Francis Raymond as principal. At this same time, construction was begun on a new church building. The benches were removed from the old church and put in the auditorium for Masses during the building of the new church. The present church was dedicated in June 1958. Monsignor Healy remained as pastor until his retirement in 1970. Father George Ligos served as administrator for a short time until Father Raymond Murray was appointed pastor in 1971.
Monsignor Thomas Heck replaced Father Murray. In 1976 Msgr. Heck was replaced by Rev. Thomas Devine, O.A.R., who was our pastor until 2015 when we then welcomed Rev. Jose Maria Martinez. Sister Katherine Carroll served as principal from 1964 to 1972. Sister Rose Carmel served as principal from 1972 until 1978. Sister Roberta O’Hea was principal from 1978 to 2009 until she died on June 6, 2009. Sister Lillian Sharrock is currently the principal.