The History of St. Aloysius Parish

September 1927, St. Aloysius Church began as a mission to St. Rose of Lima, Haddon Heights. Mass was first celebrated in the area at the Ritz Theatre. Father Quinlan, pastor of St. Rose’s, purchased property at the site of the present parish buildings. Thirteen months after the mission was established, Bishop John McMahon of Trenton dedicated the combination church and hall building. At that time, South Jersey was still part of the Trenton Diocese. The Camden Diocese was established in 1937.

St. Aloysius was formed as a parish in Oaklyn in 1935. Bishop Moses E. Kiley of Trenton formally established St. Aloysius as a parish on September 26, 1935. Father Edward Heil was appointed the pastor of approximately 250 families. The parish consisted of Oaklyn, the Bettlewood section of Haddon Township and a small area of Audubon.

The present church structure was built in 1953. Presiding at the dedication was the Most Reverend Bartholomew J. Eustace, the first Bishop of Camden. The Rt. Rev. Augustine T. Mozier, Vicar General of the Diocese, offered the first Mass in the church.

St. Aloysius opened their own school in 1947. It was staffed by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegheny with approximately 30 Sisters serving throughout the 33 years of the school. It was unfortunately forced to close its doors in 1980 due to declining enrollment. In 1987, however, reconstruction to the old school building rejuvenated it into classrooms on the second floor for Religious Education and a new Parish Hall on the first floor.

During the time that St. Aloysius Church was a Mission Church to St. Rose of Lima, Religious Education classes were held Sunday morning after the 9:00 am Mass in the Parish Hall for grammar school children. High school students attended class Monday afternoon at 4:00 pm. Sr. Lois Sanick, OSF, directed the Religious Education Program in the 1970’s. Presently, Religious Education classes are held Sunday morning from 10:15 – 11:30 am in the school for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8.

The original Rectory was located at 12 E. Cedar Ave., Oaklyn, while we were still a mission with Masses said at the Ritz Theatre. In 1957, the Rectory was located at 402 Newton Ave. until it was relocated at the old convent in 1988.

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