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Our History

On January 11, 1901, St. Ann’s Church was renamed St. Catharine Church. A summer resident of Spring Lake, Mr. Martin Maloney, had been granted permission by the Bishop of Trenton to give a new church as a gift to God in memory of his deceased daughter, Catharine. Once the plans for the new church had been granted, it was decided to rename the church St. Catharine Church. The cornerstone for the new church was laid on March 17, 1901, and the consecration of St. Catharine Church was celebrated on May 25, 1902. The original building was sold to St. John’s Methodist Church and moved to a new location.

St. Catharine Church held three hundred fifty people but the influx of summer visitors filled the church to overflowing every Mass. Plans to build a summer church with a seating capacity of five hundred people were begun. By 1920, St. Margaret’s Church, at Ludlow and Third Avenue was ready. As Spring Lake became more of an all-year residential community, St. Margaret’s opened its doors as a year round church.

The Catholic families of Spring Lake soon wanted a school for their children and so the basement of St. Margaret’s Church was adapted to make four classrooms. The order of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania sent three sisters to staff the first Catholic school in Spring Lake. Forty-five pupils were enrolled and placed in four different grade levels of education. Before long, more children were seeking admission and more classrooms were built in the basement of St. Catharine Church. Success of the school proved that a more permanent one was needed. By 1951, the present St. Catharine School opened with an enrollment of several hundred pupils. In 1965, an addition of ten classrooms was built.