How We Started

St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church was founded by Archbishop Thomas A. Boland on July 6, 1961.  Two days later, Rev. Denis J. Whelan was appointed pastor and the next day he offered the first parish Mass in the Charles H. Brewer School.  Sunday Mass was moved to the Arthur L. Johnson Regional H.S. and was offered there each week until the first Mass was offered in our new/present church on July 19, 1964.

Father Whelan lived in the rectory at Little Flower Church, Berkeley Heights for a month and then moved into an apartment at 1074 Raritan Road.  Next he moved into a residence at 43 Amelia Drive which also provided space for an office and a chapel for daily Mass. Finally, Father Whelan moved into our new/present rectory on March 1, 1964.

On August 15, 1963, four Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, NJ arrived in Clark to open St. Agnes School ( four weeks later! ).  Classes were initially conducted in four classrooms at Union County Regional H.S. in Scotch Plains.  St. Agnes School moved into our new/present building on September 9, 1964.

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine - CCD, later known as Religious Education Program - Religious Ed., now known as Catholic Faith Formation - CFF, was inaugurated on August 28, 1961.  Elementary students met in the Arthur L. Johnson Regional H.S. and grades 9 - 12 met in the Charles H. Brewer School.

The first meeting of the St Agnes Holy Name Society was on September 12, 1961 and the first meeting of the St. Agnes Rosary-Altar Society was on September 19, 1961.  Both meetings took place in the Abraham Clark School. 

Catholic Youth Organization - CYO, now known as Youth Ministry - YM, met for the first time on September 25, 1961.

A parish census conducted during September, 1961 reported a registration of 450 families.

Today, St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, is a parish community of more than 1,200 families and single adults.  We are a Stewardship parish comprising over 60 ministries, committees and organizations who endeavor everyday to be true followers of Jesus Christ.