Diocese: Diocese of New York and New Jersey
Deanery: New Jersey Deanery
316 Cassville Rd
Jackson, New Jersey
PO Box 146
Jackson, NJ 08527
Jackson, NJ 08527
Jackson, NJ 08527
Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church is located at St Vladimir’s Cemetery in the township of Jackson, NJ, the home of Six Flags Great Adventure and the Jackson Outlets mall. Jackson in located in the central part of the state.
From the NJ Turnpike
Take the turnpike to exit 7A. Get on Rt 195 east (follow signs for Six Flags, but do not take the same exit). Get off at exit 16B, which will put you on Rt 537 east. Pass the outlet mall and go to the next traffic light (3rd light—there will be 3 gas stations at this intersection, along with a sign for “Trenton Lakewood Rd”. Turn right at this intersection. You will be on Rt 571 south, which becomes Cassville Rd. The church and cemetery are approximately 3 miles on the right. Parking is available in the lot.
From the Garden State Parkway
Take the Garden State Parkway to exit 98. Take I-195 west to exit 16, which will put you on Rt 537 east. Pass the outlet mall and go to the next traffic light (2nd light—there will be 3 gas stations at this intersection, along with a sign for “Trenton Lakewood Rd”. Turn right at this intersection. You will be on Rt 571 south, which becomes Cassville Rd. The church and cemetery are approximately 3 miles on the right. Parking is available in the lot.
Schedule of Services
Services are celebrated in English and Slavonic.
6:00 PM Vespers.
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
10:00 AM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
Wednesday & Friday Mornings During Great Lent
St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church, chartered on February 25, 1952, as the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, is today a most unique and beautiful representation of the “Moscow style.” It was built and consecrated with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan LEONTY (Turkevich), and stands gracefully within the peaceful territory of the St. Vladimir’s Cemetery at 316 Cassville Rd, Jackson, NJ.
St. Vladimir’s Russian Orthodox Cemetery was organized in 1939 by the ROVA Society. Through the efforts of the Ladies Auxiliary of the First Branch of ROOVA, St. Mary’s foundation and cornerstone were laid in 1940. By 1951 the new chapel was completed. Father Peter Popoff, a priest from New York, was appointed to serve the young parish and came to Jackson with his Matushka Tatiana. Following his arrival, the first Church Council was elected tp serve the parish.
His Eminence, Metropolitan LEONTY dedicated St. Mary’s Church in 1955 and the chapel officially became recognized as St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church, Cassville, NJ. In 1958, with the help amd devotion of the parish sisterhood, a plot of land was purchased in order to build an parish home. This rectory was completed and blessed by Archbishop DIMITRY (Magan). In 1968 the church was enlarged and blessed again.
During the 1970s, St. Mary’s Church was served by several priests appointed on a temporary basis. Among them were Fathers Fedor Gorb, Peter Popoff, George Lukashuk, Michael Dudas and Aleksey Znosko-Borowski. Frequently, Protodeacon Nicholas Kuzmin-Polansky served and people recall his beautiful voice enriching the tone of the Divine Services. Occasionally Father Leonid Ladinsky was sent from New York Cathedral to serve the parish. His Eminence, Archbishop DIMITRY served Hierarchical Divine Liturgies. During this era, the President of St. Vladimir’s Cemetery Association, Martin Hrynick, acted as the Parish administrator, capably assisted by Subdeacon Gregory Yary.
On April 19, 1986, Father John Prokopiuk was assigned as Rector of the parish by His Eminence, Archbishop PETER and, together with Matushka Ludmila and their young daughter Anna arrived in Jackson. With the arrival of Father John, parish life was greatly revived. Church services were celebrated regularly as well as the many other services that contribute to church life: weddings, baptisms and funerals. The Parish Sisterhood established the social tradition of coffee hour following the Sunday Liturgy. Father John continues as Rector of the parish to this day.
In time, a new Church Council was elected with Paul Dwaresky as its president. During this period, important work began on writing and adopting the Parish Statutes, which were based on the Statutes of the Orthodox Church in America. The Annual Parish meeting adopted the new Parish statutes, which were subsequently approved by Archbishop PETER. This action provided a strong administrative foundation for the future life of the parish.
The miniature yet unique St. Mary’s Church is situated on a small hilltop surrounded by a multitude of famous and historic departed Russian personalities. Next to the Church is the grave of His Eminence, Archbishop DIMITRY (Magan); next to him is the grave of the Supreme Commander of the White Armies who fought against the Communists, General Anton I Denikin (his body was recently transferred to Russia). In addition, His Eminence, Archbishop GREGORY (Afonsky), the retired Archbishop of Sitka and Alaska is buried here. Also by the church is the grave of the Russian Composer Alexander Gretchaninoff, who often hears his own compositions sung by the parish choir under the direction of Janet Maychowsky. One can also find the graves of the world renowned Cossack Choir conductor, Sergei Jaroff and the Don Ataman, Peter Popoff. Near the church are the graves of well known clergy: Protopresbyter Nicholas Perechvalski; Archimandrite Julian Trotsky; Archpriests Leonid Ladinsky, George Lukashuk, Tikhon Mishevsky, Fedor Gorb, Theodore Zajchenko, John Turkevich, Constantine Buketoff and Peter Popoff (first Rector of the parish), and Protodeacon Nicholas and Matushka Maria Kuzmin-Polansky, as well as many other well known personalities.
In the church there are three Memorial Boards with the names inscribed of all the departed that have been interred in the cemetery. Father John remembers the names of the departed during Great Lent, on all Memorial Sasturdays, and in general, throughout the year during the Divine Liturgy.
Our parish was blessed to have His Eminence, Archbishop GREGORY (Afonsky) serving with us and beautifying our Divine Services from the time of his retirement in 1995 until his repose in 2008. As the parish grew, Protodeacons John Morvay and John Suchernick were attached to the altar of St. Mary’s Church to assist Father John.
In 2003, at the Annual Parish meeting, Father John and the Church Council recommended undertaking a great renovation project for St. Mary’s Church. The project would include necessary structural repairs and aesthetic changes. Once the project was approved, the collection of funds began. The response by our parishioners, friends and benefactors was tremendous.
The first phase of this project included the installation of a new roof, adorned with three golden cupolas. The exterior of the church was resurfaced and fresh paint was applied. New heating and air conditioning systems, hard-wood flooring and new electrical systems were also installed. A beautiful chandelier is a lovely addition to the sanctuary,. New entrance steps were constructed and the mosaic icon of the Vladimir Mother of God adorns the church entrance. The second phase was the purchase from Russia of a new Iconostas, Altar Table, Oblation Table, Tabernacle, banners, a seven-light candlestand, and exquisite Lampadas for the Iconostas and Memorial Boards. Many other church articles necessary for celebrating the Divine Services were also purchased.
On September 23, 2006, His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN and Archbishop GREGORY presided at the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. During the celebration, the new items for the church were blessed and dedicated. A festive banquet was held later that afternoon to celebrate the Rededication.
The entire parish of Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church joins in giving thanks and praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Theotokos for sending so many good and generous people to help us with our efforts in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please visit and pray with us when you are in the area.