In March 2017, St. John the Apostle, located on School Place in Milford, broke ground for a new rectory next to the church. The new rectory will house the pastor and associate pastor at the church with a third suite for visiting seminarians.
“The original rectory on the property did not meet Diocesan guidelines,” Father Anthony Giamello said. “It was a single-family home and it was not adequate for two priests as there were no separate living quarters or bathrooms. The new rectory will have two bathrooms as well as sleeping and dressing quarters. We will share common areas of the home, however.” Before building the new rectory, the associate pastor lived in the house that was demolished for the rectory while the pastor lived above the church offices. The church believes the new rectory will make the pastors more comfortable and be a more attractive arrangement for visiting clergy.
The new rectory was built with money raised in a capital campaign started by Bishop Mullaley over three years ago throughout the entire diocese. The campaign has a goal of $31 million with every parish asked to raise an amount. In addition to the rectory, the campaign will allow the diocese to install air conditioning at St. Bernadette’s Mission in Harrington.
“Although we live in Milford, we also serve Harrington,” Father Giamello said. “We also serve two Hispanic populations in Easton. Our Hispanic population is also growing at our other locations as well. We have an estimated 1400 families in our entire congregation.”
Originally, Catholic residents of Milford were served by the Holy Cross Parish in Dover, according to the book “A History of Milford” created by the Milford Historical Society. In the late 1800s, there were Catholic services held in a variety of places in Milford, including a room at Reedy’s Hall, which became the Williams Building, in a parlor of the McCaffrey home and in the Kramlich Hotel. On June 26, 1910, the first Catholic Church in lower Kent County was dedicated after the completion of construction of a building and rectory on Maple Avenue in Milford.
Reverend Michael Dougherty was the first resident pastor at the parish which covered not only the city of Milford, but also the lower part of Kent County and all of Sussex County. Just before the church celebrated its 50th anniversary, however, the original church and rectory were sold. New buildings were erected at the church’s present location at the corner of Seabury Avenue and School Place. The new building was dedicated by Bishop FitzMaurice on November 25, 1954. At the time, John A. Corrigan was the pastor.
“Our plan is to have the bishop here for our official blessing,” Father Giamello said. “We hope to have the new rectory completed by the end of August.”
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