History of Queen of Peace Parish
In 1920 the cornerstone for the first church was laid, and Our Lady Queen of Peace was consecrated. In September 1925 Queen of Peace Grammar School, staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, opened and within two years the enrollment grew tremendously. 1934 saw the first graduates of Queen of Peace High School.
The original church was soon converted into classrooms and a second church was located on the ground floor of the school building. As the parish continued to expand it became apparent that a larger church was needed. Msgr. Peter B. O’Connor, the first pastor of Queen of Peace Parish, was credited with the most ambitious expansion this parish had ever realized.
Under the direction of Msgr. O’Connor, plans were drawn up in the late 1940’s. Monsignor was particularly drawn to the Georgian Colonial style of architecture and this style was inherent in its design. In September 1951 the cornerstone of the present-day church was laid.
Impressive is the church spire which rises 165 feet to the aluminum cross that houses a relic of the true Cross. Just below the spire, the bell tower houses a 5,000-pound bell concealed by louvers on four sides. The three stages of the tower call to mind the Holy Trinity, and the first stage, in the same Briar Hill stone as the rest of the church, suggests the cornerstone of Christ to His Faithful here on Earth.
The interior of the church maintains the Georgian Colonial style with Ionic pilasters and neo-classical embellishment throughout. While there are many, one of the most impressive aspects of the church is the gilt features of the tester. At the top is an ornate version of the seal of Our Lady, while underneath is a dove representing the Holy Spirit. A gilt crucifix hangs from above, behind the main altar.
Lastly, the nave of the church features twelve main windows celebrating the history of Roman Catholicism in the New World. These windows serve as a reminder of the contribution that Catholics have made to the greatness of this nation and hemisphere.
It is with great pride an admiration that we afford to our parishioners this brief, yet impressive history of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church. God bless you always!