The complete Music Ministry of Immaculate Conception offers a comprehensive Children’s Music Program, a gifted Chancel Choir, magnificent pipe organ and a concert series. The recent addition of Schulmerich Handbells have also enhanced the offerings of the Music Ministry. Immaculate Conception’s glorious Roman architecture resembles that of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall in Rome. These all combine together to offer great Sacred music in this great Sacred space.
About the Church of the Immaculate Conception
The Church of the Immaculate Conception was founded in 1856 as a mission of St. Peter's Church in Belleville, New Jersey, to meet the religious needs of the growing number of Catholics in the northerly part of Essex County. In 1864 it was established as a separate parish and became the mother-church for Catholic parishes in Bloomfield, Verona and Caldwell. The first church was a frame building on Elm Street, which served the parish until 1892, when construction of the present church began at the corner of North Fullerton Avenue and Munn Street. In 1907 the present church was completed; it was restored and renovated in 1995, with the aid of a grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust.
An elementary school had been started in the original church in 1881, staffed by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, and in 1899 a new school building was erected on Munn Street, named Tegakwita Hall in honor of the young Mohawk girl, Kateri Tegakwita, the first Native North American to be beatified by the Catholic Church. Although the elementary school was closed in 1997, Tegakwita Hall, now a century old and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, continues to serve the parish. In 1997, after the closing of Immaculate Conception Elementary School, its James A. Farrell Early Childhood Center was retained as Tegakwita Academy, a Pre-school program for 3-and 4-year olds.
In 1925, Immaculate Conception High School was established on Cottage Place; today it serves a diverse student population from throughout Essex County, with an array of outstanding academic and athletic programs. In 1895, Immaculate Conception Cemetery was established on Grove Street in Upper Montclair; a Mausoleum was added in 1987. Now past the 150th anniversary of its founding, Immaculate Conception serves more than 1,000 Catholic families in Montclair and surrounding towns.