Nativity Church is part of the Byzantine Catholic (formerly known as Greek Catholic) Church of the United States. Byzantine Catholics are Catholics who follow the traditions and spirituality of the Byzantine Rite, which traces its roots to the ancient Byzantine Empire.
The Byzantine Catholic Church is a daughter church of the Orthodox Church, but is in communion with the Church of Rome and is under the pastoral care of His Holiness, Pope Francis. This union with Rome occurred in the year 1646 and continues to this day.
Since the 1880’s immigrants from Eastern Europe came to the United States bringing with them the only form of Christianity they knew: Byzantine Catholicism. That’s how the Byzantine Catholic Churches started in America.
There are about 250 Byzantine Catholic parishes in America. About 100 are in our eparchy (diocese), the Eparchy of Passaic. The Eparchy of Passaic spans the entire east coast of the United States from Massachusetts to Florida, and from the Atlantic Ocean to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Most churches are in the coal mining region of northeastern Pennsylvania, but many are here in New Jersey also.
Our Parish of Nativity of our Lord was founded in 1969 from a community that was nurtured by Father Thomas Chelena. Later that same year, we bought our church building from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Old Bridge and welcomed our first resident pastor and his family – Father Robert E. Lucas. Beginning with Father Lucas, and continuing through to completion and beyond under Father James G. Hayer, our church and properties have been extensively renovated and transformed to a properly appointed Byzantine Church.
In 19??, Father Jim left our parish for a Sabbatical, after which he became pastor at St. Mary’s of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was succeeded at Nativity by Father Michael Venditti.
In 2002, Father Michael was succeeded by Father Vlad Zablotskyy. Father Vlad had the difficult duty of shepherding our parish through the crisis of losing the Parish Hall to fire in 2003.
Our next pastor, Father Greg Hosler, came to us in 2005. After 11 years, he was re-assigned to McAdoo, PA in November 2016.
We now welcome Fr. Iaroslav Korostil, his wife Alla, and their children Roman, Alex and Anastasia.
May God grant to all of our members who make up this parish peace, health and happiness for many, many more spiritually blessed years.