Monastery of St. Michael the Archangel, Union City, NJ
The Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel is a state and national historic place in Union City, New Jersey. Formally opened in 1869 and completed in 1875, the grounds of the complex are bounded West Street and Summit Avenue between 18th and 21st Streets. The small street leading to its front entrance from the east is called Monastery Place. At one time the largest Roman Catholic church in Hudson County, it has since became home to a Presbyterian congregation while part of the grounds are used for housing and education.
In 1861, Passionists began their ministry in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and by 1864 had built a monastery in what was then West Hoboken, and now southern half of Union City. The land for the 12.3 acre site was donated by J. Kerrigan, the owner of Kerrigan Farm, and the namesake of Kerrigan Avenue. The domed church's cornerstone was laid in 1869, and it was completed in 1875, and additions to the complex were made in 1914, 1929, and 1944. In 1876, the remains of Saint Benedict were interred into a shrine near the main altar. At one time, the church was the largest Roman Catholic house of worship in Hudson County. The church itself was damaged and rebuilt after a 1934 fire. Due to lack of finances, the entire complex was closed in 1981, and Saint Michael's Parish merged with nearby Saint Joseph's Parish, whose school and church were on the corner of Central Avenue at 14th Street, becoming Saint Joseph and Michael's Parish. In 1986, the complex was placed on both state and national registers of historic places. In the same year records for St. Micheals and other nearby parishes were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. A fire on August 14, 1994 destroyed a large portion of the monastery building, though the church survived.
The monastery and church were later purchased by a Korean Presbyterian congregation from Palisades Park, and renamed Hudson Presbyterian Church The surrounding park grounds, which had been used in the past for sports activities by citizens, were sold. The southern portion along 18th Street is now occupied by two condominium buildings and a low-to-moderate income housing complex that replaced the portion of the monastery destroyed by fire in 1994. The José Martí Freshman Academy (named for Cuban patriot José Martí) and the southern branch of the Union City Public Library are housed in a building on the western side of the grounds.
2019 West St,
Union City, NJ 07087