So in the early 1960s, they built this larger complex about half a mile from the original church, consisting of an auditorium church, convent, and school. (The photo above is the auditorium church.)
The school opened in 1963. Unfortunately for them, the public schools around here were pretty good, and proved to be stiff competition for a little private school. Because of declining enrollment, the parochial school closed in 1988. The school building was “converted into a Religious Education Center for the instruction of all [their] children, and in keeping with the modern trend, it also serves as a Parish Center for the many religious and social programs run by [their] very talented parishioners” (Bernauer 2004, para. 4).
And since the convent was no longer needed after the school closed, it was converted into the rectory (which had initially been located next door to the little church).
I stumbled upon the complex by accident, and I was confused because I knew that the Church of the Little Flower was half a mile down the road, not HERE. So. That’s the story, folks: there’s a little church, there’s an auditorium church, and there’s a school that’s not really a school anymore.
Troeger, V.B. (2005). Images of America: Berkeley Heights Revisited. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738537527.
P.S. I’m not leaving you very much time, but if you like, vote for New Providence Daily Photo’s Photo of the Year! You can vote for as many as you like, and feel free to add your own suggestions (you can browse my archive for ideas). And don’t worry, you’ll be totally anonymous to me; I won’t know who you are unless you tell me.
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This is the (little) Church of the Little Flower in Berkeley Heights. It was established by local Italian-American farmers, and dedicated in October 1930. When it was severely damaged by a fire in 1970, they used the tragedy as an excuse to renovate the church according to new Vatican II principles.
If you hadn’t heard of “the little flower,” (which I hadn’t) apparently before Saint Thérèse of Lisieux joined a convent, she had a conversation with her aging father, during which he plucked a little white flower to make a point. From that moment on, Thérèse saw the “little flower” as a symbol of herself. (Meaning: “Little Flower” = St. Thérèse.)
I have yet to read any Union Township historical references, and the internet kind of ignores Vauxhall, so I am afraid I can’t tell you anything about the Vauxhall post office. The architecture looks 1960s-1980s-ish (to my completely untrained eye), so it’s very likely not too historical anyway.
Here is what I can tell you: it’s a teeny smidgen east of a Whole Foods/ Best Buy/ Target shopping center, and its hours (as of December 2011) are:
M-F: 8:30am-5:00pm (lobby: 7:15-5:30)
Sat: 8:00am-12:00pm (lobby: 7:15-3:30)
The St. Rose of Lima Parish was established in Springfield, NJ in 1852. They all moved to Short Hills, a subset of Millburn, when this church was built in 1909-1912. But back in those days, it was a brick Romanesque church.
Only in 1955 did they renovate it to its current colonial look.
…and if you’re curious about the namesake, apparently St. Rose of Lima was the first Catholic saint of the Americas (as she was born in Lima, Peru). I had this vision of lima beans running through my head, but no, apparently not.
Lampe, O.W. (1999, 2000). Images of America: Millburn. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738504130.