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The Parish of Sts. Philip and James began in 1907. The first Pastor was Father William Duhigg. Mass was originally held in a house in St. James, until 1909 when the current “Old Church” was completed. In 1922 a school was added in the current Monte Building. Upon Father Duhigg’s death, Father Clarence Murphy was appointed as Pastor. By the 1950’s the student body had outgrown the three room school. Before he was able to put his plans for a new school into fruition, Fr. Murphy died.
The next Pastor, Father Otto Froehlich was able to begin Fr. Murphy’s plan for a new school. Father Charles Carow was appointed as Pastor upon Fr. Froehlich‘s death in 1957. A new church was also constructed at that time. After Father Carow’s death in September 1970, Father Richard Hendel was appointed as Pastor. An adult education program and a teenage folk group were established during Fr. Hendel’s leadership.
In June 1978, Father William Murphy became the 6th Pastor. Under his administration, the Parish Social Ministry was established, the school was expanded to include Kindergarten, and the beginning formation of the Youth Ministry was begun.
In June 1988, Monsignor Charles Guarino was appointed as the new Pastor. During his eleven years as Pastor, Monsignor was instrumental in having new stained glass windows and a newly restored and upgraded pipe organ installed in the Church. In 1995 the new Parish Center/Priests’ Residence was complete.
Father Robert Giuntini was appointed as Pastor in 1999. During his years as pastor, Father Giuntini had new carpeting and a new sound system installed in the main Church and the Old Church was refurbished with carpeting and air conditioning. Due to illness, Fr. Giuntini was not able to complete his term as Pastor, and Father Brian J. McNamara was appointed as a temporary Administrator in 2003 while continuing to serve as Director of Priest Personnel for the Diocese. He shortly thereafter was officially appointed as Pastor in 2003. Under his leadership, Monsignor Brian was able to raise $1.5 in a capital campaign for improvements in both the main and old churches.
In June 2008, Father Anthony Stanganelli was appointed as the 10th Pastor of Sts. Philip and James. Utilizing the funding received under the capital campaign, Fr. Tony was able to renovate the stained glass windows in the old church, and had new doors, sound system, new carpeting, new painting, and an elevator installed in the new church.
On June 26, 2013, Father Thomas J. Haggerty was appointed as the 11th Pastor of SSPJ. Upon establishing strong financial controls, image due to the aging of the buildings on the campus, Fr. Tom began a Capital Renovation Campaign to address these conditions. The major areas of concern were the old, inefficient and inadequate air conditioning in the main church, the roof and steeple of the old church, renovations in the old church to create much needed meeting rooms for the vital Youth Ministry as well as other parish ministries. One of Father Tom’s goals is also to expand the current ministries by having more people involved in the activities of the parish and he is working on furthering the evangelization of the parish.
Over these many graced years the real history of SSPJ has always been the Lord's call to each of us, the people of SSPJ, in this geographical place, to place trust in His call and in His Word and to let ourselves continually be reborn and refashioned into His Body, the Church of Sts. Philip and James, as Apostles of Hope in St. James.