One of the odder things I encountered is the term "ecclesiastical province":
The geographic area of New Jersey is in the ecclesiastical province of Newark which includes the Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey) and Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Paterson and Trenton (New Jersey). * * *
Prior to 1853, northern New Jersey had been a part of the Archdiocese of New York and southern New Jersey was a part of the Diocese of Philadelphia.But the separation of Newark, and thus New Jersey, from those neighboring provinces is more recent than that quote might make you might think. The New York Times on November 21, 1880 said, in this portion of a .PDF copy of the article:
Time Magazine in its December 20, 1937 issue reported:
Pope Pius XI has not yet given U. S. Roman Catholics the new, fifth Cardinal that many of them feel entitled to, but he has consistently created new archdioceses wherever he has felt that Catholicism was flourishing. Having since 1922 made archiepiscopal sees of San Antonio, Los Angeles and Detroit, Piux XI last week did the same for Newark, N. J. and Louisville, Ky., which brings the number of U. S. archbishops to 19.I love that some publications, such as TNYT and Time, have digitized decades of pre-Internet materials to make them available on the 'net now.
Under the Most Rev. Thomas Joseph Walsh, 64, its bishop since 1928, the diocese of Newark with a large Italian population has long been populous. Previously part of the ecclesiastical province of New York, Newark will now head a province including the diocese of Trenton, and the New Jersey dioceses of Paterson and Camden, whose bishops are to be named this week.
So what, exactly, is an "ecclesiastical province" anyway? Basically it is a group of dioceses within a given geographic, governmental unit, originally a province of the Roman Empire (both East and West), then by extension, a state or states of the United States.
In any case, I found some webpages specific to St. Columba's.
The graceful, monumental Renaissance Revival-style St. Columba's Church was designed by architect Charles Edwards of Paterson and constructed in 1897 for a prospering Irish-American parish in Newark's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The church and its attached rectory comprise an entire city block and serve as an important architectural landmark, especially because of the prominent campanile (tower) and unique program of opalescent art glass windows. The parish is also a center of vital social service programs for its surrounding low-income neighborhood.
Old Newark has more info:
St. Columba's Roman Catholic Church was founded on September 8, 1871. The church was dedicated in the spring of 1872. The parish school was founded in 1879. The church was rebuilt and dedicated on January 17, 1898. The old rectory was made into a convent.
It also has 7 fotos of the church from various years. Here are a couple of fotos of the convent. First, a wide view.
Now, a closer view of the stained-glass windows in the convent and of some architectural details.
Website "The New Jersey Churchscape" shows this text beneath a b&w undated foto:
Even as late as the end of the nineteenth century there was a general prejudice against Catholics, and that has a bearing on the fate of this church, which was reputedly intended to be the cathedral church for Catholics in this area. But the neighborhood was then an upscale one, and the mainline Protestants objected to having a Catholic Bishop in their midst. The upshot was that the plans were scaled back—somehow the building does not seem fully realized, as if it were truncated during construction. And, of course, the Catholic Church proceeded to acquire the most prominent site in the city and build their cathedral there.
Saint Columba, organized in 1871 and built in the 1898 [sic], is a curious design, with many Italian Renaissance features, such as the campanile, and "tendencies to the Baroque" as one observer put it. The architect was Charles Edwards, who also designed St. Aloyius church in the city.
You can see that the campanile and surrounding area of the church is of a much darker stone than the façade. It's an awkward, almost jarring contrast.
This razor-wired chainlink fence, especially the roll of extra razor-wire off to the right, is a tad disturbing.
This next foto shows a sign that startled me.
"San" Columba? "Columba" is a man's name? Yes, St. Columba was an Irish man, "also known as Colum Cille (meaning 'Dove of the church')". How odd.
This is more like what one would like to see by a church, or in this case, alongside the Convent. Again, the absence of my straw hat meant I didn't line this foto up quite completely right. I had intended to center the statue exactly between bars in the wrought-iron fence.
Columba was a missionary from Catholic areas of Ireland to pagan areas of Scotland, and is regarded as a major figure in the Christianization of Western Europe. In Newark, his church is very active in providing social services to an economically disadvantaged population.
St. Columba (right), Lady Liberty Academy Charter School (left).
It is because so many churches have done yeoman work in holding back the barbarians and bringing Newark forward into better days that I like to show churches on Sundays. But I don't always have good fotos or info to offer, so must make a point of taking more pix of churches as I wander the city. If you have suggestions as to churches I should show sooner than I might otherwise get to them, let me know. "Pearl" urged me several months ago to show St. Columba, and now I have.