History

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Our Church (The origin of the name "Our Lady of Pompeii" can be found here) started as a Mission Church of Saint Michael's in Paterson to serve the needs of the Italian community in the western section of Paterson (Stoney Road). It was founded by Monsignor Felix Cianci, then a pastor at Saint Michael's.

In July 1924, the Capuchin Sisters of the Infant Jesus were established in the parish by Bishop Thomas J. Walsh of Newark, who had jurisdiction over the religious orders of Passaic County. The sisters, whose convent was located on Caldwell Avenue, were engaged in social service work and taught religious instructions to the children of the parish. Later, the property at 74 Murray Avenue was purchased for a new convent.

On December 11, 1930, Reverend Didacus Roberto filed a certificate of incorporation. A new church was needed, but because of lack of funds, building one was put off a number of times. Finally, the task was undertaken—under the direction of Father Silvius Mancini—late in the fall of 1962, where excavation began at the corner of Caldwell Avenue and Dayton Street for the erection of a new church. It was dedicated on Saturday, August 17, 1963 by Bishop James J. Navagh. In the same year, the Capuchin Sisters were transferred and their duties were resumed by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

The resident pastors who served Our Lady of Pompei over the years were: Reverend Vincent Juliani (1916-1918), Reverend Raimondo Tonini (OFM, Cap., 1918-1920), Reverend Michael Gorri (OFM, Cap., 1920-1921), Reverend Gaetano Costri (OFM, Cap., 1921-1926), Reverend Didacus Roberto (1926-1951), Reverend Daniel Vechiollo (January 1951-June 1951), Reverend Augustine Varricchio (June 1951-1954), Reverend Silvius Mancini (1954-1968), Reverend Eugene Romano (1968-1971), Reverend Martin J. D'Auria (1971-1994), Reverend Sal J. Panagia (1994-2010), Reverend Thomas Fallone (January 2011-June 2011), and Reverend Frank Agresti (June 2011-Present).

In 2011, the church entered the digital world. A website and Facebook page were designed by two parishioners along with Reverends Thomas Fallone and Sal Panagia—to keep up with the demands of modern society.

Since its humble beginnings in 1916, the parish has grown and flourished through the foresight and guidance of its dedicated pastors and the love and support of its parishioners.

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