St. Peter the Apostle Parish was incorporated on June 19, 1948. Prior to this date, people who resided in River Edge had to go to other towns to receive the sacraments and to worship on Sunday. The first Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Eugene Burke of Holy Trinity, Hackensack on August 17, 1947. Ground was broken for the existing buildings on July 27, 1950. Until their completion, Roosevelt School served as the church building for this new parish.
Msgr. Burke did not live to see the completion of this building project.
On June 30, 1952, Fr. Daniel Collins was named administrator of the parish. With the help and dedication of many loyal and faithful parishioners, the three building complex which included the convent, rectory, school and church were completed. The school building was opened for classes on September 8, 1952 for 625 students. Saturday, October 4, 1952 will long be remembered by those who were present. On this date the dedication ceremonies were held. The very next day, Fr. Collins celebrated the first Mass in the new church. Fr. Collins was named pastor on February 8, 1953, a post he held until his retirement on September 30, 1970. Almost seven years earlier, Fr. Collins was honored with the title of Monsignor.
The school, now named St. Peter Academy, is a co-sponsored school. Children from both St. Peter’s and Queen of Peace, Maywood make up the student body. Some years ago the convent building was converted into a senior residence called the Senior Residence of River Edge, and it is no longer occupied by the Sisters.
A parish is indeed more than its building. St. Peter the Apostle Parish is blessed to this day with many dedicated and willing people who are filled with the spirit of God’s love and who give of themselves generously to keep the parish alive and vibrant. From its humble beginning, St. Peter’s has become a very active and spirited parish.
In 1997, the parish decided to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its founding in 1948 by initiating a renovation of the interior of the church and the construction of an addition. The completed project is referred to as the “new” St. Peter’s.